The Books I’ve Read in 2008.
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Love in the Time of Cholera is a moving tale of love, constance and devotion. Told in the third person flashbacks this story reveals the lifelong consequences of a brief, but passionate, love affair between young Florentino Ariza & Fermino Daza. Fermina Daza moves on from this affair, marries Doctor Juvenal Urbino and lives a full life. Florentino Ariza, who never stops loving Fermina, moves through a series brief affairs until old age, when the death of her husband leaves Fermina free to be wooed once more.
Some parts of this book were a little drawn out and hard to get through, which is why I haven’t given it full ratings. Overall, however, this was a wonderfully moving story of the constance of the human heart. This is not a romance novel but it is romantic – not with the impetuous passion of youth, but the comfortable, familiar love of old age. I highly recommend it.
The Husband was an easy but thrilling book with lots of twists and turns. One of Koontz’s better novels, the characters are believable and the situations, while a stretch, are conceivable. Koontz takes everyone’s worst nightmare – a family member kidnapped for a ransom they are unable to pay – adds a few twists and a bit of action, and finishes with a novel that is well worth reading.
The Langoliers: This was definitely my favourite story in this collection, and is now one of my three favourite short stories written by Stephen King. Extremely tense, chilling and a little disturbing, this story freaked me out long after I finished reading it.
Secret Window, Secret Garden: I wasn’t very taken with this story. It felt kind of flat and two-dimensional – totally unlike King’s usual quality.
The Library Policeman: Parts of this story were predictable but there were some unexpected twists and, while I didn’t find it scary, it was enjoyable to read.
The Sun Dog: One of King’s ‘Castle Rock’ stories, this was the second best in this collection. It was really quite freaky, actually, and gave me quite a fright. I love the way it was left open for a sequel. I’m not sure if one was written, but I’ll be looking into it.
Overall, Four Past Midnight is a superb collection of horror stories that is sure to give you shivers.
World Famous Cults & Fanatics is a small book but it is packed full of information. Reading about different cults from the past was ver interesting. I was particularly interested to learn the origin of the word ‘thug’. Though I would have preferred more detail, this is a great book for the total beginner. If you know nothing about cults and fanatics, this book provides the basics, and lays the foundation for further research. Unfortunately, the Wilson’s have not provided a bibliography to point us in the right direction, so any further research needs to start from scratch.
This book begins with a shockingly graphic account of the brutal rape of ten-year-old Tonya Hailey. It then tracks the fallout of this crime before reverting to a highly charged courtroom drama. This is the first book John Grisham wrote and the first of his books that I read. In my opinion, it is also the best.
The controversy in Clanton after Carl Lee’s action causes us to search our own hearts and souls. What would we have done if Tonya were our daughter? How would we vote if we were on the jury? Would we, in our deepest souls feel differently if he were white?
I am not a big fan of Grisham generally but I love A Time to Kill. I have read it several times and still feel the thrills and suspense long after other novels become old hash. This is a book that should be on everyone’s reading list.
This is a decent little book of horror stories.
A Singular Passage in the Life of the Late Henry Harris, Doctor in Divinity as related by the Rev. Jasper Ingoldsby, M.A., his friend and executor by Richard Harris BarhamAs the title suggests, this story was long, drawn out and very boring. I had to struggle through it.
The Phantom Regiment by James GrantWhile a little confusing at first, this turned out to be a fine story and quite thrilling.
A Night In the Old Castle by G. P. R. JamesThis was quite a thrilling story with an unexpected ending.
The Forsaken of God by William MudfordA little predictable, but still a good story.
The Monk’s Story by Catherine CroweI found this story fairly boring.
The North Mail by Amelia B. EdwardsThis was one of the better stories in the book and was quite chilling.
The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth GaskellThe language was a little difficult to get used to at first and the story seemed longer than the others (except the first one!) but this was the only story that gave me a good fright. This was definitely my favourite in this collection.
The Signalman by Charles DickensThis was a well-told story with an unexpected ending.
Overall this is a thrilling collection of stories that will be enjoyed by fans of the genre.
This book contains so much more than the movie. In fact, the movie doesn’t even cover the first half of the book. The Neverending Story is a great adventure that will be loved by kids and adults alike. It chronicles the coming-of-age of ten year old Bastion and demonstrates what can happen when all our wishes are granted. The importance of imagination (which I have always advocated) is highlighted in this book – in fact Fantastica depends on it. I would highly recommend this book to everyone – no matter the age.
This is the author’s first novel, and she’s sure done a great job! Bareback is a riveting story about life for a ‘bareback’ DORLA agent in a world of ‘lycos’. Forced into service rounding up ‘lunes’ (lycos who have furred up in the open on moon-nights) and faced by prejudice on all sides, life is not easy for those saddled with the ‘bareback’ disability. This book certainly has a different view of the world and because it is so far from reality, the author is able to deal with issues of prejudice, disability and human rights without it feeling like you are being preached at. Definitely a good read.
This is a great resource if you are looking for ideas for a quality read. With books for just about every taste and ability, the advantage of using this book instead of just looking up lists on the internet, is that descriptions of the books are included, so you don’t need to google each title separately.
There are books from just about every era listed here, from the fifteenth century and earlier (such as Oedipus the King by Sophocles) to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (such as Paradise Lost by John Milton) to the eighteenth century (such as The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin) to the nineteenth century (such as Middlemarch by George Eliot) to the twentieth century (such as One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez).
There are poems (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samual Taylor Coleridge), kids books (Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie), short stories (Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin), plays (practically all of shakespeare made it) and novels (Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy).
There are British authors (Jane Austen), American authors (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Russian authors (Anton Chekhov) and French authors (Marcel Proust). There are comics (Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G.Wodehouse), fantasy/sci-fi (The War with the Newts by Karel Capek) and mysteries/thrillers (The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris).
In all, there are 544 books listed in The Top Ten. That means, that if you start now, and read one book per week, it will take you eleven and a half years to read them all. So get cracking – there’s no time to waste!
Some of the titles listed in this book are absolutely hilarious. There are also some really funny author/title combinations that will crack you up, such as Oh! Sex Education! by Mary Breasted or Your Teeth by John Chipping. At the end there is a list of strange author names (seriously, why would you call your child ‘semen’?) that will have you shaking your head at the cruelty of parents.
I am making it my life challenge to obtain and release as many of these books as possible. This book is definitely worth reading and I would recommend purchasing a copy keep on your coffee table and show off to guests.