This is a list of the books I have read in 2009.
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This book is filled with tricks, pranks jokes and trivia. Some are worth reading, others not so much. I’ll tell you one thing, though. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when some of these pranks were played on unsuspecting parents! At times boring, but mostly funny. Your kids will love it!
I still have not decided whether or not I liked The Hammer of God. The characters were quite flat and the story un-engaging, and there were loads of seemingly unnecessary boring bits of commentary. However, there were some interesting observations and viewpoints expressed, as well as some interesting conceptions for the future of mankind. For me, the best aspect of the book was Kali. A rather small percentage of the story actually takes place on Kali, yet her presence is felt. Through all the flashbacks and commentaries we feel the ominous, brooding presence that is Kali, lending a sense of doom to the entire novel. This book is difficult to classify. I’m afraid readers will simply have to judge for themselves.
This was an OK book, but it was more mysterious than thrilling. I liked that there were chapters written from the point of view of the aliens, giving a different perspective than we would otherwise have had. It is ironic that the aliens appeared ‘evil’ to the humans, when they were merely doing to us what we have done to countless other species. I wonder if this was the author’s intent? Trapped is certainly worth reading once, but I wouldn’t read it twice.
Tired of hearing everyone rave about this novel, I decided it was about time I see what all the fuss is about. I’m glad I did. This has to be the easiest classic I have ever read. Classic literature generally consists of very heavy language that needs to be waded through like a swamp. Not so, The Great Gatsby. Not only is this novel easy to read, it is also a pleasant story. This book focuses on the usual themes of class, gender roles and progress, but it also touches on the different standards of honesty expected from various characters, and (more subtly) the impact of the Great War on the lives of those who lived through it. The focus on the difference between West Egg and East Egg can also be seen as representing the division between Old Aristocracy and the nouveaux riche. Fitzgerald also seems to touch on the difference between true friends and opportunistic hangers on. During life, Gatsby’s home is filled with people, many of which he has never met, but on his death, it is the relatively new acquaintance of the Narrator that proves true and lasting – the others have disappeared. This a short, enjoyable and easy to read novel.
I’m not usually into romance novels, but Welcome to Temptation was a decent read. The characters were well rounded, not the standard cliches I am used to in this genre. I like the term ‘Vanilla Porn’ which I read for the first time in this book. I think it is a term that could probably be applied here. This is a good book with a real storyline and I enjoyed it.
I picked up this book because I enjoyed reading The Copper Beech. Unfortunately, I just cannot seem to get into Echoes. I tried three times to read this book and failed to be engaged each time, so it is time to give up on it and pass it along to someone who will enjoy it more.
This book is a little repetitive in places and, considering there are only 202 pages, it did seem to drag a bit. Having said that, the content itself is absolutely fascinating. Before reading this book, I rarely thought about Finland except to note that they had a good education system – I didn’t even know where they are located on the map. Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf has opened my eyes to the unique and admirable nature of this people.
Finland ranks among the top few countries for global competitiveness, environmental sustainability, water resource management, minimal bureaucracy and least corruption. They lead the world in health, technology, education and gender equality, are known in the United Nations as the ‘Super Peacekeeper’ and are proportionally the biggest library users in the world – six million visits per annum.
This book is an interesting study of one of the world’s least lauded nations, and it has left me with an immense respect for the Finnish people.
We have all thought about what we would do differently if we had our life to live over again, but have we really thought through the implications? We think about what we could gain but have we truly thought about what we could lose? And what if we had to live our life over, and over, and over? Could we handle it? Replay is a brilliant book about time wasted and time gained and how we manage what very little time we have. The style is fresh and easy to read and the characters inspire empathy. I found this book hard to put down. Even those who are not fans of the fantasy genre ought to enjoy this book.
This is an incredibly boring book. I laboured all the way to part three in the hopes it would improve, but I was sorely disappointed. The language is too dense and the style is condescending – I feel as though I’m being talked down to. The blurb states that this book is supposed to be a metaphor for the German occupation of France – I simply cannot see it. anyhow, this is not a book I would recommend.
I loved this book and found it almost impossible to put down. The tale is told in an elegant, graceful style that brings to mind some of the great nineteenth century classics, and the characters are very real and believable. The Historian is set against the background of contemporary communist politics, yet it is filled with the rich details of Eastern European history. I love how we are invited to share the exciting, frustrating, and sometimes mundane life of historians – trying to piece together clues, some incomplete, others so tiny as to be almost missed, and come up with a plausible theory of how things once were. Despite this plodding journey, there is not a page of this book that is dull. Rather it is filled with a lingering feeling of menace, as though something sinister is peering over our shoulder this very minute.
The Dracula legend is old, tired, jaded. Many modern authors have tried to freshen it up by remaking the genre – portraying vampires as mis-understood creatures. Kostova returns to the image of vampires as evil, damned, terrifyingly seductive, yet she has done so in such a way that we are reminded of the bone-chilling fear these creatures can inspire.
I find it hard to believe that this is Kostova’s first novel. With a talent this large, we can expect great things from her in future. My only fault with this book is that, after our slow piecing together of the facts, the ending seems a little fast and squashed together. No doubt this will improve as she gains experience.
All in all, I feel The Historian, like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, will live on as a classic of the vampire genre.