I'm chained to the computer at the moment writing school reports,
but I thought I'd take a moment to post about the books I've been reading lately.
Last week I read this enthralling book:
about two sisters - one whom is very controlled and aware of society's values, the other who is flighty and free-spirited. This one, Esme, gets the raw deal from her family again and again. Growing up in colonial India, she experiences the horror of the typhoid outbreak and its devastating consequences. As a teenager she is still thought to be too airy fairy, and is taken off to an asylum, where she spends the next 75 years of her life, abandoned by her family. In steps Iris, her great niece, who is contacted as Esme's next of kin when the asylum closes. While at first shocked at the revelation she even has a great aunt, Iris realises the old woman's plight and agrees to let her stay with her until they find new accommodation for her. What she learns about her Grandma and Aunt along the way is unsettling, and leads to a shocking conclusion.
I found this addictive reading as I am fascinated by stories of sisters, having two myself! I am also quite intrigued by stories of uncaring parents, as I was raised in a loving family, and cannot imagine parents taking drastic measures to promote one child and not the other. There were a few moments in this book where I literally gasped and covered my mouth, because I was appalled at the way Esme was neglected, but I like to be moved by a story. I'm sure many readers will be disappointed by the ending because it is quite unexpected and abrupt, but it gave the story a good twist. I really enjoyed this book!
I also read this one:
which was sent to me from Aunty Ann, my husband's aunty, who shares my love for books!
This book made me realise how differently people deal with death. In fact I could barely stand to read it at first, because the mother, Zoe, was so removed from the death of her baby, and I just couldn't relate to that. However, as more characters were introduced, including her sons, her husband and her new psychiatrist friend, Lillian, I became more interested in how the characters related to each other. By the time the narration swapped to Zoe's husband at about the midway point of the book, the pace goes into overdrive, and the book becomes a real page turner. By the last few chapters the book becomes absolutely chilling, and you can hardly believe what you're reading!
This is not a fun book. But the emotional stories of the characters, shared through diary entries and letters were intriguing to read. A psychological thriller, this book is really something different!
Now I am reading this book:
which I won in a comp run by Shelleyrae, at Book'd Out. Thanks so much, Shelleyrae!!
Set in Sweden, this book tells the tale of Allan, who escapes from a nursing home just before a party is held to celebrate his one-hundredth birthday. Allan takes off to the bus station, still wearing his slippers, and proceeds to make a getaway. Meanwhile, through a turn of events involving a suitcase, he becomes involved in an adventure which is worthy of being made into a hilarious comedic film. The characters in this book are over the top, but believable, and the narration shifts continually between the present and the past of each of the characters. Funny, quirky stuff! I'm not even half way through the book yet,
but already I am having a great time!
I'm still in the midst of writing reports,
but I hope to get a chance to come and visit you soon via Book Journey.
You won't see much of me at the moment on here, even though I have heaps to share, because it is report writing week! I need to keep my head down, and bum up, so please forgive me if I don't visit you this week! Just quickly, I will share a song that I've been enjoying. Guy Sebastian's voice is truly awesome in this:
I don't mind me a bit of rap when there is a pretty melody and soaring vocals to go with it.
The theme for this week's A Snap, A Set and A Song, is Red. We have been talking about gardens at school recently, and noticed a few interesting things about ladybirds. Some of them are yellow, and some orange, some have lots of spots, some have only a few spots, and sometimes they have stripes, or even splodges!
This isn't a snap taken by me, but this is what the ladybirds look like where we live:
Splodgy! With a big line down the centre!
Here is my polyvore Set, with a red ladybird theme:
This tune has got to be the happiest one on the radio at the moment! I discovered that you can download a Take 40 app on your iphone for free, and then you can watch videos without any buffering (Dear computer, when are you going to stop doing that??) Just be sure not to do it without wi-fi or you'll be paying a fortune!
Enjoy, and try not smiling while you listen to this fun song! Impossible!
Makes me want to go camping in summer.
The first was The Light Between Oceans which is a
heart-wrenching story about a couple on an island who find a baby washed up on the shore in a boat, and decide to keep her, after experiencing three miscarriages of their own.
They know the father is gone, but they later find out the mother is still alive and mourns the loss of her daughter terribly. What they do, knowing this, is a difficult turn of events that makes you wonder, what would you do?
The setting is an island off the coast of Western Australia, where the author describes the remote yet magical way of lighthouse living. The characters are engaging, and endearing, and we share their heartache as they explore the dark and desperate feelings of loss, guilt, and betrayal.
A superbly written story that you don't want to miss.
I also read a collection of stories by Cecelia Ahern called Every Year.
Most of these stories, as with all Ahern's books, have a disenchanted protagonist who learns to look at the bright side of life after a wake-up call. There are some clever techniques in these stories, such as unexpected narrators, and ambiguous settings, which made me smile when I realised what was going on. This book is a very short read but some of the stories, especially Mallard and May, will leave a lasting impression.
After reading this, I couldn't resist downloading the new Cecelia Ahern novel called One Hundred Names.
The premise of the book had me at hello, in that it is about a tarnished journalist, Kitty Logan, who tries to recreate her career by following an article idea left to her by her boss. There is a list of one hundred names of people and it is Kitty's job to find out who these people are, and how they are linked, to be able to produce just one incredible article about their lives.
While excited at first about the mystery behind the one hundred names, I felt a little disappointed by the way the story went along. The characters seemed to be just a hodge podge thrown together, and while there was a link between them in the end, it just wasn't a wow kind of link. I missed the usual Cecelia Ahern magic that sweeps me away when reading her books.
Linking up with Sheila now, over at Book Journey.
Have a great week of reading and other adventures!
It's kinda weird that movie studios feel they have to remake movies, especially when they were successful the first time around, but I guess it means a whole new generation of people will enjoy the stories in a modern context.
We watched the 2011 Footloose recently and were not disappointed. As soon as you hear the opening music, you can't help but be swept back to the 80s and the fun of dancing. The lead actors, Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough are very cute, and had us oohing and aahing at their bods.
You know the story; city boy, Ren, moves to a small town to live with his aunt and uncle after his mother dies from leukemia. He falls for the Reverend's wild daughter, Arial, whose brother died in a car crash 3 years earlier, leading the town council to enforce curfews and rules on the youth of the town, including no public dancing. Arial and Ren can relate to each other's grief and feelings of oppression, so they rally to have the no public dancing rule lifted.
As with the original film, the music and dancing in this version are so uplifting and fun, you just gotta sing and dance along. Even if you've never busted a move in your life, you'll feel your toes tapping with this one. Even the bootscooting scene made me want to take up dancing again!
This film could be enjoyed by kids, but just keep in mind that there are a few sexy moves between Ariel and her boyfriend, as well as a scene where they physically abuse each other. There's no nudity though, and I don't recall there being any swearing. Besides those two scenes, it's all pretty harmless fun, with some lessons about family, grief and trust, to add depth.
My favourite scene in the movie is this one, where Willard learns to dance.
I loved this scene in the original film too!
It's time for A Snap, A Set and A Song! Knowing that this week's theme was Clouds, I woke up this morning with a plan to take a photo of the cloudy sky outside our home. Only thing is, for the first time in ages, there was not a cloud to be seen! So I popped outside after work to see if there were any clouds at all, and found this miniscule one:
It's the Running Man cloud!
Over at polyvore, the first thing to catch my eye was the I've Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day print
which immediately made me think of Willow, because the song My Girl was played at her funeral. This week of the year is quite difficult, remembering Willow, however, sometimes during the cloudy times we are reminded of the sunny things in life that can help lift our spirits - all the people we love, and the beautiful gifts of nature. I made a happy set to express this.