February Books List

Thursday, 28 February 2013

(1)  The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
A beautifully simple and short book that tells the story of a relationship through dictionary definitions.  The unconventional manner of how its written perhaps lends itself to the story not flowing in any order, so instead, each definition is like a glimpse of the relationship.  Some of the definitions are a little cliched, but the majority will strike a cord with anyone who has ever experienced the rollercoaster of emotions that are associated with the pleasures and pains of being in love.  [5/5]

(2)  A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
This book is just amazing!  It crams in so much on everything from space to evolution to our current existence and everything in between.  Completely accessible and never dull, Bryson really has a gift for explaining complex science terms in ways that anyone can understand them.  I wish Bryson had been my science teacher at school!  [5/5]

(3)  Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick   
Powerful and highly emotive, this is a glimpse into how people are forced to live their lives in North Korea.  Demick tells the personal stories of several people who have managed to escape in a way that is easy to relate to (in terms of things like falling in love, being young, wanting to get a good job and education etc) but at the same time, completely alien because of how the dictatorship runs everything (famine, no freedom, mass censorship etc).  Despite the overall grim subject matter of a nation of oppressed people, Demick's writing style makes it accessible with the use of short chapters and simply fascinating true life tales.  It's a real eye opener to how hopeless some parts of the world are when they are ruled under such vicious dictatorships, yet I can only hope that for the people of North Korea, that rule ends soon.   [5/5]

(4)  Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
I must have had this book on my shelves since I was about 17, though I'm glad I read it at this age, rather than as a teenager.  I enjoyed it a lot; the characters and war missions that they undergo are completely surreal and crazy.  At the same time it's frighteningly clever and quite frankly some of the best satire I've ever read.  The way that Heller manages to illustrate the madness of war so plainly, yet in a humorous context, is a work of genius in itself.  If you've ever been cynical/critical of people going to war and love satire, then you must read this contemporary classic if you haven't already.  [4/5]

(5)  The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner was so much fun to read and definitely one of the best books to have come out of the whole YA sci-fi/dystopia boom.  Our main character is a boy called Thomas who gets randomly thrown into the 'Glade', a prison like place that seems completely surrounded by high stone walls.  He has no recollection of how he got there or why he's there, and everything he comes to know has been told to him by the other boys in the Glade.  The story reminded me a bit of the TV show LOST because you're just plunged into this strange place with Thomas and end up feeling as confused and terrified as he is.  Thanks to Jayne for recommending this :) [4/5]


What have you been reading this month?

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16 comments

  1. I love Bill Bryson, I've read all his books, my favourite is Down Under as I've travelled around Australia and it was like he wrote my trip.

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    1. I've read that! He's an amazing writer, love his humour :)

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  2. I really want to read Nothing to Envy now, it looks really interesting!

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    1. It is, comes under that morbid fascination category but wholly interesting :)

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  3. Great selection :) The Maze Runner sounds really intriguing x

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    1. It's great, can't wait to read the second book in the series :) x

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  4. It looks like you've read some great books this month. The maze runner sounds right up my street so I think I might have to purchase that soon. Thanks for the reviews :) x

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  5. I read Nothing To Envy this month as well and I really enjoyed it :) x

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    1. Happy to hear you liked it too :) x

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  6. I am glad you enjoyed The Maze Runner! I'm currently working my way from Life of Pi :)

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    1. I thought it was great, need to pick up the next book in the series now :)

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  7. Is Bryson's book about history of the world or sience? I can recommend A Little History of the World by Ernst Gombrich, although he focuses sometimes too much on certain topics and omitts the rest. His The Story of Art is even better. X

    Mademoiselle-Lala.com

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    1. It's a bit of both, in the sense that it's about where the world came from, how it was formed and came to be, as well as all the stuff about biology, chemistry, physics etc :)
      I'll check him out, sounds interesting! x

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  8. Catch-22 had always been one of my favourites! :) I'll look out for some of your other recommendations too though, the Lovers Dictionary sounds really interesting!

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    1. I really enjoyed it :) The Lovers Dictionary is great!

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