Thursday, 28 November 2013

Book club choices for December

Christmas is nearly here! But the book club waits for no man, or woman.

Take a browse of these 6 choices for Decembers choice. You can vote over on Facebook HERE, tweet me your choice or simply put your choice in the comment section of this blog. Closing date is this Saturday. You'll then have the month to chew through it.
On Sunday at 4pm we'll discuss November's choice The Cuckoo's Calling over of Facebook.

The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Batman: Year One by Frank Miller

Buy books here

PS Here's the awesome trailer for the next Hobbit film.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

When The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker Prize it obviously garnered a lot of attention and it's unfortunate that it was mainly due to the fact it's so large and that Eleanor is the prize's youngest winner. What should be highlighted instead of these is the plot, the characters and the setting. It's a deeply rich book filled with luminous characters (see what I did there) and a wildly complex plot involving gold, guns, politics, prostitution and death.

The setting is 1860's New Zealand, a wilderness slowly populated by travellers wishing to make their fortune on the recent gold rush. The town of Hokitika has recently been erected and is slowly growing and with it comes a culture of greed and power struggles. We start our journey with Walter Moody, fresh off the boat 'Godspeed', as he accidentally becomes embroiled in a secret gathering of 12 men. These men have all been connected to the disappearance of wealthy young entrepreneur Emery Staines, the death of a drunk hermit Crosbie Wells and the incarceration and reformation of former prostitute Anna Wetherall.

One by one, these 12 men tell their story to Moody of where they have been over the past few weeks, leading up to the secret rendezvous at the Crown Hotel, where they have met Moody. The tales vary wildly, with most stories involving at least one other member of the twelve. Men in the group range from a Chinaman, a Maori, a banker, a chemist and a chaplain amongst others. With so many characters each telling their own stories, intertwining with several others, it could have become a bit too muddled but Catton has fleshed them out so much that they become real. Along with these 12 (13 including Moody) characters, we also get to hear each persons view of several other key cast members including Anna Wetherall, the violent Francis Carver and the deceased Crosbie Wells.

The first chapter is a whopping 360 pages long but it absolutely required every page due to the detail of each statement of the participants. Chapter 2 is also over 100 pages and concerns two weeks after the meeting at The Crown Hotel, with each man now in the knowledge of each others secrets. With these secretes slowly seeping out, and each person with something to lose, it becomes a tense, beautifully rich mystery.

The story has all been laid out using astrology, and according to Catton, the stars in the sky in 1866, and the astrological science behind it, is all heavily researched and correct. You need to know nothing of this as it doesn't enter the plot at all and is used merely as a structural tool, but after reading it I saw that each character had been plotted on a character chart at the front of the book. It's a very interesting way to structure the book as if you are up to date with the astrological field in 1866 New Zealand, you may have seen a few plot twists coming. I, however, only know up to 1864.

I would never have picked this up if 1) It wasn't nominated for the Booker Prize and 2) If we hadn't had it as our book club choice. I am so grateful that I did as it's one of the best books I've read this year. Don't let the length put you off as 832 pages went past quite quickly. It took me about 6 weeks to get through.

On the Comfometer it has received an 8.5. I'm looking forward to reading more of Catton's work.

Buy books from the shop
Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter

Thursday, 7 November 2013

8 literary inspired tattoos

I do not have a tattoo but have always considered it. The one thing stopping me is 'What do I get?' I've started to think of book inspired tattoos and took to Google and Pinterest with an open mind for inspiration. The range of ideas and creativity is astounding.

Harry Potter
Lord of The Rings

Where The Wild Things Are
The Catcher In The Rye
Pater Pan

Pride and Prejudice

Amazing! Do you have a book inspired tattoo? Would you ever consider getting one? What would it be?!?


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Novembers book club choice is The Cuckoo's Calling

Say's it all in the title really. The Robert Galbraith AKA JK Rowling thriller is this months choice. Pick up The Cuckoo's Calling and get reading, you have til 1st December to get through it. I am a massive Harry Potter fan and, even though her first non-Potter book The Casual Vacancy was not exactly praised, this tome has been held quite high. Before the news broke of her pseudonym it was getting great reviews and even afterwards too, and it's been a while since I've read a crime thriller. It's often cited as being a bit of a soft genre, too saturated, not literate enough, but I don't go in for that. If there is a story to tell, then tell it. I'm a big Kathy Reichs and Michael Connelly fan and hope The Cuckoo's Calling is in the same vein.

I'll report back with my book review once finished. Last months book The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton is a deep, complex murder mystery set in the mid 1800's in New Zealand. I'm actually still reading it as it's quite a large book, but those that finished it have said, on Facebook, that it was very good. A few tried it but couldn't get past 100 pages.