19 November 2014

Books of 2014: Part 9


So it's November and here we are with books 40-45, not too bad even if I say so myself!  A small note to say that I have decided that I am going to carry on with this in the new year, however I am going to do it slightly differently.  Rather then waiting until I've read 5 books to do a round up I am going to do a monthly round up at the end of every month.  Now, on with the reads!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg 
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle 
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

I started reading this at the end of September and it's a great read for the darker nights.  I really enjoyed this it, the characters are multi layered and there's twists throughout.  I like my literature dark and this did not disappoint.  A really fascinating read.
****

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

At Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, young Sara Crewe enjoys the friendship of her classmates and the staff--much to stern Miss Minchin's disdain. When Sara is unexpectedly impoverished, she is forced to become a servant under Miss Minchin's control. To escape her dreary life, Sara imagines herself a princess, and her experiences soon teach her that being a princess on the inside counts more than any outward expression of royalty.

This was one of my favourite films as a kid, and it seems as though this is one of those rare occasions that the film is better then the book.  The do follow similar story lines however I prefer the back story and setting of the film to the book, still a good read though and feels very magical.  
****

Weird Things Costumers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. 

From 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?' to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year's weather; and from 'I've forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter' to'Excuse me... is this book edible?'

I got this and the sequel below on offer and read them both in a day, they are both fun and funny and really quick easy reads!  
****

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Customer (holding up a book): What’s this? The Secret Garden? Well, it’s not so secret now, is it, since they bloody well wrote a book about it!


Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops was a Sunday Times bestseller, and could be found displayed on bookshop counters up and down the country. The response to the book from booksellers all over the world has been one of heartfelt agreement: it would appear that customers are saying bizarre things all over the place - from asking for books with photographs of Jesus in them, to hunting for the best horse owner’s manual that has a detailed chapter on unicorns. 

Customer: I had such a crush on Captain Hook when I was younger. Do you think this means I have unresolved issues?

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops has yet more tales from the antiquarian bookshop where Jen Campbell works, and includes a selection of ‘Weird Things...’ sent in from other booksellers across the world. The book is illustrated by the BAFTA winning Brothers McLeod.

There's not much I can say about this that I haven't said about the first, I imagine this is even better for people who work in retail!
****

The Kenneth Williams Letters by Kenneth Williams

Following the bestselling publication of THE KENNETH WILLIAMS DIARIES, the devastating self-portrait of one of our most loved and complex performers is completed with this marvellous selection of his letters.
This is a wonderful treasure trove of correspondence with all manner of people, including Alec Guinness, Maggie Smith, Joe Orton, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and the Stokers’ Mess of HMS Leverton. Kenneth Williams took letters very seriously, and he was always disgusted by a morning that failed to provide him with some material to pore over.
Letters called forth the performer in Williams in a way that his diaries never did: many of them are virtual comic monologues, and in general they suggest more strongly than the diaries the likeable and constructive side of a man who remains, nevertheless, as outrageous and ‘difficult’ as ever

I was lent this by my sister and to be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to it too much.  I haven't seen much of the Carry On films and I know even less of Kenneth Williams himself.  However I actually found this really interesting, he has a great way of bringing out his personality within his letters it makes you feel like you know him, and he is rather blunt and upfront about his opinions and sharing his personal life!  Because of this I now really want to read his diaries which i have heard are even better!
****

What's the last book you read?

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