Friday, October 22, 2010

Pillars of the Earth (The Mini-Series)

My husband and I are currently watching  Pillars of the Earth, the mini-series and we're absolutely riveted. It's just fabulous and I don't want it to end! It's taking us a while though to get through the eight hour movie because we want to watch it together and real life such as family, travel and work has interfered sometimes. I remember being engrossed by the almost 1,000 page book by Ken Follett when I read it in 1996. Yes, I actually recall the year I read this novel  because trust's that kind of book. Now that we're watching the TV movie, I realize I don't remember much from the book so it's hard to compare but the movie is definitely good! Great casting, acting, script and beautiful costumes and locations. This is the television event of the year and you must catch it if you can. The DVD version will be released on November 23rd. Check out the trailer below.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Which Books Scared You?

Ok, so it's coming around to that time of year again....Halloween! I love reading chilling stories in October so I'd like to hear your recommendations for books that have really spooked you. A book you didn't want to read at home alone. The only relatively scary book I read this year was The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. While not really a horror novel, it did have some frightening scenes. As a child, I remember Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury scaring me so much that I've never forgotten it. I wonder what I would think of it now.

So which books do you recommend for Halloween?

The picture above is of the actress Bette Davis in the film Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.

Monday, October 18, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Thanks to everyone who wished my blog a happy first birthday. I chose a winner at random this morning and it is ireneseoul! Congratulations Irene! Her comment went as follows: " Happy Anniversary! Since I've been reading your blog, I've reignited my own love of reading. Thanks to you! I look forward to being inspired by your reviews for many more years to come! P.S. I've been dying to read ONE DAY but can't find it at the bookstores in Seoul, so please put that one down in the lucky draw for me =)"

Good choice Irene and I'm surprised to learn that the book isn't available in Korea. I'll send it off to you soon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog!

Happy birthday dear blog!  It's my first year anniversary and oh...what a year it has been!

I'd just like to say how much I have enjoyed blogging this last year. I think one of the highlights was finding out that three of my book reviews were printed in the Persephone biannually. It was such a thrill and I was on a high for a number of days (you can read about that here). I've enjoyed receiving emails from a few of you who've told me I've been one of their inspirations to start blogs of their own. I have loved visiting other blogs and adding books to my reading list. My reading life has never been richer. I've appreciated receiving comments and feedback from all of you readers. Thank you so much to all of you who've stopped by. Based on my stats on sitemeter, I know I've some fans I've yet to meet, so if you haven't already, please do comment dear silent lurkers. I would love to know who you are.

In honor of my first year, I'm giving away a book of your choice. You can choose a book from all the books I've reviewed in the past year and I'll mail it to any place in the world. The only condition is that it should be a book available in The Book Depository . So, please leave a comment below with the book of your choice and I'll pick a winner at random this Sunday. I'll announce the winner on Monday morning. This giveaway is open to anyone, regular readers and even new ones. If you don't have a blog, that's ok too.

Oh and just in case you're wondering, that's not me up there but Marilyn Monroe blowing a candle on her 30th birthday cake.


Monday, October 11, 2010

The Uncommon Reader

The Uncommon Reader is a wonderful novella that is meant for readers and lovers of books. It's for anyone who's ever been asked the questions, 'Why do you read? When do you have the time? What do you read?' Did you notice that only people who don't read ask questions like that? How can I answer the question, 'what do I read?' To answer that question, I'd have to write an essay. Well, The Uncommon Reader  gives us witty and charming answers to all these questions from the point of view of the Queen of England, who's just discovered her love for reading at a very advanced age.

One day, while out walking, the Queen comes across a mobile library. Wishing to be polite, she borrows a book at random and though it turns out to be quite dry, she finds herself borrowing another and another after that. She soon discovers the joys of reading, becoming an opsimath or "one who learns only late in life." Her staff and advisers are dismayed and try to discourage her new hobby.

This is a charming little book filled with  wonderful quotes about the joys of reading.

“What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren’t long enough for the reading she wanted to do.”

"You don't put your life into your books, you find it there." 

"The appeal of reading, she thought, lay in its indifference: there was something undeferring about literature. Books did not care who was reading them or whether one read them or not. All readers were equal, herself included."

“Can there be any greater pleasure’, she confided in her neighbour, the Canadian minister for overseas trade, than to come across an author one enjoys and then to find they have written not just one book or two, but at least a dozen?’ And all, though she did not say this, in paperback and so handbag size.”

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NYRB Reading Week (November 7 - 13)

Honey from Coffeespoons and I will be hosting the NYRB Reading Week from November 7 to 13.
We'd love for most of you to join. There are no rules. This is an informal and relaxing little challenge. Simply read one or more NYRB books during that week and blog about it. If you don't have a blog, then just leave us a link to your review. While this isn't an official event, NYRB is aware of this reading week and fully support us.

During the week, Honey and I will collate your posts and blog about them. As soon as you've posted one of your reviews, please leave a link in our comments section. Everyone who participates will get a chance to win prizes at the end of the week which of course will be NYRB books. The prizes come courtesy of
Fully Booked Philippines. Thanks so much Fully Booked! We'll be giving out a prize for the best book review to be judged by Honey and I and another prize will be chosen at random and given to one of the lucky reviewers who participated. This is open internationally.

If you're not familiar with NYRB (The New York Review of Books) then now is your chance to find out more about them. The following is a description of their books from the NYRB website:

The NYRB Classics series is designedly and determinedly exploratory and eclectic, a mix of fiction and non-fiction from different eras and times and of various sorts. The series includes nineteenth century novels and experimental novels, reportage and belles lettres, tell-all memoirs and learned studies, established classics and cult favorites, literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of. NYRB Classics are, to a large degree, discoveries, the kind of books that people typically run into outside of the classroom and then remember for life.

For a full list of NYRB books, check out their website at:

Let us know if you'll be participating and what you plan to read. Also,  please help us get the word out.  See you in a month's time!

The logo above was created by Honey's husband.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Which Books Made You Laugh?

I thought I'd throw another bookish question out there because my Which Books Made You Cry? post got a lot of responses. One Day by David Nicholls was truly unique because it made me cry but it also made me laugh in parts. I imagine it's not easy for a writer to elicit a physical reaction from a reader and to manage to draw out both emotions is indeed an admirable feat.

I was wondering which books have made you laugh? Not just a snicker or a smile but really laugh out loud. P.G.Wodehouse always makes me laugh and so does Nick Hornby sometimes especially with his book A Long Way Down. John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Confederacy of Dunces almost made me laugh but not quite. Still, it was definitely amusing. So, let's have it....I'm curious to hear your responses and add some new books to my wish-list.

I love the picture above which is of Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward sharing a laugh at home.
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