Category Archives: Relaxing reading

Should you judge a book by its size? AKA: Does size really matter?

A Kindle and a pile of books

So, I have started reading and am really enjoying Dominion by CJ Sansom, but there is one thing that I am struggling with. See, for a while now I have been resorting to “Old School” reading aka, buying paper instead of electronic, but I am really wishing that I had gone the electronic route with the book. It’s a whopper! So much so that it barely fits into my handbag in the morning, and it adds a load of weight to one shoulder (picture a 40-something woman sloped to one side while walking to get the bus, and that’s just about right, lol). It’s 717 pages in length & measures: 19 x 13 x 5 cm – 5cm thick!!

Then there’s the problem with holding it to read. I don’t have overly small hands, but I find it difficult to hold this book to read. It’s the kind of book that needs to be sat on a desk to read, which in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a) I don’t have a desk, except at work & I suspect that my boss would frown upon me sitting at said desk to read while I am actually meant to be working, and b) I usually read, as previously mentioned in another post, whilst sitting on the bus for 30-40 minutes on the journey to and from work. So, since I am finding this book hard to hold it has meant that on several occasions I have chosen to stare out the window, or cat nap rather than read. Not good! Also, I sometimes suffer from a pinched nerve in my left wrist, which I have self diagnosed as a repetitive strain injury, and reading/holding Dominion has aggravated this as

So, when does a paperback book become too big? Is there such a thing as too big? Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that this particular book is exactly as long as it needs to be, but maybe there was another way of doing this? How do the publishers decide on what format a paperback is going to be in? I realise that this last sentence doesn’t make much sense to anyone but me, but what I am trying to say is, couldn’t they have gone with one of those paperbacks that are larger than a standard paperback? Like this: (apologies, this was the best example I could find)Different size

The larger size book would have meant more words per page, therefore less pages needed, therefore thinner book. To all you authors out there, have you ever seen one of your books and thought “oh boy, that’s sorta big.”

…Surely I cannot be the only one who finds chunky books hard to read?

 

 

 

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by | February 16, 2014 · 10:56 pm

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great GatsbyI love the clothing of the 20’s & while I appreciate that it wasn’t necessarily a great time in American history, with the Stock Market crash, Prohibition, Gangsters etc, but you have to admit that the clothes were great! I had wanted to go see The Great Gatsby at the cinema, but my other half wouldn’t go see it with me unless I read the book first. I should have realised it was a trick! He knows I am not a great lover of the “Classics” – I really cannot say I have picked up a “Classic” to read & have walked away after finishing thinking “I am so glad I read that book!”. More like “Oh lord, that was painful!”. They bore me. Sadly, Gatsby didn’t break the pattern.

The Great Gatsby takes place during the summer of 1922, in Long Island, New York. The story is narrated by an apprentice bond trader named Nick Carraway, who is Gatsby’s neighbour, & he takes us through the summer by narrating the interactions between his cousin, Daisy, her husband Tom Buchanan, Gatsby & himself. It’s a summer filled with parties, weird interactions with millionaires, petrol station owners, actors, actresses and small-time gangsters. It’s a story full of love triangles, deceit, parties, well, and not much else.

I really don’t understand what makes this book a classic. It is meant to be one of the best examples of American literature….Well, I found the characters annoying, didn’t like Fitzgerald’s writing style & had to force myself to finish it. I was bored with the whole thing & was quite glad when it was finished. And I never did see the film, lol!

2 Stars

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by | February 2, 2014 · 4:58 pm

Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

ImageI read & absolutely loved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet so was quite excited when I saw that Jamie Ford had a new book coming out. At Christmas I added it onto my wishlist & hoped that it would be one of the books my OH would choose to buy for me. He did & I was so excited when I opened it on Christmas day & knew that of the 7 books that I had received, this would be the first that I would read.

Songs of Willow Frost is the story of William Eng, a Chinese-American orphan living in a Seattle orphanage in the 1930’s, during the depression. The sisters in charge of the orphanage take all of the boys to the cinema for their collective birthday celebrations, where William believes that the advertisements for an upcoming show features his mother, whom he had always assumed is dead.

William becomes obsessed with the idea that his ah ma is still alive, that she is Willow Frost. He decides that he must see her, to find out why, if she is still alive has she not come to the orphanage to claim him? William sets out to find the answers from Willow who is currently in Seattle on tour, with is best friend, Charlotte. If William does find his mother, is he ready to hear what her answers to his questions are?

Songs of Willow Frost, I am sad to say did not captivate my like Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet. I couldn’t put down Hotel, and I struggled to make myself continue to read Songs. It just didn’t grab me didn’t make me fall in love with the characters & basically didn’t make me care. I wanted so much to love this story, but instead I found myself bored and skipping ahead, skimming the book to see if it was going to get better. It didn’t. At least not for me. I found a lot of the story unbelievable, but they were things that I can’t really get into without giving away too much of the story. Basically, I guess it just boils down to Songs of Willow Frost just not working for me.

3 Stars

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica RothBeatrice  Prior or Tris is back in the sequel to the hit book Divergence. ( Do not read the remainder of this blog if you have not yet read Divergence spoiler alert!!!!!!!!!!!! )

Insurgent is a new and exciting look into the life of Beatrice Prior after the killing of most of the Abnegation leader’s in the attack of a very well planted Erudite serum that basically turned people into brain dead zombies bent on killinganyone and everyone that they could see. We join Tris in her fight against the Erudite and are transported into the war she is fighting,along with her boyfriend Tobias or as we knew him in the prequel Four she will risk her life time and again to save the Abnegation from the Erudite’s masterplan.

Veronica Roth is a very descriptive writer that truly transports you into one of her books where you are the main character. Even if you are the opposite gender of Tris and live a totally different life. Veronica Roth is one of a select few authors that have this raw talent. As a reader/writer myself I consider Veronica Roth a role model in literature. I can only dream to be as good a writer as she is. An excellent read by an excellent author .

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Divergence by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica RothIn this book the protagonist is a sixteen year old girl named Beatrice Prior. A girl from Abnegation who will have to make the biggest decision of her life. However before I get into specifics I must tell you a little about Abnegation and the other factions mentioned in this book. The other faction’s are Candor, Amity, Erudite, and Dauntless. Abnegation is a faction filled with selfless people who are also very courteous and humble . They try to perfect themselves by being humble and respectful. Candor are the kind of people who try to right themselves by telling the truth and being able to see who is lying to them. Amity are the peace loving people who right themselves by being non violent and generally happy people. Kind of  a ” peace man ” atmosphere. Erudite right themselves by trying to fill their undying thirst for knowledge. The Dauntless right themselves by being fearless as their name would imply.

Beatrice is very torn about leaving her family in Abnegation or not leaving them. You see all of the faction’s sixteen year olds must choose between the five faction’s in which they may live in the future. The day this choice is made is nicknamed “Choosing Day”. If one does not choose a faction on choosing day they then become factionless or as we now call it homeless.

Beatrice and her older brother Caleb must make the choice between family and faction in this highly interesting book. There may be a few romantic paragraphs along the way but all in all a good read. Thrilling and unpredictable even in the small parts of the morning.

4 Stars

 

 

 

 

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by | September 2, 2013 · 1:33 am