Review: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

DSCF1438I think most people who are big readers will agree that the original books are almost always better than their film adaptations. But what about when the film has become a cult classic in its own right, the original novels almost forgotten behind such iconic movies? Jurassic Park is one such example of this. Even though the original movie was actually released a year before I was even born, it was played constantly throughout my childhood. I don’t even think I was acutely aware that this film had even originated from the novel by Michael Crichton, and I was a big and diverse young reader.

With the fairly recent hype for the latest in the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World, I began to see the original book making appearances in many different bookshops. Deciding enough was enough, I bit the bullet and bought it, curious to see what had started such a massive following.

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Travel: Sorrento, Italy, August 2017

IMG_6370I love to travel, and whilst it’s not something I am able to do on a frequent basis, it is something I am eager to make the most of. Recently I was extremely lucky to have the chance to visit Sorrento with my boyfriend and his parents. I have actually visited Italy in the April of this year where I went away on a city break to Venice with two of my friends, and whilst it was as beautiful as you would imagine, it was extremely busy and slightly touristic in nature. When I got the chance to go back and explore a different, more peaceful part of Italy, I was ecstatic.

Sorrento is a coastal town which is situated in south-western Italy, facing the Bay of Naples. The town is mostly perched atop cliffs famous for their views, with said cliffs separating the various marina’s from each other. Whilst famous for the freshest lemons, with trees growing in abundance to make the Italian staple that is limoncello, Sorrento is also firmly associated with mermaid’s. Whilst here, I was actually told by a local guide that Hans Christian Anderson actually visited the town and was so inspired that he wrote what later became The Little Mermaid! Whilst I cannot verify the accuracy of this, it was certainly an interesting though to consider.

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Review: The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Lars Mytting

DSCF1464The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is a beautifully designed book which captured my attention almost as soon as I saw the cover. Even so, there was one word in particular which really sealed my gravitation towards this book, a word which I think most people would be aware of today; The Somme. For me, as I am sure is the case for most others, The Somme is a place that is now forever intertwined with the history of the First World War, with it being the largest battle of this war on the Western Front. I am fascinated with the history of both of our World War’s and I am always on the look out for books with deal with this period in some way or another. As soon as I saw this book, I needed it, and I was beyond lucky to receive a copy for review from the team over at MacLehose Press.

The book was written by Lars Mytting and translated from the Norwegian by Paul Russell Garrett. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure how to easily sum up this book; there are a lot of themes and ideas within it, and it is hard to give a description without edging too close upon what the plot itself hinges upon. To give an adapted summary of the blurb, the novel follows Edvard, a young man who has grown up in a rural environment in Norway with his grandfather, Sverre. The death of Edvard’s parents when he was just three has always been somewhat of a mystery, with the details of the actual event being concealed. He knows however, that his grandfather’s brother, the master craftsman Einar, is somehow involved in this mystery. When a beautifully crafted coffin arrives for his grandfather long before his actual death, Edvard begins to wonder if Einar is actually still alive. Fuelled by what he does not understand, and the secrets of his families past, Edvard travels to the Shetland Islands and the battlefields of France, hoping to find the truth about the past and as well as discovering the meaning of his inheritance.

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Review: Close To Me by Amanda Reynolds

DSCF1463I was extremely excited this month when this book arrived through in the post. I had requested a copy to review mainly because of the tagline which is on the cover: ‘She can’t remember why she’s afraid of her husband’. It’s intriguing, right? The cover design was also quite striking, with the separated wedding rings hinting at a divide in a relationship, but it was really those words on the cover which drew me in. The book itself is described as a psychological drama, a genre I very much enjoy when executed well. Additionally, the press release information which came with the book details how it has already been optioned for TV by a prominent Hollywood actress. All in all, big accomplishments for a debut novel!

Written by Amanda Reynolds, this book centres upon the character of Jo.  After a nasty fall down the stairs leaves her with no memories of the last twelve months of her life, she faces the massive struggle of trying to piece together fragmented memories, attempting to discover the truth behind the lies. Although her memories are mostly gone, she has been left with one feeling; being scared of her husband. As she tries to fill in the blanks, Jo begins to realise that she may not have been as good a wife or mother as she thought. Worse still, there are people who are determined to keep the past in the dark, the lead up to her fall forever kept a secret.

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Book Haul: July 2017

DSCF1453I’ve been extremely good this month and I haven’t bought a single book. On the other hand, I have been sent seven books by publishers, so perhaps the scales even out a bit! Either way, I’m equally happy with the restraint I’ve shown towards my bank balance and the books I’ve still manages to acquire. I’ve already managed to read about half of these and I’m looking forward to getting around to the rest. So, without further ado, here are the books!

One of the first things to arrive in the post this month was Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed. I’ve already read this book (you can see my review here) and thought it was an excellent novel, made all the more impressive because it’s actually the authors debut. It’s dark and disturbing yet gripping all the while. As you can see, the book has been beautifully published by Tinder Press. For more information, the author’s website has some brilliant reviews to ponder over: www.jenniemelamed.com

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Review: The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

DSCF1448As a general rule, I like to keep my reading quite varied. By that I mean that I like to flit between the genres, flicking from literary fiction and newer releases back to the classics which remain unread on my shelves. Even though I am a mood based reader, this works quite well for me, as it is naturally the way my mood tends to fall. So, finding myself craving to read another classic, I delved into my favourite Penguin English Library editions, and randomly decided on The Man Who Was Thursday.

I have never read anything by G. K. Chesterton, the man famous for the fictional priest-detective, Father Brown, so I was quite unsure what I would make of his work. Going by the blurb, the book is described as following Gabriel Syme, an undercover policeman sent to infiltrate the Central Anarchist Council. Finding himself voted to the position of ‘Thursday’, Syme must delve deeper into the world of his enemies, all the while threatened by their intimidating leader, Sunday. This is a book which has been described as a spy book, a metaphysical thriller and a political comedy, so all in all I was feeling pretty optimistic.

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