Friday, August 29, 2014

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1)
Author: Douglas Adams
Pages: 216
Published: 1995 (first published 1979)
Challenges: Blogger Summer Reading, I Love Libraries
Genre: Science Fiction, Humor, Fantasy, Young Adult
Edition: Mass Market Paperback (Library binding)
Source: Library

Description: Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years. (from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This has been one of those book that I have been wanting to read for sometime, especially since I had heard a lot about this book over the years (in fact, I had never heard about this book until about 10 years ago).  So while I was listening to an episode of the Book Riot podcast this past June and hearing one of the hosts talk about the amazing audiobook that was narrated by Stephan Fry (it was a sponsor break for Audible that I heard about the audio), I knew I had to read this book.  So I downloaded the audio and borrowed a paper copy of the book from the library.

It took me a bit to get into the book, but once I was able to get into the rhythm of the book, it felt like a really fun ride at an amusement park and I could see why this has become a cult classic among science fiction fans and other readers over the years.  It is definitely a healthy overdose of fun for readers and non-readers alike.  I definitely had fun with the book, once I was able to relax and not take the book too seriously.

Bottom line: I really enjoyed the read and the ride.  I would recommend this to readers who at least want to try science fiction and those that have been wanting to read this book for sometime.  Recommended.

Rating: 3.75/5

Pages for 2014: 14, 638 

The Light Between Oceans - M.L. Stedman

Title: The Light Between Oceans
Author: M.L. Stedman
Pages: 345
Published: 2013 (first published 2012)
Challenges: Blogger Summer Reading, Historical Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. (from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Took me awhile to get into the book, so that may colour my opinion a little bit.  I felt that the book to be a bit labourious at times, which was why it probably took me almost a year to get through the book.  But overall, it was a pretty decent book and once I was able to get a rhythm with the book, I enjoyed the story and could feel the emotions of the characters didn't want the book to end.

That being said, I felt that the ending to be a bit rushed and that the author spent too much time on Janus Rock at times.  It would have been helpful to get a sense of what year was in while reading the book (don't have my copy of the book at the time of when I am posting this review).

Bottom line: If you have enjoyed other historical fiction books like The Baker's Daughter or In the Shadow of the Banyan Tree or The Sandcastle Girls, you probably will enjoy this book as well.  Recommended.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pages for 2014: 14,422

Summer House with Swimming Pool - Herman Koch

Title: Summer House with Swimming Pool
Author: Herman Koch
Pages: 387
Published: 2014 (first published 2011)
Challenges: Blogger Summer Reading, I Love Libraries
Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: When a medical mistake goes horribly wrong and Ralph Meier, a famous actor, winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser is forced to conceal the error from his patients and family. After all, reputation is everything in this business. But the weight of carrying such a secret lies heavily on his mind, and he can't keep hiding from the truth…or the Board of Medical Examiners.

The problem is that the real truth is a bit worse than a simple slipup. Marc played a role in Ralph's death, and he's not exactly upset that the man is gone. Still haunted by his eldest daughter's rape during their stay at Ralph's extravagant Mediterranean summerhouse-one they shared with Ralph and his enticing wife, Judith, film director Stanley Forbes and his far younger girlfriend, Emmanuelle, and Judith's mother-Marc has had it on his mind that the perpetrator of the rape could be either Ralph or Stanley. Stanley's guilt seems obvious, bearing in mind his uncomfortable fixation on the prospect of Marc's daughter's fashion career, but Marc's reasons for wanting Ralph dead become increasingly compelling as events unravel. There is damning evidence against Marc, but he isn't alone in his loathing of the star-studded director. (from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After reading The Dinner last summer, I was hesitant to read this book, but strangely enough, I was able to enjoy this book for the most part.  I liked how the author built up to the main event of the book and how the characters were well fleshed out, even though Marc seemed to be a little too narcissistic at times for my liking.

I think what I liked is that the book seemed to be a little more linear than The Dinner and the author wrote in a way that one could easily get into the story without much effort.

Bottom line: If you enjoyed The Dinner, you will probably enjoy this one.  Also if you are a fan of other suspense/thriller novels, you may also enjoy this one as well.  Recommended.

Rating: 3.75/5

Pages for 2014: 14, 077 

Monday, August 25, 2014

#boutofbooks Wrap-Up & #bthreadathon Update No. 8

Bout of Books

Bout of Books:

Was pretty successful, even though I finished 2 books.   I managed to read about 869 pages, which in my books is pretty good and am looking forward to the next Bout of Books read-a-thon in early January.

Beat the Heat:
Mrs. Hemingway:          31 pages
The Word Exchange:     69 pages
Total pages:                   100

The Word Exchange:         58 pages
Mrs. Hemingway:              47 pages
The Invention of Wings:    38 pages
Total pages:                        143

The Wide and Starry Sky:                                                                  64 pages
The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window:  42 pages
Total pages:                                                                                        106

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Write On Review-a-thon Sign up

Write On Review-a-Thon

I have a bunch of reviews that need to be written up and posted.  Looking forward to it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

#boutofbooks Day 4 Update & #bthreadathon Update No. 7

Bout of Books

Beat the Heat:
The Word Exchange:     135 pages

Bout of Books:
Don't know why but I didn't read much during the day, but once the evening came on Thursday, I read a lot.  Hopefully I get more reading done this evening.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

#boutofbooks Day 3 Update & #bthreadathon Update No. 6

Bout of Books

Beat the Heat:
The Word Exchange:                  50 pages
Under the Wide and Starry Sky: 40 pages
Total pages:                                 90

Bout of Books:
Productive day of reading; started reading Under the Wide and Starry and got about 40 pages done from that book.  Got a bit more of The Word Exchange completed with 40 pages.  Hoping to do as much reading as I did yesterday.
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