Book Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

“And both of them remained floating in an empty universe where the only everyday and eternal reality was love.”

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I feel as though One Hundred Years of Solitude is so good that I’m not qualified enough to write a review that will do it justice. But here is my attempt.

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Film Review: Into the Woods

“I wish, more than anything…”

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What happens when the paths of the characters we know and love intersect? What happens when things don’t happen the way they should?

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Book Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“The universe doesn’t decide what’s right or not right. You do.”

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I decided to get festive with my reading for the holiday season. This book has been on my shelf since summer, just waiting for the right moment to jump out at me. It turned out to be one of those books that I wish I could have read at a younger age. Even though the book advises not to think about events in our lives as having a ‘right time’ or a ‘wrong time’ to happen, I’m left feeling that, at least with books, that there is definitely a right and a wrong time to read them.

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Hiatus

You may have noticed that I haven’t been very active on this platform recently. I haven’t been posting and I haven’t been commenting on others’ blogs. I can only apologise and give you the very generic excuse of having been extremely busy recently. I’m going to be taking a hiatus (probably until January) to give me chance to focus more on university assignments. So until then, happy holidays!

Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

“Stories are important… They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.”

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The idea behind this book came from Siobhan Dowd who ran out of time to write it when she passed away in 2007. Patrick Ness was – in his own words from the Author’s Note – ‘handed the baton’ to create a story from it. He then passes the baton on to the reader because ‘stories don’t end with the writers.’

 

This is important, especially to a story like this one that appears as a modern day fairy tale. It holds a nugget of truth that can be passed on and passed down through generations as all good fairy tales do. And as explored throughout the book, the truth can be much scarier than anything else you might encounter on a dark and stormy night.


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Book Review: The Shining by Stephen King

“This inhuman place makes human monsters.”

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Through cultural osmosis I had vague images of what this book would be about and the sky high level of scare-factor I could expect. It’s the first horror novel and first Stephen King novel I’ve ever read. As someone who scares very easily I expected to lose a lot of sleep over this book… and yet somehow it didn’t scare me.


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Book Review: How to Be Both by Ali Smith

“Do things just go away? … Do things that happened not exist, or stop existing, just because we can’t see them happening in front of us?”

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How to Be Both by Ali Smith has one of those titles that just called out to me. I wasn’t planning on picking it up until I’d already checked it out of the library and brought it home. I think it’s a book that will come to fruition through discussion and taking the time to pick it apart and let it simmer.


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Double Book Review: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Articles of Faith

“Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life.”

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After discussing Articles of Faith by Michael Cannon at university, I found out that the character of Miss Herne was based on the character of Miss Jean Brodie from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark. Since I’d thought Miss Herne was the most interesting aspect of Articles of Faith I thought I should pick up the original.


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Book Review: The Beach by Alex Garland

“At those times I made an effort to remember sitting in that glade with the shadow of the clock-hand branch lying across the ferns, smoking my cigarette. I chose this moment because it was the last time I could pinpoint, and think: That was me being me. Normal. Nothing much going through my head apart from how pretty the island was, and how quiet. It isn’t that from then on every second in Thailand was bad. Good things happened. Loads of good things.”

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I didn’t know a lot about The Beach when I picked it up. All I had was a vague memory of the trailer for the 2000 film adaptation starring Leonardo Dicaprio and (since I was eight back then) thinking it looked really scary. I think that’s the best way to go into a book like this, so I won’t go into too much detail about it. Just like the characters in the book, I feel it’s better to keep everything secretive.


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Book Review: The Character of Rain by Amélie Nothomb

“At three, you’re like an alien, equally fascinated and terrified by what you find. Everything is opaque and new. You must invent new laws based upon your own observation. You have to be little Aristotle twenty-four hours a day, and this is particularly exhausting because you’ve never even heard of Aristotle.”

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The Character of Rain is a semi-autobiographical coming of age tale with a twist. Instead of exploring the well-trodden transition from childhood to adulthood, Amélie Nothomb focuses on the even more turbulent transition from unconsciousness to the development of thought and the first seeds of identity during our toddler years. This book was originally published in French and my copy was translated to English by Timothy Bent. It’s a quirky, sometimes funny, sometimes philosophical and always relatable book about those first few years of life and an absolute joy to read.


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