Archive | July, 2014

WWW Wednesday

16 Jul

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

_________________________________________________________________________________

What are you currently reading?

I am reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – book one of The Mortal Instruments series which was released as a movie last year. I always like to read the book before watching the movie so haven’t seen it yet. Currently on page 357 out of 442 so not long to go. It’s a really easy read and i’m quite enjoying it after reading something as heavy going as Catch-22.

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

What did you recently finish reading? 

Since my last WWW Wednesday i’ve finished 4 books. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote; The Bride Stripped Bare by Nikki Gemmell; The Bridge to Holy Cross by Paullina Simons; and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Click on the titles or book covers to read my reviews, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on these books. 

Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote

The Bride Stripped Bare - Nikki Gemmell

The Bride Stripped Bare – Nikki Gemmell

The Bridge to Holy Cross - Paullina Simons

The Bridge to Holy Cross – Paullina Simons

Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

What do you think you’ll read next?

The next book on my list is Cloudstreet by Australian author Tim Winton. I’ve never read any of his books, but have always heard amazing things so i’m looking forward to it!

Cloudstreet - Tim Winton

Cloudstreet – Tim Winton

I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these books, although no spoilers please for the ones I haven’t read yet!

-H-

#33 Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

15 Jul
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

Goodreads rating: 3.96/5 (380K+ ratings)
My rating: 4/10
First Published: 11 November, 1961
Genre: Satire; War Fiction; Historical Fiction; Dark Humour

A classic novel, Catch-22 follows Captain John Yossarian who is part of the US Air Force, and is primarily based on an island off Italy where his squadron is stationed during World War II. It is mainly about how they keep their sanity while waiting for the war to end, and how they keep themselves going.

This book took me 2 very very long months to read, and I didn’t enjoy it until the last 3 chapters. I think I just don’t ‘get’ satire – I think it might be too clever for me to be perfectly honest. I was bored. I also got confused because the story jumps around in time and character, and I found it difficult to figure out where in the timeline of events I was.

The tone of the book is generally upbeat in the beginning, but the mood significantly drops about two-thirds of the way through, and that was actually when it got a bit interesting!

I definitely had quite a few chuckles throughout the book, but overall I really didn’t look forward to reading it, or enjoy it.

Notable quotes

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he would have to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. “That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed. “It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.

One of the things [Yossarian] wanted to start screaming about was the surgeon’s knife that was almost certain to be waiting for him and everyone else who lived long enough to die. He wondered often how he would ever recognize the first chill, flush, twinge, ache, belch, sneeze, stain, lethargy, vocal slip, loss of balance or lapse of memory that would signal the inevitable beginning of the inevitable end.

“Haven’t you got anything humorous that stays away from waters and valleys and God? I’d like to keep away from the subject of religion altogether if we can.”
The chaplain was apologetic. “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m afraid all the prayers I know are rather somber in tone and make at least some passing reference to God.”
“Then let’s get some new ones.”

Yossarian was cold, too, and shivering uncontrollably. He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. That was Snowden’s secret. Ripeness was all.

Past reviews

“A wild, moving, shocking, hilarious, raging, exhilarating, giant roller-coaster of a book” – The New York Tribune

“A dazzling performance that will outrage nearly as many readers as it delights”- The New York Times

“doesn’t even seem to be written; instead, it gives the impression of having been shouted onto paper,” – The New Yorker

-H-

If you’ve read this, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts or reading your reviews so please share any links!

#32 The Bridge to Holy Cross – Paullina Simons

13 Jul

The Bronze Horseman Trilogy – Book 2 of 3
Read my review of book one here

The Bridge to Holy Cross - Paullina Simons

The Bridge to Holy Cross – Paullina Simons

 

Goodreads rating: 4.33/5 (14,100+ ratings)
My rating: 7/10
First Published: May 22, 2001
Genre: Romance; Historical Fiction

The Bridge to Holy Cross (also known as Tatiana & Alexander) is the second book in The Bronze Horseman trilogy, and follows book one – The Bronze Horseman. If you haven’t read Book One, I suggest you stop reading this review, and go and read it!

The Bridge to Holy Cross follows Tatiana and Alexander. Tatiana has now had Alexander’s baby, named Anthony, and has escaped to Ellis Island in New York, where she works as a nurse and has made friends in America. She believes Alexander has been killed during the war, however Alexander is alive in the Soviet Union and has been captured by the secret police, where he awaits death accused of being a traitor and a spy. The book revolves around both their perspectives, and their journey to find out the truth about each others circumstances.

I enjoyed it. My main issue with it, was that it repeated a lot of what we already knew and heard in book 1. Particularly it repeated the parts that I got bored of in book one (read the review to see what that was). However, it’s a really easy read, despite the size, and it totally draws you in, just like the first one.

I find Tatiana really lovely and endearing, however really don’t like Alexander. I’d be happy if Alexander did die, however I want them to find each other because of how much I like Tatiana. A friend at work has read this book and likes Alexander so it could just be me!

Apart from some of the repetitiveness, overall I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to reading the third, and final, book of the series, The Summer Garden.

If you’ve read this, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts or reading your reviews so please share any links!

-H-

 

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