Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Blind Assassian by Margaret Atwood

Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War. While coping with her unreliable body, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister's tragic death. Chief among these was the publication of The Blind Assassin, a novel which earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following. Sexually explicit for its time, The Blind Assassin describes a risky affair in the turbulent thirties between a wealthy young woman and a man on the run. During their secret meetings in rented rooms, the lovers concoct a pulp fantasy set on Planet Zycron. As the invented story twists through love and sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real one; while events in both move closer to war and catastrophe. By turns lyrical, outrageous, formidable, compelling and funny, this is a novel filled with deep humour and dark drama.

I have always meant to pick up a Margaret Atwood title but never got around to it. There are plenty of titles to choose from but I thought I'd start with this one as it won the Booker Prize in 2000. I couldn't put it down. Even though I had guessed the ending and had come to the correct conclusion on certain events I did enjoy this book.
I did have my issues with the relationship between the sisters. Mainly because I feel close to mine and wouldn't have made some of the decisions that Iris had. Despite not liking her decisions, being a middle sister I understand what it's like to be an older and younger sister, therefore I could relate to both sisters and their roles.
I also related to the being helpless in a situation you feel you have no control. If only you were looking at it from the outside you'd see how to regain control. In those instances the solution is never easy and takes a certain amount of risk. Which is why some of Iris's decisions are unforgivable because she was just scared. Although there are times I truly felt like she, Iris, thought her choices were the best possible ones. Sometimes in life people truly try their best and their best just isn't good enough.
I would give this book 4 stars and would recommend it most fellow readers!
~ LiSa

Friday, April 15, 2011

If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake!

the hummingbird bakery: cookbook
the hummingbird bakery: Cake Days
Fat Witch Brownies by Patricia Helding

More baking books!! I like to bake and these are some of the best books I've come by to date! The Hummingbird Bakery is in London and they sell American style cakes. It is because of them that I've had the idea to do a bakery tour of London! If I get it underway I'll be sure to post all the details!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy ~A Book Review

Kit McMahon lives in the small Irish town of Lough Glass, where everyone knows everyone; children who walk to school together grow up and become sweethearts and marry, people gossip and grumble and dream their lives away. For it is a place where change comes slowly. Until one day, beautiful, mysterious Helen McMahon disappears, presumed drowned in the lake, and then the gossip runs wild. The consequences for Helen's husband, her son, but above all for her daughter, Kit, are unimaginable and will leave not one of their lives unchanged.

I have been a fan of Maeve Binchy's ever since I read Circle of Friends (it's in my top 5) but after reading a handful of other titles I sort of went off her work as it was very similar. Which is good because it means you always know what you're going to get when you pick up one of her books. It's bad though if you're looking for something new to enlighten you. However the back cover drew me in and I gave this one a go after a long break from Maeve Binchy titles!
I liked it because it felt like an old familiar jacket or blanket, but I didn't like it because as always it was over ridden with too many characters! I love the depth in which her characters interact, but some characters were just pointless!
Also the back cover description (above) is over dramatic! Spoiler Alert: It is very clear that Helen McMahon did not drown but ran away and we're told that very early on. So, there was no mystery of where she was etc.... Which is what I was expecting.
Not sure where my ramblings are taking me. I give it 3 stars as I don't wish I hadn't read it and it did what I expect all books to do, take me away to another world for a little while! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke ~A Book Review

Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret-- he possesses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father's past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father's life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?

Another YA (young adult) title! I kept seeing this book in odd places so when I was browsing my local Oxfam (charity shop in the UK) and it was there and I bought it! It was good, but not great.
I think if I was 12 I would have loved it!! Unfortunately I'm not 12 and therefore it was just okay. I don't think I'll continue on with the other two books that complete this trilogy nor will I go out of my way to see the movie starring Brandon Frasier!
I did really enjoy the bringing characters out of books by just reading out loud and the amount of chaos that would ensue. Which is why I picked up the book in the first place. It was full of adventure and intrigue! Therefore, if you are or have a young adult who likes to read I would recommend this book to you!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

So, I'm thinking of re-doing the book of the month. Mainly I can't expect others to read them if I don't even get around to reading them! I still would like to highlight a book every month, but not have it where people discuss it? Anyhow look forward to a new way! :0)

If you managed to get a hold of Making Toast please feel free to let us know what you thought below in the comments. It is a book I will read one day, but I just didn't get around to it this month!

Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown {book review}

Every month a blog I follow hosts a book club, but the books chosen all have to do with food. Particularly baking. It’s very similar to ...