Books, Fiction, Films, Life, Reading, Reviewing, Sin categoría, Writing

6 Months!

It has been 6 months since I last posted on ‘The Avid Reader’!

That’s not to say that I haven’t been reading, I’m as avid as ever ( In fact,  I’m currently getting to the end of my third re-read of ‘The Hobbit’,), but I lost my mojo for writing. Not just writing blog posts, but writing more of the detective novel that I’ve been trying finish for the last 3 years or so.

Part of the reason that I lost my mojo, is that life has got in the way. I won’t go into any details of that (I don’t want to use this blog for whining and whinging, I feel very lucky with what I have) but over the last week or so, I’ve found the joy for writing again hurrah!

To be honest, I’ve probably read too many books in the last 6, to properly catch up with reviews on the blog but I will try and post my thoughts on a few of them shortly. Let me know about your best reads of the last 6 months.

I’m also going to see ‘Bridget Jones Baby’ next week, so I with review it after I have seen it. I’m not a big fan of Chick-Lit, but I have enjoyed the ‘Bridget Jones’ series. To wet your appetite, here’s the trailer:

 

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Books, Fiction, First Paragraph Tuesday, Sin categoría

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday

‘First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday’ is hosted by ‘Bibliophile by the Sea’, where bloggers share the first paragraph of a novel they are currently reading or want to read in the future.

This week’s paragraph comes from ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by Steig Larsson:

‘The trial was irretrievably over; everything that could be said had been said, but he had never doubted that he would lose. The written verdict was handed down at 10.00 on Friday morning, and all that remained eas a summing-up from the reporters waiting in the corridor outside the district court.’

Would you continue reading?

Books, Fiction, Reviewing, Sin categoría, Three Star Rating

Review- ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver (Warning- Contains Spoilers!)

kevin

What the ‘blurb’ says:

Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

My Thoughts:

Firstly, forgive me if this review is a bit all over the place. It has been more than a week week since I finished reading this novel and I still haven’t been able to exactly pinpoint my thoughts on this! Warning though, this review has spoilers.

The story plot from the point where Eva meets her husband, through to motherhood and finally the present day.

The reasons why I can’t pinpoint whether I enjoyed this novel or not, are varied. Firstly, I wasn’t too keen on the writing style. At times the writing seemed forced and too formal. Considering the fact that the book was supposed to be constructed in an informal letter style, in my opinion each chapter would start almost in letter form and then jump into regular prose. However, I felt like the writing improved during the novel.

Secondly, I didn’t really like the main character Eva. She was cold, selfish and in some ways, just as bad as her son…I think.

At times, this felt wrong to even be reading this book, both main characters were twisted and the subject matter, dark. However, I found some of the psychology highlighted within this novel, fascinating. I also enjoyed the tale unfolding. I’m not much of a fan of slower paced books, but I think that the slow unfolding of events to be effective during this novel. I also liked the twist at the end.

As I said at the beginning of this review, my thoughts on this are messy. ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ isn’t exactly the most enjoyable book I’ve read this year, but it’s the most interesting and thought provoking.

My Rating ***

I would love to know if anyone else who has read this book,  felt as conflicted when they read this book as I do.

Books, Fiction, First Paragraph Tuesday, Sin categoría

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday

‘First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday’ is hosted by ‘Bibliophile by the Sea’, where bloggers share the first paragraph of a novel they are currently reading or want to read in the future.

This week’s chapter comes from ‘Water for Elephants’ by Sara Gruen.

water for elephants

I’ve seen the film adaptation of this novel and, despite it starring Robert Pattinson, I enjoyed it. So I bought the book, to see how it differs from the film.

Here’s the first paragraph of the book:

Prologue

‘Only three people were left under the red and white awning of the greasy joint: Grady, me, and the fry cook. Grady and I sat at a battered wooden table, eadch facing a burger on a dented tin plate. The cook was behind the counter, scraping his griddle with the edge of a spatula. He had turned off the fryer some time ago, but the odor of grease lingered.’

Would you read on?

Books, Fiction, Four Star Rating, Reading, Sin categoría

REVIEW-‘The Truth’ by Terry Pratchett

 

the truth

 

What the ‘blurb’ says:

William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld’s first newspaper. New printing technology means that words just won’t obediently stay nailed down like usual. There’s a very real threat of news getting out there.

Now he must cope with the traditional perils of a journalist’s life – people who want him dead, a recovering vampire with a suicidal fascination for flash photography, some more people who want him dead in a different way and, worst of all, the man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes.

William just wants to get at THE TRUTH. Unfortunately, everyone else wants to get at William. And it’s only the third edition…

My thoughts:

Before reading this novel I had only read one of the ‘Discworld’ novels, so wasn’t entirely sure whether 1. I was going to enjoy this 2. Having jumped out of the sequence of ‘Discworld’ novels (‘The Truth’ is 25th in the series), whether I was going to understand anything.

I was pleased to find that this novel can be read as a stand-alone book and I really enjoyed it.

The world where these books are based is concise and well rounded,  and the characters are believable; considering the fact that there are vampires, wolves and talking chairs in this! The plot was engaging, although did get a little too silly towards the end.

The main attraction for me, was the writing style in itself. It’s so deliciously quirky, that I chuckled through a lot of the book. The play on words and satire of the media industry, made for a refreshing change. This doesn’t take itself too seriously and is so much fun to read. If you don’t have a silly sense of humour, don’t read this book. If you want to read something fun, read ‘The Truth’.

I’m looking forward to reading more ‘Discworld’ novels in future.

My Rating ****

 

Sin categoría

‘Favourites’ Series- Horror Films

I am a bit of a wimp I have to admit, but I still love a good horror film.

Here’s my Top five favourite horror films.

The Omen

1. This 1976 classical staring Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and Harvey Spencer Stephens, ‘The Omen’ tells the story of a boy called Damien. Wherever he goes, strange things happen around him, including the public suicide of his nanny. He is also adverse to being near churches. Damien’s father is visited by Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton), who warns him that his son isn’t all that he seems.

‘The Omen’ isn’t just full of jump scares, but has a great plot too.

Carrie

2. Also featuring in Last week’s ‘Favourites’ list, the 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel ‘Carrie’, stars Sissy Spacek as Carrie White. In 2013, there was a further re-make of this classic novel but in my opinion, you can not beat Spacek’s quirky version of the main character. Full of blood and gore, this is not for the faint hearted, but it tells the story of a bullied and abuse girl, finding out who she really is.

Dawn-of-the-Dead-1978

3. The 1970’s seems to be a decade of classic horror films because at number 3 is the 1978 film ‘Dawn of the Dead’. The influx of zombie films and programmes like ‘The Walking Dead’ were probably inspired by films like this one.

Mainly set within a shopping mall, this film tells the story of a group of people trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. This is a gory film, but full of action. It’s guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

28 days later

4 ’28 Days Later’ is another zombie film, but I have included this in my list, because the scares are quite surprising. You see, it’s not just a traditional zombie film. What I find scariest about this film are not the zombies, but what a group of survivors find, when they supposedly find safety in an army base.

Oh, and if you have the DVD of this film, I wouldn’t suggest watching the extra documentary. It might give you nightmares!

scream

5. The first (and best in my opinion), film within the ‘Scream’ Franchise, ‘Scream’ is a ‘tongue and cheek’ comment on the horror film genre. It has a lot of jump scares, but also gives nods to horror film clichés, such as the woman alone in the house going to investigate a straight noise and others, making this quite a sophisicated, film. The other films in this series are terrible, but this is a fun, but gory movie.

I will post another ‘Favourite’ list soon. If you would like to join in with this series, post a ‘Favourite’ list on a subject of your choice, on your blog. Then post a comment here, including the link.