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I read a lot of books and I write about them on here. Mummy Geek is sometimes a guest blogger....people seem to love her.....Oh and you can find me on Twitter.....@book_geek_says. Shortlisted for Blog of the Year by the 2015 Love Stories Awards...THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Hunger Games: Film Versus The Written Word

£ 7.99, Scholastic

It was £ 12.50 for a ticket at the Vue in Westfield

I hope you can all forgive me that I'm not going to write a review of the book, I did that before here. I will just remind you that I LOVED IT COMPLETELY!!!!!!!

I was hugely excited to see the film, actually could not wait! So much so that I went on a Sunday afternoon (Sunday after it came out in the UK) when full price had to be paid for tickets. I never pay full price for tickets, I usually go on Orange Wednesday or use O2 Priority Moments if available when with the Boy. Anyway, I dragged the boy with me and he wasn't overly keen to see it as he'd read that it's been dubbed the next Twilight. I was pretty annoyed at this labeling as I think Twilight is a load of wank!

Let's start with Katniss. She is far more likable in the film. In the books she's a bit of a whiney bint. As my friend put it she's all 'ooooo everyone loves me, what shall I do?' She's far more likable, sensible, less whiney, naive and aware of the odd thing. THANK GOD!

Peeta is not hot enough, Gale is too tall....but I coped with both those things. I cried twice even though I knew exactly what was going to happen so there was nothing to worry and fear about. What a willy!

They actually quoted bits from the book so I was completely thrilled that the interpretation/adaptation was that true to the book! Events weren't changed however, there were bits left out, but they had to leave bits out, it's a film! It was a great adaptation for how long they had.

The Capitol costumes and sets ruled and were exactly how I had imagined them! Opulent, mental and off the wall. The Districts didn't come across as poor as they were however, that could have been made a bit more of.

Oh, please note that I'm not talking about the plot much....I again don't want to give things away to anyone who hasn't read/seen it at all.

The boy enjoyed the film thoroughly even though he had never read the books, had no idea what was going to happen, what the premise was, anything! YAY!!! He's looking forward to the next two coming out :-)

So, I don't know which I prefer to be honest.....actually yes I do, I LOVE THE BOOK so it's a point to the book and 0.5 to the film!!! So at the mo it stands The Written Word: 3, TV/Film 1.5.

Happy Viewing and Reading!

Book Geek :-)

Monday, 26 March 2012

My Mum's Review: The Slap


My Mum is off work at the moment as she isn't well at all. That's not why I'm laughing! I'm laughing because she is reading The Slap at the moment and text me the following:

'The Slap is gratuitously vulgar. It is like If No One Speaks of Remarkable Things. An author with unconnected ideas who tenuously links them. The character chapters are not exploring the effect of the slap, just giving the author license to use his disconnected character studies. Put that on your blog and smoke it. I am now reading the slap to end as research into the gratuitously vulgar. Except for some quotes I can use and claim as my own genius like thank drunk I'm God.'

I have read The Slap and you will find my comparison of the book and TV series here.

Anyway, thought I'd share what Mummy Book Geek has to say!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Friday, 23 March 2012

Review: The Second Woman

Paperback: £ 12.99 A giant one
Publisher: Orion

For those of you who follow me on twitter (@book_geek_says), it is no secret that I did not like or enjoy this book very much!

Let's start with the gratuitous 'Editor's Letter' that starts the whole thing off. How an editor can recommend this book is beyond me! Obviously the editor hasn't read many books in his life, maybe he's only read this one.

The story is about an American author who finds himself with a body in his garden. He gets involved with a Special Branch project and some anti semitism....all unintentionally of course!

This is apparently part of a series. It seems as if one has come before as it alludes to a series of shootings to protect Janet (his prozzie lady friend). However, I didn't feel like I'd missed out on anything plot/character wise. Everything was explained in minute and immense detail and it is quite fine as a stand alone book. 

When it came to the language I was a tad confused. It's meant to be set in the 1900s yet, the language was rather modern. There wasn't the formality you would expect in a book set in the Victorian/Edwardian era. There were even modern turns of phrase. I did however enjoy the use of spelling and grammar to depict accents and dialects. That did work and I appear to be becoming a big use of that literary tool....Thank you Mr Irvine Welsh! However, on the language front some of it seemed a bit self aware. I'm not sure if the author Kenneth Cameron is English or American. If he's American then the very self aware americanisms and englishisms are self explanatory. And well to be honest, if the author is english the americanisms are self explanatory too! This book could well be written with American audiences in mind as it makes the UK seem very quaint and stereotypical.

There could be redemption for this novel in the comment on anti semitism. Or, would I be reading too much in to this book to think that it is a comment on anti semitism and not in fact just involving prejudice against Jews as a plot tool? Also, there is a bit of a bit about homophobia, however that is only explored for about 10 pages and soon put to rest.

There is also, the element of the ridiculous about all the stuff that happens to Denton (he's the American author who is the main character). I mean seriously, how can so many things happen to a man in a very very short space of time? How much bad luck can one man have?

If this was meant to be an historical comment on anti semitism then Cameron went about it in the wrong way as far as I'm concerned. Wrapping it up in a farcical and ridiculous murder plot is not the way to do it.

I will not wish you happy reading as this really isn't worth the read.
Read something good!

Book Geek!


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

World Poetry Day: Shame on me

As it's World Poetry Day I thought I'd share with you the only two poems I know off by heart!

I warn you now, I should be ashamed of myself!!!!!

Happy Harry - No idea who wrote it...sorry!
Happy Harry laughed all day
Couldn't keep a smile away
But one day a tragedy
A car hit Harry fatally
Poor old Harry, beep beep honk
Laughed his head off, ha ha bonk.

I have no idea at all why I know this poem off by heart! I remember it being in a book of children's poems and that's all I can remember.

The Owl and the Astronaut - Gareth Owen
The owl and the astronaut sailed through space in their intergalactic ship.
They kept hunger at bay by three pills a day and drank through a protein drip.
The owl dreamed of mince and slices of quince and remarked how life had gone flat.
It may be alright to fly faster than light, but I preferred the boat and the cat.

I learnt this when I was 10 years old for the 'English Recitation' category of my year 6 Eisteddfod.

I hope you enjoy these....I'm a little red faced

Book Geek

Monday, 19 March 2012

Review: This Will Be Difficult To Explain

Hardback: £ 16.99
Publisher: William Heinemann

As this is a collection of short stories (again!!!) I'll do my usual and go through each one in turn! There were many stories and they were all pretty short.

The Electric Man
A sad, upsetting and some what tragic tale. However, it did kind of highlight that with money you can be and do what ever you wish! Money brings you happiness is a vague message in this story. I did feel that there was a bit of the spy about the electric man and he was used to being many different people at the same time. 

The Limit
There isn't a lot a can say about this story and I'm not 100% sure why. However, what I can say is that I'm most pleased that it all turned out for the best!

French Lessons
Language barriers were highlighted to me in this story. The importance of communication on any level, be in vocal, visual or even emotional was an important theme. Sometimes actions can speak a lot louder than works and this was very clear. There was a message of things aren't always bad too! I liked that muchly.

This Will Be Difficult To Explain
I don't know if it was the sleep deprivation, wine or the travelling, but to be honest this story confused me some what! There were possibly 3 narratives, I can't be sure! This story was difficult to read let alone explain!

A macabre piece that reminded me of a conversation I'd had earlier in the week with my colleague Chris whilst we were driving through California. We discussed how it'll be great to get really old so you can do what ever the hell you want, just like Clarence! The story was a confessional on deaf ears, did it provide an emotive release?? Also there was the typical controlling wife....

Signac's Boats
I was really really annoyed by the return of Martha and her little crew from earlier stories! Seriously, why does she have to be a character once again??? It ruined the illusion of a short story and made it seem like a book with chapters rather than separate stories. I did enjoy the very brief art v. science debate though. 

MARTHA PISS OFF!!! God!!! She wasn't the main character of this story but she cropped up once again! ARRRGH!!! Kind of the final straw in ruining the collection for me as a whole. 

Angus's Bull
Woo, no Martha! A stepford wife kind of story. It was very old fashioned and I imagine it being set in the 1930s with the little woman waiting at home whilst the man of the house sorts out the finances etc etc. There was a bit of dark humor in it also!

Fat Man And Little Boy
This time, Ginny returned, why I ask why??? Ruining the short storyness of the whole collection! Boo!! This story also annoyed me as it had a very self aware feel to it. Like The Alchemist in some ways, it seems to be trying to get you to think about things in a very obvious and pretentious way. Bums!

I'm not really sure what I have made of this collection over all! Some of the stories I enjoyed, some I didn't as I'm sure you can clearly see! Anyway, I'll let you make up your own mind.

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Review: Game of Thrones

Paperback: £ 8.99
Publisher: Harper Voyager

I bloody love this book!!! It is amazing in every way!!!!! I read the majority of it when I was away on my work trip last week. Usually when in the US I watch the TV a fair bit as I find it hard to sleep, but this time I hardly touched the remote as I was constantly reading Game of Thrones. I was travelling with my colleague and I think he was a tad fed up with me raving about the book constantly. I love it so much that I even raved about it to one of the clients we met up with! I have inspired him to read it now though! WOOOOOO!!!

The story is fantastic, gripping, funny in places, the only thing I'd say is that the ending was a little predictable. The chapters move in a cycle between several characters, I thoroughly enjoyed this as it allows the reader to see all parts of the story and find out several opinions on the events! I did find myself looking forward to some character's narratives more than others. I always wanted Tyrion's parts to come along and didn't really enjoy Sansa's.

I fell in love with Jon Snow straight away, I know he's only young but he's so so damn cool! I always end up falling for someone so I'm allowed! I do think Eddard is a bit of a beast too. Robb grew on me, which was a relief as I have the feeling that he's going to be an important part of the series! Bran is soooooo soooo cute and sweet, I'd like him as an additional little brother. Tyrion is amazing also, gotta love a feisty dwarf! Joff is a dick head as is Jaime!!! Bell ends, the pair of them!

My friend told me that there aren't any strong female characters in the book. What a load of toss, Dany and Catelyn are head strong and brave! They know what they want, what they need to do and how to be strong! I have a bit of a girl crush on Dany to be honest, I can imagine that she's a bit of a babe! Arya is also pretty damn cool and I think she's going to develop in to a fantastic woman as the books go on. Sansa drove me bonkers though, she is a drip and easily manipulated, she is not clever at all.

This is defo a high fantasy novel. I don't think you'd like it if you aren't in to your battle scenes, unknown things in the beyond, war etc etc. In my mind I see it being set in Medieval times due to the description of the clothing, castles, medicine, tournaments and hierarchy. Oh, and the apparent sheer lack of a justice system!

I don't want to say a hell of a lot about this book as I don't want to give any of the story away to those who haven't read it. So forgive me for this being pretty short considering the book is epically long.

I'm most keen to read book two now and watch the TV series, however, Sean Bean is not how I picture Eddard in my head! Not one bit. Bums!

Happy Reading!

Book Geek!


Friday, 9 March 2012

Gone Schmoozing!

Yo yo one and all!

This blog is going to be a bit quiet for just over a week as I've gone on a schmoozing work trip to the land of USA.

When I return I'll be back to my usual book oriented mischief!

I'll miss you! Try not to miss me too much :-p

Happy Reading in my absence!

Book Geek

Monday, 5 March 2012

Review: Care of Wooden Floors

Hardback: £ 12.99
Publisher: Harper Press

It takes a lot for a novel to make me laugh out loud and this did it on several occasions. It even got me in to trouble! I was on the train on Friday night from Clapham Junction to Shepherd's Bush and was sitting across the gangway from a boy who was on the phone to his girlfriend, they were arguing. At one point my snorting laughter coincided with a big rant by him to his girlfriend. For the remaining 8 mins of the very short journey he kept giving me daggers and I had to stifle any emotions be they vocal or merely facial expressions! 

Anyway, moving on to the novel.....

I enjoyed it hugely. It made the bizarre yet mundane events of life compelling and gripping! The truly farcical nature is brilliant! I loved the main dude, he has a fab train of thought that I enjoyed entirely. I was most saddened to not learn his name. I really am getting used to first person and the more I read it the more compelling and 'acceptable' I find it. Oskar wasn't my favourite person in the beginning. I found him to be a bit too pedantic, but then I thoroughly enjoyed his crazy note leaving and by the end found him rather endearing.

The cats were great and I loved their names (Shossy and Stravvy)! I would of course love cats with bonkers names seeing as mine is 'The Great Catsby'. They had a major part in the events of the novel and cannot go without a mention.

I enjoyed this novel so much that I raved about it all weekend to my boyfriend and, even ended up avoiding conversation with one of his housemates so I could keep on reading.

Oh and one last thing, after reading this, I do believe I could take excellent care of wooden floors!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Part 4: Best Books??


I've compiled all my data and here goes:

Out of the 53 people who aided me in my quest, 198 DIFFERENT books were included in people's top 5s.

Out of the 198 different books the top 5 were:
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald - 7 votes
To Kill A Mocking Bird - Harper Lee - 7 votes
Catcher In The Rye - JD Salinger - 4 votes
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - 3 votes
There are 12 in joint 5th place with 2 votes!!! CRAZY!!

They are:
The Library Book - it has several authors
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman
Beloved - Toni Morrison
Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
Perks of Being a Wall Flower - Stephen Chbosky
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Game of Thrones - George RR Martin
Five Quarter's of the Orange - Joanne Harris
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemmingway
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

There obviously seems to be a large lack of similar taste in books among the reading people of Twitter and the blog-verse, so, why oh why, oh why are these top lists all the same, if there at all!!!!


By the way, here are my top 5 books!
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - Patrick Suskind
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Oleanna - David Mamet
White Noise - Don DeLillo
Roots - Alex Hayley

My lists of thanks will follow

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Friday, 2 March 2012

Review: A Most Wanted Man

Paperback: £ 7.99
Publisher: Hodder

As usual for LeCarre, this book is splendidly written, thought through and eloquently done. I did indeed enjoy it. The twists and turns were brilliant and it was a great look at terrorism post 9/11. It brought up many internal debates on terrorism, martyrdom, religious fanaticism etc that I wasn't wholly aware were in me. That was somewhat of a learning curve.

I don't understand why people find LeCarre's books hard to read and follow. I thoroughly enjoyed The Constant Gardner! The only moment I lost the plot in this book was when I did the typical, mind wandering but carry on reading thing. Next thing you know you've read 5 pages and have NO idea what happened. I mistakenly didn't flick back so there are one or two things that puzzle me somewhat, but I'll get over it and it hasn't tainted my reading of the book at all.

I won't say too much about the plot as I don't want to give anything away! I enjoyed the look in to the German secret service, I enjoyed seeing how agencies such as MI5 and the CIA can work together. I'm of course not sure how 100% accurate it is, but it's interesting none the less.

When it came to the characters I just couldn't get on board with Annabel. I'm sure you are meant to see her as a bit of a conquering heroine but she just got on my tits! She was irritating, easily led and in no way the strong female she needed to be when the time came. She drove me round the bend and I just wanted her to go away. What can I say about Issa?? I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with him. On occasions I felt deep pity for him, I wanted to look after him. On other occasions I found him arrogant, obnoxious and wanted to thump him.

I have one thing to say about the blurb on the back. I found it totally misleading! Brue is not the main character by any means and it misleads you to think that this is more love story than anything else. Do not let it put you off! It's about terrorism, it's about suffering, it's about hard decisions, it's about violence, it's about security. There is the teeny, tiniest flutter of romance but that is it! THANK GOD!

Anyway, enjoy this book, don't read it when you can't concentrate though!

Happy reading

Book Geek