July Reads

Holidays start and so everyone cracks open the books they’ve been waiting to read.

The Death Cure by James Dashner
(Warning: SPOILERS)
The final installment in the Maze Runner series that both packs in tragedy but also feels like a soft ending. As the tragedy of the flare affects the characters leading to even more death and suffering. The end is both a relief but also an anticlimax as Thomas and others reach the end of there fight. With the darker plot line of Newt, one expects a deeper end than just final freedom of everyone into a paradise.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez
The surreal account of a village’s actions leading up to the murder of a man oddly has the feel of an ancient Greek tragedy as fate and the inescapable nature of it seem to soak into every sentence. The narrative of the brutal and preventable death makes the story a great read.
Forever Odd by Dean Kootz
The sequel to Odd Thomas set in the hot town of Pico Mundo. When Odds friend Dan is kidnapped after his father’s death, Odd is thrown into a hunting mission designed to test him created by a woman so mad and blood thirsty that she seems to be the goddess Kali in Odds thoughts. Varying from the first book, this is an engaging read that explains the world of the ghosts and psychic magnetism that surround Odd.
Brother Odd by Dean Kootz
Third in the Odd series, Odd now spends his days in a monastery far from his home town. As snow and bodachs surround the place, Odd is thrown into solving a mystery that involves monsters of bone and murder. The bodachs fascination with the children builds the tension as the story grows to a battle of monks with baseball bats, a Russian with the grim reaper appearing. Among the sadness the reader can take joy in Elvis and his comical ways. A great read leaving you wanting more.

The Green Mile by Stephen King
Paul’s record of his last year working on death row follows the life of Mr Jingles and the death of Coffey. The sad but twisting narrative moves away from the readers expectations to create a story of good, miracles and death. With a range of interesting characters that cover the scale of good and bad, and innocent to guilty, the 6 parts chronicle a tale that leaves the reader in a state of disbelief and a strange collection of emotions. A brilliant read but one that tears through your heart.

June Reads

As the days get longer and warmer, the summer days that invite you to lie in the sun with a book are more and more regular luckily.

Space Odyssey 2001 by Arthur C. Clarke
The narrative of the journey of the discovery one on its journey to Saturn. The vivid descriptions of space as the planets and moons pass by help show the beauty of space. Further the mystery and action drive the plot forward as the reader tries to solve how mankind, alien and machine all link together in the great stage of time and space.
My side of the mountain by Jean Craighead George
The sweet story allows the reader to run away to the mountains and survive in the wilderness. The children’s book is considered a modern classic and it is filled with beautiful drawings and animals that surround Sam. Jean Craighead George creates a childish desire to explore the world and test survival in the reader that I have not discovered in any other book.

May Reads

Unfortunately with exams looming and starting it’s hard time to find time to read, but it is a great way to relax from stress.

Atonement by Ian McEwan
The metafiction novel has a narrative that switches among the characters to highlight themes of unreliable narrative and perspective. Starting on the hottest day of the year, in the shade of the approaching war, tensions rise and lead to two crimes that shape everyone’s lives forever.

The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal
The mournful narrative of longing and unknown or hidden desire sweeps you up in the world of Jim. He’s a drifter who is trying to chase one day from long ago, travelling everywhere searching for something that even he can’t identify. With the pressure and secretary of the time period shapping Jim’s experiences as he has affairs with actors and writers whilst trying to copy the lingering attraction he felt to Bob years ago.

April Reads

April is a great time to read with Easter break allowing you to sit down and breathe for a moment, and even better a time for reading.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
I haven’t seen the film so when I saw the book, I thought I’d better read it and that was a great decision. The remarkable stories of the women at Langely are engaging and amazing. Dorothy, Katherine and Mary are brilliant individuals who have shaped the future and their story is a brilliant read. The book reveals so much history that has been wrongly untold, the engaging plot is so much more than the story of how an American made it into orbit.

Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter
The sad, but moving story of two people in a world of barbarians and lost. Communication becomes the bitter undoing of them as the promise of something better becomes slowly lost in a world of beautiful imagery and lions. A great read.

The Scorch Trails by James Dashner
The second of the trilogy is as good as the first. The mystery is maintained as well as the high morality rate of the trials. The introduction of new characters add to the story and the new setting is as deadly as the first and even crueler.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
The tragedy of Willy Loman as he falls apart to the audience’s eyes is incredible heart breaking and moving. The play gives a deep and profound emptiness as we watch something so human and yet so soul clenching. It is as brilliant as it was when it was written in 1949. Everyone should read it or see it as it shows the bitterness of failure and the human response to a bleak and hopeless future.

March Reads

March is the time where the spring arrives but winter still holds on giving you a mix of rain and cold with sun.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Beautiful and vivid imagery accompanies a moving story. The almost dream like narrative shelters the reader from the bare brutality that  instead it is presented in sharp doses of reality along with the attractive dullness of failure that is interwoven into the story. This book feels as though your imagination is drowing in the overwhelming life and death that plagues the family but one that brings a mournful catharsis as the plot is resolved and the reader knows all that occurred by the river.

No one writes to the Colonel by Gabriel García Márquez
This short but tragic story of the Colonel, his wife and the cockrel trying to have enough food to survive is an engaging and entertaining one despite the constant backdrop of death and misery. A great story to read on a free afternoon.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
My brother lent me this book saying it was a good read, and he wasn’t wrong. The narrative is simple to follow and descriptive but also engaging. The mystery behind the maze drives the plot forward with a collection of interesting characters including Thomas, Newt and Chuck. The ending sets up the next book brilliantly and leaves the reader wanting more. I can see why the book series has become popular even if I am a couple years late reading it to join the hype.

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
The Booker Prize winner of 1998 is a short novel about the lovers of Molly; three former and her mourning husband. Clive and Vernon agree a deal but are driven away by their own aims and the memory of Molly. This story spins into the ending as the chaos of the world around them drives them both to Amsterdam.