The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

BROKEN MONSTERS – Lauren Beukes -my review

I love my library! They are truly awesome at getting in new books to read, without a long wait or huge price tag. I received my copy of this to read last week and it took me a little while to read, due to the fact that I didn’t want to have nightmares so I didn’t read this book at night.

Saying that I was both compelled to read and yet forced to stop at turns during the reading of this book. I thought it was a brilliantly written novel, yet, novel, I have to ask how much of it really is a novel, this story is seeped in reality. What I found most disturbing about the book is that to me, it is a reflection on the world at the moment. A reflection on how our lives are online, how we are often afraid to speak, how work can dominate our lives and how there is such a breakdown of community that social media is the norm. How people become more broken, how utterly convinced of their own dream that nothing stands in the way of it.

I loved how Beukes weaves a tale of artists dreaming and how it is catching and that doors can open, and it seems to me that she captures this day and age perfectly in her book. So, what is it about? A serial killer in detroit who is an artist who is broken and where the dream inside his head takes over the human part of him and infects others who can ‘see’. It is about the relationship between a Police detective mother and her teenage daughter. It is the story of an online ‘self made’ journalist. A disturbing and rather dark novel set in the here and now, it captures the essence of our times.

Read it, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

To see my review on The Shining Girls go here and for those of you who have read her other books, do they all contain serial killers? Or is it just her last two that do?? And I am sure that even after I have pressed publish on this post, this book will still sit with me and percolate inside my brain….

1 Comment »

Some light hearted chick-lit for your Monday

The Hidden Cottage – Erica James

 

Erica James is one of my guilty pleasures, just like Penny Vincenzi and Maeve Binchy. I like how her books are easy to read and always have people at the heart of it. Her books are solid and dependable and even though there may be a tragedy stuck in her story for good measure, people generally make it out of it alive and with positivity.

A Passionate Love Affair with a  Perfect Stranger – Amy Robinson

A chick-lit book with a difference. This was not your usual chick-lit fair, it had good, well written characters, an interesting story line and was actually fairly amusing. It did have some boring bits which I did skim read but as a general whole, this was a fun and easy read for when you need some light heartedness in your life.

Night Music – Jo Jo Moyes

I really enjoyed Me before You so when I found this in the library, I decided to give it a go. Well, I have to be honest that it did not grab me one bit. I think I got a few chapters in and by then the characters had started to annoy me and the writing just did not pull me in. I have to, again, admit to having ditched the book and didn’t actually finish it. If you have read it, does it turn out good at the end? I know she has a new one out, which I am tempted to try, apparently its as good as Me before You…

Have you read any good chick-lit of late? I do usually enjoy Jane Green and Marian Keyes, but if you know of any other goodies out there, do let me know.

No Comments »

Open – Andre Aggasi

I could not put this book down! Beautifully written, it opened my eyes to this one mans talent. Gave me new respect for tennis players and has my hooked on reading more about other players to see how their tennis journeys compared with his.

I remember Agassi when he won Wimbledon, I was in high school and I thought he was the bees knees! I don’t think I have ever watched Wimbledon in quite the same way ever again, blame it on my teenage hormones if you must;-) But to have read this book, really was brilliant, he was quite a tortured man. To think of doing something that you hate because you have to, I think many people in the world live like that, just maybe not quite so publicly.

I love that he eventually met and married Steffi Graf, I love how supportive she was of him and his career, and how she stood by him through both the ups and downs. I think that they must have  a truly awesome marriage.

I found this book quite reminiscent of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua in how Andre’s father was quite the tiger. Forcing not only one of his children but all of them into tennis because it was what he wanted. I am glad that all of them figured themselves out in the end though and became who they were meant to be without force. The fact, that there was no kindness in all of the forcing just makes me realise , again,what an important job we have as parents. I wouldn’t wish his father on anyone.

Have you read it? What did you think?

No Comments »

The Legacy Book Tour

Welcome to the scheduled stop on the The Legacy Book Tour!

The Legacy – MELISSA DELPORT

One man obsessed with power.

One woman prepared to sacrifice everything to stop him.

 One war that changed the world.

 “World War Three lasted twelve days. Twelve days was all it took for mankind to devastate the planet and almost eradicate the human race. No victor emerged from the ashes and billions lost their lives.

 We survivors lived through the bleakest of winters. A primal existence became the new order, and the little that remained of our humanity hung in the balance.

 Then one man stood up and changed the world. I believed, as did everyone else, that he was the hero of our time, the man who had saved us from our own demise. His name is Eric Dane and he is the President of the New United States of America.

 He is also my husband, and my greatest enemy.

 I grew up oblivious to the truth, until my father found me when I was nineteen years old. He told me about the many horrifying facts that our new leader kept hidden from us. And he told me that beyond the borders the Resistance grew and fought for freedom from the oppression that Eric Dane had imposed on us.

 My name is Rebecca Davis. I am twenty-six years old, and in me the Resistance has found the ultimate weapon.”

 A narrative of good and evil, love and passion, right and wrong – and at the centre of the story a strong woman who is prepared to sacrifice everything for the cause she believes in.

 The Legacy is an action-packed, adrenalin-inducing thrill ride which will leave you riveted long after you have turned the last page.

I enjoyed this book! It was an interesting concept which, in so far as I know, has not been done before in quite this way. The main characters are well put together and the writing pulls you along urging you to find out more about them, and the situation. There are some small twists which I didn’t see coming and thought that to add that element into the theme of a ‘strong woman’ was great. The ending was very moreish as it left you feeling curious as to what actually happened, was it all just a lie or is the truth in the madness? I guess I am going to have to read the second one to find out!

Here is an excerpt to tickle those reading tastebuds:

EXCERPT – The Legacy by Melissa Delport

Chapter 27

“What’s a nymph?” I ask suddenly, eliciting another deep chuckle. I glance across at him but his eyes are closed.

“A nymph, Tiny, is a sexy nature spirit who gets up to no good.”

“Aah.” I nod wisely. “Known a few of those in your time, no doubt.”

“Shut up,” he replies. “The only small, sexy thing I need to be worrying about right now is you. There will be plenty of time for nymphs later.”

“What, like when we’ve rescued Aidan, stolen an army, assassinated the President and basically saved the world?”

“Yeah,” he nods confidently, opening his eyes and meeting my gaze, “then.”

Much later, my neck and back are stiff and I sit up, pulling my sweatshirt tighter around myself.

Reed sits up too, rubbing his neck.

“You know what I worry about?” I ask, although I’m not sure why I feel the need to unburden myself to him. Maybe it’s because he’s here, maybe it’s because he’s helping me for reasons unbeknown to me; maybe it’s because at this moment he’s the closest thing I have to a friend.

“What, Tiny?”

When I answer my voice is small, uncertain.

“I worry that I won’t be able to save him.” Tears prick at my eyes and I blink them away.

“What will happen if you don’t?” he asks. This is one thing I like about Reed, he allows me to explore all options, and he doesn’t always feel the need to protect me from the worst case scenario.

“I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do. You know,” he presses.

“I think I’ll die.” The words escape me before I can even think about them, but once out I know they are true. How will I carry on without Aidan? I cannot comprehend a world in which he doesn’t exist.

“No, you won’t, Rebecca.” His voice is strong and sure.

“How do you know?”

“Because I do; I know. And so do you.”

“Why won’t I?” I ask.

“You tell me.” He looks me in the eye and lifts my chin with his thumb and index finger.

“Alex,” I answer, swallowing my misgivings and straightening my back, meeting his gaze.

“That’s right,” he nods. “You’ll live for Alex. You’ll fight for Alex. You’ll win, for Alex.”

“Why are you here?” I ask a short while later, as we make our way back to the camp.

“Me?” He looks uncomfortable.

“Yes, Reed.” I stop and face him, emphasising each word. “Why – are – you – here?”

“I’m here to help. I believe in the Resistance and I want to make a difference.” This is yet another version of his generic answer to this question.

“I believe you,” I say. “But you just don’t strike me as the type who would go out of his way to help people he doesn’t know, no offence.”

“None taken.” He looks back the way we have come and then towards the camp as though hoping something will happen that might mean he doesn’t have to answer.

He sighs and then looks down at me, narrowing his eyes.

“Geez, okay, you win.” He runs his hand through his hair and then starts talking, not pausing for breath, as though it is easier to simply get it all out.

“You asked me where I got my abilities. I got them the same place you did. I got them from your father.”

You can check out the book trailer here:  http://youtu.be/RxBMGRFePhk  ( I have to admit to really enjoying book trailers at the moment!)

To buy the book:

eBook links:

Amazon.com – HERE

Amazon.co.uk – HERE

Barnes & Noble – HERE

Kobo – HERE

Kalahari.com – HERE

PRINTED BOOK BUY LINKS

The Legacy is available at most bookshops in South Africa, or you can order it online:

Kalahari.com – HERE

Takealot.com – HERE

Loot.co.za – HERE

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wife and mother of 3, Melissa Delport is the author of The Legacy Trilogy and the stand-alone self-published e.books Rainfall and The Traveler.  She graduated from the University of South Africa with a  Bachelor’s Degree in English in 2000. At the age of twenty-four Melissa started a logistics company (Transmax) from the spare room of her flat and built it up to two fully operational depots in Durban and Johannesburg. Now, 10 years later, she has sold her business in order to write full time. Melissa lives with her husband and three children in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The Legacy (book 1 of The Legacy Trilogy) and The Legion (book 2) are available now and the final book, The Legend, will be released early 2015. An avid reader herself, Melissa finally decided to stop ‘watching from the sidelines’ and to do what is her passion.

“I was driving home from work when inspiration struck, and a storyline started unravelling in my head. For a few days it was all I could think about and eventually I realised that the only way to get it out of my head, was to put it all down on paper. I started writing, and that was that.”

I Love that Melissa is a South African author who is not writing about apartheid and other South Africanisms, I think her series puts her in league with the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent.
The only things I didn’t really enjoy about her book was, and this is just my opinion, is that it was a little bit too quick, just as you got used to something, choops, it changed! Not that its a bad thing as it allows the fast paced story to pull you in, but I wouldn’t of minded just a little bit of a go slow at times.
YOU CAN FIND MELISSA HERE:

Blog: www.melissadelport.com

The Legacy Trilogy Website: www.thelegacytrilogy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheMelissaDelportBookClub

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/MelissaDelport

Twitter: www.twitter.com/MelissaDelport

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/MelissaDelport

Publisher’s website: www.traceymcdonaldpublishers.com

Twitter Hashtag for the book blog tour: #TheLegacyBlogTour


 

2 Comments »

The Trapeze Artist – Will Davis

Oh my Goodness, every now and then you come across a book which just completely grabs your attention. This one was it for me this month. I loved it. The writing is beautiful, the story is beautiful, sad, heart rendering even in places and left me gasping at the end. Will Davis really knows how to write, so much so that I do believe I may have to go in search of his others, just to see if they are as good as this one!

I loved how he captures the essence of growing up in a small town, with ‘odd’ parents, the relationship between him and his best friend. I love how as an adult the main character runs away to join a circus, and not because of any other reason but that he feels propelled to. I think this book could speak to a great many people, how we get stuck in a rut and then one day, we just snap and do something completely out of the ordinary that everyone who knows you must think that you are crazy. I love how he portrayed the relationships in this book and how sometimes we just need someone to be there.

I loved the circus element, especially considering that I am a budding aerialist and in my own small way can relate to the danger and sense of fear that one has when doing tricks, the hard work and dedication that goes into those tricks.

A Beautiful Book and will hands down go onto my list of all time favourites.

No Comments »

The Silkworm – Robert Gailbraith

Welcome to my new favourite series! I read The Cuckoo’s Calling a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it! You can read my review here and the next in the series does not disappoint.

Cormoran Strike is officially one of my new favourite characters in a book with his trusty sidekick Robin, who is navigating her relationship with her fiancé and having found her calling in her work life. I do like how it is been portrayed in the book and adds in an extra dimension to the characters. Strike is Strike, a war veteran with one leg and relationship issues with his ex. I really enjoyed that he didn’t succumb to his fleeting desire to get in contact with his ex girlfriend Charlotte.

I found the murder in this book a little gruesome (and have to admit to having had a night mare one night which was closely related to the books murder…doesn’t happen often when a storyline heads into my dreamscapes…) but the book was full of literary references and was twisty enough to keep one interested and entertained. The only thing which I did notice and which detracted slightly from the book, was the continued references to how Strike was feeling at times, it just felt a little repetitive, though I am not sure if it is just because I read the first one a few months ago, so still have that as a reference inside my head or if it was slightly repetitive. Other than that, I enjoy her writing and I think she manages to wheel the reader in and keep one there in order to find out what happens.

I would highly recommend this series if you are interested in crime novels with a heart.

Have you read it, what did you think? Are you as taken in as I am?

No Comments »

Book Review – The Waves by Jen Minkman

The Waves is the second in The Island books. You can read my first review here.

Though this book can be a stand alone book, it shows us the other side of the story that we read in The Island, and get an understanding of some of the characters that we meet in The Island. I did enjoy this short book and I have to admit that Jen Minkman does definitely write readable books. Though I do find her books a little under utilised, with regards to the fleshing out of  characters and story line, they are very readable and she manages to draw the reader in to her story so you want to know what happens next.

The third in this series is called The Deep and concludes the story of The Island.

I would recommend this book for teens, and though it is dystopian in form, it is not as hard core as the likes of The Hunger Games etc.

Available in English and Afrikaans on Kalahari, and easy read when you need a quick fix, though I would recommend reading the series in chronological order.

1 Comment »

My most recent book list

So, I have about a months worth of book reviews to write up, so instead of writing long reviews, I’m going to give you my list of books, with a link to Goodreads to see what they are about and a one liner as to what I thought of it. That way you can make your own decision as to wether you fancy reading it or no;-)

The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker

3* book, I enjoyed it but didn’t like the ending, her writing is enjoyable and the book was interesting with a dose of magical and reality meeting in the middle

Lost lake – Sarah Addison Allen

3* Sarah is one of my favourite authors as she always add in a touch of the magical into her writing where there is always an element of otherworldliness to her characters. I enjoyed this and if you are a fan of her writing, you should enjoy it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

4* Thoroughly enjoyed this odd book where again fantasy meets reality ( are you detecting a theme from my choice of books here??) The ending was dreadful (in the fact that I wanted more and it just stopped!) but luckily there is the second one out so I would recommend that you have both on hand when starting the first one.

The House we grew up in – Lisa Jewell

3 and a half * Lisa Jewell books are always easy to read, and this one proved no different. I did enjoy this one as the issues it deals with are not your usual fare in a chick lit novel.

The Fault in our Stars – John Green

5* Tear fest of note! A simple love story between two young adults who have cancer. Beautifully written and just the most loveliest book I have read in a wee while. And go see the movie, but go prepared with tissues! And if you have not yet read this, do!

What have you read lately??

1 Comment »

Currently: June

So Winter has arrived, with snow on the mountain and freezing mornings and evenings! We have had a couple of really nice warm days lately but some rainy days too. Winter for me is a time for hibernation, a time to stay warm and a time to try and get creative. To do inside things. Coffee, fires, soups and snuggles on the couches with movies.

But before we get to that point this is where I am currently:

Reading: Night Music by Jo Jo Moyes

Drinking: Seriously, way to much coffee! I bought a Nespresso machine and a milk frother, which means I have delicious coffee on tap;-) And two of my latest addictions? Espresso with a lindt ball inside, oh my! and the chocolate fat shake from The Real Meal Revolution. Try it, its goooood.

Eating: Nourishing and warming foods and trying to get my greens in

Feeling: hibernatory! With some inspiration thrown in for the studio. So much so, that I am going to be purchasing two new pieces of equipment! will be poor so I will be hibernating, its a win win;-)

Working: on our duet silks routine which is coming up in August. Trying to be brave enough to drop myself while hanging on only with my feet. AND our Winter Pilates Challenge at the studio whereby the clients have chosen a specific exercise to work on for the next two months aiming to see the difference between now and then within 8 weeks.

Loving: Finger gloves and scarfs!

Wanting: A really nice and warm and cosy and snuggly jersey. Cannot find any in any woman’s clothing stores, I think Im going to head into the men’s department and see what they have! Luckily, my sister, bless her! has found me one for a fraction of the price that I didn’t want to have to part with. Looking forward to getting cosy with it!

Craving: Sweetie pie cupcakes from Treat Patisserie. (Or a slice of my sisters decadent chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting!)

Investing: In a Wall Springs Unit for the studio AND reformer. So Exciting!

Enjoying: My daughter! She is such a beautiful little soul. Watching the children flourish in the Kiddie-lates classes, AND my adult clients too.

Woolies fingerless gloves, want? Yes please                                                        Pretty scarf from Poetry for these grey Winter days

What are you currently up to? Tell tell!

3 Comments »

Lemongrass Hope – a review

Wow! You have to read this book.

I was approached by the author – Amy Impellizzeri – to see if I would be keen to read her book, and I am so very glad I said yes.

Lemongrass Hope is a book about life, about the decisions we think are wrong, about how we can live in the past for ages without even realising it and how one should really take life by the horns and live it. I found that this book resonated with me as I used to wonder quite often wether the choice I had made was the right one, and if there might be something ‘better’ out there, a while ago, I came to the realisation that it is how we face our life, and our decisions that make it. Our attitude to our choices and the decisions and how we approach life. Are we positive? Or do we constantly think that the grass is greener on the other side? I think that if we live in that constant state of wanting something which we don’t have we loose the joy and fundamental truth of living in the now. And I do believe that Amy has managed to pass this sentiment along beautifully.

So, while I am waxing lyrical about a book you haven’t read yet, or possibly even heard about, let me get back to basics and tell you what it is about.

Kate is struggling with family life and love under stress in the here-and-now when her fate is changed with a rather unique idea and she has the chance to change her destiny with the meeting of her soul mate in a different time and place. Her decision will change everything but gives her a chance to ‘go back to her wrong turn’. What does she do? Well, that my dear people, is the story so I won’t tell you here but suffice to say that the idea behind it is unique and really does make you think about your own ‘wrong turns’ and if you would, in fact do it differently.

This is a magical book where realism hits time travel hits love story and I do believe will resonate with a large portion of woman, moms and even those of us struggling to combine what we have with what we thought we would have.

Read it, it is lovely and unique. Amy’s writing pulls you in and just when you least expect it, hands you a twisty turn which suddenly has you engrossed instead of just enjoying and wondering where the story is going, at just the right part!

The book is due out in October 2014, and when its here, I would highly recommend it. Put it on the list for your book club.

If you would like to know more about Amy, you can check out her website here

1 Comment »