Tag Archives: book review

Book Review: Shakespeare… by Bill Bryson…

i love Bill Bryson’s books! They are funny and insightful at the same time, always. His writing is so honest and humourous, i always have laugh-out-loud moments. i have read quite a number of them already but this is my first review of a Bill Bryson book.

i like my books and i like my classics and of course, i like Shakespeare. i will admit that if i had not studied Shakespeare at school, i would be a bit intimidated or at least i would find the language tiresome to read. But i did study Shakespeare at school and in some detail, so i have come to like the way Shakespeare writes and his myriad of characters.

51q2bgmu-mrl-_sx324_bo1204203200_In this book, Bryson tries to de-mystify the person who is Shakespeare. There have been many assumptions made about Shakespeare, mainly because he lived in a time when written records of persons were not well kept. There was no google or digital database where you could find lots on any one person.

Bryson writes in a matter-of-fact voice about a rather matter-of-fact subject; a famous man’s life, and yet, i still found myself smiling at various points in the book.

He lays it out quite clearly, and with some authority, about how life was during Shakespeare’s lifetime and how inaccurate things can be when passed down through word of mouth, and how, even eye-witness accounts, or what claims to be eye-witness accounts, can turn out to be untrue.

i have to say that after reading this book, my romanticised view of Shakespeare has been shuttered, but in a good way. Shakespeare wasn’t some rich boy who had all the resources in the world and could spend his days writing and not worrying about daily life. He was a man who had to work his way up to be recognised, and yes, he was fortunate that many things fell his way but still he did not have it easy and he had gotten himself into some measure of trouble in his day.

So if you would like to know more about Shakespeare the man, but don’t have time to wade through more high-brow works on the man, then pick up this book and have a fun time learning about Shakespeare, the theater and life during the 16th and 17th centuries.

syc

Book Review: The Truth About Celia Frost… by Paula Rawsthorne…

This is another one of those long-time-coming book reviews. i read this book many months ago and i have been putting off writing this review. Not because it is not a good book, but simply because i didn’t find the time to review it and i was feeling a bit unsure about writing a review for a book that’s really meant for middle graders. The question in my head was; should i review it from the POV of a middle grader or from the perspective of an adult or as a parent? i finally decided i will review it just as me, because i can’t be anyone else… silly, wasn’t i, to complicate things like that? Hahaha…

So on with the review.

514trybfppl-_sx325_bo1204203200_i like this book. i don’t say super like because it’s a good book, just not one i would re-read anytime soon, mainly because i am not the target audience.

Celia Frost is a young girl who has led a weird life so far. She has been told by her mother that she has this strange blood disorder which can be life threatening. Her mother tells that to all the schools she has been at but has never brought her to the doctors, as far as Celia can remember. She can’t do the things normal kids does because her mother won’t let her, telling her that if she got even a small cut, she could bleed to death. So it’s a lonely life for Celia.

Celia gets teased a lot about her disorder. And one day she decides to fight back against the school bully. In the struggle, she is cut. Then her mother packs them up immediately and moves away. They have moved often before, but never at such short notice. Celia says goodbye to the only friend she has, a little old lady who is their neighbour.

At their new place, which is some faceless complex of flats, Celia meets a boy, whose brothers are tough but protective, and whose mother is loving and warm; a family Celia always longed for. They start spending time together and Celia feels that she is finally living a little. Celia starts to question her mother’s strange behaviour and even her own disorder.

A private investigator is hired by a mysterious lady and Celia gets kidnapped. But he is a PI with a heart, even he didn’t know he had that, and Celia is rescued. Her mother finally tells the truth and it is more surprising than one would imagine.

This is a good first thriller mystery book for middle graders. The story is engaging and fast paced. The characters are familiar and easy to relate to. The language is at the right level for middle graders. i would recommend this for a keen reader who likes some mystery and tension in their stories.

syc

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars… by John Green…

This book, this story, deserves the glowing reviews it has been given.

i LOVE it! Ok, there are very few books i dislike but this is one i will remember for a long long time; this is one which when i remember it, i smile sadly and nod knowingly, in appreciation of the window which John Green has given us into a world which is sad but yet so powerful.

faultinourstars20170310Hazel is terminal. She always has been. She has accepted and has learned to live with it, trying her best to live the life she has been given as close to how she wants to as possible, or at least to the extent her parents and doctors allow her.

And when she least expected it, life throws her a curve ball in the form of Augustus Waters; a handsome, tall, in-remission boy who accompanies his friend to cancer support group. As their relationship develops, we are privileged to see how terminally ill young people deal with death and living in the knowledge of what is going to kill you.

We watch how Hazel and Augustus relate to each other, to their grieving and fearful parents, to their doctors who are trying their best to offer some sort of treatment, to their friends who are outside of this cancer bubble and to their friends within the cancer bubble.

We see how each of these people cope or not cope with the harsh reality of a terminal diagnosis, how they choose to stay and love on or choose to walk away and forget.

Their adventure to find the author of Hazel’s favourite book reveals some wonderful moments and makes you think what you would and would not do for the one you love when they are dying, what it means to love someone even if it is only for a short time. The funny moments are precious, the sad moments are poignant; i laughed, i smiled, i cried a little, i cheered and my heart was moved.

i have not told you much at all about the storyline or even about the characters involved. It is a book i think you need to explore for yourself. So go out, get it and read it.

i truly wish all young people, who are faced with such illnesses, and their loved ones, every happiness life offers them, and every comfort and peace when the time comes to let go.

syc