I’m back + July-August reads!

So, it’s been almost a year since my last post. It’s been crazy busy and exciting with a kitchen & room renovation, a trip to Fiji, another blog, a new niece and a million other things in betwee
But I’m back!

Anyone who spends a couple of hours with me will probably work out that I love to read. Growing up, I was quite happy just tucked away in my room, reading for hours on end. Actually, I’m pretty sure I wrecked my eyes by pretending to be asleep at curfew, all the while reading into the small hours of the night by the hallway light (don’t try that at home!)

When I moved out of home I quickly worked out all those hours would be spent on grown up things. Cooking, cleaning, trying to save mint plants blah blah. But, one of the things I love about my new job is the 40 minute bus ride each way. It allows me to get a decent chunk of reading into each day.

So, without further ado, my bumper edition of July & August reads!

It was my birthday late July, so my wonderful hubby picked out some books for me. I’ve been pretty obsessed with dystopian fiction lately, so you’ll see it features heavily. There’s a couple missing from the pic as I read a few on my Kindle and borrowed one off my sister.
I Am Number Four – Pitticus Lore
If you had the misfortune of watching this movie all the way through, just put all that aside and pick up this book. Yes, it is another Young Adult book dealing with the supernatural but this one is super cute. It follows the story of an alien and his guardian who flee from their home planet of Lorien, hunted down by the evil Mogadorians, who are out to destroy not only the only surviving Loriens who have fled to greener pastures, but also planet earth. Sounds rough right? If this book had a soundtrack, ET by Katy Perry would be totally on there. It’s a fast, easy read and surprisingly well constructed. It’s actually written by people with much more dull names – James Frey & Jobie Hughes (ok that one isn’t so dull), Pitticus Lore is just a pen name, and also one of the elders of Lorien.
50 Shades of Grey et al- E.L James
I was not a fan. I did read them all, as someone told me that the plot gets a lot better in book 3 (?) however I had to disagree. If by that, they mean more than 2 pages of actual plot before dissolving into another sex scene then ok. Book 3 almost achieved this. Overall, I just wasn’t a fan of the message, which to me sounded like – whatever problem the guy has, he will absolutely change and magically fix everything for you. I didn’t think that was a good message. It was also terribly, terribly written. I’m talking wrong words being used, never mind the grammatical errors. And Christian Grey? The kid is like Bruce Wayne on steroids. Let me think…he speaks fluent French, is a concert level pianist, earns $100,000 per hour (but doesn’t actually work) is in some ‘telecommunications’ business, gives all his money to charity, can pilot a plane, can bring a woman to orgasm with one look and…oh yea, he’s 27. Even writing this, a good month after reading it, has left me with a migraine.
World War Z; An oral history of the zombie war – Max Brooks
I had been super excited to read this, so couldn’t wait to start! It’s basically a recount of a major war that ravaged our planet…and the enemy? Zombies, or affectionately known as ‘Z’s’.  I may have gotten a little too swept up in this book. It wasn’t written in your normal fiction prose, but rather a collection of stories written in first person  as we follow a UN agent (Brooks) looking for answers a decade after the war. Certain recent world events, and they way they were handled made the story all the more  believable. I would have liked to get Brooks perspective on all this – which is actually the angle the upcoming movie will be taking (if they ever agree on the script) so looking forward to that too!
Earth Abides – George R. Stewart
I really enjoyed this read. It’s set in a future where a mysterious disease has wiped out all but a few survivors. What’s left of the world struggles to continue as best they can, birthing the next civilisation. What chilled me about this book is the absolute calmness in the face of human collapse. Most other novels or films seem to show panic, chaos and so on, which seems an arrogant stance. The reality is, our time on this earth is all but a blip, relative to the history of time. It’s quite slow and reflective, as the unflappable protagonist Isherwood Williams comes calmly to terms with his lot, which is actually exactly what I needed after World War Z! The other thing I learnt from this book? Modern skills are of no use to a society without electricity, pumping water etc. Scary stuff. Better start watching Better Homes and Gardens!
The Carrie Diaries: Summer in the City – Candice Bushnell
After all the talk of disease and the world ending, I thought for the sake of my own sanity (and those poor sick souls on my bus I was glaring accusingly at!) I thought a change of pace was in order. I love, love, looooved this book!  This is the second book in the Carrie Diaries series, and it chronicles the life of Carrie as she first hits NYC. It’s a real testament to the author that she can take her characters back in time (and I’m sure forward too) and they still feel authentic. I actually am not a massive fan of the original book or the series, but I’ve fallen in love with early 20’s something Carrie and friends. Which may be saying something…

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
In this future, books are outlawed and fireman burn down any buildings thought to contain them. Sounds pretty grim, and I have to say I wasn’t a fan of this book. It was so short there wasn’t much room for development. But then again, it is considered a classic, and has been turned into a movie so maybe I missed something.
Autumn – David Moody
This was one of my faves!. If you’re a fan of the Walking Dead or 28 Days series, you will love this. A deadly disease wipes out 99% of the population in less than 24 hours. In the confusion, the survivors band together, trying to work out how to reconstruct their lives, but in the meantime, the dead don’t stay…dead. They reanimate in a matter of days…at first blind, dumb and stupid, but then all this changes.  This one had me turning the pages so quick my eyes could hardly keep up!  It’s a series, so I’ll have to download the rest on my kindle.  The story of the author is pretty interesting too, and warrants a mention. The books also have their own dedicated site with lots of extra content – including what a diseased looks like on day 1 through to day 7. Creepy, but cool.

And that’s it! I have to say all this all this talk of zombies and disease has me totally paranoid. I’ve been mentally thinking of places to hide in my house (attic, cupboard) as well as thinking up little scenarios and trying to work out what I would do. I do not think this is healthy. Either does my hubby…well, he started it!

 

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