Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel

Like Water for ChocolateLike Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tita De La Garza’s fate is sealed: As the youngest daughter in her family, her destiny is to remain a spinster and take care of her mother until she dies. When Pedro asks for her hand in marriage, Tita’s mother turns him down, and will not listen to reason. As a compromise, Pedro marries Rosara, Tita’s sister. He thinks that if he does this he will at least be able to stay close to Tita.

While I struggled to appreciate the love story that this book is about (I wanted to kill Pedro for being an idiot – which is probably what I was supposed to want to do) the rest of the book was gloriously delicious. Laura Esquivel takes passion in it’s rawest form and presents it to you as simple fact. With no explanations she tells you to believe that a house can be flooded with tears of agony, and that grief, bitterness and ecstasy can be tasted in food. The whole book is written with such pure innocence, it lacks completely in pretension and is an absolute joy to read.

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter Thompson

Fear and Loathing in Las VegasFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Oh I don’t really know where to begin with my absolute hate for this book. Hunter Thompson is a famous journalist. He is respected. He rode with the Hells Angels and he interviewed all the musicians that we worship. He was Rolling Stone Magazine “cool”. He was so cool that friggen Johnny Depp played him in TWO movies. Loving him is just a given. Apparently. Unfortunately I can’t get past the fact that I just think he’s a fucking twat.


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The Blind Assassin ~ Margaret Atwood

The Blind AssassinThe Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me over a year to read this book which is absolutely completely and undeniably ridiculous because I loved every word and every page. Margaret Atwood has a way of writing that just makes you think “yes, this is how you are supposed to write”. I have heard that all her books are very different from each other so I am quite curious to pick up another one now, as this was my first, but I highly doubt that the “differences” between the books will cloud the skill with which she writes.


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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd ~ Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot #4)The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

******** SPOILERS!!!!! *********

My mom has been trying to get me to read Agatha Christie novels for years and after deciding to do a “1001 Books to Read Before you Die” marathon I thought it was about time to take up her recommendation.

As you can tell by the 5 star rating I absolutely loved it. It was kind of funny though because as I was reading it and not getting the usual “feeling” for who the murderer I thought to myself “Wouldn’t it be cool to write a book where the narrator turns out to be the killer”….well well well! I was devastated to find out that my very “original” idea was not so original at all. (Really….I yelled at my mom a lot…and she just laughed and laughed of course…because that is what we do….we yell at each other about things that boggle our brains).

Very much looking forward to picking up a few more of Ms. Christie’s works. She is clearly skilled and her sense of humour shines through the pages. I love it!


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A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian ~ Marina Lewyka

A Short History of Tractors in UkrainianA Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Short history of Tractors in Ukrainian follows the story of an 84 year old man who marries a 37 year old woman. Narrated by Nadia, the old man’s daughter, the story unfolds through a mountain of family drama – both past and present.

I could turn this review into a long rant about the things it brought up in my head – but honestly it’s a stretch! Where it took me in my head is surely not where it will take you. It’s a good read though. Quirky, fun and thoughtful. I did definitely enjoy it!

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Veronika Decides to Die ~ Paulo Coehlo

Veronika Decides to DieVeronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t think you’re supposed to relate to books about asylums and suicide. And honestly as I started reading this book I got a bit worried and thought to myself – oh hell you’re supposed to relate to the end part of the book surely! Not this part.

Veronika isn’t depressed. Or necessarily unhappy. Nothing traumatic has ever happened to her. And yet she has known for a long time that she will one day kill herself. Her attempt is thwarted though, and she ends up in an asylum for her efforts. When she regains consciousness she is told that she has done irreparable damage to her heart and will not live for more than a few days.

I’m not sure if I can quite communicate my love for Paulo Coehlo. I say this as if I have read all of his books, which I assure you I haven’t, but there truly is something special about this man. The innocence with which he writes is just so overwhelmingly powerful. I imagine him to be a man who just quietly observes the state of the world, and on occasion chooses to translate those observations on paper with perfect precision and heart. If only I could write with such surety. This is how it is, he says, and he offers no excuses for it.

Definitely a must read.

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Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s not often that a book you’ve been dying to read for ages lives up to your expectations completely. I don’t know what it was about the idea of a book about a kid and a tiger stuck together in a lifeboat that I find completely fascinating, but the storyline certainly didn’t disappoint.

Pi gets stranded on a life boat with a tiger after the ship headed for Canada carrying his family and a bunch of zoo animals sinks. The story follows his trials and survival efforts in the most incredibly thought-provoking detail. Thankfully growing up in a zoo has made him more capable of surviving than most. I must warn you though that it is definitely not suitable for the squeamish or vegetarian readers. I should come with a disclaimer! There are quite a few scenes that make you shudder in response.

Martel tells this tale with superb ease and finesse. It’s a magical and gripping story that promises to have you drinking in every detail.

Very eager to check out the movie this week!

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Nadine’s TBR pile for January 2013

Hi All!

I hope 2013 is treating you fantastically so far. For me…I’ve decided to call January “1001 Books to Read Nefore You Die Month” and this has caused a tiny bit of a problem: I have a ton of books from that list that I haven’t read yet on my bookshelf and I don’t know where to start!

So for this month my TBR list is going to be LONG. I obviously won’t get through all of it but I’m going to try my best to get through as much as possible.

Love & Peace!

Nayes Continue reading

January: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Month

I’ve taken it upon myself to declare this glorious of months “1001 Books to Read Before You Die” month. Why? Because of all the months I reckon January is the best month for all of that!

A while ago I came across this book and the list of titles it suggests. Since my education is admittedly more South Harmon Institute of Technology than Harvard University this is definitely my kind of reading. Continue reading