Thursday, 17 August 2017

Book Review: Eligible - C. Sittenfeld

"Mrs Bennet looked from her end of the table to her husband’s. “If any of our girls marry doctors, it will meet my needs, yes”, she said to him. “But, Fred, if it gets them out of the house, I daresay it will meet yours, too.”

I really loved Sittenfeld's The american wife so I was curios to read his latest novel.
Eligible is a modern American adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and prejudice. The names of the characters remain the same, the location is Cincinnati instead of London, the plot is the same so you don't really get any surprises or you are massively anticipated what could happen in the end, you know it already (if you have read Pride and prejudice, that's it)!
It might not be a masterpiece of originality or of "high" literature, but all in all it is a very pleasant novel, you read it quickly consider the number of pages, the characters are all quite funny in their own ways and Liz maintains that qualities that the original Elizabeth Bennet has got and she is likable for. Mrs Bennet is still a nosey, not very cleaver, hypochondriac woman and in addition in this modern version she is also racist. Mr Bennet is here as well full of British sense of humour and his dialogues are the one I preferred in the book.
So in summary a nice read for summer, very distant from The American wife I am afraid.

Overall rating: 6,5      Plot: 6,5     Writing style: 6,5      Cover:  4

Title: Eligible
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Publisher: The Borough Press
Pages: 544
Publication year: 2017

For sisters Liz and Jane, coming home to suburban Cincinnati means being paraded at the Lucas family’s BBQ, where burgers are served alongside the eligible men. But it’s difficult to focus on re-booting their love lives when the family’s mock-Tudor house starts to crumble around them. Yet as their mother reminds them, it’s not every day you meet a pair of handsome single doctors . . 

The Author:
CURTIS SITTENFELD is the bestselling author of five novels: PrepThe Man of My DreamsAmerican WifeSisterland, and Eligible. Her first story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, will be published in 2018. Her books have been selected by The New York TimesTimeEntertainment Weekly, and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into twenty-five languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York TimesTime, Vanity Fair, The AtlanticSlate, and on “This American Life.” A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Curtis has interviewed Michelle Obama for Time; appeared as a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” CBS’s “Early Show,” and PBS’s Newshour

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Book Review: The forty rules of love - E. Shafak

“Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.” 

For all the I loved the idea of the plot and the cover, I could not pass the first 50 pages. I found it very slow and confused, passing from 1240 to present. And, unfortunately, my patience is very limited!

Overall rating: Abandoned      Plot:  3    Writing style: 2      Cover:  6,5

Title: The forty rules of love
Author: Elif Shafak
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 368
Publication year: 2015


Ella Rubinstein has a husband, three teenage children, and a pleasant home. Everything that should make her confident and fulfilled. Yet there is an emptiness at the heart of Ella's life - an emptiness once filled by love.So when Ella reads a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of life and love, her world is turned upside down. She embarks on a journey to meet the mysterious author of this work.It is a quest infused with Sufi mysticism and verse, taking Ella and us into an exotic world where faith and love are heartbreakingly explored. 
The Author:
Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read female writer in Turkey. She is also a political commentator and an inspirational public speaker. 
She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 15 books, 10 of which are novels, including the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love. Her books have been published in 47 languages. She is published by Penguin in the UK and represented by Curtis Brown globally. 
Shafak is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy in Davos and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). She has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2010 by the French government.
She has been featured in major newspapers and periodicals around the world, including the Financial Times, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel and La Repubblica. 
Shafak has taught at various universities in Turkey, UK and USA. She holds a degree in International Relations, a masters degree in Gender and Women’s Studies and a PhD in Political Science. She is known as a women’s rights, minority rights and LGBT rights advocate. 
As a public speaker Shafak is represented by The London Speaker Bureau and Chartwell Speakers and Penguin Speakers Bureau.
Shafak has been longlisted for the Orange Prize, MAN Asian Prize; the Baileys Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize
She sat on the judging panel for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2013); Sunday Times Short Story Award (2014, 2015), 10th Women of the Future Awards (2015); FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Awards (2015, 2016); Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (2016) and Man Booker International Prize (2017).
She lives in London.
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