Monday, 20 February 2017

Book Review: The Baltimore boys - J. Dicker

Innanzitutto devo premettere che la copertina di questo libro e' molto bella!
Poi che il libro precedente di Dicker, La verita' sul caso Harry Quebert, che molti hanno amato e ,olti hanno odiato, a me era piaciuto fino ad un certo punto, da 7 direi.
Anche di questo libro ho letto opinioni discordanti, molto positive, forse piu' delle negative.
Il libro dei Baltimore vede di nuovo come protagonista Marcus Goldman (ammetto che non me lo ricordavo per niente dal libro precedente e che comunque questo libro si puo' tranquillamente leggere come a se' stante), scrittore di successo che narra la storia della sua famiglia ed, in particolare, dello stretto rapporto, dell'amicizia, dell'amore, delle invidie, dei paragoni tra lui e la famiglia dello zio Saul.
Insomma, Marcus, il cugino e un altro ragazzetto "ufficiosamente" adottato dalla famiglia dello zio sono inseparabili e,nonostante vivano in citta' diverse, trascorrano weekend, vacanze e tutto il tempo libero insieme. La famiglia di Marcus e' la parte "povera" (leggi media borghesia) del casato, mentre la famiglia dello zio Saul naviga nel lusso, con tutte le gelosie ed invidie nascoste che questo puo' compartare. Poi tutto cambia, si succedono tutta una serie di eventi che portano a scombussolare le vite dei protagonisti per sempre. E tutte le certezze di Marcus su amicizia, amore, famiglia vengono a vacillare e l'autore cerca di dare un senso alla loro storia appunto scrivendoci un romanzo.
Ota la trama di per se' e'interessante e contiene tutte le tematiche che di solito mi interessano in un romanzo: amicizia, storie di famiglia, amore, la raggiunta degli obiettivi nella vita. Ma, la scrittura, piacevole per carita' e le 500 e passa pagine scorrono veloci, non mi ha presa completamente, l'ho trovata un po' troppo "costruita", come del resto ho trovato esagerate tutte le "tragedie" che avvengono dalla seconda meta' del libro in poi.
Quindi, per concludere, un libro decente, piacevole, ma nulla di piu', secondo me, un po' quello che avevo provato anche finendo il primo romanzo di Dicker. Carino, ma me ne dimentichero' in un mese circa.

Overall rating: 7    Plot: 7   Writing style: 6    Cover:  9

Title:Il libro dei Baltimore
Author: Joel Dicker
Publisher: La nave di Teseo
Pages: 592
Publication year: 2016

I Goldman di Montclair, New Jersey, sono una famiglia della classe media e abitano in un piccolo appartamento. I Goldman di Baltimore, invece, sono una famiglia ricca e vivono in una bellissima casa nel quartiere residenziale di Oak Park. A loro, alla loro prosperità, alla loro felicità, Marcus ha guardato con ammirazione sin da piccolo, quando lui e i suoi cugini, Hillel e Woody, amavano di uno stesso e intenso amore Alexandra. Otto anni dopo una misteriosa tragedia, Marcus decide di raccontare la storia della sua famiglia: torna con la memoria alla vita e al destino dei Goldman di Baltimore, alle vacanze in Florida e negli Hamptons, ai gloriosi anni di scuola. Ma c’è qualcosa, nella sua ricostruzione, che gli sfugge. Vede scorrere gli anni, scolorire la patina scintillante dei Baltimore, incrinarsi l’amicizia che sembrava eterna con Woody, Hillel e Alexandra. Fino al giorno della Tragedia. E da quel giorno Marcus è ossessionato da una domanda: cosa è veramente accaduto ai Goldman di Baltimore? Qual è il loro inconfessabile segreto?

The Author:
Joël Dicker è nato a Ginevra nel 1985. La verità sul caso Harry Quebert è il suo secondo romanzo. Il primo, Les derniers jours de nos pères, ha ricevuto il Prix des écrivains genevois nel 2010. La verità sul caso Harry Quebert ha ottenuto il Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie Française 2012 e il Prix Goncourt des lycéens 2012, ed è tradotto in oltre 25 paesi. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Book Review: The Course of Love - A. de Botton

I have to admit: de Botton and I do not have a good relationship. I keep trying, attracted by the plots of his novels, and I keep failing to like his writing style. I just find it boring and slow. Which is how I feel about this latest book of his too.
The idea behind the novel is really good, it is a novel/essay about the development of a love story, from the "falling in love" to the day to day marriage's challenges. It is a mix between the author's philosophical reflections on the topic and the descriptions of the "real" marriage of two people, Rabih and Kristen. Both the episodes and the reflections are in itself likable and agreeable with, and yet I could not "feel" de Botton's writing. So I was just skipping through the book, glad to reach the end of it. I also did not like at all Rabih's personality, I found him irritating and patronizing.
So that's it now between Alain and I, this was the last chance of love and it failed!
On a final note, how can the hardback cover be so beautiful and the paperback cover so ugly?!?

Overall rating: 4    Plot: 7   Writing style: 4    Cover:  3

Title:The Course of Love
Author: Alain de Botton
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 240
Publication year: 2016

What does it mean to live happily ever after?

At dinner parties and over coffee, Rabih and Kirsten's friends always ask them the same question: how did you meet? The answer comes easily -- it's a happy story, one they both love to tell. But there is a second part to this story, the answer to a question their friends never ask: what happened next?Rabih and Kirsten find each other, fall in love, get married. Society tells us this is the end of the story. In fact, it is only the beginning.From the first thrill of lust, to the joys and fears of real commitment, to the deep problems that surface slowly over two shared lifetimes, this is the story of a marriage. It is the story of modern relationships and how to survive them. Playful, wise and profoundly moving, The Course of Love is a delightful return to the novel by Alain de Botton, twenty years after his debut Essays in Love.
The Author:
Alain de Botton, FRSL is a Swiss-born British author. His books discuss various contemporary subjects and themes, emphasizing philosophy's relevance to everyday life. He published Essays in Love, which went on to sell two million copies

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Book Review: Defending Jacob - W. Landay

Is Jacob innocent or guilty? Is the father naive or not wanting to see or is it just me being cynical?
These are the questions that kept going through my mind while I was reading this novel.
The book is narrated from a father point of view, a lawyer, or better, a DA's first assistant, whose 14 years old son is charged with the murder of another teenager. There are transcriptions of the interview with the father as witness and also just a mere narration of the facts and investigation and thoughts of the father during the process.
It is a very interesting legal thriller, the investigation and the hearing are quite detailed and I am intrigued by the US court cases and the legal jargon.
The novel is also thought provoking from a parent point of view: do you really know what your kids have grown up into? do you just see in them the good parts and unconsciously discard the possible problems? As a parent, are you blind when it comes to your children's "imperfections"? And do you defend them no matter what?
It is quite scary to think that this is something that could happen to almost every "normal" family.
The novel is left quite open on the topic "genetic disposition to crime" and correlation between early childhood and potential psychological issues as teenager, so it leaves you to wonder and wonder, and I think you either start researching Google like a mad-person to find out how truthful all these inferences in the book are, or, like I decided to do, enjoy the book, finish it, close it and make the conscious decision of not thinking about the topic anymore. It could haunt you if not, to be honest.
What I did not like much about the book it is the writing style, too clinical and cold for my liking. I could not sympathies at all with the narrator because his words were so detached. I did not like him as a character at all, very self-centered, even with all his son is going through, he appears more worried about his own worries than of the son's or wife's for all that matter. I liked the wife a lot more, even if the descriptions of her are all coming from the husband, but she seems more "human" in a sense, not scared to show emotions or to have doubts. About Jacob, well, it is very difficult to have an opinion about him, as the only descriptions you have of him are distorted by his dad possible blindness, the attorney and witnesses words and his mother's silent observations.
Unexpected end, I thought "something" was going to happen to make the end surprising, but I would not have though about that one.
In my mind I immediatly compareed this book to We need to talk about Kevin, which was also the shocking story of a teenager and his family. In the comparison, Kevin wins, but overall Defenidng Jacob is a good read.

Overall rating: 6    Plot: 7   Writing style: 5    Cover:  2 

Title:Defending Jacob
Author: William Landay
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 512
Publication year: 2013

Andy Barber's job is to put killers behind bars. And when a boy from his son Jacob's school is found stabbed to death, Andy is doubly determined to find and prosecute the perpetrator.Until a crucial piece of evidence turns up linking Jacob to the murder. And suddenly Andy and his wife find their son accused of being a cold-blooded killer.In the face of every parent's worst nightmare, they will do anything to defend their child. Because, deep down, they know him better than anyone.Don't they?

The Author:
William Landay was an assistant district attorney before he turned to writing. He is the author of two previous novels, Mission Flats and The Strangler. He lives in Boston with his family.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Book Review: Sono cose da grandi - S. Sparaco

Premetto che ho amato moltissimo Nessuno sa di noi della Sparaco, mi ha fatto piangere come nessun#altro libro aveva mai fatto prima. Ho anche apprezzato Equazione di un amore, struggente, a volte banale, ma lo stile dell'autrice scorre bene. Cosi' non ho esitato a prendere anche quest'ultimo librino della Sparaco. La "trama", una lunga lettera al figlio di quattro anni che l'autrice vuole scrivere dopo aver visto la paura negli occhi del piccolo davanti alle immagini televisive della strage di Nizza l'estate scorsa, mi ispirava molto. Ho anche io un figlio della stessa eta', che per fortuna pero' di quelle immagini non ha visto nulla, anche se quando la strage e' avvemuta eravamo a pochi chilometri di distanza al mare. Anche io come la Sparaco, e come penso almeno il 90% delle madri italiane e straniere, a volte mi interrogo su che futuro avranno i miei figli, o i figli dei miei figli, in termini di ambiente ecologico,  di terrorismo, di tutto in realta'.
Questo libro, questa lettera. e' un insieme di spezzati di vita "normale" tra madre e figlio, il cantare in macchina andando all'asilo, lo storpiare alcune parole, il venirsene fuori con frasi buffe, spezzati di vita in cui molti si riconosceranno. E' anche una serie di riflessioni sulle paure delle autrice, sia come madre, che come individuo, e di come lei cerca di superarle.
In pratica, secondo me, questo libretto potrebbe averlo scritto chiunque, a prescindere dall'essere d'accordo o meno con alcune riflessioni, non ho trovato nessuna perla di saggezza, nessuna particolare emotivita' scaturitami dalla lettera, nessun "come e' scritto bene" o "leggere questo passaggio davvero mi emoziona". Calma piatta. Un libriccino senza arte ne' parte, di cui sto facendo fatica a capire il senso. Anzi, capisco bene che per l'autrice questa lettera al figlio sara' importantissima a livello personale, ma lo scopo di pubblicarla per tutti gli altri? Io non lo vedo, mi dispiace (e oltretutto il disegno in copertina non mi piace per nulla!)

Overall rating: 5    Plot: NA   Writing style: 5    Cover:  3

Title:Sono cose da grandi
Author: Simona Sparaco
Publisher: Einaudi
Pages: 104
Publication year: 2017

«Questa lettera ha inizio nell'estate dei tuoi quattro anni. Quando le mie paure si sono schiuse davanti alle immagini di una strage. Poco dopo la Terra ha tremato. E anche io sono stata contagiata da quel tremore, perché l'ho avvertito in te».
Un giorno, davanti alla televisione, per la prima volta Simona riconosce negli occhi del figlio la paura. E non è la paura catartica delle fiabe, è quella suscitata dalla violenza del mondo. La frase usata fino ad allora per proteggerlo - «sono cose da grandi» - non funziona piú. Cosí decide di rivolgersi a lui, con semplicità, per dirgli ciò che sulla paura ha imparato. Ma anche per raccontargli la dolcezza di una vita quotidiana a due, tra barattoli pieni di insetti e scatole magiche dove custodire i propri desideri. Scrivendogli scopre la propria fragilità, e in questa fragilità, paradossalmente, una forza.
In questo tempo incerto e minaccioso, una madre prova a decifrare il mondo per suo figlio, reinventandolo attraverso i giochi e le storie che crea ogni giorno per lui.

The Author:
Simona Sparaco (Roma, 14 dicembre 1978) è una scrittrice e sceneggiatrice italiana. Il suo romanzo di esordio è Lovebook. Con Nessuno sa di noi, è arrivata finalista al Premio Strega. Nel 2014 ha pubblicato con Giunti Se chiudo gli occhi, che nel 2015 ha vinto la nona edizione del Premio Tropea ed è stato tra i vincitori del Premio Salerno Libro d'Europa.
Nel mese di marzo 2016 con la casa editrice Giunti pubblica Equazione di un Amore.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Book Review - Our souls at night - K. Haruf

I definitely fell in love with Kent Haruf's writing style. I loved the Holt trilogy (Eventide especially) and I loved, loved, loved his last work before passing away, Our souls at night.
Haruf is a wizard in describing a normal day to day existance in an extraordinary way, in a way where you all mind and body feels inside the book, living and breathing with its characters.
Our souls at night is a love story, one of the best love stories I have ever read Addie and Louis, the two main character in the novel, are special people, two elderly who find each other and in each other finds that company and joy that was slowly disappearing from their solitary lives before they met. Their story is so heartwarming and touching, but also so intense and futuristic.
In this novel we are back in the same setting of Plainsong, Benediction and Eventide, the small rural town of Holt in Colorado, a town with its prejudices, its strong sense of community, with all its pros and cons as Addie and Louis will find out throughout their friendship.
Our souls at night is a book that makes you think about growing old and growing old with somebody near you. It is a book about finding your soul mate, no matter when in life. It is a book that brings you a tiny bit of sadness, but mostly joy and a sense of peace.

“What?” says Louis, naturally a bit taken aback. “How do you mean?” And she says: “I mean we’re both alone. We’ve been by ourselves for too long. For years. I’m lonely. I think you might be too. I wonder if you would come and sleep in the night with me. And talk.”

And for me it is even more tender that Kent Haruf wrote this book just few months before passing away and he wrote this novel about him and his late wife Cathy.
There is a splendid interview to her on the Picador website that I urge you to read - this is an extract:
"Kent said to me at the end of April, 'I am going to write a book about us.' His favorite time of all was when we would lie in bed at night, hold hands and talk about everything – living, dying, our spirits, our lovely children, our dear friends, this story, my hospice work, funny happenings, our great years together, frustrations, resentments, our feelings for each other and whatever went on that day. (It was very important to Kent and me that we stay current with each other about everything.)"
(See more at:

This year, Our souls at night will become a movie for Netflix, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.

Overall rating: 10    Plot: 10   Writing style: 10    Cover:  8

Title:Our souls at night
Author: Kent Haruf
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 192
Publication year: 2016

Addie Moore's husband died years ago, so did Louis Waters' wife, and, as neighbours in Holt, Colorado they have naturally long been aware of each other. With their children now far away both live alone in houses empty of family. The nights are terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk to. Then one evening Addie pays Louis an unexpected visit.

The Author:
Kent Haruf (24 February 1943 - 30 November 2014). Before becoming a writer, Haruf worked in a variety of places, including a  chicken farm, a construction site and a rehabilitation hospital. Born in Pueblo, Colorado, he lived with his wife, Cathy, in Salida, Colorado until his death in 2014. He had three daughters from his first marriage.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Book Review: Shotgun Lovesongs - N. Butler

"It’s all been worth it. Every fight, all those years of childish experimentation, the occasional heartbreak, the paltry checking account, the used, old trucks. To have lived with another human being, another person, this man, as long as I have, and to see him change and grow. To see him become more decent and more patient, stronger and more competent—to see how he loves our children—how he wrestles with them on the floor and kisses them unabashedly in public. To hear his voice in the evening, reading books to them, or explaining to them what his father was like while he was alive, or what I was like as a girl, a teenager, a young woman. To hear him explain why our part of the world is so special.” 

I am officially in love with the American contemporary literature that takes place in small rural American towns and that talks about a simple lifestyle, simple values, friendship and love. 
And Nickolas Butler with his debut novel confirms it to me. I loved it!
It is the story of four guys and a girl who grew up together in this small small town in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin. And it is the story of each of them as individuals, with their successes and failures, with their love and hate for their hometown, with their strong values and hard work.
And it is also the story of their friendship, a friendship that, with some breakups, fights in between, but resists through the years, through the distance, through the fame of one of them. A male friendship mostly, built on few words but strong of the presence and support of each other, when the silences are comfortable and the gestures are more significant than the conversations.
I loved Hank, the farmer, the man that never moved out of Little Wing, the man who married his sweetheart Beth and built a family with her, the man who is strong and yet sweet and lovely. 
Butler writes in a very uncomplicated yet engaging way in my view, he writes about simple life and simple things in a way that makes you want to be there with them, even if there is not really anything special in what he describes. A bit like my beloved Kent Haruf. Highly recommend it if you like the genre!

Overall rating: 9    Plot: 9   Writing style: 9    Cover:  8

Title:Shotgun Lovesongs
Author: Nickolas Butler
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 256
Publication year: 2014

Henry, Lee, Kip and Ronny grew up together in rural Wisconsin. Friends since childhood, their lives all began the same way, but have since taken different paths. Henry stayed on the family farm and married his first love, whilst the others left in search of something more. Ronnie became a rodeo star, Kip made his fortune in the city, and musician Lee found fame – but heartbreak, too.
Now all four are back in town for a wedding, each of them hoping to recapture their old closeness but unable to escape how much has changed. Amid the happiness of reunion and celebration, old rivalries resurface and a wife’s secret threatens to tear both a marriage and a friendship apart . . .
This is a novel about the things that matter – love and loyalty, the power of music and the beauty of nature – told in a uniquely beautiful, warm-hearted and profound way and exploring the age-old question of whether we can ever truly come home.

The Author:
Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. He is the author of the internationally-best selling novel Shotgun Lovesongs, a collection of short stories entitled, Beneath the Bonfire, and The Hearts of Men which has already been longlisted for two of France's top literary awards.  He is the winner of France's prestigious PAGE Prix America, the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award, the 2014 Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, the 2015 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award, the 2015 UW-Whitewater Chancellor's Regional Literary Award, and has been long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty Dunnan Award for First Novel and short-listed for France's FNAC Prix.  Along the way, he has worked as: a Burger King maintenance man, a tutor, a telemarketer, a hot-dog vendor, an innkeeper (twice), an office manager, a coffee roaster, a liquor store clerk, and an author escort. His itinerant work includes: potato harvester, grape picker, and Christmas tree axe-man. His short stories, poetry, and non-fiction have appeared in: PloughsharesThe Kenyon Review OnlineThe LumberyardThe Christian Science MonitorNarrativeSixth Finch, and several other publications. He lives on sixteen acres of land in rural Wisconsin adjacent to a buffalo farm. He is married and has two children.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Book Review: La piramide del caffè - N. Lecca

Ho comprato questo libro primariamente per il titolo, perchè amo il caffè (corto, lungo, cappuccino, caffelatte, in tutte le forme!) e un romanzo in cui si parla di caffè non me lo potevo far sfuggire. Non penso di aver nemmeno letto la trama, ma di averlo messo in wish list un po' di tempo fa solo perchè di "pancia" mi ispirava. Succede no, con i libri? Una copertina, un titolo e lo DEVI comprare anche se magari la trama non t'interessa granchè - o sono solo io?!? 

 Ho iniziato a leggerlo e, come faccio sempre quando leggo, mi sono fatta avviluppare dalla storia, trasportare dai personaggi in Ungheria prima e a Londra poi, ma, sfortunatamente, quel senso di trasporto totale nel romanzo non è avvenuto, ho trovato i personaggi bi-dimensionali e, nonostante la trama di per sè sia interessante, non mi ha coinvolta per nulla. Non ho "sentito" alcuna emozione trapelare da questo sintetico e succinto stile narrativo. 
Un scrittura semplice, capitoli brevi, ma forse troppo brevi per le tematiche trattate. Perchè questa moderna favola di tematiche importanti ne contiene molte, dalla vita in orfanatrofio alla ricerca di una vita migliore a Londra, dall'auto-lesionismo alla gioia delle piccole cose, da padri violenti a madri che abbandonano i figli per disperazione, dal cinismo delle grandi multinazionali all'ingenuita' del protaognista. Una marea di argomenti, tutti ammassati in questo librino, ma senza davvero essere trattati in profonditá e forse proprio questo mi ha delusa in questo romanzo. 
Una storia carina, ma carina e basta, la classica favola a lieto fine alla Disney, dove in questo caso Cenerentola è un ragazzo ungherese, Imi, che dall'orfanatrofio (tra l'altro un orfanatrofio dove, seppur poveri, i bimbi vengono trattati molto bene) si trasferisce a Londra a casa di una "fata madrina" pazzerella e sembra aver trovato la terra promessa nella capitale inglese lavorando in una catena di coffee shop. Ma ovviamente Imi nella sua ingenuitá non si accorge che questa multinazionale non é davvero il sogno in cui sperava. Quindi peripezie, guai, amici che intervengono, altre tematiche importanti buttate li' (la vita degli immigrati a Londra, il carattere della vicina, etc.), il nostro eroe viene salvato e sposa il principe azzurro - non in senso letterale, ovviamente!
Quindi, ecco, una favoletta carina, ma senza tanto spessore, secondo me, e, soprattutto, lo stile dello scrittore non mi ha entusiasmata.

Overall rating: 6    Plot: 6   Writing style: 5    Cover:  7

Title:La piramide del caffè
Author: Nicola Lecca
Publisher: Mondadori
Pages: 233
Publication year: 2013


A diciotto anni, Imi ha finalmente realizzato il suo sogno di vivere a Londra. A bordo di un vecchio treno malandato ha lasciato l'orfanotrofio ungherese dove ha sempre vissuto e, nella metropoli inglese, si è impiegato in una caffetteria della catena Proper Coffee. Il suo sguardo è puro, ingenuo e pieno di entusiasmo: come gli altri orfani del villaggio di Landor, anche lui non permette mai al passato di rattristarlo, né si preoccupa troppo di ciò che il futuro potrebbe riservargli. Le tante e minuziose regole che disciplinano la vita all'interno della caffetteria - riassunte nel Manuale del caffè cui i dirigenti della Proper Coffee alludono con la deferenza riservata ai testi sacri - gli sembrano scritte da mani capaci di individuare in anticipo la soluzione a qualsiasi problema pur di garantire il completo benessere di impiegati e clienti. La piramide gerarchica che ordina la Proper Coffee sembra a Imi assai più chiara e rassicurante del complesso reticolo di strade londinesi. Dovrà passare molto tempo prima che Imi - grazie al cinismo di un collega e ai consigli della sua padrona di casa - cominci a capire la durezza di Londra e la strategia delle regole riassunte nel Manuale del caffè. Tanto candore finirà per metterlo in pericolo: e sarà allora Morgan, il libraio iraniano, a prendersi a cuore il destino di Imi, coinvolgendo nel progetto Margaret, una grande scrittrice anziana e ormai stanca di tutto, ma ancora capace di appassionarsi alle piccole storie nascoste tra le pieghe della vita.
 The Author:
Scrittore nomade che ha abitato a lungo a Reykjavík, Visby, Barcellona, Venezia, Londra, Vienna e Innsbruck.
La sua raccolta di racconti "Concerti senza Orchestra" (Marsilio 1999) è stata finalista del premio Strega. All'età di ventisette anni ha ricevuto il premio Hemingway per la letteratura. Ha scritto, fra l'altro: "Ritratto Notturno" (Marsilio 2000), "Ho visto Tutto" (Marsilio 2003), "Hotel Borg" (Mondadori 2006), "Ghiacciofuoco" (Marsilio 2007), "Il corpo odiato" (Mondadori 2009), "La piramide del caffè" (2013). I suoi saggi filosofici "L'amore perduto per l'attesa" e "Di quasi tutto non ci accorgiamo" sono stati pubblicati in olandese dal Nexus Instituut di Tilburg. Le sue opere sono presenti in quindici Paesi europei.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Book Review: Paris for one - J. Moyes

A romantic short story set in Paris. An English woman that let herself go "wild" after being let down by her boyfriend, a French writer recovering from a broken heart. The plot is absolutely obvious, almost banal, the story is cheesy at times and all is very un-original: Paris, unsure of himself writer that has to work as waiter to survive, English girl with un-trustable boyfriend, chance encounter.
And yet it is a very short story so it is pleasant and ok to spend half an hour before bedtime or waiting at the doctor reading.
The great thing about these Quick read books it that they hopefully attract to the world of fiction also people that would not normally pick up a book. They are easy, quick, nice reads for everyone!
Of course is not comparable at all to the Moyes' book I loved before - The last letter from your lover.

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

Title:Paris for one

Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin Quick Reads
Pages: 112
Publication year: 2015


Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She has never even been on a weekend away with her boyfriend. Everyone knows she is just not the adventurous type.
But, when her boyfriend doesn't turn up for their romantic mini-break, Nell has the chance to prove everyone wrong.
Alone in Paris, Nell meets the mysterious moped-riding Fabien and his group of carefree friends. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?

The Author:

Jojo Moyes is a novelist and a journalist. Her novels include the bestsellers The Girl You Left BehindThe One Plus One, Me Before You and After You. Her novels have been translated into over 40 languages and have hit the Number 1 spot in 10 countries. She is one of the few authors to have had three novels on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time.
Me Before You has now sold over 8 million copies worldwide and Jojo adapted the novel into a screenplay, of which the major film production, starring Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), was released in summer 2016. Jojo lives in Essex with her husband and their three children.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Book Review - Chaos - P Cornwell (Kay Scarpetta book 24)

I honestly have to admit that I keep reading the Scarpetta serie just out of a nostalgic attachment to the characters. I have started to read Patricia Cornwell's books as a teenager and loved them and about 20 years and 24 books later, I am so accustomed to the Chief, Benton, Marino and Lucy's every gesture and word that I could close my eyes and second guess them.
Unfortunately though I am not enjoying these latest books at all. Nothing really happens and they all go around and around the same topics (Carrie, the FBI, Marino's behaviours, Lucy's issues) over and over again. All of them have clearly dysfunctional relationships where there is a lot of untold and mysterious conversions where they cannot tell each other half of the stuff that it is happening as "top secret". So basically man and wife, aunt and niece talk in half phrases, start conversions which don't take them anywhere, It is frankly quite boring and frustrating to read their conversations nowadays!
Particularly in this latest book, really nothing of any notice happens apart from a lot of sweat and talk about the extreme weather and the uncomfortable clothes.
With all the nostalgic love I have for the series' character, I could have saved myself a couple of evenings and read something better I am afraid.... And yet I know that I will very likely buy and read the next chapter of their adventures... call me masochist! 

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

Author: Patricia Cornwell
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 400
Publication year: 2016

On a summer evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her investigative partner Pete Marino respond to a call about a dead cyclist. It appears that a young woman has been attacked with almost superhuman force. Marino and Scarpetta’s FBI agent husband receive suspicious calls, allegedly from Interpol. But why would an elite international police agency be interested in the case? The calls are linked to anonymous cyberbully Tailend Charlie, who has been harassing Scarpetta for over a week. But even her tech-savvy niece Lucy can’t trace the person behind them. A second death, hundreds of miles south, shocks Scarpetta to her core – suddenly she is confronting something far more dangerous than she could ever imagine. Because when the residue in the victim’s wound is analysed, the results show a material that doesn’t exist on earth…

The Author:
Patricia Cornwell is a contemporary American crime writer. She is widely known for writing a popular series of novels featuring the heroine Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies. She was born in Miami, Florida in 1956. She sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. Postmortem, was the first bona fide forensic thriller. It paved the way for an explosion of entertainment featuring in all things forensic across film, television and literature.