Books I have read and enjoyed

You are all welcome to send your comments and suggestions to this new section of my blog. If you have read a book that you have enjoyed and you want to recommend it to all of us, send us a comment
I belong to a book club in my local library and last month we read and discussed a highly-recommendable book that is available in the EOI-Gijón library.
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a novel by Mark Haddon that won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year, the West Australian Young Readers Book award in 2005 and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Its title is a quotation of a remark made by the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1894 short storySilver Blaze“.The story is written in the first-person narrative of Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy living in Swindon who suffers from some kind of Autism. However, he is a maths genius and has photographic memory, but he lacks social skills and he is unable to eat some types of food because of their colour. He decides to write a novel and become a detective. Through his eyes we will go through different unsettling experiences and challenges young Christopher will have to face.
Go to this link and read an excerpt
http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides3/curious_incident_dog3.asp#excerpt

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammetthammett_d_top.jpg

Fancy travelling in time to the San Francisco of the 1930s, to accompany a private detective, Sam Spade ( Humphrey Bogart in John Huston’s movie of the same title) to solve the case of the mysterious black statuette? Then, this is the right book for you. Most of you will remember the movie, but the novel written 75 years ago has played a very important role in American literature, since it is considered as the precursor of this particular literary genre- the thriller or “ noire” novel.D. Hammet, raised in the streets of Philadelphia and Baltimore, became a detective in 1915 when he started working for Pinkerton Detectives. Thus some of the stories and characters he depicts in his books were probably based on real experiences from his sleuth years at Pinkerton.He created two important characters in the “noire” novel: Sam Spade as well as Nick and Nora Charles. If you want to read more about the enigmatic author of this classic novel click on this link
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/hammett_d.html
Do you want to read an excerpt? Click here51eargzrftl__bo2204203200_pisitb-dp-500-arrowtopright45-64_ou01_aa240_sh20_.jpg
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0679722645/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link
(Remember what Sam Spade said….. it is the stuff that dreams are made of…)
Watch clip

The Tenderness of Wolves6a00d83451584369e200e54f08b19b8833-800wi.jpg

by Stef Penney

I would like to recommend this book,The Costa Book of the Year 2006. I came across it while killing time in a airport bookshop, and I have to admit I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a murder mystery that takes place in 1867 Canada. A trapper, Laurent Jammet, has been brutally murdered and his seventeen-year-old neighbour, Francis Scott, has disappeared. Mrs Scott has decided to search for her missing son to clear his name. Therefore, she has no choice but to follow the tracks leaving the dead man’s cabin and head north into the forest and the desolate landscape that lies beyond.

I have particularly liked the evocation of the frozen lands and sleepy settlements of northern Canada that Stef Penney depicts in her novel, despite not having been to this part of the world. In one interview she says, she suffered from agoraphobia and could not travel much, so all the information for the book came from books in the library.

Watch this video clip in which Stef Penney talks about the book

As a child, I have always loved stories and movies about settlements,trappers and Indians such as ” The Call of the Wild” by Jack London or ” Maria Chapdelaine”  so that might be one of the reasons why I found so much pleasure when reading this book. Besides, There is a bit of everything in the story: suspense, romance and murder…. Hope you enjoy it!

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS BY JOHN BOYNE

The story of Auschwitz told from the point of view of a little boy, Bruno, who has had to leave his hometown, friends and beloved grandmother in order to live close to a concentration camp. He does not really know that his new home is close to Auschwitz, or what the difference between Jews and Nazis is. He is totally oblivious of what his father does for the Nazi Army. For him, the Jewish boy becomes his only friend in  such a gloomy and desolate atmosphere.

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I have found this book really moving and thought-provoking; it is not difficult to read, on the contrary, the story is told with great simplicity as if it were a tale for children. I am sure you would like to read the book before watching the movie.

I haven’t written in this section for a while, because I was under the impression that no one actually followed it; but to my surprise, I have found people who actually read my comments on books I have read and enjoyed and that can be found in the school library.

A new book I would like to recommend to those of you in Advanced Level is ” The Kite-runner ” by Khaled Hosseini and also his second book ” A thousand splendid suns”.

Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-American writer who writes about his memories about life in Afghanistan. The first book, perhaps my favourite, is a story of love, friendship, betrayal and redemption set in Kabul, in the seventies before the Soviet invation, depicting a lifestyle that is gone forever.

Hosseini’s powerful prose is not difficult to read and what I found so interesting is that I began to discover a different Afghanistan, and not the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan that you see in the news every other day.

  If you want to read some excerpts from this book, click here

If you want to listen to the author Khaled Hosseini talking about the book, click here

A thousand splendid suns… A story of Afghan women under the tiranny of a chauvinist society, in which women only have themselves and their friendship to be able to survive so much brutality and oblivion. A must read!

You should always read the book before watching the movie,

Un comentario a “Books I have read and enjoyed”

20 12 2010
Aida Rico (10:43:37) :

I’ve just read a book that I’d like to recommend. The title is “The reader” and it’s written by Bernhard Schlink. There is a recent movie based on this book, but I haven’t seen it yet.

The story is divided into three parts and it is located around the 2nd world war, but it isn’t a war story.

In the first part of the book the main character, a teenager, meets a woman and starts a relationship with her, until suddenly she dissappear.

In the second part, a few years after, the story explains how this boy find again the woman by chance. He is attending to University and studying to be a lawyer, and the woman is being judged.

The last part, ends the story when they meet again later on.

The title refers to the fact that the boy reads aloud for her in every date, and it is the most important fact in this story.

Despite it is a book about holocaust and there is so many books written about this, it is different from any other I’ve ever read. It focuses more in the human beings than in the acts they committed during the war. It is about love, blame, shame…., that is about feelings in general.

I’ve enjoyed a lot reading it, and I want to see the film, in spite of supposing that it will be a bit dissapointing (that always happens to me when I see a film after reading a good book).

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