The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

24 02 2010

Título: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Autor: Stieg Larsson

Obra adaptada: NO

Nivel: Avanzado

Review: This book is well written, with a well-developed plot. It is the first novel in a completed series of three (The Millennium Trilogy) by the Swedish author Stieg Larsson. It is a classic mystery in many ways. It is also a bit violent. It’s rather long but very easy to read. Starting slowly, it soon becomes a compelling read with well-developed characters, a great sense of place, and all of the plot twists and turns that make mysteries fun to read. The story keeps the reader absorbed from beginning to end. 

The plot focuses on a journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who investigates a missing person from years before and his researcher, Lisbeth Salander, the person from the book title who helps discover the truth. She is violent and antisocial but also an extremely intelligent hacker and researcher, specialized in investigations of persons.  

Don’t miss it. I would definitely recommend this book and I will buy the others of the series.

Valoración: 5/5

Isabel Rivera Galicia  2ºNA

New Arrivals: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

29 01 2010

Título: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Autor: Stieg Larsson

Obra adaptada: NO

This is the third book in the Millennium-trilogy, all them available at our School Library.

Salander is plotting her revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and against the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. But it is not going to be a straightforward campaign. After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in Intensive Care, and is set to face trial for three murders and one attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must not only prove her innocence, but identify and denounce the corrupt politicians that have allowed the vulnerable to become victims of abuse and violence. Once a victim herself, Salander is now ready to fight back.


New Arrivals: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

28 01 2010

Título: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Autor: Muriel Barbery

Obra adaptada: NO

Renée is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building on the Left Bank. To the residents she is honest, reliable and uncultivated an ideal concierge. But Renée has a secret. Beneath this conventional façade she is passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, Renée is resigned to living a lie, with only visits from her one friend Manuela to break the monotony. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the predictably bourgeois future laid out for her, and plans to commit suicide on her thirteenth birthday. But before this happens, the death of one of their privileged neighbours will bring dramatic change to number 7, Rue de Grenelle, altering the course of both their lives forever. With sales of over a million copies in French, this funny, moving and wise novel is now an international publishing sensation.

Nobody ever imagined that his tender, funny book with a philosophical vein would have enjoyed such incredible success. For some, it is part Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, part Monsieur Malaussene by Daniel Pennac. While for others it resembles a written version of the film Amélie. Either way, readers are responding in vast numbers. –Le Monde

New Arrivals: The Museum of Innocence

27 01 2010

Título: The Museum of Innocence

Autor: Orhan Pamuk

Obra adaptada: NO

The Museum of Innocence is the latest novel written by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, published in August 2008, Orhan Pamuk’s first novel since he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006.

Pamuk has been working on the novel for many years and it has been hinted by himself in many interviews during this period. “The story, which takes place in Istanbul between 1975 and today, is about obsessive passion and the great question: What is love, really?” says the writer, in a Spiegel interview back in 2007.

Orhan Pamuk is also trying to establish an actual museum based on the novel, in Cukurcuma - Istanbul, to exhibit several objects mentioned in The Museum of Innocence.

New Arrivals: The Lost Symbol

26 01 2010

Título: The Lost Symbol

Autor: Dan Brown

Obra adaptada: NO

Released on September 15, 2009, it is the third Brown novel to involve the character of Harvard University symbologist Robert Langdon, following 2000’s Angels & Demons and 2003’s The Da Vinci Code. It had a first printing of 6.5 million (5 million in North America, 1.5 million in the UK), the largest in Doubleday history. On its first day the book sold one million in hardcover and e-book versions in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, making it the fastest selling adult novel in history. It was number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction for the first six weeks of its release, and has remained near the top since then.

The Da Vinci Code

22 01 2010

Título: The Da Vinci Code

Autor: Dan Brown

Obra adaptada: No

Nivel: Avanzado


Review: It was written by American author Dan Brown and published in 2003. It is a bestseller that sold more than 80 million copies and has been translated into 44 languages. The narrator is not present in the story and it combines the detective, thriller, and conspiracy fiction genres. 

The book tells us about a professor of Religious Symbology, Robert Langdon, who is looking for “the Holy Grail”. Typical plot with good guys and really bad guys, the police who always arrives one minute later and, of course, the girl. 

The story starts in the Louvre Museum of Paris where Langdon is the prime suspect in the murder of the curator of Louvre. With the help of the curator’s granddaughter, Sophie Neveu, he escapes from the police and they solve a set of puzzles to find a keystone. This key is a device supposedly invented by Leonardo Da Vinci for transporting secure messages. Langdon and Neveu take the keystone to Langdon’s friend Sir Teabing, who is an expert on “the Holy Grail”. With him, they can fly to London and try to solve another long series of brain-teasers, anagrams and puzzles. The ultimate solution is found to be intimately connected with the possible location of the Holy Grail and to a mysterious society called the Priory of Sion, as well as to the Knights Templar. 

I think the book is entertaining although it has too many puzzles in my opinion. Moreover, there are characters who are not so credible, ridiculous situations, the story is quite predictable and the general plot is just nonsense. 

On the other hand I found the language rather easy to understand and follow despite the fact that it is not a simplified version, so I would simply recommend it as an English reading exercise. As a curiosity I saw the film after reading the book and… it was even worse !!!  

Valoración: 2/5

Anonymous  NI

New Arrivals: Atonement

13 01 2010

Título: Atonement

Autor: Ian McEwan

Obra adaptada: NO


“Atonement” is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan about a woman’s effort to atone. The story is told of her life changing mistake as a young girl who dreams of being a writer in upper-middle-class interwar England, the effects on herself, family and friends, and her own effort to achieve atonement over the coming century, which leads to an exploration on the nature of writing itself.

It is widely regarded as one of McEwan’s best works and is one of the most celebrated and honoured books of recent years. It was shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize for fiction, an award he had already won for his previous novel, Amsterdam. McEwan utilises several stylistic techniques in the novel, including metafiction and psychological realism. The book was later adapted into a BAFTA and Academy-Award nominated film of the same name, starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, and directed by Joe Wright in 2007.

New Arrivals: Man in the Dark

3 12 2009

Título: Man in the Dark

Autor: Paul Auster

Obra adaptada: NO

A car accident and the death of his wife have left the retired book critic August Brill a physical and spiritual invalid. Virtually confined to his house with his recently divorced daughter and a twenty-three-year-old grandchild stricken with grief after the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Brill, an insomniac, attempts to stave off thoughts of death by telling himself bedtime stories. His tired mind weaves a tale that combines details of his life with more fantastic flights such as the story of a man who, waking up in an alternate universe where 9/11 never happened and the 2000 election led to civil war, is sent on a mission to destroy the very person who has imagined him into existence. The narrative juxtapositions and the riddling starkness of Auster´s prose create an absorbing if mildly scattershot effect, breathing life into a meditation on the difference between the stories we want to tell and the stories we end up telling.

From The New Yorker

New Arrivals: On Chesil Beach

2 12 2009

Título: On Chesil Beach

Autor: Ian McEwan

Obra adaptada: NO

In July, 1962, Edward Mayhew and Florence Ponting, young people deeply in love and of drastically different backgrounds (he’s the son of a schoolmaster and a brain-damaged woman, whereas she is the musically gifted daughter of a wealthy industrialist and an Oxford philosophy lecturer), have just been married and are spending their honeymoon in a small hotel on the Dorset seashore. During the course of an evening, both reflect upon their upbringing and the prospect of their futures. Edward is sexually motivated and though intelligent has a taste for rash behaviour and Florence, bound by the social code of another era, is terrified of sexual intimacy: eventually this leads to an experience that will change their relationship irrevocably.

The novel focuses upon the couple’s different personalities and attitudes and the development of their love in the dawning of a sexual awakening in 1960s Britain.


7 05 2009

Título: Watermelon

Autor: Marian Keyes

Obra adaptada: NO

Nivel: Avanzado


Watermelon tells the story of Claire Walsh a young Irish woman who finds herself having to return to her family house in Dublin after her husband leaves her whilst she is giving birth to their first baby. Besides the initial shock, Claire is able to build up again her life supported by her eccentric family. Ana is a lovely hippy who believes in spirits trying to contact her, Helen is a beautiful, heart-breaker who annoys Claire continually but actually loves her and introduces Claire to her handsome college Adam and finally her passive father and erratic but adorable mother.

This book, like all of this author, based on the Walsh family is written in a direct style completely accessible to any reader. Amusing and dynamic dialogues between the main characters are an essential part of the book and makes it very easy to read. The language is plain and full of modern-type expressions.

Watermelon tells the story of a normal girl with problems and this is probably the attraction of Keyes books because so many readers can identify with the characters. These are well-drawn and designed with a remarkable sense of humour mixed with touching moments which makes the story quite engaging.

This is probably not the best book that I have read buy I would recommend it if one just want to have a good time a rainy afternoon after a stressed day!!!

 Valoración: 4/5

Nuria Fernández  2ºNA

Fashion and Lies

29 04 2009

Título: Fashion and Lies

Autor: Marisa Marmo & Barbara Backhouse

Editorial: McGraw-Hill

Obra adaptada: Sí

Nivel: Intermedio + CD

Reseña: This is a modern fiction book about the special war between two fashion houses. Crane Creations has become a successful company, while Folly Fashions´ business are going worse and worse. Its envious and ambitious owner, Norma Folly, decides to sabotage her rivals´work helped by her handsome designer, who starts dating Laura Crane  in order to steal their designs. Crane Creations is in danger of being destroyed…

From my point of view, this book is quite entertaining but I found it a bit simple. Anyway, it has a lot of vocabulary related to fashion which I didn´t know, and there is a lot of information about this topic that is fairly interesting.

Valoración: 4/5

Ana Fernández-Cervera Blanco  2ºNI