I have two more exams left, one of which is my English Literature A2 exam this Thursday, and then my A2 French written exam on Monday. The only thing keeping me motivated is the fact I have less than a week left of revision and stress, and then I have all the time in the world to catch up on TV shows, and I will also be able to finally read some of the books that have been on my bookshelf for way too long. So, I thought I would write about those books that I haven’t had time to read, and give you a bit of a background behind them (the plot, who it’s by etc. etc…)
Time Riders: The Infinity Cage, by Alex Scarrow
This is the 9th book in the “Time Riders” series, by Alex Scarrow, and is also the finale. I have started reading it, but because I have so many other books to read for English, I’ve put it aside for the time being. And also, it’s the last in the series so I don’t really want them to end!
The series is about three teenagers, Maddy, Liam and Sal, who are all from different time periods but are recruited by the mysterious Foster, and their mission is to prevent time travel from creating an alternate path and changing events in the future.
“The Infinity Cage” has been out for about 7 months, but the first one came out in 2010 (it’s simply called “Time Riders”). What I like about Scarrow is that he wrote two books per year which is absolutely amazing, and it meant that once I’d read one book, the next one would be coming out soon afterwards so there wasn’t such a long wait and you don’t really forget what happened in the previous book. I really like how Scarrow has combined science fiction with history and there are very humorous parts, and I find the three protagonists are very believable. With each book, my favourite character tends to change from one to the other, depending on the choices they make. There are so many twists in this series, with many of the books ending on cliff-hangers. I would say that this series is for young teenagers, maybe aged between 12 and 15, but I still love them and I’m 18, so I guess it’s all based on personal preference!
The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon
The next book is one I’ve had on my bookshelf for a year at least. It’s described as a “supernatural dystopian novel”, and is the first of a seven book series.
“The Bone Season” is set in the year 2059, and follows the story of 19 year old Paige Mahoney. Paige is a “dreamwalker”, and is able to move in and out of minds of other people around her. She is later on attacked and kidnapped, and taken away to Oxford, which has been kept a secret for 200 years…
I haven’t read this book, but it intrigues me. I love science fiction, and the fact that this is a “supernatural dystopian novel” was part of the reason why I bought the book in the first place- that, and the fact that I may have kinda judged the book by its cover. (It looks so pretty!) I will probably do a review on it once I’ve read it. By researching the plot a bit further, it seems that there is an element of romance, which isn’t always my thing but I still want to give the book a try. (It kind of reminds me of Divergent, but then I’ve only seen the film!)
How to Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran
I love Caitlin Moran’s articles. She’s the type of journalist I’d love to be like, because she’s funny, she has a cool style, I love her hair… she just seems like a really cool person. “How to Build a Girl” is about 14 year old Johanna Morrigan, living in Wolverhampton in the 1990’s, and wants to change herself. She wants to “build a new girl out of library books, pop music, eyeliner and feedback!”
Reading the blurb of the book again reminds me of why I got the book in the first place. It looks funny, it seems incredibly relateable for almost all teenage girls, as quite often we aren’t always happy with what we look like. This book (from what I know) follows the story of a girl who wants to change herself for the better, but by the looks of things, much of what she hoped for doesn’t really go to plan.
The Underground Girls of Kabul, by Jenny Nordberg
I have a just a little bit of an interest in Afghanistan culture and history. I started when I read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini, which led me to read all of his books, and then I decided it was time to start reading some non-fiction. “The Underground Girls of Kabul”, by Jenny Nordberg is about the “hidden lives of Afghan girls disguised as boys”. Nordberg herself is an investigative journalist, and in this book she “writes a powerful and moving account about those secretly living on the other side of a society where women have almost no rights”.
The book follows the lives of four women: Azita, who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter into a boy; Zahra, a tomboy teen who struggles with her parents efforts to turn her “back into a girl”; Shukira, now married and a mother after 20 years of being a man; and Nader, who remains in a male disguise as an adult.
This book really appeals to me, because it looks like it could be one of the most different things I’ve read. In the past, I’ve never been a big fan of non-fiction, but I think “The Underground Girls of Kabul” will be the biggest eye opener for me, and of course anyone else who reads it.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Tom Sawyer. Am I the only one who hasn’t gotten around to reading it yet? The main reason I want to read it is because it is such a classic, and it’s annoying me that I haven’t read it yet. It’s been on my shelves for probably about 6 months and I always say “Okay, I’ll read that one next”, but something else always crops up.
For those of you who don’t already know the story, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is about… well… a lad called Tom Sawyer. He and his friend Huckleberry Finn (you’ve probably heard of him as well) witness an attack in a graveyard by Injun Joe, who blames an innocent man, and then they go to court, and there’s all this drama, and there’s also a bit of a treasure hunt… you really should read it. As should I…
The Farm, by Tom Rob Smith
I love thrillers. And this particular thriller reminds me a lot of “Gone Girl”. “The Farm” is another book I started reading, but I do tend to jump between a number of books at the same time. I very quickly found that this book is one you have to really focus on, as you don’t want to miss or forget anything.
One day, Dan gets a phone call from his dad, which changes his life forever (because when doesn’t it?) saying that his mum is sick, and has been for a while. Dan’s father tells him that she’s “been imagining things- terrible, terrible things…”. Enough to make anyone worried, right? But when Dan gets a message from his mother, telling him not to believe a word his father has told him, who should he believe?
I can’t wait to start reading this book properly, without any distractions. It’s quite a thick book, and has 351 pages of suspense. My copy has red on the outline of each page, so when it’s closed it’s bright red and stands out and it makes me excited just by looking at it. (Again, judging a book by it’s cover… sorry…)
The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger
Again, another book I should have read by now. I absolutely love the film version of “The Devil Wears Prada”, and have watched it countless times. But, as I’m sure you all agree, the book is normally better than the film.
I’m sure most of you know what happens: a New York girl wants to be a journalist, but gets a job working for Runway Magazine (a magazine she’s never heard of) as an assistant of Miranda Priestly, editor of the world’s most fashionable magazine.
I know from watching the film that it’s funny, there’s a bit of romance, there’s a lot of frustration and you come to understand why the fashion industry is so competitive- everyone seems to hate each other. I can’t wait to read this book, because compared to a lot of other books I’ve read this year, it seems more of an “easy read”, and I want to read something for enjoyment. I think “The Devil Wears Prada” will really fit in that category.
Goodbye to Berlin, by Christopher Isherwood
Okay, I swear I’m nearly done! I wasn’t expecting this to be as long as it is.
The next book was one recommended by a University lecturer at Birmingham, which is “Goodbye to Berlin”. It’s a fairly small book, set in Berlin before and after the rise to power of the Nazi’s. The narrator is also called Christopher Isherwood, but from what I remember, it’s only semi-autobiographical. We see the events of the book through the eyes of different characters, and overall I think it will make an interesting read, especially if you’re a history fan, like myself.
“Goodbye to Berlin” is a fairly short book, with six sections. I don’t really know if “chapters” are the right way to describe them.
OH MY GOD you guys, I was just flicking through the pages of my copy, AND I FOUND SOMEONE’S OLD PLANE TICKET? I bought this book online (second hand). What the heck???
The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton
I’ve wanted to read “The Miniaturist” pretty much since it was released. It is set in 1686, and is based around 18 year old Nella Oortman, who comes to Amsterdam to start a new life with a merchant trader, Johannes Brandt, as his wife. Johannes presents her with a gift: a cabinet sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by “an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways…”
When I first got this book, I wasn’t really sure what the genre was. I thought it may just be historical, maybe a bit romantic, but I was expecting it to be “full of suspense”. I haven’t read the book, but I’ve heard much about it and I’m really looking forward to see what it has to offer.
The Life and Loves of a He Devil (a memoir), by Graham Norton
And finally, I really really want to read Graham Norton’s autobiography. I got it for Christmas, and have wanted to read it ever since. I’ve found that by studying English Literature at A-level, you really can’t read things for enjoyment. But as of next week this will all be different!
I love Graham Norton’s chat show, I watch it religiously and it has to be recorded, even if I am able to watch it live. So the fact that I haven’t read his autobiography yet is killing me a little bit inside. I guess I don’t really need to talk about this autobiography, because they tend to be pretty self-explanatory, and you can always google it. I’m hoping there’ll be a chapter on where he gets his suits, because I really need someone to style me in the same fabulous way!
Graham is also a dog lover. I love dogs. It’s like we were meant to be! I don’t usually read many autobiographies but this is one that I just have to read ASAP.
I hope you enjoyed my little list of books that I have to read! Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to be so long, but that just shows how much I am procrastinating right now instead of revising for my English exam. Seriously, this post took me like an hour to write!
Have you read any of the books mentioned above? If so, please tell me what you thought of them! That would be very helpful.