Review: The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet

Posted 27 August, 2009 by Li in Books / 1 Comment

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet
By: Colleen McCullough

Lizzy Bennet married Mr Darcy, Jane Bennet married Mr Bingley – but what became of the middle daughter, Mary? Discover what came next in the lives and loves of Jane Austen’s much loved Bennet family in this Pride and Prejudice spin-off from an international bestselling author Readers of Pride and Prejudice will remember that there were five Bennet sisters. Now, twenty years on, Jane has a happy marriage and large family; Lizzy and Mr Darcy now have a formidable social reputation; Lydia has a reputation of quite another kind; Kitty is much in demand in London’s parlours and ballrooms; but what of Mary? Mary is quietly celebrating her independence, having nursed her ailing mother for many years. She decides to write a book to bring the plight of the poor to everyone’s attention. But with more resolve than experience, as she sets out to travel around the country, it’s not only her family who are concerned about her. Marriage may be far from her mind, but what if she were to meet the one man whose own fiery articles infuriate the politicians and industrialists? And if when she starts to ask similar questions, she unwittingly places herself in great danger?

I picked this book up on a whim the same day I bought Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife. I thought it was an interesting premise that the book would focus on Mary, given what little she involved she was in Pride and Prejudice (in comparison to her other sisters); not to mention after Lizzie and Jane, I had a soft spot for Mary precisely because she was rather marginalised from the rest of the family. The blurb above also intrigued me so I figured why not? Having finished reading it…uh, yeaaaahhh…

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Meme: Teaser Tuesdays

Posted 25 August, 2009 by Li in Meme / 4 Comments

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page
– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
– Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Should Be Reading

My teaser for this week: “On top of the table Neil noticed a selection of small china figurines that Alice collected, adding a homey touch to the room. Last Christmas, Neil had bought her one, a little shepherdess leaning forward to gather a stray lamb, and Alice had been so happy that he had thought she might kiss him, but she hadn’t.” – p. 19, Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. I finally got a hold of this book now that it’s in paperback and have started reading it—am looking forward to it! 🙂

Meme: Musing Mondays

Posted 23 August, 2009 by Li in Meme / 5 Comments

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book series…

Do you prefer to read stand-alone books, or books in series? Do you stick with a series the whole way through or stop after the first instalment? Are there any particular series you enjoy?(question courtesy of Elena)

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It doesn’t matter to me, really; if the novel catches my attention, I’ll read it 🙂 The books I read that are in series however usually comes from the fantasy genre; in such cases, I find myself keeping to trilogies, probably because it’s easier on the wallet and the bookshelf (probably why I prefer standalones these days too), lol. I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been going for standalones more often, probably because my tastes in books are expanding. But like I said, if the premise sounds interesting, I’ll go for it regardless of how many books are in the series.

For the most part, I do stick with a series the whole way, especially if I enjoyed it (and especially if they’re trilogies). There are two cases that spring to mind where where I didn’t continue in the series: George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (dunno why I haven’t gotten around to the rest of the series (probably has to do with the gritty realism in the novel—I’m not going to spoil you the series if you haven’t read it or are planning to but something happened in the story that shocked me because I didn’t expect it. Suffice to say it was my first taste of the new trend in the fantasy genre) but I think it’s time to get around to catching up) and Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora (which was a good book btw). Oh! I’ve also stopped reading the Shopaholic series (I didn’t enjoy Shopaholic and Sister that much, should’ve stopped at Shopaholic Ties the Knot).

Favourite series that come to mind (this is excluding trilogies as I would start naming a ton of books) include Pratchett’s Discworld novels and Keyes’s Kingdom of Thorn and Bone quartet 🙂

Review: The Time Traveller’s Wife

Posted 20 August, 2009 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

The Time Traveller’s Wife
By: Audrey Niffenegger

When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was six. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. Henry and Clare’s attempts to live normal lives are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control, making their passionate love story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. The Time Traveller’s Wife is a story of fate, hope and belief, and more than that, it’s about the power of love to endure beyond the bounds of time.

I’ve been debating back and forth whether or not to check this book out for the longest time. Then the trailer for the movie came out and that was when I decided to check the book out. As I mentioned for my Teaser Tuesday this week I’ve been re-reading LOTR lately but I decided to start reading The Time Traveller’s Wife as well, try to minimize the TBR list before I move in a few weeks. I was quite surprised that I was unable to put it down at all today (I say quite surprised because even after picking it up I’ve been rather guarded towards the book—the reviews have been either positive or negative)!—so much so that I just finished the book a little while ago and am typing this review while the reaction and memory of it is still fresh (shall be returning to Middle Earth shortly). Possibly highly spoilerish review ahead.

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Meme: Musing Mondays (on a Tuesday)

Posted 18 August, 2009 by Li in Meme / 1 Comment

Yeah, I’m a bit late this week with the Musing Mondays (stuff came up yesterday that I had to take care of) but here’s my answer nonetheless:

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about movies …

How do you react to movies made of your favourite books (or even not-so-favourite books)? Do you look forward to seeing them, or avoid them? Do you like to have read the book before seeing the movie?

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It really depends. I guess my usual reaction is scepticism, particularly when it’s just announced that they plan to make a movie out of a favourite book of mine. I try to keep an open mind about it though, especially if the interpretation that’s brought across the big screen by the director is a unique one or an interesting one (or if they did a good job at condensing without losing the core of the novel—LOTR being my prime example here). However, if I start hearing that massive changes are being made or certain cast members don’t embody the characters I read, I get even more skeptical. I usually end up watching anyways just to see what they did with the novel, try to keep an open mind at the interpretation that’s being presented from book-to-movie. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t (Eragon comes to mind as an example of a not-so-good/downright bad/Jeremy Irons was the only good thing that came out of the movie adaptation).

I don’t necessarily have to read the book before I see the movie but it would be nice. Sometimes I find out after the fact, which is okay (Master and Commander is an example of such instances) but I do try to read the book first (The Time Traveller’s Wife being the current situation here) 🙂