Review: The Pigeon Tunnel

Posted 3 August, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life
By: John le Carre
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

“Out of the secret world I once knew, I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit. First comes the imagining, then the search for reality. Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I’m sitting now.”

From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, le Carré has always written from the heart of modern times. In this, his first memoir, le Carré is as funny as he is incisive, reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he’s writing about the parrot at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine gun fire or the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth, visiting Rwanda’s museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide, celebrating New Year’s Eve 1982 with Yasser Arafat and his high command, interviewing a German woman terrorist in her desert prison in the Negev, listening to the wisdoms of the great physicist, dissident, and Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, meeting with two former heads of the KGB, watching Alec Guinness prepare for his role as George Smiley in the legendary BBC TV adaptations, or describing the female aid worker who inspired the main character in The Constant Gardener, le Carré endows each happening with vividness and humor, now making us laugh out loud, now inviting us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood.

Best of all, le Carré gives us a glimpse of a writer’s journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

From the books I’ve read so far by John le Carre, I’ve really enjoyed them, so I was really curious when he released a book about his own experiences and impressions. The book went on sale a few years ago so I snatched it up but then it stayed on my TBR pile for some time–like many of my other books–until a few months ago when I just had the urge to start this book.

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Review: Before the Fall

Posted 1 August, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

Before the Fall
By: Noah Hawley
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

The fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Sort of picked this book up and started reading before I went on holiday; this was the time when I was in a book slump and nothing was piquing my interesting so after the first chapter or so I had put this book back down. After sort of overcoming my book slump upon returning from holiday, I picked this book back up again to finish it 🙂

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July Updates

Posted 31 July, 2018 by Lianne in Website / 1 Comment

I know I say this at the end of the every month but where indeed has the time gone? We are well more than halfway through the year, I’m a month away from heading back to school and it’s been well than a month since I’ve been on holiday and I’ve yet to put together posts about my trip. Anyway. Here’s what has been going on at the blog for the past month:

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  1. Books reviewed this month include: George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo (review), Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter (review), and Julia Quinn’s To Sir Philip, With Love (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. Posted two movie reviews this month: Black Panther (review) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (review). You can check out all of the past movies I’ve watched and reviewed in this tag.
  3. Also briefly reviewed some comics which you can find in this post. You can read all of the comics I’ve reviewed over at this tag.
  4. Notice anything different about the top menu and the side bar? I’ve finally properly added a My Books page about all of my published poetry books to date and where you can get them 🙂 Hurray! And now back to working on my latest book…

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And that’s about it from eclectic tales for the month of July! Wishing everyone a lovely week 🙂

Review: On the Way to the Wedding

Posted 27 July, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons #8)
By: Julia Quinn
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

A funny thing happened …

Unlike most men of his acquaintance, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. And he is convinced that when he finds the woman of his dreams, he will know in an instant that she is the one. And that is exactly what happened. Except …

She wasn’t the one. In fact, the ravishing Miss Hermione Watson is in love with another. But her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from a disastrous alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls in love. With Gregory! Except …

Lucy is engaged. And her uncle is not inclined to let her back out of the betrothal, even once Gregory comes to his senses and realizes that it is Lucy, with her sharp wit and sunny smile, who makes his heart sing. And now, on the way to the wedding, Gregory must risk everything to ensure that when it comes time to kiss the bride, he is the only man standing at the altar …

Or don’t. But rest assured, he’s spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual—and annually discordant—Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth’s every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other . . . and that there is nothing as simple—or as complicated—as a single, perfect kiss.

An infuriating note, but apparently my review was never posted on my blog when I first typed it up and thus I lost my initial impressions of this book #fail Anyhow, here we are, the last book in the Bridgertons series. It’s pretty bittersweet coming to the last book, and I was wondering how the send-off would go.

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Review: It’s In His Kiss

Posted 25 July, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

It’s In His Kiss (Bridgertons #7)
By: Julia Quinn
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

Meet Our Hero . . .

Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth’s sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past . . . and the key to his future. The problem is—it’s written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.

Meet Our Heroine . . .

All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She’s fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken, and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there’s something about her—something charming and vexing—that grabs him and won’t quite let go . . .

Meet Poor Mr. Mozart . . .

Or don’t. But rest assured, he’s spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual—and annually discordant—Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth’s every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other . . . and that there is nothing as simple—or as complicated—as a single, perfect kiss.

Here we go, second to the last Bridgerton book *tear* Kind of savouring these as I go along, but at the same time I couldn’t help it, I needed to read the final two siblings’ stories. It’s also a treat as because they are the youngest and usually when we encounter them in the books they’re just fooling around so it’s nice to actually be focusing on them and who they are. I was pretty excited for this book especially as it crosses with the Smythe-Smith quartet series and the annual musicale (which I recall with fond amusement…I should re-read it one of these days).

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