Tag: Books: Contemporary

Review: The Royal We

Posted 4 September, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Royal We
By: Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

Okay, everyone was reading this back in late spring/early summer and I heard so many good things about it, the royal watcher in me couldn’t resist, I had to check it out 😛 May contain some spoilers ahead!

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Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Posted 1 September, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommends
Edited By: Katarina Bivald
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of the publishers via GoodReads First Reads Programme

It all began with a correspondence between two quite different women: 28-year-old Sara from Haninge, Sweden, and 65-year-old Amy from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. After years of exchanging books, letters and thoughts on the meaning of literature and life, Sara, mousy, disheveled, who has never been anywhere in her life–has really lived only for her work in a beloved bookshop, which has just closed its doors for the last time–bravely decides to accept her unknown friend’s invitation to visit. But when she arrives, she finds her house empty, the funeral guests just heading home. . .

Sara finds herself alone. And what choice do the inhabitants of Broken Wheel have but to take care of their bewildered tourist? And what choice does Sara have, faced with a town where nobody reads and her desire to honour her friend, but to set up the perfect bookshop with all the books she and Amy shared–from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi to Iris Murdoch and Jo Nesbo, to Bridget Jones and Doug Coupland’s All Families Are Psychotic to Little House on the Prairie? And then watch as the townsfolk are, one by one, transformed in unexpected ways. . .

I didn’t know about this delightful book until I saw it listed as a Goodreads giveaway. I love books about books and book readers (see list) so this sounded like the perfect book. What more can I say? So I was delighted when I learned that I won an ARC of this novel for review. This book will be available on 25 August 2015.

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Review: The Mystics of Mile End

Posted 27 August, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Mystics of Mile End
By: Sigal Samuel
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

The Meyer family lives in Mile End, home to a mashup of hipsters and Hasidic Jews, where down the street crazy Mr. Katz is building a tree out of plucked leaves, toilet paper rolls, and dental floss. When David, a skeptical professor of religion, is diagnosed with an unusual heart murmur, he becomes convinced that his heart is whispering divine secrets.

But when David’s frenzied attempts to ascend the Tree of Life lead to tragedy, his daughter Samara, who abruptly abandoned religion years earlier, believes it is up to her to finish what she started. As Samara’s brother documents her increasingly strange behaviour, it falls to next-door neighbour and Holocaust survivor Chaim Glassman to shatter the silence that divides the members of the Meyer family. But can he break through to them in time?

I first heard of this novel from Tanya @ 52 books or bust when she posted her review of the novel. She enjoyed the novel and the premise really intrigued me so I kept a lookout for it 🙂

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Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Posted 26 August, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Crazy Rich Asians
By: Kevin Kwan
Format/Source: Paperback; was a gift from Hadas @ Common Room

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry.

Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

This was one of the “it” books…last year, I believe? It was just everywhere. Naturally I was intrigued by this book as it focused on the upper classes amongst the Chinese, both from the old money and the nouveau rich, those who were overseas and those from the mainland. My awesome IGGPPC penpal Hadas (from Common Room; you should check out their website btw) sent me a copy of this book–thanks again! It came at the perfect time 🙂

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Review: Dear Committee Members

Posted 24 August, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Dear Committee Members
By: Julie Schumacher
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can’t catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville’s Bartleby.

In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.

This book has been on my wishlist ever since I first heard of it. Academia + letters of reference + passive-aggressive professor = why not? I was so happy when my pre-ordered paperback arrived that I started reading the book immediately xD

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