Tag: Books: Translated Texts

Review: A Secret Kept

Posted 13 November, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

A bit off-topic but I seem to be on a roll with my book reviews right now! xD

A Secret Kept
By: Tatiana de Rosnay

Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island , where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Trapped in the wake of a family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts – as a son, a husband, a brother and a father – Antoine Rey will soon learn the shocking truth about his family and himself.

So this is the second de Rosnay book I read this year; I read Sarah’s Key a few months ago and found it to be absolutely enthralling. So I decided to pick up this novel as the synopsis sounded intriguing. As a random off-side before I begin my review, I seem to read her books pretty quickly–I think it’s because I can’t seem to put them down after I start! lol Major spoilers ahead!

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Review: The Invisible City

Posted 7 November, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Invisible City
By: Emili Rosales

Emili Rosell, the young owner of one of Barcelona’s top galleries, receives an old manuscript written by an Italian architect about the ‘Invisible City’ – an ambitious project dreamt up by King Charles III to build an alternative capital city in the Ebro delta. The manuscript tells of a lost masterpiece by the Venetian painter Tiepolo, and the site of the Invisible City is where Emili used to play as a child; drawn in by these factors, he is plunged into a fascinating extinct world. Juxtaposing the eighteenth-century royal court life and the contemporary art world – both with a similar share of intrigue, politics and romance – “The Invisible City” is a gripping historical mystery and a compelling examination of the forces of power and love.

I picked this book up on a whim as I was browsing through the bookstore a while ago. Three things caught my attention that led me to picking it up: 1) the title and the subject; my knowledge of this Charles III’s period from Western Europe is not so great compared to Imperial Russia around the same time period. Plus, I’ve always been interested in architecture, 2) that it was written by a Catalan author; I have a soft spot for Catalonia after studying them from an ethnic/national identity point of view and 3) Carlos Ruiz Zafon, the author of The Shadow of the Wind, gave a stellar review of the book. So I read it. Some spoilers ahead!

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Meme: Teaser Tuesdays

Posted 17 October, 2011 by Lianne in Meme / 11 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

I have a few teasers this week because I’m juggling three novels at the moment (now that I have all of this free time it’s like whoo-hoo, books! for me xD). My first teaser:

“The people of Yorkshire remembered Towton as ‘a great battle’, according to the Arrivall, an official Yorkist account of events, but the memory was bitter because in that battle were slain ‘many of their fathers, their sons, their brethren and kinsmen, and many other of their neighbours.’ The slaughter of Towton broke the power of the great families of the north, and the Lancastrians lost some of their best captains: the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Randolph Dacre of Gilsland, Lord Scrope of Bolton, Sir Richard Percy, Lords Welles Willoughby and Neville, and Sir Andrew Trollope were among the fallen.”
– p. 284, Lancaster and York: The War of the Roses by Alison Weir

That…was a lot longer than I expected when I first started typing that out xD Anyways, this is the current nonfiction book that I’m reading; while I’ve always heard of and roughly knew what the War of the Roses was about, I never really understood the intricacies involved in the conflict. After catching up with GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, I decided to check out the history behind the War of the Roses. I’ve heard wonderful things about Alison Weir and her work so I chose her volume. I’ve got a third left to go and it’s been a fascinating read; she does a wonderful job at conveying the events of the conflict and the build up to the confrontation.

“Within six months he was the size of a sheep, and at the end of the year he was as big as a colt. In desperation the family began to question whether he would ever stop growing and whether he was really a dog.”
– p. 19, The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

Strange teaser, eh? lol. This book has been on my radar for a very long time now, maybe since I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s A Hundred Years of Solitude; I was curious to know what other novels were out there that adopted the magical realism aspect. I’m not that far into the novel but it’s pretty wonderous so far, I’m looking forward to really getting into the story.

“Yes, I had a story, a true story, a story of haunting and evil, fear and confusion, horror and tragedy. But it was not a story to be told for casual entertainment, around the fireside upon Christmas Eve.”
– p. 21, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The last of my teasers for today =P I’ve heard of this story casually in passing but it wasn’t until the trailer to newest adaptation coming out next year (starring Daniel Radcliffe) that my attention really turned to this novel. It’s a very slim volume and I’m looking forward to reading it; I consider it my Hallowe’en read =P

Review: The Time In Between

Posted 15 October, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Time In Between
By: Maria Duenas

Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Algiers by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.

I received an advanced reading copy of this novel from GoodReads, which is pretty exciting considering this book has been on my want-to-read pile since I first heard of it back in April thanks to the Guardian‘s New Europe series. It’s always cool to find out about what’s new and generating buzz in different countries. Spoilers ahead!

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Review: The Flanders Panel

Posted 23 June, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Flanders Panel
By: Arturo Perez-Reverte

While restoring a 15th-century painting which depicts a chess game between the Duke of Flanders and his knight, Julia, a young art expert, discovers a hidden inscription in the corner: Quis Necavit Equitem. Translation: Who killed the knight? Breaking the silence of five centuries, Julia’s hunt for a Renaissance murderer leads her into a modern-day game of sin, betrayal, and death.

This is the third book I’ve read by Perez-Reverte and I have to say, this has to be my favourite from him. Some spoilers ahead!

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