Book Review- Crazy Rich Asians

17027880Title- Crazy Rich Asians
Author- Kevin Kwan
Published-  2013
Genre- Contemporary
Length- 416 pages
Rating- 3.5/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- 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.

Review- This book is ok, it has some funny moments and mildly surprising moments, but it’s nothing to go nuts over.Read More »

Book Review- Hidden Figures

25953369Title- Hidden Figures
Author- Margot Lee Shetterly
Published-  December 2016
Genre- Non-fiction, History, Science
Length- 349 pages
Rating- 3/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space.

Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly these overlooked math whizzes had shots at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black West Computing group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the space race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellects to change their own lives – and their country’s future.

Review- I think how much you enjoy this book will depend on how many sittings you read it in. I think most people would struggle to read it in one sitting, but three or four would be ideal.

The book covers parts of history that most people know nothing about, despite the entire world knowing about the moon landing. The story itself is interesting, and eye opening in terms of the extent of segregation, and particularly the behaviour of the Virginia school system. Personally I wouldn’t have dealt with things as well as these women! There is a lot of discrimination where I work and it makes me incredibly angry but these women just got on with it and managed to change things!Read More »

Book Review- Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between

30253864Title- Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between
Author- Lauren Graham
Published-  2016
Genre- Biography
Length- 205 pages
Rating- 5/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

Review- I loved this book!

Whenever I consider reading the biography of an actor it is because I really like them in one particular role, so I basically ignore the fact that it’s the actor, and not the character writing the book. In this case I love Lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls obviously, because I’m not a weirdo. Who doesn’t love her? My fiancé that’s who! “Why do they talk so fast?” Err, because they’re amazin!! Anyway………although the stories in this are those of Lauren Graham, in terms of style, this book might as well have been written by Lorelai Gilmore! I guess Lauren and Lorelai are similar and that’s why the character is so great! Read More »

Beautiful Bookstore

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Like most in the online book community I love going into a bookstore (even though I love the convenience and prices of Amazon).

Recently I went to a bookstore in Bath, in the south of England that was really beautiful. I have also been to one of their other branches in St Andrews, in Scotland.

I thought I would just show a bunch of pretty pictures of the stores for you all to enjoy! The shop is called Topping and Company Booksellers and they have branches in Bath, Cambridge and St Andrews. They have a website with a few more pictures too. They aren’t the cheapest but they seem to have a lot of signed copies and they wrap all the books in clear plastic to protect them which I really like. I still have the plastic on my illustrated Harry Potter even though I read it ages ago! They even offer you tea to drink while you browse!

Bath

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Book Review- Everything I Never Told You

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Title- Everything I Never Told You
Author- Celeste Ng
Published-  2014
Genre- Contemporary, literary fiction
Length- 305 pages
Rating- 5/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins this debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart.

Review- It is difficult to know what to say about this book. When a book is this good it’s hard to find any faults with it, meaning that other than gushing praise, there isn’t much to say.Read More »