I’m done with school (for now) which means that there’s no such thing as summer reading– in fact, I’m probably enjoying my final free summer, which means that I want to fill it with as much reading as possible. I took a trip to the […]
Robert Galbraith’s debut novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, is among my favorite books of 2016. The Cuckoo’s Calling is a detective novel; it isn’t a thriller, so it doesn’t rely on scare tactics to advance the plot. Galbraith builds suspense instead of fear, creating compelling characters […]
Given my status as a French student, my frequent trips to France, and my general love of French things, I often receive France-related gifts. Paris-themed journals, jewelry, trinkets, and decor all find their way into my collection. I acquired Paris: The Novel by a similar means. A friend gave me a copy of this book, because she loved it and wanted me to read it. My mother had similarly suggested that I read it, so given the double recommendation I knew I had to pick it up. Unfortunately, I procrastinated reading Paris for months (is it possible to procrastinate on recreational reading?) because of its size. At just over 800 pages, Paris is a serious commitment, but it didn’t take me as long to read as I thought it would. The novel held my interest until the last page, in part because of Rutherfurd’s variety of characters. The story takes place over hundreds of years, but it is not chronological and jumps back and forth between different eras. Paris follows six Parisian families through time,
Paris by Edward Rutherfurd is an excellent revision of French history. I have a good understanding of French history because I am a French Studies major, but for somebody with little knowledge of French history it is an entertaining way to learn about the past. Paris: The Novel provides insight into what people might have been thinking and feeling in different eras, which is one of the strengths of the historical fiction genre. Rutherfurd’s characters are remarkable: because of the length of the story, the reader has the opportunity to watch characters grow and develop, as well as understand their ancestral roots. The six families portrayed in the novel represent many facets of French life: there are bourgeois business-owners, revolutionaries, aristocrats, and more. Some characters are loveable while others are unsavory, but they are all believable. What impressed me the most was Rutherfurd’s mastery of his own text. Not only does he have a massive body of historical knowledge, but he is able to weave his characters in and out of the story in a logical but surprising manner. Touching, entertaining, and educational all at once, Paris is a novel for lovers of historical fiction,”the City of Lights,” and history.
I rarely blog about books that I read for school; although there probably is a niche market for Henry James reviews, somehow I think that the public is more interested in contemporary literature. However, Astonish Me is a 2014 novel that one of my professors used in […]
An Abundance of Katherines was the fifth and final John Green novel I have read (along with Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and Will Grayson). I think it is one of his better novels, though all of his novels are good. (I […]
I had little to no expectations for Courtney Maum’s novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, but the interesting cover art and the promising synopsis (as well as the $2.00 used-book price I was offered) led me to purchase the novel. I was pleasantly surprised: while the book could perhaps be classified as “chick-lit,” Maum delves deeper into the meaning of marriage than your average rom-com. The book stars Richard Haddon, a middle aged English artist caught in an affair by his flawless French wife. Heartbroken by the loss of his lover and disappointed by his willingness to sell-out his political art for more profitable and sentimental works, Richard embarks on a personal journey to rediscover himself and save his marriage. He meets eccentric art buyers and endearing couples, experimenting with his art and nursing his heartache. Richard reflects on his life, his marriage, and the mistake that was his affair, rediscovering his love for his wife and struggling to win her back. Maum uses humor to examine monogomy and art in a moving novel about the power of marriage and love, set against the brilliant backdrop of Paris. Light but touching, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You exceeded expectations.
Ken Follet’s acclaimed novel combines historical fiction and family drama. The story takes place in the middle ages, a saga that follows cathedral builders and their loved ones. A thousand pages long, the book is a commitment, but it reads quickly. Follet is a descriptive […]
I knew as soon as I read the back of this book that I had to read it. It’s dangerous going into a book with expectations, but Shotgun Lovesongs met every one– and gave me a few surprises. I loved this book, which follows the […]
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s dark novel, has made waves in the book world as well as on screen. The mystery follows the disappearance of a beautiful woman named Amy. Where is Amy? Is she dead? Who did it? The book is full of surprises and twisted characters, enhanced by Flynn’s depiction of the way the media can affect a case. The novel is the inverse of a fairytale: instead of ending with a happily-ever-after, it begins with happily-ever-after gone wrong. If you are looking for a book with relatable characters or a positive outlook on romantic relationships, this one probably isn’t for you. But if you enjoy suspense or are looking for a true page-turner, look no further. Psychologically intriguing but utterly jarring, Gone Girl is not for the faint of heart.
If perhaps you are curious about Gone Girl, but not interested in reading the book, I would recommend watching the film. It is one of the best page-to-screen adaptations I have ever seen, with notable performances by Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, and Neal Patrick Harris. Regardless of the film’s association with a novel, it is an excellent thriller.