Books 49 to 56
So, in my Bucket List quest to read at least 80 books, this is my 7th list of 8 books that I've held onto. As explained in my blogs previously, my lists are an eclectic mix of book types. Hopefully you'll see something that you might read on a rainy day. (See Blog 16, Blog 22, Blog 32, Blog 38, Blog 48 and Blog 65 for my previous book-related blogs).
49 The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas … by John Boyne
Nine year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution or the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.
Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.
This book seems to garner a strong reaction with people loving or hating it. I believe it’s intended for the younger end of the young adult range and the presentation is fairly simplistic. Boyne himself describes it as a fable, that is a fiction story with a moral, and I think that is a good description.
Writing from the point of view of the very naïve nine year old Bruno is very effective and makes the reader work a little harder to sort out events. – Mary@80b480
An account of a dreadful episode, short on actual horror but packed with overtones that remain in the imagination. Plainly and sometimes archly written, it stays just ahead of its readers before delivering its killer punch in the final pages -- Nick Tucker ― Independent Published On: 2006-01-13
A small wonder of a book. Bruno's education is conducted slowly, through a series of fleeting social encounters rather than by plunging him into a nightmare landscape ― Guardian Published On: 2006-01-21
An extraordinary tale of friendship and the horrors of war seen through the eyes of two young boys, it's stirring stuff. Raw literary talent at its best. More please! ― Irish Independent Published On: 2005-12-17
Quite impossible to put down, this is the rare kind of book that doesn't leave your head for days. Word of mouth should be strong and this has the potential to cross over to an adult audience. A unique and captivating novel, which I believe deserves huge success -- Becky Stadwick ― The Bookseller Published On: 2005-08-12
About The Author
John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. The winner of three Irish Book Awards, he is the author of thirteen novels for adults, six for younger readers and a collection of short stories. The international bestseller The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was made into a Miramax feature film and has sold more than eleven million copies worldwide. His novels are published in over fifty languages. He lives in Dublin. www.johnboyne.com.
50 The Colour of Law … by Mark Gimenez
A partner at a prominent law firm is forced to choose between his enviable lifestyle and doing the right thing. Former college football star Scott Fenney has worked his way to the top of the heap at the Dallas firm of Ford Stevens. But when Clark McCall, wayward son of a Texas politician, gets himself murdered after a night of booze, drugs, and rough sex, Scott is assigned to defend the prime suspect, a heroine-addicted hooker named Shawanda Jones. The powers that be want her convicted—and Scott’s future at the firm may depend on it. But unfortunately for Scott, Shawanda claims she’s innocent, and he believes her.
I loved the characters and their progress in the book, be it for negative or positive. I loved how the book held me until the final pages and never gave the game away. – Mary@80b480
One of the most promising American lawyer-writers I've read recently. It's a Grisham-like novel about a slick, successful, ambitious Dallas corporate lawyer whose life changes when he has to defend a black prostitute accused of murder. ― Guardian
A compulsive read that owes its heart, soul and passion to Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. Warning: you can lose an entire lazy Sunday to this one. ― Time Out
At least once a year a new legal thriller hits the shelves, hyped to the stars, with promises that the author will be 'the next John Grisham.' Usually, the fanfare is wasted, the hype is a lie and the promises fall flat because the book isn't very good. Not so with Mark Gimenez' compelling debut, The Color of Law. ― Chicago Sun-Times
The Color of Law is more than just a highly readable legal thriller. It's also a blistering attack on both the legal profession and super-rich Texans in Dallas. ― Washington Post
Gimenez does a fine job with the plot; lots of twists and the courtroom scenes are great. ― Globe and Mail
A good story, which Gimenez tells with passion and conviction ― Sunday Telegraph
About The Author
Mark Gimenez grew up in Galveston County, Texas, and attended Texas State University and Notre Dame Law School. He practiced law and was a partner in a large Dallas firm. He is the author of eleven novels—The Color of Law, The Abduction, The Perk, The Common Lawyer, Accused, The Governor's Wife, Con Law, The Case Against William, The Absence of Guilt, End of Days (Con Law II), and Tribes—as well as a children's novel, Parts & Labor: The Adventures of Max Dugan. His books have received critical acclaim around the world. They have been bestsellers in the UK, Ireland, Australia, India, and South Africa and have been translated into fifteen foreign languages. The Perk won a spot in Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke.
51 The Doctor's Wife … by Brian Moore
Sheila Redden, a quiet, 37-year-old doctor's wife, has long been looking forward to returning with her husband to the town where they spent their honeymoon over twenty years ago. Little does she suspect that after a chance encounter in Paris she will end up spending her holiday with a man she has only just met, an American man ten years her junior.
Four weeks later, Sheila is nowhere to be found. Owen Deane, her brother, follows her steps to Paris in the hopes of shedding some light on her disappearance, but soon begins to wonder if she will ever reappear.
Interspersed with Sheila's harrowing memories of her hometown of Ulster at the height of the troubles, this is a compelling and powerful tale of love, escape and abandon.
Great story and understanding of the characters. Moore writes very well about female characters and their interactions with men. This was about a Doctor's wife leaving home and his struggle to understand why. Both characters realistically portrayed. Very enjoyable read. – Mary@80b480
'The subject - an ordinary woman seized by love for a younger man in the middle of her life - supplies just the right material for Mr. Moore's tender, probing technique. It is uncanny: No other male writer, I swear (and precious few females), knows so much about women' - Sunday Telegraph
'Near perfection... one of the outstanding works of fiction of the year.'- The Times
'A splendidly bracing experience.' - New Statesman
About The Author
Brian Moore (1921–1999) was born into a large, devoutly Catholic family in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His father was a surgeon and lecturer, and his mother had been a nurse. Moore left Ireland during World War II and in 1948 moved to Canada, where he worked for the Montreal Gazette, married his first wife, and began to write potboilers under various pen names, as he would continue to do throughout the 1950s.
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1955, now available as an NYRB Classic), said to have been rejected by a dozen publishers, was the first book Moore published under his own name, and it was followed by nineteen subsequent novels written in a broad range of modes and styles, from the realistic to the historical to the quasi-fantastical, including The Luck of Ginger Coffey, An Answer from Limbo, The Emperor of Ice Cream, I Am Mary Dunne, Catholics, Black Robe, and The Statement. Three novels--Lies of Silence, The Colour of Blood, and The Magician’s Wife—were short-listed for the Booker Prize, and The Great Victorian Collection won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
After adapting The Luck of Ginger Coffey for film in 1964, Moore moved to California to work on the script for Alfred Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain. He remained in Malibu for the rest of his life, remarrying there and teaching at UCLA for some fifteen years. Shortly before his death, Moore wrote, “There are those stateless wanderers who, finding the larger world into which they have stumbled vast, varied and exciting, become confused in their loyalties and lose their sense of home. I am one of those wanderers.”
52 The Essential Manager: 30 Core Elements of Leadership …
My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!