Friday, 25 February 2011

Burton on Burton

Burton on Burton was a Christmas present; maybe one of my better ones.  I hadn't read anything for a while and this was the perfect fix for my reading drought.  The book is made up of interviews conducted around the time of each of Tim Burton's films up until 2005 (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Corpse Bride).  How the contents are arranged makes it easy just to dip in and out of chapters without following a chronological order.  It may be a tad repetitive in parts, but it is still informative for any Burton fan.  As a bonus, the updated version that I received has not one, but two forewords from Johnny Depp.  I found both equally brilliant, as they were pre and post families so they offered different perspectives.  Like a crazy person, I could hear Depp's voice in my head reading the words to me.

Nerd Do Well.

Simon Pegg's autobiography, Nerd Do Well, was simply brilliant.  While he doesn't divulge into too many personal details or much after his success, it's still somehow a laugh out loud read.  Yes, his inner film geek is out and proud and at times he can sound pompous but the fictional portions with super suave spy Pegg and his robot butler Canterberry more than make up for this.  I would rush chapters just to get to the next installment of their adventure, and would definately recommed this for any fan of Pegg's work.

The Remains of the Day

In short summary, Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day is narrated by a gentleman named Mr Stevens, who is on a road trip that stirs memories from his career as a butler at the prestigous Darlington Hall.

I was unsure about the book at first but picked it up anyway because I loved both Never Let Me Go and the short story collection Nocturnes by the same author.  It wasn't until Stevens recollects the employment of his elderly father at the Darlington hall that I became engrossed with the story.  It's wonderfully written, in that you bustle along thinking that not a lot is happening and it's just someone pondering about moments in their life and examples of being a good butler.  However, ever so subtley, the reliability of narrator is called into question towards the end of the book, especially when scenes in the present don't match up with that of what Stevens has recounted of his past.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Bite size reviews

Meet Mr Mulliner  (P.G Wodehouse) contained short stories that are told by the titular Mr Mulliner, often concerning his relatives and their sometimes far flung and slapstick adventures.  Fun and silly, it kept me entertained on tedious train journeys.
Nocturnes (Kazuo Ishiguro) contained five short stories about 'music and nightfall'.  It wasn't a straight read like Ishiguro's other novels that I have read previously and at times I had to revisit certain passages to make sure that I understood them fully.  All five stories are completely different; some are heartbreaking like the one about a man who hires a young musician to serenade his wife, while others are frustrating like that of the man who goes to stay with friends who seem to be at a crises point within their marriage.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Jane Austin and Seth Grahame Smith) was again another book that was taken on one of my many train journeys.  All I can say is that I honestly tried.  I like Pride and Prejudice.  I like zombies!  I even have a shirt saying I love zombies!  My friends liked it and generally, that's enough for me.  However, as it turns out, it's not.  I managed to read four chapters in the correct, chronological, order and proceeded to skim the rest of the book, and it was just blah.  The pictures were pretty but that's about the only good thing I can say. 
Hollywood Undercover (Ian Halperin) was a quick weekend read as a prelude for my fast approaching trip to L.A .  Much like Pegg, all the salacious details are left out, and much like Mr Stevens, I was left questioning the reliability of the gossip that was, sometimes cryptically, divulged. Otherwise it's just a romp through the back workings of Hollywood.  I got 3/4 of the way through and became somewhat disillusioned with it.  The only part that I found intriguing was the section on Scientology, and after that had passed there wasn't really a lot going for this book.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Sounds like a improv beatnick preformance at a jazz club...

Welcome to the world of a pancake!  No, this blog isn't going to be about my cooking attempts (although they may sneak in there sometimes) but rather, I hope, will be a book review site.
  At the moment I have no job, most of my friends have moved away and moved on and my boyfriend lives in Norwich and wants me to move there.  So hence, at the moment, my life is feeling a bit like a pancake.  To keep me occupied, and perhaps let my parents think I'm doing something other than claiming squatters rights in their house, I've decided to keep a blog on one of the only things that keeps me sane: reading.

If anyone reads this, I hope you enjoy the at times random selection of books that I obtain from the local library and the extensive household collection (my mum's a book addict, the postman has gotten used to being mobbed by her when an Amazon/Waterstone's package needs to be delivered) that seems to be taking over....