Tag Archive: Brown


Deception Point – Dan Brown

deception pointTitle: Deception Point

Author: Dan Brown

Date Finished: 30/11/13

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 4/5 – rather good

Wow it’s been a long time since I had time to post on here!  I have been extremely busy with school work, including numerous interviews at universities all round the country!  Hopefully everything will calm down a bit now, leaving me with some time to read over Christmas, but with all the stuff going on musically and at church, I doubt I will get some peace and quiet for a while! Mustn’t grumble though: I love this season and it’s a privilege to be involved in so many different things! – busy in a good way, I call it!

Anyway, back to reading – I finished Deception Point at the end of November although it would’ve been a lot sooner if I’d remembered to pack it for my interview at Manchester University!! I spent 6 hours on the train on my own that day without a book to read…I was not happy! Nevertheless, I read it reasonably quickly once the story had gripped me and I did enjoy it, although at points it was ridiculously unrealistic.

The plot is designed to keep you guessing and gasping all the way through but was definitely ludicrous at points.  To be fair, I’ve come to expect this from Brown’s books and now I’ve accepted how ridiculous the storylines are, I can appreciate how masterfully he manages to keep the suspense building in every sentence on every page.  His books are very hard to put down, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need when reading.

The characters were pretty standard if you’ve read other Brown novels: a hero, a clever, attractive woman, a villain who is infallible until the end and a scapegoat who turns out not guilty at the end!  I didn’t particularly engage with the characters that much, but again, in these kind of books you are not really meant to.  This all sounds a bit negative – I’m not putting Brown down, I am just commenting that the format is quite predictable; it’s not a problem for me.

Overall, the plot was very unique (and silly!) and really did keep me guessing right until the very end and I would recommend this to anyone who wants a good holiday read.  Thanks to everyone who still comes along to read this blog 🙂

End of Year Book Survey: 2012

Book Survey 2012Jamie is hosting the End of Year Book Survey again and I thought I would have a go this year, as it seemed a good way of reflecting on all the amazing books I have read in 2012.  My own quick wrap-up and goals for next year will follow shortly, I expect, but for now….


Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? 

I read several books in 2012 that I awarded 5/5 to but my absolute best book of 2012 has to be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.   Yes, it was a re-read, but it is my favourite book of all time and was amazing this year as well!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I read The Great Gatsby back in January before I started book blogging and was expecting great things from it – so many people study it, I thought it must be really good.  However, I couldn’t get into it and I was relieved that it was so short!  I did put it on my re-read list though, as I assume I missed something.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

I was very surprised (in a good way) with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: I didn’t know what to expect from this book but it was so amazingly intricate and imaginative that it quickly became a firm favourite of mine.

 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

I am going to split this one: the book I recommended most to book bloggers, I think is a tie between To Kill a Mockingbird and Cloud Atlas.  Secondly, the book I recommended most to non-bookish people was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, as I thought them a great series for non-readers to enjoy reading with.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

I didn’t really discover many new series, which is a shame; 2012 seems to be a year where I read a lot more standalones and classics compared to normal where I really enjoy reading series.  I hope in 2013 I will read more of the series I have already started over the past few years.
I did discover The Hunger Games for the first time and also I enjoyed re-reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.

 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Well, I could ramble on this one!  I definitely enjoyed my first Jane Austen (Emma) and my first Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm).  I also discovered that I love Simon Singh‘s way of writing about maths/science too when I read Fermat’s Last Theorem in October.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I wouldn’t say this is out of my comfort zone, but in 2012 I did start reading science/maths novels for the firs time so I guess that counts (again Singh’s Fermat’s Last Theorem and E=mc² by David Bodanis).  Also I read my first books in French – Harry Potter 1 and Fantastic Mr Fox, which was totally new but great.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

I could say either book 1 0r 2 but I will go for book 2: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – I just couldn’t put it down at all.

 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

I try not to re-read books within 18 months of their first reading so here are the 2012 books that I put straight on my re-read list: The Great Gatsby, David Copperfield, Wuthering Heights, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dracula, Cloud Atlas.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Well a lot of the books I read had really nice covers but here are my favourites:

Emma

Great Expectations

Fermat-Last-Theorem

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 

I think this would have to be Lisbeth Salander from Larsson’s books; who is more unique and interesting than Lisbeth?

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

I think I would go with David Copperfield by Charles Dickens for this – amazing writing by Dickens.  (My second choice would be Great Expectations anyway, so good on you Charles!)

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 

I will say To Kill a Mockingbird again, as I just loved it and liked all the characters and felt as though I really knew them. 

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 

This is one is definitely The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: everyone went crazy about this book a couple of years ago, so when I saw it in a charity shop in summer 2011 I bought it…then it took me until summer 2012 to read it!  Although, I do quite like the tradition I seem to have developed of Dan Brown as summer reading…

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read.  One does not love breathing.”  16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?”    Scout Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.  Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”     Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

The longest was David Copperfield at a whopping 1263 pages!! The shortest was Fatastique Maître Renard at only 118 pages.  Numerically, my average book length was about 400 pages, which is pretty good, I think.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

There were definitely lots of gruesome and upsetting scenes in The Kite Runner, which was the first book I read this year (before I started book blogging).

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I think that the relationship between Clare and Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is very unique and also very touching and changes and develops throughout the book.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

The Kalahari Typing School For Men by Alexander McCall Smith was definitely the highlight of January 2012: I adore those books and I am very sad that I haven’t read one since then (I have all the way up to book 10 on my TBR shelf, they just haven’t come around yet).  Watch out for lots more of AMcCS in 2013!

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Lots of the classics I’ve read this year have been due to various bloggers and lists on websites, but there are some books that I was bought by my friends: And This is True by Emily Mackie, The Shadow of the Wind by Carol Ruiz Zafón, Submarine by Joe Dunthorne and The Crow Road by Iain Banks.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

Well, I only started book blogging this year so any book blogs are new to me!  I love them all and I am going to try and be a bit more proactive and discover some more in 2013.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 

Oh um maybe my review of Great Expectations where I rave about re-reading as well.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Some of my non-bookish posts had lots of discussions – notably my posts about my exams, results and holidays; I think it’s important to share other parts of our lives too.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I can remember discussing why books in translation or books in other languages aren’t as popular over at Amanda’s blog.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I don’t think there are many book blogger events in England?  And probably none outside of London so I haven’t been to any, however The Classics Club is definitely a main feature of the book blogging world that I am proud to be a member of.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

For me, it would have to be the 1st March 2012 – the day I wrote my first post on adamsbibliomania!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most popular posts by views are often those that people come across when searching on the internet, for example The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.  My most popular post in terms of comments and activity was my original sign-up to The Classics Club.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Actually my Reading Habits post didn’t seem to get read much…maybe it was a bit text-dense or something.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Definitely the new Penguin English Library books this year – very addictive and attractive!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I wanted to read a classic a month after signing up to The Classics Club in March and in 10 months I have read 8.  That’s not too bad and it’s only November and December that I didn’t manage.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

Oh so many!  But I am halfway through Villette so I am determined to finish that in 2013.  Also I really need to read The Hobbit.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

I’m really looking forward to loads of books in 2013: Pride and Prejudice, more AMcCS…

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

I really just want to improve – so that means do better than last year!  Who knows if this is a possibility or not with my heavier workload in sixth form etc but I think 35 books in the year is a good target to have 🙂

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

Title: The Da Vinci Code

Author: Dan Brown

Date Finished: 16/08/12

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 4/5 – rather good

Last summer I read Dan Brown for the first time: Digital Fortress in July and Angels and Demons in August.  I enjoyed both and bought The Da Vinci Code and Deception Point from charity shops shortly afterwards.  I decided, however, to leave them on the TBR shelf until this summer as I just feel they are perfect summer reads.

Usually, I would think the storylines were ridiculous, but when I’m on holiday, not thinking about school, I want nothing more than to lie back on a sun lounger and read them.  They are very compelling and can be read extremely quickly.  I would recommend any Dan Brown as a holiday read but not so much for other times of the year!

The plot in The Da Vinci Code was surprising – I was expecting something more similar to Angels and Demons.  It had the same kind of twists and turns but it was…less active?  I mean fewer car chases and less running.   It was still very much a page-turner and obviously written very convincingly but all the talk of Mary Magdalene etc etc was beyond silly really.

The characters were so unrealistic!  I don’t think a single one seemed real – most were double-crossing-obsessive-conspiracy-theorists and the rest like Langdon and Neveu were just totally unrealistic too.  I am not saying it wasn’t enjoyable to read about them, but there was no way you could identify with anyone.  Although, this is not really the point of these quick-paced detective/thriller/crime novels so why shouldn’t the characters be a bit too perfect/evil?

The prose does what is is meant to do – makes you keep reading.  There is a new chapter practically every page and the prose is very easy to read so you do find yourself not putting it down when perhaps you would put down another book.  I liked the Paris setting, as I visited there a few years ago and could identify with one or two of the places (e.g. The Louvre & The Champs-Élysées).

Overall, it is very clear why this novel is such a bestseller: it is packed full of shocking conspiracy theories, intense action and basically ‘a treasure hunt for grown-ups’ (my name for Brown’s symbol/code trails).  It was perfect for ploughing through during my holiday and that is the only time I would particularly recommend a Dan Brown book.  I wonder when I will get round to reading Deception Point and The Lost Symbol.

July Wrap-Up and August Plans

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet this last week or so – not posting/reading/replying much and I think that’s fair.  I have been watching the Olympics non-stop – it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a home games and I am making the most of it.  We are off ourselves on Friday and I will try and get a post up to describe what we’re going to see!

I have had a good reading month in July, I think.  Considering I was camping for a week at the start with my friends (didn’t get chance to read) and have been pretty busy so 4 books is great!

Here’s what I read in July 2012:

The Subtle Knife – Philip Pullman

The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

This is great as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This was one more than I read in June.  Also, my target of at least one classic every month was fulfilled in May by To Kill a Mockingbird AND Cold Comfort Farm!”

Challenge Progress in May 2012:

The Classics Club :  6/60 books read  (To Kill a MockingbirdCold Comfort Farm)

The Victorian Challenge 2012:  3/6 books read  (None this month)

The Literary Classics Reading Challenge: 3/15 (To Kill a MockingbirdCold Comfort Farm)

Really good progress in The Classics Club and The Literary Classics, just need to stay on top of The Victorian Challenge over the next few months.

Currently In Progress:

At the moment I am slowly making my way through The Crow Road by Iain Banks, which I can’t say I am enjoying, but I am not very far in – too early to say I definitely don’t like it!

August Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, The Da Vinci Code and Dracula. These are all pretty big and so is The Crow Road so I doubt I will get through them all.

Challenges:  Dracula is the only one of these which will count for challenges – all 3 actually so maybe I should prioritise that one…

Hopefully you are all enjoying some downtime in August, be it by enjoying the Olympics by not 🙂

I AM SO EXCITED – IT IS THE OPENING CEREMONY TODAY!

So yes, here in GB everyone is beside themselves with excitement for the 2012 Olympics and I am really looking forward to seeing all the nations compete.  Have any of you got any tickets?  My family and I are lucky enough to be going to the Table Tennis, Basketball and Athletics – we are extremely excited!  I don’t want to go on (as I’m sure there are many people who are sick of all the Olympics-hype by now) but it will be really interesting to see you all post/tweet about your favourite athletes as we all watch them do their stuff.

Anyway enough of sport, this blog is meant to be about reading!   This week I have been reading Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons and I finished it last night (post will hopefully be up tomorrow).  I enjoyed it towards the end, but found it pretty hard to get into.  I am definitely glad I picked it for The Classics Club and think it is one I will reread at some point.

I am now onto The Crow Road by Iain Banks, a book that was given to me a few months ago, and one I really know nothing about.  I am saving The Da Vinci Code for my holiday in Majorca in a few weeks as it seems like a holiday read to me and I read Angels and Demons last summer.

Who knows how much reading I will have time for during the Olympics – we have 4 TV channels dedicated completely to the Olympics with another 24 (!!!) available online.  Sorry – it seems to be the main topic of conversation at the moment!  I hope you all really enjoy the games, if you’re watching.

The Literary Classics Reading Challenge Friday Progress:

As I have already mentioned, I finished Cold Comfort Farm last night, which is my third book out of fifteen for The Literary Classics Reading Challenge.  The post will be up tomorrow, I think.  Safe to say I enjoyed it, but it was not a particular favourite of mine.

Next up for the challenge will be either Dracula or Middlemarch for new reads or maybe 1984 or Macbeth for rereads.  I am not sure what I will fancy reading over the next few weeks.  If anyone has any tips on tackling Middlemarch then please please please let me know!

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Books on your Summer TBR list‘ and even though I’m very busy (3 exams tomorrow), seeing as I haven’t posted in a while, I thought I would have a go at this topic.

I LOVE summer reading!  It is (for me) the best time of year to read lots of books – I usually get through a fair amount when I go on holiday, but also when I’m off school at home in the summer too.

Here are (some) of the books I am really looking forward to reading this summer (not in order):

    1. The Timetraveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger:  I haven’t read this kind of book in a while, so it will be nice to have some easier reading (compared with the classics) and my sister really enjoyed the film (I refused to watch until after the book) and said it was a great story, so that’s encouraging.
    2. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee:  Yes, I know it is on practically every TTT post I write, but it is (probably) my favourite book ever, so why should I not be really excited about re-reading it?  Again!
    3. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest – Stieg Larsson:  I am re-reading the Millennium Trilogy this year (I have already read TGWTDT and TGWPWF) and hugely enjoyed both of them again, so I can’t wait for the epic final instalment to this unique series.
    4. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons:  I talked about this on my TTT for The Classics Club post as well, and as I said then, it is meant to be very funny and light-hearted so will be very nice to settle down with in the garden in the sun (well maybe the sun).
    5. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown:  Even though Brown’s books are ridiculously unrealistic, they do make your heart pound.  I read Angels and Demons last August so it seems right to read The Da Vinci Code this summer.
    6. Middlemarch – George Eliot:  Another Classics Club read and a scary one.  I am looking forward to the challenge, because so many people sing Eliot’s praises, I really want to give her a try, even if Middlemarch is scarily long!
    7. Fantastique Maitre Renard – Roald Dahl:  Well, even though I am currently in the middle of German and Latin exams (I finished my French exams a few weeks ago) I am still looking forward to reading my next French children’s book!
    8. Mockingjay – Suzzane Collins:  The Hunger Games Trilogy has had me completely hooked; you can read my thoughs on book 1 here and book 2 here.  I just know that I will power through this volume too and to be quite honest, I cannot wait!
    9. Villette – Charlotte Brontë:  we are getting a long way down my TBR shelf now, but you never know – I might have a very voracious summer!  I loved Jane Eyre and am seriously craving some more Brontë right now!
    10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams: I ADORE this series and the radio episodes are perfection (I have all 5 series on CD – thanks Dad!) and I thought it is only fair if I read the books soon as well.

Are any of these books on your summer TBR lists too?

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’s category.

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Books on Spring TBR List’ with the guidance basically to list the books you are most looking forward to reading this Spring.  Since I am participating in The Classics Club and The Victorian Challenge 2012 this year, I hope to make a significant dent in these lists this Spring so there are quite a few classics on today’s list.

For me, the year is divided equally into its four seasons: June, July & August are Summer; September, October & November are Autumn; December, January & February are Winter; leaving March, April & May as Spring.  I don’t know why I have always though of seasons this way, maybe it’s to do with how school is structured, by for today’s list, I am focussing on books I am really looking forward to reading in the remainder of March, April and May.

Oh, and these are not in order – that would be much too difficult!

 

1. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë.  I am so looking forward to this book and I am reading it next after I’ve finished And This Is True.  I really loved Jane Eyre, which was my first Brontë, and even though I’ve had good advice from Caro that the Brontës were all very  different, I just can’t wait to get back to 19th Century rural England.  Also, Wuthering Heights count for The Classics Club AND The Victorian Challenge so I am killing multiple birds with one book-shaped stone!

 

2. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  I got given this book for my birthday last September by a friend who had heard it was good.  My friend went on to buy his own copy and read it before I could (my book backlog is rather ridiculous) and has said that it was absolutely amazing.  With that kind of recommendation I am expecting great things from this book and am looking forward to sinking into Barcelona!

 

3. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins.  Well there is certainly a lot of hype surrounding this series at the moment – I had a free period in the library on Monday and of the roughly 15 people in there, three people were reading (one being me) and the other two were both reading one of The Hunger Games books.  With the film coming out in 3 days time, no wonder people are going crazy.  My sister borrowed the first book from her friend and read it in one weekend, which is quite unusual for her, and we are both eagerly awaiting the delivery of our own copies of the trilogy! I just can’t wait to find out what is all the fuss about?!

 

4. Emma – Jane Austen.  I haven’t read any Austen before (shocking, I know!) and so I am really excited about getting into this, my first.  I chose Emma because my music teacher said that this was her favourite Austen so it seemed as good a place to start as any.  I don’t really know anything of the story and nothing about the characters, so it should be really fun to read a book without any previous knowledge (something quite rare for me).  It has been on my TBR shelf for a good six months or so, and has finally worked its way to near the top and it also counts for The Classics Club, so all in all I think it deserves to be read now!

 

5. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown.  I have already read Digital Fortress and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and I enjoyed them both (solid 4 / 5).  However, this seems to be the novel that took the world by storm so I am looking forward to reading it.  I read Angels and Demons (the preceding novel to The Da Vinci Code) whilst on holiday last summer, so it seems right that this one might tie in nicely with my holiday to Vienna this Easter, although that means getting through a couple of other books pretty quickly!

 

6. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens.  This is a re-read for me – I read it in 2010 but I think I missed something as I found it hard to get into and nothing special.  To be fair it was my first Dickens and I was quite young, so now that I am more experienced with Dickens (I’ve read Hard Times, Oliver Twist and David Copperfield since then) I am hoping to enjoy this much more the second time around.  I enjoyed the BBC adaptation at Christmas and I am intrigued to see if the new film that is being made will bring something new to a story well known by so many.  Another bonus is that it will also count towards The Classics Club and The Victorian Challenge!

 

7. The Girl Who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson.  This is another re-read.  I absolutely loved the Millennium Trilogy when I read them for the first time back in summer 2010 and I have already re-read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last December and loved it again!  Insanely gripping plots – I can’t put these books down so I am really looking forward to reading the second instalment of Lisbeth’s life again.  If you haven’t read these books yet then I seriously seriously recommend them – such vivid characters and instantly captivating plots!

 

8. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell.  I really don’t know much about this book, aside from the fact that it has several different plots (?).  It was recommended to me by the conductor of the regional wind ensemble I play during the holidays as one of the other ensembles he conducts played a piece of music composed to accompany it and he said it was a great read.  If anyone has read this, I would love to know what you thought of it!  I have put it on this list as I know nothing about the book or the author and that is scary but also exciting!

 

9. The Subtle Knife – Philip Pullman. I really loved the His Dark Materials books when I first read them due to the inventive plot, great characters and the way they deal with serious questions.  I re-read Northern Lights in December and really enjoyed it again, so I am looking forward to getting into the second in the trilogy, The Subtle Knife, a lot.  It is quite a short and easy to read book so I am hoping to polish it off relatively quickly!

 

10. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee.  This is (probably) my favourite book ever!  For my GCSE in English Literature we had to study this book as our novel and it was so great for me – I loved reading it and learning all the quotes was a pleasure!  This book says so much and says it so well, it a must read for everyone!  I think this will be the 3rd time I have actually read it through as a book, but I have listened to the audiobook many times and when I was studying for English I just kept it around and dipped in and out, reading whichever bit was relevant to the area I was revising.  If you have not read this book you must buy it and read it now!!  On top of all that, it counts towards The Classics Club too – what’s not to love?