The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared – by Jonas Jonasson

31 10 2018

The title really doesn’t give much away beyond the first page! Allan Karlsson doesn’t want to attend his 100th birthday party in the old people’s home, so he runs away – simple! Clearly there’s much more to it.

The book alternates between two stories.

  • Firstly, following on from Allan’s escape, he ends up accidentally involved in some criminal activity with someone he meets, and so they end up on the run. They meet someone else who joins them, the journey continues, and the group gradually grows, along with some other unfortunate mishaps.
  • Secondly, Allan’s life story up until his 100th birthday! It turns out he’s had a most interesting life, has met all sorts of world leaders and of some become their friend, and has influenced way more world events than you could imagine. And amongst all of this, he’s the most optimistic and relaxed person you ever did meet.

Because of the stories of his life, I ended up learning all sorts of 20th Century history – all about the Korean War, Stalin, General Franco, and many more This makes it sound like a serious book, but it also contains a large amount of absurdity, and a passion for vodka wherever he finds himself!

The book was actually originally written in Swedish and translated to English, but you really don’t notice that – it’s been done well.

It took me a while to get into the book, but once I got into it, it really did grip me, wanting to know how both stories would resolve!

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Internet highlights – w/c 21st October 2018

27 10 2018

Line up revealed for Celeb Bake Off.

French Bake Off did a crime scene challenge for Halloween.

The original pilot script for Friends!

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The Truth Pixie – by Matt Haig

25 10 2018

Yes it’s a children’s book.
No I didn’t choose it to get my book total up this year, that was just a handy coincidence.

If you’ve followed these posts for a while you’ll know I’m a bit of a Matt Haig fan, so when he said he’d written a book that was a bit like a Reasons to Stay Alive for kids, I thought I had to give it a try.

At a little over 100 pages, but only a couple of lines a page, it’s definitely a one-sitting read, and very easy, but teaches some really important points to kids. I’ve put some of my favourite bits below.

  • “There will be people you love, who can’t stay forever,
    And there will be things you can’t fix, although you are clever.”
  • “As the dark in the sky makes the starts shine brighter,
    You will find the bad stuff has good bits too
    The bad days are the days that make you you.”
  • “You’ll never know happy unless you know sad.”
  • “Yes, the night has dark bits, but it has stars too,
    And you’ll feel when they shine, that they shine just for you.
    You will step outside, and see from the park
    That the light is brighter when it’s next to the dark.”
  • “If everything was perfect, every single day,
    You’d never know the good from the just-about-okay.”

He has a very good way with words – if you enjoy this stuff, please can I recommend his twitter and instagram accounts!





Internet highlights – w/c 14th October 2018

20 10 2018

Historical paintings with Mr Bean’s face.

Disney characters dealing with pollution.

Men share the downsides of being male.

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Internet highlights – w/c 7th October 2018

13 10 2018

Ideas that deserve a Nobel Prize in food.

Brilliant examples of accidental camoflage.

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Internet highlights – w/c 30th September 2018

6 10 2018

Women imagine life if men had a 9pm curfew.

What Matilda might be doing now.

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Letter From Birmingham Jail – by Martin Luther King, Jr

5 10 2018

I picked this up last Saturday having seen it for £1 (It’s only 51 pages), and having had a couple of friends recommend it previously.

The book comes in two parts – firstly, a letter MLK wrote from his prison cell to eight white clergymen regarding whether the racial segregation debate should be in the courts or the streets. The second half is a sermon he preached in 1967 called “The three dimensions of a complete life” – inward for ourselves, outward for others, and up for God.

I was worried that although it was short, it might be a bit hard to read, but because one is a letter and one a transcript of a sermon, the style is quite easy to get through. When reading the sermon, you can almost hear him at times.

Some wonderful quotes that you’ve probably heard before (though I’m not sure they’re all originally his!) pop up in this book – here are a few:

  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  • “The question is not where we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?””
  • “Right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”
  • “The good Samaritan came by and he reversed the question Not ‘What will happen to me if I stop to help this man?’ but ‘What will happen to this man if I do not stop to help him?'”
  • “I do not know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future.”