Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – by Gail Honeyman

19 04 2018

The main reason I bought this book is that it appeared EVERYWHERE. Every time I was in a shop I saw it, or at least that’s what it felt like! I read the back and thought it sounded like it was worth giving a go.

Eleanor is a woman of routine. She wears the same clothes, eats the same food, drinks the same vodka. You would be justified for thinking she’s a bit autistic, she certainly struggles with interaction with people, but before long you see that there’s clearly something dramatic in her past which has affected her greatly, but it’s only revealed little by little as you go.

Very funny in places, heartbreaking in others, very engaging overall!

The only thing I will say, I don’t want to put spoilers so I’ll try to keep this vague, but if you find you struggle with triggers regarding suicide attempts, it’d be best to maybe give this a miss.

There was a line, just a throwaway comment that I found fascinating!
“Eyelids are really just flesh curtains. Your eyes are always ‘on’, always looking; when you close them you’re watching the thin, veined skin of your inner eyelid rather than staring out at the world.”

Advertisements




Still Me – by Jojo Moyes

5 04 2018

Two years ago I read Me Before You, swiftly followed by After You, and said I’d happily read a third if it was ever written – good news, it has been!

Louisa has just arrived in New York to be a live-in assistant for a wealthy lady in society. It’s a huge lifestyle adjustment, alongside trying to manage a long distance relationship.

It’s a combination of warm fuzzy moments one minute, and heartbreaking ones the next. Predictable in places, some of the major plot points I saw coming a mile off, but there are surprises too. With 50 pages to go before the end I had NO idea how it was going to tie together!





How not to be wrong, the hidden maths of everyday life – by Jordan Ellenberg

30 03 2018

Over 2 months on a book isn’t going to help at all with my 30 books in a year, but I promise it was a good book!

It’s full of interesting thoughts on lotteries, perspective, statistics, music, correlation, voting systems, sports, all sorts! Complicated in places, but he always starts a section at a level we can all understand, and at some points I just had to just read the words to get to the point I understood the next bit, but it’s all written in a way that makes it fairly easy to read!

That all said, it was lovely to delve back into the world of maths, stretching my brain, seeing what I could remember, and enjoying some of the common sense that is shared.

As with any book of this sort it is of course full of gems, so here are some I particularly enjoyed:

  • “Dividing one number by another is mere computation; figuring out what you should divide by what is mathematics.”
  • “Improbable things happen a lot.”
  • “The natural logarithm is the one you always use if you’re a mathematician or if you have e fingers.”
  • “Mathematics as currently practised is a delicate interplay between monastic contemplation and blowing stuff up with dynamite.”
  • “In real life, mathematicians are a pretty ordinary bunch, no madder than the average.”
  • “I’ve found that in moments of emotional extremity there is nothing like a math[sic] problem to quiet the complaints the rest of the psyche serves up.”
  • “I encourage you to write directly in the book, if it’s not borrowed from the library or displayed on a screen.”
  • “An inelegant axiom is like a stain in the corner of the floor; it doesn’t get in your way, per se, but it’s maddening, and one spends an inordinate amount of time scrubbing and scouring and trying to make the surface nice and clean.”
  • “Genius is a thing that happens, not a kind of person.”
  • “[The stereotype is that mathematicians are] determined to compute everything to as many decimal places as possible. It isn’t so. We want to compute everything to as many decimal places as necessary.”
  • “Mathematics, the extension of common sense by other means.”





Brain Freeze – by Tom Fletcher

28 02 2018

I just read a book in under half an hour!
Yes, it’s for children.
Yes, it cost £1 new.
Yes, it’s only 86 pages, some of which are only pictures.
But that’s not the point!

I started the other book I’m reading over a month ago and am only halfway through, and so was getting frustrated with my lack of progress. Generally I refuse to start another book while I have one on the go, but as mentioned, this one was tiny, so when I saw it in tesco, I picked it up – it looked like fun! As well as being by Tom from McFly!

It’s a very sweet and very clever little book – Izzy’s Grandpa was an Ice Cream Man, he passed away a year ago and so she eats ice cream every day to remember him. One night, she hasn’t been able to have ice cream and worries she’s forgetting him, so she sneaks out to his old van, and finds it can do so much more than just produce icecream – it can travel in time!





The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year – by Sue Townsend

21 01 2018

The title is incredibly appealing… Shortly after Christmas I watched a documentary on Sue Townsend and remembered this had been on my shelf waiting to be read for ages 🙂

Eva Beaver (yup, that’s her married name) has just sent her twins Brian Jr and Brianne (yup, their Dad/her husband is called Brian) off to Uni and as soon as they’re gone, before her husband gets back, she goes to bed. It’s the first time she’s not had to be responsible for looking after her children and she’s going to make the most of it!

Of course, there are a few initial problems to resolve – bathroom, food, etc, and some marriage issues! Her mum and mother in law along with a handyman who she befriends all help with delivering food and keeping an eye on her, but gradually word spreads about the woman who doesn’t leave her bed, and people start wanting to know why. Is it spiritual? Does she have powers? Is she protesting something? People start coming to her for advice and camping out on the street. It feels a bit like that scene in Forrest Gump when he runs for no reason but people can’t cope with the idea there’s not *some* reason for it!

There’s some really weird stuff that goes on with various relationships and thought processes, but it wouldn’t be Sue Townsend if that wasn’t the case!





Some kind of wonderful – by Giovanna Fletcher

7 01 2018

My friend bought me this for Christmas, so it was a good book to start the year with.

Lizzy has been dating Ian for 10 years she was 18 and is desperately waiting for a proposal, so when that comes crashing down, she has to rediscover how to function on her own and see how much she’s changed in that time.

There’s no point trying to claim this is sophisticated literature, but it’s a comfortable, easy read (evidenced by the fact I read nearly 400 words in 6 days!), and it’s fairly warm and fuzzy. Definitely enjoyed it 🙂





A Christmas Carol – by Charles Dickens

31 12 2017

Finished just in time for the end of the year!

I never thought I’d manage to read a Dickens, but gave this a go for a few reasons

  1. It’s only 129 pages long.
  2. I know the basic story from films so it can’t be too tricky.
  3. It’s Christmas!

Even with that it took a long longer than I expected, but I’d like to partly put that down to the busy-ness of December and having a couple of magazines to get through as well.

My main knowledge of the story comes from The Muppet Christmas Carol, which means that no matter how hard I tried, every time Bob Crachit appeared, all I saw in my mind was Kermit the Frog, and Scrooge was most certainly Michael Caine!

Oh, and a chick flick [loosely] based on the plot if that’s more your cup of tea is Ghost of Girlfriends Past.

Much as I really had to concentrate to get through it at times, it really was heartwarming and worth the effort.

Favourite line: “It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself.”