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text 2017-04-06 02:10
World Without End
World Without End - Ken Follett
The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

I haven't read the first book in this series, but the blurb claims that World Without End can be read on its own, so I'll give it a go for this month's club reading. Maybe I'll like it enough to read The Pillars of the Earth afterwards? I hope so, since I've heard great things about that book.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-04-06 02:01
Finally!
The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

Well, that took me long enough to read! I kept getting distracted from the book to read other things, in part because for me the story just wasn't holding together well. I understand that the book was showing just how random an investigation can be, with many loose ends and unanswered questions. But when I reached the point where we find out that Gervase's death wasn't tied at all to the Richard plot, and that therefore it was all an undortunate coincidence, I was disappointed. And then the very last pages are filled with a series of revelations that come fast and furious, after chapter upon chapter where these plot points had lain dormant. I don't expect every thread to be connected, but the story here was just too dispersed to hold my interest.

 

Also, as I mentioned in an earlier post, although the setting is historically accurate, for some reason I wasn't feeling as inmersed in the time period as I have in other novels set around this time.

 

In all, it was an interesting reading experience, but I'm not sure I'll read any of the sequels.

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text 2017-03-27 18:46
Reading progress update: I've read 60%.
The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

Still plodding along on this one. It's definitely interesting, and I want to see how it's resolved, but I find myself drifting away from it towards other readings. One thing I've noticed is that I'm having a hard time staying within the time period it's set in; and that's saying something, considering I used to teach Medieval lit. Somehow, I keep forgetting it's set in the 12th century; the author does describe settings well, talks a bit about the etymology of French vs Saxon names, etc.... Still, there's a very modern feel to the book that keeps wanting to trick my mind into a later time period.

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text 2017-03-20 20:28
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

I really thought I'd be going faster with this one, but I got sidetracked by a couple of other reads. Still enjoying it, though!

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review 2017-02-19 13:45
When A Man Called Ove Isn't What You Thought It Would Be
A Man Called Ove: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

When I first heard about A Man Called Ove (pronounce as 'O-vi'), it was because of word-of-mouth. Praises keeps pouring in, good reviews keeps filling up and of course, it was inevitable that I came across the book and my curiosity get the best of me. After a year of purchase, I finally sat down and read it. It has been a while since I read some thing good in some months and while many readers have read it way earlier than I do, I am glad I took my time to read it.

 

A Man Called Ove is a story of a man called Ove (I just like saying it). At first glance, he appears to be one of the grumpiest middle-age man that is so bitter about every thing, you just want to avoid him. He cusses, he's rude and he's the type that does not care about people. He has a set of principles, he follow regulations and rules that he obeyed. He hates white collar men. He despise cats. And more importantly, he doesn't want to be disturb. When a new neighbor moves in next door to his house and accidentally drives up their trailer and destroy Ove's mailbox, it begins a journey of acceptance and unlikely friendships in unexpected ways. Typical formulated story you might say, right? For plot lines, yes. For execution and development of the story, its better than I expected.

 

What I enjoy most are the characters - to each of their own it was outline nicely. There is consistency to each of them including Ove and I love each and every one of them. Characters written well is once again, a rarity and given a nice explained background to each is a good way to show how Fredrik Backman care about his characters. And then of course, what was true is Ove is not what it seems, and I like how there are layers that some times, it may not be what it seems on first impression that tells us we need to reassessment people in depth. There is so much love and charm in the characters that you just have to love them a lot, especially Ove. I like how the flow of each chapter is given care and the history behind them. For Ove, I truly understand a person like him that many people miss out in reality and this is written with truth.

 

The execution and delivery is an enjoyable one but some how, its formulated. While the characters aren't stereotypical type, the flow of the story is like one I had seen before. Would it be better if its not followed like a guideline of any books about how to write a story I can say no, but this is as good as it gets because even though its formulated, its meant to be written that way. While the depth of the story isn't deep, I enjoy the slice of life theme in it. There is positive and inspiring values very much in real life happening and not those kind of positive quotes we tend to read a lot to try to inspire us. Its just that with reality of what is happening, it keeps it real in characters and what will happen to us if thrown into a situation and A Man Called Ove is just it.

 

I can't say its the best ever book I have ever read but its near. I was warm all over when I read towards the end and it was the kind of ending I expected. I did enjoy the dialogue exchange between Ove and the characters he came across. I can say that it is a recommended read if you have not come across this book. Its a must for any book readers or lovers that for once in life, you should read it.

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