Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

I usually love Sophie Kinsella novels, but this one is definitely my least favorite.  After an unexpected break up, Lottie jumps on an offer from a long lost boyfriend to get married since they are both still single.  Sounds like a fun plot, but the main component of the story is that Lottie decides that she and Ben should wait to have sex until they get married so that their honeymoon sex will be awesome.  Her sister tries to block their attempts to consummate their marriage so that they can still get an annulment.  For me, too much of the plot was wrapped up in whether or not they will have sex before they realize they shouldn't have jumped into marriage.

The best part of the book was that it was quick and easy and silly - good for the beach.  Not sure I would have bothered if I had known what the book was really about.  I would skip this one.  Better beach books are out there!

Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose during lunch at one of London’s fanciest restaurants. But when his big question involves a trip abroad, not a trip down the aisle, she’s completely crushed. So when Ben, an old flame, calls her out of the blue and reminds Lottie of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. No formal dates—just a quick march to the altar and a honeymoon on Ikonos, the sun-drenched Greek island where they first met years ago.

Their family and friends are horrified. Fliss, Lottie’s older sister, knows that Lottie can be impulsive—but surely this is her worst decision yet. And Ben’s colleague Lorcan fears that this hasty marriage will ruin his friend’s career. To keep Lottie and Ben from making a terrible mistake, Fliss concocts an elaborate scheme to sabotage their wedding night. As she and Lorcan jet off to Ikonos in pursuit, Lottie and Ben are in for a honeymoon to remember, for better . . . or worse.

Read: June 2014 during our Amelia Island trip (via library)

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read.  The beginning is a little odd, because the narrator is Death himself, but I am so glad I stuck with it.  I was absolutely enthralled with Liesel, her sweet Papa, her funny friend Rudy and the quiet Jew in her basement.  With the setting in Nazi Germany, there is an undercurrent of sadness, but the story is so rich and good that you will love it anyway.  I can't wait to see the movie when it comes out in November!

Summary (from Amazon): 
Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.

Read: May-June 2013 via CD from library