A Prisoner of Birth – Jeffrey Archer
This is one of those books that I’ve been meaning to get around to and finally picked up the other day. I wish someone had told me to pick it up sooner! It’s such a good book, everything that a thriller should be! The characters are really powerful and gripping and the plot is full of twists and turns, but it’s Jeffrey Archer’s writing that really makes the story as un-put-down-able as it is. A friend described the story as a modern day version of certain story but I don’t want to mention it as it will make the story completely predictable. I’m sure you’ll be able to guess which one I mean whilst reading though.
Moone Boy: The Blunder Years – Chris O’ Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy
I know this book is intended for children but I love Chris O’ Dowd as an actor so wanted to give it a go. Martin Moone is a loveable 11 year old underdog who constantly gets picked on by his sisters. One day he gets so fed up that his best friend recommends he gets an imaginary friend (IF) and so Martin gets a copy of WHIP magazine from the great imaginary tree. From the magazine he can pick which IF he’d like, and (tempted by a free chocolate fish) Martin chooses 46 year old fruit loop fan Loopy Lou. It doesn’t take long for Martin to get sick of Loopy Lou and pick Sean Murphy instead. But Lou isn’t going anywhere and Martin now has the headache of two imaginary friends! This book made me feel like a kid again, it’s so quirky and charming and the characters are fantastic! Martin and Sean are a hilarious pair and honestly I was at least smiling if not laughing out loud right the way through this book. Brilliant for kids but a good read for adults wanting to relive their childhoods too.
Funny Girl – Nick Hornby
I’ve been excited to read this book from the moment I heard it was being written. Nick Hornby is the writer of ‘About a Boy’ and ‘A Long Way Down’, and has a wonderfully light way of writing that leads you unsuspectingly into poignantly sad points in his stories. Funny Girl is set in the 1960’s and paints a nostalgic picture of the era, filling it with golden opportunities for the youth now that some time has passed since the end of the great war. Sophie Straw (previously Barbara, a beauty queen in Blackpool) is a comedy star who has easily wooed her co-stars, crew and the nation with her performances. But behind the fun, care-free times there are secrets and choices to be made that could turn everything on its head. The characters are deep and believable, and the writing kept me hooked throughout. If you’re a fan of David Nicholls then you should definitely give Nick Hornby a try!
Emma – Alexander McCall Smith
The third book from the Austen project, Alexander McCall Smith has put a contemporary twist on Austen’s classic ‘Emma’. Emma Woodstone returns to her family in Norfolk after university and immediately takes over ruling the roost. Throwing dinner parties, taking Harriet Smith under her wing and involving herself in the going-ons of the village of Highbury, Emma is the ultimate busybody. But her old friend George Knightly may just be the one to set Emma right. The story isn’t as overtly updated as it could’ve been but there’s definitely a more modern feel to lead character Emma. Some of the characters stay firmly in Austen’s time though. My favourite part about this version is Emma’s father. A lot more time has been given to his anxieties in this book and it makes for some funny little moments within the story. Overall, this is probably my favourite book from the Austen project so far.
Let us know what you’ve been reading this week in the comments box below.