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Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
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In the late 1960s, as children, four siblings visit a mystic who tells them when they will die. The exact date. But she doesn’t tell them how they will die.

The Immortalists tells the fantastically imagined and written stories of siblings Simon, Klara, Daniel and Varya.

How will they live their lives, knowing exactly when they will die? How will they decide on what’s important in their life? What will be their life’s purposes? How far will get in completing their life purposes, especially with other events that life brings along with it.

One becomes a dancer, another becomes an illusionist, another a doctor and one a researcher of longevity.

The Immortalists is a delightful read. The first chapter in any book should captivate the reader and reel them in. However the first chapter in this book had the opposite effect.

Benjamin appeared to be trying too hard in the first chapter. She made the characters appear unrelatable.

But I implore readers to read on, as they are rewarded with a simple but genius idea, a fairly predictable plot with the odd charming twists, great description, characters that readers come to care about and a perfectly paced tremendous read.

Benjamin lacked a distinctive writers voice, although to be fair The Immortalists is only her second book.

The Immortalists is an addictive, easy, relaxing, engaging, captivating, heartwarming read and the perfect book to read holiday. You will throughly enjoy The Immortalists.

The Immortalists is available to buy on Amazon and at all good book shops.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments

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From the back cover:

Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband’s hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.

Curious, she opens it – and time stops.

John-Paul’s letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.

Cecilia wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband’s secret, she will hurt those she loves most…

(From: The Husband’s Secret (2013) by Liane Moriarty.)

In The Husband’s Secret, you follow Cecilia, Tess and Rachel over one life-changing week. It starts with a secret, a revelation and a long standing injustice.

The Husband’s Secret is an utterly captivating, addictive and compelling read from page 1.

Moriarty initially only used surnames to give the characters a sense of reality, but as the story continues she share’s the characters thoughts. This sharing of thoughts helped the reader empathise and connect with the characters. This was a shrewd move on Moriarty’s part, as the clever and intricate plot is character driven.

The pacing is full of suspense and the reader will find themselves thinking just one more chapter before I stop.

The Husband’s Secret is chick-lit that is well worth a read. It is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: A Survival Guide for Life by Bear Grylls

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
bear-grylls-survival-guide-to-life-book-cover Bear Grylls shares the wisdom he’s learned through life in A Survival Guide for Life. Life can be difficult at times, in A Survival Guide for Life Bear writes how to not only survive these times but thrive in them. His positivity in this book is inspiring and infectious.

Bear gives advice like:

  • Have bravely to face your fears.
  • Failure is the key to future success. If you’re failing your making progress towards success.
  • Set your goal and focus on the journey not the destination.
  • Be the most enthusiastic person you know.

Over the 72 short chapters (each chapter being 2-3 pages at most) there isn’t a single wasted word. That said, I would have preferred Bear to tell more of his personal story.

He quotes people he admires including the famous, friends, colleagues and the bible.

When I bought A Survival Guide for Life I didn’t realise that he was a Christian and initially it didn’t bother me. However as the book progressed the tone was preachy at times and at one point he even recommended that the reader sign up to an Alpha Course. I also felt like he was atheist-bashing at some points. His religious views made me physically sigh on more than one occasion.

The presentation of A Survival Guide for Life was excellent. A good selection and use of fonts, as well as spacing created a consistent style that was pleasing to the eye of the reader.

If you ignore the Christianity in A Survival Guide for Life, then book is great. The wisdom he imparts is the sort of life lessons we should be teaching all children in our society. His his upbeat tone is captivating and makes it a joy to read. A Survival Guide for Life by Bear Grylls is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony



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Book Review: Bonkers: My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Happiness & Joy, History, Reviews2 Comments
jennifer-saunders-bonkers-cover Bonkers: My Life in Laughs is Jennifer Saunders’ fabulous autobiography.

Saunders takes us through her childhood as an RAF child to the present day. She shares her obsession with animals (mostly horses, but also dogs & chickens), aimless career and her family life.

Career wise she is completely honest (almost too honest) and gives the impression that she was dragged along for the ride, especially in the early days. She admits that she’s a procrastinator and easily distracted from any form of work (well play that she calls work ha ha).

In Bonkers Saunders often goes off on enjoyable tangents, telling stories and even the occasional mini-rant. For the record, I completely agree with everything she said in her mini-rants.

Saunders light, warm and engaging writers voice made Bonkers a captivating read that I finished a few days after starting. It had the average glossy photo pages, but a few more would have been welcome.

There are some great stories, some of which are told in this interview with Clare Balding (who Saunders completely blames for Bonkers):

Click here to display content from www.youtube.com

Any fan of Saunders or her work (French & Saunders, Ab Fab, Jam & Jerusalem, Radio) will love Bonkers: My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders which is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony



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