Summer Reads Part 2

This summer it’s time to make the most of your free reading time before college, university, school or work takeover control again.
While your typical summers day may not involve embezzlement, fraud, reckless driving, a murder case or life as a circus hand, why not grab the opportunity to experience them?!

The Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort (RRP £8.99)

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About: The story of how Wall Street’s biggest multimillionaire banker, known as the Wolf of Wall Street, had it all and lost it all!  Sinking yachts, running up $700,000 luxury hotel room bills and landing helicopters completely stoned.  Told by the Wolf himself, this is a tory of the “ill-fated genius”. Trivia: Soon to be released as a motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey.

The Lincoln Lawyer – Michael Connelly (RRP £7.99)

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About: Defending drug-dealers, bikers, con artists and drunk drivers is the norm for L.A lawyer Mickey Haller.  Travelling from courthouse to courthouse in a black Lincoln town car, Haller finally get his first big paying, high profile case in the form of  Beverly Hills rich boy, Louis Roulet, who has been accused of sexual assault and attempted rape. As the evidence begins flooding in Haller believes he may have been assigned his easiest case yet, an innocent man. As the trial begins Haller soon realises he has bitten off more than he can chew with Roulet.

Water For Elephants – Sara Gruen (RRP £ 8.99)

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About: The Great Depression Strikes again! Jacob Jankowski finds himself orphaned, penniless and desperate for work. He joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a travelling circus. Now in his nineties, Jacob recalls himself as a young man and the events that changed his life forever. Haunted by his memories of the beautiful Marlena, the wife of the cruel, merciless, circus master and star of the show, Jacob tells a story lf love, trust and hope. Together Jacob and Marlena train Rosie, the elephant bought to save the circus. Sparks soon fly between Jacob and Marlena, and it’s only a matter of time before the crew, including the Ring Master, begin to notice.

The Help – Kathyrn Stockett (RRP £7.99)

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About: It’s 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi. Here, the black maids raise the white babies. When twenty two year old Skeeter learns that her maid, friend and confidante, Constantine has disappeared, she vows to get to the bottom of it.  Aibileen, a black maid who has raised seventy white babies, struggles to deal with the loss of her own son. The short, fat and mouthy maid Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, loses her job and in the process her previous employer ruins her reputation. Throughout the story we watch as these three woman come to terms with their losses. All three are connected and soon, their stories collide. An amazing, humours and full of hope, The Help will stand the test of time.

The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffienegger (RRP £8.99)

The Time Traveller's Wife

About:  Meet Henry DeTamble. Henry unwillingly travels through time, pulled without warning, into his past or future. When Henry meets Claire Abshire, a young and beautiful artist, they embark on a unique and unconventional relationship. Far away from the soppy romance stories that dominate bookshelves worldwide, The Time Traveller’s Wife is a romantic, unique and moving story about two lovers caught in the trap of time!

Tigers in Red Weather – Liza Kluassmann (RRP £7.99)

Tigers in Red Weather

About: A nod to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Tigers in Red Weather depicts cousins Nick and Helena’s summer of cocktails, champagne and parties. After the Second World War the girls’ lives are just getting started. Helena is off to Hollywood to begin her life as a new wife, while Nick awaits the return of her husband from the war.  When Nick and Helena both return to Tiger Estate in the 60’s with their families and husbands, they discover the victim of a brutal murder. The violence surrounding the murder brings family secrets and lies to the surface.

You can find my Summer Reads Part 1 here: https://vanessataaffe.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/summer-reads-part-1-2/
Let me know your favourite summer reads in the comments below!

Summer Reads Part 1

Summer is well and truly in full swing!
For many the summer season involves, music festivals, ice cream cones, long sunny days and maybe even longer nights. Whatever you’re up to during the summer holidays nothing beats reading a great book… or two!

Serena – Ron Rash (RRP £8.99)

Ron Rash Serena

About: Newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton begin their married life in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s 1929 and the Great Depression has brought the country to a standstill. Greed has forced them to the mountains and it’s greed that spurs them on. The couple do everything in their power to ensure that nothing stands in the way of their timber empire. Serena proves herself equal to any hard working man. The power-hungry couple soon discover that Serna cannot bear children.  When we learn that George has fathered an illegitimate child, the story propels into a tale of shocking twists and turns, that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Trivia: Due to be released as a major motion picture starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, September 2013.

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks (RRP £7.99)

Birdsong

About:  In 1910 a young Stephen Wraysford arrives in France. Stephen embarks on a love affair with Isabelle Azaire, the wife of his host family. From this moment on we follow Stephen through the horrors of love and the First World War. With a palpable desire to survive, Stephen witnesses the comrades he has grown to love become disheartened, maimed and shadows of their former selves. Sixty years later, Stephen’s granddaughter discovers his encrypted diaries and continues his quest to keep his promise to a dying man. This story of love, war and friendship gives the reader a great sense of what life truly was like in the trenches.

Atonement – Ian McEwan (RRP £8.99)

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About:  When thirteen year old Briony Tallis witnesses a fleeting moment of flirtation  and desire between her older sister Celia and Robbie, the servant’s son, her mind races. Celica and Robbie become victims of Briony’s childish imagination.   When Briony and Celia’s visiting cousin is sexually assaulted within the grounds of their estate, Briony convinces everyone that Robbie is the culprit. Celia does not believe these accusations and her relationship with her family falls apart. The story flicks between Robbie, Celia and Briony’s lives. While Robbie and Celia lives are turned upside down by the war and the rape allegations, we watch as Briony spends her time attempting to atone for the crime and sins she committed during her youth.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (RRP £7.99)

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About: It’s the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Instead of presents, hugs and kisses, the beautiful Amy vanishes into thin air. With numerous signs of a struggle in the couple’s house, Nick becomes the prime suspect. To make matters worse, Amy’s only friend tells the police that Amy was scared of Nick in the lead up to her disappearance. As Nick struggles to deny all of these claims and accusations, he exhibits inappropriate and odd behaviour. Worst of all…Nick lies to the police in attempt to prove his innocence. A fast-paced, intricate and extremely clever, original plot, Gone Girl is the novel of summer 2013! Trivia: Reese Witherspoon has bought the film rights to the book and plans to star in the film.

Rosamund Pike

 

UPDATE: According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rosamund Pike is to play Amy Dunne in the movie adaptation. Read more here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/rosamund-pike-star-david-finchers-593245

The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald (RRP varies on edition)

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About: Welcome to the 1920’s. Make sure to hold onto your hats Old Sports, it’s a bumpy ride! Nick Carraway introduces us to the glittering, sensational and glamorous residents of Long Island. Self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby welcomes Nick to his elite world of money, drinking and partying. A tale of love and tragedy intertwined within the glamour of the “New” and “Old” rich of America. We follow one man’s pursuit of love, wealth and happiness.  This is a MUST read novel! If you haven’t already,  have a look at my Great Gatsby themed posts here: https://vanessataaffe.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/the-great-gatsby-part-1-fashion/

Let me know your essential summer reads in the comments below!

Pride and Prejudice 2: The Sequel?

If, like me, you’re a massive Pride and Prejudice fan then I have news for you! The BBC has announced that they are shooting a three part mini-series detailing the life of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy six years after their marriage.

The series entitled Death Comes to Pemberely will be based on P.D James’ bestselling novel of the same name. The story will revolve around a murder at Pemberely estate. Jane Austen’s best loved characters are to be plunged into a world of mayhem and mystery as the murder investigation begins…

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It has been announced this week that Welsh actor Matthew Rhys is set to sink his teeth into the role of Mr Darcy.

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British actress Anna Maxwell Martin has been cast to portray Elizabeth. Martin has stared in numerous TV series’ and the 2007 film Becoming Jane which depicted a pre-fame Jane Austen!

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Matthew Goode, who stared along side Amy Mc Adams in the film Leap Year, is to play George Wickham.

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Rhys told The Telegraph, “Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who’ve institutionalised him in the past. The beauty of ‘Pemberley’ is that it is an entirely new and different Darcy 6 years on.”

Filming is due to start this June in Yorkshire. The series is due to air around Christmas time 2013 in Ireland and the UK.

After reading some online reviews, it appears that the books ending was a bit of a let-down No doubt the three-part series will heighten the drama and the tension. I’m looking forward to see how this series pans out. Honestly, I think it will be hard to beat the 2005 Keira Knightley and Matthew McFadden portrayal of literature’s two most loved characters.

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As always, I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions!

The Great Gatsby Part 1: Fashion

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This week I went to see The Great Gatsby. It certainly lived up to the hype. What a spectacular film! If you haven’t been yet, I can’t recommend it enough. The glamour, wealth and elegance will leave you wishing it was the 1920’s Flapper Era all over again.  I’ve decided to do a few Gatsby themed posts this week inspired by the fashion and jewellery in the film. In this post I’m going to focus on fashion.

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The film has been criticised for its lack of accuracy in the fashion department. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t adore it! Daisy Buchannan, portrayed by the flawless Carey Mulligan, was undoubtedly the best dressed character through the film.

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Each scene introduced a new stunning gown adorned with pearls, sequences, feathers or fur. Daisy’s clothing tended to stay on a neutral palette, mainly nudes, pale pinks and purples.

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Compared to Daisy’s elegant dresses, we see Myrtles garish and in your face attire, aspiring to the wealth and sophistication of the Buchannan’s.

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The contrast between Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchannan’s clothing in the film represents the contrast of “Old” and “New” money. Traditionally speaking, the old money gentlemen wore darker clothing and suits, like Tom. New money types like Gatsby tended to wear brighter colours along the whites, creams and pinks spectrum.

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Then you have the Nick Carraway’s of the world. Not poor but not exactly as well to do as the company he keeps.

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His clothing throughout the film was smart, a balanced mix between light and darks.  All the male characters wore pocket squares and striped or patterned ties. And of course, fedoras!

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Stay tuned for more Great Gatsby inspired posts. Let me know your favourite outfits in the comments below!

Find  Part 2 here: https://vanessataaffe.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/the-great-gatsby-part-2-jewellery-2/

Gone Girl

Hi Everyone! Welcome to my first post.

Thought I’d start off with one of my favourite topics of conversation at the moment, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I read this novel over my Easter holidays and I feel like I have done nothing but rave about how wonderful it is since. The only downside to my ranting and raving was that hardly any of my friends had read the book. Yes, they are really missing out!

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If you’ve been browsing books online or in bookshops, Gone Girl is a hard one to miss. The bright, practically luminous orange writing on the cover and inside pages make it a real eye catcher.Just a quick disclaimer: this post won’t contain any major spoilers!

For those of you who haven’t read Gone Girl yet go and get it! I promise it’s worth it. No doubt you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the next coming months. Reese Witherspoon just bought the film rights so needless to say it’s gonna be a box office hit too.

The story is set around Nick and Amy Dunne’s relationship.  When the beautiful Amy goes missing on the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary. Nick becomes the prime suspect. With numerous signs of a struggle in the house all signs point to Nick. This is when the story kicks into high gear.  The chapters alternate between Amy and Nick’s accounts of the days before and after Amy’s disappearance.  Each account nullifies the other.  Personally I feel the unreliable narrator really makes this book a page turner.  It’s amazing how easy it is to be swayed by one characters version of events. Throw in the opposing character’s viewpoint and you’re not sure who to believe.

Flynn’s novel may fall under the crime thriller category but it’s more like a chick-crime thriller. Not that I’m narrowing this to females, I’ve recommended it to all my male friends.  While none of them have read it yet (maybe I’m not selling it very well), I’d love to hear your reactions, thoughts and views on the novel, especially if you’re male.

This is a brilliant “whodunit” story. It will keep you completely hooked. Not to mention the constant twists and turns that had me “no-way-ing” and “I-don’t-believe-it-ing” out loud. A clever, well thought out and entertaining novel. If I had to rate it in terms of   stars I’d give it 4.5 out of 5. It loses .5 for a small section of the ending that I’ll not spoil for anyone who hasn’t read it. If you want a sneak-peak or try-before-you-buy look at the novel follow this link to Amazon, where you can read some of the novel.

http://www.amazon.com/Gone-Girl-Novel-Gillian-Flynn/dp/030758836X

For more books I’ve read have a look at my Goodreads widget or leave a comment below if you have any good suggestions for summer reads.