Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Reads

For this post, I have decided to share with you one of my favourite websites. http://www.goodreads.com/ is a social networking site that allows users to:
• get book recommendations from their friends
• keep track of what books they’ve read and what they’d like to read
• form book clubs
• answer book trivia
• collect their favourite quotes

I love this site, and I’m sure that anyone who enjoys reading will find the services to be fun and rewarding. Over 4 million book fans currently use goodreads, and over 120, 000, 000 books have been added to the site. Creating an account works almost the same way as it does when you sign up for facebook of twitter. It is free and extremely easy to use.

Think of it as being an online library that you can browse through and explore. It’s exciting to find out what your friends are currently reading, and what their favourite books are. The book reviews and trivia are an added bonus.

I encourage all of you to check out this website. Regardless of what you like to read, you will find something that you like from goodreads.

Have any of you used this site before? If so, what do you think of it?

Happy Reading.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sophie Kinsella or Madeleine Wickham?

This week I have decided not to talk about a specific chick lit novel, but rather about a specific author. Last week I discussed Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl, and while doing some background research on her I discovered that she uses a pen name. Kinsella’s real name is actually Madeleine Wickham.
For those of you who might not know, a pen name is basically a fake name that an author adopts and uses when they publish a book. Using a pen name is not extremely popular, but there have been several well known authors who have followed this trend. Some of these authors include George Orwell (his real name was actually Eric Author Blair) and Mark Twain (his real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens).

Anyone who is a fan of chick lit has likely heard of Sophie Kinsella, most likely because of her widely successful Shopaholic series. What many people do not know is that Kinsella has also published several novels under her legal name, Madeleine Wickham. Some of these books include The Tennis Party, A Desirable Residence, Sleeping Arrangements, and The Wedding Girl. Although these books are supposedly written in a similar style to the books that she has published under her pen name “Sophie Kinsella,” I had not heard of any of them before doing this research. Kinsella has not published a book with her real name since 2001. This is because she decided to stick with her pen name after the Shopaholic books became so popular.

Have any of you read any of Kinsella's books that are published with her real name, Madeleine Wickham? If so, which one is your favourite? I am excited to read some of them since there are currently no new Kinsella books for me to look forward to. I encourage anyone who may be looking for a light, fun read to do the same.
Happy Reading.

Twenties Girl

Twenties Girl is Sophie Kinsella's latest novel. It was a fun, easy read and I really enjoyed it. I found it to be comparable to Kinsella's other novels because of its light-hearted and funny tone. Lara, the main character is easy to relate to, and has a charming personality. However, the plot of Twenties Girl is somewhat different from the typical plots of Kinsella's previous novels - it is a ghost story.
When I first found out that this book was about a ghost, I was sceptical. Chick Lit novels do not typically deal with ghosts or anything to do with fantasy. But since I loved everything else Kinsella had written, I decided to give it a chance.
The main idea is Lara visited by the ghost of her great-aunt Sadie, who believes that she is still alive and living in the 1920’s. When Sadie demands that Lara help her retrieve a lost necklace, the two begin a hilarious journey that helps Lara to learn a lot about her own family, and about herself. There are many twists and revelations throughout this novel that will keep you guessing all the way to the end. It is a definite page turner.
You will discover all of the typical romance and charm that would be found in any chick lit novel, but none of the creepiness that is often found in a ghost story (much to my relief). I encourage anyone who has read any of Kinsella's other books to check this one out too. If you liked the Shopaholic series, or my previous recommendation, The Undomestic Goddess, you will be sure to enjoy Twenties Girl too. It is unique chick lit novel that may even please someone who is not generally a fan of the genre.
Happy Reading.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Where Rainbows End

This week I decided to talk about the book Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern. It was recommended to me by a few people, and I absolutely loved it. However, I had a hard time actually finding the book in the first place because when I initially heard about it, it was called Rosie Dunne. After I did a bit of research, I found out that the book has a few different titles and it changes depending on where you live. I heard about several people who bought both Where Rainbows End and Rosie Dunne only to find out afterwards that they where the exact same book. I found it funny when I came across a package on amazon.ca that included both titles of this book. Make sure that if you have read one of these, do not get the other one, and do not order that amazon package.

Anyways, regardless of what this book is called, I loved it and I just couldn’t put it down. One thing that I found very interesting was that the book was written entirely though emails and letters between different characters. It tells the story of Rosie and Alex, who have been best friends for their whole lives. The book begins with an invitation from Rosie inviting Alex to her seventh birthday party. It then goes on to tell the story of their lives through their childhood, teenage years, careers and various relationships.

From the beginning is it clear that Rosie and Alex are meant to be together, so as a reader it is frustrating to see how they hide their feelings from each other. Readers see situations through both characters points of view, so it is easy to recognise all of the suspense and bad timing on both of their parts. However, this also adds to the overall humour of the novel.

This it is one of my favourite chick lit novels ever. It is suspenseful and keeps you guessing all the way to the end. I highly recommend this book, and I hope that some of you will check it out.

Happy Reading.