The Big Book Review Top 100 Books…. and a few more

13Jan/110

Prince Caspian – C.S. Lewis

Top 100 Book:: Number 33
Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::

The follow up to the tremendous Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and it does not disappoint. In this story many years have passed in Narnia and the Pevensie children return to help return order to Narnia which has yet again fallen into disrepute at the hands of a rogue false king! Shock Horror.

This book explores the themes of courage and chivalry and is yet again beautifully written by Lewis. The books flow so well and are such a joy to read. Like its predecessor the book was made into a TV series for the BBC in the late 1980's and was released as a major motion picture in 2008. I have yet to see the film version of this book but thoroughly enjoyed the previous one.

13Jan/110

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S.Lewis

Top 100 Book:: Number 33/36
Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::
By now a classic book and TV series and film! That most people would have heard of :)

I am going to be cutting these reviews shorter still I am afraid! I would love to write the long reviews I used to but time is not on my side! And I want to give you all a quick summary and some feedback before I forget :D

So anyway... back to the book itself! A beautifully written book, set in a fantasy world that can only be accessed by certain people at certain times we meet the Pevensie children who mysteriously find themselves in the magical land of Narnia! They find themselves on a quest of good vs evil and a great battle ensues. Along their journey they meet people both good and bad.

A truly wonderful book to read although really meant for children I thoroughly enjoyed the read and this classic will be read for years to come.

12Oct/100

A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy of DuncesTop 100 Book:: Number 95
Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::

This hilarious novel set in New Orleans in the 1960’s focuses on the life of Ignatius J Reilly a very well educated but incredibly idle man still living with his mum in the local neighbourhood. For reasons disclosed early in the book he finds himself having to go out and find a job and the novel goes on to describe his colourful adventures with characters in the French Quarter.

This book cleverly brings together the stories of several other minor characters as the climax to the book draws nearer. It is an enlightening read and very entertaining. Incredibly easy to read, highly addictive and laugh out loud hilarity I can very much recommend this book to you.

Written by John Kennedy Toole, this book was not released until 11 years after his death. It was a joint struggle to get it published by his mother, Thelma Toole and writer Walker Percy. Thank goodness they went through the struggle! Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1981.

7Jul/101

How I Paid For College – Mark Acito

How I Paid For College - Mark AcitoRecommended by:: Jonathan Whiting
Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::
Ferris Bueller Meets Adrian mole in a hilarious novel set in the 80's. Meet Edward Zanni, a teenager in New Jersey, USA whose aspirations to study at the prestigious Julliard School in NYC are quashed when his father refuses to pay his tuition fees. Thus ensues the subtitle of the book

" A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater"

Edward and his merry band of friends go on a mission to get his entry to musical theater by any means possible!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a cracking debut by author Acito. It is exactly my kind of humour and my style of writing. An easy, laid back read full of sex, theft and friendship :)

I heartily recommend it to you.

7Jul/100

Nineteen Eighty-four – George Orwell

George Orwell - 1984Top 100 Book:: Number 8
Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::
Wow! What a book! Incredibly scary and as has been mentioned in numerous reviews an eerie look at our own world.

This story follows Winston Smith works for the ministry of truth in London. Posters of Big Brother cover the streets and every move anyone makes is captured there is no free speech, no free thinking. For those with independant thought.... there lies Room 101.

A truly fascinating book from George Orwell. Thoroughly enjoyable to read with twists and turns at every chapter. A brutal book with no holding back and no happy endings. Just a gruesome look at a world under totalitarian control.

Worth a read!

14Mar/100

Notes from a small island – Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson - Notes from a small islandTop 100 Book: Number 74
Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::
Bill Bryson arrived in Britain back in 1973, got a job, got married and had some kids. Eventually the time came when he decided to head back to his native country the USA but before doing that he embarked on one epic tour of the wonder that is Britain. Starting at Dover and ending in Scotland Bryson recounts many memories, meet many friends and tells many tall tales about the adventures he has had in this wonderful land I call home!

Now this book is one of my favourite styles, a diary style (as if you didn’t know that by now) In fact I would link this book very closely to Dave Gorman’s America unchained which I reviewed earlier on. Bill Bryson goes on a journey around Britain recounting many tales he himself has had in various locations throughout. Full of plenty of humour and plenty of opinion this is certainly not a politically correct book, but hilariously funny!

I really enjoyed reading this book, I have to admit at the beginning I was getting a little irritated with his style of writing, very aggressive, very impatient and quite rude but as the book progressed I began to warm to Bryson’s unique style and found myself laughing along to his encounters with the British public.

I can completely recommend this book not only as a worthy top 100 but as a book you yourself should read, it is a very easy read and very relaxing, brilliant if you are looking to chill out and get away from the stresses of the day!

Do pick it up and have a read, I have kept hold of my copy!

2Nov/090

The Wind In The Willows – Kenneth Grahame

Wind In The Willows - Kenneth Grahame

Wind In The Willows - Kenneth Grahame

Top 100 Book: Number 30

Star Rating:: **** 1/2

Quick Review::
Written in 1908, The Wind In The Willows is a "Cutesy" tale of friendship, respect and companionship between wildlife animals, focusing on the lives of Moley, Ratty, Badger and Mr Toad. It's known as a childrens book but I feel us adults can learn a lot from this book. It has a lot of underlying morals which are put across in a very gentle way. We follow the mischevious Mr Toad, The river bank loving Ratty, The home loving Mole and the father, authoritive figure of Badger. There is no real storyline as such it is more a collection of their adventures along the river bank and in the countryside of Pastoral England. A very enjoyable book to read.

14Aug/09Off

The Phantom Of The Opera – Gaston Leroux

Phantom Of The Opera - Gaston Leroux

Phantom Of The Opera - Gaston Leroux

Top 100 Book: I thought it was number 100, but I got the wrong book! So not in the Top 100

Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::
The Paris Opera House, early 1900's is mysteriously "haunted" by O.G, the Opera Ghost.
This novel written in a detective Style follows the story of the Christine Daae and her twisted love triangle with the Opera Ghost and Raoul.

Its a pretty gritty novel with love, murder, jealousy, rage, mystery and horror. It's interesting to know that this is based on true facts and the author spent a lot of time investigating the Paris Opera House!

Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*

4Aug/091

The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night- Time – Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night- Time - Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night- Time - Mark Haddon

Top 100 Book:: Number 59

Star Rating: **** 1/2

Quick Review::

Meet Christopher Boone, a 15 year old boy living in Swindon with Asperger’s syndrome. One day he discovers the neighbour’s dog Wellington has been murdered with a garden fork and he makes it his mission to discover the murderer.

Described as a murder mystery novel with a difference Christopher opens a can of worms that will transform his life, and affect all of those around him. An award winning novel by Mark Haddon that is a real pleasure to read.

Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*

4Aug/090

America Unchained – Dave Gorman

America Unchained - Dave Gorman

America Unchained - Dave Gorman

Recommended by :: Fran Day

Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::

Get A Car, Travel across America from West To East. Piece of Cake eh? Only one slight snag, you need to do all of this without spending a single penny in a chain store, chain gas station or chain hotel. This is Dave Gorman’s quest, and he chooses to accept it.

This book follows his journey across the good old US of A and we learn about the good times, the quirky B&B’s the friendly people of Kansas and then there are the bad times, the director hurting her back, being held at gun point and some of the scummiest motels in the world.

Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*