Sunday, 4 September 2011

Some great reads coming from this publisher; one author to make note of -Sadie Jones and her bestseller, The Outcast. Take a look...

Blog - Vintage Books

Saturday, 3 September 2011

My John Steinbeck experience...

Well, I just thought I'd come back and up date my blog.  I have been told that blogging is something of a long term project and followers are rather hard to come by especially when only two people know of  my blog's exsistence so I am hoping that very soon there will be another person who may find my ramblings interesting or entertaining enough (or maybe someone of a rather sympathetic nature will take pity)  to follow my little contribution to the web......

After having purchased and waited several days on the postman to arrive; I have finally started one of (in my opinion) the most epic and ground breaking novels of recent times. John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath."

I remember being introduced to Steinbeck in school with his short story-Of Mice and Men.  As a literature class we had this read within about three sittings and we were all totally enthralled with the manner in which Steinbeck described  the personalities of Lennie Small and the hunt that ensued to catch him after the killing of   Curley's wife.  Very soon into the story the scene is set deep within the reader's mind that something dark and menacing is going to unfold within the pages that lie beyond. I was captured by Steinbeck's ability to vividly describe in such textured detail all things which may lend by any sort of means to the description of the environment in which the events within the novel are set.

Needless to say by the time Steinbeck reached his time to put on paper the works of  "The Grapes of Wrath" he had in grasp the sheer talent to bring the reader in and not let them go until he was finished.  Although I have not yet finished this story I have already given it thought without even holding the book in my hand.  I have found myself turning to the internet to find out more about the plight and fight for survival that "Okies" faced on the migration of the 1,700 mile journey that lay in wait.

A snapshot in time- Florence Thompson, a migrant mother with her young children making her way to the "promised land."

At the moment I cannot give a detailed review of this novel as I have not finished it yet but you get a sense that many events will tie together to bring this journey together. I imagine that on some level the reader will be left saddened but although still within the openings of the story I get a real sense that the characters have a strong spirit to see them through the traumas and tragedies of life of the time......

Some points you may like to know about John Steinbeck if you are considering looking at his work-

  1. Although many people believe him to be a lifelong Californian, Steinbeck spent much of his life in New York and eventually shed most of his ties to the Salinas Valley.
  2. Steinbeck had a lifelong fascination with the King Arthur tales.
  3. Hollywood loved Steinbeck. Film adaptations of his work include The Grapes of Wrath,Cannery RowEast of EdenOf Mice and MenThe Red Pony, and Tortilla Flat.
  4. Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962 “for his realistic as well as imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception.” Privately, however, he feared that the prize usually spelled the end of a writer’s career.
  5. The two things Steinbeck found most necessary to life were “work and women.”
 John Steinbeck interview on "The Grapes of Wrath"

See you soon.....

Friday, 19 August 2011

Angela's Ashes -Frank McCourt- A review.

I will have to start by saying that Frank and I shared one common interest and that is that we spent our child hoods growing up in Ireland.  I was in tears reading this very early on as the author describes so vividly the hunger and poverty combined with the loss of his three young siblings, but throughout the story Frank somehow depicts a sense of hope and trust in himself.  I cannot pinpoint a particular passage  that gave me  this impression but somehow I could feel that Frank would leave the lanes of Limerick and pursue his own dreams and aspirations even though I felt he never really had a set goal he wanted to achieve but he knew there was something stirring inside of him. 

His story is a very poignant one with some laughter along the way.  It may also give an insight into what life was like in Ireland at that particular time. I feel Frank depicted very clearly from memory the heartbreak of the family of having an alcoholic father drifting randomly in and out of family life.

Although I feel at times throughout the book Frank may have served his tale better if he had of went into more detail about his Mother and her plight of hardship throughout his rearing from boy to young man making his way to America. 

I also felt that at some points in the book Frank was tired; that maybe some detail he was describing was hazy in memory  and maybe needed to reach the end to close a chapter for himself  let alone the reader. It was a sad story he was telling but in a way also enjoyable to learn of the antics of being a wee scrapper in the lanes of  Limerick.  A good read  but maybe a little bit more to draw the reader in would have been nice....

Welcome to the Book Review blog by me-Tarmara Lyndsey.....

Hi to anyone and everyone who may in time read this opening speech.  I have never had a blog before so please bear with me if I seem or it is apparently obvious that I am new to this internet phenomenon!  I have had an urge to share my love of reading for many years - probably my earliest memory is from childhood and trying to set up a book stall in my garden selling various paperbacks for the well thought of  sum of 10p! And even through to adulthood I am ranting to anyone who will listen (or half listen) about my latest adventures and thoughts when it comes to my most recent  treasured possession consisting of ink and paper! 

  I love books -some a lot -some not so much, but it is the enjoyment that comes with reading and disappearing into a new place to enjoy the story and live with the characters that really gets me.  To me, reading in life is a compulsory activity, a hobby, a joy but most of all a love. My name is Tarmara, I live in Ireland and  I want to share with you some of my thoughts on what I pick to read.....