Book Highlights of 2011

Book Highlights 2011

First it was films, then TV Shows and finally Books, as I'm commuting to Manchester most of the week I get a good 40 minutes each way to chill out on the train. Most of last year I used the time to plough through quite a few books on my Kindle, was planning to write a review on the Kindle alone but considering they've been out for a while and everyone knows what they're all about I thought it a bit pointless. If you're a reader or want to read more then the Kindle is definitely a good route to go down, amazing bit of kit and does it's job extremely well. Looking back at my log I managed to read 31 books in 2011 which is pretty good going and will hope to keep that up for this year although my train time is now being taken up by catching up on TV Shows such as Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy on the iPad so will need to get back into the traditional pastime of reading. Now I don't think any of my highlights were actually released in 2011, it's just what I read.

American Psycho

Started the new year off with this insane book by Bret Easton Ellis, saw the movie years ago with Christian Bale and recently re-watched it and was curious of the source material. Given the film is quite disturbing the book just completely knocks it out the water. Very graphic, unsurprisingly, I quite enjoyed the read although some parts of the book were very hard to swallow. Well worth a read if you enjoyed the film and a decent look into the yuppie culture of the 80s albeit through the lens of a sociopathic serial killer, which may or may not be real! I'll leave that upto you :)

4/5 Stars

Freakonomics/SuperFreakonomics

Read the 2nd one first and loved it, quickly boshed the 1st, an economic take at the strange mysteries of life such as why drug dealers probably live with their mothers and why sumo wrestlers cheat. Haven't really been into economics at school but this is an engaging, thought provoking and actually interesting way into the subject and backs all the chapters up with empirical evidence and well structured and broken down arguments. An easy to pick up and read book which will hopefully keep you entertained and provided useful facts and topic for the pub!

4/5 Stars

Jo Nesbo

Oh my, where do I begin. When I first bought my kindle one of the first books I bought was "The Snowman" by Jo Nesbo and I absolutely loved it. Although each book in the Harry Hole series is standalone you do get more of an appreciation of the whole story if you've read them in order. Cue me ploughing through the rest of the series from the Redbreast, Nemesis, The Devil's Star, The Redeemer and finally The Leopard. What a fantastic series! A bit cliched in parts, he's an alcoholic detective, but the stories are gripping and the relationships are fantastic and I was completely enthralled in the entire world. If you like your gritty crime novel then look no further and give a Jo Nesbo book a read. Currently looking forward to the next one in the Harry Hole series and also the standalone "Head Hunters" book which is now being made into a movie. That's how good it'll be!

5/5 Stars

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Like with most things I watched the film before going to the book, although sometimes a mistake as the book is far better, here they are both truly amazing. The film concentrates on a single trip out and the 'incident' involving getting trapped and the miraculous escape however the book is much more rich and provides lots of stories about his past trips, his sense of adventure and subsequent danger and it's really no bloody surprise he got hurt considering the extreme nature of his travels and activities. The book is big on detail, very funny and a great look into the mind of a person fighting for their life and the upmost nature of survival in the most dire of situations. A lovely book with graphic details and I think a must read!

5/5 Stars

Hunger Games

Although the material is intended for young teens I got started on the first book as it was one of the most popular books in the states and consistently coming up in top 10 so I decided to give the first one a try and boy am I glad I did. A brilliant series about a dystopian future where children are selected for a game of death between a number of super districts which the world is divided up into. Basically a teen version of Battle Royale and it's extremely engrossing and entertaining. The series spans over 3 books and each one is a book that you pick up and don't put down. Highly recommended, I gave them to my girlfriend Jen and she too loved them and flew her way through the entire series in a matter of weeks. Easy to read and well worth the time.

4/5 Stars

Game of Thrones & Clash Of Kings

After the amazing series on HBO I picked up the 1st book in a very large series, wow, it's brilliant. The world is so grand and full of detail it's a modern day tolkien fantasy story which is simple epic in scale. I'm glad to say the TV Show does it absolute justice and only ever one way of getting it to screen as there is so much going on it's unreal. I'd probably struggle with the sheer number of storylines if I hadn't watched the show but it is so satisfying once you're engrossed in the world of Starks & Lannisters. A fantasy politic drama doesn't sound so great at first glance but this cannot be missed even if you're not a fan of the genre. With so many twists & turns and big character deaths which are completely unreal you don't think you'll ever recover the story just ploughs on and gets you wanting more. I've only read the first 2 and want to savour the whole series both on paper and on TV and with the next season airing this year it's a very exciting time! Winter is coming!

5/5 Stars

Posted on 27th January 2012
2 years, 6 months, 3 weeks, 3 days ago