Friday, 25 February 2011

Top 5: Books By 5 Family/Friends

When I came up with the idea for this Fridays blog post a week and a half ago I had a feeling there was going to be a wide range of different books. I'm glad to see my friends and family did not disappoint. Some of these books may be unheard of to you. Some of you may have the same favourite book as one of my family/friends.

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So where to start.

No 5.) Under the Dome – Stephen King

“My favourite book is the fairly recent " Under the Dome " by Stephen King. Gripping from the first page ~ a classic " I'll read just one more chapter " book.
Taking 25 yrs to create, at 870+ pages, this is King's best epic novel.
It explores many modern topics, including ~ ecological, political & fascism.
King's use of characters leaves you feeling their experiences first hand.”

Recommended by Steve Billington

No 4.) A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

“Absolutely love it. It is by no means a happy book but I really enjoyed it. If that makes sense! About a girls life growing up in Afghanistan, marriage etc. It is the only book that I can think of that ever brought a tear to my eye. The complex relationships especially between the female characters is brought out so well and you really do empathise and sincerely care about what happens to the characters. Highly recommend it.”

Recommended by Jen Bland

No 3.) Past Reason Hated – Peter Robinson

“Its all about Caroline Haryley but everything people know and think she is but she's not. She is found brutally murdered lying on the couch and its down to CI Alan Banks to search for the truth and there is more secrets in her life which keeps you waiting to find out if his has found out the end to all the secrecy and who would of killed her.”

Recommended by Kelly Glennon

No 2.) Eat Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

“It normally takes me a while to read a book but this was an exception. In under a week I read this book. What I liked about this book was the way she described things in such detail it was easy to visualise in your mind. What I found interesting was the different religions and way people live that described in the book.”

Recommended by Christine Miller (mum)

No 1.) Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

“Deciding which is my favourite book is rather difficult, but if I had to decide which one, it would probably be 'Great Expectations' by the one and only Charles Dickens.

I like the novel for its ambitious elements, as Philip Pirrip or 'Pip' terminates his apprenticeship as a blacksmith in order to be a 'Gentleman' in the high society of London.
Dickens allows us to speculate the rise and fall of a protagonist in his pursuit of love, wealth, power and freedom to escape from his poor background, only to return to his normal way of living at the end of the novel. The way that the novel has a complex plot highlights how great this book is; that weaves together various interconnected stories with each character having a pivotal role in Pip's life; young and old.
I love how ambiguous the conclusion of the story is when Pip meets Estella at Satis House; does he remain to be an honest friend of Estella? or does finally win her heart and marry her?
But most interestingly enough, the novel is a social critique of High Society of London, exposing the devious elements of greed, power and the feeling of superiority.
Dickens suggested that a person cannot escape from his/ her past or from themselves, which is the lesson that Pip learns at the end of the story. The author also exposes the common belief that a gentleman can be made by money alone, however poor and unprivileged characters like Joe Gargery and Magwitch appear to have moral qualities and appear to be more moral than the characters who are privileged and well educated, showing a high level of irony.
I strongly recommend anyone to read this book - 'Great romance, great thrills, great suspense, great adventure... Great Expectations!!”

This book was recommended by Mark Miller (my youngest brother).

I'd love to hear what some of your favourite books are and if you have read any on this list. I hope everyone is having a good Friday so far and hope everyone has a good weekend.

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