Simon Mawer

All posts tagged Simon Mawer

A-Z Book Survey

Published August 15, 2013 by bibliobeth

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I came across this survey from my sister’s blog and it looked like a lot of fun! You can see her answers HERE.

This survey was initially compiled by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner. Thank you to her! Check out her post HERE

Author you’ve read the most books from:

No surprise here, Stephen King. For me, there is a reason why his surname is KING.

Best Sequel Ever:

This is an easy question for me, it would have to be Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons. Her first book is The Bronze Horseman and to be honest, took my breath away. The sequel definitely complemented the first book!

Currently Reading:

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Simon Mawer.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Tea, tea and more tea!

E-reader or Physical Book?

Both! Kindle for convenience, real book for looky, smelly, touchy. (oh dear)

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Fitzwilliam Darcy – Pride and Prejudice. (SIGH) His attitude might actually have made me more interested!!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I really didn’t expect Sherlock Holmes to be this exciting!

Hidden Gem Book:

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. Ancient Rome, gladiators, a bit of gore and romance. What’s not to like? LOVED this book.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

I have to say, it’s the same as my sisters. Starting this blog has been one of the best things I’ve done literally speaking (haha). I read from so many different genres that I wouldn’t have touched before, I’ve had some great recommendations, and met some really nice people!

Just Finished:

I’ve just finished Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver which was excellent.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’d like to think I read quite a wide selection of things, but I don’t really enjoy anything too fluffy or chick-litty. A bit of fluff is okay (I suppose) but not if it edges into mature cheddar cheese!

Longest Book You’ve Read:

The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien at 1,216 pages, individually Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Major book hangover because of:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I loved that book so much I just wanted it to go on and on.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Uh-oh. This is where my book obsession borders into insanity. Two large ones in the sitting room jam packed to bursting. (I call it Book Corner). Two slim tall bookcases in the bedroom and er…. maybe one or two bookcases worth at my parents house?

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

It – Stephen King. Amazing and terrifying and never fails to give me chills every time I read it.

Preferred Place To Read:

I have quite a long journey to work so I love to just escape into a book on the tube. Saves me having to make eye contact with any dodgy people as well, haha.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

 
 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
―     Eleanor Roosevelt,     This is My Story    
A great motto for life as well I think!

Reading Regret:

Spending so much time reading thrillers. Not that I hate thrillers, I love them! But at one time, they were all I read, I’m so glad I now read a mixture of different genres.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I need to finish the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver. Pandemonium is coming up on my list pretty soon but I’ve just got so many books to read.

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books:

In no particular order..

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  3. The Green Mile – Stephen King

(Wow that was hard! I have too many all time favourites!)

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Quite a few people (I promise I won’t mention King again…). I’ll say Philippa Gregory, I love almost all her novels and get very excited when one is due to be released.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Dr Sleep – Stephen King. The follow up to The Shining. Oh damn, I mentioned him again.

Worst Bookish Habit:

Being maybe a bit TOO control freakish with lending my precious books. Please don’t break their spine, I can’t take it!!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

This is based on my Kindle in alphabetical order as I’m not at home at the moment: Annexed by Sharon Dogar.

Your latest book purchase:

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (spoiler alert) J K Rowling!

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Amazing!
Please feel free to leave your link to your A-Z book survey and I’ll come take a look, I’d love to see some of your answers!

WWW Wednesday #13

Published August 14, 2013 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

I’ve been on holiday for two weeks in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, so this is my first WWW since returning, thanks as always to MizB for hosting!

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?

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I loved Barbara Kingsolver’s previous book The Poisonwood Bible, and this, her latest novel, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013.

What did you recently finish reading?

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This book really surprised me! I’ve read it before my pre-blog days and thought it good, but second time round I loved it! My post can be found HERE.

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This stand-alone by the great Margaret Atwood is part of my Short Stories Challenge this year. It’s also part of a series, which I didn’t realise so am looking forward to the next installment. My review will be up very soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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I’ve only read one Simon Mawer book before, The Glass Room, and absolutely loved it so looking forward to this! It will be a review by myself and my book-blogging sister, Chrissi.

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come take a look! Happy Reading Everyone!

The Glass Room – Simon Mawer

Published January 27, 2013 by bibliobeth

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Whats it all about?:

Honeymooners Viktor and Liesel Landauer are filled with the optimism and cultural vibrancy of central Europe of the 1920s when they meet modernist architect Rainer von Abt. He builds for them a home to embody their exuberant faith in the future, and the Landauer House becomes an instant masterpiece. Viktor and Liesel, a rich Jewish mogul married to a thoughtful, modern gentile, pour all of their hopes for their marriage and budding family into their stunning new home, filling it with children, friends, and a generation of artists and thinkers eager to abandon old-world European style in favor of the new and the avant-garde. But as life intervenes, their new home also brings out their most passionate desires and darkest secrets. As Viktor searches for a warmer, less challenging comfort in the arms of another woman, and Liesel turns to her wild, mischievous friend Hana for excitement, the marriage begins to show signs of strain. The radiant honesty and idealism of 1930 quickly evaporate beneath the storm clouds of World War II. As Nazi troops enter the country, the family must leave their old life behind and attempt to escape to America before Viktor’s Jewish roots draw Nazi attention, and before the family itself dissolves.
As the Landauers struggle for survival abroad, their home slips from hand to hand, from Czech to Nazi to Soviet possession and finally back to the Czechoslovak state, with new inhabitants always falling under the fervent and unrelenting influence of the Glass Room. Its crystalline perfection exerts a gravitational pull on those who know it, inspiring them, freeing them, calling them back, until the Landauers themselves are finally drawn home to where their story began.
Brimming with barely contained passion and cruelty, the precision of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession, and the fear of failure – the Glass Room contains it all.

What did I think?:

The characters in Mawer’s Man Booker shortlisted novel are fictional, however the Glass Room is not. It is based on an actual house – the Villa Tugendhat, in the Czech Republic. The principle theme of the book, in Mawer’s own words, is  “the contrast of the transparency of the architecture and the opposite, the lack of transparency of the human lives that go on within it. We can aspire to transparency, and politicans do all the time, but in fact its something that we don’t achieve.”  

I think this is a beautiful summary of what goes on inside this astonishing novel. All the characters that pass through this house seem to have something to hide, yet once in the Glass Room, everything becomes exposed. The characters in this novel are all intriguing and all flawed in some way, which just made them more interesting to me. I loved how the Glass Room itself became a main character in the novel as it passed from Liesel and Viktor’s hands to the Nazis, the Soviets and to the Czech state. Amazing writing that kept me hooked throughout, I can see why this novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and can’t wait to check out the back catalogue from Simon Mawer.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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