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Nicole’s Reviews – Helter Skelter Vincent Bugliosi

*Caution: controversial (and contains spoilers, but … uh … it’s history so … spoiler alert?!)

tell me, tell me, tell me the answer

you may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer

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Introducing the 2016 Man Booker Longlist

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Last week we made our predictions for the 2016 Man Booker long list. Today at noon BST the Man Booker committee announced the books that actually made it onto their long list. Here are the books that made the cut… Read more

Terrible Reviews of Great Books: The Lord of the Flies

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There is no such thing as a universally loved book. Each month, we’ll feature a book from Time’s list of the best 100 English language novels of all time. From the nasty to the snarky to the downright absurd, we’ll highlight some of the strange reasons why some people hate these great reads. This month we’ll be taking a look at reviews for The Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

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Non 1001 Book Review: Good Morning, Midnight Lily Brooks Dalton

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Good Morning Midnight  by Lily Brooks-Dalton
Published in: 2016
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: Good Morning, Midnight

This ARC was provided by Orion Publishing Group (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, news of a catastrophic event arrives. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone.

At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success, but when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crew mates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home.

As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives?

Book Worm’s Thoughts: This book was not what I was expecting. When I read Artic “research centre”, “space shuttle”, and “catastrophic event” I expected more to happen in terms of action. Almost nothing does happen. Instead, this is a slow-paced character study of how isolation on Earth and in space affects people, especially when it appears that the rest of the population has vanished.

The story is told from two perspective, in alternating chapters. We have events in the Artic from Augustine’s perspective and then we have the same time period but in space from Sully’s perspective. As the stories evolve, we are drawn into the deepest thoughts and concerns of the characters. As we learn more about the lives of Sully and Augustine, we begin to understand how they have both ended up where they are.

I liked the use of both the Arctic and space as settings since both locations demonstrated how it was possible to be entirely alone with no idea of what was happening in the world.  The descriptions of both environments felt very genuine and highly detailed. The characters were well rounded and flawed and as such they felt very authentic too. I like the way the author ended the book without tying everything up in a nice bow. This kept the realistic feeling of the book.

However, there was one thing that really bugged me and that was the fact that the author couldn’t decide whether the character should be called Augustine or Augie. Within the space of a few sentences, both names were regularly being used. There may have been a point to this switching, possibly to show the confusion caused by isolation, but as a reader I found this switch annoying and puzzling. Maybe it’s just me.

Who would enjoy this book? If you are looking for an action packed adventure story then give this one a miss. Likewise if you are looking for a new way the world could end forget it! If you like stories about people and their motivations, what drives them to do what they do, what they will sacrifice to achieve their dreams, and how they survive when it seems hope is gone then give it a go.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: Good Morning, Midnight

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

 

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

 

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Shame on me but I’d never heard of Blake Crouch until I saw this book being promoted at Book Expo this year. I like speculative fiction (Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors) but I don’t typically read too many books that fall into the genre. I went into this book knowing little to nothing about it and here’s what I thought… Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding Jackie Copleton

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This is another book I had predicted would make it on to the Man Booker long list, sadly Jen has informed me that this is not possible as it was published too early to qualify. Looks like I won’t be winning the predictions league. 

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Non 1001 Book Review: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep Joanna Cannon

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Yesterday we posted our predictions for the 2016 Man Booker Longlist nominees. This book made it on to my list. If it does get selected, our panel of judges will read it and post mini reviews along with our special rating system (more on that in the future). Here is my full review.  Read more

2016 Man Booker Longlist Predictions

man booker

The 2016 Man Booker Longlist will be released on July 27. This year, we will be hosting our own panel of judges for the Man Booker nominees. Book Worm and I along with our three contributors (see our about page) will be reading and reviewing the Man Booker longlist books. At each stage of the award (longlist, shortlist, and winner announcement) we will be making our predictions. We’ll also be reading and reviewing all the books as a panel so stay tuned for regular Man Booker reviews. Keep reading to find out which books we are predicting will make the longlist this year. Scroll to the bottom to vote for who you think has the best predictions list. Read more

1001 Book Review: Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

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Book Worm and I were kind of at a loss on how to rate this book. Did we love it or hate it? Check out our reviews and let us know what you thought of this book. Read more

Guilty Pleasures Review: Nashville by Heart Tina Ann Forkner

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I know we normally review literary fiction and “high brow” literature but we all have guilty pleasure reads and I’m a break from literary fiction to bring you one of my guilty pleasure reads. Check out my review and let us know what sorts of guilty pleasure books you enjoy. Read more

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