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May Monthly Recap


Time for our May recap! Find out which books were favorites and which were duds. We’ll end our wrap up with a a list of books due out in June and a glimpse of our upcoming content. We also want to hear from you so let us know what you read this month and what you look forward to reading next month.
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Terrible Reviews of Great Books: The Great Gatsby

one star reviews

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 Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Read more

Why do Adults Love YA?

A few weeks ago I came across an old and highly inflammatory post from Slate (shocking – Slate being inflammatory!) titled “Against YA” that was based on the premise that adults should be ashamed of reading YA books. If you want to get angry you can read that post here. Shortly after reading the article, I attended BEA (Book Expo) where I was surprised to find a very heavy emphasis on YA books. I came pretty close to being smothered to death when I accidentally became part of a crowd trying to snag a copy of a YA book.  And the people attempting to smother me weren’t teenagers or young adults in their early 20s. They were squealing adults (I kid you not, there was squealing galore) around my age – in their 30s and older. So what is our fascination with YA and why do so many adults feel driven to consume literature created for 12-17 year olds? Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: A God in Ruins Kate Atkinson


The Guardian calls A God in Ruins Kate Atkinson’s finest work. Book Worm recently read it after loving Life After Life. Keep reading to see if she agrees with the Guardian’s assessment. Read more

Our First Reader – Book Match!

book match

I’ve been talking about this new recurring post idea for most of the year and we finally got around to posting our first one. We hope you all pitch in to help us generate a long list for our first reader. Keep reading to see how this all works, to meet our first reader, and to see the list of books our panel came up with! If you want to be matched to a book, just let us know in the comment section and we’ll add you to our list! Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl


The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Published in: 1947
Literary Awards: Luisterboek Award 2008
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★★★
Find it here: The Diary of a Young Girl

Synopsis from Goodreads: Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Book Worm’s Thoughts: I am ashamed to say I have made it to the grand old age of “cough cough splutter” without having read this important book. I am so glad that I have corrected that mistake.

This is a heartbreaking book, not because of what Anne writes, but because we the reader already know how it will end.

Anne writes in her diary as if she were writing to a person called Kitty. This allows the reader to assume the role of Kitty, and ultimately the role of Anne’s friend and confidant. Anne really speaks to her reader. I could visualize the annex and the people in it. I could see Anne sitting as her desk writing and I could see her occasionally seething with anger at those around her and their lack of understanding.

What is so important about Anne’s diary is that is shows her, and the others in the Annex, as human beings. They are not just statistics. They are actual people. It also shows that they are not saints or heroes they are nothing, special just people like you and me. Anne can be bitchy and hurtful, she suffers with depression and rails against the restrictions put on her and her family. Yet through all the ups and downs she remains upbeat and positive because she is convinced that rescue is coming. Her optimism just about broke my heart and while I knew that rescue would never come for Anne, I kept willing the allies to get there sooner to save this family. What made it even worse was the knowledge that had they gone a few weeks longer without being betrayed, it’s possible that everyone could have survived.

Favourite Quotes: 

“I could spend hours telling you about the suffering the war has brought, but I’d only make myself more miserable. All we can do is wait, as calmly as possible, for it to end. Jews and Christians alike are waiting, the whole world is waiting, and many are waiting for death”

“I’m left with one consolation, small though it may be: my fountain pen was cremated, just as I would like to be some day”

“Those violent outbursts on paper are simply expressions of anger that, in normal life, I could have worked off by locking myself in my room and stamping my foot a few times or calling mother names behind her back”

“That’s something we should never forget; while others display their heroism in battle or against the Germans, our helpers prove theirs everyday by their good spirits and affection”

“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!”

“The time will come when we’ll be people again and not just Jews!”

Who would I recommend this to: Everyone. I really believe everyone should read this book especially given the current world situation. This book helps you to take a step back and to realize that no matter what colour, race, or religious beliefs you hold, we are all the same underneath.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: The Diary of Anne Frank

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

Read Different Challenge

diverse books

Diversity in reading has always been important to me and it’s something I have tracked in my own reading for several years. So I’d like to propose a challenge to our readers and hope you all join me in tacking our latest informal challenge. Read more

Bailey’s Shortlist 2016 Review: Ruby Cynthia Bond


Next up on my list of Bailey’s Prize shortlist is Ruby by Cynthia Bond. Here’s my review: Read more

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

city of mirrors

The City of Mirrors may not seem like a book we would review on this blog, but it’s part of a trilogy that I have really enjoyed. I was thrilled to get an ARC of the final installment of Cronin’s Passage Trilogy. Here’s what I thought… Read more

Most Beautiful Book Cover Winner

Beautiful book spines
This year we are hosting a scavenger hunt challenge which involves a few hidden prizes. The first of those prizes was a challenge to find (and read) the book with the most beautiful book cover. Participants competed against each other to select the book they thought would win. Two weeks ago we asked all of you to help us pick the winner. The votes are in! With 66 votes, the winner is… Read more