Thursday, May 6, 2010

Top 5 titles my mum recommends

List by Kay Carter - compiled by Danielle
"Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it." ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The shadow of the wind.

I asked my mum to come up with her most recent Top 5 recommendations to help us celebrate Mother's Day here at Manukau Libraries. After she'd given up trying to shoehorn 6 choices into her Top 5 (too many books to choose!), her current favourite recommendations are below.

She says of her selected titles: "Nos 2 and 3 are not my usual sort of book, really, but I’ve checked out the reviews to jog my memory, and remember loving them all over again. They are different, I guess – very unpredictable which is probably what I really liked about them, but both very different from each other. Wolf Hall I enjoyed because I didn’t know very much at all about Thomas Cromwell. It does include Henry VIII’s marital problems, but I had never read anything specifically about Thomas Cromwell. Heart's blood was a sort of historical fantasy and has a pretty strong main female character. Once into The girl with the dragon tattoo, it moved very quickly and had such a feisty female character and very understanding and quite sexy male counterpart (albeit a number of years older!). The film was pretty true to the book. Not a particularly enjoyable subject, in fact harrowing, but a real good read. "

Wolf Hall / Hilary Mantel
England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

The book thief / Markus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbours.

The shadow of the wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafón ; translated by Lucia Graves.
A boy named Daniel selects a novel from a library of rare books, enjoying it so much that he searches for the rest of the author's works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.

Heart's blood / Juliet Marillier
Whistling Tor is a place of secrets, a mysterious, wooded hill housing the crumbling fortress of a chieftain whose name is spoken throughout the district in tones of revulsion and bitterness. A curse lies over Anluan's family and his people; those woods hold a perilous force whose every whisper threatens doom. (Also recommended by Juliet Marillier: Wolfskin and it's sequel, Foxmask.)

The girl with the dragon tattoo / Steig Larsson
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared off the secluded island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger family. There was no corpse, no witnesses, no evidence. But her uncle, Henrik, is convinced that she was murdered by someone in her own family, the deeply dysfunctional Vanger clan. Journalist Mikael is hired to investigate.

(The first title in the Millennium trilogy; followed by The girl who played with fire and The girl who kicked the hornet's nest. We also have the recent release of the movie of 'The girl with the dragon tattoo'.)

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