Saturday, 17 March 2012

Magic in early 1900s Alaska

I wasn't supposed to be writing this review until next week but I was so struck with this beautiful and tragic novel that I couldn't wait to share it with you all. The Snow Child is the debut novel of Eowyn Ivey, and what a debut it is. I lost a lot of time to this novel, and none of it was with regret, I was completely absorbed and I adored it. It is on a level with Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus which was the book that inspired me to start this review blog.

The Snow Child is the story of a couple in their fifties who decide to try their luck at setting up a homestead in early 1920s Alaska. Between hope and desperation, they push on past the obstacles laid in their path, especially when the 'snow child' begins to flit in and out of their lives, leaving them feeling hopeful and blessed. Throughout this tale, you will find yourself torn between happiness and grief. It teeters on the edge of fantasy in this mysterious and unfamiliar world, like something out of a fairytale, and you'll gaze with childlike wonder on the descriptions of the snow and the mountains and its delicate yet fierce wildness.

I'm afraid to admit that one thing did disappoint me - the novel ends. I didn't want it to, and I wanted it to go on and on forever, past the tragedy and I wanted desperately for it to have an entirely happy ending. This doesn't stop me from adoring it. It also doesn't stop me from recommending it whole-heartedly to you.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Joshua Foer - Moonwalking with Einstein

In lieu of a post about the fantastically engaging and beautiful book, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (which I'm currently very much enjoying), I have decided to review Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein. My local bookshop, University Bookseller, runs a fantastic popular science reading group (Think Tank Book Club) and this was our book for the month. I don't usually post about books that I haven't been asked to review (mainly because I don't have enough time to do so because I have a pile of books waiting to be reviewed) but with this book, I decided I had to.

The book is Foer's journalistic self-experiment of interring himself in the world of mnemonists. Though it might sound like some kind of religious cult (it is a little bit like that...), it actually refers to the art of memory. He uses scientific and anecdotal sources to explore his experience, and makes it informative, thought-provoking and entertaining. As the quote on the cover suggests it really is "A great yarn grounded in real science". In fact, it's so good that it's the first popular science book I've managed to read all the way through. The personal narrative of a human endeavour makes it more like a story than a book about science which makes it eminently more readable than many other pop-sci books I've read.

This is what popular science should be! Engaging, entertaining and informative.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Script Frenzy 2012

So I'm doing my thing of OLL fandom once again! This time, it's Script Frenzy; from the 1st to the 30th April, I will be writing a script of 100+ pages. This post is all about inviting you, my lovely bookworms, to join me. If you're anything like me, your bookwormishness doesn't extend merely to fiction or nonfiction, but beyond that to poetry and drama (maybe not so much poetry, I guess...) We're not just talking about stageplays here, people, it's comic book scripts, screenplays, radio plays! Endless possibilities, endless opportunities, waiting to be snatched up by you!

And don't try to get out of it with excuses such as 'But I don't know how to write a script!' - the lovely people at OLL have thought of that. Click this link to be taken to their wonderful page full of guides and how-tos! And if that doesn't inspire you, watch some of your favourite films, go and see a play, stick on a great TV programme, or turn on your radio - think of all the things that you could do next month, the film you've always wanted to see but no one else has made it, the TV show you've been waiting for, the stageplay that you wished you'd seen whenever you were dragged by your teacher to the theatre!

The best thing? You simply register here and it's all free. (Though I do recommend you donate an help pay the bills towards this wonderful frenzy of script writing!) And if that still hasn't caught your attention, anyone who signs up/logs in to the Script Frenzy site before March 31st gets entered into a prize draw to win some wonderful prizes including "a playbill signed by the cast of the new Broadway comedy Seminar: Alan Rickman (Yes, the Alan Rickman!), Hamish Linklater, Lily Rabe, Hettienne Park, and Jerry O’Connell."

What on earth are you still reading this for??