Challenge 13 – Your Favourite Writer

Hi everyone

I have a confession to make: I have NO IDEA who my favourite writer is.  I think the problem is that I haven’t read enough books to be able to single out one author.  I think if you look at my book collection and how many times I’ve read some of the books you might assume that my favourite writer is Stephenie Meyer or J K Rowling, but I have, or will be covering, both of these authors already in this challenge and neither have really written enough books for me to give them this accolade in my opinion.  So instead I’ve thought about the authors who I read, without fail, their new offerings no matter what the reviews say.  I would never call them my favourite writer but then I’m always happy to sit down with a fresh copy of their latest book.  This narrowed it down to two authors for me and I went with this one because even though her work is a little more frivolous than the other her books are still a treat to read. So for the next few posts I will be following a theme based on this author, hope you enjoy it…

Sophie KinsellaSophie Kinsella

I first read Sophie Kinsella when my mum gave me the fourth book in the shopaholic series, Shopaholic and Sister, as a present.  Needless to say I was a tad confused as I had no idea what had come before this book and some of it didn’t make sense but I enjoyed the book enough to go back and start from the beginning.  I loved the antics of Becky Bloomwood, shopaholic, and her quirky but kind friend Suze and her slightly dippy but caring parents.  The humour Sophie Kinsella injects into all her books is just right; I’m not one for cringey humour usually but the balance between satire and almost slapstick is just perfect enough to keep you giggling.  There have been times when tears of laughter have been brought to my eyes or I’ve had to look away from the page in horror at what is unfolding before me.  The protagonist in her books is always a strong female character who somehow gets herself into a few scrapes, things might take a turn for the worse but then she stops feeling sorry for herself and fixes her own problems with as much class and decorum she can muster.  After reading the Shopaholic series I then went on to read Sophie Kinsella’s other work which I believe I enjoyed even more, however I wasn’t as keen on her work published under her real name, Madeleine Wickham.  It isn’t particularly humorous like her more recent work under her alias and I found the characters weren’t as bold or likeable.

I do have to say that her last two books that I have read, Mini Shopaholic and Wedding Night felt a bit rushed and seem to be missing some of the spark that comes in abundance in her other books, they were still enjoyable but not fantastic.  I am still an avid fan though and I would recommend any of her books if you want something girly, fun, light-hearted and I would say distinctly British.  You can’t go wrong with that combination!

Jennie

Challenge 12 – The First Novel You Remember Reading

Hi everyone

I’m still behind!  For some reason I thought that as I struggle to get posts out when I’m supposed to on this blog or read the ever growing pile of books I have stacked up around my home that it would be a great idea to start another blog as well.  So now I feel like I’m juggling both of them on a daily basis but hopefully it might make me a more disciplined blogger. We’ll have to see I suppose!

Now I’ve already mentioned this before, but when friends and colleagues start reminiscing about tv shows and toys and books from their childhoods I tend to just smile and nod as most of the time I have no memory of what they are talking about.  This is not because I had a very closeted childhood; I just have very little memory of the many tv shows, toys and especially books that I amused myself with when I was young.  I have been trying to remember for days now the names of any books I remember reading but I can only remember the following:

Some Roald Dahl books

Some Worst Witch books

I think I may have read the Narnia series

I’m sure I must have read some Winnie The Pooh?

That’s it, so unfortunately today’s blog will not be as interesting or as insightful as it could have been, but I have tried to be as imaginative as possible!

DannyDanny the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl

Now I have already included Matilda in this challenge so I would have preferred to have chosen a different author but my choices were very limited.  I chose this book in particular because (can you believe it!) I can actually remember this storyline pretty well despite not reading this book since I was little.  Well I don’t think I’ve read it since anyway but my memory can be pretty bad.  I remember receiving this book as a Christmas present from my Grandmother and staring in wonderment at the title as I couldn’t work out what this book could be about.  Even as I started reading this book I still didn’t understand the title.  Obviously it is only when you get to the end of the book that it (sort of) makes sense.  As an adult looking back at the storyline I’m not sure what sort of message this book was trying to send a young child.  At the time I found the book funny and felt as if I was living vicariously through Danny and his father which I suppose is the whole point of literature, to transport you to another world, but the fact that Danny’s father, William, regularly poached pheasants and that he taught Danny the tricks of the trade as well isn’t necessarily the most moral of teachings.  But then I suppose in the end the village all join together to teach the bully Mr Hazell a lesson through humiliating him, giving him a taste of his own medicine although I’m not sure if that is the best message either.  It is still a fun book though and definitely something a bit different to read.  This book is just another example of Roald Dahl’s wonderful imagination and I’ve just realised a book that I have read that pre-dates this one, George’s Marvellous Medicine. Oh well, I can write about that one next time!

Jennie