Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones’s Diary documents the life, loves and calories of a 30 something ‘singleton’ who specialises in broken relationships, dysfunctional parents, the ability to infuse diets with Mars Bars and blue soup. In short, this is a satirical look at the life of a young woman living in the 21st century whose only idea of culture is a night in front of the TV watching blind date.

This is a very funny book and Helen Fielding in creating Bridget has given us a character who is very easy to identify with. The humour in the book comes from watching her do the things we’ve all done a million times before but have never admitted to. For example, we have all at some point cursed the invention of 1471 for what in the end becomes an obsessive compulsion to see if that one special person has called … and have all therefore been plunged into a pit of despair when we discover that the last and only person to ever call was your dad!

My only criticism of the book is that it has a slightly predictable ending; though leaving Bridget to any other fate would only have left readers feeling cheated. This is a book for all those people who understand the importance of chocolate and who indulge their addictions even against their better judgement. We’ve all been there and bought the t-shirt – now you can read the book.


PS I Love You

My guilty pleasure when it comes to reading is a good chick-lit – or a romantic comedy, if you will. I’ve been feeling a little down lately so I pulled out an old favourite for a re-read. PS I Love You by Cecilia Ahern. I’ve read it quite a few times and I really do enjoy it.

I’ve always found it an intriguing premise for a novel, and an inspirational idea in general. Holly is a newly-widowed 29-year-old who discovers that her husband has left her a “list” of instructions for her to follow as she adjusts to life without him. Some of the instructions are simple, some not, but all come from the love that they had for one another and his desire that she be okay on her own, as her own person.

How Holly adjusts to this new scenario is very interesting – the people she was used to leaning on disappear, and ones who were always problematic turn out to be her best support. I’m particularly pleased with the character of Holly’s mother, Elizabeth, and the fact that she knows what to say (and, more importantly, what to leave unsaid).

I’m always surprised by some of the sequences – there were points where the storyline could easily become sterotypical but then it goes in a different direction entirely. I love when that happens. A brilliant first novel and one that always makes me want to read more of Cecilia Ahern’s books

Astrophysics For People In A Hurry

Before I say anything else, I need to preface this post with two things:
Firstly, I haven’t written a book report or review since secondary school which was a lifetime ago and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing
Secondly, I rather adore Neil deGrasse Tyson and the man can basically do no wrong in my eyes.

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed his latest offering Astrophysics For People In A Hurry

Is it a marketing trick, I wonder? Publishing a “small book” and then even attaching the words “… for people in a hurry”. Or is it an elaborate joke by Neil Degrasse Tyson himself?

Because this book isn’t all that small content-wise.

Books about the universe make you realise how insignificant we are, but this book also explains how little we know. We think we know, but we know NOTHING. Eighty-five percent of all gravity comes from an unexplained source, dark matter. Then there’s dark energy, which we also don’t know anything about. There are theories, yes, but they’re just that. The book also tells us about Einstein, who in my opinion is the star of this book (and not just the book!). He managed to pose theories that to this day stand up to the many tests.

I had preordered it a few months ago and had forgotten all about it. It was a very nice surprise when it arrived (The joy of preordering stuff !) A few chapters in, I decided to also buy the audio version. Listening to Degrasse Tyson’s voice while laying in bed is like having a warm, comfortable blanket on you. (Sorry, Jack!)

The material within the book, however, has the power to knock you right out. So I wouldn’t really recommend listening to this while preparing to sleep. The implications of this book are slightly frightening. The promise that this book will “in a hurry” prepare you for your next cocktail party where you can pretend you are knowledgeable about the universe is slightly misleading. No, this book is a gateway into astrophysics. It tells us not to be in a hurry, stand still and realise you are part of a great mystery.