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Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding – Review – SPOILERS

Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding – Review – SPOILERSMad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
Series: Bridget Jones #3
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Samantha Bond
Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
Genres: Women's Lit
Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
Evelynne's rating: three-stars

Mad About the Boy is Helen Fielding’s return to her heroine Bridget Jones after a break of 15 years.  It is very difficult, if not impossible, to review Mad About the Boy without including spoilers, so if you have not read the book and do not want to be spoiled, please go away, read the book and come back later.  We’ll be waiting.



Reading Roundup – 27th September 2013

I hope you enjoyed last week’s guest post from Azrael, but now it’s back to regular programming.  The books I have read in the last few weeks have all been worthy of full reviews, so expect to see them in the next few weeks.  This week I started listening to Steelheart of which I have heard the first few chapters a few weeks ago when Audible released them early, free of charge.  I do enjoy Sanderson’s writing so I’m really looking forward to this one.

I’m also reading an ARC of Paul S. Kemp’s The Godborn.  Expect reviews of these two soon.  

Added to my library this week

One series I love listening to on Audible is the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.  I used an Audible credit to add book 5, Death Masks, to my library.  I’m looking forward to this, but it will likely be a few weeks before I get the chance to listen to it.

One of the books on Audible’s daily deals this week was The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.  This is a very interesting tale, and I was happy to add it to my library for the couple of dollars that it cost for the deal.

To test out my Kobo Aura I bought Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons.  I had read the sample and found it both amusing and engaging.  I look forward to reading the rest.

One book whose title I simply couldn’t resist was The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand.  I am a real chocolholic and I couldn’t pass this up for the $1.99 it cost me on Amazon.  Of course with Whispersync for Voice I was able to pick it up on Audible too, for just a few dollars more.  I’m hoping it won’t be too heavy on the romance side though.

As I have enjoyed Kiera Cass’s The Selection series I picked up the novella The Prince.

Upcoming new releases

October is an absolutely phenomenal month for new releases.  There are just so many I’m very excited about.  It’s not going to be so great for my bank balance though…

1st October 2013

Final Catcall by Sofie Kelly.  This is the next in Kelly’s Magical Cats mystery series.  I love gentle mystery series in which the cat helps to solve the crime, and this is a good one.  I’m looking forward to this.  I have preordered it in Kindle format.

8th October 2013

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier.   This is the final book in the Gem trilogy and probably the book I’m most excited about this month.  I read the German original, and I’m looking forward to the English translation by Anthea Bell which, if it’s like the first two, will be excellent.  I know many of you are looking forward to this one, too.  You should check out Tor’s sneak peak.  I have preordered this on Kindle and will pick up the Audible version as soon as it’s available, which I’m assured will be release day.

Heroes of Olympus: House of Hades by Rick Riordan.  This is the fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus and I’m really looking forward to hearing what happens to Percy and Anabeth whom we left at more than a cliffhanger, more like falling off the cliff.  I’ve preordered it in both Kindle and Audible formats.

15th October 2013

Bridget Jones – Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding.  This is the next in Fielding’s Bridget Jones series.  I’m actually a little anxious about this one.  I adored the first two in the series.  In short, I was Bridget Jones.  At the time it came out I was a single young woman in London building a social network and trying to find love.  I’m now in my forties, as I understand Bridget is, so I wonder how well that maturing process is handled.  I had preordered it on Kindle, but I noticed it is narrated by the wonderful Samantha Bond, so I have switched my preorder to Audible.

22nd October 2013

Allegiant day.  This is when the third and final book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.  I’m very excited to find out what happens to Tris and Four in this book.  Insurgent was left with some very interesting developments and I look forward to seeing them played out.  I have preordered this in Kindle format as I wasn’t particularly engaged with the Audible narrators for the first two books.

29th October 2013

Altered by Gennifer Albin.  This is the second in Albin’s Crewel World series.  I read and enjoyed the first book, Crewel, so I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.  I have preordered it from Amazon.

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope.  No, not the Jane Austen version, but Trollope’s updated version.  HarperCollins is commissioning series of Jane Austen updates and this is the first.  I’m intrigued to see what she has done with the story.  I’ve picked it up from Amazon.

That’s all for this week, folks.  What new releases are you most looking forward to?  Let me know in the comments!

What will be tomorrow’s classics?

During my reading for the recent BookTubeAThon in which I compared classic works of literature with more modern novels, I realised fairly early on that there is usually a very good reason why “classics” continue to be read year after year and why they have stood the test of time.    It seems to me that what they have in common is a combination of exploration of universal themes, interesting characters, entry into a fantastical new world, understanding of the human condition and/or a witty and engaging writing style. 1984 explores the theme of government control, and Big Brother is a pretty dominant “character” in the book.  Pride & Prejudice has Jane Austen’s wonderfully witty narrative combined with the eternal quest for true love.

Naturally it made me wonder which of today’s novels will become tomorrow’s classics.  Looking at Amazon’s 100 top selling books, there are several I see there that I don’t believe we will still be reading in years to come. I’m sorry E.L. James and Dan Brown, but I really doubt people will even remember Fifty Shades of Grey or Inferno in fifty years’ time.  I simply don’t think they combine enough of the criteria to last.  So what will people be (re)reading in fifty years time?

Naturally, only time will tell, and I’m basing my picks mainly on the young adult/fantasy genre which is the one I know best.  My top pick would be the Harry Potter series.  I believe in this series Rowling has combined most, if not all, of my criteria.  We have the universal themes of good vs evil, sacrifice, love, friendship and family.  I imagine these themes will still be as relevant in 50 years.  As for interesting characters, I defy anyone to truly know Snape’s motivations prior to the revelations of “The Prince’s Tale” in Deathly Hallows.  The world Rowling has created is simply wonderful – like me, I’m sure many readers wished that they could have joined Harry, Ron and Hermione for some sausages, roast potatoes and pumpkin juice at the Hogwarts end of term feast or that they could have played for Gryffindor in Quidditch.  And who could doubt Rowling’s wit and intelligence when Hermione accuses Ron of having “the emotional depth of a teaspoon” or when reading of Arthur Weasley’s fascination with and misunderstandings of all things Muggle, or fail to shed a tear when Harry asks “will it hurt?” during his last walk in the Forbidden Forest?  The Harry Potter series can be downloaded as ebooks or audiobooks from the Pottermore Shop.  Check out my post on buying from Pottermore.

Another series I imagine will become a classic is George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.  His characters are multi-dimensional and show Martin’s real understanding of human nature.  People generally don’t tend to be wholly good or wholly bad, but a blend of both, and that comes across beautifully in his characterisation.  Martin’s use of multiple points of view characters allows him to really make them live, and it’s this that I believe will secure the series a place in today’s classics.  I wrote about how spoilers enhanced my reading of the latest book, A Dance with Dragons, in this (spoilery) post.

Robert Jordan’s/Brandon Sanderson’s Wheel of Time series is another one I believe will stand the test of time.  While it doesn’t quite have Martin’s depth of character, it makes up for it in the sheer scale and breadth of the world created.  I wrote a blog post on my reaction as I read A Memory of Light.  (Spoilers, enter at own risk).

In Quebec at least, I believe French speakers will be reading Anne Robillard’s Chevaliers d’Eméraude for many, many years to come.  I truly regret that this wonderful series is not available in English.  I’m almost tempted  to write a longer series of posts on this series to introduce it to you.  Robillard creates a fantastic world which she populates with very relatable characters who are dealing with basic human struggles while engaged in a good vs evil battle for their lives.

My final pick may surprise many of you.  I would not be surprised to see Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary on peoples’ reading lists in years to come.  I say that because it combines a witty and entertaining style with a keen eye for character.  More to the point, it captured perfectly life for young twenty somethings of the time.  I know because I have been a Bridget Jones.  So in the way that modern people enjoy reading Jane Austen to get a glimpse of life in Regency England, people in years to come may read Bridget Jones to see get a glimpse of how we live now.

Do you agree with my choices?  What would you pick?  Let me know in the comments!


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