Tag Archives: Danny Wallace

Deals of the Moment- August


Every month amazon has a set of kindle monthly deals. This in the post where I talk about any books which are of interest.

So I’m going to briefly talk about the books I’ve read which are on offer, and those that I have bought myself. Why I liked them/bought them, and what they are about. End links are to the amazon page, any other links are to my reviews. Amazon links are affiliate links but any money made goes back into the blog (e.g. for giveaways)

Please note prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- Hunter S Thompson

I may buy this one because it’s on The Rory List, although I’m not sure how ‘me’ it is.  Plus it’s very popular. It’s about drugs and the ‘American Dream’

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Virgin Suicides- Jeffrey Eugenides

I love Jeffrey Eugenides writing, and especially liked Middlesex. The Virgin Suicides is a sort of modern classic. About a family of girls who all commit suicide.

You can buy it…here (only £1.99)


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet- Jamie Ford

This is one of my favourite World War novels. It’s about the Japanese community in America during WW2.

You can buy it…here. (only £0.99)


The Happiness Project- Gretchen Rubin

I’ve heard some fantastic things about this book, but again I’m not sure if it’s one for me, it seems a bit self-helpy for my taste. However I may give it a go. It’s a sort of autobiography showing the various methods Rubin used to gain happiness and how they worked out for her

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


Keeping Faith- Jodi Picoult

I am a big Picoult fan, I’ve read all her books. Keeping Faith is about a kid who starts hearing God. She ends up with a lot of attention, but so much rubbish is going on in her life, is she really hearing God?

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Storyteller- Jodi Picoult

Yes another Picoult one. This is about an ex-Nazi SS solider who wants forgiveness. Not a ‘usual’ Picoult but very good

Buy it…here (only £1.49)


Anita and Me- Meera Syal

Anita and Me was one of the first ‘adult’ books I read. It’s about an Asian girl growing up in a predominately white town, and wanting to fit in.

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao- Junot Diaz

This is one of those books everyone says you ‘have’ to read. It’s about a geek who lives in a dream world- basically.

Buy it…here (only £2.59)


Charlotte Street- Danny Wallace

I loved this book when I read it. It’s a bit like Nick Hornby in style. About a man who tries to find a woman whose disposable camera he accidentally took.

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


Kommandant’s Girl- Pam Jenoff

Kommandant’s Girl is probably my favourite Pam Jenoff (at least so far). It’s about a girl who gets together with a German Kommndant to help the resistance during WW2.

Buy it…here (only £0.99)


The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman

I just finished this one (it’s a Summer deal rather than a monthly). I highlighted a lot of quotes (see a few on my tumblr). It’s sort of insightful, a coming of age novel, but with the usual Gaiman fantasy element (yeah, can you tell I still need to write my review?)

Buy it…here (only £0.99)


Still Alice- Lisa Genova

A very moving book, and sad. About a woman with early-onset dementia.

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins

If anyone doesn’t already have it! It’s a dystopian book about a ‘game’ played every year where basically kids have to kill each other off, sort of based on Battle Royal. I really liked it.

Buy it…here (only £2.19)


Eleanor and Park- Rainbow Rowell

Not my favourite Rainbow Rowell, but still great. Geeky. It’s a love story, but more too.

Buy it…here (only £1.99)

 

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Review of the Year 2013- Non-Fiction


I’ve only read 4 non-fiction books this year. I thought I would list them all, although the best of these is clear for me.


The End of Your Life Book Club- Will Schwalbe is about a mother who is critically ill, and her son who connect through books as she reaches the end of her life.

 

 


The Elements of Eloquence- Mark Forsyth. Is about writing and speaking style and how to make what you say beautiful.

 

 


Friends like These- Danny Wallace. Is about Danny finding all of his childhood friends.

 

 


1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks off. Another book by the QI team, full of interesting facts.

And the winner is…

The Elements of Eloquence

I love Mark Forsyth’s stuff. Always interesting, but told in an easy to read tone and with a lot of humour. I’m pretty sure reading this during NaNoWriMo helped my writing too.

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Friends Like These- Danny Wallace


Synopsis (from amazon)

Danny Wallace is about to turn thirty and his life has become a cliché. Recently married and living in a smart new area of town, he’s swapped pints down the pub for lattes and brunch. For the first time in his life, he’s feeling, well … grown-up.

But something’s not right. Something’s missing. Until he finds an old address book containing just twelve names. His best mates as a kid. Where are they now? Who are they now? And how are they coping with being grown-up too?

And so begins a journey from A-Z, tracking down and meeting his old gang. He travels from Berlin to Tokyo, from Sydney to LA. He even goes to Loughborough. He meets Fijian chiefs. German rappers. Some ninjas. And a carvery manager who’s managed to solve time travel. But how will they respond to a man they haven’t seen in twenty years, turning up and asking if they’re coming out to play?

Part-comedy, part-travelogue, part-memoir, Friends Like These is the story of what can happen when you track down your past, and of where the friendships you thought you’d outgrown can take you today…

Review

I nicked borrowed this book off the boyfriend the other week when nothing on my kindle was inspiring me and I just fancied an easy read. I actually got it  for him for Christmas because he loves the film Yes Man– I wasn’t sure if he had read the book the film is based on so I went for another Danny Wallace instead. When he read it he said I should too.

Well I did say after reading Charlotte Street that I wanted to try some of Wallace’s non-fiction, and who am I to deny an offer of a book?

I’m sure everyone knows the sort of friends Danny is trying to find. Those friends who you somehow lost, never really intending to, but still it happens. So I think Danny’s feelings about his friends are easy to relate to (not that most of us have the time or money to find and visit all our friends from primary school).

In a way I liked this more than other similar types of books (i.e. comedian goes on an adventure to find people, or things e.g. Googlewhack, Around Ireland with a fridge, Dave Gorman Vs. The Rest of the World), because it was more real. It was sort of inspirational. Not in the sense of I would go around the world to find people I knew in school, but in the sense of wanting to try and reconnect with lost friends.

But it had what those types of books have too. It was funny, and a bit stupid, and a little unbelievable and over the top.

4/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.99)

Kindle (£5.22)

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Charlotte Street- Danny Wallace


Image from amazon

Synopsis (from amazon)

It all starts with a girl… (because yes, there’s always a girl…)

Jason Priestley (not that one) has just seen her. They shared an incredible, brief, fleeting moment of deep possibility, somewhere halfway down Charlotte Street.

And then, just like that, she was gone – accidentally leaving him holding her old-fashioned, disposable camera, chock full of undeveloped photos…

And now Jason – ex-teacher, ex-boyfriend, part-time writer and reluctant hero – faces a dilemma. Should he try and track The Girl down? What if she’s The One? But that would mean using the only clues he has, which lie untouched in this tatty disposable…

It’s funny how things can develop…

Review.

A while ago I read a review of Charlotte Street on Ellie’s blog; Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. Ellie loved Charlotte Street and I just had to add it to my wishlist. Well the other week I managed to get myself stuck in Waterstone’s. I had intended just to browse. I told myself I could buy two books from the buy one get one half-price selection, but only if one was from The Rory List. I didn’t see any books from the Rory list in that selection so I decided to leave. Unfortunately when I reached the door I saw that the rain was coming down like a Monsoon. I mean, I couldn’t go out in that could I? So I was stuck in Waterstone’s, and my will-power was wearing down…I had no choice. So I came out with Charlotte Street and Scarlett Thomas’ Going Out. Both books on my wishlist, neither on The Rory List.

Anyway this is meant to be a review, right? Not the story of how I got forced to buy books!

Charlotte Street was one of those books that made me both sad and satisfied to have finished. It’s been a long time since I last got this feeling from finishing a book. I wanted it to carry on, even though I knew it had definitely reached a conclusion.

I liked the characters, especially Dev. I quite often thought they were idiots but that just made them more realistic. Jason was certainly the flawed hero- if you can call someone whose behaviour borders on stalker-ish a hero! He did sometimes doubt whether he should be behaving the way he was, but there was always a friend to put him on the ‘right’ path, and I loved that.

In some ways you could actually call Charlotte Street a coming of age story. Maybe it was later in life than the typical coming of age story but Jason (and actually the other major characters too) certainly learnt something from the beginning of the book to the end and entered a new stage of life.

Wallace’s writing style reminded me a lot of Nick Hornby’s books, especially High Fidelity. Flawed hero- check, love interest- check, geeky friend- check, shop- check. It wasn’t a copy my any means but there were a lot of parallels. Amusing but in a real-life way rather than an artificial humour.

I had meant to read something by Danny Wallace for a long time, in fact since reading Are You Dave Gorman? when I was at school, and finding out Danny Wallace had written solo books, but somehow it hasn’t happened until now. This is probably the worst book to start on seeing as it’s Wallace’s first fiction book, but it has made me more eager to read something else by him.

5/5

Other Reviews:

Ellie @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add it here please leave me a comment with a link and I will add it.

Buy it:

Paperback (£7.79)

Kindle (£7.40)

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Humour, Romantic