Garcia Girls

Catching up – Jan and Feb Book Group reviews

I thought it was time I started reviewing the books I’ve read this year, so today I’m catching up with our book group reads discussed in Jan and Feb. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis This was the first book I read this year, managing to squeeze it in just before we met a few days into January. Read More

austenland

Not just a novel of any letters…

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher This novel certainly has one of the most attractive covers I’ve seen in a while – it rather gave me the urge to start colouring it in, but I restrained myself! (Interestingly, between the proof and the finished article, I can see that quite a few of the letters have Read More

austenland

For want of an old school tie?

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. This is the tale of an obsession that goes very wrong, and brews plans for thirteen years before the revenger wreaks absolute havoc by opening a closet full of skeletons that brings a community to its knees.  I’ll say at the outset that Read More

austenland

Paving the way for the teen vampire sensation

Vampire Diaries  by L J Smith Anyone reading this book would be forgiven for thinking that it was rather derivative of a certain other one – Twilight that is. It even has an apple on the black cover … Amazingly, it was published over ten years before Stephanie Meyer had even started hers. Understandingly, the Read More

austenland

Now I can see why teenage girls love vampires …

Although I have more of the same stacked up, (vampire novels aimed at teenagers that is), I think I’ve worked out why teenage girls love reading them… They have all the features of many traditional favourites:- set in schools pupilled with bullies, geeks, jocks, all the usual stereotypes are there; there’s good/bad, sympathetic/not teachers; an Read More

austenland

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Written as an intimate diary in letter form to an unknown addressee, this novel chronicles the first year in High School of Charlie. Charlie has a tendency to be rather passive, introspective, and prone to burst into tears; well – his best friend has recently committed suicide! Though quiet, Charlie is clever which is recognised Read More

austenland

Hearts and Minds by Rosy Thornton

The British campus novel is generally a cosy thing (unless there’s a murder involved). Often they can be rather claustrophobic too, peopled with backbiting dons, scheming students, and inscrutable college servants, all of which give opportunities for creating high comedy – naturally I’m thinking David Lodge here, or the funniest of all, Porterhouse Blue by Read More