Friday, March 2, 2012

Win a National Year of Reading book pack

30 book reviews in 30 days!

That’s our goal, help us reach it !! At the end of the 30 days a winner will be drawn. Leave your review and it could be you !!!!!

Be in the draw to win a National Year of Reading Book prize pack including books kindly donated by Dymocks Rouse Hill.

Books that made you think

In 50 words or less tell us about a book that made you really think in any way, shape, or form. Did you rethink your perception or your attitude towards something due to reading this book? If so, leave a review and tell us about it, in 50 words or less and you will be in the draw to win a National Year of Reading book pack. Click here to email your review or alternatively use the link below.

Please leave your name and email address at the bottom of the review so we may contact you should you win the book pack. Limit of one review per person. This information will not be displayed publicly.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • The grapes of wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • De Bono's Thinking Course
  • Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • 1984 by George Orwell

  Review #1:  Five People you Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom.
One book that really gave me inspiration and warmed my heart was Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. I enjoyed the authors way of writing and am glad to have given it a chance seeing as it was someone not as well known as others you can underestimate a book sometimes based on just the literary artist instead of the overall complete work. I would recommend giving Mitch Albom and his books a once over.  T.I.
Review #2:  The Kiterunner - Khaled Hosseini
I learnt so much from this book. It is a real gem! From engaging the reader about life in Afghanistan before the war to an unforgettable story of friendships, family and ultimately redemption. I know that I thought differently about the bond between fathers and sons, the hardship of refugees and also Afghanistan itself and I discovered what a wonderful and beautiful place this was before the war. Loveit


Anonymous said...

One book that really gave me inspiration and warmed my heart was Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. I enjoyed the authors way of writing and am glad to have given it a chance seeing as it was someone not as well known as others you can underestimate a book sometimes based on just the literary artist instead of the overall complete work. I would recommend giving Mitch Albom and his books a once over.

Anonymous said...

A book that really made me think was "The Ellegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery. The book is told from the point of view of Renee who beneath her exterior of dowdy, grumpy concierge/caretaker hides a thoughful and intelligent soul. The book also contains diary entries from 12 year old Paloma who lives in the building that Renee works in. Each character describes their thoughts and reactions to what is going on around them expressing some intersting philosophical ideas about "life." Both are disatisfied with their lives until they meet japanese busineman Kakuro who moves in and befriends them. There is not alot of plot to the story but it is a thought provoking book. I enjoyed some of Barbery's observations about life. The following is a good example: “The problem is that children believe what adults say and once they're adults themselves they exact their revenge by deceiving their own children. "Life has meaning and we grown-ups know what it is" is the universal lie that everyone is supposed to believe. Once you become an adult and you realize that's not true it's too late. The mystery remains intact but all your available energy has long ago been wasted on stupid things. All that's left is to anesthetize yourself by trying to hide the fact that you can't find any meaning in your life and then the better to convince yourself you deceive your own children. ... People aim for the stars and they end up like goldfish in a bowl. I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd. That might deprive you of a few good moments in your childhood but it would save you a considerable amount of time as an adultnot to mention the fact that you'd be spared at least one traumatic experience i.e. the goldfish bowl.”
― Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Review by Kristen

Majic Scrapbooker said...

Emma Donoghue's "Room" gives an insight into how a child who has grown up in captivity might feel when he finally encounters "freedom". Living in one room might be claustrophobic for an adult, but it is the whole world to 5 year old Jack. "Outside" is full of contradictions and frightening things; Jack needs his "Ma" more than ever before to find his way in this new "real world".

Reewel said...

A book that made me think was Jasper Jones. This book is set in Australian 1960s. I felt really sad for the racism extended towards the Indian family in the neighbourhood. It made me think about todays society, and wonder have we really improved since that era? I certainly hope so.

Nastassia said...

What I thought would be a light summer read turned out to be so much more. Mr Eugenides has interwoven the stories of the three vastly different members of his 1980's love triangle perfectly. The dark and hilarious turns in the “Marrriage Plot” prompt graduands in particular to ponder possible preconceptions about careers, literature, mental illness, travel, spirituality and, of course, love.

Pindraig said...

Walden: or, Life in the Woods.
Henry David Thoreau
Published in 1854 and still worth reading by everyone today. This book has influenced many people (such as Ghandi) over the past 157 years, and possibly changing the course of history more than once. Read while it can still make a difference to you.

Rel said...

Clan of the Cave Bear depicts a girl learning to survive in a different culture. It highlights that all cultures think they are superior. Prejudice runs deep, often we may accept one person that we know - but never their people.

Anonymous said...

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Whilst I love books that make me think this book has stayed in my mind long after I read it. It made me think about the lives of others, different cultures and beliefs. Just a fascinating and touching read.

Richard said...

In secular western society we focus on living and avoid dying and death. In his classic ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ Buddhist master Sogyal Rinpoche taught me to “understand the true meaning of life, how to accept death, and how to help the dying and the dead.”

trendy said...

'Butterfly' by Sonya Hartnett proved to be a very thought provoking novel for me. Looking at life through the eyes of a 13 year old, stuck between childhood and becoming a woman, not able to understand the actions of adults. The book made me think about how my own daughters are faced each day with decisions about appearance, body image and fitting in.It also made me think about how ordinary suburban families can lead complicated lives.

Anonymous said...

My inspirational book is actually a picture book called Ish by Peter H Reynolds. A little boy finds inspiration when his little sister likes his picture of a vase because it looks vase-“ish”. I love it that we don't have to be perfect and art can be anything. It's time we all saw the bigger picture.

Anonymous said...

Sophie Kinsella's latest book 'I've Got Your Number' had me chuckling from start to finish.

The tale of Poppy Wyatt, who is about to marry her 'perfect' man. That is, until she loses her engagement ring and her 'perfect' relationship and life begins to unravel..

This is a hilarious novel. Sophie Kinsella never fails to deliver believable and likeable characters.

Thoroughly recommended - this 'chick-lit' with a cherry on top!

Anonymous said...

I loved Sophie Kinsella's latest offering 'I've Got Your Number'.

This is the tale of Poppy Wyatt, a young lady about to marry her 'perfect' man. Or so she thinks..her seemingly perfect life and relationship soon begin to unravel though as comedy ensues.

This is a hialrious and heart-warming tale. 'Chick-lit' with a cherry on top!

Anonymous said...

If you love the sea, you'll enjoy Tim Winton's 'little book' Land's Edge. Tim lives on the Western Australian Coast and his love of all things to do with the coast shines through. The sand, sun, dunes, fury of the surf and even near drowing is potrayed to the reader from a very personal, very Australian perspective. His style is real and gritty, and he has included some incredible images of the coastline. Much less heavy going than some of his chunkier novels, you can almost smell the salt and hear the gulls squarking from the pages of this book.

Jas said...

A book that really made me think is The Valley by Di Morrissey. A simple kind of book, very well written but as I was in a similiar position to the main character at the time I read it, it really made me think about how I was living my life. Maybe it was time to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city to a more relaxing local community town? It is in the pipeline not just because of this book, but because it touched me just when I needed it.

Anonymous said...

I have just rememebered another book that really made me "think." Its called "Veronika decides to die." by Paulo Coehler
It is about a young woman named Veronika who lives in Slovenia. She has a steady job as a librarian and leads an "average" life. One day she decides to end her life by taking an overdose of sleeping tablets. But her attempt fails and she wakes to find herself in a mental hospital and told she will only have a week to live as her heart has been damaged. The book tells of Veronika's experience in the mental hospital and the patients there. Veronika finds she is able to express herself in a way she has never been able to before without the constraints of society - she can act "mad" if she wants to. The book is a bit weird but interesting in its exploration of madness vs conformity to social norms, and perceptions of life and death.
Review by Kristen

Rachel said...

The last book I read that made me stop and think was "Buddhism For Mothers" by Sarah Napthali.
I read it during my pregnancy but came to realise that the wisdom and advice contained within it is applicable to areas of everyone's life.
It encourages you to adopt an attitude of calm in everyday life to seek to understand and accept that things may not always go your way and that dealing with them in a calm and rational way makes life easier all round.
It made me think that why should life be so fraught? Are we not sophisticated enough to control our immediate reactions of anger, impatience and frustration? Surely we can manage these feelings and allow ourselves the opportunity to live calmly and with tolerance towards others.
Don't let the title put you off; whether you are a mother or not, you, and the world around you, could benefit from some of the kindness and wisdom discussed in this book.

Anonymous said...

If you want to think about love,life and loss then 'The young widows book of home improvements'is a biography worthy of your time. Virginia Lloyd was single at 32, married at 33 and a widow at 34. This meditation on love and death made me think about what love does to a person.You have to admire how Virginia took on the challenge of marrying her partner despite knowing there would be no fairy tale ending.Truly a warm and heartbreaking story.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading the Royal diaries series: Elizabeth I by Kathryn Lasky. It was the best book ever. I thought it would be boring like other Queen Elizabeth books but this one was surprisingly interesting. I recommend you to read it!!!ZC

Amy W said...

"A Child Called It" by Dave Pelzer is an autobiography about the abuse and torture that a child endured at the hands of his own mother. You will feel shocked about what a child had to deal with, angry that nothing was done about it for so long, and relieved when he is rescued. This book made me think that no matter how bad life gets, there is much to be grateful for.

Jaso said...

The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll. It is a true story about a boy that gets addicted to drugs. It shows why he started using drugs, what he did to maintain his addiction, and it shows how and why he gave up. He became a successful author and spokesperson. It shows that anyone can overcome their addictions and lead a better life. Jaso

Ushma said...

The book I just completed and brought out a tumble of different emotions was Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. Its the story about a successful executive that has an accident and subsequent head injury leaving her with something called, 'left neglect' where her brain does not recognise that there is a left side to her body or that her plate has a left side full of food or that the room she is in has another half that she cannot 'see'. I found myself laughing at times,crying at others, being angry, grateful, hopeful and would recommend it for anyone that loves reading.

Nicole said...

The Shack by William P. Young explores a father's deep sadness and pain and consequent alienation from God. It presents God in a way that challenges our notions of who exactly we think he is. We become privvy to thought-provoking and possibly life-changing conversations between this father and God.

This book is one of the most insightful and thought provoking books I have ever read. A beautiful and uplifting story that gives hope to anyone who has ever questioned God's role in tragedies.

Lindy Lou said...

I have to agree with a previous reviewer, the book that I thought long and hard after reading, is Jasper Jones. It was written so well it was like stepping back into the 1960,s. The stereotypes and in particular the rasist undertones came through so well. I too really hope we have moved on from such ignorant and immature behavior as was bestowed on that poor Vietnamese family.

Anonymous said...

I think Room really made me think about what it was like to be born and grow up in captivity without realising it, essential reading as it is written from a child's perspective and his view of the world was quite entertaining!!

Roslyn Smith

Anonymous said...

Twilight was very different and so original. It actually made me think about people who are different and not fitting in with the majority. It is essentially a love story, but told quite uniquely.


Anonymous said...

I know it's a cliche but talking about "books that make you think" I can't go past 1984 by George Orwell. This classic novel explores the ideas of truth and illusion, how our basic understandings can be shaped by the images we are fed, and our willingness to believe in order to "fit in", and so many more dark themes that really make me wonder how we ever really know the truth. This book was written in 1948, but the issues it raises are increasingly pertinent in our digital age. We put so much of ourselves into digital media; do we really know where that information ends up or how it might be used in the future? We have access to so much information, but how do we really know what is accurate, who the stakeholders are and what their agenda is? If you want a read that will instil a little bit of healthy paranoia, 1984 is for you.

Anonymous said...

I read Aquaterros from the Boy vs Beast series. A boy and his robot dog fight elemental monsters to save the Earth from Beastium, a world that has access to Earth through a border wall. It's a book written for boys but I enjoy them even though I'm a girl. It makes me feel powerful. I like to read all different types of books and this is one of my favourites. Senna, aged 9.

Gillian said...

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Are we ever really ready to die? Will you be ready in 3 years? 10 years? 20 years? Kathy, Tommy and Ruth are three friends, young, fit and in the prime of life… only their time is already up.
This is a book that will get you thinking.