Irum's book blog

I love reading fiction and would like to use this blog as a method of sharing my enthusiasm with others.

Persuasion by Jane Austen


To say the least, a disappointing read. Jane Austen wooed me with "Pride and Prejudice" but it appears that may be her best novel. 

Persuasion follows the story of Anne Elliot and a suitor she refused to marry eight years ag, Captain Wentworth. Lady Russell, Anne;s good friend, advised her against the marriage and is the reason why our heroine remains unmarried. 

The Elliots encounter problems with money and so are forced to let their house to Admiral and Mrs Croft, good-meaning people whom will keep the Elliot's money problems a secret. 

Anne encounters Captain Wentworth again but he remembers her rejection and behaves in a cold manner towards her, I won't tell you what happens, but if you've read any Austen or have watched a BBC adaptation of any of her novels, I'm sure you can guess the outcome of the plot all by yourself.

I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone apart from die-hard fans of classical literature, which until now I thought I was. This novel, however, has proved me wrong and I've realised I'm a greater fan of modern novels. By modern I mean 20th-21st century. 

Anthem by Ayn Rand


Imagine a world where the only crime punishable by death is to use the word "I". Imagine having to say "We are happy" instead of "I am happy". Imagine having to say "We love you" instead of "I love you". 

This disturbing world Ayn Rand has created survives on the basis that everyone must individually suffer to meet the needs of the many. The story follows an intelligent, 21 year-old male who stands at 6 foot named Equality 7-2521. He is often made to feel bad as he is smarter than his fellow brothers and this is seen as a bad thing. He tries to make himself forget things he has learnt but cannot. He also gets a lot of grief about the fact he is taller than his brothers when really everyone should be the same height, because in this world everyone is equal. 

Equality 7-2521 dreams of continuing his education by being assigned to the House of Scholars, however, he is assigned the role of street-sweeper when his education is over. 

Slowly, he breaks more and more of the strange laws this world has forced upon him. I won't say which laws he dares to break, but let's just say it makes for a very interesting read. So interesting, I read the entire novella around two hours. Seriously, just read it. If you have a goodreads account you can read it for free - that's what I did. Although, you can also just google "Anthem novel" and you'll get the option to read it on your laptop, iPad, phone, what have you, completely free of charge. 

Kiss me first by Lottie Moggach


Sorry George Orwell, I have a new favourite book and it isn't 1984! 

"Kiss me first" is Lottie Moggach's first novel and it was so good I wrote my first ever fan letter to her. The novel follows a social outsider (by choice) Leila and her seemingly average life, until she finds a very special website named "Red Pill". 

This website consists of a series of forums discussing topics such as religion, philosophy and ethics. Its name came about because of the first "Matrix" film whereby Neo, the main character or "chosen one" is told to choose between two pills. The blue pill will put him to sleep and he won't remember anything about the recent trauma he has faced, but the red pill will allow Morpheus and the others to show him the truth behind the world. Leila finds happiness posting in this website as she works from home and has limited social interaction since her mother, whom was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) passed away. 

After a few weeks of posting, Leila becomes a prominent member and is asked by the creator of the website, Adrian, to meet F2F (Face to face) about becoming an "Elite Thinker" which is a title reserved only for the most loyal members of the website, those that contribute the most also. 

After meeting Adrian, he asks her about suicide. Leila replies that she believes people have ownership of their own bodies and if they wish to end their life then they should be allowed to. Adrian smiles and responds that he knows of a sane woman whom wishes to end her life, but wants her family and friends to think she is still alive. The woman, Tess, is looking for someone to impersonate her online and is willing to pay them. 

Leila agrees to this arrangement and all I can say is, it changes her life forever.

I can't recommend this novel enough. It's funny, has aspects of romance in it, suspense, drama... it's just a brilliant novel that is will written and everyone should read it. 

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks


In all seriousness, I wasn't expecting this novel to be anywhere near as good as it was. I will probably remember it for years to come and read it repeatedly. I adore it.


The story follows Noah, a simple man with a simple life, until he meets the love of his life. They part due to unfortunate circumstances and fail to stay in contact until one day they are reunited. Their love blossoms until one day when things go wrong. It is difficult to write a review about this novel without spoiling it, but let's just say I read this entire novel in one night and I cried my eyes out. It truly is a gut-wrenching, spine-tingling, tear-inducing love story that makes Romeo and Juilet look like a childrens' book.


If you're a hopeless romantic like me then you'll enjoy this novel immensely so and you will enjoy it for years to come. If you have a heart of ice, this will be sure to melt it and even cause your heart to beat and perhaps even hurt. Seriously guys, just buy the book and read it until you're a sobbing mess.

50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James


So yes, I gave in to the hype eventually. What can I say? Written badly, filled with misogyny and sexism along with the abusive nature of the relationship described, this truly is not worth your time.


For those who have been living under a rock, the story follows a woman named Anastia Steele, whom is forced to interview a famous businessman for her school newspaper, as her roommate, the editor of the newspaper, is sick. She meets her interviewee and is blown away by his good looks and dominant yet polite personality. They get talking and after a while he warns her that he is not "good" for her. This I can agree with.


If you'd like a novel that describes an abusive, destructive and frankly disgusting relationship then read this novel. It in no way encompasses the morals of actual BDSM and acts as "Mommy porn" for lonely women without a sex life. I would not recommend this book to my cat because I'm sure he has better things to read. Sure, the sex scenes are hot, but would you stay with a man who is amazing in bed but abusive and has stalking tendencies? Would you stay with a man that makes you feel cheap, used and like a prostitute? I wouldn't.


So when you next hear a woman say the words "Where is my Christian Grey?" you should wittily reply "In jail, hopefully".

Game of Thrones by George R Martin

First of all I'd like to apologise for the lack of posts recently. Hopefully the next three will make up for that! I've been working a lot lately and so have had limited time.


George R Martin is the greatest living author as far as fiction is concerned. Not only does Game of Thrones have romance, violence, incest and themes of fantasy and darkness, it is one of my all time favourite novels. Yes, it is a long read and yes, there are a ridiculous amount of characters to remember, but setting aside these two aspects, I believe anyone dedicated enough can enjoy the hell out of this novel. The main families followed in the novel are the Starks and the Lannisters.


The Starks are represented by a direwolf and at the beginning of the novel the family come across a few direwolf cubs that they take in. The father of the house, Eddard (known also as Ned) is married to a woman named Catelyn and they have children (in order of descending age) named Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon. Ned has also fathered a bastard that goes by the name of Jon Snow, but his mother is not mentioned very much as she holds painful memories for Eddard.


The Lannisters are a family represented by the symbol of a lion and they are a royal family. Queen Cersei Lannister is married to a man named Robert, who is King of the land. Cersei has two brothers named Jaime (the Kingslayer) and Tyrion (known as the Imp or Dwarf due to his lack of height). The Lannisters are an arrogant family and Cersei is known for being a cruel woman that despises most of the characters in the novel.


If you're looking for a novel filled with action, adventure, romance, revenge, incest, battles, wars, love, hate and  a lot of other things then seriously consider reading this novel. I have "Clash of Kings", the second book of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series reserved at my local library and cannot wait to get started on it. This is one of the best novels I have ever read and if you can't commit yourself to reading the entire series then at least watch the television programme. I myself plan to watch it after reading the full series of this amazing and simply mystifying series of novels.

Reblogged from Books Over TV:

One Day


"One Day" thankfully restored my faith in literature after experiencing the horrendous "Half of a Yellow Sun" and you can read all about that in my previous post. The story is witty, funny, gut wrenching, romantic and clever. We follow the lives of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, whom meet on the night of their graduation after sleeping together. Somewhat irrelevant but Emma has a first in English and History and Dexter has a two-two in Anthropology. Emma is clever, funny, chubby and wears glasses. Dexter is arrogant, handsome and somewhat charming. They seem an unlikely couple at first but they become friends after their night together and things stem from there.


Every year they seem to meet each other on the same night they met. Oddly, they seem unphased by this and retain their friendship. I won't spoil the book but they are clearly attracted to one another. Dexter describes Emma as "sexy" and Emma describes him as "handsome" so we know where they're both coming from. Dexter becomes a well known TV presenter whilst Emma sails through jobs at Mexican restaurants and schools before becoming a writer.


The writing is dynamic and not at all boring. You feel as if you know the personalities of the characters very well and understand what they're feeling. The setting often alters, from Leeds to Oxfordshire to Paris and even Greece. The sexual tension between the two of them is evident throughout and is covered somewhat by their constant jokes but is apparent through their incessant flirting and tinges of jealousy when the other has a partner. Dexter and Emma both grow as characters, him becoming more mature and sensitive whilst she comes out of her shell and grows confidence. This is honestly a brilliant read and it the time flies when you delve into this brilliant novel. 4 stars!

Half of a Yellow Sun


Honestly this book is so bad that it put me off reading for a long time, as you can guess by my lack of posts. I only got 200 pages through and I never abandon books usually but this was horrible on another scale. Really wouldn't even recommend it to my greatest enemy. I would have given this book half a star or zero stars if it wasn't written well and had a good use of language and descriptive elements.


The story follows three people: Ugwu, a young servant boy, Olanna, a scholarly woman who is romantically involved with Ugwu's master. Ugwu is somewhat attracted to Olanna and his fantasies of her are quite disturbing seeing as he's very young and they often involve him sucking on chicken bones whilst pretending he's kissing her. Finally, the third character is Richard, an Englishman in Nigeria with the intention of writing about he country. He is seeing Olanna's sister, Katiene (if I've spelt her name correctly. Excuse me, it's been a while).


I will try and read this book again in the future because I believe in second chances, but honestly I wouldn't recommend you put yourself through reading this. I've gone on about how much I hate this book but realise I haven't offered any reasons as to why I hate it so much. Its basic flaw is that nothing happens. Simple as that. Hours spent reading 200 pages and I want those hours back, quite frankly.

Reblogged from Books Over TV:
Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:

"Words influence lives. Choose your words wisely, because like elephants, we never forget." 


Book Bus Project

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:

Reading isn’t just one of life’s great pleasures, it is an essential life skill; it improves literacy, develops a positive attitude towards learning and is crucial to the academic and social development of young people. The Book Bus supports schools by providing mobile library facilities and volunteer story-tellers to help children become confident and literate readers for life. - read more


The following illustrations represent Book Bus Projects in numerous place. Click the link under the pic to read more about each action in a specific place. You can also become a volunteer. 










Book Bus Expeditions  






A Whirlwind of a novel


If you're wondering whether "And the Mountains Echoed" is as good as "The Kite Runner" or "A Thousand Splendid Suns" then the answer is no - it's better. A novel that spans generations from the 1950s to the early noughties and across continents from Afghanistan to Paris, this is truly a mammoth of a book. Hosseini delicately intertwines the stories of many characters together, giving vast details of the drama in their lives. The main characters of the book are Abdullah and his younger sister, Pari. Acting more as a parent than a sibling, Abdullah truly adores Pari and often fended for her when she was a  baby, he also trades his shoes for a feather for her collection. Something happens - and I won't say what - that tears their lives apart forever. Their stories are at the beginning and end of the novel, with a hint of mention in the middle. Other stories include that of the Wahdatis and their driver, cook and housekeeper, Nabi, also that of two cousins, Timur and Idris, neighbours of the Wahdatis.


This novel is crafted masterfully with grace and elegance in the language, forming delicate but poignant imagery from descriptions of places, people and feelngs. Hosseini has really outdone himself when it comes to this novel and it was a very enjoyable read from start to finish. I can only hope that everyone else enjoys the novel as much as I did.

Reblogged from Books Over TV:

Used from Tumblr

Currently reading

A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin
Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Progress: 200/433 pages
The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath
Progress: 47/234 pages