Welcome to the last Book Bag Bundles of 2014! It has been a packed year for me personally and also on the book front. And still there is a lot happening since the last edition of Book Bag Bundles. Highlights for me are below as well as my top 5 books of the year –
The not so cute version of fairy tales
If you like fairy stories like I did growing up you may get a shock reading the new version of Grimm’s fairy tales. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version from Penguin Classics is a closer translation to the original text and so is more gritty, gruesome and more direct in their moral messages. The versions we have grown up with had been censored to reflect the more delicate society they were published into in England. But this new version shows the society these stories were written in. Moral stories were important and taught girls to protect their modesty, told people not to trust strangers and showed the harsh reality of poverty. Evil awaited around all corners but pure evil and not the watered down version we get in the version we know. The censored version we have may be a reflection on how the rich wanted to avoid the debase nature of human society and the harsh reality the poorer classes lived in. It protected their children from the harshness of life too where princes save the day and everyone good has a happy ending. There are morals to these censored versions but some essence of the original versions are lost and I am glad that we get a chance to read the original stories now. This book is definitely one for the adults who still like fairy stories.
That little bear called Paddington
Who could not love Paddington? He is a bear from my childhood and I really enjoyed the stories of his various adventures written by Michael Bond.
So I had to see the film too which I thought was brilliant. Paddington on one level provides us with lots of entertainment, laughs and cuteness. But on another level he is a contrast to the proper way of doing things and lack of emotion in English society when the stories are based. He brings love, warmth and humour for one family and allows them to really come together to understand each other and be a proper family. Paddington teaches us that family is important and that it is ok to make mistakes and not know everything. He does it on a bigger scale than most but a life without fun is very dull indeed!
My top 5 books of 2014
I have read so many books this year and I thought I would mention my top 5. It was hard to choose as I read so many brilliant books this year, but here they are in no particular order:
• Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – I really enjoy Kate’s books and this book was a unique concept and a great read.
• The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion- Such a funny book and I didn’t want it to end. Looking forward to reading his next book in 2015.
• Bad Brides by Rebecca Chance – A definite girly read that was a lot of fun. It was perfect reading for around the time when I myself got married.
• Doctor Sleep by Stephen King – The master of horror is back with this physiological thriller. A great read.
• The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan – One of the first books I read in 2014 and this was such a warm fuzzy feeling story. I still want to try the cakes in the cake shop too!
We recently went to see Imitation game at the cinema which was a brilliant film. I just want to give a brief mention to Alan Turing who was a highly intelligent individual, slightly socially inept and played a crucial role in WW2. But despite his code breaker invention he is a lost part of history that we don’t know much about due to his personal life and tragic end. I think it is great that he has been recognised now and a book Alan Turing – The Enigma tells his story if you would like to know more. He is definitely an unsung hero on 2 levels – one during WW2 and two in inventing a computer. He also highlights the struggle and harsh reality of being gay back then.
Finally a Merry Christmas and season greetings from me and I hope you all enjoy the festive period. Also a big thank you to everyone for reading my blog this year. There will be lots more reviews and Book Bag Bundles to come in 2015. Now time to curl up and read some Christmas books….