This is the first in a trio of Chris Evans' autobiographical books. As someone who has a keen interest in radio and show business, I was curious to know how Mr Evans found his way into radio and how he achieved everything in his glorious career in broadcasting. I ended up really liking this guy who I initially thought was a bit arrogant. At the end of the book I found myself feeling positive and inspired.
The title of this book pretty much tells you what to expect. It's the story of what happened when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Through the eyes of four characters - a young engineer, an adolescent girl, a corrupt millionaire and an elderly scientist - Robert Harris brilliantly recreates a luxurious world on the brink of destruction. After reading this book, I just had to go to Italy and visit the historical sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Awesome and humbling!
Another historical novel. In this one, Victoria Hislop tells a story which starts at the time of the great fire that swept through the thriving Greek city of Thessaloniki, in 1917. Christians, Jews and Muslims live side by side until war comes and drives a wedge between the friends who have lived in harmony. Heart wrenching, yet heart-warming at the same time, this story, like the rest of Ms Hislop's tales makes you think deeply about the strength of humanity in a sometimes cruel world.
I read this book several times before I attempted to watch the film, (which I found very disappointing and gave up on halfway through). Nicolas Sparks was inspired to write this by his wife's grandparents. The story is of a young couple, very much in love, separated by the pressures of class division. They are reunited years later, have a family and remain very much in love. As time goes on, the woman realises that she has the onset of dementia and the book charts the progress of her condition until she no longer recognises her family. Faithful until the end, her husband uses memories and poetry to sometimes spark a slight memory. His love and devotion for her is sweet, yet painful to read.
This is a love story which also gives an insight to the lives of the Greek people who lived on the Island of Cephalonia during the German and Italian occupation in WW2. It illustrates the spirit of the island population who struggled against starvation and their unwelcome guests as war raged all around. The novel was made into a film in 2001 and whilst the film is very good, I recommend the book as it gives lots more historical facts. The story in the film ends many years before it concludes in the novel, too.
This is quite a light-hearted little story set in and around a restaurant in Rome. A cheeky Italian waiter sets out to woo an American student by telling her he is a chef. He agrees to cook her a meal in his apartment, then gets his shy, plain chef friend to doing the cooking in secret. The girl falls in love with his food and the shy chef falls in love with the girl. It's a tangled and funny situation but Anthony Capella's description of Roman cuisine is mouth-watering! Of course I had to go to Rome after reading this book, just to sample some Roman restaurants!
This is one of the bestselling books in history and is in the Guinness Book of Records for the most translations by a living author. It's a story of a simple shepherd boy, following the messages sent to him in a dream. The theme of the book is that everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is but as they grow older they forget to follow their dreams. The wise old alchemist in the story teaches the shepherd boy that "when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” This is a notion that I believe in wholeheartedly!
I am on a mission to get as many people to read this book as I possibly can. If everyone in the whole world read it - I am certain that there would be no war or poverty! That's a brave statement, I know but I firmly believe that it is within our own power to make our lives better by changing the way we think. This book is inspiring and has changed the lives of everyone I know who has read it: from getting out of abusive relationships to improving careers and finances and even curing cancer. Find it and read it - you won't regret it!
And now for something completely different! This book replaced The Guinness Book of Hit singles, of which there used be a new edition every two years. The most recent edition of the Virgin series however was published in 2010 so it is somewhat out of date. I don't care though; it is still the book that I reach for many times a week when I find myself wanting some information about a certain track. The book lists every top 100 song since the UK charts began in November 1952. Its pages are filled with all sorts of other music trivia and it's a great book to dip into if you love music history.