7. 'pride and prejudice and zombies' jane austen and seth grahame-smith
8. 'gumbles in summer' s.a. wakefield
9. 'under the dome' stephen king
10. 'murder most royal' jean plaidy
11. 'the other boleyn girl' phillipa gregory
12. 'the diary of anne frank' anne frank
13. 'the last 7 months of anne frank' willy lindwer
14. 'the search for omm sety' jonathan cott
15. 'the carrie diaries' candace bushnell
16. 'eli' livia e. bitton jackson
17. 'phantom' susan kay
18. 'the son of the light' christian jacq
19. 'the temple of a million years' christian jacq
20. 'eyewitness auschwitz' filip muller
21. 'the battle of kadesh' christian jacq
7. since i love the original so much and have read and re-read it so often, i thought for something different i'd give this lighthearted version a go. i have to admit that i really enjoyed reading it. i found that the addition of the zombie references and (spoiler alert) the unfortunate fate of elizabeth's friend tied everything in quite well. original text was used throughout and just changed a little... overall i found it a really entertaining read.
8. a childhood favourite. i found a copy in a secondhand bookstore and snatched it up as quickly as i could. i loved this story of the fun-loving gumbles and the nasty bottersnikes. it's australian all the way and unfortunately very hard to get a hold of any of the books that were written now.
9. despite being a bit of a stephen king fan, i haven't actually read anything of his for a while. i saw this one and figured it was something a bit different and interesting. it was and it wasn't. i liked the details involved that i wouldn't have figured on, like what happens to a town when they realise they're suddenly cut off from the rest of the world. how quickly things disintegrate. but the reason why they were trapped and who had done it was really badly put down. i found that a huge weak-point in an otherwise very good novel.
10. i love jean plaidy and i love reading about henry VIII and his unfortunate wives. i have had this one sitting here for a while, having had my fill of anne boleyn for a while. but it was a good novel, an interesting tie-in for the two girls, both from the howard family, both to receive the same fate as henry's wives.
11. so then i had to go back to this novel. i've read it a few times already, but i was on my way overseas and i knew i needed to bring something i could read on the plane and know i was going to enjoy it. i do really like this book, despite the fact that it probably isn't very accurate. i like hearing things from another angle. it's not about henry, it's not about anne, but it was about someone who, at one stage, had a very important role to play.
12. another re-read, and influenced by a trip to amsterdam. i purchased this book and the next one from the anne frank house. after being there, i really wanted to read it again. this version covers more of her diary. the added parts tell even more about the young girl, hiding away from the germans. it's a very powerful novel, giving some insight into a life that, hopefully, none of us will ever have to live through.
13. i had always wondered what had happened to anne after their family was betrayed. i knew she went into the concentration camps and i knew that's were she died. this story is told through interviews with people that knew her while they were in the camps. so, through their eyes, you got to know what she went through while she was there and why she died in the end when so many others survived much longer in the camps than she did. the stories are quite similar, as you'd expect, but they give a really good picture of her fatal, final months.
14. i picked up this book in egypt. i hesitated before buying it, not sure if it was something that i would really enjoy. i'm glad i bought it. it is an amazing story. essentially it is about a woman called dorothy eady who believes she is the reincarnation of a girl who had a love affair with the pharaoh sety I. she moves her life from england to egypt and lives out her life there, near the temple of sety I and claims to be visited by him. there's so much more to it than that. the facts in the book are incredible. such as, how she knew were things were in the temple without having been there before. she was even able to help archeologists find a garden that used to flourish in the temple, when they never knew it was there before. it's incredible and a very interesting read.
15. i've read a few of these and i love 'sex and the city' series. but this is not the beginning i figured for such a well known character. i guess it's because it was so different from the character that has been developed for the tv show. little things like in the show, carrie's father left when she was young. in the book, carrie has a father but not a mother, who died. just little details. made it hard to read.
16. another foray into the holocaust. i had to read this book in year 10 (a loooong time ago now) and i will revisit it every now and then. i have found it one of the most powerful books about a holocaust survivor i've ever read. a girl who, at the time was only 13, was saved by some miracle from being killed immediately upon arrival in auschwitz, lived through the horror of the concentration camps to come out the other side two years later. she has written a few more books since then, but i have only read this one. her detailed account of what she had to do to live was amazing. you believed every single word of it because it was so real. she took you there.
17. having read the phantom of the opera and seen the musical a couple of times, this book hit my curiosity when i found it in a secondhand bookshop. it's the story of the opera ghost from birth. the incredible life he led beforehand, during and after the opera house story. it gives life to a creature that beforehand we were made to fear. although a bit unbelievable at times, still a very enjoyable read.
18, 19, 21. having just come back from egypt, i wanted to read this series again. it takes on more meaning for me when i have been to some of these places that they talk about and have heard the stories through the eyes of the tour guides we met there. i do love this series. there is a lot of magic in these stories. some of it seems a bit far-fetched, but i guess that is the writing style of the author. he does bring to life the pharaoh ramses II, known as ramses the great, who ruled egypt for over 60 years and built many great monuments. a fascinating read. i've started the second last in the series 'the lady of abu simbel'.
20. a completely different account of the holocaust. made by a man who survived 3 years working in the gas chambers. for some reason, he slipped by undetected for so long when others he worked for died along the way. the account that he gives is matter-of-fact. it's not designed to cover the truth and it's not added to at all. it is an accurate re-telling of his life as a worker in the sonderkommando in auschwitz and the horror and inhumanity that went on there.