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Book Reviews from the Camberley Store

We've reviewed some of the best books currently available in our store. We hope you find them of interest!

Doing It - Melvin Burgess

Doing It
Finally, A book that realisticaly portrays the lives and loves of three teenage boys all having problems regarding their favourite subject - SEX Both hilarious and moving in equal measures. This is a great read for young people. And a nice reminder to old folks just how hard being young can be

Jamie x

Be more chill - Ned Vizzini

Be More ChillHilarious account of one teenagers quest for cool, with scenes not too dissimilar to "American pie" I loved this book which is ideal for teenagers and those of us who like to think we're still young! Word of warning this is a little bit on the cheeky side and does contain some strong language.


The Complete Gardener - Monty Don

The Complete GardenerIf you buy just one gardening book this year then this should be it. Mony Don casts his expert eye over all aspects of gardening giving examples from his own garden, including garden structure, flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruit. His relaxed style makes this a pleasurable read and should inspire even the most hardened townie to don his wellies, pick up his spade and get out there.


Gitanjali - Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore is as well-known and revered in India as Winston Churchill is in Britain. Yet Tagore remains an obscure figure in the western world, despite having as profound an influence on Indian culture as Mahatma Gandhi. As a young man Tagore came to Britain in 1913 with a transcript of 'Gitanjali' in the original Bengali. The great Irish poet W.B Yeats helped him to translate it into English and its publication won Tagore the Nobel Prize for Literature. Passages from 'Gitanjali' have been used as national anthems for Bangladesh and India, and to this day Indian school children sing its verses as morning hymns. A literary and historic masterpiece.


The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami

The Wind-Up Bird ChroniclesAn unforgettable novel that is impossible to categorise. Murakami's post-modern epic begins with a weird telephone call to a house-bound drifter who spends his time looking around the neighbourhood for his wife's missing cat. These two mundane events escalate into a dark and surreal adventure of tragedy and absurdity. With a host of enthralling characters mixed into a melting-pot of metaphysics, social satire and comic fiction, 'The Wind-Up' is one of the strangest and most powerful novels of the last decade.


The Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri

The Interpreter of MaladiesJhumpa Lahiri's debut collection of short stories won her the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 2000 at the age of 27 and propelled her to international acclaim. These nine short stories ache with quiet solitude as they gently explore the lives of Indians in exile. Sometimes a great picture or painting looks best when you take a step back - it is when you put this book down after a reading that Lahiri's genius pours into your senses. A seminal portrayal of cultural alienation.


Playing The Moldovans at Tennis - Tony Hawks

Playing the Moldovans at TennisThis is the second of Tony's 3 books and his best. While watching England play Molova at Wembley Tony bets his mate, fellow comedian Arthur Smith, that he can beat each of the Moldovan team at tennis. What follows is a hilarious journey to win the bet, with our intrepid sportsman bravely setting of to Moldova to deal with the Moldovan underworld, gypsies, near kidnap and chronic power shortages. This book is just as funny as his first, Round Ireland with a Fridge, but with the insight into the harsh existance of the Moldovans is ultimately more satisfying. Will Tony complete his challenge and make Arthur sing Moldovan national anthem naked in Balham High Street or will he 'entertain' the crowd?


Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

Midnight's Children
Leading the reader into a fascinating and everchanging whirlwind of ideas, Midnight's Children is a tale of the birth, growing up and fate of one boy at the time of the re-birth of India as an independent nation. Fraught with the mysticism and political upheaval of the time, Saleem Sinai's life is both sensational and melancholic. Rushdie's enthralling work, named the Booker of Bookers in 1993, is as much a personal story as it is an account of the confusion, turmoil and euphoria of the new nations of India and Pakistan. A modern, enduring masterpiece to be read by all.


Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

RebeccaA classic tale of love and jealousy as a naive young bride fights to deal with the ultimate 'other woman'. Du Maurier slowly builds up the pressure on our heroine until finally the truth about the dark secret that haunts Manderley is found. From there the book hurtles towards its climax. Read and enjoy!!


Roy Keane: The Autobiography - Roy Keane

Roy Keane: The AutobiographyWhenever I think of my beloved Manchester United, I find myself trembling with anticipation. I have pictures of Keano all over my room. In this age of mediocrity where men are committed to nought but themselves, Keane stands out as a beacon of righteousness and courage, always the last man standing. It is my passion to follow this man and his team. I love it. The mighty reds. I love it. Keane's battle torn torso. I love it. United on the road to Cardiff with Liverpool drifting down the Mersey. It is this that I love.

Alan Norris

Being Jordan - Katie Price

I have finished it already - it's that good! A truly wonderful insight into the fascinating world of this, the epitome of the modern woman. Even I, a humble bookseller, could relate to the traumatic experiences of this totally down-to-earth celebrity mother. Anyone who writes an opening line thus; "I've been called a slapper, a tart, a man-eater" deserves a literary medal. Lovely stuff!

Tom Bucknall

The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith

A classic book that is high on suspense. Highsmith is a master at keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. There is always a sinister air of tension emanating from the text which, combined with Highsmith's in depth psychological content, produces an effect that is not short of thrilling. Far better than the film.


Notes on a Scandal - Zoe Heller

A female teacher is exposed for having an affair with one of her students. As she is vilified by the media, public and family, she comes to rely on Barbara Covett, a fellow teacher and friend. Heller's chronicle of the breakdown of relationships is both astute and severe. The result is a compelling, often harrowing, read.


Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre

This is a refreshingly different literary triumph. It is a satire on contemporary societal obsessions which follows a troubled 15 year old on the run from small town authorities after a gun massacre at his school left his fellow students dead. The style is irreverent, it is funny, acutely scathing and, ultimately, an uplifting celebration of individuality in the face of adversity.


The Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman

I really wanted to dislike this book as I found myself constantly being told how amazing it was. And actually, it is. The epic quest of Lyra, and later Will, never loses the sense of wonder that Pullman's world creates right from the start; and the enormity of the task that faces them adds to the granduer of what is a thoroughly engrossing and utterly recommended read. So, much as it pains me to say, Jamie was right....


The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

Now I would be the first to admit that thrillers are not normally my cup of tea but The Da Vinci Code is definately the exception. Part thriller, part religious conspiracy, Mr Browns second novel featuring Symbologist and code expert Robert Langdon is "unputdownable" and you will find yourself doing little else until you finish this gem of a read.

Jamie Hancock

The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time - Mark Haddon

Darkly humorous yet deeply moving, Haddon's first person account of a teenager with asperger's syndrome is a delightful read. Christopher, in a quest that begins looking for the killer of a neighbour's dog, finds himself encountering the outside world alone for the first time in his life. Through Haddon's vivid characterisation and sense of empathy, the reader feels like an impotent guardian angel as we are taken through Christopher's perilous journey. At the end, we feel we have spent the last few weeks in the company of a wonderfully unique person who has revealed the universe to us in a new light. Excellently written and a brilliant read.


The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

This astonishing author provides an amazing glimpse into a boy's quest for riches, knowledge and his own destiny. He beautifully depicts a journey in which he proves that the beauty of life is in the striving rather than final achievements. Friendship, wisdom and love come together in this truely spiritual book.

Anna Haslam

Grave Secrets - kathy Reichs

A wonderfully gripping anthropological forensic investigation set in South America, Reichs has an astounding ability and knowledge which makes you feel part of the crime scene, following Tempe Brennan on her dangerous exploration through the Guatamalan underworld.

Anna Haslam

I am Legend - Richard Matheson

This time honoured classic sees vampirism in a different light, Robert Neville is on a solitary mission(being the last living man on Earth) to cleanse the world of 'disease'. A truely gripping must read!

Alan Norris

Scepticism Inc. - Bo Fowler

Quite simply the weirdest and most entertaining book I have read in years. 'Scepticism Inc.' is a scathing satire on organised religion as seen through the eyes of a shopping trolley! And is for anyone keen to read a truly original piece of work which when stripped of its surreal content has a strikingly simple and poignant message. You need to read to believe!!


English Passengers - Matthew Kneale

A deserved winner of the 2002 Whitbread book of the year, this is an epic tale of two parallel stories; One of three eccentric Englishmen who set out to find the garden of Eden, the other of a Tasmanian Aborigine struggling to overcome the English invaders. A gripping read.


The Pursuit of Happiness - D Kennedy

This story is about friendship, love, loyalty, betrayal revenge and forgiveness, which all centres around one couple meeting in New York, 1945. Kennedy takes the reader on an emotional journey that is gripping, in an exciting historical era. You will not want this book to end. It is fantastic.


The Hitch Hiter's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

This hilarious science fiction story following the search of Arthur Dent for a cup of tea, a bisuit and a planet to call home, is surely one of the funniest books ever written.

Alex Watts

The Little White Horse - Elizabeth Goudge

The beautiful cvvalleyy of Moonacre is shadowed by the memory of the Moon Princess and the mysterious little white horse. Whne Maria Merryweather visits Moonacre she finds herself involved in an ancient feud and is determined to restore peace and happiness to the valley.


Spies - Michael Frayn

A beautifully written yet understated account of the childhood experience of a boy during World War II. Told from the boy's perspective, Frayn superbly conveys both the natural curiousity and insecurity we all felt as children. Rapturously praised on publication and winner of the Whitbread award in 2002, 'Spies' will appeal to adults and older children alike.


The Moon and Sixpence - W Somerset Maugham

London stockbroker Charles Strickland leaves his wife and young children. All that is known is that he has gone to Paris, is willing to forsake all material possessions, had taken a few art lessons before leaving and was not very good. Despite this, he has set himself up as an artist. The narrator is a writer commissioned by the estranged wife to find her perfidious husband and to talk some sense into him. What follows is a series of meetings between the two men taking place thoughout the world. Strickland is an obstinate, often outrageous man, whose cold eccentricities of character provide fascinating material for this candid investigation of relationships and the human condition. A perfect tale of the conflicts between reason and obsession, duty and love.


The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke

Two orphans are on the run from their ghastly Aunt and Uncle. Lost in the Labyrinth of Venetian Streets, the orphans encounter the mysterious Thief Lord who leads them into a perilous adventure of escapes, double-crosses and a magic treasure than can spin time on its head. Already hailed as a modern children's classic, the Thief Lord is a hilarious and delightful tale for everyone.


Perfume - Patrick Suskind

'Perfume' is a fascinating exploration which chronicles the journey of Grenouille's self discovery. He has been blessed with an extraordinarily heightened sense of smell, but this gift becomes a curse. We are taken along Grenouille's isolated journey of obsession and simultaneously the reader becomes increasingly aware of scents. This is an enthralling read with a slightly odd yet highly enjoyable plot. BBC's Big Read.


The Time Machine - H G Wells

Our obsession with transcending time remains largely unchanged since the writing of this masterpiece in 1895. Far in London's future the 'time traveller' experiences the plateau of human race perfection and the true horror this achieves. A beautiful depiction from the end of time.

Anna Haslam

Love all the people - Bill Hicks

"Who are these people with such low self-esteem they need a war to feel better about themselves? I saw them on the news, waving their flags. Could I reccomend instead of a war to feel better about yourself, perhaps... sit ups? Maybe slice of fruit cake A walk around the block at dusk? I always finds that cheers me up..." Since his untimely death in 1994 comedian Bill Hicks has gained mythological status in the world of stand up. Now for the first time a collection of his routines and interviews have been compiled in one hysterical and devestatingly funny volume. His sharpe and sometimes controversial observations earned him much noteriety in the U.S.A. So obviously he was embraced as something of a hero in this country! This is the first book in a long time that had me continuously laughing out loud. I would recommend this to anyone who's not afraid to see the truth and laugh in its face. Mr Hicks - This reader Salutes you!

Jamie Hancock