Books, Random

The book you should read after seeing “Dunkirk”

dunkirk movie review

Last night, I went to see “Dunkirk” and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

From the first moment I saw the trailer, I knew I had to see this movie and see it on a big screen. You see, we don’t go to the cinema that often. It takes a lot of planning with two kids and a husband who works through the night. But we made it and I’m so glad we did.

If you know nothing about the historical events surrounding the evacuation from Dunkirk, you might want to do a little research, just to give you a bit of an idea. You might be a bit lost otherwise. They don’t explain it, you’re thrown right into the middle of it and have to figure it out on your own, like they had to figure it out on their own.

The story is told from three different point of views, three different timelines moving towards each other and once you see it, once you see how and what, it’s brilliant.

You have the men on the beach waiting, waiting, waiting…
A man steering his little boat across The Channel hurrying, hurrying, hurrying…
And pilots from the RAF searching, searching, searching…

A clock keeps ticking, ticking, ticking and then stops. We’re there and there’s hope.

The scale, the noise, the chaos, panic, desperation… it was all done so perfectly. Honestly, it hurts my heart to write all of this down.

This movie touched me.

Of course, I’m super interested in the wars, especially WWII because we talked about it so often in school. (My school was a hospital during WW II. In one of the halls where we used to study, they used to make gas masks.)

The story is so simple. 300.000 men on a beach, trying to escape the Germans who have them surrounded. 300.000 men trying to get home. You can almost see it from here. This movie makes you feel their fear. And you know that it’s real. You know that real people stood on those beaches waiting, waiting, waiting…

It was beautiful.

I want to see it again. Soon.

This movie tells the story from the British side and if you want to know more, I have just the book for you.

book Weekend at Dunkirk

Weekend at Dunkirk (Week-end a Zuydcoote) by Robert Merle.

It’s an old one. I read it in French at school but there’s an English translation as well. I’m not sure where you’d find it. It probably won’t be easy but if you ever come across it, you now know you have to pick it up!

Set during World War II, it follows Julien Maillat, a French soldier who tries to join the English Army on the Royal Navy flotilla to England by boat. No matter how hard he tries to make it, he and his French partners are hard pressed to get away as the fight is getting harder and the Germans closer and closer. – Goodreads

Have you seen Dunkirk?

Are you planning to go and see it?

favorite literary book quotes
Books, quotes

Favorite Book Quotes (5)

Quote movie book review High Rise JG Ballard

I loved this book. It really takes you on a journey. The kind where suddenly everything’s on fire and you can’t quite make out how that happened.. until you start to think about it and you notice all the little sparks.

The movie was a difficult one to call. I loved the acting but the movie itself was too long. People actually left the theater and I can’t blame them. There were a lot of unnecessary scenes that should have been edited out. Because it was so long, it was easy to lose track of the story line… Not a winner for me, unfortunately.

Have you read the book or seen the movie?

What did you think?

(If you haven’t I really recommend you read the book!)

My book review.
My movie review.

Want to buy the book?

Books, Review

Book review: The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood ****

“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”  

handmaids tale margaret atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

What really struck me in this book was the truth that radiated from the pages. There were so many sentences that just struck me.

Like this one:

“Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”

This story takes place in a future so close to ours that our main character still remembers a life, her life before everything went wrong. Image your life where everything is taken from you. Your money, your rights, your freedom, your body. That’s what this story is about and it’s painfully believable.

Our world is changing. You only have to turn on the tv or radio or read the papers to notice this change. The world my children will inherit won’t be the same one I got from my parents.

“Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some.”

There were many moments in this book where I saw my own reflection in the pages. When she’s attending the birth she says:

“But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind.”

And ow my god, yes. This. This right here. It just tore at my heart because it’s so perfectly 100% me. Sometimes, writing is so on point that it hurts.

I think everyone will take something different from this book. You will mirror your own self to these characters. Maybe the male characters will say something that someone once said to you. (Yup. There were several sentences that sounded familiar.) Or they will share their thoughts or feelings and you’ll feel understood.

In the end, I think this is an important book and I’m glad that I read it. I felt a bit let down by the end (I just don’t like that sort of endings so I know that it’s just me) but I’m sure it’ll stay on my mind.

Have you read The Handmaid’s Tale?
Did you like it?

Top 5 Wednesday T5W
#T5W, Books

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors You Want to Read More From

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey and is hosted by Samantha.

All information can be found here.

This week we talk a little about the authors we want to read more from. I don’t really have favorite authors and I always look at their work one book at a time but there are some that I’d be more inclined to read more from.

Let’s go!

Naomi Novik

author naomi novik

I’ve read Uprooted and really liked it. I’m considering picking up the Temeraire series but I’m a bit reluctant because it’s already a big series. This is a good thing because it means once I start and love it, I can just keep reading and reading and reading but it’s also a bad thing because I’m reading at a slow pace right now so I just don’t have the time to take on a series like that.. I’d get no other reading done whatsoever…

Ernest Hemingway

Author Ernest Hemingway

I’ve only read The Old Man and The Sea (and loved it) but I had For Whom The Bell Tolls on my shelf, so I should read that one soon.

Jane Austen

Author Jane Austen

I read Pride and Prejudice a while ago and I want to something else by her but I’m not sure what exactly. Any recommendations?

Neil Gaiman

Author Neil Gaiman

American Gods is now a TV series but when I tried to read it, I could not get into it. It’s also a massive book so I need some real reading time if I ever want to get through it. I’ve loved Neverwhere and The Ocean at the end of the Lane and I have Trigger Warning sitting on my shelf, so it’s only a matter of time before I pick something else up by him.

Ian McEwan

Author Ian McEwan

If you’ve read my review for Nutshell yesterday, you’ll know that I have a soft spot for Ian McEwan. Although I don’t enjoy all of his work, I’m always in awe of his writing style. I’ll just have to find the stories that really appeal to me.

Books, Review

Book Review: Nutshell – Ian McEwan ****

Book review Nutshell Ian McEwan

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

In this retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a nine-month-old foetus discovers that his mother is cheating on his father. Even more, his mother and the man she’s with are talking about some rather disturbing plans.

Now wait a minute, I can see you thinking and I’m going to stop you right there. This… this is BRILLIANT. I know that the idea of a story told from the point of view of an unborn child may sound weird but just trust me on this one, it’s absolutely amazing.

This baby is one of the best POV’s I’ve read in a long time. He’s so sarcastic and I LOVED it. He reminded me a lot of Stewie from Family Guy.
At times he’s hilarious, other times he’s more philosophical. There’s really not a lot he can do about what’s happening outside, but he’s always listening and sharing his opinion.

The story itself is rather straightforward but there still are some twists and turns. I have never read Hamlet, I only know a little bit about it so I can’t really compare the book to the source. I don’t know if the stories are really that similar. I only know that I really enjoyed this one.

The writing is beautiful. There were whole sentences, paragraphs that I read again and again because they were so perfect.

And example:

“It’s already clear to me how much of life is forgotten even as it happens. Most of it. The unregarded present spooling away from us, the soft tumble of unremarkable thoughts, the long-neglected miracle of existence.”

Not bad huh?

Go ahead.

Read it.