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9 Aug

The Secret Paris Cinema Club

Reviewed by Lulu Hamdan A perfect summer read - The Secret Paris Cinema Club is a lovely, timeless romance as Nicolas Barreau takes readers on the journey of a man pursuing love at first sight through the city of Paris. Alain Bonnard is a 39 year old dreamer and hopeless romantic who always feels that he is watching life from the sidelines rather than living it, until he pursues a dream of managing his own authentic Parisian cinema inherited from his uncle and his love life begins to flourish in parallel. The novel is descriptive enough to make you feel like you're watching a romantic comedy, and equally light and fast paced. The pursuit of his mysterious love comes with obstacles and unexpected twists, all...
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4 Feb

Eleanor Oliphant is Fine

This is a heartwarming beach read that made me laugh out loud. Those of you who loved The Rosie Project will like this for the same reason - Eleanor is a socially awkward office worker who lives a lonely life, but she has a big crush on a local musician. Her attempts at changing her outlook on life and socializing more will make you smile :) Highly recommended!...
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4 Oct

Me and Mr Jones

This is a great beach read that I devoured in two days. Sure, I got sand in the book, but I like to think of it as a keepsake from my time at the Maldives. Like most of Lucy Diamond's works, this one centers around three characters - in this case, it's the three Jones brothers, one of whom will end up taking over their parent's bed and breakfast, Mulberry House, in a quaint English town. Will it the responsible son, or the wildcard? Enter Izzy, a single mother who takes refuge at the bed and breakfast and gets to know the brothers and their wives....
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22 May

Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Reviewed by Lulu Hamdan It’s 1999. The hype of the Y2K bug is in the air, and lonely Lincoln O’Neil reluctantly accepts a night-shift job as an internet security officer of a newsroom company to make sure employees are using the internet for work purposes only. Monitoring emails, Lincoln comes across a daily exchange between work besties Jennifer and Beth, who are aware of the company policy yet rebelliously chat online about their romances, baby fevers, and break-ups. Lincoln doesn’t flag the emails, but can’t fight the temptation of reading them either, finding himself falling in love with one of them before even meeting her. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and warm at heart. You grow to love the main...
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11 Apr

Eligible

A Modern Retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld Reviewed by Lulu Hamdan Whether or not you’ve read Jane Austin’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, Curtis Sittenfeld’s modern day version, Eligible, will have you hooked. It’s told in third person from the perspective of Liz Bennet, a journalist for a prestigious New York magazine and the second oldest of five Bennet sisters, who returns home to Cincinnati with her elder sister Jane after their father suffers a heart scare. The two arrive in time to meet the star of ‘Eligible’, a play-off of ‘The Bachelor’, Chip Bingley – who to the mother’s delight – falls for Jane at first sight. Liz’s own love life is in for a rollercoaster of a...
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27 Feb

The Island Escape

by Kerry Fisher They say to never judge a book by its cover, but it was obvious from the start that this would be a great beach read. It's about two women going through some major changes. Roberta is trying to explore the hilarious and scary world of dating after leaving her husband of over a decade, while Octavia is dealing with the banality of a traditional life with three kids when all she has ever wanted was to travel the world. The book takes place in England, with sojourns in Corsica and Italy. It's a light read that will have you involved in the lives of the characters. I read it in two days. Enjoy! Booklovers will rejoice in the fact that Kinokuniya...
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2 Feb

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Yes, yes, that movie that brought us so many fantastic phrases (quel rat!) is based on a perfect beach read. A short novel, it combines the charm of Holly Golightly's on screen character with unbeatable prose by author Truman Capote. In turns seductive and naive, you'll fall in love with this perfectly flawed character who believes nothing bad could ever happen at Tiffany's. And yes, it is worth reading even if you have seen (and loved!) the film, because the book is quite different. The film invented a whole new - and in my opinion, unnecessary and boring - character in the rich woman who treats good ol' Fred like he's a prostitute. In the book, he's just a struggling...
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7 Nov

The Other Boleyn Girl

by Philippa Gregory There's a reason this book was made into a movie with Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. Despite being over 400 pages long, it's a dizzying page turner full of deceit, strategy, sex and settings in palaces. It's even better than House of Cards. Narrated by Mary Boleyn, a blonde beauty who catches the eye of the dashing King Henry VIII, the story moves to how they become lovers, then he leaves her while pregnant and begins a romance with her dark haired sister Anne. Anne Boleyn famously goes on to become queen, but the crown sits heavy on her head and she meets a tragic end. The author has a fascination for history and a witty writing style that...
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15 Oct

The Worst Date Ever

by Jane Bussmann When was the last time a book really made you laugh out loud? In the first paragraph alone? This memoir, written by a British comedy writer, takes turns being incredibly witty about the author's experiences in the vacant world of Hollywood, then on to her journey to Uganda writing about political corruption. It all happens because she wants to impress a gorgeous 'serious' journalist who she keeps trying to meet by attending conferences in remote places. While hilariously trying to see if her hot date will ever pan out, she teaches us a thing or two about the important things in life and a troublesome situation in Africa that doesn't get enough attention from the media. An absolutely fabulous beach...
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12 Sep

Rules of Civility

By Amor Towles This novel, set in 1930s Manhattan, is lots of fun. Shopping at Bendel's, gin martinis at a debutante mansion and jazz bands that play until 3 am - Rules of Civility is a perfect vacation read. The prose is witty and colourful. Evie Ross is the daughter of a wealthy Russian immigrant and Katey Kontent is her roommate. They both fall for the banker bachelor Tinker Grey. A car crash brings an interesting turn of events that lead Katey from a low level secretarial job into the executive suite at Conde Nast publications...
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