Review: Dune by Frank Herbert



I have always wanted to read Dune. I have a weakness for good old fashioned science fiction and I had recently read some Asimov books that I had really enjoyed. I also remember as a child listening to my father talking about how much he enjoyed reading Dune.

So, when it came time to choose my next book I thought that the time had finally come for me to pick it up and give it a read.

Dune is a difficult book to summarise but I will do my best.

The story is full of political intrigue. The Atreides family are awarded a lucrative contact mining the planet Arrakis for melange, a drug that also happens to be the most valuable resource in the universe. The contract had previously been held by the Harkonnes family who also happen to be Atreides family enemies.

With the support of the Imperial Majesty, the Harkonnes rebel against the loss of their valuable contract. Duke Leto Atreides is killed and his concubine Jessica and their son Paul escape into the dessert on the planet Arrakis where they are supported by the native population called Fremen.

The Fremans see Paul as someone sprung out of a legend. Paul takes on the mantle he was destined to wear, that of Muad- Dib, essentially the Messiah of the Fremans. His goal is to take back Arrakis from the Harkonnes and turn it into an ecologically sustainable planet.  In the end he gets even more.

Sigh.

I was really ready to enjoy this book and maybe that was the problem.

Read on for the review.


Review: The Children Act by Ian McEwan



I’ll bet a lot of reviews about Ian McEwan novels start out like this but there is no getting away from it. Ian McEwan is polarising. 

Yes, there are readers who will either love his books or loathe them. 

A more common phenomenon, I think, is that there are readers out there who love some of his books and loathe others. I am certainly in that latter camp. Atonement took me many attempts and a long time to get into it but when I did I loved it. The same could be said for Enduring Love. Saturday and Solar, on the hand, I have never been able to finish, no matter how many times I have started them.

So, it was with great trepidation when I started reading Ian McEwan’s latest book, The Children Act. 

Read on for the review.


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How do you choose which book to read next?

It's one of the problems of being a book hoarder - how do you choose which book to read next?

I haven't been reading much lately. What I have been reading definitely hasn't been anything taxing.

I think I've read about a quarter of Agatha Christie's bibliography and I've read the Harry Potter and Twilight series at least times each. I'm expecting baby number 2 and so between the morning sickness, work and looking after my toddler those books have been just about all I can manage.

 Now that I'm starting to feel more like myself I've started to read a little more widely. A little while ago I read An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy. More recently I re-read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (oh my goodness, how amazing is that book!).

I am currently half way through The Children Act by Ian McEwan. I have a love-hate relationship wtih Iam McEwan. Some of his books I love. Some of them, I don't love at all. I must say that, so far, I am really enjoying The Children Act. It is well written, easy to read and I feel very drawn to the protagonist, a Family Court Judge. It helps that I am currently working in a very specific area of international family law so it's content is spot on the sort of issues I have to consider at work on occasion. I feel like I am actually having an insight into what it is like being a Judge. Soon, though, it will be finished.

So here is the question - what do I read next?

Read on for more.