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Natasha Bernal

Journalist

Month

July 2015

1000 before 30 #31: All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

A hard start, languishing middle and tug at the heartstrings ending, 'All The Light We Cannot See' has rather sparse light moments within its pages. True, my expectations of a charm-filled read would have been dampened somewhat by a book... Continue Reading →

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Six books I have to read right now.

Sometimes you walk past a shelf and realise that you just have to have a certain book.  These are the contenders that have been added to my 1000 before 30 list before August is up! Also worth a mention that I read three... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #30: Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin

The most annoying story about a demon baby of all time. Oh MY GOD Rosemary. If anyone were as stupid as this woman, I would be thoroughly bemused if the child that came out of her wasn't a demon baby.... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #29: Letter to my daughter – Maya Angelou

Beauty and captivating tenderness fills every sentence of Maya Angelou's intimate, secret sharings to the daughter she never had. Maya is a genius. After reading I know Now Why the Caged Bird Sings, I thought I had her style pegged. When... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #28: The Goldfinch – Donna Tart

A literary work of art, about a work of art. Possibly my favourite discovery of the year. I had been told to read The Goldfinch by several people, some of whom I work with, but had resisted because of the... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #27: God Bless You Mr Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut

A brilliant story about a millionaire who develops a social conscience. Of course, he is totally insane. Mr Rosewater is the sole heir to a vast fortune, amassed throughout generations of Rosewaters. Unfortunately, he has gone rather mad. He has... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #26: The Man in the High Castle – Philip K Dick

What would have happened if the Nazis had won World War II? The Nazis have set up a spaceport on the Moon, while the Japanese and the Germans have divided the world to suit their agendas. In the meantime, a burgeoning... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #25: The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

'The Luminaries' is kind of like when a very drunk person at a pub decides to tell you a very detailed story, only to start at the middle, get confused, tell you a lot of shit you didn't want to... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #24: Requiem for a dream – Hubert Selby Jr.

A beautiful high followed by a crashing, gut-wrenching low. There's no sitting on the wall with 'Requiem for a dream'. It is one of the most spectacular, stick-a-knife-in-your-ribs kind of story where the characters speak with such personality and strength... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #23: Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

"It was a pleasure to burn". This is how Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 ('the temperature needed to set a book on fire') starts off. And it only gets better. Look into the future. There are houses with television projected onto... Continue Reading →

1000 books before 30 #22: Life of Pi – Yann Martel

There are very few books that live up to their hype. 'Life of Pi' is one of them. Essentially its main character Pi (short for Piscine) is in such a desperate castaway situation that, if swapping tales with Robinson Crusoe, the... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #21: The Buddha in the attic – Julie Otsuka

This is the story of hundreds women who leave their native Japan to meet their new husbands in America. The only thing they know is what they look like, thanks to grainy portraits they were sent beforehand. They all speak... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #20: The Rubicon – Edward Frederick Benson

"Melodramatic piece of literary garbage." Those are the words that some would use to describe Edward Frederick Benson's 'The Rubicon'. Unfortunately I am one of those people. It's not like it wasn't well written, it just sounded insincere and overtheatrical... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #19 The Book of Strange New Things – Michel Faber

In which Michel Faber single-handedly attempted to quash, nay exterminate, my love of literature on aliens. My friend Teresa instigated my re-exploration of Faber's work following a disappointing attempt with 'The Crimson Petal and the White'. The Book of Strange New... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #18: My friend, the murderer – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Just to clarify, this isn't about Sherlock Holmes. Because one encounters all sorts in the path of life, Sir Conan Doyle decided to write about someone who (like it or not) had been universally rejected, beaten, and on occasions stoned... Continue Reading →

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