The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale - classic dystopian sci-fi.

The Handmaid’s Tale – classic dystopian sci-fi.

What makes this different from other dystopian novels I’ve read is that it’s protagonist is female.  Set in the near future, a totalitarian Christian government is in power meaning women have no rights anymore.  Our narrator Offred (literally Of Fred) is kept as a handmaid, which mean basically her womb is used to breed.  Her master Fred is married, but his wife is sterile, as are a huge chunk of the population.  This is due to STDs and pollution and is the reason handmaids are kept.  Fred is only supposed to have sex with Offred whilst his wife is present and there is no affection or relationship between them, Offred is a commodity. NICE PEOPLE, EH?

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The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

If you like history, mystery and romance this may become your new favourite book.

If you like history, mystery and romance this may become your new favourite book.

If you like a good mystery story, then this could be for you.  Daniel is a young boy who is taken the ‘Cemetery of Lost Books’ in Barcelona by his father.  He is told that, as this place is secret, only a select few have ever known about it.  Everyone who is initiated must chose 1 book which they will protect for life.  (I know this may sound a bit daft written here, but go with it….)  Daniel chooses a book called The Shadow Of the Wind by Julian Carax.  After reading it, Daniel tries to find more work by this author, but struggles to find much information at all (did I mention this is post-war Barcelona i.e. no internet!)  All he finds are reports of a strange man, called Lain Corbert who has been buying up Carax’s books in order to burn them. SO THIS LAIN CORBERT IS CLEARLY A BADDIE THEN, RIGHT?