Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre

Book Review 31.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Series Title: Karla Trilogy Book 1.

Author: John le Carre.

Pages: 422.

The Book Shelf Rating:  9 out of 10 stars.


“Look… we’re getting to be old men, and we’ve spent our lives looking for the weaknesses in one another’s systems. I can see through Eastern values just as you can see through our Western ones. Both of us, I am sure, have experienced ad nauseam the technical satisfactions of this wretched war. But now your own side is going to shoot you. Don’t you think it’s time to recognise that there is as little worth on your side as there is on mine?”

How do you review a book that you do not fully understand? Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was my first espionage book and also my first John le Carre book and I had no idea what to expect. George Smiley an original MI6 agent from the Cold War era is bought out of retirement in order to find a murderer. This is not your typical whodunit crime novel and it is not a linear plot line either. But there are many twists and turns as Smiley discovers that MI6 has been keeping secrets as well as the problem of a mole who is taking these secrets to their enemies, namely the Russians.

The characters in this story are interesting, they have depth and history and it was fun to find out who they really were as they were very good at keeping their identity private. This book is a page turner and I found myself completely taken by the storyline and was constantly surprised by what the characters found out about each other. I was kept guessing all the way to the end with no clue who the mole was, let alone who the killer was and my what a delight it was to finally found out.

I have to confess though, for most of the middle half of the book I didn’t not understand what was going on. It was confusing and kept on going back and forth from past to present tense. Having said this it was still fun to try and figure out what was going on and I was constantly ‘tearing my hair out’ with frustration. I enjoyed it immensely and I would read again and possible the rest of the trilogy to see what it will take me. If you haven’t read John le Carre yet, give him ago because he is fun and exciting and what you put into the book the more you will get out of it.

Have you read anything by this author? If so let me know your thoughts by making comments below.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

mockingjayTitle: Mockingjay.

Series Title: The Hunger Games.

Author: Suzanne Collins.

Pages: 330 (EBOOK)

The Book Shelf Rating: 10 stars.


“My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me……..”

Here is a quick re-cap of Catching Fire. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Marlark are once again thrown into the Hunger Games as President Snow’s attempts to destroy them. Known as the Quarter Quell something that only happens once in a lifetime all of the previous winners are thrown into the arena and there can only be one winner. Katniss forms an alliance with some of the other contestants and managers to destroy the dome that is keeping them captive. Peeta is missing but Katniss was recued by the rebels who are now attempting to overthrow the government and stop the games.

So in Mockingjay we pick up with Katniss distraught over the news that Peeta is missing and captured by the Capitol. Haymitch, Coin and Plutarch are trying to convince Katniss to fully become the Mockingjay symbol for the rebel cause but she is reluctant. Torn between her love for Peeta and her childhood best friend Gale she must decide what she wants to do whether that be help the rebels or attempt to rescue Peeta.

This book is the final installment of The Hunger Games series and shows what the world could look like if left in the wrong hands. It is an interesting concept of using something like the Games as way of population control and shows how fear can be a driving force to control citizens. It is devastating to think that they could come up with an idea like this and actually try to justify their actions.

I loved this series. I loved all the characters and thought that they were well written. They had depth and I could relate to them and connect with them. I cried my eyes out when they tried to destroy Peeta and I was just hoping for a good outcome in the end. I would definitely recommend this series if you haven’t read them already I found  it quite different from any other book that I had read before. It is a quick read but engaging, a real page turner and at the same time I didn’t want to finish it.

Have you read the Hunger Games? What are your thoughts on the series?

New Site nearly ready

Hey all just a quick up date. I have been tirelessly writing up my new The Book Shelf Blog, which I hope to be published by the end of the week. It is been a difficult task but I am getting there. Once the new site is up I will send an the new web address and eventually this website will be deleted. I am very excited its looking really good and I am putting in a lot of work into to it to make it look the way that I want to. But I shall keep you all updated… Stay tuned.

Site Under Construction

Hello Everyone I just want to let you all know that this site will be deactivated soon. Originally this was a test for to see what it was like in the blogging world. I shall return very shortly with a new upstadated version which will still be called The Book Shelf hopefully with a .com.au at the end. I hope you will all still be able to find me . It will also be under my name Candice Perini so I really do hope that you will continue to follow the Book Shelf.


Thanks Again. Alternatively you can follow me on Twitter candcemaree08, or Facebook The Book Shelf. They will remain with all my updates.


Thanks all, signing off!!!

The Gorky Murders

Gorky Park by Martin Curz Smith Book Review 29.

Gorky Parl“She is saying something, Investigator. She’s saying ‘Here I am!’ Taker her” – Andreev.



Three corpses are found in Gorky Park amusement centre in Moscow, frozen in the snow and their faces and fingers are missing. Chief Investigator Arkady Renko must do whatever it takes to identify the victims and find the killer ,but not all is as it seems. Struggling with his own problems; his wife who wants to destroy him, his father who was a famous General wants to disown him and the KGB and FBI who are not only keeping secrets from him but are also making him responsible for three murders, Arkady’s brilliant mind will unlock the truth. But at what cost…

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book. It’s dark, it’s gritty and set in place full of mystery and intrigue which I love. I am fascinated with Russian history so I tend to devour every book that is set in Russia. This book was a surprise. I tried to read it a few years ago but I couldn’t get past the first few chapters, but then recently I decided to pick it up again and I was delighted by it. The characters are so beautifully written. There was so much depth to them, they weren’t all bad but they weren’t all good either. I really felt as if I was there in Moscow with Arkady trying to help him solve the mystery.

What makes a good crime novel? For me it is trying to guess who the killer was but at the same time I like to know when the character knows. It was like that in Gorky Park. You literally had no idea what was happening until it clicked for Arkady and then you were like “Oh my God I never thought of that”. I just absolutely loved it and I totally recommend it to anyone who likes a good crime/suspense novel. The beauty is there more to the series. As far as I am aware there another 7 books that follow on from Gorky Park so I hope to continue the series and be amazed by this talented writer. It was just one of those books that I really didn’t want to get o the end and now that I am finished it I am finding it hard to start a new book.

Are you like that? Once you have read a ridiculously awesome book do you find it hard to start another one? Do you feel like you are still in the world of the book that you have just read that you don’t want to leave it? Leave your comments below.

My Rating: 10 out 10 (I just absolutely loved this book so much).

Favourite Quote:

“I’ll tell you about a Siberian dilemma”, Arkady said. “Osbourne could have bought religious chairs, chests and ikons from twenty different sources in Moscow. As you said Golodkin already had one for him, So why would he take the risk of dealing with two desperate people running from the law? Why bother creating that fantastic lie of escape for them? What could Kostia ad Valerya offer that no one else could?” – Arkady.

To Inspire the Writer in You!

Well it is Monday again and time to find a quote that will hopefully inspire you all to get those creative juices flowing and get writing. I am reading a book called “The 101 Habits of Highly successful Novelists” and I have found it useful in a sense that is getting me focused on the writing process. It isn’t necessarily a teaching book per se, it is more of a get your mind thinking right book. It is very inspirational and over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you some of my favourite quotes that is helping me stay focused on the writing task. I hope that they will inspire you as well.

“Always do your own work. Never Try to imitate favourite or best selling authors. Never follow current trends; what is hot topic today may will be cold ice by the time a novel is written and submitted for publication. Imitators are seldom successful. An individual unique style and vision are what editors are looking for” – Bill Pronzini.

A Big thank You



Just a very short post to say thank you to my readers for I have finally hit the 200 follower mark, Yeah. This is very exciting and I am looking forward with continuing blogging as I am enjoying the experience so much. It really has taught me so much about writing and  my own creativity. So thank you everyone for reading and commenting on my blog!

The Capacity to see Beyond

The Giver by Lois Lowry Book Review 28

the giver large“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared”.




This book is about a small community who at first glance looks to be completely at peace with each other. There is no pain, sadness, war or crime or any real feelings at all. Everyone is the same. Everything looks the same. There is no colour, no creativity and no difference. It would seem like this community is completely happy with the way things are but as we meet Jonas a Twelve he discovers with his new assignment that there is more to life than what he has already lived. He discovers what it is really like  to feel, even something simple that we take for granted like the warmness of the sun on your face. With these new experience Jonas becomes confused about why people don’t want to feel like that and what really happens when you are “released”.

My thoughts:

I actually didn’t think to much about this book and read it rather quickly. While the premise is interesting enough I felt like no much really happened and it was rather slow for such a short book. I was hoping for a bit more action, more interaction with the characters to learn more about their history and why they are the way that they are. As this is a quartet I assume that it is leading up to something and obviously all of this will be explained the more we read. But after finishing the novel I kind of feel like to I don’t want to continue the series.

Has anyone read this book and has a different experience? Please feel free to share your comments.

My Rating: 2 out of 10 (Was a bit slow and boring to be honest).

Interesting Quotes:

“I liked the feeling of love,’ [Jonas] confessed. He glanced nervously at the speaker on the wall, reassuring himself that no one was listening. ‘I wish we still had that,’ he whispered. ‘Of course,’ he added quickly, ‘I do understand that it wouldn’t work very well. And that it’s much better to be organized the way we are now. I can see that it was a dangerous way to live.’

…’Still,’ he said slowly, almost to himself, ‘I did like the light they made. And the warmth”.