Sophie Kinsella - The Undomestic Goddess

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 978-0552772747

My rating: 3/5

Samantha Sweeting, the 29-year-old heroine of Kinsella's latest confection (after Shopaholic Sister), is on the verge of partnership at the prestigious London law firm Carter Spink—the Holy Grail of her entire workaholic life. But when she finds she has made a terrible, costly mistake just before the partnership decision, she's terrified of being fired. In a fog, she stumbles out of the building and onto the nearest train, which drops her in the countryside, where she wanders to a stately home. The nouveau riche lady of the house mistakes her for the new housekeeper—and Samantha is too astonished to correct her. Numb and unable to face returning to London, Samantha tries to master the finer points of laundry, cooking and cleaning. She discovers that the slow life, her pompous but good-hearted employers and the attentions of the handsome gardener, Nathaniel, suit her just fine. But her past is hard to escape, and when she discovers a terrible secret about her firm—and when the media learns that the former legal star is scrubbing toilets for a living—her life becomes more complicated than ever. If readers can swallow the implausible scenario, then Kinsella's genuine charm and sweet wit may continue to win her fans. (The Publishers Weekly)

My thoughts:

I am a small fan of You Keep a Secret, so I was looking forward to a Kinsella book that wasn't part of the Shopaholic series. The book is nice and interesting, but in true Kinsella style completely unrealistic.

Samantha Sweeting is an upcoming lawyer at a respectable firm in London – until she makes a small mistake which costs the firm’s client a nifty fifty million pounds. Sam panics and runs as far as she can until she ends up on the doorstep of Trish and Eddie Geiger, who mistake her for their new housekeeper. Coping with a bad headache, tiredness and no idea on what the future holds for her, she unwittingly takes the job.

Like all of Kinsella’s books, The Undomestic Goddess is stretching the readers believes in the story as well, like with no cooking skills at all, Sam gets help from the gardener and his mother. If you are happy to see beyond these unrealistic situations, you will probably enjoy this witty and mostly funny book. I did.

Dan Brown - Digital Fortress

Publisher: St Martins Pr, First Edition
ISBN: 978-0312944926

My rating: 3/5

The National Security Agency (NSA) is one setting for this exciting thriller; the other is Seville, where on page 1 the protagonist, lately dismissed from NSA, drops dead of a supposed heart attack. Though dead, he enjoys a dramaturgical afterlife in the form of his computer program. Digital Fortress creates unbreakable codes, which could render useless NSA's code-cracking supercomputer called TRANSLTR, but the deceased programmer slyly embossed a decryption key on a ring he wore. Pursuit of this ring is the engine of the plot. NSA cryptology boss Trevor Strathmore dispatches linguist Dave Becker to recover the ring, while he and Becker's lover, senior code-cracker Susan Fletcher, ponder the vulnerability of TRANSLTR. In Seville, over-the-top chase scenes abound; meanwhile, the critical events unfold at NSA. In a crescendo of murder, infernos, and explosions, it emerges that Strathmore has as agenda that goes beyond breaching Digital Fortress, and Brown's skill at hinting and concealing Strathmore's deceit will rivet cyber-minded readers. Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. (Booklist)

My thoughts:

It took me a while to get into the book, but it seems once I had a feel who the characters were, it was easy to follow along.

Having read a few Dan Brown books, I feel comfortable to admit that I like the stories, though they’re so farfetched and unbelievable, it gives me a giggle – but for me they’re still entertaining!

I suppose the basic plot is that the NSA has a machine which can decode most of the codes, until a seemingly unbreakable code comes along. And the race starts here to stop this unbreakable code to be available to companies.

I have to admit, sending a non-agent (David Becker, Susan’s fiancĂ©) to Spain to find the ring, seemed a bit ludicrous. Also some of the character or scene description seemed to be over the top and borderline comical.

If you like Dan Brown, it might be worth a read, otherwise ... see whether you find another book!