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 Book Recommendations (or not!)

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Susanna
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Susanna

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PostSubject: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Jul 18, 2009 3:57 pm

Have just realised that we haven't got this thread up and running since we set up the site.

Feel free to review or comment about your latest reads.... smile
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citrine
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Jul 18, 2009 4:24 pm

I was given "The Sprout book" by Tess Read for Christmas.
It's a jolly good book packed with recipes, info, fun facts etc about my favorite veg.

My particular favourite is a game called hide the sprout which you play when you have guests staying..... they are most likely to find it on day 4 when the smell leads them right to it...... in their bedroom thus telling them it's time to leave. smile
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benstack
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benstack

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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Jul 18, 2009 9:46 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00ljzdk

I recommended Home by Marilynne Robinson to Susanna... here it is again wonderful book..This prog available until next Tues
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avon
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeMon Jul 27, 2009 11:51 am

I just read Angels in my hair...beautiful..cant put it down once you start.
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Susanna
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeMon Jul 27, 2009 12:16 pm

Who is it by and what sort of book is it, avon? smile
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velvet
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velvet

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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeMon Jul 27, 2009 12:46 pm

Just read a thriller by James Patterson called Honeymoon - finished it in one day, brilliant! thumbup
On the train back from London last week got talking to the lady next to me who was reading No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay. She thoroughly recommended it - anyone read it?
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avon
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeTue Jul 28, 2009 10:34 pm

angels in my hair is by lorna byrne...she is a irish lady who for most of her life was regarded as being retarded by her family and all who knew her including teachers..because she says from being very small she has seen angels..she thought everyone could see what she was seeing....it was very good to read..all about her life..if you type the name of the book and her name into google you will get a profile of her..its the first book she has ever written but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Susanna
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSun Aug 02, 2009 5:36 pm

These two sound great - I'll have to look out for them. thumbup
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Susanna
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSun Aug 02, 2009 5:47 pm

The Information Officer by Mark Mills

Picked up this book because of our holiday to Malta last year, although I did quite enjoy his last novel: 'The Savage Garden.'

Set in war torn Malta in 1942 - 'the most bombed place on earth.' it tells the story of Max Chadwick, a information officer, whose job is to keep up the morale of British troops and Maltese islanders under daily bombardment from the Luftwaffe. But when one of his friends reveals his suspicions that a serial killer is preying on Maltese barmaids, Max turns detective to try and prevent a scandal that would divide British forces and the local community.

Mark Mills has clearly done a lot of research into wartime life in Malta and the book is at its best when it evokes the effects of the war on the Maltese landscape and the people living on the island. Mills is very good at evoking a sense of place and time. The portrayal of wartime Malta is convincing, and the balance between the strategic, big picture and the intimate details of life is well struck.

Unfortunately, at times the narrative structure is also a little confusing. The book starts three times; and it wasn't until I reached page 150 that I realised that he had been using a dual narrative technique to tell us the murderer's background story as well! This was not well signposted. In lengthy exchanges of dialogue, I often found myself losing track of who said what.

Despite my criticisms of the plot and structure, I did find this book a page turner. The denouement was a bit disappointing, but I enjoyed getting there, and would suggest this as a good summer holiday read - and an absolute MUST for anyone who has ever been to Malta, and/or is interested in its recent wartime history.
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mrsbuckley
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeFri Aug 14, 2009 9:04 pm

I have just finished reading March by Geraldine Brooks. Its main character is Mr March (the father from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women) and it is set in the Americn Civil War. He is an army Chaplain and it goes into detail of the effect of the war on plantations, slaves, the army men (although only slightly) and the effect of his being away at war on the rest of his family. I haven't read Little Women but it doesn't reference it too heavily.

Considering it deals a lot with slavery and plantation life (slavery and African American experience are two themes I read about a lot) I found it oddly difficult to enjoy. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't find myself being absorbed by it and it was too easy to put down which is something I rarely find with a book these days. I couldn't empathise with March very much for some reason.

That said, I'd still probably recommend it if you like that kind of genre.
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Susanna
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeFri Aug 14, 2009 11:27 pm

IMHO They're not usually very successful, these books that take another writer's characters or ideas and try to develop them - 'Wide Sargasso Sea' by Jean Rhys probably being the only exception.

The cynic in me also suspects that they are motivated by commercial reasons as they have a very clearly defined target readership. mrsbuckley hasn't read 'Little Women' but there are millions of people out there who have, and love it - it is these poor fans that the author and publishers are targeting with what sounds like a second rate book.

Feel free to put me right if you disagree......smile
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mrsbuckley
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Aug 15, 2009 12:55 am

I don't know that it's second rate, like I say it doesn't really reference Little Women too much except to mention Marmee and the daughters from time to time, and Marmee goes to vist March in the war hospital, but as I understand from the author's note, March is absent for the entireity (sp? - it's late!) of Little Women, and he returns home in time for Christmas in Little Women, which has been kept the same in March as well.

Very possibly it is a commercial motivation, but Brooks also drew upon the family structure of Louisa May Alcott's actual family, using much of Alcott's actual father's (Amos Bronson's) character (she had read some of his journals etc) as he was an interesting fellow!

I'm also part way through another novel by Brooks, called The People of the Book which is proving to be very interesting, but I have been reading it on and off and it's one of those books which jumps back and forth between pasts and presents so I should have paid it a bit more attention. I've also just started (this evening) Fingersmith by the amazing Sarah Waters so I will let you know how I get on with that. I love her, I read Affinity for my degree and loved it, so I have high hopes for this!
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Susanna
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSun Aug 16, 2009 9:55 am

Ah, Fingersmith.

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Winner of the CWA Ellis Peters Dagger for Historical Crime Fiction

My brother recommended it to me - he loved it - but I never managed to finish it. Hope that you enjoy it. smile
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mrsbuckley
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Aug 22, 2009 1:29 pm

Well Fingersmith was Wonderful!! I loved it, I could barely put it down and it had that weird feeling where you're both happy to have finished it but a bit glum that you've no more of it left to read! I did get a little bit lost off once or twice towards the end when a few of the more complex bits were explained but I really enjoyed it. I'm a fan of Sarah Waters and her style, and would recommend Fingersmith to anyone!

Next up for me is Treasure Island which I have somehow never read!
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benstack
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Aug 22, 2009 6:58 pm

I really enjoyed Fingersmith and The Night Watch.. Just finished her latest The Little Stranger and was qutie disappointed, unsatisfactory ending I thought.
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Susanna
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSun Aug 23, 2009 4:29 pm

The Family Tree by Carole Cadwalladr

Picked this up yesterday at Redcar library - and couldn't put it down. A hugely enjoyable book which is both moving and funny at the same time. Neither the title nor the cover does this novel justice - it's much cleverer and funnier than chick-lit (even at its best).

The Family Tree is that rare rare book that has you turning the pages but also makes you think. Brilliantly telling the story of three generations of mistaken marriages and dubiously fathered children, it subtly explores the themes of nature V. nurture, and free will v. fate. Are we genetically predisposed to repeat our mother's and grandmothers' mistakes, and take on their mental anguish? Or is it our upbringing that creates and drives us?

I loved the storytelling and the sharpness of the dialogue and description, but I loved even more the excruciatingly funny portrait of lower middle-class life in the 1970s, with it's detail about popular culture: the vol-au-vents, Nationwide, Ker Plunk!, Dallas, Hi-de-Hi, Jackie, Chicken Chassur, Ford Capris and Kagouls are all there. The scene where Rebecca Monroe's entire extended and dysfunctional family gather to watch the wedding of Charles and Diana is one of the funniest things that I have read in a long time, and vividly brought back the memory of friends and family crammed into my own mother's sunny lounge...

'....There was silence as we all surveyed the Dress.
"And there it is!" intoned David Dimbleby. "The dress we've all been waiting to see. It's a magnificent creation!"
"Well, that's one word for it," said Granny Monroe. "Could do with a good iron if you ask me....switch to ITV to see if it looks any better on there."
laugh
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barender
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeWed Aug 26, 2009 6:27 pm

Mystery Man (Murder, mayhem & damn sexy trousers) - Colin Bateman (Tesco £3.86)

A wonderful piece of whimsy and dark humour from the author of Murphy's Law and Divorcing Jack. If you haven't read Bateman he's very like Christopher Brookmyre.

It's a simple tale of a mild mannered bookseller thrown into the world of his missing Private Eye neighbour, well not exactly, but you get the gist.

Our hero is a fragile, flawed hypochondriac who suffers from bouts of paranoia and OCD, keeps a sharpened nail in his fridge to scratch cars with personalised number plates and has a mother who is possibly Norman Bates.

He starts out accepting small jobs from ex-customers of the private and is soon joined by the lurve interest who, like most women, goads him into deeper and more dangerous waters.

It nearly had me laughing out loud in places, Bateman even dares to use one of the oldest jokes in Christendom right at the climax and there's a great denouement à la Agatha Christie - but, and I don't why, it was more reminiscent of a Dave Gorman lecture to me.

I loved it, loads of 'literary' jokes and black humour.
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benstack
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeWed Aug 26, 2009 6:40 pm

Barender..On your recommendation have ordered it from the library (on line!) I think you might go for this one
The Greatest Show on Earth. The Evidence for Evolution. Richard Dawkins.. This comes out next week but Times has been serialising it. Just what you would expect , I agree totally with his doctrines.
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barender
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeWed Aug 26, 2009 8:49 pm

I hope you enjoy it benstack.

No doubt I will dally with Mr Dawkin's new book at some ime in the future. smile
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ernie
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeFri Aug 28, 2009 4:47 pm

Just re-read Derren Browns "Trick of the mind".
Quite helpful tips on how to remember things and a good critique of psychics. Also highly recommends "The God delusion" by Richard Hawkins which is the next book i hope to drag my eyeballs across.
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8steve88
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8steve88

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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeFri Aug 28, 2009 10:00 pm

Doors Open by Ian Rankin.
His first book since retiring Rebus.

I really like his Rebus series and thought he might come back in a couple of stories as a "special advisor" to the police.
I bought the hardback when it was released but now the paperback is available in Tesco on their £3.86 or two books for £7 offer.
It revolves round a practice in Scotland of the big institutions having one day a year as an open day where the general public can see what goes on behind doors that are normally closed to the general public.
I thought it would be a bit flat without Rebus but Rankin has written another very good book.


If you've read the 'Twilight' series by Stephanie Meyer and enjoyed them as I have, then her new book The Host should be a gem right? I found the Twilight series a bit long winded - takes a chapter where a couple of paragraphs would do - but The Host takes it to another level.
I will say is that I found it very hard going but perfect to send me to sleep.
A very difficult book to read. (For me anyway) - One to get out of the library instead of buying. After about a third of the book I'm at the point where I really don't care what happens to the host or the occupier.

Tesco are also selling the DVD of Inglorious Bastards for £3 - a bargain I thought until I picked it up and read the info on the back! It's the Italian original, same storyline, NOT the Quentin Tarantino film that is on release in cinemas, even has an interview with him included as an 'extra'. might be good but I want to see the Tarantino version first. smile
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8steve88
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeFri Aug 28, 2009 10:26 pm

Oh I almost forgot, there's 3 different books at 3 different prices about Michael Jackson - I don't see the point, we know he dies at the end. laugh


Last edited by 8steve88 on Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Punctuation malfunction.)
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yongesisland
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Aug 29, 2009 7:07 am

Read The girl with the dragoon tattoo by Steig Larson, several months ago, liked it, and now have the latest The girl who played with fire. About half way through it, also very good. I believe there is a third book in the series.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Aug 29, 2009 12:49 pm

Matey, we must be phsychic or summat, I too have just finished those books, found the first one unputdownable, what I would call a good holiday read. Yes there is a third I've ordered it . out Oct 1 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. sad that this author died so young.
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yongesisland
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PostSubject: Re: Book Recommendations (or not!)   Book Recommendations (or not!) Icon_minitimeSat Aug 29, 2009 12:54 pm

I always said the great minds think alike tease
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