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Everything posted by Madeleine

  1. How many books have you read this year?

    12, which is about right for the first 3 months ie 4 per month. will probably drop now as I won't be commuting for the foreseeable future.
  2. Got to get you into my life - Earth Wind and Fire
  3. What's the weather like?

    Well the clocks went forward last night and typically it's back to winter, bitterly cold wind, we just had a bit of sleet and it's very chilly.
  4. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    The Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor - Alex Pengelly and her brother Johnnie are stunned when their father, David has a severe stroke and they're summoned back to the family home in Cornwall by his second wife, the unpopular and cold Sally, whom he married following the death of their mother Julia, in a mysterious drowning accident. As David lies seriously ill, the now grown children reflect on their lives - forced out of their beloved Cornish home, they both hope they can finally at least be free of Sally and her obnoxious son Mundo, who made their lives a misery during their childhood. Then David passes away and after his will is read, Mundo threatens to fight his half siblings every step of the way. Desperate to find out what really happened to their mother all those years ago, Alex contacts some long lost relatives to find out the truth. The story weaves between Julia's early life, as a student, would be actress and then her lost years until she met David and found, for a time at least, some form of happiness until her old troubles re-surface, and the present day, as Alex struggles to come to terms with her divorce, and setting up her flower decorating business, whilst coping with her grief for her father, and the ghosts from her family's past. this was an Ok read, I thought there was too much of Julia's early life and not enough of the present day issues, which meant that I felt the last part of the book felt rather rushed and a bit too neat. 7/10
  5. Thought it was about time I started a log on here. Just finished the 7th book in the Poldark series ("The Angry Tide") which was hugely enjoyable but a little political occasionally as Ross is now a Member of Parliament. But his rivalry with George Warleggan is as strong as ever, and his marriage to Demelza is on shaky ground, and their attempts to get back on track aren't helped by Ross's recklessness. And there's a shock at the end too. 8/10 Also just finished Falling Love by Donna Leon, another entry in the Venice-set series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, who is called in to help when his friend, opera singer Flavia Petrelli, seems to have a stalker. Probably not the best book I've read in this series, but still enjoyable, with it's cynical sense of humour intact. 7.5/10
  6. What's the weather like?

    We've had some lovely sunny weather over the last few days, still the cold wind though. Meant to cool down again at the weekend.
  7. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

    I'd love to know more about Nightingale as well, that would probably be a series on it's own!
  8. Do You Like to 'Like'?

    That's exactly how I see it as well Raven, a bit like a virtual nod of the head.
  9. Do You Like to 'Like'?

    I think it's a great idea but i can't see it!
  10. Greetings To You All

    Welcome Zoffo, you have some good hobbies!
  11. Never Ending Book Titles

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J K Rowling
  12. How many books have you read this year?

    Love that cartoon Raven! Think my total is 9 so far, which about right for this time of year. As I wont be commuting for a while and will be wfh, my reading will probably go down a bit, but worse things could happen!
  13. Never Ending Book Titles

    Darkness before Dawn - Katie Flynn
  14. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
  15. Your Book Activity - March 2020

    Haven't read it yet but it's high on my list, I've heard good things about it!
  16. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    Yes I hope her next one doesn't follow the same line!
  17. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    "Under the Ice" by Rachael Blok - it's just before Christmas and Jenny, a new mother, has what she thinks is a bad dream, that she's outside and she witnesses a girl's murder. Next day though, the news announces that a teenage girl has been found murdered in the local lake, exactly as in Jenny's dream. As she and her husband live near the scene, and he reported seeing a strange car, the police interview Jenny and her husband Will, but the lead detective, Maarten Jansen, thinks she's not telling all she knows. But her "visions"/dreams continue, and then another, younger, girl also goes missing - while the prime suspect for the murder is recovering in hospital from a beating at the hands of the victim's family. So both the police and Jenny are faced with a race against time to find and hopefully save the new victim, Becky, who is also a friend of one of Maarten's daughters. Jenny's strange visions continue, she seems to be sleepwalking, and she's also haunted by something from her past. Overall I enjoyed this book, it was an easy read, but I thought it was rather flawed - I found Jenny irritating after a while ,especially her constant holding back from the police, although, not surprisingly given her "visions", further developments lead to her being treated as a possible suspect, but there's not enough evidence to charge her. It wasn't hard to guess what was haunting her, and I also guessed the murderer's identity about halfway through, and then the author did that annoying thing of having the heroine go off on her own, in the dark, to meet the killer! I would still read her next book though, and the snowy setting of St Albans just before Christmas was well evoked. 7/10
  18. What's the weather like?

    Yes it's gorgeous, bit chilly but lovely. Nice to see people in town outside pubs and cafes and making the most of it, and things are starting to really grow in the garden now, plus I finally have a snowdrop! Better late than never I suppose.
  19. Athena's Reading List 2020

    It's pretty, well done!
  20. Your Book Activity - March 2020

    I thought The last Battle was the weakest book in the Narnia series.
  21. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens - this is set in two time zones, it opens in 1969 when the body of a young man is discovered at the foot of a fire tower, from the position of his body it looks like he was pushed although it could have been an accident.....then the book goes back to 1952 and tells the story of Catherine Danielle Clark, aka the Marsh Girl, and her association with the dead man, Chase. the girl, known as Kya, lives in a shack in the marsh of North Carolina with her family, until her mother, tired of the beatings from her drunken husband, walks out, and is followed one by one by Kya's 4 siblings, who also leave as soon as they're old enough (she's the youngest). Left alone with her father, at first he seems to be making an effort, taking her out in his boat and showing her how to fish etc, but soon he's back to his old ways, and eventually he simply fails to return one day. The local truant officer tries to get her to go to school, but the other children are so nasty that she only stays for one day, and despite their efforts gives them the slip. Eventually she learns to fend for herself, using the fishing and hunting skills she learnt from her father, and she trades some of her catch with the owner of the local boat store, an elderly black man called Jumpin', who helps her when he can, but basically from the age of seven she fends for herself. After a while she befriends a local shrimper's son, Tate, who loves the marsh just as much she does, and he teaches her to read, a skill she uses in later life to study the marsh and it's wildlife and flora, and she becomes a writer of best-selling books. But the romance with Tate flounders once he leaves for college, and Chase, who she's occasionally seen from afar, comes on the scene - he's the local sports hero, from a rich family who sees Kya as a challenge, and he too inevitably lets her down. The years roll by until we get to 1969, and Chase's death, in which Kya is implicated, resulting in a trail and the threat of being separated from her beloved marsh and wildlife for ever. this is very much a book of two halves, the first concentrates on Kya's growing up, the love triangle between her, Tate (when he returns from college) and Chase, whilst the 2nd deals with the fallout from Chase's murder. The first part is very leisurely, with beautiful descriptions of the marsh, sea, lagoons and various birds and animals, which at first are wonderful but after a while I was waiting for something to actually happen, other than the not unpredictable progression of Kya's development from marsh urchin to beautiful young woman. Conversely, the 2nd part of the book feels rather rushed, as if the author was just as eager as Kya to get back to the marsh, and I thought the conclusion was rather hurried, although there is an interesting reveal at the end. So overall a good book, but a bit sluggish at times, but some great characters, and I did feel for Kya, who not surprisingly is convinced that everyone will abandon her. Can't blame her really, she has an appalling early life, but does find happiness in the marsh and it's inhabitants. 7/10
  22. the Boys are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy
  23. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    "Coming Home to Winter Island" by Jo Thomas - Ruby is a singer with a band, but when she loses her voice at an important gig just before Christmas, she decides to go to a vocal retreat in Tenerife to help heal her voice. But then a phone call from a solicitor in Scotland tells her that she has a grandfather who she didn't know was still alive, but sadly as he is suffering from dementia, he needs to go into a home, and as she is his only living relative, she needs to supervise the sale of his house. So off she goes to Winter Island, but finds there is a problem - the old man, Hector, has a sitting tenant, who refuses to move out, and until he goes, the house can't be sold. At first she thinks the young man, Lachlan, is a freeloader, but when she discovers that he is trying to help fulfil Hector's dream of getting the once famous gin distillery up and running again, she decides to help him, so that she can get out to Tenerife, heal her voice and get back to her band again and hopefully hit the big time. But gradually the island, Hector and of course Lachlan start to get under her skin, plus she really wants to find out why Hector and her late father fell out all those years ago, to the extent that neither of her parents ever mentioned her father's family. This was a nice read, and whilst enjoyable I have one quibble - the author does have the habit of hammering home her theme - so first it was "I must get back to London/the band/Tenerife", then it became "I must find the secret recipe for the gin!" etc, all with lots of exclamation marks! This does become a bit irksome after a while, but apart from that this was a feelgood read, even though the outcome is obvious from the start. Great setting though, I would love to visit this island! 7/10