Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Janet

  • Rank
    Rebel Without A Clue!
  • Birthday 05/30/1966

Profile Information

  • Location:
  • Interests
    Reading! :D

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Recent Profile Visitors

4,589 profile views
  1. Vicarage Family by Noel Streatfeild The ‘blurb’ A Vicarage Family is the first part in a fictionalized autobiography in which Noel Streatfeild tells the story of her own childhood, painting a poignant and vivid picture of daily life in an impoverished, genteel family in the years leading up to the First World War. In the story there are three little girls - Isobel, the eldest, is pretty, gentle and artistic; Louise the youngest, is sweet and talented - and then there is Vicky, 'the plain one', the awkward and rebellious child who doesn't fit in at school or at home. Growing up in a big family Vicky feels overlooked but gradually begins to realize that she might not be quite as untalented as she feels. The Vicky of this story is, of course, the much-loved Noel Streatfeild who went on to write so many wonderful family stories, the most famous being. Ballet Shoes I love books about social history and the Edwardian era is one of my favourite periods. Vicky (Noel herself) is a real character – she's constantly trying to behave whilst managing to get into trouble, much to the exasperation of her parents, and particularly her father with whom she is very close. Although the family were from an upper Middle Class background they were not wealthy, having to live on a Vicar's stipend, and they had their fair share of hardship in terms of keeping up with their peers, although they weren't poor. I had had this book on my wish list for a long time so was chuffed when I came across it for 50p in a charity shop! Despite Streatfeild being a very prolific writer I haven't read any of her books (I don't think – I may have as a child), although I have seen the TV adaptation of Ballet Shoes! I really enjoyed this. There are two more volumes - Away from the Vicarage and Beyond the Vicarage, both of which I will look out for. The paperback edition is 416 pages long and is published by Puffin. It was first published in 1963. The ISBN is 9780141368665. 4/5 (I really enjoyed it) (Finished 23 February 2018)
  2. Claire's Book List 2018

    Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I didn't know it was going to be a series when I read it last year. Like you, I won't continue if it goes on for too many books (I gave up on the Rivers of London series - I can't keep up!) but I will try #2. I have only read 21 books this year (one more than you read in March! ) - I'm normally fairly equal in terms of Male vs Female authors but this year I have (so far) read F/M: 14/7!
  3. @chesilbeach sent me card and a Ladybird edition of A Christmas Carol to add to my collection to cheer me up - which it did. Thanks, Claire.
  4. Thanks, @Little Pixie, @Michelle, @Athena, @Madeleine, @Nollaig and @~Andrea~ I'm hoping this lovely warm weather might help!
  5. Thanks all. I have an infection in both ears. The doctor started me off with antibiotic drops, but I was allergic to them so then I had tablet antibiotics for a week with no improvement so I went back to the surgery and saw the practice sister who looked in both ears and then called a doctor in who told me that I have a 'normal' (for want of a better word) infection in my left ear, but a fungal infection in my right - and that the antibiotics would have been feeding that infection and making it worse! So now I have a steroid spray but no antibiotics (I also have infection in the tube that goes between my ears and the back of my throat!). I have about 50% hearing back now, which is better, as I was virtually totally deaf for a week! It's been a horrid one!
  6. Caraval by Stephanie Garber The ‘blurb’ 'Remember it's all a game. What happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you, but don't let any of it trick you.' Once a year the infamous Master Legend hosts Caraval - open only to those who have been invited. This year the week-long game is on Legend's glittering Isla de los Sueños, where the winding streets are an elaborate snow-covered maze and the people are never who they seem. At midnight on the first day, the show begins and the visitors become players. Each of them is vying for the coveted prize: a single wish. All they must do is unravel the mystery of Caraval. But in a game where danger hides behind every charming smile, winning isn't without loss, and their wish might be their last... Tella and Scarlett are sisters who live with their tyrannical father. He has become not only distant since their mother's disappearance some years earlier but also very cruel. Scarlett has been writing to a man called 'Legend', host of a magical game called Caravel, for years, trying to persuade him to bring the game to where they live, but to no avail. She hopes her future arranged marriage to a mysterious man she has never met will help save her and her sister, and when the girls are invited to attend Caravel Scarlett is reluctant – but events mean that they end up playing the game, together with Tella's friend Julian. But is Julian all he seems, and is Caraval really a game? Will it be an escape for the girls, or are they playing into dangerous hands…? This young adult book was chosen for Book Club. I don't often read fantasy-type books but it was likened to The Night Circus which we also read for Book Club and which I really enjoyed, so I had high hopes for it. I found one certain element of it rather irritating (but I can't say what that is as it would be a huge spoiler!) but I very much liked Scarlett and overall it was an enjoyable read. What I really liked about it was how colourful the story was – I am a very visual reader and the story was so colourful in my head. There is a sequel coming out later this year – I am undecided as to whether to read it or not. The paperback edition is 416 pages long and is published by Hodder. It was first published in 2017. The ISBN is 9781473629165. 4/5 (I enjoyed it) (Finished 22 February 2018)
  7. I have been poorly for over three weeks now. It started off with a hideous cold (not quite 'flu, but not far off) and then morphed into an ear infection (in both ears), which has been horrendous. I still don't have full hearing, but I'm feeling so much better than I was. On the plus side, I was still able to read for most of the time I was ill (after the first three days when I pretty much didn't move!) - I have completed six books since 26th March and have read around 750 of 801 pages of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens in nine days! It would usually take me a minimum of three weeks to finish a Dickens so I'm particularly pleased about this! I am very behind with this year's reviews already, but am slowly catching up. I'm also trying to catch up with last year's reviews! I'm trying not to heap too much pressure on myself though.
  8. Nor do I! I have downloaded so many free Classics it would take me a month of Sundays to log them all!
  9. I'm trying to buy fewer books this year (I say that every year!) although I have some lovely Waterstone's vouchers, so they don't count! The freebie was definitely my favourite of those three, so 'buying' that's not really cheating, Little Pixie!
  10. Janet's Log - Stardate 2017

    Cowboy Song - The Authorised Biography of Philip Lynott by Graeme Thomson The ‘blurb’ The first biography to be written with the cooperation of the Lynott Estate, Cowboy Song is the definitive authorised account of the extraordinary life and career of Thin Lizzy guiding spirit, Philip Lynott. Leading music writer Graeme Thomson explores the fascinating contradictions between Lynott's unbridled rock star excesses and the shy, sensitive 'orphan' raised in working class Dublin. The mixed-race child of a Catholic teenager and a Guyanese stowaway, Lynott rose above daunting obstacles and wounding abandonments to become Ireland's first rock star. Cowboy Song examines his key musical alliances as well as the unique blend of cultural influences which informed Lynott's writing, connecting Ireland's rich reserves of music, myth and poetry to hard rock, progressive folk, punk, soul and New Wave. Published on the thirtieth anniversary of Lynott's death in January 1986, Thomson draws on scores of exclusive interviews with family, friends, band mates and collaborators. Cowboy Song is both the ultimate depiction of a multi-faceted rock icon, and an intimate portrait of a much-loved father, son and husband. Philip Lynott was born in the West Midlands, and lived in Manchester with his mother, Philomena until he was eight years old when he moved to Dublin and was brought up by his maternal grandparents. He was in several bands before forming Thin Lizzy in 1969 with Brian Downey, an old school friend, and Graham Bell and Eric Wrixon who they met in a club in Dublin. Their big break came in 1972 when they supported Slade and later that same year they had their first hit with Whiskey in the Jar. The band went on to have great commercial success and Lynott also had a solo career. Unfortunately, the hedonistic rock-and-roll lifestyle took its toll and Lynott died in 1986. As a teen my friends and I, from the same street, would sit in our friend Andrew's back room playing Risk and Backgammon and listening to bands such as Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis and Thin Lizzy. The latter's lead singer, Philip Lynott, was one of my first teen crushes! It was a sad day for me on 4th January 1986 when he succumbed to the pneumonia brought on by his terrible drug addiction, and died. This is the only authorised biography of Lynott and was written with his family's consent. Whilst not holding back at all, Graeme Thomson portrays Lynott sympathetically. He had his insecurities and demons, but he had masses of personality and people generally liked him. Although it was all over the news at the time, I had no idea the extent of his addiction until I read this book. It made me feel sad all over again, but this time largely due to the terrible waste of a talented life. I was lucky enough to see Thin Lizzy on their Renegade tour in November 1981 at Hammersmith Odeon, and despite everything, Philip Lynott still holds a special pace in my heart! The paperback edition is 368 pages long and is published by Constable. It was first published in 2017. The ISBN is 9781472121073. 5/5 (I loved it) (Finished 21 July 2017)
  11. As I said in my review, I found I couldn't laugh at Eleanor. I found her sad and endearing (and yes, heart-warming). I hope I didn't offend anyone - it certainly wasn't my intention.
  12. The Bette Davis Club by Jane Lotter The ‘blurb’ The morning of her niece’s wedding, Margo Just drinks a double martini and contemplates the many mistakes she’s made in her fifty-odd years of life. Spending three decades in love with a wonderful but unattainable man is pretty high up on her list of missteps, as is a long line of unsuccessful love affairs accompanied by a seemingly endless supply of delicious cocktails. When the young bride flees—taking with her a family heirloom and leaving behind six hundred bewildered guests—her mother offers Margo fifty grand to retrieve her spoiled brat of a daughter and the invaluable property she stole. So, together with the bride’s jilted and justifiably crabby fiancé, Margo sets out in a borrowed 1955 red MG on a cross-country chase. Along the way, none of what she discovers will be quite what she expected. But it might be exactly what she’s been seeking all along. From acclaimed humor writer Jane Lotter comes this madcap, laugh-out-loud adventure, The Bette Davis Club. Margo Just is in California for a wedding. She hasn't really been looking forward to the event as the bride's mother is her wealthy half-sister Charlotte and the only thing they have in common is a deceased father who was a famous screenwriter. Margo plans to help herself to something stunning from her sister's wardrobe to wear to the wedding and to drink gin cocktails to help her get through the day. However, fate has a different idea, and when Margo's niece Georgia jilts her fiancé at the altar, Charlotte offers Margo $50,000 to bring back Georgia, and the items she has taken with her that don't belong to her. At Margo's disposal is their father's beloved 1955 MG – there is just one problem – Margo doesn't drive. So, seeking answers as to why Georgia fled from their wedding, her fiancé Tully reluctantly agrees to act as chauffeur, and the pair of the set off across the USA in pursuit of the runaway bride, but in seeking answers to Georgia's behaviour, Margo also uncovers some truths about her own past… Okay, I confess – I bought this on Kindle partly due to the cover! I wasn't sure if it would be 'my thing', and indeed it wasn't really the sort of book I normally read, and yet it was fun and I liked it. I loved the character of Margo – not only is wonderfully feisty but she's also in her fifties – it's nice to have a character like this who is a similar age to me! And Tully was the perfect foil – I liked how their alliance grew through her journey. Sure, it's not great literature, but it was a nice easy read and one that I enjoyed. The author, Jane Lotter, was actually a very successful US journalist. This is her only novel as she sadly died of cancer the same year her book was published. The paperback edition is 337 pages long and is published by Lake Union Publishing. It was first published in 2015. The ISBN is 9781503951075. I read it on Kindle. 3/5 (I enjoyed it) (Finished 14 February 2018)
  13. Ah, my mistake. Thanks @Athena
  14. Another country: Dominica - Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys - 4/5 - finished 28.03.18 The author was born there, and the book is part set there too. 53 Books - 22.75%