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      July Supporter Giveaway   07/01/2019

      It's Christmas in July! The winner of the July Supporter giveaway will receive this beautiful Barnes & Noble edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, as well as a special Charles Dickens tea by  theliteraryteacompany.co.uk .   I've been keeping this book a secret for so long (I couldn't wait until Christmas!) It's actually from a really lovely independent bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, the town of books. I'm so glad I finally get to show you! The picture doesn't even do it justice. A nice feature that you can't see in this image - the page edges are gold and (an extra surprise for the winner) the back is just as beautiful as the front! We also now have twice as much tea as previous giveaways!  (Thank you Literary Tea Company!)   As always, supporters are automatically entered into the giveaway and a winner will be chosen at random at the end of the month. If you want to enter this giveaway but you aren't a supporter, you can join in here https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .   Good luck  


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About vodkafan

  • Rank
    TBR now out of control
  • Birthday 01/27/1961

Profile Information

  • Reading now?
    London: The Novel Edward Rutherford
  • Gender
  • Location:
    Deepest England
  • Interests
    Jack Vance, George Gissing, Sarah Waters, Victorian England, Old sailing ships, anything about Norway, anything about London, sci fi films, what makes women tick, going to the gym, swimming, walking, travelling, art galleries,drawing, buying something really good cheap from a charity shop, theatre, writing my first novel.

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  1. Hi Angury, I put a comment on your blog. So sad about the old lady. I was a bit surprised that you were able to come to that understanding about her medication, but I guess you can't force a patient to take treatment they don't want. Paedophilia? You don't shy away from difficult subjects, do you?
  2. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Oh yeah...it's a doorstop. About 800 pages. The author has made up several fictional families and it follows them through the generations (not every generation, sometimes it skips a couple of hundred years) but London itself is the real character . And it has some maps! I have already found out so much I didn't know. It is so exciting to a London geek! (In a way that an ordinary novel cannot be). For instance The Strand and Oxford Street are the two original ancient thoroughfares into the western wall of the old City, (passing through Ludgate and Newgate respectively). I didn't appreciate just how ancient they are and how wonderful it is that they still follow their original routes, unlike some other European cities that have been periodically replanned and rebuilt on more logical lines, so that evidence of their history is destroyed for ever.
  3. Three Things About Joanna Cannon sounds great! Also Our House sounds interesting.
  4. I think I must read The Darkness now after reading your review Brian and also Madeleine's reply. I didn't look at the spoiler either.
  5. Muggle not, I admire you for using the library and waiting in line for your turn to get particular titles! It reminds me of my parents, my little brother and I going to the library when I was a kid. The delayed gratification of having to wait all adds to making a book more enjoyable! Unless a book you expected to be great was terrible of course...
  6. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    I tried to go back to Oryx And Crake but the story is a tad depressing at the moment. Instead I am 150 pages into London The Novel by Edward Rutherford. My eldest son and his girlfriend found this for me in a charity shop. It is amazing! Right up my street.
  7. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Truth Or Dare 2/5 Celia Rees What can I say about this book? Not to denigrate YA books at all (some are excellent) this one fizzled out for me quite quickly and it took an effort to finish it. The central message was that we should be more understanding and nicer to autistic people (and yes of course we should) It spent too much time talking at me and explaining and got a bit preachy. If I had read it when I was twelve I probably would have thought it was fantastic.
  8. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Yes and the odd thing is that the last 3 books- Holes, Hot Milk and Her Fearful Symmetry all came from the same small shelf in the same charity shop, bought singly on different days....
  9. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Her Fearful Symmetry 4/5 Audrey Niffeneger If I had read this first before Hot Milk I might have given it 5/5 , but although it was a very good book the writing itself didn't entrance me in the way that the other book's did, so I had to mark it a bit less. The plot was most interesting, I thought it was going to be about relationships, (which it was) but then it added a ghost story, (which reminded me at first a lot of The Hungry Ghosts by Anne Berry) and then added something else again. A satisfying read.
  10. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Hot Milk 5/5 Deborah Levy This was an impulse purchase from a charity shop. The cover photograph was just a very far away shot of a girl on a beach and it looked like nothing I would be interested in. But I bought it because the blurb on the back gave absolutely no clue as to what it was about: which is surely the opposite way a blurb is supposed to work, right? But I was hooked from the first couple of sentences. The writing is amazing. Sofia has put her life on hold for years to look after her mother and her mysterious medical problems. Her mother has sold the London flat they live in - Sofia's inheritance - in order to fund a trip to Spain to become a patient of the clinic run by the equally mysterious Dr Gomez and his beautiful daughter. Dr Gomez's methods are unorthodox to say the least, and he may be a total charlatan . If he fails to cure her mother's condition, they have no further options (and nothing to go back to in any case). I say again, the writing was amazing. The author uses sentences that took my breath away and hit me around the head like an unexpected blow from a baseball bat. ( "My love for my mother is like an axe; it cuts very deep.") There are other things too that made this book a bit different, Every few pages there are short passages written by a different voice in the first person, and it is clear that Sofia is being watched by this person. (Who and why?) Several motifs appear again and again, for instance that of right and left hands doing different things; is it a clue that implies sleight of hand, deceit, or perhaps just of a split personality that does not know itself? Pain and feeling; Sofia actively goes out of her way to get painful stings and enjoys wearing the scars on her skin, whereas her mother insists that she herself cannot feel. Another clue is the way Sofia views other people. She notices physical details of women more; she always describes the way their clothes encircle or touch their bodies. Time also seems a little bit mixed up: there is a part where Sofia has a piece of glass in her skin but doesn't know how it has got there. The accident where the piece of glass gets embedded doesn't happen until a couple of chapters later. Does this mean that her whole narrative is somehow not objectively real? The ending is left a little bit open, but you feel that Sofia has resolved her dilemmas. As my first 5/5 book of this year (and I seem to be hard to please this year) I would say that I give most of the points for the quality of the writing and the way the words and sentences poke my emotions, surprise me with a jolt . I will look for some more books by this author.
  11. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Thanks Athena, I left Truth or Dare temporarily and read another whole book yesterday, but I will certainly have finished it before the weekend and will review it Saturday.
  12. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Half way through Oryx and Crake. It is one of those stories where the reasons for the situation at the start are only revealed piecemeal through the novel one little nugget of information at a time. Also, not a happy story! But worth sticking with I think. At the same time I have also started reading a YA book, Truth or Dare by Celia Rees. It has an autistic character in it, Uncle Patrick, who died long ago , and there seems to be a mystery about him.
  13. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Holes 4/5 Louis Sacher Holes was great! A quick read and a joy to read. It was very much a fairy tale book, with just enough elements of reality in it to make you think you are reading a plausible story, so long as you don't stop to wonder at all the miraculous coincidences of destiny. But surely only a complete Grinch would want to. The simple plot just sweeps the reader along, and every little detail is important in the end, even the onions....I was glad I never got to watch the film.
  14. Vodkafan's 2019 reading blog

    Quick update. Had to give up on the Atlan saga, it was getting a bit stale for me. I read Holes by Louis Sacher instead in one day, that was very good, and have now started Oryx And Crake. Will catch up on my reviews tomorrow.
  15. There have been a few times lately I have wondered why I had children! If they could just go from 12 straight to 20 and miss out the teenage part.....