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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. Have I introduced myself yet?

    What kind of books do you like to read? Who are your favourite authors?
  2. Hayley, you bring up a good point about the editor's choice of stories if it is a pick and mix of different authors. It is worth mentioning that in passing when writing a review, I will try to remember that. I do like it when the editor writes a short note on each story and his/her mental connection to it (or the author)- that's always interesting. I think it is permissible to write the review about the whole collection as it is, because after all another person who picks up that print edition will get exactly the same mixture. But as Madeleine observed, you could give more mention to the short stories that jumped out at you . On the other hand, nothing wrong either with writing a separate review on a short story that really floated your boat ! I have never done that yet but I would.
  3. New name, new me.

    Hi Quinn, I remember you too. Glad that you are on the mend, hopefully your reading ability will improve and help make new neural connections along the way? Anyway glad you are still with us, welcome back
  4. Hi!

    Welcome Eli, ever read any Jack Vance? He is one of GRRM's influences.
  5. Have I introduced myself yet?

    Welcome! Why do you call yourself Loser, do you tend to misplace a lot of your books?
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. Three Things About Joanna Cannon sounds great! Also Our House sounds interesting.
  9. 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.
  10. 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...
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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....
  14. 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.
  15. 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.