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Nollaig

Noll's 2016 Books and Cross-Stitch

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That Under the Poppy of Koja's is quite the Sample :o

I hope to read The Bees as well this year and I hope you enjoy Phillip K Dick.

 

Happy New Year!

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I hope you have a fantastic reading year in 2016, Nollaig! :smile2: I see you have Under the Skin by Michel Faber on your TBR pile, that's a truly great read, I hope you will enjoy it! :) 

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I hope you have a fantastic reading year in 2016, Nollaig! :smile2: I see you have Under the Skin by Michel Faber on your TBR pile, that's a truly great read, I hope you will enjoy it! :)

 

Thanks Frankie! I may have gotten that originally from you (I only added it yesterday after being reminded by other people currently reading it) - I've nabbed a few excellent reading suggestions from your threads over the years. :) I suspect I'll get to Under The Skin sooner rather than later as I now have it!

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I've just finished Under the Skin. My suggestion is not to read up anything about it beforehand. Especially not Amazon reviews as some of them give the whole story away. :doh:  it's best approached with no expectations and an open mind. :smile:

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Thanks Frankie! I may have gotten that originally from you (I only added it yesterday after being reminded by other people currently reading it) - I've nabbed a few excellent reading suggestions from your threads over the years. :) I suspect I'll get to Under The Skin sooner rather than later as I now have it!

 

Yeah that was probably me and bobbly talking about the book :) I also agree with what bobbly said ^:  best to get into it without knowing anything about it. If that's possible! 

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I've just finished Under the Skin. My suggestion is not to read up anything about it beforehand. Especially not Amazon reviews as some of them give the whole story away. :doh:  it's best approached with no expectations and an open mind. :smile:

 

Yeah that was probably me and bobbly talking about the book :) I also agree with what bobbly said ^:  best to get into it without knowing anything about it. If that's possible!

 

Unfortunately ladies, thanks to the film, which I have not watched but have had described to me as 

alien Scarlett Johansson goes round picking up lads

I have a fairly good idea of the basics. I'm still looking forward to it though.

 

Happy Reading in 2016 Noll! You're doing excellently already :)

Thanks Poppyshake!

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Unfortunately ladies, thanks to the film, which I have not watched but have had described to me as 

alien Scarlett Johansson goes round picking up lads

I have a fairly good idea of the basics. I'm still looking forward to it though.

 

Oh dear. Well I still hope you enjoy it! 

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You're definitely clever enough to appreciate what the author has done in the first chapters even if you know what's going on ... You won't have the pleasure of the element of surprise but you can still appreciate the way it's carried out :) 

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Happy reading this year, Noll. :) I've been curious about Claire North's book for a while. I look forward to seeing what you think of it when you read it.

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You're definitely clever enough to appreciate what the author has done in the first chapters even if you know what's going on ... You won't have the pleasure of the element of surprise but you can still appreciate the way it's carried out :)

 

See I'm getting all intrigued now and feeling like I need to start the book right now to see what you mean! :lol:

 

Happy reading this year, Noll. :) I've been curious about Claire North's book for a while. I look forward to seeing what you think of it when you read it.

 

Thanks Kylie! The name rings a bell, but without going back and looking at my wishlist I couldn't even tell you what book I have on there. That's how long that list has been carrying over! :giggle:

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See I'm getting all intrigued now and feeling like I need to start the book right now to see what you mean! :lol:

 

It ain't a bad thing :cool: 

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It ain't a bad thing :cool:

 

I will finish Mrs Brown first, and then read it. I'm also trying to get more reviews written and my new blog fixed up before I get too far ahead of myself. We're only one week into the new year and I'm already behind! :roll:

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I will finish Mrs Brown first, and then read it. I'm also trying to get more reviews written and my new blog fixed up before I get too far ahead of myself. We're only one week into the new year and I'm already behind! :roll:

 

Psh... behind... 

 

:D

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Psh... behind... 

 

:D

 

I am! In the sense that I have a good four reviews from last year and three from this year to write! Need to get them sorted and I don't want to >_<

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Happy 2016! I hope you have a fantastic reading (and non reading!) year. :)

 

Look forward to comparing notes about the ones we have both read and adding to my wishlist and TBR from the others :lol:

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Happy 2016! I hope you have a fantastic reading (and non reading!) year. :)

 

Look forward to comparing notes about the ones we have both read and adding to my wishlist and TBR from the others :lol:

 

Thanks Alexi, likewise! Gonna grab Year of Wonders fairly soon I think! :D

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Thanks Kylie! The name rings a bell, but without going back and looking at my wishlist I couldn't even tell you what book I have on there. That's how long that list has been carrying over! :giggle:

 

:giggle2: I was referring to The First 15 Lives Of Harry August. I just typed the author's name because I couldn't be bothered typing out the book title, but now you've made me do it! :P (OK, I confess, I just copied it from the first page. :lurker:)

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:giggle2: I was referring to The First 15 Lives Of Harry August. I just typed the author's name because I couldn't be bothered typing out the book title, but now you've made me do it! :P (OK, I confess, I just copied it from the first page. :lurker:)

 

THAT'S where I know the name from! I should have remembered that. My brain is a disaster :roll:

 

Surely it would have be quicker to type it than travel to the first page?! :P

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THAT'S where I know the name from! I should have remembered that. My brain is a disaster :roll:

 

Surely it would have be quicker to type it than travel to the first page?! :P

 

<sigh> Now I have to make another confession :P ... I couldn't remember the name of the book I'd been talking about, so I had to go back and look for it!  :lol:

 

Obviously my brain is a disaster too!  :giggle2:

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<sigh> Now I have to make another confession :P ... I couldn't remember the name of the book I'd been talking about, so I had to go back and look for it!  :lol:

 

Obviously my brain is a disaster too!  :giggle2:

 

HAHAHA! That's fantastic! We're sitting here with literally no ability to remember what we're talking about :rolol:

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#1 Spill Simmer Falter Wither - Sara Baume

 

Genre: Fiction/Irish Culture
Synopsis: "You find me on a Tuesday, on my Tuesday trip to town. You're sellotaped to the inside pane of the jumble shop window. A photograph of your mangled face and underneath an appeal for a COMPASSIONATE AND TOLERANT OWNER. A PERSON WITHOUT OTHER PETS & WITHOUT CHILDREN UNDER FOUR." Part Kjersti Skomsvold, part Patrick McCabe, Spill Simmer Falter Wither is a wholly different kind of love story, a conversation almost entirely told from one side, that spans the four seasons echoed in the novel's title.

 

***

 

Review: I had heard a lot about this novel winning/being nominated for several awards, and was really excited to read it. It took me quite a while to pick it up, and so long to read it (despite its relatively short length) that it became one of my first finished reads of 2016 rather than one of the last of 2015.

 

It's not the kind of book you can rush a reading of; the prose is the entire point, as far as I can tell. It is truly beautiful; Baume writes masterfully and evokes an vivid sense of place and atmosphere with her words.  That said, I expected a story that would make me well up with emotion - there are many 'man and his dog' stories out there, and I think this is the first time one has failed to make me cry. The dog is so peripheral I almost felt like he didn't exist at all, and while the narrator, Ray, perhaps benefitted from the dog's presence, the dog seems little or not at all attached to Ray. Unfortuately, I felt the novel lacked heart. There is only the vaguest hint of a plot; any potential for a sturdy story giving way to reflective, retrospective monologues which, while interesting, are slow moving and largely uninvolving for the reader. By the end, I was indifferent to the only two active characters in the novel.

 

Additionally, I didn't understand the ending at all. That might be a failing on my part, but the combination of an unexpected twist in such a meandering novel and such an uneventful final ending - none of it worked for me. I found myself distracted from the beautiful prose by my confusion and ultimately came away feeling disinterested and disconnected from the rest of the book.

 

Worth reading for the pretty writing, but that's about it.

 

Rating: ★★★✰✰ I liked it.

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#2 The Mammy - Brendan O'Carroll

 

Genre: Fiction/Comedy/Irish Culture
Synopsis: "Mammy" is what Irish children call their mothers and The Mammy is Agnes Browne--a widow struggling to raise seven children in a North Dublin neighborhood in the 1960s. Popular Irish comedian Brendan O'Carroll chronicles the comic misadventures of this large and lively family with raw humor and great affection. Forced to be mother, father, and referee to her battling clan, the ever-resourceful Agnes Browne occasionally finds a spare moment to trade gossip and quips with her best pal Marion Monks (alias "The Kaiser") and even finds herself pursued by the amorous Frenchman who runs the local pizza parlor.

 

***

 

Review: I decided to pick this book up as a result of a recent Mrs Brown's Boys binge, out of curiosity about the older versions of the stories and characters which ultimately resulted in an unlikely hit tv show. Much as I love the show, it can be quite hit and miss in terms of humour - so I was prepared for this novel to be much the same, and rightly so. On the flipside, everything I love about the show has been immensely enhanced for having read this.

 

Each chapter is like an episode of the show - short and chronicling one short story featuring one or two members of the Brown clan, as well as progressing one or two broader, overarching stories. It actually read far more like a collection of short stories than a cohesive novel, which I found made it a little difficult to really get into. Although there are differences between the show and this novel (including character names and the precise number of offspring Agnes Brown(e) can be credited with producing), some of the best gags have been reproduced in both media (including Marion/Winnie's 'organism' monologue).

 

I actually thoroughly enjoyed making comparisons between the two, and intend to check out additional versions (radio/film) of Brendan O'Carroll's multi-layed creation. Much as I love consistency, it's interesting to see how the concept has evolved over the last 20+ years. My biggest criticism of the book, I think, is that the tone is very decided. Some of it is very funny and lighthearted, other parts cut off in a depressingly unexpected manner, leaving me feel unsure whether I should be laughing or not. All the same, while this book is nothing spectacular in and off itself, the stories added great depth to all of the characters and really fleshed out my appreciation of O'Carroll's creation.

 

Rating: ★★★✰✰ I liked it.

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Excellent reviews, Noll. 

 

 

:giggle2: I was referring to The First 15 Lives Of Harry August. I just typed the author's name because I couldn't be bothered typing out the book title, but now you've made me do it! :P (OK, I confess, I just copied it from the first page. :lurker:)

 

I loved both of Claire North's books I've read.  Harry August, and Touch.  Very fast paced like a whirlwind!  Interesting. :)

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