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Everything posted by Lilliputian

  1. hello again :)

    It certainly sounds heartfelt and intriguing. My friend is a writer and he says the best bit of advice is to get someone you trust to proof your work, as your emotional connection to the work often prevents you from seeing spelling and grammar errors. Good luck.
  2. Hi there (does the Chat section work)

    Belated welcome and even more belated happy new year.
  3. Lily's Library

    DECEMBER Late as usual. How does anyone manage to do this on time?? Loving it Ghosts By Daylight: A Memoir of War and Love by Janine di Giovanni https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghosts-Daylight-Memoir-War-Love/dp/1408822318/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483564044&sr=8-1&keywords=ghosts+by+daylight I loved this powerful, gritty insight into the effects of being a modern day war correspondent. Janine is careful to avoid unnecessary description aimed at the gore voyeur. And she seamlessly interweaves the horror of war with the horror of adjusting to everyday traumas, such as motherhood when suffering from PTSD. More than that, Ghosts by Daylight is follows the beautifully tragic love story between the author and another correspondent. There is great poignancy in her writing, and you are left with the impression of a woman far tougher than her exterior would suggest. Hating it Agnès Sorel: Mistress of Beauty (Anjou Trilogy 2) Kindle Edition by Princess Michael of Kent https://www.amazon.co.uk/Agn%C3%A8s-Sorel-Mistress-Beauty-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00LX8WCOU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483564546&sr=1-1&keywords=Agn%C3%A8s+Sorel Having stood admiring the portraits of Agnes of Sorel when visiting France as a child, I was thrilled to come across this novel. Unfortunately, like waking up from a dream about Sam Heughan, the disappointment was almost too much to bear. The cardinal sin of this book is not the unbelievable characters or silly, unrealistic dialogue, it’s simply that it is boring. You simply don’t care at all about anyone and most especially the eponymous heroine. Poor Agnes. She deserved a better epitaph.
  4. Lily's Library

    NOVEMBER All right, I know it’s December but I had flu and family and Xmas shopping … don’t judge! Loving it The Mind Body Problem by Rebecca Goldstein https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Body-Problem-Contemporary-American-Fiction/dp/0140172459/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1481499721&sr=1-1 Not a new book, but one I had never read. It’s hard to explain what was so great about it. The narrative follows the marriage of the protagonist (a girl who has broken free of her Hasidic Jewish background) only to marry a genius and find that she isn’t as free as she thought. The story has no grand climactic moments or high drama, yet somehow I couldn’t put it down. There’s something in the way that the author crafts her story that reaches inside the reader in the same way that an old friend can really know you. Probably not a great read for men (although it was a man who recommended it to me) but a must for the ladies. Hating it The helios disaster Kindle Edition by Linda Boström Knausgård https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00S8FKKRC/ref=pdp_new_dp_review I wanted to love this book. It seemed original with its blend of classical mythology and modern narrative, and certainly it begins well. However, it’s a story essentially about madness, and as such the author feels free to meander about without really giving those of us, who are not mad, any understanding of what is going on. As an exploration of depression there are some poignant insights, but the mythology sits as a clunky add-on that never really get off the ground. On the up side it is, at least, short.
  5. Lily's Library

    SEPTEMBER Loving it Snakesleeper by Ann Chamberlin Definitely one to love if you like historical fiction that thinks out of the box. Set at the time of the Old Testament monarch, King David, she borrows heavily from the book, When God was a Woman by Merlin Stone, but nonetheless she manages to weave a truly alien world, where a goddess might have just as much clout as a God. Her attention to historical detail is impressive, and she draws the reader in through the eyes of a very unusual little girl, who grows to womanhood while straddling two entirely different cultures. Hating it 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 by Haruki Murakami Recommended to me by an (ex) friend, I knew nothing of Murakami when I started. And, honestly I wish I had remained in blissful ignorance. I had been told that the style was unusual, and that much I can agree on. Characters endlessly repeat things they already know to each other, while the plot unfolds like a poorly written fairytale and magic solves everything. I realise many people loved the book, but it left me cold. OCTOBER Loving it Possession by A S Byatt Decidedly one for the favourite shelf. The poetry alone would sell this book. Apart from that is the poignant tale of stifling Victorian morality, there is a parallel romance unfolding in the modern day. The author draws the reader through the strands of English romance literature and mythology as the mystery slowly unfolds. Hating it The Octavian Chronicles: Octavian: Rise to Power by Patrick Parrelli. I have to admit that I did not finish this book. The historical detail seemed accurate, but the writing style was (to be kind) just to sparse for my taste. This book may appeal to readers who essentially want facts with no interest in style, but I found the prose flat and unappealing. Robert Graves would be rotating in his surname if he caught wind of this.
  6. Lily's Library

    I've heard that Murakami's other books are quite different to this one. If you've got a Kindle, it might be worth while getting a sample.
  7. Lily's Library

    Thanks. As my daughter said, at my age I need all the support I can get!!
  8. Lily's Library

    Hi there. Thanks for the support. Been a bit overwhelmed with decorators this month, but am getting right back on it. if you like obscure books no-one else recommends, watch this space
  9. Lily's Library

    Hi Sorry to respond so very late (decorators in for last month, house in chaos scenario). I'm glad to hear someone else didn't like him. I was beginning to question my sanity as everyone said he was so good. I have a terrible habit of not liking books that are popular and preferring obscure ones. So thanks for your reply and I hope to be a bit more punctual in future.
  10. Probably a bit of an 'out-there' choice, but I'd plump for Howard Fast. He was a prolific author, but I would have loved to see more of his historical fiction set in the classical period. His Spartacus still gives me chills.
  11. Your Book Activity - September 2016

    I've read the Book of Strange New Things, but I'm afraid that I didn't come to the same conclusion. I think the writing is great, but the plot seemed ridiculous. Perhaps it was a metaphor for his dying wife (sad to hear), but read without that connection it just didn't work for me. Finishing SnakeSleeper by Ann Chamberlin. Fascinating stuff.
  12. Hi there

    I'm pretty new to this sort of thing so I'm a bit nervous about getting started. Always interested in intelligent novels with beautiful language and which don't follow the formula, e.g. Donna Tartt's The Secret History or Emma Donoghue's The Room. Any suggestions?
  13. Hi there

    Wow, thanks everyone. I'm thrilled. I have read some of the suggestions, but will definitely check out the others. Thought-provoking novels are so hard to come by. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is excellent if anyone hasn't tried it, as is SnakeSleeper by Anne Chamberlin.