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Everything posted by Janet

  1. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. The Blurb Kevin Katchadourian killed seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher, shortly before his sixteenth birthday. He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband Franklin, the story of Kevin’s upbringing. A successful career woman, Eva is reluctant to forgo her independence and the life she shares with Franklin to become a mother. Once Kevin is born, she experiences extreme alienation and dislike of Kevin as he grows up to become a spiteful and cruel child. When Kevin commits murder, Eva fears that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become. But how much is she to blame? And if it isn’t her fault, why did he do it? BEWARE - SPOILERS (AND A BIT OF PERSONAL STUFF!) AHEAD The 'normal' version of the paperback is 500 pages long (my version only 400 (although Amazon list it as 436!), which tells you how small the print was!) and is published by Serpent's Tail. The ISBN number is 1852424672. 9/10! (Read July 2006)
  2. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor Published in 2002, McGregor’s debut novel is a tale of suspense - of how a tragic event affects the lives of the people living in one street. The story alternates between present - the unnamed girl who was formerly resident on the street and was witness to the tragedy - and the past, where we see snapshots of all the residents on the day, including the girl, building up to the event. The characters are largely anonymous throughout the novel which adds to the sense of detachment and helps to increase the feeling of foreboding. At times, the book feels rather mundane but at the same time, one wants to read on to find out what the tragedy is going to be. I did make a couple of guesses, one of which turned out to be correct, but it was as much about the build-up and the after effects as the incident itself. The writing style is unlike anything I’ve read before - there are no speech marks, rather the ‘dialogue’ between characters goes like this: He said are you alright then? I said oh you know, I’m doing okay but could be better. He said sorry to hear that The book is full of rhetoric - similes and metaphors - there is plenty of enjambment which adds to the feeling of imminent doom. Reading this, I felt like I was back in A-level English Lit class! Some things about the writing did annoy me. The use of ‘thank you’ throughout the novel (apart from one incident which I noticed where thank you was used) really grated on me. Similarly ‘carpark’ and ‘numberplate’ and plenty of other incidents of bad writing (or editing?) - but that’s probably me being a bit anally retentive! This book is our January Bookworms’ choice and I’m certain there is going to be plenty of good discussion! Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Probably not, as I’m not sure the writing style would be to everyone’s taste! 6
  3. I'm glad she's been made Laureate, although I'm surprised she accepted the post. From the BBC I'm pretty certain there are other fans on here - what are your favourite poems by her? I'm only familiar with her collection The World's Wife plus a few other random ones but keep meaning to buy some more of her work.
  4. Audible Daily Deals

    I know there are a few Audible users on here. I keep forgetting to check the Deal of the Day so I thought this thread might help in the same way as the 'Kindle Daily Deals' thread does. Today's Audible deal is My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell for £1.99. It's a great book. The narrator is Nigel Davenport. I haven't heard any books by him so I can't really comment on his reading skills but from the sample I've listened to he sounds good.
  5. I'm going to copy a few people's ideas and use this as an index, but I'm going to simplify my blog too! Books read In 2006 - 20 Books read In 2007 - 30 Books read In 2008 - 40 Books read In 2009 - 65 Books read In 2010 - 45 Books read In 2011 - 60 Books read In 2012 - 76 Books read in 2013 - 63 Books read in 2014 - 57 Books read in 2015 - 69 Books read in 2016 - 86
  6. Kindle and ebooks deals

    Ooh, I've been meaning to try something by this author. Thanks.
  7. Matt Haig

    Someone recommended that to me last week - it sounds good.
  8. Willoyd's Reading 2017

    Yes, congratulations.
  9. We listened to it in the car on holiday in Norfolk (where it's set) in May. We both enjoyed it - me more than Peter. I'm definitely planning to listen to or read the second one.
  10. Janet's Log - Stardate 2017

    Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie The ‘blurb’ A woman is killed by a poisoned dart in the enclosed confines of a commercial passeneger plane… From seat No.9, Hercule Poirot was ideally placed to observe his fellow air passengers. Over to his right sat a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite; ahead, in seat No.13, sat a Countess with a poorly-concealed cocaine habit; across the gangway in seat No.8, a detective writer was being troubled by an aggressive wasp. What Poirot did not yet realize was that behind him, in seat No.2, sat the slumped, lifeless body of a woman. On a plane returning from France to Croydon airport, Poirot gives up his seat in order that two women can sit together and settles down to try to sleep. However, before the plane lands a woman is discovered to be dead. At first it seems like it might have been an allergic reaction to a wasp sting, but Poirot knows differently when he discovers a dart. It soon turns out that there is a suspect, and it's Poirot himself! It seems that in the act of kindness in giving up his seat, he has put himself under suspicion. Luckily for Poirot, Inspector Japp has been assigned to the case, and he and Poirot, with some unlikely help in the shape of a crime writer who was also on the fated journey, investigate the murder – which can only have been carried out by one of those travelling on the plane… As usual, there are plenty of twists and turns in the story, and the usual red herrings. We didn't solve this one before Poirot (that's only happened a couple of times!) and the reveal, when it came, was very clever. We're taking a break from listening to Poirot books – but I'm sure we'll find our way back to them before too long! The paperback edition is 272 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. It was first published in 1935. The ISBN is 9780008129538. 4/5 (I enjoyed it) (Finished 30 April 2017)
  11. Your Book Activity - July 2017

    I hope so too. I thought it was excellent.
  12. Pubs in books

    How could I forget that, @willoyd! Although I haven't read PP yet, we spent our wedding night in the Leather Bottle in Cobham! There is a pub in Bath called the Sam Weller. I guess it must be named after that character too.
  13. Janet's Log - Stardate 2017

    We went to the Bronte Parsonage on Monday in Haworth - it was really very interesting. They are undergoing a project at the moment to recreate Wuthering Heights in people's handwriting, so I got to write out a line, and when the book is finished it is going to be bound and exhibited during 2018 at the museum! I got to keep the pencil too! We then went to Oakworth station which features in the Lionel Jeffries film version of The Railway Children which is one of my favourite books and films. We bought a couple of platform tickets so I could take some photos, and the stationmaster (he's not called that but I can't remember his proper title!) came out and spent an hour with us showing us behind the scenes stuff that's not normally open to the public! We watched two steam trains and one electric train come in, and the electric one was being shunted so we chatted to the drivers. Fascinating stuff.
  14. Pubs in books

    We had a family celebration (my Aunt and Uncle's golden wedding) at the Peveril of the Peak hotel, @Alexi Ooh, and that reminds me about the pub in Rutland that featured in our Counties book! I have also been into the hotel that featured in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge - The Kings Arms Hotel in Dorchester.
  15. Pubs in books

    I've only just noticed this thread, @KEV67 - I'm surprised nobody else has posted in it. The most obvious one I can think of is Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. I would like to visit the inn one day, although it is, obviously, very commercialised. Not a pub, but Dickens also mentions the hotel The Royal Victoria and Bull in Rochester - I drank many a Midori (yuk!) in there as a late teen/early twenty gal! I'm going on a London Literary Pub Crawl with my husband in August, so I'll report back then.
  16. Your Book Activity - July 2017

    I have two days to finish it, @Alexi and I'm only on about page 30! The writing is a bit odd. I'm hoping to have a good slog at it on Thursday morning! I'm going to Swansea by train on Friday and back on Sunday - I'm trying to decide whether to download a new audio book or read something on my Kindle. We're going to Yorkshire on Sunday (hubby is picking me up from the train in Bristol) - we started The Lewis Man by Peter May (book 2 of a trilogy) on Saturday and are enjoying it, so we should get a lot done on the journey up.
  17. Your Book Activity - July 2017

    I preferred Middlemarch and Silas Marner, but it was good, @Lau_Lou. I guessed the ending... and was completely wrong! That's some haul.
  18. Your Book Activity - July 2017

    I finished The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot today. I've been reading other things alongside it, so it took me a month. I'm moving on to Please Look After Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin, which is a Book Club book.
  19. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

    Quite a few people here have read it, including me. I thought it was very good. My Mum has read another one of his too, and was a bit disappointed. I think I have one on my Kindle!
  20. Your Book Activity - June 2017

    I'm another who really enjoyed The Miniaturist, @bobblybear I've read a couple of his books. Dated (obviously) but still a good read.
  21. I see loads of people reading in my area (around Bath in Somerset). I have a friend who goes on long walks reading a book - I have to say I've never done that. I'm so clumsy and can trip over nothing, without factoring reading into the equation! I always have a book with me, wherever I go, just in case there is a reading opportunity!
  22. Janet's Log - Stardate 2017

    Hehe - thanks!
  23. Janet's Log - Stardate 2017

    Thanks, @Lau_Lou
  24. Janet's Log - Stardate 2017

    Hehe, thanks, @Athena. I have 16 so far. A drop in the ocean of the hundreds of editions out there. I'm not sure how it started really. It is one of my absolute favourite books and I re-read it every year.
  25. Alex's Reading - 2017

    Oh no! You'd better renew it online... or start saving! Good luck with the move. Are you moving far from where you currently live?