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~Andrea~

Book Wyrm
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Everything posted by ~Andrea~

  1. I've started The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Not loving it as I'd hoped but maybe that's because of the hype?? Things can never live up.
  2. Previous logs: 2020 (7) 2019 (18) 2018 (14) 2017 (10) 2016 (9) 2015 (10) 2014 (19) 2013 (21) 2012 (19) 2011 (17) 2010 (19) 2009 (23) 2008 (26) 2007 (21) Completed: A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens Sleepless - Louise Mumford Black Eyed Susans - Julia Haeberlin The Woman Who Stole My Life - Marian Keyes Five Quarters of the Orange - Joanna Harris Christian Theology an Introduction - Alister McGrath The Illustrated Child - Polly Crosby Nine Perfect Strangers - Liane Moriarty The Bible made Impossible - Christian Smith Currently reading: The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman
  3. Andrea in 2021

    The Illustrated Child - Polly Crosby From the blurb: Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved. When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize. But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether. In her increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books, realising that there is something far darker and more devastating locked within the pages… Hmm. I'm not sure what I made of this book. It's described as literary fiction, but I didn't find it particularly literary myself. It's certainly unusual and the writing is good in places, but also quite simple in others, being narrated by a child. I was intrigued to find out what happened, but I didn't particularly enjoy the book. It's unpleasant in places and contains a lot of childhood neglect. I found some of the story far-fetched and couldn't quite buy into it. I did read to the end though, which says something I guess, and a lot of people loved it. I didn't love it, or hate it. It was ok, but I'd have rather spent my time reading something else.
  4. Reader of many years

    Welcome to the forum Orang-U-Can. When I was little all we had was a black and white portable telly in the living room as the family TV. No remote, and no preset channels, just a single dial for tuning! How did we manage?
  5. Andrea in 2021

    Thank you Paul. They both sound great and I hadn't heard of either of them before so thanks for the recommendation!
  6. Andrea in 2021

    Five Quarters of the Orange - Joanna Harris From the cover: Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake - but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow named after a raspberry liqueur, plies her culinary trade at the crperie - and lets her memory play strange games. Into this world comes the threat of revelation as Framboise's nephew - a profiteering Parisian - attempts to exploit the growing success of the country recipes she has inherited from her mother, a woman remembered with contempt by the villagers of Les Laveuses. As the spilt blood of a tragic wartime childhood flows again, exposure beckons for Framboise, the widow with an invented past. When I started this I thought it was going to be too literary for me. I'm very much a commercial fiction devotee. I do like stuff to be well-written though. However once I got into the groove I really enjoyed this. The characters were interesting, (although often not particularly likeable) the writing lovely and evocative, and the story full of drama and jeopardy. This is my first Joanna Harris so I think I will be trying some more.
  7. Vodkafan's 2021 Reading Blog

    Yes congratulations on getting your mojo back in May! I hope it goes as well for the rest of the year!
  8. Andrea in 2021

    Bit behind on reviews - not that I've really read that much! So just a couple of quick ones: Black Eyed Susans - Julia Haeberlin At seventeen, Tessa narrowly escapes being murdered by a serial killer. Decades later, the convicted killer is finally about to be executed, except that Tessa is no longer sure he really did it. The story unfolds along two separate timelines - one as the young Tessa goes through therapy not long after her near escape, and another as an adult, with a teenage daughter of her own. I enjoyed this psychological crime thriller. The characters were well drawn enough to interest me, whereas I find a lot of crime books have rather flat characters. I also enjoy any element of therapy in a novel so that aspect of this book also appealed. I did guess the ending but it didn't really spoil my enjoyment of the book. The Woman who Stole my Life - Marian Keyes From amazon: One day, sitting in traffic, Stella Sweeney attempts a good deed. The resulting car crash changes her life. But in this event is born the seed of something which will take Stella thousands of miles from her old life, turning an ordinary woman into a superstar, wrenching her whole family apart. For the first time real, honest-to-goodness happiness is just within her reach. But is Stella Sweeney, Dublin housewife, ready to grasp it? After reading two of her books I've become a big fan of Marian Keyes. They both had me in stitches, while being stories of real depth, so I was expecting more of the same from this one. However, while funny in places, it just didn't have the comic punch of the other two I've read. For that reason I did find it slightly disappointing. It wasn't a bad read though. There was humour in it, but I think I only laughed out loud once. The story was quite good. I liked it but I didn't love it.
  9. Andrea in 2021

    Oh there were tonnes all from different series'. I seem to remember Sweet Valley High being ones that I really couldn't get into. And I remember some being dreadful even at the time and promptly abandoned.
  10. Hux Book Blog

    Now that is impressive! I wrote a limerick for a friend's birthday this year instead of a gift and it took me hours and it wasn't even that good!
  11. Andrea in 2021

    I used to read a lot of teen romances in my teens. I do wonder what I'd make of them now. I expect they'd be terrible. The Nancy Drew books I devoured when I was a bit younger certainly did not stand up to an adult re-read!
  12. Andrea in 2021

    Oh yes that must be nice. I wonder if you'd prefer Alice now as an adult? It's very weird and random so I can understand why someone wouldn't get on with it.
  13. Andrea in 2021

    I know. Some books work well on two levels, and can be enjoyed by both adults and children, such as the Narnia books, or Alice in Wonderland while some are definitely best left to the children.
  14. Hux Book Blog

    Oh I love that book. I really must read it again one day. It's a very strange yet utterly compelling read. I remember loving the vibrant and dynamic imagery in it.
  15. Andrea in 2021

    Haha, this is really me satisfying a childhood obsession! I got this because I can remember my brother (who is 5 years older than me) telling me when we were kids how much he'd loved it. He really sold it to me! As a small child I became desperate to read it, but by then we couldn't find a copy. I think he'd read it in school library and it had gone out of print. I was so intrigued by this book as a child and even as an adult now and again wondered about it. Anyway, recently I found it on amazon and couldn't resist buying it! Unfortunately it isn't really living up to the hype in my head Oh I hope you like it Muggle. It was hard work and I know a lot of people didn't like it. The ending though is great. Just skim over the boring bits!
  16. Andrea in 2021

    Sleepless - Louise Mumford Thea is an insomniac who never sleeps more than a couple of hours each night. One day her insomnia-induced poor concentration results in a car accident and she decides enough is enough and signs herself up to a sleep trial that promises to change her life. The trial takes place on a remote island and starts out well, with the participants finding their sleep issues improving, but then Thea makes some alarming discoveries and is soon desperate to get off the island. I got this because a leaflet dropped through the door advertising it. It's by a local author who lives in my neck of the woods so I thought I'd give it a whirl and support them. It started out well, and for the most part I really enjoyed reading it; it's quite well written, with some interesting ideas and is quite light and easy to read; it's something I'd probably enjoy on holiday (when we're allowed to have those again), engaging without being too hard on the brain. It also has a sense of humour which I liked as well. I enjoyed the first half but felt it became a bit formulaic and samey as it progressed. In the last quarter things become ever more violent and dramatic when it could have done with a bit more varied pacing. The ending felt a bit rushed to me. I also felt some characters should have been more fully developed, they were introduced and I wanted to know more about them, but then they weren't really explored. However I did like the ideas in the story, with the sleep trial and the tech behind it. Overall I thought it was OK, but it had the potential to be something much better so I was a bit disappointed. Still it's a first novel, so perhaps her next one will be better. (I'd still be willing to give her another try if she brings anything else out).
  17. Andrea in 2021

    I'm looking forward to trying some others.
  18. The Limerick Game

    A BCF member said "Look!" Whilst looking up from their book A penguin walked by
  19. Andrea in 2021

    Haha, well I don't have a lot to compare it to. Your assessment bodes well for my future Dickens reads though, they can only get better. I'm going to tackle David Copperfield at some point, which I've heard great things about.
  20. New Moderator

    Congratulations Brian!!
  21. Andrea in 2021

    A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens Set in Paris and London before and during the French Revolution, this historical novel centres around Alexandra Manette, a French doctor who was released from the French State prison, the Bastille after 18 years imprisonment. On his release he is reunited with his daughter Lucie, whom he has never met. The novel follows the lives of the doctor and Lucie, and a group of people they become connected with. Having never read any Dickens novel all the way through, I was determined to put that right this year. I'd picked this up from a charity shop ages ago and fancied giving it a try. To start with I found it somewhat long winded and wordy and had trouble keeping track of all the characters, however there were enough interesting and pacy sections to keep me persevering. I also felt the story seemed to occasionally go off on tangents and appeared a little disconnected. Perhaps that is a reflection of it being published in monthly installments originally, like many of his novels. However, as I progressed through it, it really became quite gripping, especially towards the end, and all those seemingly stray tangents were all tied up perfectly in the end. When I put it down I found I had thoroughly enjoyed it and was really glad to have read it. Definitely recommend.
  22. Long Time, No See.

    Welcome everyone. Sorry to hear about your forum closing. I remember when this one nearly did and was very sad about it. Thankfully Hayley stepped in and saved the day! (Where's a superhero smiley when you need one) I hope you can all find a home from home here
  23. Ian's reading 2021

    Oh well done. Most of his books are really long which puts me off somewhat. I'm reading A Tale of Two Cities at the moment, one of his shorter ones. Prior to that I'd only read A Christmas Carol and half of Great Expectations. I would like to have a go at David Copperfield at some point.
  24. Doctor Who Series 10 + New Doctor?

    If they do go for another woman I hope they choose an older actor this time; I hope they don't just cast young pretty actresses for the female versions. I want to see Miriam Margolyes do it
  25. On the whole yes, although it's rather wordy in places with long sentences and gigantic paragraphs. Sometimes I have to reread a sentence several times because I've forgotten what it initially started saying by the time I get to the end of it! So it's taking some effort, but there are good, pacier bits as well. I'm about a quarter way in and I'm determined not to give up! Thank you
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