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About France

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    Settling In
  • Birthday 06/27/1954

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  1. France's reading 2021

    I agree about narrators - I never enjoyed Trollope until I listened to Timothy West reading The Warden, but then I think Timothy West could make the telephone directory sound brilliant.
  2. France's reading 2021

    I love the book but have abandoned the audible version half way through, somehow the narration is just uninteresting. I might pick it up again later or might return it, I've got 9 months to make up my mind.
  3. France's reading 2021

    Let's agree to disagree on that one! What I really enjoy about most book groups if that in general people don't feel that you're attcking them personally if you don't share their opinion or liking for a book. Unlike most Facebook groups! (And a real life book group where one of the members got furiously angry when you didn't agree with her.)
  4. France's reading 2021

    I'll have to disagree with Hux about Normal People, I might never have got around to reading it if it weren't for my book group as books that are so hyped make me deeply suspicious but I really enjoyed it. I find her lack of speech marks annoying (as a writer myself I find that sort of look-at-me writing annoying and gets between me and the story) and in a couple of places I had to read paragraphs two or three times to work out who was speaking. Yes, she uses he says and she says but our eyes glide over those without really registering them (why there's no need to use opined, expostulated etc) and Rooney tends to hide her he/she says in the middle of her speeches so it had be hard finding them! That apart I love the way she writes, her way with words is incredible and I thought she really nailed how we go through life in a general muddle. I really liked the ending too, but then I do like ambiguity.
  5. Sounds very like the low GI diet which was aimed purely at weight loss but was based on the basic diet recommendations for diabetics and pre-diabetics. I lost 12kg in about 2 1/2 months (I wasn't overweight to start with but with my height and broad shoulders I go from slim to looking heavy rapidly without pausng at medium) and have never put most of it back on again in 16 years. I think we get to know what suits our body type, I can't tolerate those high protein, minimal carb diets that mean paractically no fruit, they make me feel sick, so I loosely follow the GI diet, have masses of fruit and if I need to get rid of a couple of kilos cut out bread entirely. Funnily enough cutting out wine makes no difference to my weight at all though it does have other health benefits!
  6. The Silver Chair - C S Lewis
  7. Funnily enough I finished The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes last night. It's also about the packhorse librarians though from what I've read it's a very different story. It's an excellent read - when Jojo Moyes is good she's very good, otherwise I find her a bit meh and very saccharine, this one is easily the best since Me Before You. There's been claims that Moyes "plagairised" the story as The Book Woman came out 5 months before hers, was seen and rejected by her American publisher and there are a couple of similar type incidents. Frankly, without knowing too much about it, I'd doubt it very much. Both authors used the same research material - the Smithsoniam Instittute published a paper on the Kentucky bookwomen in 2017 and it wouldn't be the first time that historical novellists have used real life events to create very similar story lines (if you read CS Forrester, DUdley Pope, Alexander Kent, Patrick O'Brian et all they all include somewhere a small ship taking a much larger one by a trick that was actually performed by The Earl of Cochrane in about 1802 and is written up in every book about about him) and I expect that's how you get a mule knocking over someone threatening to attack a bookwoman in both books etc. Also the plagairism claims ignore how long it takes to write a flipping book and get it out there. Most books are delivered to the publishers a year before they hit the shelves and even a very fast author will take a good 9 months to write a full length novel so the timing doesn't fit either. Whatever, Giver of Stars is well worth reading.
  8. Which online bookstores do you use?

    Yes I've had a couple of run-ins with Awesomebooks too but in general they aren't too bad. The problem with World of Books is that they charge £2 per item to send to France which mounts up! Awesome charge £2.99 for the whole order, no matter how many books or how heavy they are.
  9. Which online bookstores do you use?

    I'm in France so have to do the majority of my book buying on-line or at the big twice yearly charity book sale for books in English. There is a small English language bookshop in Bordeaux which I do try to buy from. I try to avoid Amazon and Bookdepository (owned by Amazon), Amazon is very efficient but it isn't good news for smaller retailers, Awesomebooks is a good source of second hand books outside plague years, their stock is a bit limited at the moment, and I've just discovered an on-line bookshop in Ireland which has good prices and as it's in the EU there isn't any problem about customs (there is no duty on books but it doesn't stop some of the carriers trying to charge it and a hefty handling fee.)
  10. France's reading 2021

    I must agree with the praise for Troubled Blood, it's a very good read and doesn't feel anything like as long as it is. (It woiuldn't have harmed it to have trimmed it a little though.) Even though the hardback is a brick I'm glad I read it on paper and not on Kindle, there are some very convoluted drawings from a police notebook which you probably don't actually need but they would have been unreadable on a small screen. I adored Anna Youngsen's first book Meet Me at the Museum, it was fresh, funny and one of the only epistolary novels I've read where the exchange of necessary background information in the letters seemed unforced and natural. I was really eager to read her second, Three Women and a Boat but sadly for me it doesn't match up. It's pleasant enough, about an unlikely friendship between two women and the owner of a narrowboat which they offer to take up-canal to be looked at while she has hospital treatment, for for me the feel-good factor is laid on too thickly and it all gets a bit saccharine.
  11. Your Hobbies, Collections, and Obsessions

    Love your cat Luna, it's really got essence of cat!
  12. Your Hobbies, Collections, and Obsessions

    I knit, only started a few years ago. I prefer to knit what really good knitters call "vanilla knitting" - straight forward jumpers, scarves or cardigans with just a little embellishment so i can indulge my other passion - reading - at the same time. If I'm doing lace work or cables which needs you looking at what you're working on I listen to Audio books.
  13. I got The Fourteenth Letter on the urging of a friend a couple of years ago and felt much the same as you do. It promised much and ended up being a bit meh.
  14. I've just finished I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O Farrell which was so stunningly written that I can't settle to reading anything else.
  15. Andrea in 2021

    I love lots of wierd and random books but I don't want to go anywhere near Alice. I have the same feeling about Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye to the extent that I couldn't read any of her books for about 10 years afterwards.