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Everything posted by vodkafan

  1. Angury's Reading Diary 2017

    Glad you have discovered a new major line of interest, Angury! It will be interesting how philosophy and psychology may intersect and feed each other for you. (or maybe they won't at all?) So who is the next philosopher on your list?
  2. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Hi Angury, I would certainly recommend the Isle Of Wight. If you have kids though you need a car to get around the island quickly. We tried to do 2 major things a day. On your own or in a couple it is great to cycle around. I am completely the opposite to you! I prefer the cheapest possible copy of a book as to me it's just the reading that's important. I don't mind if they are tatty. I am halfway through In Search Of Shrodinger's Cat but I have dipped into Up And Down Stairs and The Man From Maybe
  3. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Just got back from a week's family holiday in (on?) the Isle Of Wight. Seen lots of nice Victorian history. Picked up a few second hand books: Inverted World Christopher Priest . The cover got smeared in Barbecue sauce (don't ask) but I managed to save it The Heroines Of SOE Beryl E. Escott The Time Traders (US 1958 copy) Andre Norton Now And Then William Corlett The Man From Maybe Leo P. Kelley (Been looking for this book 25 years couldn't remember the title!) The Railway Detective Edward Marston In Search Of Shrodinger's Cat John Gribbin Up And Down Stairs The History Of The Country House Servant Jeremy Musson
  4. Outliers - blow your mind away!!!

    I was born in January so I should be in the Olympics...
  5. Doctor Who Series 10 + New Doctor?

    Well a female doctor might confuse the Daleks for a little while. ....and it's a good thing perhaps that River Song is already dead because she might have been a bit perplexed... .OK sorry now I have got those thoughts out of the way I can be serious. I can't remember when they first started talking about that the Doctor possibly could/might/should regenerate into a female....I always thought that Doctor Who is a concept (ideas) show first and foremost, and I don't see anything wrong with the concept- I like the concept . It has always been the individual Doctors that I either liked or disliked. I never liked Capaldi. I agree with Madeleine that the series has been tired for a while now. It was binned before for several years and got resurrected, and they put much more into the relationships with his assistants into it. I got so so sick of Clara Oswald and her problems. I am very curious about what the new Doctor will turn out like personality wise. I am very sad that she seems to be getting so much negative feedback before she has even started
  6. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    From Outside In 3/5 edited by Nushin Arbabzadah This book is subtitled Refugees and British Society. It was quite interesting because it shows that historically Britain has always been a place that took in refugees and , much more than that, took a pride in doing so and giving them a safe haven. I am going to sidestep my review for a minute and digress: it is one advantage (and often a joy!) of reading widely that one will often be able to link or "back up" information from a book about a subject one may have thought was completely new by something one has read in another, quite unrelated, book. So it was with this one. Bill Bryson in one of his two books about the English language talked quite a lot about refugees learning English as a second language, giving statistics (very un-Bryson-like) to boot to prove his points. This actually primed me quite well for this book. From Outside In is a collection of essays, short stories, memoirs and poems about the experience of being a refugee in Britain from the refugee's point of view. (It is the nearest I am ever going to get to reading a book of poetry!) They could have actually made it four times as long and it would never have been boring. The book is actually almost apologetic in it's shortness, as if they worried that people might not pick it up and buy it if it went on too long. It's shortness means it never gets too preachy but on the other hand there was nothing really profound in it either. I admit most of the poems just went over my head. I recommend this if you are just interested in reading about people .
  7. Frankie reads 2017

    Ah that was several years back. I don't know what happened to him, I didn't talk with him online after that. When are you coming over again? I take it you won't bring a bladed weapon
  8. Athena's Reading List 2017

    I haven't had that happen actually. Because when I am in a bad mood I probably wouldn't try to read. That's a new concept to think about for me, as books tend to disassociate me from my surroundings anyway and take me into another world, I doubt if I could stay in a sour mood if I had a good book...
  9. Frankie reads 2017

    So sorry, hope you don't mind me jumping in Frankie. I knew a Finnish guy once. There is definitely something different about Finnish people. We talked online for a few months and I met him by chance in London one day (at a wargaming show) I had two of my kids with me. He had only just moved to the UK with his wife. He was a a young guy but very confident , relaxed and warm. My kids were mesmerised by his personality. Then suddenly he pulled out this huge knife. I said " Thomas! This is England! You can't carry a thing like that about in the streets. You better put it away!" . He grinned and put it away sheepishly. He said everybody carried a knife like that in his village to skin rabbits and suchlike. We talked about Finland and he said that the Finns were behind everybody else, not in intelligence or anything but they had only recently got civilized in the last couple of hundred years. That was his theory. He said that's why the Russians didn't mess with them any more. Just a personal anecdote. Nothing whatsoever to do with your conversation!
  10. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Beautiful 3/5 Katie Piper Katie Piper is of course the English TV presenter who has appeared in lots of documentaries and who helps people who have been disfigured. or who have mental problems about their own bodies. I never actually saw the first couple of documentaries that were about her own face and journey to rebuild it but I saw the ones where she helps others. I liked her in these, she is I think a very sincere and genuine person. So when I saw this on the charity shop shelf (another quick just-before-the-bus purchase) I thought I would give it a go. I didn't actually know her back story and how she came to be attacked and doused with acid. Those sections were very hard to read and I could only read them a bit at a time. Once past that though it is a very positive book about her rebuilding her life, coming to terms with stuff and realising what is important. I say positive, but it is by no means an easy read at times as what she went through can be upsetting. She is not a natural writer and it shows in some passages, but a book like this cannot be judged on the writing . I have read some books by famous people and actually disliked the person afterwards. I am happy to say this is not one of those books! I like Katie Piper more now I have read about her. And that's not because I feel sorry for her, but because she is a worthwhile person who adds something to the world.
  11. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I sat through this yesterday with my exwife and the smallest two children. I thought it was terrible. The kids were bored and didn't laugh once. They were baffled by the Minions suddenly turning Spanish and didn't understand what they were saying. (Who's strange decision was that? It seems somehow insulting?) My exwife fell asleep. The whole trip out to the cinema cost £50 with the drink and popcorn, which is a lot when it's a mediocre experience.
  12. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Foulsham 3/5 Edward Carey Eagerly devoured the second book in the series in one day. Sadly, it was not as good as the first one for me, mainly because now I know what is going on and the mystery has gone out of it. It is now more of a straight children's adventure, albeit very weird!
  13. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I didn't like this when I first saw it (several years back) but a nugget must stayed in my memory and I think I might want to see it again . Maybe.
  14. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    That's amazing Claire! It just shows how different readers react differently . I found it quite fast paced, something happened in every chapter, and some of the chapters are only a few pages long. I raced through it very quickly..
  15. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Heap House 5/5 Edward Carey This might be my book of the year! One of two books one of my daughters bought me for Fathers Day. It is so surreal and yet makes a kind of sense. It is set in an alternative 1875 London. The things that humans throw away have got out of hand and London is drowning in heaps of rubbish and discarded objects that are piled high and threaten to engulf the city. It is everyone's full time job to clear the heaps, but especially if you are poor and an orphan like Lucy Pennant. Her destiny is to wear a leather cap and be "married" to the heaps. Clod has a different destiny. He is an Iremonger, one of the elite family that are feared and hated and who live shut up in the huge mansion out in the outskirts. But Clod has always been a bit different to the rest of his family, because he can hear the objects talking.... there is a lot of very subtle cleverness here, because Victorians had a huge fetish for "things" and objects of all kinds. Their houses (to our eyes) were cluttered with knick knacks just for the sake of having them. I cannot praise this book enough! One one level it is a fantastic children's book. Kids 6-12 will love it. On another level it is a very humorous novel for adults. Some of the chapters had me in stitches. I don't think it is a YA novel though. In my opinion it just doesn't contain the things that interest teenagers , but I could be wrong of course. I intend to start reading this to my youngest kids for bedtime.
  16. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    I just read Heap House. It was fantastic! Will review it soon.
  17. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    They were the original First Wave Feminists who were organised and together, rather than individual women like Mary Wollstonecroft who had tried to bring attention to women's situation in their writings in the past. I liked the history parts in The Sealed Letter, but it was also a very human story and also very well crafted.
  18. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    I am sure you would enjoy this then Ian. Funny enough, this week another two books in the series turned up on the table in the canteen.
  19. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I have never read this and wondered about this film, so I will be going into it totally blind. I better not look at your spoiler then Claire! Thanks for your recommendation.
  20. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    The Sealed Letter 5/5 Emma Donoghue I have only recently came to Emma Donoghue's books. A few years ago when everybody here was reading Room I never got around to it for some reason, and then when the film came out the trailer gave away practically the whole story so I didn't want to bother seeing the film or reading the book. Then last month I found Stir Fry and thought this was OK but not outstanding, probably one of her early works. Then last week, with only a moment to make a choice before my bus went, in the charity shop my eye fell on The Sealed Letter. The blurb said it was set in Victorian times so that was enough. I grabbed it quick. On the bus I read the first few pages which started off with a meeting between two women on a street in London I know well. Suddenly a name jumped out at me and I sat bolt upright. A real life, historical name. Emily Faithfull. I turned back to the blurb and read it more carefully. No way! It was a novel about that famous divorce case. And, indirectly, about Langham Place and the famous women associated with it. I was almost afraid to read any further. Would this be on a level with the fluffy escapist "Victorian" novels of Dilly Court? How could this writer play with these real people and get away with it? Well I read the book and it was amazing. There is no fluff y writing here. All the period details are correct. The story is engrossing and the writer's interpretation of historical events rings completely true. The dialogue between the characters is naturalistic and she is sympathetic to all the three main characters. As for all the Langham place women, there is a scene in the book where the author has all these famous females in the same room; Emily Davies, Bessie Parkes, Isa Craig, Sarah Lewin and Faithfull herself. Reading that part I was in a state somewhere between extreme joy and a cold sweat. These women have come down to us through history as giants but of course at the time they did not know how they would be remembered, they were just women united with a mission. Emma Donoghue carries the scene off masterfully and imbues it with business as usual ordinariness. But she also manages to get over part of the character of each participant and make them realistic. I was in awe. I am going to check out if this writer has written any more historical fiction set in Victorian times.
  21. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I saw Live/Die/Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow with Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise. Was OK nothing to write home about.
  22. Tattoos!

    That's amazing! And what a great idea to have your kids laughing. The sound of children chuckling is so funny
  23. What Are You Watching Now? - 2017

    Wow that's really going back! You will be watching Fawlty Towers next!
  24. Apparently Christianity was Chesterton's big thing, he really deplored the fact that the world was becoming more secular and lots of people no longer believed.
  25. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    Yes I watched this back when it came out with my exwife back when we were still together. Not a good film to watch when your marriage is in trouble.