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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

 

Currently reading:

The Illustrated Child - Polly Crosby

The Bible made Impossible - Christian Smith

 

Edited by ~Andrea~

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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.

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2 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

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.

 

My least favourite Dickens novel. I sometimes wonder if he came up with the great opening and ending and then tried to find a way to connect them with a story. 

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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.

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I found A Tale of Two Cities the most difficult Dickens book to get into as well. Like you though, I loved it once the threads of the story started to come together. I think that’s my favourite thing about Dickens actually. I love the way he weaves the different threads of of stories and peoples lives together. David Copperfield is great for that, one of my favourites :)

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14 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

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.

 

David Copperfield was my favourite. Like eating a big Sunday lunch by an open fire.

Edited by Hux

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I have to agree, and I'm really glad someone else thinks so: I didn't really like A tale of two cities.  I'll be honest, it makes me fell that there is something slightly wrong with me, but I love most other Dickens. (Not overly keen on The Pickwick Papers or Barnaby Rudge)

 

Recently read Our Mutual Friend, and I think that's my absolute favourite. Long though.

 

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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).

Edited by ~Andrea~

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Currently reading:

The Adventures of Bottersnikes and Gumbles - S. A. Wakefield

 

Am intrigued by the title of this one :lol: See it's by an Australian author but not one I've heard of (Australia being our neighbour).

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On 2/22/2021 at 6:27 AM, ~Andrea~ said:

I'm looking forward to trying some others.

Dickens is one of my favorite authors but I Could'nt get very far into Tale Of Two Cities. However, due to your post  I will give it another try .

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On 3/1/2021 at 2:00 AM, poppy said:

 

Am intrigued by the title of this one :lol: See it's by an Australian author but not one I've heard of (Australia being our neighbour).

 

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 :lol:

 

20 hours ago, muggle not said:

Dickens is one of my favorite authors but I Could'nt get very far into Tale Of Two Cities. However, due to your post  I will give it another try .

 

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!

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11 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

 

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 :lol:

 

 

I've been rather disappointed with some of my adult re-reads of childhood favourites too. I can remember absolutely loving A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle and A Traveller In Time by Alison Uttley as a child, and although they are both excellent, they didn't have the same impact on my grown up self. On the other hand there are children's book I didn't read until I was an adult which I thought were wonderful and I so wish I'd read as a child so I could compare my reaction. The Wind In the Willows, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, The Little House On the Prairie series and Goodnight Mr Tom are some I can think of.

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On 3/2/2021 at 10:52 PM, poppy said:

 

I've been rather disappointed with some of my adult re-reads of childhood favourites too. I can remember absolutely loving A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle and A Traveller In Time by Alison Uttley as a child, and although they are both excellent, they didn't have the same impact on my grown up self. On the other hand there are children's book I didn't read until I was an adult which I thought were wonderful and I so wish I'd read as a child so I could compare my reaction. The Wind In the Willows, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, The Little House On the Prairie series and Goodnight Mr Tom are some I can think of.

 

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.

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On 3/2/2021 at 10:52 PM, poppy said:

 

I've been rather disappointed with some of my adult re-reads of childhood favourites too. I can remember absolutely loving A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle and A Traveller In Time by Alison Uttley as a child, and although they are both excellent, they didn't have the same impact on my grown up self. On the other hand there are children's book I didn't read until I was an adult which I thought were wonderful and I so wish I'd read as a child so I could compare my reaction. The Wind In the Willows, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, The Little House On the Prairie series and Goodnight Mr Tom are some I can think of.

 

 

2 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

 

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.

 

 

I never used to read much as a child - I didn't really start until my mid-late teens - so this isn't a problem I have encountered as described above, but when I did start reading it was manly Star Trek novels, which I suspect I would find to be very badly written if I tried to re-read them today!

 

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21 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

 

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.

One of the great thing about having children is that you get to re-read all your favourite books! And it's such a thrill when they pick up on a book you just adored but haven't told them you did, andyou also get to share in the new children's authors.

 

Funnily enough even though I kept quiet about how much I hated Alice in Wonderland (read once when I was 8 and never again), all 3 of them detest it too. 

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1 hour ago, France said:

One of the great thing about having children is that you get to re-read all your favourite books! And it's such a thrill when they pick up on a book you just adored but haven't told them you did, andyou also get to share in the new children's authors.

 

Funnily enough even though I kept quiet about how much I hated Alice in Wonderland (read once when I was 8 and never again), all 3 of them detest it too. 

 

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.

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20 hours ago, Raven said:

 

I never used to read much as a child - I didn't really start until my mid-late teens - so this isn't a problem I have encountered as described above, but when I did start reading it was manly Star Trek novels, which I suspect I would find to be very badly written if I tried to re-read them today!

 

 

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!

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1 hour ago, ~Andrea~ said:

 

 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.

 

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.

 

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21 minutes ago, France said:

 

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.

 


I read the Alice books as an adult and wasn't impressed. I don't remember reading them as a child. 

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It's interesting as I didn't  read so many classic children's books growing up. Only last year I read The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables.  I don't  think either would have impressed me much as a boy, but, as an adult I loved them.  My 2 absolute favourites growing up were The Hobbit and Wind in the Willows. I still love WITW to this day and reread it regularly, but I do find The Hobbit a bit annoying in parts based on my last reread

 

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5 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

 

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. 

 

 

Don't tell me, Sweet Valley High? 

 

32 minutes ago, ian said:

 

...I do find The Hobbit a bit annoying in parts based on my last reread

 

 

I once referred to The Hobbit as Tolkien Lite after trying to read it straight after The Lord of the Rings, which was a mistake, they should be read in publication order!  

 

The book does get better as it goes along, however, and I would say that once they escape from the elves and reach Erebor it does become a very good story (though the Dwarves - for the most part - are a bunch of dicks).

 

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5 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:


I read the Alice books as an adult and wasn't impressed. I don't remember reading them as a child. 

 

I find Alice in Wonderland distinctly weird although I love Lewis Carroll's poems. Another children's story I dislike is Peter Pan ... I can remember finding it extremely annoying as a small child.

2 hours ago, ian said:

It's interesting as I didn't  read so many classic children's books growing up. Only last year I read The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables.  I don't  think either would have impressed me much as a boy, but, as an adult I loved them.  My 2 absolute favourites growing up were The Hobbit and Wind in the Willows. I still love WITW to this day and reread it regularly, but I do find The Hobbit a bit annoying in parts based on my last reread

 

 

Wind in the Willows is wonderful.

Must admit I found The Hobbit a little underwhelming too.

Edited by poppy

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On 05/03/2021 at 8:19 PM, Raven said:

 

Don't tell me, Sweet Valley High?

 

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.

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5 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

 

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.

 

 

My sister had half a shelf full of them!

 

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