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Janet

Janet's Reading 2011

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That's lovely that you have such special reminders of your moother-in-law, Janet. :friends0:

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Loads of hugs Janet coming your way :hug: :hug: :hug:

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Finished the non-fiction The Cherry Tree by Derek Tangye. First published in 1986, it forms part of my 'Decades Challenge'.

 

I was going to read something specific next, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was! :giggle2:

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If anyone stumbles across this and is a Stephen King fan... my hubby was wanting to read something by him for a change (he reads a lot of Tess Gerritson, Karin Slaughter...) so I picked up Cell for 40p in a charity shop. He's about a third of the way though it and not enjoying it at all. He said he's finding it rather slow. I know there are a few King fans here and I wonder if anyone could tell me a) is it worth persevering with this one, and b) if not, which do you recommend? Thanks. :)

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Hi Janet - I'm a big Stephen King fan, but prefer his earlier stuff. I find some of his later work to be quite dire, Cell included. It was probably not the best book of his to get started on. :giggle2: My favourites are The Stand and IT, but for more recent books, Under The Dome was very good and thought by many to be a return to his old form. He has a new one about to come out next week, called 11.22.63, about someone who goes back in time to try to prevent the JFK assassination.

 

The Stand is his most popular book, so I would start there, though it is a very chunky read and not what I would call fast-paced. Really, anything from his earlier catalog should give a fair idea of his style. He definitely has changed over the years!

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Trust me to pick that one then! :lol:

 

Thanks for the recommendations. :) I think he's about ready to give up on it so I will definitely look out for some of your suggestions. :)

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I quite liked Cell, and it does pick up. My favourite is The Shining, and although I quite liked The Stand, it is a bit of a long read! I also liked Full Dark, No Stars.. it's a recent book of 4 'short stories' and it felt much more like his earlier stuff.

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I will add Full Dark, No Stars to my list to look out for him, Michelle. Thanks. :) I'm not sure how he'd feel about reading The Shining as he's seen the film a few times. I'll ask him if I remember! :giggle2:

 

I've bought two new books so far this month. Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter which (as Claire pointed out) will count towards my 'Decades Challenge', being published in 1913. It was only available from my library in large print and would have cost 75p to reserve, and as I don't like hardbacks (especially not large print ones) I thought it was worth the £1.10 delivered cost from Amazon. I'm pleased to see on the back that it's 'Complete and Unabridged'. I've seen the Haley Mills and the Amanda Burton film versions of this - looking forward to seeing how the book compares.

 

I've also bought High Spirits by Robertson Davies. A collection of ghost stories, this is for my Book Club for January. It's out of print but was £2.10 delivered from Amazon.

 

This morning I finished the last 30 pages of Waiting by Ha Jin (which counts towards my 'World Challenge'. I've had it on my 'to read' pile for about 2 years. I thought it was good - it was an easy read.

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I've just finished Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson. As usual, this didn't disappoint and I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion! His books are so enjoyable and so easy to read - reading him is like putting on a pair of comfy slippers or having a chat with a mate over a pint and a packet of pork scratchings! :giggle2:

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Talking of which, I had lunch at a pub today and they had a little notice on the bar saying their pork scratchings came from Gloucester Old Spots at Chesterton farm ... they knew the provenance of their pork scratchings!!!! I was dead impressed :D

 

Glad you enjoyed Bill Janet :) .. he's always a reliably good read.

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I have downloaded two Bill Bryson books after a recommandation from a collegue at work, but have yet to read them. It's good to see that they are well liked over here too. :)

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Talking of which, I had lunch at a pub today and they had a little notice on the bar saying their pork scratchings came from Gloucester Old Spots at Chesterton farm ... they knew the provenance of their pork scratchings!!!! I was dead impressed :D

 

Glad you enjoyed Bill Janet :) .. he's always a reliably good read.

:o I like Gloucester Old Spots - I'm not sure I'd like to know I was eating one!! :giggle2:

 

He is always reliable. I keep putting A Short History... off (not sure why) - maybe I should give it a go soon?

 

I have downloaded two Bill Bryson books after a recommandation from a collegue at work, but have yet to read them. It's good to see that they are well liked over here too. :)

I hope you enjoy them, Maureen - they're real comfort reading. :)

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He is always reliable. I keep putting A Short History... off (not sure why) - maybe I should give it a go soon?

 

I'm no fan of Bill Bryson's travel books, but do enjoy his other non-fiction. I certainly enjoyed A Short History - very readable - even though my more purist son (a physicist) did not. Is it the subject material that's putting you off?

Edited by willoyd

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I guess so! I know it's accessible as lots of people have told me it is - but I don't have a very science-y brain!

 

For instance, I read on Wikipedia that Bryson describes graphically and in layperson's terms the size of the universe, and that of atoms and subatomic particles, and when I get to the words "subatomic particles", my brain seems to close down! :blush:

 

One day I will tackle it!

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I guess so! I know it's accessible as lots of people have told me it is - but I don't have a very science-y brain!

 

For instance, I read on Wikipedia that Bryson describes graphically and in layperson's terms the size of the universe, and that of atoms and subatomic particles, and when I get to the words "subatomic particles", my brain seems to close down! :blush:

 

One day I will tackle it!

 

Ah, but you have to keep in mind the part that says 'layperson's terms'. :wink: He really does a wonderful job of explaining it to us non-sciencey types. Somewhere near the middle or end of the book I started getting a little overwhelmed, but it was still always entertaining and wonderful. :)

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Trying to find the full title of that book... or more info haha. Sounds like something I might like, aside from the physicist not thinking much of it. Is it "A Short History Of Nearly Everything?"

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Since I last updated I have read...

 

Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter, recommended to me by Claire for my decades challenge and a really good read.

 

Searching Issues by Nicky Gumbel which is recommended reading for anyone doing the Alpha course (which I've just finished) but it was a bit... meh. :confused:

 

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell - my second-to-last full-length Orwell - just Burmese Days to go.

 

And finally, in readiness for watching the film which is out on 13 January, War Horse by Michael Morpurgo which was brilliant and made me cry! :wibbly: I can't wait for the film now.

 

 

I am woefully behind with my reviews. :(

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I'm going to make a concerted effort to catch up with my book reviews! This from book #35, finished 17 August! :giggle2:

 

035-2011-Aug-17TheVoluptuousDelightsofPeanutButterandJam.jpg

 

The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam by Lauren Liebenberg

 

The ‘blurb’

 

Rhodesia - a place of great beauty, but also of terrible, man-made, tragedy. The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam is, above all else, a magical evocation of childhood; at times laugh-out-loud funny, at others heartbreakingly sad. It tells the story of two young sisters, Nyree and Cia O'Callohan, who live on a remote farm in the East of what was Rhodesia in the late 1970s. Beneath the dripping vines of the Vumba rainforest, and under the tutelage of their heretical grandfather, Oupa, theirs is a seductive world laced with African paganism, bastardised Catholicism and the lore of the Brothers Grimm - until their idyll is shattered forever by their orphaned cousin, Ronin. His arrival at the farm sets in motion a chain of events that result in tragedy and the loss of innocence.

 

I picked up this book in the library purely for my ‘World Challenge’ after reading that the author was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). As has happened a couple of times when I’ve picked up books on spec for that reason, it turned out to be an excellent read.

 

8-year-old Nyree and her sister Cia live on a farm in Rhodesia with their mother and grandparents, but the county’s political unrest means that Nyree’s father is away from home a lot of the time fighting. Nyree sees the political situation with childlike innocence and doesn’t realise the impact it will have on her family. Their idyllic life is interrupted by the arrival of their cousin, Ronin, a disturbed young man who makes their life very difficult and his arrival and the changing fortunes of the country mean that their lives will change forever.

 

This book, for me, had it all. It made me laugh, it made me cry. The characters are so well written, as are the descriptions of the country and it makes for such a vivid novel. There is a sense of foreboding throughout, not only because of the political turmoil but because one knows that, with the arrival of Ronin, things are not going to get any better for the family. A cracking read!

 

The one thing that irritated me slightly was the use of a glossary at the back for some of the African terminology. It could have been better if the translations of unknown words were done at the foot of the page, rather than at the back of the book, as it did rather interrupt the flow of this gripping story!

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