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Inver

Inver's Reading List 2011

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My Reading List 2011 :readingtwo:

 

My wish for this year is to increase the number of books read. I am sure I could have read more last year!

 

List from 2010(22)

List from 2009 (24)

Lists from 2005-2008

 

Wishlist/To Buy

 

'A Place of Secrets' by Rachel Hore

'Mermaid's Purse' by Katy Gardner (new author to try ~ thriller/mystery)

'The Night Watch' by Sarah Waters (new author, recomm on Waterstones site)

'Gone with the Wind' by Margaret Mitchell (maybe a classic I should try)

'The Winter House' by Nikki Gerrard (Esiotrot recommends)

'The Summer House' by Marcia Willett

'Goodnight, Beautiful' by Dorothy Koomson (Katie recommends)

'The Postmistress' by Sarah Blake

 

TBR List

 

I will be adding to this when I get around to choosing the books from my shelves that I really want to try and read this year.

 

'Buddha Da' ~ Anne Donovan

'A Thousand Splendid Suns' ~ Khaled Hosseini(borrowed from my sister)

'Return to the Olive Farm' ~ Carol Drinkwater

 

Read

 

'The Knitting Circle' by Ann Hood

'One True Theory of Love' by Laura Fitzgerald

'Away from it All' by Judy Astley

'Cuckoo' by Julia Crouch

'The Island' by Victoria Hislop

'The hand that first held mine' by Maggie O'Farrell

'Sister' by Rosamund Lupton

'Tropical Connections' by Susie Vereker

'River Boy' by Tim Bowler

'Breaking Dawn' by Stephanie Meyer

'The Spare Room' by Helen Garner

'Two Kinds of Wonderful' by Isla Dewar

'People of the Book' by Geraldine Brooks

'Notes from an exhibition' by Patrick Gale

'Perfect Match' by Jodi Picoult

'The Sound of Waves' by Yukio Mishima

'Blackbird House' by Alice Hoffman

'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett

'Before I Go To Sleep' by S J Watson

'Minding Frankie' by Maeve Binchy

 

Reading at the moment

 

'Before I Go To Sleep' by S J Watson

Edited by Inver

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I will add books here that are bookrings/rays from Bookcrossing or BCF members. :readingtwo:

 

'The Knitting Circle' by Ann Hood

'One True Theory of Love' by Laura Fitzgerald (bookring via Bookcrossing)

'Runemarks' ~ Joanne Harris (bookring, but I gave up halfway through, just wasn't my kind of read in the end)

'Cuckoo' by Julia Crouch (bookring run by Michell, recommend)

'Tropical Connections' by Susie Vereker (bookring via Bookcrossing)

Edited by Inver

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'The Knitting Circle' by Ann Hood

 

The usual humdrum of a bunch of friends and their lives, but each come to the Knitting Circle through some sort of sadness in their lives. Not overly taxing read but enjoyable enough.

 

3/5 Actually started reading in 2010 but finished just this week.

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'One True Theory of Love' by Laura Fitzgerald (bookring via Bookcrossing)

 

This was a lovely, gentle read filled with a lovely mixture of characters. A modern day love story. Meg is a single mum and has brought up her son on her own after being abandoned by her husband when she fell pregnant. She is a kindergarten teacher and loves her job and her child, Henry (my favourite character I think). They meet Ahmed (and she falls for him immediately) purely by chance one weekend while they visit their favourite cafe where they play chess. Henry befriends Ahmed and a friendship is kindled. It doesn't all run smoothly, although Henry trys very had to get them together. Meg has concerns over her parents relationship, which seems to be on the rocks and her sister who is stuck in a rut in her family life too. All the higelty pigelty sorts itself out with a little help from Meg, but not always as you would hope. Another complication arises when Jonathan, Henry's dad appears on the scene and decisions have to be made their futures.

 

4/5

 

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'Away from it All' by Judy Astley

 

Decided to read something easy and light while struggling with 'Runemarks'.

 

Quick, easy, lighthearted, humourous, laugh out loud on occasions. Alice's mother takes ill and her brother says she should come down to Cornwall to look after her. The family home is in disaray and falling into decay. Should she stay on and leave their comfortable way of life in London? She takes a long hard look at life, while her ailing mother is interviewed for a book and TV programme. Her brother and wife taking more notice of the illegal substances being grown in the veg garden than the chaos around them, while their wayward twin sons happily run riot. Her children become part of the easier way off life away from their posh schools and don't want to go back to London either.

 

It has its almost laugh out loud moments. The tale comes to a tidy end and things work out for the best for everyone.

 

3/5

Edited by Inver

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Hi Inver :) I read Pleasant Vices by Judy Astley & really enjoyed it but I've never got round to reading anything else by her but I like the sound of Away from it All. Thanks for the Review.

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'Cuckoo' by Julia Crouch

 

What a brilliant read for a debut novel. I hope she writes more. Like Chrissy I was hooked from the first few chapters. Two friends who are brought back together by a phonecall when Polly phones to say her husband has died. Rose doesn't think twice about inviting her and her two boys to stay with them, for as long as they need to.

 

You travel along with their day to day lives, but there is that underlying niggle of wondering what the history between the two friends are. Slowly things are revealed but Rose hopes that her secret stays a secret from her husband. The baby is rushed to hospital due to a careless accident (or was it). Doubt after doubt is brought to the fore about Polly and what her motifs are, and slowly but surely she gets under Rose's skin.

 

You rush through this to get to the conclusion and I wasn't disappointed and leaves you wondering!!!! It would make a good TV film I think.

 

A must read....:thankyousigna2: to Michelle for putting this out as a bookring, if you haven't joined up to read it you must.

 

5/5 (recommend)

Edited by Inver

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'The Island' by Victoria Hislop

 

At last I can say I have finished it, not that I wasn't enjoying it other bookrings etc came along and interupted the flow.

 

This was a well written tale of fact/fiction based on an Island in Crete called Spinalonga. Alexis wants to find out more about her mother Sofia's past as all she knows is that she grew up in a small Cretan village. She decides to go to Crete and Sofia gives her a letter to take to an old friend who still lives there. This she does and Fotini takes the time to tell her everything she knows. Alexis is astonished to find that Plaka, the village is only a short distance from the deserted island Spinalonga, the former leper colony. Fotina unravels the truth about her family and she discovers things that her mother has never told her, due to feeling ashamed about the past and memories and facts that she only discovered herself when she was 18.

 

It was a very moving and emotional read at times, mixed with love, and family secrets, illness, grief and filled with strong characters. I had know idea that this place ever existed. Very well researched and insight into such a devastating time for those who suffered from leprosy.

 

4/5

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'The hand that first held mine' by Maggie O'Farrell

 

It has been a while since I read Maggie O'Farrell and my sister read this recently and recommended. It didn't disappoint. Maggie O'Farrell creates great characters and draws you in to the storyline straight away. Two storylines swap around, past and present and it really took me to near the end chapters to have any idea to how they were going to merge. Lexie, young love with an older man and running away to London to be rid of her mundane boring life at home. Babies are born, then and in present. Is the father connected to the present day couple? Ted has the feeling of being unwell and memories that can't be explained. His wife has a difficult birth and this brings these memories to the fore but why.

 

I can't give to much away without spoiling the plot etc, but is a page turner and I wasn't disappointed in the ending.

 

4.5/5 (recommend)

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'The hand that first held mine' by Maggie O'Farrell

 

I loved this book. I'm planning on re-reading some Maggie O'Farrell - just waiting for Kindle prices to come down. :rolleyes:

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'Sister' by Rosamund Lupton

 

Borrowed from my sis who highly recommended this one, us being sisters! Although she did warn me it would affect me more by being the older sister when reading it, and it did !! Tissues needed though!

 

Excellent read! Beatrice gets a call to say her younger sister is missing. She takes it on herself to solve the mystery of what truly happened to her, discovering things about her sister she didn't know. It takes us down the medical route of how her sister may have been involved in malpractice with a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, which their brother had and it could have affected her unborn baby. The police, Beatirice's fiance and their mother begin to accept the loss of Tess, but she has other ideas and keeps pursuing the truth, which she won't give up on. I don't know where she got the strength to keep going, and was accused of 'crying wolf' too many times.

 

Very well written. Heaps of emotions invovled, especially me being the older sister in our family and likenesses were uncanny at times. I loved the twist at the end and didn't see it coming at all.

 

4.5/5 (recommend)

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'Tropical Connections' by Susie Vereker

 

Art historian Claire leaves England and moves to a tropical island in the South China seas. Makes friends with some ex-pats, gets involved with dodgey dealings in the art world, relationships entangled etc etc. You get the idea.

 

I'm sorry to say I found this read a bit tedious and didn't find it a page turner, although I did finish it, but not in any great hurry. I wasn't really enjoying the characters very much and found some of them annoying. It was far fetched in places especially the 'rescue'.

 

2/5

 

Edited by Inver

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'River Boy' by Tim Bowler

 

What a lovely wee story. Jessica's Granpa is dying but has one wish he wants to be carried out before he goes. His grandaughter Jess, who loves swimming, helps him do this. He wants to finish a painting. They go back to where he grew up and the call of the water is there for them both, what is Granpa's secret connection with the 'river boy' painting he wants to finish and her draw to the secrets of the river?

 

Lovely gentle read and a touching relationship between young and old.

 

4/5

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'Breaking Dawn' by Stephanie Meyer

 

At long last I am finished the 'saga' and I have to say what a long drawn out affair it was. It had its moments but I think the book could have been written in half its length. The thought of them making the film in two halves makes me wonder what they will fill it with.

 

I started the 'saga' and felt I had to finish it to see who Bella chose and ended up with etc. but not a series I would go back to and read again.

 

3/5

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'Breaking Dawn' by Stephanie Meyer

 

At long last I am finished the 'saga' and I have to say what a long drawn out affair it was. It had its moments but I think the book could have been written in half its length. The thought of them making the film in two halves makes me wonder what they will fill it with.

 

I started the 'saga' and felt I had to finish it to see who Bella chose and ended up with etc. but not a series I would go back to and read again.

 

3/5

Not the biggest of Twilight fans then, Inver? Got to admit I'm with you on that one; shoddy writing, and much better books out there that deserve the attention.

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'The Spare Room' by Helen Garner

 

A short read of only 195 pages.

The story of Helen who offers her spare room to her old friend Nicola. Unfortunately Nicola has cancer and is very ill. Helen is unaware of what the weeks ahead hold in store. She aids and helps her friend through her treatments, but doesn't agree with the road she is taking. Nicola is quite stubborn in the treatment she believes is the right one for her. Eventually she sees sense in what those around her are telling her. A very sensitive and moving read about true friendship and what friends will help each other through. but unfortunately it comes to an inevitable, heartbreaking end.

 

An honest, lovely, gentle read about true friendships that stand the test of time and reality of what life throws at us.

 

 

4/5 (recommend (with tissues))

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'The Spare Room' by Helen Garner

 

A short read of only 195 pages.

The story of Helen who offers her spare room to her old friend Nicola. Unfortunately Nicola has cancer and is very ill. Helen is unaware of what the weeks ahead hold in store. She aids and helps her friend through her treatments, but doesn't agree with the road she is taking. Nicola is quite stubborn in the treatment she believes is the right one for her. Eventually she sees sense in what those around her are telling her. A very sensitive and moving read about true friendship and what friends will help each other through. but unfortunately it comes to an inevitable, heartbreaking end.

 

An honest, lovely, gentle read about true friendships that stand the test of time and reality of what life throws at us.

 

 

4/5 (recommend (with tissues))

 

Great review hen :)

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'Two Kinds of Wonderful' by Isla Dewar

 

Easy read of family affairs. Roz ups and leaves her husband and children when she feels unloved and not needed, making a new life in f the London. She misses her children growing up but she never thinks she wouldn't be allowed back. Ten years have gone by. The death of Nan (her mother in law) the family matriarch shakes them all, especially Roz who always kept in touch with her and phoned for advice. Her daughter Zoe and then her son Jamie make contact with her and move in to her over small flat and slowly the family are reunited, but not without some dark secrets coming to light.

 

A humourous, sometimes sad in parts read. Isla Dewar writes a good, almost gossipy story.

 

3/5

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'People of the Book' by Geraldine Brooks

 

'During WW II a Bosnian Muslim risks his life to save the book from the Nazis....this story and more make up a secret history of the priceless Sarajevo Haggadah, a medieval Jewish prayer book recovered from the smouldering ruins of a war-torn city.'

 

A good read, taking you through a fictional, historical journey of 600 years of travel and an entire continent, of the 'Sarajevo Haggadah'. Very well researched and clever idea put together well to reveal the secrets of what Hanna Heath, a book restorer, finds in the bindings and pages of the books when restoring it. Little did she know when she took this job on the intrigue and mystery she would find and unravel.

 

3.5/5

 

I would have given it more but I took too long to read this and found the names and hisotrical references a bit tedious at times. Worth a read though.

Edited by Inver

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'Notes from an Exhibition' by Patrick Gale

 

Rachel Kelly is a gifted artist, but suffers mental illness after the birth of her children. Over the years she struggles to overcome these issues with visits to hospital, but her health problems go further back than that. She is somewhat of a mystery at times to her family, but when she is found dead in her Penzance studio the family have to take time to come to terms with what has happened. Secrets from the past are discovered when her Quaker husband, Antony, looks for information on the internet and it appears that Rachel was not all she appeared to be. Slowly the jigsaw of unknown pieces of her life are put together, but how will the family accept her past life.

 

This was well written. Each chapter begins with a description of one of her paintings from the exhibition, which gives us an incite to what the chapter will reveal and each involves a different member of the family. Although I have to say I was a bit disappointed that it came to such an abrupt end!

Thoroughly enjoyed this one and might look to read more of Patrick Gale.

 

4/5

Edited by Inver

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I need to pick this one up again and finish it, Inver. I started reading last year while on holiday, but didn't finish it for some reason. I know I was enjoying it though and I'll have to make the effort to get it off the shelf and finish it.

 

I read one of his other books last year, The Whole Day Through which I thought was very good, so if you're wondering which other of his books to try, I can recommend that one.

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That was the first one I read Claire and bought this one after. I like his writing, nice and easy to read.

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'Perfect Match' ~ Jodi Picoult

 

Blurb

As an assistant district attorney, Nina Frost prosecutes the sort of crimes that tear families apart. But when Nina and her husband discover that their five-year-old son Nathaniel has been sexually abused, it is her own family that is devastated. The world Nina inhabits now seems different from the one she lived in yesterday; the lines between family and professional life are erased; and answers to questions she thought she knew are no longer easy to find.

 

Overcome by anger and desperate for vengeance, Nina ignites a battle that may cause her to lose the very thing she's fighting for.

 

****************

 

Picoult very rarely disappoints with her story telling. I was gripped from the start. A great read despite the delicate subject matter of child abuse, very sensitively written. She carries you along at page turning speed and just as you think you have it sorted out in your mind...whoosh another twist and turn, and it carries on right to the very last page. The narration jumped about a bit, and at times I had maybe to read paragraphs twice to make sure I knew who was speaking, but once I got into the way of it was fine. Well researched as always with the court case routine and also the medical/forensic issues, DNA explanation etc.

 

4/5 (recommend)

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The narration jumped about a bit, and at times I had maybe to read paragraphs twice to make sure I knew who was speaking, but once I got into the way of it was fine. Well researched as always with the court case routine and also the medical/forensic issues, DNA explanation etc.

 

 

this was the only thing that does confuse me about Picoult books, the change in charcter. But, I really enjoyed this book, the only thing that was a bit hard for me was the subject matter!

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