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Monday, 19 May 2008

Busy Reading Weekend!

We had a really busy day on Saturday and I was so tired on Sunday so I curled up on the sofa with a couple of books. I finished Jane Eyre which I absolutely loved and I cannot believe that I had not read it already. It just has everything and obviously the writing is excellent, I really did not want it to end and will definitely be reading it again in the future. I decided to read something a little lighter after Jane Eyre and so started 31 Dream Street by Lisa Jewell; I have read all of her other books and this one is just as good. I have only got a few more chapters left so I shall write more about it later.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Booking Through Thursday


Following up last week’s question about reading writing/grammar guides, this week, we’re expanding the question….
Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?
Do you ever read manuals?
How-to books?
Self-help guides?
Anything at all?

Definitely!! It really annoys me when people discard the manual and then complain that they do not know how something works! My future husband is a prime example of this; whenever he has a new mobile phone he discards the manual and then gets frustrated that his phone does not do what it says on the box. I'm not sure if maybe I am just a bit of a control freak but I just think that reading the instructions nearly always ends up saving yourself time. I don't mean to be sexist but I do think it is mainly men who have a problem with manuals and instructions as they do not like to admit that they do not know the answer; this is evident in the way that they never want to ask for directions, preferring instead to drive round aimlessly for a while before giving in
and then sulking for the remainder of the journey.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Affinity by Sarah Waters


Affinity is based around the mysterious world of Victorian spiritualism. It is much darker than Waters' other books; Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith. The author has said herself that
It was a very gloomy world to have to go into every day
The story follows Margaret Prior, a lady who becomes a visitor at the dark and opressing Millbank Prison. She becomes increasingly close to one inmate, Selina Dawes; a disgraced spiritualist who soon encaptures Miss Prior's heart and mind. The book jumps from the present relationship that the women have to the events leading up to Selina's imprisonment. The reader is given the task of deciding whether Miss Dawes is a fraud or if she does truly have spiritual powers.

The imagery in the book is excellent and the description of Millbank with it's dark corridors and damp, limestone walls really do make you feel quite stifled. I think that this is why I found the book quite difficult to read; it may sound strange but it really did not feel quite right reading it on a bright, sunny day in the garden!

It has taken me quite a while to get through it and Affinity is not a pleasant book but Waters' writing is excellent. She creates extremely complex characters and the plot has many hidden surprises which make you want to ge back through Millbank's heavy gates to find out more.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Manual Labour


I missed Booking Through Thursday last week as I wasn't very well but thought that I would have a go this week so here you are:


Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?

Well I have just had a quick scan of my shelves and the only thing I can see is a Dictionary and Thesaurus which to be fair is always by my desk and regularly used. I think that the only time I have had a writing guide was when I was trying to write my university dissertation but to be fair it really did not help much! I did English at University so I probably did have a lot of grammar guides a few years ago but they have since gone to better homes. I believe that the English Language has SO many rules and regulations that it is just better to learn th e basic rules and then try and get on as best as you can; you do not want to have to keep picking up a book to check. I am sure that several people will disagree on this point!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Notes from an exhibition by Patrick Gale

Patrick Gale's book Notes from an exhibition centres around the life of renowned artist Rachel Kelly who suffers from Bipolar Disorder. Gale explores the effects that mental illness has on a family as a whole. The book is heavily characterised and the reader gradually discovers the consequences that Kelly's illness has had for each of her children and also her devoted husband Anthony.

Gale is particularly clever in the way he opens each chapter with an exhibition note about a piece of Kelly's work. You gradually build up a picture of the kind of art that she created and the images described become very vivid and real. The book does jump back and forth in time which I usually find quite irritating but it was really well done and allowed you to get a good account of Kelly's life as a whole.

It did take me a while to get into this book but I did enjoy it, I think that the author dealt with a really serious issue in a very sensitive but informative manner.

Booking Through Thursday

This is my first Booking Through Thursday , I kept seeing it on other peoples pages and thought that I would give it a go.

Do your reading habits change in the Spring? Do you read gardening books? Even if you don’t have a garden? More light fiction than during the Winter? Less? Travel books? Light paperbacks you can stick in a knapsack?
Or do you pretty much read the same kinds of things in the Spring as you do the rest of the year?




Hmmm, when I initially read this question I felt that my reading habits do not change throughout the year but looking back over what I have actually read, they clearly do. In the Autumn and Winter I do seem to prefer something a bit darker, murder mysteries etc and I seem to read more light hearted fiction as the days get lighter. I still read as much during the Spring and Summer but I do love to curl up with a good book when the weather is horrible outside, there is definitely something comforting about that.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

37 out of 1001


My lovely, lovely, lovely sister over at Fairy cakes and more bought me this book which I had been wanting for absolutely ages! It arrived in the post this weekend and I finally got to sit and have a good look through it last night. It is a really lovely present, there's about 300 words about each entry and beautiful pictures througout. Obviously the best bit is that it is all about books!! I am really excited about adding lots of these to my TBR list. As many of the reviews say, not everyone will agree with the list and there were many books that I were shocked not to find. It is a good starting point however to lead you to books that you may not have read; after counting up last night I have only managed 37 out of 1001 so I had best go and update my Amazon wish list!