This is an entertaining book that allows people to arrange for certain wildlife, and the occasional pet, to take park in stunts / experiments. I would...moreThis is an entertaining book that allows people to arrange for certain wildlife, and the occasional pet, to take park in stunts / experiments. I would say most of the stunts require quite a lot of patience and some have a need for wildlife in your back garden. Teaching your goldfish to play football certainly looked interesting as shown by the video on amazon. I have seen the squirrel stunts played out on TV, but most of the other ideas are all new to me. I have to say I can’t imagine myself entering my local wood with a battery powered drill! Read the book to find out more about this.
I would recommend this book as a stocking filler at this time of year and I believe it will entertain and amuse, dare I say, quite a few nature loving men, as I don’t see many ladies wishing to race slugs over razor blades. It’s written in a very humorous way and will lead to a few chuckles, but I would have liked a few more cute animal pictures, however I feel it’s a book more suited to the practicalities of playing out the stunts. One fact I did learn along the way was that if another woodlouse happens upon an upturned woodlouse he will help flip his pal over. It’s good to know even the bugs help each other out!
Todd is the last boy of Prentisstown, who is shortly to become a man. Only men live in Prentisstown as the women have all died, and it’s an uncomforta...moreTodd is the last boy of Prentisstown, who is shortly to become a man. Only men live in Prentisstown as the women have all died, and it’s an uncomfortable place as everyone’s thoughts can be heard by everyone else, otherwise known as ‘Noise.’
Todd’s parents are both dead and he’s been brought up by Cillan & Ben. Suddenly he finds himself being ordered from his home as Cillan and Ben feel it’s no longer safe for him. He takes with him Manchee his talking dog and takes off into the swamp, where he meets Viola, another orphan. They are destined to travel together on a hunt for Haven: the safe town! At the same time they are the hunted by the men of Prentisstown who will not let him just leave and Aaron, who has only recently become a man is also on their trail.
Great, dystopian, young adult novel, but I believe is suitable for us oldies too! It’s a real page turner! I haven’t read a story of this genre in a long time, but enjoy it I most certainly did. Its drama all the way through and just as you feel all will settle down the pace accelerates again. Every time I picked it up I found it very hard to put down. It’s a dark read and all told from the view that Todd has on his world. I thought the characters are all well drawn and I adored Manchee, the dog, and his funny ways. I was really sad to finish the book, with an ending I wasn’t expecting, but was very pleased to learn that this is only the first book of a trilogy. I can’t wait for more!(less)
Narcoleptic Angel Duet struggles with her disability. It means she can fall asleep at no notice and she also suffers with cataplexy which can leave he...moreNarcoleptic Angel Duet struggles with her disability. It means she can fall asleep at no notice and she also suffers with cataplexy which can leave her body asleep, but the mind still awake. The book shows how difficult life can be for Angel as she has to rely on others so much, but she meets 2 new friends: Tim & Kimmy and she tries to overcome her narcolepsy by using a drug of the non prescription type. Throughout the novel Angel is on a mission to find out about her mother who apparently died whilst giving birth and her father is unable to discuss this with her as the pain appears too much for him. He has a new relationship with Carla, who is a down to earth lawyer and try’s in her way to help Angel, but Angel is not ready to accept her help.
A great novel; I loved this book. It was an amazing emotional journey with true depth and I felt it gave a real understanding of the characters. We see people in their true colours; warts and all, including Mac who is married, but at the same time is having an affair. One can’t but help warm to his character, but it left me uneasy at times as I felt by liking him I was almost condoning his adultery. Even though we did not know his wife to any great degree in the novel, she was still a valid person and did she deserve this? However this is what happens in life and it’s not all pretty colours and this novel shows the dilemmas in life very well; people are fallible, but this doesn’t make them totally bad. I also began to question if the illicit drug that Angel took for improving her narcolepsy would actually help and if it did I wondered if there was any clinical testing being done with regards to this; leaving me with research to do.
This novel was great for getting me to think; it had a wonderful flowing story, was written in a very effective way and also had me connecting emotionally to the characters. I couldn’t ask for more.
African American Charlie Noble loves his boat: The Noble Lady as well as his lady friend Kate. He is hired by Marvin and Angela who pull up an unwante...moreAfrican American Charlie Noble loves his boat: The Noble Lady as well as his lady friend Kate. He is hired by Marvin and Angela who pull up an unwanted lady from the bottom of the seabed. Having lost their own daughter they ask Charlie to investigate and find out how this lady came to be there. Charlie takes on the challenge and finds himself in many dangerous situations, but is helped by Raven, a Native American.
For a thriller I found this an extremely laid back read and an enjoyable one too. I was really surprised that as the story was always moving that I could find the story so laidback, however maybe it was the way that Clyde wrote the character of Charlie. I loved the watery theme of this thriller too and it certainly gave it a different slant than many other of the thrillers that I have read lately. It’s certainly left me feeling like a boat trip; however I’d give the bullets a miss.(less)
Brad Spicer is trying to find his identity after recently finishing his four year stint in the marines and in this novel we follows Brad and his thoug...moreBrad Spicer is trying to find his identity after recently finishing his four year stint in the marines and in this novel we follows Brad and his thoughts after meeting in a gay bar with Ron, a wealthy older man. They depart from the bar together and then spend the next few days in each others company with Brad driving them around in Ron’s Mercedes and visiting various friends and relatives around California.
I though this novel was extremely well written and it’s very interesting following Brad’s thought processes as it’s written in the first person. Brad is in his early twenties and Ron is in his early thirties and they appear very different. I feel it would have been great to learn more about Ron in the book, as he was a man of very few words; however I suppose he wouldn’t have been Ron and it would have been a very different story if he had said more. Brad does try to encourage Ron to talk more, but I feel Brad thinks much too much as it seems at times that he can overanalyze absolutely everything and also he always appears to want to fit in everywhere and can try too hard, but then he is young!
Overall it was an enjoyable read, although a little different from most of my reading, but I would recommend it. I’m also interested in the fact that Brad’s life does not end here and there is more to come from Brett.(less)
Middle class modern England, quaint village by the sea with some lovely cliffs: here we meet Al Greenwood and his wife Audrey. This story is told from...moreMiddle class modern England, quaint village by the sea with some lovely cliffs: here we meet Al Greenwood and his wife Audrey. This story is told from the perspective of Al. Initially we find out that Al has had enough of his wife and it’s time to be rid of her and he intends to do this by pushing her off a cliff; that’s the plan anyway! Another young lady called Miranda disappears at the same time. You’ll have to read it to find out how she fits into the story.
It’s a mystery and comedy rolled into one. Al is a very strange character; well actually everyone in this book is strange! Al loves his Asagi koi carp (Torvill & Dean) and finds himself in the company of a local policeman that can also see the finer side of fish! The neighbour Alice Blackstock, otherwise known as Mrs Poke Nose, seems like an old hippy at heart and when she makes stuffing to accompany the pork chops at a dinner party we can wonder what her secret ingredient is that means they take 10 minutes to chew through and why are they so irresistible? This book is really funny and one can’t help at times feeling a bit sorry for Al, but at the same time thinking he’s a selfish prize idiot. They certainly are a wonderful set of characters to follow and the tale of Kim out at night with a lady roaming the countryside had me in stitches.
It certainly feels like a right English romp and there is so much to find funny in this book and I would definitely recommend it as it’s a lovely read.(less)
The story is of Luke and his mum Kate, who is a bit of a superwoman and the loss of her husband: Owen in a hunting accident with a bow, which Luke fe...more The story is of Luke and his mum Kate, who is a bit of a superwoman and the loss of her husband: Owen in a hunting accident with a bow, which Luke feels somewhat to blame for. After his death Luke has difficulties settling down, and Kate meets an old flame: Jack, who has only recently been freed from jail, which is unknown to her. Luke disappears and suddenly she is facing a kidnapping, as she has been left a fortune by Owen but instead of falling to bits, superwoman comes to the fore.
I found this book very easy to read and it felt it was written ready for the big screen. I enjoyed the second half of the book more so that the first half as it became easier to understand once you could see where all the characters were merging. I didn’t really connect with the characters and thought that the story was a bit lacking in plot, but I think in film mode this may work quite well.
Overall I would say I enjoyed parts of the story and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a story written in a format that translates well to the big screen.(less)
Set in Edinburgh this is an atmospheric and gritty novel, but also full of dark humour. Gus Dury is an ex-journalist and his wife is divorcing him as...moreSet in Edinburgh this is an atmospheric and gritty novel, but also full of dark humour. Gus Dury is an ex-journalist and his wife is divorcing him as the demon drink has taken a strong hold of him. His friend Col’s son is found dead, but the police say that he committed suicide. Gus finds out this isn’t true and Col asks him to find the killer of his son and what’s with the cover-up? Gus endeavours to find the truth and along the way we meet some unsavoury characters, as well as a wolf, and see Gus facing his own demons regarding his upbringing with his cruel and harsh father.
What a fantastic crime novel, I found this exceptionally entertaining. At times it felt you could really warm to Gus, but then at others you just wanted to yell at him to get a grip, but then I guess that’s the way it can be with alcoholics. I found that characterization was great, plot was superb and it was really fast paced and also contained emotional depth. For me this had everything that I love in a book, although be careful if you don’t like strong and sometimes course language. I have visited Edinburgh, but feel I only scratched the surface and there’s much more to it than meets the eye if this novel’s anything to go by. What I also find strange is that I’ve read Ian Rankin, but his books have never really shouted at me, but this book most certainly does!
Gus is definitely a character I wish to follow and I can’t wait for the sequel: Gutted.
A book that gives us a glimpse of the lives of two women: Marilyn and Hillary over the space of a few days. In the first half of the book we hear the...moreA book that gives us a glimpse of the lives of two women: Marilyn and Hillary over the space of a few days. In the first half of the book we hear the voice of Marilyn and the second half we hear the voice of Hilary. Marilyn a counsellor loses her father and is in the process of grieving and re-evaluating her life and even though she guides many of her clients through their various problems, she feels a bit at a loss about her own existence with husband Doug and son Lewis. Her new friend Hilary has a son Aaron, who is the same age as Lewis and her other half is Adam who also appears to have a soft spot for Marilyn.
This was a very compelling read and these two women seem to be trying to find their place in the world and it really does make you think and wonder about the lives of others and how complex they may actually be. I really enjoyed reading it and wondering what did happen to Marilyn as the book has undertones that something macabre may have happened, or at least that’s the way it made me feel, as I thought it had an eerie feel most of the way through.
I thought this was a great read that is asking me to read again shortly and I strongly recommend it. (less)
This memoir follows Janine through her childhood with a father who seemed to see every female in terms of their sexual looks. This seems to stick with...moreThis memoir follows Janine through her childhood with a father who seemed to see every female in terms of their sexual looks. This seems to stick with Janine and follows into her adult relationships. Her relationship with Kurt is very unhealthy, but it appears that Janine did not see it this way and blamed herself for an awful lot of the problems she suffered with Kurt. At the same time her Sister Amy was living with an alcoholic abusive husband and Janine very quickly could see how bad this was and that her sister should not tolerate this. Amy eventually sees the light and leaves this relationship, but alas she fall under the spell of another man, Ron who it seems is capable of far worse than her former husband.
This book makes me question why is it that we can always see the mistakes other people make in their relationships and yet can so often be blind to our own? It saddened me reading this book that intelligent people could find themselves in these emotionally tormenting troubles. It also makes me question if putting two incompatible people together with drastically differing personalities could actually spark domestic abuse but actually, if people met their soul mate who had clear boundaries would violence or abuse ever erupt? I appreciate there are abusers out there who would probably attack anyone they are in a relationship with, but are there others who, not understanding the other person and not knowing how to begin to understand them, find themselves in situations they would have never foreseen? Please don’t take me as saying that it’s an excuse for abuse as I’m just trying to understand; I don’t condone abuse, physical or emotional, and always believe there is a better way.
Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and thought it was very well written, although the content was obviously sad.
I do agree with other reviewer’s that it did suggest it would be more about the sister, than Janine, but I believe writing it this way gave a clear message of how childhood influences our adulthood.(less)
Joanna leaves her husband Paul and escapes to a life on Pawleys Island and finds herself living with an elderly lady, Grace, who has terminal cancer....moreJoanna leaves her husband Paul and escapes to a life on Pawleys Island and finds herself living with an elderly lady, Grace, who has terminal cancer. Joanna and Grace find themselves becoming closer to each other as one tries to find a new life and the other comes to terms with the end of hers. We also follow Paul who after living his life “working for the family” suddenly loses his job and starts to see his life through fresh eyes and realises there is more to life than work. He realises how much he has left Joanne alone through her life and that she needs more. He also begins to reconnect with his grown-up children whose childhood he was so often absent from. Joanna finds herself writing for a newspaper and realises this is something that she can do for herself and she also finds herself close to nature whilst waiting for loggerhead turtles to hatch on the beach.
I felt wave after wave of emotion whilst reading this book. I can certainly relate to the feelings that Joanna had and caused her to run away from what some may see as an ‘ideal’ life. Sometimes we need to get away from what we know and escape to somewhere new and actually get to know ourselves. The author captured for me the spirit of living; with laughter, sadness and grief of life all thrown in. How so much of life today is lived through materialism and people can be forgotten is really brought to the fore in this novel. It’s really rewarding to see people finding that their relationships with people are what have real meaning in this life. I truly believe that some people do have this enlightenment through their lives although I realise it will pass others by. I was sad to finish this novel as I felt I had come to know the characters and would miss them. Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I would highly recommend it. (less)
The novel begins with Cass visiting her mother in hospital and then looks back over the journey of Cassandra, then age thirteen, through her life in t...moreThe novel begins with Cass visiting her mother in hospital and then looks back over the journey of Cassandra, then age thirteen, through her life in the sixties with her unconventional mother, who enjoys inviting many strange characters (including “Call me Bill”) to live in her home as she is very much a people person and loves to be surrounded by them. An unfortunate event at home encourages Cassandra’s mum to choose to send her to boarding school, which is the last place Cass wants to be. We follow their relationship into Cassandra’s adulthood when Cassandra chooses to become a nurse and follow the very sad and the funny happenings along the way.
This was a beautifully written book and I delighted at the relationship between mother and daughter and in places the novel was extremely amusing, but in others it was so very sad. I found the first half of the book very absorbing and didn’t want to leave it. I enjoyed the second half of the book too, although felt it was a little stretched out in places, but certainly not enough to deter. I was sad to leave the characters at the end of the book, including all the dogs. All in all I loved the book and would recommend it to those that love an emotional story surrounding relationships and some of the difficulties experienced by differing personalities, especially between mothers and daughters.(less)
You belong to Me by Mary Higgins Clark is about Dr. Susan Chandler who is a clinical psychologist and also has a slot called Ask Dr Susan on a popular...moreYou belong to Me by Mary Higgins Clark is about Dr. Susan Chandler who is a clinical psychologist and also has a slot called Ask Dr Susan on a popular radio station. On one of these shows Susan has a guest: Dr Donald Richards who has lost his wife and written a book called Vanishing Women and this discussion finds them talking about Regina a lady who disappeared off a cruise ship; this leads to another lady, Carolyn, who calls into the show and states she had befriended a man on a cruise ship. Following on from this call she states she will send Susan the ring this man gave her with the inscription; “You Belong To Me” and also a photo. Before this can happen she is run over by a van and ends up in a coma in hospital. Death then follows death in this fast paced novel.
I did enjoy, to a degree, this novel and it was a very quick read and had me wanting to know what was going to happen next. It tries to confuse you over who was the really bad guy, but I think most people will see who he is quite quickly. Even though I enjoyed the thriller I found a problem with the characters in the book, as they all appeared very flat, cold and dull and I couldn’t warm to any of them. It isn’t one of my favorite thrillers, but if you find it on your TBR pile it’s good for a quick read.(less)
This is a book that I believe is best read in one sitting! Joe and Simon are determined to climb to the summit of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes....moreThis is a book that I believe is best read in one sitting! Joe and Simon are determined to climb to the summit of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. They achieve this feat with difficulties along the way, but the real story begins on the descent. It’s an amazing tale of courage and endurance.
I think Joe has written a very special book and, even though he says himself that he did not have words to express some of what he went through, he does a wonderful job of bringing to life the dangers, anxiety’s and low’s of that expedition. Us mere mortals would definitely have lost our life, but the determination and desire not to give in and just give life one last chance by taking his journey home (to base camp) in small chunks enabled Joe to survive to tell his tale. This is a memoir not to be missed and if it gives us a small bit of courage to face our own difficulties, which will probably pale in comparison, then as well as telling a tale the book may well enhance our own lives.
The book begins with middle aged Pippa married to Herb who is 30 years her senior. We are then taken back to her childhood and the bizarre relationshi...moreThe book begins with middle aged Pippa married to Herb who is 30 years her senior. We are then taken back to her childhood and the bizarre relationship with her mother and then the book also focuses on the relationship with her own daughter Grace, who has a twin brother Ben.
I found this a weird and wonderful read that had me absolutely engrossed. Even though the start was slow, I found travelling through the book to be an emotional experience. It definitely felt like Pippa had lost a part of herself and she was just waiting for the moment where she could reconnect with her whole. Through her life she meets some interesting characters and is drawn to some of them and feels herself repelled by others.
I felt the book came to a fitting conclusion and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to those that have travelled through some dark times in their life. (less)
She’s a bounty hunter on the hunt for Mo Bedemier (with a strange shaped nose!) who runs a local store...moreThis is the third in the Stephanie Plum series.
She’s a bounty hunter on the hunt for Mo Bedemier (with a strange shaped nose!) who runs a local store and had disappeared after being found in possession of a gun. He is the local friendly guy and people believe he can do no wrong and so Stephanie is not popular with the locals when trying to trace him. Lots of people generally end up dead and Stephanie’s hamster ends up in a precarious position. Stephanie has her eye’s on a local cop: Morelli, not that she’ll admit it and she can’t understand why he’s not making passes at her, when that’s generally what he’s done to her all her life.
This took a little while for me to get into as it was the first Stephanie Plum novel I had read and I found it to take a bit of time to get to know the characters. It certainly was a fun read and Stephanie’s family are a real hoot. Some of the chatter between Stephanie’s father and her grandmother is especially hilarious. I did wonder at the half way point if I would actually pick up another Stephanie Plum novel, but now I have a feel for the character’s I believe I most definitely will.
Like your books humorous, light hearted with a bit of crime & adventure? Then these are for you! (less)