I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting, clear and funny. It looks at our body language in relation to scenarios where we may use it, the diffeI really enjoyed this book. It was interesting, clear and funny. It looks at our body language in relation to scenarios where we may use it, the difference between men and women and why and also the differences between countries which was very funny (you could certinaly land yourself in trouble abroad if you're not careful). It also told us what to watch out for in situations like interviews, business meetings etc which I found really interesting. This is the sort of book you can dip in and out of and keep coming back to. Thumbs up for this book (but not in Greece - where a thumb means up yours!)...more
I just loved this book. It is my first ever Christina Jones and I picked it up from a bargain bin thinking that it looked fun. I was not disappointed.I just loved this book. It is my first ever Christina Jones and I picked it up from a bargain bin thinking that it looked fun. I was not disappointed. I have spent the whole day reading it outside in the sizzling hot sun - just perfect.
I understand that a lot of the characters have been introduced in previous books and that they are all set in cute little Berkshire villages with funny names so now I know this I can't wait to dive into the others. This story centres on Phoebe, a list-making, highly-oragnised, horoscope reading hairdresser who turned up for her immaculately planned wedding to discover that the groom hasn't. As Phoebe tries to come to terms with what's happened and carry on alone, she has to put up with the return of Rocky, her noisy, bad-tempered neighbour as well. Then she meets Essie, a glamorous pensioner who dabbles in something called Happy Birthday magic and that's when things take a turn...
What a wonderful, magical read. I adored all the characters and there is such humour and comedy moments that I laughed out loud in places. Loved, loved, loved it....more
Ahahahahahahaha! OK, this book isn't supposed to be funny but it's only for the fact that I laughed through most of it (albeit when I wasn't suppose Ahahahahahahaha! OK, this book isn't supposed to be funny but it's only for the fact that I laughed through most of it (albeit when I wasn't supposed to) that it gets 3 stars and not one.
Oh dear, oh dear. Plot idea = great. Execution = erm, not. When I first read the blurb on the back of this I really thought I was in for a treat. Six archaelogoists on a dig in Greenland and then they get news of an epidemic back home and their communication with the outside world falls away and they are left stranded with not enough food or shelter. The book is written in the form of last letters home by each member of the party in turn.
So what happened? Very little, as it goes. Each character was so underdeveloped I didn't give a monkeys about any of them, the "inbetween plot" of ghosties and ghoulies haunting their little camp was hilarious and not in any particular order that I could fathom and there were so many academic "in-jokes" that had me groaning on almost a page-by-page basis. I know this book was written by a senior literature professor, but seriously love, stick to your day job. Frankly most of the narrative left me appalled by its stiltedness and the oodles of references to 19th century classics only served to show off the authors knowledge than to enhance the plot in any way. Why did we need to know what picture was on the cover of Villette and Middlemarch? I sort of got the impression that alot of the authors own opinions were coming through her characters (imparticular Nina): there were left-wing views, snobbery about package holidays, views on femenism and all that had no relevence to the plot.
One of my favourtie parts was when the group had realised that they had had no internet connection for several days. They were wondering if maybe the epidemic had spread from the USA to Europe. So instead of testing a website in, say, Australia or Malaysia what do they do? Check a real-estates in Scotland and the Guardian Newspaper, that's what. Genius!
So, the 3 stars - I laughed. I laughed a lot. And, weirdly, I felt compelled to keep reading. Did I enjoy this book? Yes, sort of. Would I recommend it? No....more
This was my first Mary Wesley. It was a battered old paperback that I picked up from a second-hand bookshop – I was drawn to the cover which made me fThis was my first Mary Wesley. It was a battered old paperback that I picked up from a second-hand bookshop – I was drawn to the cover which made me feel summery. I loved it. Wesley’s style is so unlike any other author I can think to compare it to sparse and to the point. There is no room for flowery prose in this book but yet its simplicity and matter-of-factness drew me right in and I really cared about the characters.
The book starts with seventeen-year-old Juno who has just seen her two childhood friends off to war in 1942 and she is wondering through the blackened streets of London with nowhere to go, when she is pulled inside a house by a stranger during an air raid. The stranger offers her a bed for the night but when she wakes up he is dead. Some weeks later, after living almost rough in London she boards a train to Cornwall to deliver a letter from the dead man to his Father. When she arrives at Copplestone’s Farm she is welcomed into the fold without question. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the book, not because there are any spectacular twists involved but because it’s fun to follow Juno in her journey.
I just loved the characters, all of them who were easy to warm to in some way. The bluntness and ‘frightful poshness’ of their speach was interspersed with humour, some of which had me laughing out loud.
“Are you staying for supper?”
“If I am invited.”
“Could you call off your Mosley [dog:], he is rogering my bitch.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; more than I expected to in fact. Mary Wesley has written many more books (some of which I also have at home) which I fully intend to read sometime soon. I would recommend this book for frazzled brains – something gentle to sooth the soul. And an ending that had me hooting with laughter! ...more
Oh I just loved this book! Katie Fforde's are always such a tonic to read - they're like wrapping up in a big snuggly duvet or curling up with a hot-wOh I just loved this book! Katie Fforde's are always such a tonic to read - they're like wrapping up in a big snuggly duvet or curling up with a hot-water-bottle and a mug of hot chocolate. Pure escapism.
This one is set in a bookshop and organising a literary festival - this is like porn for a bookaholic like me! It's chock full of frightfully posh people, country houses, a rugged Irish hero, a girl-without-model-looks-but-gets-her-man-anyway and a whole cast full of other colourful beings. And books! Lots of books! It may be the same formula but it works: reading a Katie Fforde is like pouring soothing oil over a stressed-out, frazzled old me! Seriously, books and romance; what's not to love?
Love Letters has to rank among her best; I thoroughly enjoyed it....more
What an absolute treat this was to read. I took this on my holiday with me as I do like a good dose of chick-lit while relaxing in my sunlounger and SWhat an absolute treat this was to read. I took this on my holiday with me as I do like a good dose of chick-lit while relaxing in my sunlounger and Sophie Kinsella never lets me down.
This book was a delight from start to finish. It is narrated by Lara, newly dumped and struggling to run a business on her own. All she needs is to be pestered by the ghost of her Great Auntie Sadie whom she never even met but is here, larger than life, as a 23 year old dancing, drinking, fun-loving girl that only Lara can see and whom she insists help her find her necklace before she is buried without it.
The character of Sadie was just fabulous! One of the most endearing I have come across in a long time; she was such good fun. This book is my new favourite out of all the independents (i.e. not the shopaholic series). I love, love, loved it! ...more
"I'm Henry VIII, I am, I'm Henry VIII I am, I am!"
Wow! There's never a dull moment with old Henry. Teenage King, always warring with France, cuts ti "I'm Henry VIII, I am, I'm Henry VIII I am, I am!"
Wow! There's never a dull moment with old Henry. Teenage King, always warring with France, cuts ties with Rome and changes the course of history just so he can get a divorce, six wives - two have their heads lopped off, one dies in childbirth, one is too ugly, one won't provide him with a son (tsk! what was she thinking?) and the other gets to mop up his gangrenous leg until he dies. Phew!!!
This is a fabulous book: long, but so worth it. Written from Henry's point of view so we get to see his life as he sees it. We all know what a bad-tempered tyrant he was supposed to have been, but in this book we get a glimpse at what may have made Henry make the decisions he made. He was born into royalty, taught to believe that he is above others (and boy, does he!) but we also see another side to him. There are times when I actually felt sorry for him; to be surrounded all your life by "yes-men" and never really knowing who you can trust must have been pretty tough even if you are surrounded by jewels and banquets all day long.
Not surprisingly, his poor wives come in for a pretty raw deal; but again it is written from Henry's point of view. Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard never stood a chance and Katherine of Aragon was treated appallingly in later life when the King decided that he wanted to move on to a younger model. No wonder when it came to searching for a new wife 4th time around, all the eligable young European princesses were hiding in the shadows.
This is a real tome of a book and one I enjoyed immensley. The fact that it took the author 15 years to research, I knew I was in safe hands with getting a wonderful peice of fiction based entirely on fact. I would highly recommend this to history fans. Big thumbs up for this one!...more
Spain in the 15th & 16th century: Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand are on the throne. This book is the 3rd in the Spain series but I didn't feelSpain in the 15th & 16th century: Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand are on the throne. This book is the 3rd in the Spain series but I didn't feel I'd missed out not reading the frist two as this is a story in its own right.
The book centres on the 4 daughters (and one son) of the King and Queen, the most famous of these being Katherine of Aragon (or Catalina as she was known in Spain). It is also a time of huge unrest with Jews and Moors being expelled from the country.
I really enjoyed this book. It was my first Plaidy and I found it very accessable and was a good introduction to this time and place that I didn't really know anything about. It has certainly left me wanting to know more....more
What a con this book is. The title and the blurb lead you to believe that this book is all about Queen Mary and her marriage to Prince Philip of SpainWhat a con this book is. The title and the blurb lead you to believe that this book is all about Queen Mary and her marriage to Prince Philip of Spain. I was really looking forward to getting more behind the skin of Bloody Mary and her phantom pregnancy etc but if she appears in more than 10 pages overall I'd be surpirsed. As for Prince Philip - well, I'm still waiting for his entrance.
This story is told through the eyes of Rafael Prado, a Spanish sundial maker who is one of Philip's entourage brought over to England when the Prince and Mary marry. He is made up. The household he lives in is made up. The English woman he falls in love with, and her son, are made up. This whole book is about made up people, with a story that never happened and a few fleeting appearances by Queen Mary that make her look like some pathetic, desperate old woman. Gah!
I gave it 2 stars, because having said all that the story of Rafael and Cecily (his Englsih love) is sweet enough (even if it is made up) but I did find myself speed reading trying to get the actual historical facts (of which there are precious few). I wouldn't bother with this one, especially if you are a real history buff....more
Good stuff - quick paced and page-turning. The book opens with suspended MI6 spy, Daniel Marchant, spotting a suicide bomber while running the LondonGood stuff - quick paced and page-turning. The book opens with suspended MI6 spy, Daniel Marchant, spotting a suicide bomber while running the London marathon. The bomber has to stay running above the 8 minute mile speed or he and all those around him will blow up (remind you of anything?). Despite the already-used formular, this was still really well done and hooked me from the off. The rest of the book follows Marchant across several continents while he tries to a) trace the perpertrators and b) clear his fathers name of being a mole in MI6.
I really enjoyed this book, and it is one I would highly recommend as a holiday read (or when you can't be uninterupted due to the vast number of characters popping in and out that requires your full attention to keep up).
This is the first in a triplogy (and the end of book 1 is nicely set up for the next installment) and apparantly Warner Bros are already signed up to the movie rights. I can definitely see this transfering well on to the big screen and giving Jason Bourne a run for his money....more