At first, I found Endometriosis: A Key to Healing Through Nutrition really depressing -- I was expecting something along the lines of The Low-GI Diet,At first, I found Endometriosis: A Key to Healing Through Nutrition really depressing -- I was expecting something along the lines of The Low-GI Diet, which had a simple, easy to follow break down of the way the body digests food, how the Glycemic Index works, and how to make it work for you. Mills and Vernon, however, go into almost overwhelming amounts of detail to make the point that although endometriosis is not well understood and is currently without a cure, that nutrition can have a positive effect on its symptoms -- if you can last out the depressing medical barrage to get to the useful chapters. I keep wobbling between giving this a 3 and a 4 rating, because the recipes, eating plan and that sort of detail should be absolutely invaluable, I can see why the authors have wanted to include all the information about all the treatment options there are out there as well as the nutritional stuff, but given that all I wanted was the nutritional stuff -- I'm going to go with 4 stars, because despite the initially overwhelming impression the book gives, the end chapters are well worth it. ...more
At first I quite enjoyed this. Dicken's was slightly less patronising and odious than usual, and he had a lot of fun with the story and managed to obsAt first I quite enjoyed this. Dicken's was slightly less patronising and odious than usual, and he had a lot of fun with the story and managed to obstain from moralising. However, as the story progress and the succession of women who were either blushingly sweet and attractive young ladies or foolish widows, or the one ridiculous old maid continued, Pickwick Papers rapidly lost its interest, and by the time I hit the trial of Bardell vs. Pickwick, I had to bribe myself to keep reading. Dicken's caricatures of women wouldn't be as hard to take as they are, if you didn't know that he treated women off the page no better than on it, and his slight treatment of this part of the book really lessened my enjoyment of it. I feel quite pleased now that I am done with it, (although find it quite ironic that the requisite happy ending involved two marriages) though I'm not sure whether that is due to Mr Dicken's skillful treatment of his characters or to the fact that I can finally return this book which is three months over due.
Sam was pretty cool. I liked him and his father. Sam is the sole reason the book has 3 stars. ...more
This is a YA fantasy set in Victorian London. It's good -- nice premise, good storyline, but it's a bit ... limited in vocabulary, and the characterisThis is a YA fantasy set in Victorian London. It's good -- nice premise, good storyline, but it's a bit ... limited in vocabulary, and the characterisation was a bit flat. It's a story with a Victorian setting, rather than a Victorian story, and apart from the odd reference to 'navvies' or 'urchins,' there's no really Victorian elements. A pity -- because otherwise this would have been really cool. Dinosaurs! ...more
Wavered between two or three stars, gave it three in the end because I learned some interesting things and Paxton approached his subject in a way I haWavered between two or three stars, gave it three in the end because I learned some interesting things and Paxton approached his subject in a way I hadn't thought about before. However, having read many attempts to define a nation, and the English nation in particular, while doing Michael Neill's amazing Shakespeare paper in 2007, this just didn't measure up -- there's a vast array of literature and research out there that Paxton has entirely failed to come to terms with (I'm not even sure he's aware of it), and although his original research (which mainly consists of going up to people who've made a career out of Englishness and asking them what they think England is) turns up some interesting possibilities that the more scholarly approaches have not included, it's pretty sporadic. I am rather concerned by the fact that all his interviews seemed to be with people who were white -- seems to me that a new immigrant, confronted with the country and having to come to terms with it would have a really interesting view of what makes England English, and that would be more interesting than getting the same 'sod the EU' response Paxton has given us three times already. I suspect Paxton has a political agenda to this work that I don't quite grasp, possibly a reaction against the 'sod the EU' if the randomly positive tone of the final chapter is any indication, but it just jarred bizarrely with the unmitigated pessimism of the rest of the book.
Then again, Paxton would have you believe that's Englishness for you. ...more
Okay, the tagline for Harlequinn's 'Super Romance' line is 'intense, true-to-life' romances. True to life apparently includes being shot at, stalked,Okay, the tagline for Harlequinn's 'Super Romance' line is 'intense, true-to-life' romances. True to life apparently includes being shot at, stalked, an imaginary friend and finding out that you have a long lost twin sister and that you are both adopted.
Heroine was pretty well developed, and I liked the fact that the sisters didn't immediately reconcile. No, they delayed a few chapters before bringing the psychic connection and the girl power. Which, well. It was nice heroine wasn't totally dependent on hunky firefighter but, after making his a presence throughout the story, the fact that he was so little there at the end, it didn't work. I think the ending wasn't helped by the fact that heroine and firefighter had not sorted out their differences, and although I'm sure it was meant in a flirty, fun way, the fact that she might be pregnant should not be impetus for them to get together. Also, what is with romances and racial stereotypes?
I really shouldn't complain about this book. I mean, it was $1 second hand from the Church Corner Book Exchange, and I picked it because it sounded thI really shouldn't complain about this book. I mean, it was $1 second hand from the Church Corner Book Exchange, and I picked it because it sounded the right sort of terrible -- trashy but not too trashy. Predictable in the right ways. Romance is a difficult balancing act.
But, yes, I am complaining, about the fact that none of the characters sounded right to me -- I know there's a danger when writing historical characters that by adhering to the attitudes of the period you will lose the sympathy of your modern characters, but seriously. If you're writing a historical romance, presumably you're doing it by choice, and we need more than a bit of lip service to petticoats.
Heroine 1 irritated by being too superior to everyone else in the entire novel, and the denouement was too sudden, far too forced. Heroine 2 well. I think her personality was being emotional and crying a lot, which. Is not characterisation, sorry! Heroine the third claimed to be risking her life and under huge amounts of stress and terror but I didn't see it until right at the end when all she really did was be kidnapped, providing tension and plot.
That said, this provided a nice, non-threatening read for a few hours which is all I wanted so! 2 stars. ...more
There is such a difference between reading a book on Project Gutenberg (wonderful as that is), and having it physically there -- I got so much more ouThere is such a difference between reading a book on Project Gutenberg (wonderful as that is), and having it physically there -- I got so much more out of it the second reading. It didn't hurt that the Introduction and Appendixes were quite interesting, especially Stoker on censorship....more
While I loved Breakfast at Tiffany's, and will probably love it even more the next time I read it (this is going to be one of those books you end up hWhile I loved Breakfast at Tiffany's, and will probably love it even more the next time I read it (this is going to be one of those books you end up having a relationship with), the story of this collection that touched me the most while reading it was The Diamond Guitar. However, it was the last story that made me cry: the ending of A Christmas Memory was seen coming, but it conducted itself with such perfect manners and such a light touch that, helped undoubtedly by the fact that I've only recently said goodbye to my grandparents, it made my cry.
Not exactly what you want to be doing in the staff room in lunch time, but well. I suppose these things can't be helped. ...more
Tomalin does a great job of placing Austen's life in context -- piecing together an exact sequence of events from a mix of letters and family accountsTomalin does a great job of placing Austen's life in context -- piecing together an exact sequence of events from a mix of letters and family accounts must have been an immense amount of work. However, Tomalin seems to feel a need to fill gaps that could quite easily left to her reader's own discernment, instead making suppositions that are absurd and unscholarly. I hate to say it, but I feel I know rather more about Tomalin's mother issues from reading this book, rather than Austen's. ...more
Atrocious. Really. Author cuts all sorts of corners, using black-outs and convenient memory dumps to garner sympathy for her main characters, while teAtrocious. Really. Author cuts all sorts of corners, using black-outs and convenient memory dumps to garner sympathy for her main characters, while telling constantly. She also puts the entire novel in at high gear, but when all of Dorina's allies end up dead, she's got no weapons, is horribly injured and weak and has no options -- for the third time in short succession in the book -- well. You're less concerned, more, right then. Get on with it.
There were two things I liked about the book -- male lead goes off to sulk at the end of it, and Radu turned out to be surprisingly interesting. However, those couldn't make up for the rest of the book. Dorina is a collection of cliches thrown together without enough personality to make her something beyond them -- no, not even having aubergine hair helps, sorry. Dialogue that was supposed to be cutting and witty was just flat and unfunny. Writing was good except for some clumsy moments where it called attention to itself. The family politics which could have been interesting explored more fully got lost under a needlessly violent and confusing mash of Fey versus Dark Mage versus Good Vampires versus Rebel Vampires and Dracula thing -- an attempt to up and ante even further. I can't recommend this one at all. ...more
Another really good, really clever Chandler novel. I'd have enjoyed it more if I didn't dislike the central cop so very intensely. But yes, clever! ThAnother really good, really clever Chandler novel. I'd have enjoyed it more if I didn't dislike the central cop so very intensely. But yes, clever! This one's got a Christie twist, that I did like. ...more
Part of a series that combines cooking and death! Two great tastes that go great together.
This was light, enjoyable fluff, but I felt cheated by thePart of a series that combines cooking and death! Two great tastes that go great together.
This was light, enjoyable fluff, but I felt cheated by the fact that the mystery aspect led to a guy that we'd never even heard of -- lots of people we'd never heard of. I guess it feels like cheating when the solution is something that is entirely out of the reader's ability to predict -- Chandler's a bit that way, but at least with Chandler you get given the likely suspects introduced to you and you can guess who is playing tricks.
There was almost as much romance and relationship analysis as there was cooking/Annie's daily life and the mystery, which I enjoyed. It had recipes at the end. Parts of it didn't add up to me, such as Tyler and the police in general. On the one hand, it's sort of nice to know that you can relax a bit and that maybe I don't need to agonise as much as I am over my fic. On the other hand, well, I can see how it adds up to a book that is nothing more than a few hours light entertainment. ...more