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The Magic Toyshop
'The Magic Toyshop' has so many exquisitely written layers, even though I only just closed its final page, I could easily pick it up and read it from ...more
Sep 08, 2008
Jul 15, 2008
Half of a Yellow Sun
I'm getting into a bad habit with not finishing books, but I found this book really challenging and it didn't interest me enough for it to be an enjoy ...more
Apr 19, 2008
Mar 03, 2008
The Wasp Factory
Grotesque, sick and twisted, I did not enjoy this book at all. I had been expecting horror and macabre after hearing various reviews and recommendatio ...more
Jun 2007
Jun 27, 2007
My Booky Wook
I bought this book earlier last week, hopefully so I could get it signed at Russell Brand's gig on the Saturday (sadly he didn't sign anything, so it' ...more
Jul 15, 2008
Jul 11, 2008
Arlington Park
This book is interesting in that it takes an unusual perspective on the woman's role in the family. But this novelty doesn't last long. It soon become ...more
Jul 2007
Jul 19, 2007
Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales
Packed with grotesque fairy tales from every period and culture imagineable, this beautiful book with somewhat sinister illustrations is perfect for a ...more
Nov 2007
Aug 01, 2007
The Miniaturist
My first problem with The Miniaturist was that I'd been expecting a lot from it. That rarely ends in full satisfaction. There'd been so much hype, so ...more
Feb 11, 2015
Sep 01, 2014
Gone with the Wind
Rating this book is difficult. Of course it's a fantastic piece of literature – I really enjoyed the romance and culture. But it's also a really diffi ...more
Jul 26, 2008
May 08, 2008
Great Expectations
'Great Expectations' was a strange read, and I'm not sure if I enjoyed it or not. The writing I loved - the narrative is full of sinister comedy, witt ...more
Nov 18, 2008
Nov 15, 2008
Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice is a good book: it has romance and wit and a nice handful of characters to get your head around. It is simultaneously frustrating ...more
Mar 2010
Mar 09, 2007
The Little White Horse
The copy of the book I have (printed 1946) was given to my grandmother by her stepmother when she was a little girl. When I was younger and used to st ...more
Jan 2003
Mar 10, 2007
The Secret History
It's delicious, dark and tantalising. Stunning to read.

Tartt's language is alive and vivid in its imagery and characters: quirky caractures of an alo
Aug 03, 2009
Jul 15, 2008
The Kite Runner
This book was devastating, beautiful, brutal and moving all in the same breath. Reading the childhood of Amir and Hassan was enchanting and heartwrenc ...more
Jan 2008
Jan 04, 2008
How I Live Now
I still don't really know what rating this book deserves. It was clever and well written, beautiful and horrific at the same time. It was mostly belie ...more
Dec 2007
Dec 10, 2007
Heart of Darkness
Finishing it was the best bit.

Of course it's an important book and interesting if you give it the time, but the story lags way behind the bigger meani
Feb 2009
Jan 26, 2009
Little Women (Puffin Classics)
I first read this book when I was ten and adored it. This time round I loved it just as much. The story and its characters are timeless - with so many ...more
Dec 2007
Dec 18, 2007
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
I can barely put this book into words. It was chilling, gripping, clever and shocking.

Boyne beautifully and tragically constructs and develops his cha
Dec 2007
Dec 26, 2007
Human Traces
I found this book slow-moving and, in parts, dull meaning this novel actually took me several weeks to finish, and I consequently got bored with the p ...more
Oct 2006
Mar 10, 2007
Selected Poems
Beautiful selection of Yeats poetry with useful notes on the context, writing, and also includes poem variations. I love Yeats' dreamy, romantic langu ...more
Jan 2008
Jan 05, 2008
The Sense of an Ending
The longest short book I've picked up in a while. Got no sense of an ending.
Mar 2014
Mar 03, 2014
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times
The subheading 'real poems for unreal times' sums this anthology up perfectly. Split into twelve categories, finding a poem for the precise - even if ...more
Feb 2009
Mar 03, 2009
Nineteen Eighty-Four
I'm genuinely surprised that I enjoyed this book so much - political parodies/satires normally completely evade me, but I finally got round to buying ...more
Apr 25, 2008
Apr 19, 2008
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
It's not awful. It's just not my thing.

For me, the biggest problem is that I didn't give a damn about anyone in it.

The characters serve a purpose, b
Apr 25, 2014
Mar 31, 2014
Cutting for Stone
'Cutting for Stone' is a stunning novel which manages to pack in pretty much everything I want from a story. Actually, make that everything I want fro ...more
Jun 02, 2011
May 17, 2011
The Crimson Petal and the White
Finishing an 850 page novel which weighs more than a brick at 1.30 in the morning makes choosing a star rating tricky. The sense of achievement at hav ...more
Sep 2011
Jul 12, 2011
Being Alive
As therepeutic, beautifully edited and connecting as Neil Astley's first anthology, 'Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times'. Reading these collec ...more
Feb 2009
Mar 03, 2009
The Time Traveler's Wife
This is a beautiful story! Niffenegger's imagination and grasp on her perception of time and its complexity is astounding - everything flowed and fitt ...more
Jan 2008
Dec 26, 2007
No Matter the Wreckage
Sarah Kay's language is so beautiful. Her turns of phrase so new. Her poems are simple and honest and down-to-earth. A magic blend of wisdom and naive ...more
Apr 08, 2015
Mar 05, 2015
Normally I love Ian McEwan but this book was a huge let down. I kept waiting for something to happen, for all the pages to tie together somewhere in t ...more
Dec 2007
Oct 25, 2007
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
I liked the style to begin. I liked the idea that this was going to be a mystery. I liked the pictures and diagrams and unusual 'descriptions' and obs ...more
Jan 2008
Jan 03, 2008
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