I've read a couple of Matt Haig's other books and really enjoyed them, and I am definitely in the 'fan' camp.
This book was an honest exploration of wI've read a couple of Matt Haig's other books and really enjoyed them, and I am definitely in the 'fan' camp.
This book was an honest exploration of what it means to be depressed and how to try to remember that there is light to the dark, peaks to the troughs, sweet to the sour.
It was interesting, and having had a mental health crisis myself, so much of it rang true. Nothing here that was earth-shattering (-ly new), but a positive affirmation of what it is to be a human being in this hectic, digitally encroaching world of ours. ...more
What a fantastic book. Wonderfully tender characterisation, enough plot to keep it interesting. Excellent dream sequences. Made me cry loads as I readWhat a fantastic book. Wonderfully tender characterisation, enough plot to keep it interesting. Excellent dream sequences. Made me cry loads as I read it. Evocative of Brautigan's less surreal works and also reminded me of Margaret Atwood. A critique of the American economy and policies, and yet so kind and dear to the folk left to eke out a living. ...more
A book where not much happens to characters I care little about. The ending was trite. Chanu - I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for most of them. FiA book where not much happens to characters I care little about. The ending was trite. Chanu - I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for most of them. First page or so was so funny, but then it fizzled out to nothing. Rather disappointing....more
Well everyone. You just need to read this, sort out your kitchen, and get cooking. I started reading it, (and it's an easy read), thinking "Yes, but IWell everyone. You just need to read this, sort out your kitchen, and get cooking. I started reading it, (and it's an easy read), thinking "Yes, but I'm aware of this already." The first couple of chapters set the scene, but by the time I was reading the third chapter: 'Clean Label', I became aware of the multi-pronged attack on nutrients that is the result of processed food. And by processed food, I don't just mean things in tins and packets, but anything made in a factory. Including things such as danish pastries, croissants and bread. Even independent bakeries who bake their own, might well be fashioning products using factory-made pastry. Beware.
There are scores of businesses creating chemical additives/ enzymes/ packaging aids that denude the food of nutrients and allow the processors to make more money.
This is a call to arms and I love it. I love that by cooking at home, sourcing whole ingredients with as little packaging as possible (which means using the local grocer and butcher), you are not only creating healthier meals for yourself and your family but you are also taking a political action in NOT giving money to the businesses whose main aim is to make money rather than make wholesome food. You will be supporting local organisations and local producers and cutting out the middle man.
When I was pregnant with my youngest son I ate some unpasteurised cheese and frantically searched online for noted sources of listeria poisoning. I discovered that most instances came from pre-packaged sandwiches and pre-prepared fruit salads. Blythman points out towards the end of this book that the Food Standards Agency's stance that our kitchens are deadly denizens of food-poisoning pathogens is another way of denting the public's confidence in home cooking, and boosting the notion that processed food is safer food. Of course, this is not the case.
I really am horrified by what I read and the audacity of companies to hide behind trademarks and industrial secrets to prevent the public, its customers, from knowing what chemicals are going into our bodies. It's not just additives, it's the meat slurry after enzymes have taken the scraps of meat off carcases, the fungicide in the blister packs at the bottom of raspberry punnets and the nanosized titanium diozide in coffee creamer, cream cheese and turkey gravy.
As a result of reading this, I've decided that we won't go out to eat as much, and I'm going to do my darnedest to make as many meals from scratch as possible. I've even had a go at making a sourdough starter.
I'm going to be buying copies of this for lots of my friends over the next few months. If you can get your hands on a copy, do so. It's definitely worth the read. ...more
Gosh I found this book a dirge to start off with. Nothing really happens. But I stuck with it and it did pick up slightly, (well from a two-starrer toGosh I found this book a dirge to start off with. Nothing really happens. But I stuck with it and it did pick up slightly, (well from a two-starrer to a three-starrer). Began to feel a bit bad about slagging it off.
My notes after finishing it today on the train - 1. The characters bemoan the onset of technology and the jobs it will replace, such as the steam plough, and yet, blimey, how much easier would their life be with a sewing machine and a telephone.
2. Loved the smallholder/ nature stuff.
3. Why didn't Eliza sell the locket when the family were proper broke?
4. Sympathetic characters - Parker and Parson Miller
5. I enjoyed the family dynamics, the hustle and bustle.
6. Patty is a brilliant (perfect?) mother and a patient wife. A lovely poem at the end, especially the bit about ivy leaving a trace. ...more
Didn't finish this mainly due to time constraints - it was from a library reading group set and needed to be returned.
It was oddly structured. The fiDidn't finish this mainly due to time constraints - it was from a library reading group set and needed to be returned.
It was oddly structured. The first chapter consists of a gentle moan at the change in culture at the BBC - from a slightly laissez-faire attitude when she first started working for the corporation to the current mode of professionalism and accountability. Post-Saville, one thinks 'Thank Goodness" and cringes slightly. If this were republished today, I'd certainly make sure this wasn't the opening chapter.
Don't bother reading this if you want to find out about Ms Adie's personal life. I did find it interesting for fleshing-out the news stories that were on the telly as I was growing up, in particular Northern Ireland and the Falklands War.
It's an extended 'From our Own Correspondent', really, the Correspondent being Kate Adie, and she's reporting on the Japes that she experienced in her rather exciting and privileged life.
My parents joked that I would be 'The Next Kate Adie", so I did approach this with some guilt and feelings of inadequacy. But then again, it wasn't as though KA had pursued her career, she generally 'fell into' situations and one thing followed another. Lucky lady.
This was quite a harrowing read. I cried lots and lots, especially today, when I read the second half of the book while waiting for my eye to be lookeThis was quite a harrowing read. I cried lots and lots, especially today, when I read the second half of the book while waiting for my eye to be looked at at A&E.
I learned more about the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the genocides that followed. ...more
So glad I can read something else. These are interesting stories, but reading them together for Bookclub was a bit of a slog. I majorly lost momentumSo glad I can read something else. These are interesting stories, but reading them together for Bookclub was a bit of a slog. I majorly lost momentum after finishing 'The Boy I Love'.
'Paper Moon' seemed to ramble a lot at the start, and it took me a while to get a handle on the characters.
Recurring themes of injury; sexual abuse and its affects on children; blended families and the redeeming nature of the arts.
Generally it was well-written, but I won't be hurrying to read any more by Husband, looking forward to a change of scene.
I borrowed this book from a friend's house in Skye last September and it's taken a while for me to get round to reading it. Now I have finished it, I'I borrowed this book from a friend's house in Skye last September and it's taken a while for me to get round to reading it. Now I have finished it, I'm really glad I have read it now.
Murakami takes us on a rather philosophical exploration of why he runs and what it means to him.
I was reading this whilst I recovered from having my gallbladder removed, and I savoured it. At times it really inspired me to have more goals exercise-wise, but at this stage of my recovery, running isn't on the agenda, although it's only a matter of time and hopefully my intentions will still last till that point in the near future.
He describes running in various places around the world, including New York. Having just booked ourselves flights to NY to visit friends in the fall, I was really excited by this maxim that Murakami quotes:
It's autumn in New York It's good to live again.
So all in all, a good book, read at the right time. ...more
I laughed, I squirmed, I thought. It's a Good Book. The subject matter might not be to everyone's tastes, but I thought it was definitely worth a readI laughed, I squirmed, I thought. It's a Good Book. The subject matter might not be to everyone's tastes, but I thought it was definitely worth a read and had something to say, ie that Love is more important than lust, shopping or any other trappings of corporate materialism. A nice accompaniment to the Maddadam books by Margaret Atwood....more
Picked it up at the library after half-hearing about an interview with Eco on Front Row (Radio 4 arts programme), and thought I should read his book.Picked it up at the library after half-hearing about an interview with Eco on Front Row (Radio 4 arts programme), and thought I should read his book.
It was really quite rubbish. There is no real plot, there is a lot of musing about the stupid newspaper set-up, which I never quite understood, and then a lot of exposition about the supposed Mussolini disappearance plot.
Paranoia, political instability and intellectualism are all here, as you'd expect from Eco, but there's just not enough plot or character development to make them any more than a loosely connected notebook sketch.
I first read this in the summer of 1997, when I had finished the one or two end of year exams I had in my first year at uni, and was sort of tetheredI first read this in the summer of 1997, when I had finished the one or two end of year exams I had in my first year at uni, and was sort of tethered to the halls due to a bad relationship with a possessive social scientist from Eaglescliffe. I found the Pollock Halls library, stocked with newly published paperbacks and this was my first foray into modern literary fiction.
Fast forward eighteen years, and this is my library reading group read. I remembered it fondly, mainly for the dramatic twist that is revealed towards the end of the book, but not much else.
It's been a tricky read. My life has been busy this month, and I read a chapter here and there, getting stuck with characters, not sure who is whom and I nearly didn't finish it. But after a hectic week and today's only event (local town's lights switch-on) being cancelled, I decided to devote a pyjama day to getting it finished. I'm glad I did.
Reasons I enjoyed it more this time than back in 1997:
1. I now know York rather well and can visualise the places featured in the book, which really helps bring the book alive. Back in 1997, I'd never been, or perhaps had visited once on a very short day trip from a Guide camp - anyway. I didn't know it as well as I know it now.
2. I am now a mother and a housewife and have often had thoughts about being in the wrong life, or hating the domestic drudgery. I hadn't back in 1997.
3. In 1997 my parental home included my maternal grandmother, who would die two years later, followed quickly by my mother a year later. Death is better-known to me now than it was then.
I like the theme of buddhist reincarnation that features in this or of at least the cumulation of human emotion or spirit that inhabits a place or city.
Other thoughts: is Edmund's father really Albert? ...more