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The Goldfinch
I really shouldn't have read that review in The Guardian that said it reminded the reviewer of Harry Potter. I just couldn't shake that feeling. I'm s ...more
Nov 02, 2013
Oct 22, 2013
Pereira Maintains
Sometimes repetition works. Sometimes it doesn't. How many times can the words "Pereira maintains" be written in one book? How many times can a man dr ...more
Apr 04, 2011
Mar 10, 2011
The Dynamite Room
I really liked this. Surely then I should give it four stars? But I have to admit to giving it lots of allowances because it is a debut. It is a very ...more
Apr 13, 2014
Apr 09, 2014
The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life
I don't read 'funny' books (humour is too much down to personal taste), I don't think I've ever read a book about books, and I don't often read memoir ...more
Jun 26, 2014
Jun 16, 2014
The Sense of an Ending
I read this in two days at The End of Road Festival, when I probably should have been listening to the music, but I just couldn't put it down. I loved ...more
Aug 30, 2014
Sep 06, 2014
The Dog Stars
A very rare find - a first novel that I couldn't put down. It took some time to get used to the lack of punctuation, but in fact that helped with the ...more
Sep 19, 2012
Sep 23, 2012
If you've read Legend of a Suicide or Caribou Island, you were probably waiting in anticipation for Dirt. I certainly was. I had to wait for Tim to fi ...more
not set
Jul 09, 2012
After This
Beautiful words, sentences, and detail. Lovely vignettes from moments in individual lives. But why? Why this family at that time? I struggled to find ...more
Aug 16, 2012
Aug 19, 2012
The Bad Seed
You never really get to know Rhoda Penmark. You hear what she says, but you don't get inside her head. That was a shame. I liked the book within a boo ...more
Dec 22, 2011
Dec 16, 2011
Station Eleven
A literary post-apocalyptic novel - what's not to love? I liked the way this hopped around in time - 20 years after a flu pandemic, and as it starts t ...more
Sep 28, 2014
Sep 23, 2014
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Easy quick read, not too sentimental. Two annoying things though, from Miss Continuity - what was Oscar's mother thinking of letting a nine year old r ...more
Apr 02, 2012
Mar 21, 2012
The Virgins
It's 1976 and at a New England boarding school Bruce fantasizes about new girl Aviva. But Aviva is having a very public relationship with Seung and ev ...more
Dec 03, 2013
Nov 22, 2013
What Happened to Sophie Wilder
I loved the lazy laid-back tone of this book, and it's structure - mixing third person with first person. But the downside of books that do that - dif ...more
Nov 16, 2013
Nov 06, 2013
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
I gave this to my Mum for Christmas and she's a very slow reader, in fact she reads out loud to herself to make sure she understands what she's readin ...more
Jan 13, 2014
Jan 07, 2014
I would probably have given this 3 1/2 stars if I could. 'Controversial' it says on the cover and I suppose I can see why - it's about a man who has d ...more
Nov 21, 2013
Nov 21, 2013
Instructions for a Heatwave
I really enjoyed the first two thirds of this novel, when the characters were either in London or New York. O'Farrell interweaves the stories of her c ...more
Aug 27, 2013
Aug 22, 2013
The Light Years
I was surprised to like this as much as I did. A family saga? Normally, I'd say 'no thanks'. But my step mother-in-law posted me the whole series, and ...more
Aug 04, 2014
Aug 01, 2014
The History Man
Why did Bradbury let the speech in this book run on from one person to the next without using line breaks? I don't understand the benefit to the reade ...more
Sep 23, 2014
Sep 21, 2014
Wow. I saw the film of this a couple of years ago, which wasn't so great, so I wasn't expecting a book as beautiful and affecting as this. Beautiful i ...more
Oct 31, 2013
Oct 15, 2013
The Rehearsal
The story was too frustratingly obtuse and experimental for me. If I had time, I suspect that a second read would make me give it four stars, but ther ...more
Oct 14, 2014
Oct 03, 2014
Larry's Party
I didn't like the structure of this book - each chapter about something to do with Larry, and written as if the reader hadn't read any of the previous ...more
Mar 30, 2013
Mar 14, 2013
Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
It wasn't until Anthony Doerr's sons were about 17 months old that he had his first 15 minute conversation with his wife whilst the twins were both aw ...more
May 15, 2011
May 11, 2011
3,096 Days
Almost impossible to review this for the quality of its writing - that's not what it was all about. I forgave (of course) every clumsy construction fo ...more
Sep 25, 2012
Oct 24, 2012
The Good Soldier
An unusual book because the narrator had such an individual style. He meanders in his memories as if telling a story verbally to a friend beside a fir ...more
Jan 2011
Mar 02, 2011
Alas, Babylon
Very wonderfully dated - all the women stay at home and cook the food that the men have gathered, or huddle together whilst the men go and hunt down t ...more
Aug 08, 2012
Aug 06, 2012
William Stoner could be any of us. He leads an ordinary life teaching in an American university, through two world wars which he doesn't fight in, thr ...more
Sep 22, 2013
Sep 16, 2013
The Ice Storm
At Easter we went away for the weekend with my 17 year old daughter. My husband and I went to the library to find some DVDs to take with us. 'What abo ...more
May 15, 2014
Apr 14, 2014
The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake
As I read this short book of very short stories my love for it crept up and up. It maybe started at 3 stars or even two. The language (or terminology ...more
Aug 20, 2014
Aug 13, 2014
The Siege
Lots of things to like here - the cold, the starvation, the struggle for daily survival. You're not supposed to like those things are you? But they we ...more
Jun 20, 2013
Jun 15, 2013
Swimming Home
Tomorrow (Tuesday 12th Feb 2013) Deborah Levy is coming to my MA class at Winchester University to give a public talk and reading. So I have to admit ...more
Jan 27, 2013
Jan 14, 2013
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