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50 Books in a Year > Em's List

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message 1: by Em, Moderator (last edited Feb 21, 2010 09:18AM) (new)


message 2: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 1900 comments Mod
I loved The Crimson Petal and the White, although I found the ending a bit abrupt. What did you think?


message 3: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
Liz wrote: "I loved The Crimson Petal and the White, although I found the ending a bit abrupt. What did you think?"

Hi Liz, I thought it was a brilliant book though it took me quite a few weeks to get through it! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I liked all the details about Victorian life and the characters were fully drawn and full of life - especially Sugar. I know what you mean about the ending, after pages and pages of meandering through London Streets and properties it tapers off rather rapidly. It left me with a bit of a sense that life goes on.... although this particular story ends here. Do you know what I mean?


message 4: by Em, Moderator (last edited Feb 21, 2010 09:19AM) (new)


message 5: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
6. The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

and another.... I liked this one alot. A quirky modern day fairy tale. If you like magic-realism then this book would be worth a look I think.


message 6: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
7. Euripides' Alcestis: A New Translation by Ted Hughes

Having watched and enjoyed the play years ago I then bought this book, but never once read it! Ted Hughes was on the 50 Greatest Writers list so I just felt inspired to pick it up now. It is a beautifully written play, thought provoking too.


message 7: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
8. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

At last, I've been crawling though this one! Think my attention has been taken by other books so this one ended up on the back burner. It took me a while to get into the story I think because it is extremely descriptive but it did draw me in eventually!


message 8: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 1900 comments Mod
I quite liked Snow Falling on Cedars, it's definitely a slow-burner, but the description is very evocative. Although, I was left feeling slightly disappointed by the end and I can't remember why!


message 9: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
At the end things are tied up quite neatly with Ishmaels imaginary account of what he believes may have happened to Carl Hein. It seemed a quiet kind of ending I think, maybe you were hoping for something a bit more explosive?


message 10: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
9. Animal Farm by George Orwell

Flew through this, it is pretty concise. I liked it alot but I think I was alot more taken with 1984. I skipped all the introductions and notes etc - don't ever read them before the actual book (or even afterwards for the most part) but I think I'll take a look at these ones. It's interesting that he struggled to get this book published in Britain as we didn't want to offend Stalin. Blimey!


message 11: by Em, Moderator (last edited Mar 10, 2010 03:31PM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
10. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Trying to decide whether 3 or 4 stars, this is a classic book, I'm glad to have read it and Anthony Burgess certainly has an impact upon the reader. However, if my star rating is in someway relative to enjoyment then I'm not sure I can say I enjoyed the experience. The subject matter is violent, threatening and understandable uncomfortable to read. It's getting late, will write review another time.


message 12: by Em, Moderator (last edited Mar 16, 2010 05:11PM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
11. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Well, it just goes to show that it is worth re-reading a book. I read this first when I was 18 and all I could remember is being struck with how depressing it was. This time, I was really wrapped up in the novel - I still don't like Heathcliff nor am I much taken with Catherine but the story itself was totally absorbing and I'm glad my bookgroup chose it.


message 13: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
12. The Rapture by Liz Jenson

Apocolyptic eco-thriller. Certainly a page-turner.


message 14: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
13. When Will There Be Good News?: A Novel by Kate Atkinson

My first Kate Atkinson novel, I like her style and thoroughly enjoyed this book - it is absolutely jam packed with highly improbable coincidences, I mean to the point of ridiculous but I honestly didn't mind in the slightest. It is an extremely readable book.


message 15: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
14. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

This was a gripping book, you can see why it's been so popular - I think Larsson has written some strong and memorable characters - Blomkvist and Salander are both intriguing but so too are numerous subsidiary characters. The book is well plotted and keeps momentum throughout, I liked the way it was structured and I will certainly read the others in the series at some point.


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3523 comments I am listening to the third book in the series The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest, I have enjoyed the series a lot!


message 17: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
My husband gave me The Girl Who Played with Fire for our wedding anniversary last week and then I bought the third one in Sainsbury's as it caught my eye on offer for about £5 (rather than £8!). I'm all set but think I'll read a few other things before reading the next installment.


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3523 comments I am on the last section of the download but have had to stop listening today! I will listen for some more tomorrow!


message 19: by Em, Moderator (last edited Apr 07, 2010 03:27PM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
15. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The kids book on which they recently based a film. I enjoyed it but it does seem a bit like the American version of Harry Potter. I'll keep hold of it for my girls but they're a bit on the young side for this one yet. Our book before bed this week is George's Marvellous Medicine, they keep asking to hear the really revolting bits again!! (I blame the parents.)


message 20: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
16. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom.

An inspirational book, really enjoyed it and it's pretty thin if anyone wants a quick book.


message 21: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
17. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

I liked the story but found it impossible to shake off the film! Audrey Hepburn is Holly Golightly!


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3523 comments I can honestly say I have never watched the film! I much prefer books to the films anyday!


message 23: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
How have you never seen the film Lynne?!

I agree, the book is practically always better but I do love films as well. In this case they sanitised the story quite a bit, and gave it a more neat, romantic ending than the book - it's a good film though. I just found the image and the voice from the film infiltrated my reading - I could just hear and see Audrey Hepburn and it's strange not to rely on my own imagination.

Have you read the book?


message 24: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
18. George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

I read this as a chid and have been reading it to my own children over the Easter holidays, I was thrilled because they loved the story, looked forward to the next chapter and talked about the story in between hearing the next installment! The Illustrations are excellent as well - we particularly liked Grannys head poking out throught the roof!


message 25: by Em, Moderator (last edited Apr 19, 2010 11:09AM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
19. The Planets by Dava Sobel

This book is excellent, a combination of science, history and myth. I'm no scientist and I couldn't claim to have absorbed every fact contained within this book however, I loved Dava Sobel's approach to the subject. It certainly made the solar system alot more comprehensible to me than the majority of science books would. She has a beautiful, lyrical style and intersperses her prose with famous poetry and quotes inspired by the topic. I'd recommend this.


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3523 comments Em, Yes I have read the book and I will check out the film - see if the library has a copy of it!


message 27: by Em, Moderator (last edited Apr 21, 2010 05:50AM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
Lynne, since you've read Breakfast at Tiffany's can you tell me if I'm right in thinking she is a prostitute/escort? That's what I gathered from the book but not the film but it's not all that explicit (unless I'm being dense of course)!


message 28: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
20. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A short story really, but an excellent one.


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3523 comments I had it in my head she was a high class hooker! Lol!


message 30: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
Yeah Lynne, I think that's about the measure of it!

I watched the film Capote last night (while I was ironing) - it was interesting and Philip Seymour-Hoffman was very convincing in the role, it focused on the writing of the book In Cold Blood.


message 31: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
21. Your Left-Handed Child: Making Things Easy for Left-Handers in a Right-Handed World by Lauren Milsom

One of my daughters is left-handed and is finding writing a bit of struggle and her teacher asked me to practice with her at home - not a successful project so far. I thought perhaps this book would provide some tips on helping her with this. It has but she's still not keen!


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Em, can I ask at what age you were sure that your daughter was left-handed? we think our eldest son is LH but he sometimes confounds us by using his right. I wonder at what point such things become fixed.

My wife is left-handed and she had terrible trouble at school so it's an important topic to her. Myself, I'm more relaxed about it but then again I am right-handed. :)


message 33: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
Hi Peter, how're things with you? I was pretty sure that Jolie was left handed by about 3 or so but she swapped hands throughout pre-school and really only settled entirely on her left hand when she started school at 4.

Although school are understanding as a rule, things like where they sit, if they're bumping elbows with someone else or where the computer mouse is make a difference. One of the problems we've had is that she obscures what she has written so wasn't leaving any spaces, tried tilting the paper for her but I doubt she remembers when I'm not there. I don't mind doing a bit of practice now and then but she doesn't enjoy any of my "fun" ideas!?


message 34: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
22. Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier

A pleasant read, I liked the young characters however the adults felt a little two dimentional by comparison. The setting of London during the politically charged late 18th Century was evocative and lively.


message 35: by abrookingheader (new)

abrookingheader | 16 comments Hello, my daughter is 2.5 years old and she always uses her left hand whether it be eating, scribbling or playing. I share your concern when teaching them to write as badly trained left-handers always hook their hands while holding a pen and both my wife and I are right-handed - so we wouldn't know where to start!


message 36: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
True, and I think during Reception she was left to find her own methodology and only now she's in Y1 and it's clear that she is bright in most areas but can't express herself in writing that she's received some instruction! It's tricky to get her to hold her hand below the line without sounding like a total nag, I also think that the fact she was born Aug 30th and scraped into that year group so she's young and LH probably hasn't helped. Her twin sister is right handed and her writing is better but not great either.


message 37: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
I take it you're a football fan? My husband is a devoted Coventry City (don't laugh) supporter and he's even signed our daughters up for season tickets this year. I notice he only took them once though, I reckon all that running to and fro from the toilets put him off! My football strip recognition skills are total rubbish - a bit like my car recognition skills -is it West Ham!?


message 38: by abrookingheader (new)

abrookingheader | 16 comments Yes it is West Ham and after the season we just had I am in no position to laugh at any team!

There is an article in the Daily Mail today (slow day at work!) saying a scholar thinks left-handed children should be tested orally rather than just in written form but the fact that they had a picture of Barack Obama holding a pen left-handed (...with horrible hooked hand!) so even a Daily Mail reader can understand where the paper stands on the left-hand/right-hand debate.

I am currently practising how to write with my left hand so I can try and help my daughther....but it is not pretty!

*Sorry I must be completely off topic what with football and left-hand!!*


message 39: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
I tried writing with my left hand, I carefully printed out the alphabet and my girls told me it looked like childrens writing!

Also, made the fateful error of asking my husband if I'd guessed your team right and was treated to a full explanation of the term a "Brooking header" - it was slightly more interesting than the one about the off-side rule!

It's ok by me to wonder off topic but to get back on track, how're you getting on with The Book Thief? I loved this book, it was quite possibly my favourite read of last year - I know not everyone has found it as captivating as me though.


message 40: by abrookingheader (last edited May 11, 2010 03:35AM) (new)

abrookingheader | 16 comments I only got to page 78 and then disaster! My bag was stolen in a 'snatch/grab' a la Naples style (boys+moped) last Friday night. So I will never know! One of my colleague enjoyed it but he alluded it to a children's book, which I think is rather unfair as what I have read was well written and the concept refreshing...I may revisit it should I wish to part with £4.99 again.

Currently reading Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer - my librarians choice. The premise is interesting and the first few chapters are well written.


message 41: by Em, Moderator (last edited May 12, 2010 11:09AM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
Just heard Zola got sacked! You weren't joking about a disasterous season then?

Sorry your bag was pinched - hope you didn't lose anything of value. Flashforward does sound interesting, I've seen it come up a few times on GR discussions.

I think I can see where your colleague is coming from, the main characters are kids and much of the book concerns the world from their vantage point and some parts do have a fairy tale quality to them - still for me it's a book that provokes thought and I loved all of the characters, so well written, they've really stayed with me ever since.


message 42: by abrookingheader (new)

abrookingheader | 16 comments I see you have marked One Day by David Nicholls as 'to read' - a wonderful rom-com, I loved the character of Em almost instantaneously....highly recommnend it and will be one of those books you just cannot put down as you want to know how and why the relationship between the mains progress through time.

Let's not talk about West Ham ...far too depressing.


message 43: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
It's ok, we've reached the limit of my football conversation anyway!!

I saw David Nicholls interviewed on The Book Show on Sky Arts and I thought the booked sounded like a story I would enjoy, also the reviews I've seen are excellent so looking forward to reading it. I read that Anne Hathaway is playing Emma in the film they're making.


message 44: by abrookingheader (new)

abrookingheader | 16 comments Yes I read David Nicholls was already adapting the screenplay.

Anne Hathaway hmmm... while a compentent actress and was good in The Devil Wears Prada (Although Emily Blunt stole the scenes when they were on the screen together)...without ruining your enjoyment of the book, I'll just say Anne Hathaway is not how I pictured the character of Emma.


message 45: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
I'll be sure to read before I watch, I was really disconcerted when I read Breakfast at Tiffany's and no matter what the book said I could only imagine Audrey Hepburn!

So would you have cast Emily Blunt in the role of Emma then? Since the character shares my name, I may inadvertetly cast myself as the lead - depends if I like her or not!


message 46: by abrookingheader (new)

abrookingheader | 16 comments I know exactly what you mean! I watched The Reader and then decided to read the novel sometime later ...everytime Hanna had any dialogue, Kate Winslet popped into my head with her voice complete with the psuedo German accent!!

I think the problem with Breakfast at Tiffany's is that it is such a classic film it is very hard to disassociate Audrey Hepburn. I'm sure people have the same problem with The Godfather or A Clockwork Orange.

Not sure who'd be right to play the part of Emma but I think Anne Hathaway seems too 'All American' for me...i.e perfect. But anyway, do read it and maybe come up with your own suggestions.


message 47: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
23. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Feels like this has taken me a long time to read, the first half jumps around so much from character to character and back and forth in time so you really need your wits about you to follow it. Then the second half of the book was really absorbing and became so much easier to read. I think the first half took me three times as long to read as the second!

I'm looking forward to discussing this book at my book group and I'm glad to have read it. I think this book will be one that I will read again in a couple of years, it would be worthy of re-read.


message 48: by Em, Moderator (last edited May 16, 2010 12:06PM) (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
abrookingheader wrote: "I know exactly what you mean! I watched The Reader and then decided to read the novel sometime later ...everytime Hanna had any dialogue, Kate Winslet popped into my head with her voice complete wi..."

Just meandering off topic yet again... have you seen a film called "Rachel Getting Married"? I thought Anne Hathaway was fantastic in it. She plays a fragile young woman who is on the verge of falling apart - very emotional (but I enjoy a good cry) - you may review your opinion on her acting based of her performance.


message 49: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 1900 comments Mod
Confused 'Rachel Getting Married' with 'Margot at the Wedding' (easy mistake to make....)


message 50: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2533 comments Mod
Liz wrote: "Confused 'Rachel Getting Married' with 'Margot at the Wedding' (easy mistake to make....)"

Hey Liz, how're you? Did you mean I've muddled up film titles? It is the sort of thing I might do (the other day I thought I was reading Treasure Island when it was actually Robinson Crusoe!) The film I'm thinking of is definitely called 'Rachel Getting Married', I've never seen the Margot one - is it any good?


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Crimson Petal and the White (other topics)
The Sweet Scent of Blood (other topics)
Michael Tolliver Lives (other topics)
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The Girl with Glass Feet (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Ali Shaw (other topics)
Armistead Maupin (other topics)
Michel Faber (other topics)
Suzanne McLeod (other topics)
Lewis Carroll (other topics)
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