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The Sea Garden
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Blair rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Nagasaki by Éric Faye
Nagasaki
by Éric Faye
read in April, 2014
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In this brief and charming novella, a meteorologist working in Nagasaki becomes convinced that someone - or something - is invading his home, making almost imperceptible changes to his possessions. He sets up a CCTV system to observe his kitchen whil...more
Blair rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein
The Moth Diaries
by Rachel Klein
read in April, 2014
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Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

The Moth Diaries came into my life serendipitously. I saw someone mentioning it on Twitter - not even to me, just as part of a conversation that caught my attention (I wish I could remember who it was...more
Blair rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Blindfold by Siri Hustvedt
The Blindfold
by Siri Hustvedt
read in April, 2014
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Review to follow. Actually, I'm probably going to write a combined review of this and Siri Hustvedt's most recent novel, The Blazing World, as there are so many parallels between the two.
Blair rated a book 3 of 5 stars
The Girl in 6E by Alessandra Torre
The Girl in 6E
by Alessandra Torre (Goodreads Author)
read in April, 2014
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Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

My reactions to this book went through a number of stages:
1 Read the blurb on NetGalley. Think it sounds interesting. Request it.
2. Google it. Find it was self-published (as, um, On Me In Me Dead Benea...more
Blair rated a book 2 of 5 stars
The Quick by Lauren Owen
The Quick
by Lauren Owen
read in April, 2014
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For me, The Quick was a book which suffered under the weight of expectation and hype. Every single review I've read of it - on Goodreads, on blogs, and in the press - has highlighted the fact that it has this amazing unexpected twist. And I suppose t...more
Blair rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Three by Sarah Lotz
The Three
by Sarah Lotz
read in March, 2014
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The Three is an impossible-to-put down, terrifying and mind-bending novel from Sarah Lotz, a prolific author (under numerous pseudonyms as well as her own name) and screenwriter who nevertheless hadn't come to my attention until I heard about this bo...more
Blair rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales by Kirsty Logan
The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales
by Kirsty Logan (Goodreads Author)
read in March, 2014
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Kirsty Logan's debut collection of short stories combines magic, fantasy and sexuality, all related in lush, descriptive prose. Across twenty stories, the author uses a wide range of narrative techniques, settings and time periods; some of the tales...more
Blair rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Ties That Bind by Erin Kelly
The Ties That Bind
by Erin Kelly
read in March, 2014
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Erin Kelly is so great at what she does: her books never let me down. Whenever I pick up a new novel from this author - and I always get my hands on them as soon as possible - I know I'm going to get an absorbing and exciting story that I can really...more
Blair rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Before You Die by Samantha Hayes
Before You Die
by Samantha Hayes (Goodreads Author)
read in March, 2014
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This book was... less than I expected. And that doesn't say as much about Before You Die as it does about its predecessor, the unexpectedly great Until You're Mine. That was a book I expected to be a run-of-the-mill, forgettable crime novel, and it w...more
Blair rated a book 3 of 5 stars
The Face at the Window by Louise Welsh
The Face at the Window: Three Stories
by Louise Welsh (Goodreads Author)
read in March, 2014
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While researching my review of Louise Welsh's A Lovely Way To Burn, I came across this (presumably Kindle-only) volume of three short stories. The promise of Welsh writing about ghostly goings-on, and the price of 99p, were impossible to resist.

Each...more
More of Blair's books…
Elbert Hubbard
“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.”
Elbert Hubbard

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“An anxiety with no object or purpose in the present, and in the future nothing but endless sacrifice, by means of which he would attain nothing - that was what his days on earth held in store for him... What good was life to him? What prospects did he have? What did he have to strive for? Was he to live merely in order to exist? But a thousand times before he had been ready to give up his existence for an idea, for a hope, even for an imagining. Existence on its own had never been enough for him; he had always wanted more than that. Perhaps it was merely the strength of his own desires that made him believe he was a person to whom more was allowed than others.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Charlie Brooker
“Whenever I tell people I'm a misanthrope they react as though that's a bad thing, the idiots. I live in London, for God's sake. Have you walked down Oxford Street recently? Misanthropy's the only thing that gets you through it. It's not a personality flaw, it's a skill.

It's nothing to do with sheer numbers. Move me to a remote cottage in the Hebrides and I'd learn to despise the postman, even if he only visited once a year. I can't abide other people, with their stink and their noise and their irritating ringtones. Bill Hicks called the human race 'a virus with shoes', and if you ask me he was being unduly hard on viruses; I'd consider a career in serial killing if the pay wasn't so bad.”
Charlie Brooker, Screen Burn

Zoë Heller
“Being alone is not the most awful thing in the world. You visit your museums and cultivate your interests and remind yourself how lucky you are not to be one of those spindly Sudanese children with flies beading their mouths. You make out To Do lists - reorganise linen cupboard, learn two sonnets. You dole out little treats to yourself - slices of ice-cream cake, concerts at Wigmore Hall. And then, every once in a while, you wake up and gaze out of the window at another bloody daybreak, and think, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery.

People like Sheba think that they know what it's like to be lonely. They cast their minds back to the time they broke up with a boyfriend in 1975 and endured a whole month before meeting someone new. Or the week they spent in a Bavarian steel town when they were fifteen years old, visiting their greasy-haired German pen pal and discovering that her hand-writing was the best thing about her. But about the drip drip of long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. They don't know what it is to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the laundrette. Or to sit in a darkened flat on Halloween night, because you can't bear to expose your bleak evening to a crowd of jeering trick-or-treaters. Or to have the librarian smile pityingly and say, ‘Goodness, you're a quick reader!’ when you bring back seven books, read from cover to cover, a week after taking them out. They don't know what it is to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand on your shoulder sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin. I have sat on park benches and trains and schoolroom chairs, feeling the great store of unused, objectless love sitting in my belly like a stone until I was sure I would cry out and fall, flailing, to the ground. About all of this, Sheba and her like have no clue.”
Zoë Heller, What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal]

2013 releases (Nonfiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Apr 09, 2013 02:10AM
Description: My notes on the 2013 releases I have read, and those I'm looking forward to. Hopefully to be turned into a blog post later.
The best and worst books of 2012 (Nonfiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Dec 30, 2012 05:08PM
Description: My favourites and least favourites from everything I read in 2012.
Ultimate favourites list (Nonfiction)
1 chapters   —   updated May 15, 2012 01:30AM
Description: My favourite books of all time.
The best and worst books of 2011 (Nonfiction)
1 chapters   —   updated May 14, 2012 07:17AM
Description: My favourites from 2011's reading - and what I hated.
The Deadline (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Oct 30, 2011 02:09PM
Description: This is a submission I made to a writing competition which (obviously, ha) didn't win. The first paragraph, in bold, was already written, and the challenge was to finish off the first chapter within 1000 words. Disclaimer: by no means do I think this is great - in fact it makes me cringe a little bit, and I don't like that first paragraph to begin with. But since I spent time writing it, it seems a shame to let it just moulder away in my outbox for the rest of time.
More of Blair’s writing…
21875 UK Book Club — 3227 members — last activity 5 hours, 50 min ago
This is a book group for GoodReads users in the UK, but members from other countries are welcome too so long as all posts are made in English. The gro...more
43519 readers advisory for all — 2539 members — last activity 13 hours, 26 min ago
life's too short to read crappy books. this is why readers' advisory exists. feel free to join if you are looking for "a book like____" or "a book tha...more
1 Goodreads Feedback — 14892 members — last activity 15 minutes ago
This is a place to give feedback about Goodreads. Feature ideas, bugs, or any other suggestion for improvement. The Goodreads staff monitors this grou...more
721 Aussie Readers — 3147 members — last activity 21 minutes ago
A group for all Australian Goodreads members (and those interested in Australia), no matter what they read!
111863 For Books' Sake — 257 members — last activity Feb 20, 2014 08:58AM
For Books' Sake is the online community featuring books by and for independent women. This group is for For Books' Sake readers to come together to ta...more
More of Blair’s groups…
Emily May
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karen
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More friends…
The God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe White Tiger by Aravind AdigaMidnight's Children by Salman RushdieThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Best Indian Books
464 books — 1,332 voters


2011 Reading Challenge
Blair
Blair has completed her goal of reading 100 books for the 2011 Reading Challenge!
 
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2012 Reading Challenge
Blair
Blair has completed her goal of reading 75 books for the 2012 Reading Challenge!
 
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2013 Reading Challenge
Blair
Blair has completed her goal of reading 75 books for the 2013 Reading Challenge!
 
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