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Reviews Written by
Ms. K. J. Waghorn "library fan" (Brighton)

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Back Trouble
Back Trouble
Price: £4.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 28 July 2013
This review is from: Back Trouble (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book very much. I read it very quickly and was engrossed right from page one. It was poignant but also very funny - I did actually laugh out loud - and not many books make me do that. I could easily picture the characters, the situations and emotions and really did care about Philip and Kate, the warring parents and the family dynamics right through to the end.

I have read "Learning to Swim" and "The Editor's Wife" and although this book is much shorter, it is every bit as observant and enjoyable.

Highly recommended!

Border Crossing: On the Road from Peking to Paris
Border Crossing: On the Road from Peking to Paris
by Rosie Thomas
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent non fiction travel book, 21 July 2013
This is a fairly long book which ordinary would take me quite a while to read, but like others have found, once started, it is very hard to put this one down. I completed it in just over a week and like all good books, was sorry when it came to an end.

If you've ever wanted to travel to some hard-to-reach destinations, this is a wonderful way to experience what it's like, but without the discomfort, privations, misery or expense that Rosie Thomas endured. Granted, you won't get the cameraderie and all the enjoyment of the more exotic places either but that's the price you pay for just about the best travel book there is [and perhaps the only book about the Peking to Paris motor rally].

This is a six week test of endurance, not just for the vintage and classic motors but for all the drivers and navigators too. They suffer mechanical failures of a catastrophic nature, health problems, climate changes from the freezing plateau of Tibet and Himalayas to the unrelenting desert heat of Iran. The people they meet range from friendly and welcoming to obviously hostile.

This is Rosie Thomas's only non-fiction work and not only can I recommend it but her novels are well worth reading too.

Paw Tracks in the Moonlight
Paw Tracks in the Moonlight
by Denis O'Connor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a lovely story, 12 July 2013
I enjoyed this book about the tiny Maine Coon, Toby Jug, and his owner, Denis. It was easy to read and easy to understand how Dennis and Toby formed such a strong bond. I don't know if such a story would be possible today with the increase in population and destruction of many natural habitats so it is worth reading for the evocation of natural beauty in Northumberland less than fifty years ago.

But Toby Jug is the star of this story and my only criticism of the book is that there aren't any photos of him. The charming paintings are lovely but a photo or two would have been a real bonus.

by Rosie Thomas
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, 8 July 2013
This review is from: White (Paperback)
Like another reviewer, I had just read Rosie Thomas's novel "Iris and Ruby" set in Cairo, and this one, set in Nepal, proved equally enthralling.
I have found with Rosie Thomas's books that I don't have to really like the characters to enjoy her stories, as the writing is so good and the scene-setting so realistic. I did grow to like and care about Finch, Sam and Al [and most of the others] and although this is a romance it's by no means straightforward and you don't really know what will happen in the end.
What captivates me with Ms. Thomas's books is the total immersion in another place. I have no desire to climb Everest but she has described what it's like so well that I almost feel I have been there and shared the enthusiasm, the pain, the bitter cold, exhaustion and misery of the mountaineers.
My only reservation relates to the speed of Finch's recovery. I am pretty certain it would have been a much longer process both physically and mentally.
But that aside, this is a terrific book and I highly recommend it.

Iris and Ruby
Iris and Ruby
by Rosie Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Good story, well told, 25 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Iris and Ruby (Paperback)
This is only the second Rosie Thomas book I've read and I enjoyed it as much as the first [The Sun at Midnight]. The characters are well-rounded and if not always likeable they are realistically portrayed. Both stories are very well told - the wartime romance between 22 year old Iris and Xan and the modern-day story of Ruby's arrival in Cairo and what happens next. Both are easy to follow, even when they run in parallel.

I've never been to Cairo but the descriptions of it during 1941-2 and now are so vivid that it is easy to get a mental picture of every scene.

Rosie Thomas writes so well, capturing the essence of every situation and emotion without being too wordy. Her dialogue is excellent and keeps the story flowing.

Highly recommended.

by Dan James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars clever storytelling, but......, 24 May 2013
This review is from: Unsinkable (Paperback)
I borrowed this book from the library after reading this writer's genealogical detective stories and really enjoying them. But unfortunately I never felt too enthusiastic about this novel. I liked the characters of Arthur Beck and Martha Heaton but because I had already read quite a lot about the Titanic and its passengers, the sinking and inquiry, it often seemed too descriptive - giving a lot of detail about how to get from A to B on the ship for example, so it felt a bit like reading another non fiction book.

It was very clever to weave two real life events into one novel but not knowing what happened to Peter the Painter in real life meant that I was very disappointed with the ending.

On a practical level, I found the many typographical errors quite distracting. I"d have expected them to be removed before publication.

I am glad I read it, but disappointed that I didn't enjoy it more.

The Shocking Miss Emerald
The Shocking Miss Emerald
Price: £6.00

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely fabulous, 18 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already have "Deleted Scenes" and it's hardly been out of my CD player since I bought it, so I had been looking forward to "The Shocking Miss Emerald" for quite a while. I've had it less than a week and played it about 20 times already.

It is an excellent sequel to "Deleted Scenes" and contains some likely singles. "Tangled Up" is obviously already well known and since the BBC radio two TV concert, so is "Pack up the Louie" and "Liquid Lunch". But I also think "Black Valentine" and "Paris" are wonderful songs - very moody and quite slow but so evocative of time and place.

Mention has already been made in one or two other reviews of the band and I too think that all members deserve credit for their contribution, but especially the guitarist [Wieger Hoogendorp] who has a lovely solo in "Liquid Lunch". There is more orchestration on the album and there is a definite film theme idea going on, which starts with the Intro and continues throughout. My only criticism [and it's small] is that I feel there should be a closing coda to match the intro.

As with "Deleted Scenes" all tracks are very rhythmic and many have a Latin dance beat which helps to give the album an exotic, romantic feeling, which coupled with the 1940s film score flavour and songs like "Pack up the Louie" really make for fantastic escapism.

What a breath of fresh air Caro Emerald and her band have proved to be!

The Abortionist's Daughter
The Abortionist's Daughter
by Elisabeth Hyde
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Read something else, 21 Mar. 2013
I got half way through this book and last night put it down and thought "I don't like this for three reasons, so I'm giving it up."
1. There are too many wasted words. Half way into the story and basically, there's no progress with the murder investigation beyond the initial autopsy . It's all padding and scene-setting.
2. It's revoltingly crude and unnecessarily graphic in a few places.
3. There are lots of American words and phrases that mean nothing to me. American books should come with a glossary for those of us who don't speak their strange language.
I read Crazy as Chocolate and it was better than this.

I gave it two stars because it's not bad enough for one star. If it had been, I'd have given up after a few pages and not bothered to review it.

Ghost of Flight 401
Ghost of Flight 401
by John Fuller
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a book of two halves, 12 Feb. 2013
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, I found the second half of the book not as interesting as the first half.

The first half, dealing with the lead-up, causes of and actual crash of the Tristar aircraft were gripping and it was hard to put the book down. The section covering the rescue of the passengers was also very good, but lacked in-depth stories from survivors which would have added more to the overall human element of the event.

The second half, dealing with the apparitions of two of the flight crew who died to other airline staff on other Tristars was too wordy. I agree with a previous reviewer who said that this book was a book about writing a book. I wondered if he deliberately used this technique because he didn't know how else to present the material. Unfortunately, the author goes to such great pains to present an unbiased account of whether or not there can be life after death, that he seems to lose momentum and in labouring his points the book feels over-written and unnecesarily academic towards the end.

When I was avidly reading the first half, I thought I would keep the book to read again but I've since changed my mind. It was good, but not that good.

The Day My Life Changed
The Day My Life Changed
by Carmel Reilly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth reading, 2 Feb. 2013
Carmel Reilly has compiled a very interesting selection of stories from people whose lives have changed in all sorts of ways - following events such as illness, financial trouble, family difficulties, chance conversations, accidents and so on.

It didn't take long to read as it was difficult to put this book down. However I have one criticism and that is the poor standard of editing or proof-reading. There were lots of errors which detracted from the enjoyment of reading. For example, one lady spoke about the day when her baby was born and in one sentence the baby was referred to as her and him! That's so sloppy it's irritating.

If this book is ever reissued, I do hope it's thoroughly proof-read beforehand.

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