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Chelli (Yorkshire)

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Jenny Jones: My Story
Jenny Jones: My Story
by Jenny Jones
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting life but not compellingly told, 10 Sep 2010
This review is from: Jenny Jones: My Story (Hardcover)
Jenny's life is certainly not dull. From the story of how her parents met in war-torn Europe, her unhappy childhood growing up in Canada with dysfunctional parents, her running away to America at age 11, then touring as a drummer in a series of rock bands, turning stand-up comedian with mixed success, to her becoming a hugely successful talk show host, there was always plenty going on.
Jenny writes very honestly and openly about her life, not afraid to admit all her mistakes, and her story includes tragedy, humour, horror and inspiration in equal measures. The main theme of her book is her extremely difficult relationship with her family, which really made me feel sorry for her, although she doesn`t write as though she expects any sympathy from anyone.
Although the book was an interesting and enjoyable read I didn't find it quite compelling enough and could have put it down at any point without being anxious to find out what would happen next.


Once in a House on Fire
Once in a House on Fire
by Andrea Ashworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly detailed memoir, 28 Aug 2010
The story of a girl growing up in Manchester in the 70's & 80's with a mother addicted to abusive relationships, and the cycle of chaos & misery which that brought with it. The family did emigrate to Canada for a brief but disastrous spell early on in the book, but the rest of the story takes place in one of the roughest areas of Manchester with poverty and violence a part of their daily lives.
Andrea's story is a sad one with her family totally resigned to the destructive cycle of domestic violence that's typical in a lot of homes, but it's also a story full of hope and Andrea never looses her optimistic spirit throughout it all. The actual story isn't one the most captivating I`ve ever read, but it's the amazingly atmospheric, evocative, through a child's eyes, way in which it is told that makes it so brilliant. Andrea has an excellent memory for the details, phrases & attitudes of them times and uses them to really bring the story and its characters to life, and I think that that is the best thing about this book.


The Imam's Daughter
The Imam's Daughter
by Hannah Shah
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant insight into a tragic life within a British Pakistani community, 14 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Imam's Daughter (Paperback)
The horrific story of a British born Muslim girl growing up in a insular Muslim community, subjected not only to the usual lack of rights and threat of forced marriage that come with being a Muslim girl, but also very severe abuse at the hands of her evil Imam father. This is further compounded by the totally ignorant and inefficient way the social services dealt with her when she turned to them for help. But despite the injustice of it all she gives a very fair and level headed view of how things were in her community at that time which I found very interesting.
Well written in an easy to read style, I found this book hard to put down because of the constant chain of events that happened to her throughout and what an interesting insight into the British Pakistani community she gave. Hannah made some excellent points towards the end of the book that will always stay with me, in particular how being too PC and over-sensitive towards Muslims, rather than expressing our true opinions and following our own moral values, actually makes the situation worse.


No More Tomorrows: The Compelling True Story of an Innocent Woman Sentenced to Twenty Years in a Hellhole Bali Prison
No More Tomorrows: The Compelling True Story of an Innocent Woman Sentenced to Twenty Years in a Hellhole Bali Prison
by Kathryn Bonella
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking and intriguing, 15 May 2010
The true story of an Australian girl who goes on holiday to Bali and ends up locked up in a Balinese prison for years for drug smuggling when, despite her claiming to be totally innocent, mass amounts of drugs are found hidden inside her luggage.
I was a real sceptic when I started reading this book, not really believing that something so shocking could happen to somebody who was totally innocent. All the way through I was looking for clues that might suggest any possible reason why she might have made such a stupid mistake as to try and smuggle drugs into Bali, but I found nothing at all and finished the book feeling really sorry for the poor girl whose had nothing but disbelief and bad publicity about the whole issue.
Unfortunately though, Schapelle is not the best story teller. Even with the help a professional co-author the story flits from her interesting accounts of what was happening to her at the time, to unedited diary entries that just repeat her accounts, to her rambling on and fretting about her appearance, which while very honest, seems too trivial to be mentioning considering what was going on around her. But the story is a very shocking and intriguing one, and Schapelle does do a good job of describing how she felt throughout and telling how tough life inside a Balinese prison really is.


Dewey: The Small-town Library-cat Who Touched the World
Dewey: The Small-town Library-cat Who Touched the World
by Vicki Myron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming story, 18 Mar 2010
I doubt you'd even pick this book up if you're not a real cat lover, but if you are you're going to love this heartwarming and fairytale-like story of Dewey's life and become totally smitten with him. But of course it isn't just 300 pages about a cat, this book also tells the story of the small country town of Spencer in Iowa, its people and the ups and downs they've faced over the years.
Written by the head of the library who took care of Dewey all his life, the story is unique and well told throughout. It's maybe a touch over-sentimental in places, but if you love cats you'll understand where Vicki is coming from.


The Kid: A True Story
The Kid: A True Story
by Kevin Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic and thought provoking, 8 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Kid: A True Story (Paperback)
I expected this book to be like a lot of other childhood abuse books I've read, tragic and harrowing from start to finish, but it was different. It's a story of 2 halves: the first is a tale of a childhood of shocking abuse and neglect, and the second a tale of a young man's struggle to break free from the cycle of poverty and abuse and live a normal life, at which he eventually succeeds.
Kevin explains very well how his childhood has affected the way he thinks and reacts to things even now, and I think he has achieved his goal in writing this book -to help others understand how difficult it is for somebody of his background to achieve what they want from life, even when they try as hard as he has.


My Story: Blitz: The Diary of Edie Benson, London 1940 - 1941
My Story: Blitz: The Diary of Edie Benson, London 1940 - 1941
by Vince Cross
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for adult readers too, 16 Feb 2010
Although this book is aimed at teenage readers it's also a very worthwhile & interesting read for adults. I've read a few really good adults books about the Blitz but learnt far more from reading this book because of the way everything is described in clear detail.
Written in the form of a teenage girl's diary you really get a feel for how it would have been to live through them terrifying times in London and what the Londoners had to endure on a daily basis. Edie is a really likable character full of Cockney spirit and I really enjoyed reading about her life through the time of the Blitz.


My Story: The Hunger: The Diary of Phyllis McCormack, Ireland, 1845-1847
My Story: The Hunger: The Diary of Phyllis McCormack, Ireland, 1845-1847
by Carol Drinkwater
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for adult readers too, 12 Feb 2010
Although this book is aimed at teenage readers it's also a very worthwhile and interesting read for adults. I learned a lot about the Irish potato famine from reading this book and really enjoyed the enthralling story that unfolded of Phyllis and her family's struggle to survive.
Written in the form of a teenage girl's diary you really get a feel for how frightening it must have been to live through them harrowing and bleak times.


Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline
Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline
by Charlie Brooker
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars clever and funny, 25 Oct 2009
I really enjoyed this often funny and sometimes hilarious collection of columns written for the Guardian by Charlie Brooker. In them he reviews a wide range of TV programmes and offers his unique disgruntled take on life in general. He comes up with some very clever observations that you're bound to agree with at least some of, and amoung his very amusing and whacky ideas there's actually a few strokes of genius. A very enjoyable book.


Child Of Tibet: The story of Soname's flight to freedom
Child Of Tibet: The story of Soname's flight to freedom
by Soname Yangchen
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique & fascinating, 29 Mar 2009
This is a rare and unusual tale of a Tibetan woman's escape from a life of slavery and oppression under Chinese rule to freedom after a harrowing ordeal crossing the Himalayas on foot.
Soname gives an excellent first hand account of how life is for Tibetans under Chinese rule and clearly explains the Tibetan way of thinking and dealing with things. The part about the actual escape could have been told more captivatingly, but overall this is a fascinating and enjoyable read.


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