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Diagon (UK)

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Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life
Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life
by Gretchen Rubin
Edition: Paperback

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gold star (or 5) to Gretchen Rubin, 21 Sep 2012
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A fantastic follow up to 'The Happiness Project'. I loved the first book for its easy to swallow advice, humour and relatability (if that is a word). I've lost count of the times I've read different passages, nodding my head in recognition in spite of the geographical (and probably economic) differences between myself and Rubin. I've seen a few slightly negative reviews along the lines that the second book doesn't break new ground. Well, perhaps in terms of overall themes and theories it doesn't. But I think to say that would be to miss the point. The foundations were laid by the first book and have been built upon in the second. You see, this stuff is a bit like a diet book. You're really inspired while you are reading but after a week or two passes you can start to lose focus and motivation. This second book picks you up and sets you off again. I sincerely hope there will be a third book.

The appeal of both books lay in Rubin's voice which is candid, humourous and engaging. Whether intentional or not, the streets of Manhattan waft straight from the page into my small town in England. So to do Rubin and her family. They feel like characters in a book that you just want to hear more and more about.

I'd never buy a self-help book about learning how to increase my happiness but I do love reading about real peoples lives, particularly when they are working towards a particular goal whatever that may be. Any, yes, there is plenty of advice and helpful ideas, some of which I have put into practice with good effect.

I found Rubin's writing utterly gorgeous. Gold stars to you, Gretchen!


The Flirt
The Flirt
by Kathleen Tessaro
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, 27 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Flirt (Paperback)
This book is hilarious. The bit with the post-it notes? One of the funniest things I have ever read. Don't pick this book up for realism, pick it up for sheer entertainment.


One Day
One Day
by David Nicholls
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.95

83 of 98 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mystifyingly popular, 27 Aug 2011
This review is from: One Day (Paperback)
I am totally perplexed by the popularity of this book. I've read the same story so many times before - boy meets girl. Boy is good looking and rich - girl is not. They get together in the end, blah blah blah. And the 'twist'? What a cop out. The last sentence might as well have been 'And then he woke up and it was all just a dream'. Clearly A LOT of people like this book. I was gobsmacked to see quite how many big names have given it rave reviews. I don't know why. If the author had been a woman it would have been written off as just another bit of chick lit.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 11, 2012 1:46 PM GMT


What French Women Know: About Love, Sex and Other Matters of Heart and Mind
What French Women Know: About Love, Sex and Other Matters of Heart and Mind
by Debra Ollivier
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in places, offensive in others, 26 Aug 2011
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I must agree with the other reviewer of this book - the cultural assumptions in this book are both annoying and patronising. Based on Ollivier's portraits of stereotypical American and French women I really don't see how British women could be lumped in with the Americans (who she makes out to be unstylish, uptight and gauche). Talking in these types of stereotypes, as we are, British women are actually more of a blend of the two. Is Ollivier aware that Britain is part of Europe?! She appears to have drawn a bold, cultural line with France and the rest of Europe on one side and every body else on the other. Apparently, European women are chic, intellectual, discerning, discreet to the point of coldness and are suspicious of other women. On the other side of the line are American and British women who don't know how to dress, can't invite ayone over without giving a guided tour of their whole house and live overly sanitised, dull sounding lives driven by targets and OCD. Oh, and we all eat crap, plastic food because we don't know any better. I don't know if American women are really like this (none of the ones I've known have been) and I've never known a french woman well so I can't comment but I really don't see how the British could fit into either category.

I'm generally loathe to leave a bad review for anyone, never mind an author whose other work I like so much. Perhaps it is why this is such a disappointment. 'Entre Nous' is interesting and funny (if you can ignore the cultural assumptions which are still there but thankfully less prevalent)and I have read and enjoyed it several times. This one drags on a bit, though I enjoyed it more on my second attempt. I've given this book 3 stars as there are many great 'bits', it is just that the 'whole' is tainted by Ollivier's need to highlight the marvels of the French by having a swing at everyone else. I suppose I am just offended at having unflattering and inaccurate generalisations made about British women (and thus about myself and the wonderful women I know) by someone who has clearly spent very little time here at all!


Neris and India's Idiot-proof Diet
Neris and India's Idiot-proof Diet
by India Knight
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surely the only diet book you'll ever need, 3 Feb 2007
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I really appreciated the way that India and Neris have provided a section for the dieter to read, including recipies and diary entries, for each day of the crucial first fortnight. This makes it so different (and so much more motivational) than any diet book I have come across. Usually a diet book gives you 'the rules' and then leaves you to plod away alone and (after a few reads) uninspired. Here, you get something new to think about and spur you on each day which really helps. I bought this book because I wanted to try something new and, frankly, I would buy anything that India Knight wrote. Genuinely a five star read. Would be great if they did a website....hint, hint.


The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book, 2 May 2006
This review is from: The Lovely Bones (Paperback)
One of the most beautifully crafted books I have read in years. From the opening line, the narrative is refreshing and powerful and the plot original and gripping. Don't expect to get anything done until you have finished reading it.


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