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J. Walton "emeraldmystery" (UK)
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The Book of Negroes
The Book of Negroes
by Lawrence Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but upsetting., 28 May 2010
This review is from: The Book of Negroes (Paperback)
I really appreciated this book and am very glad I read it but to say I enjoyed it would not be true as it is heart-rending and at times hard to read. The book follows the life of a woman captured in Africa and sold into slavery in America and her subsequent battle to keep herself and her children alive. This book moved me to tears on several occasions. It was very well written, very enlightening in so many ways and bearing in mind the subject, easy to relate to even though none of us have been slaves. It is heart-breaking and I shall not forget this book.


The Mistress Of Spices
The Mistress Of Spices
by Chitra Divakaruni
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful, 21 April 2010
This review is from: The Mistress Of Spices (Paperback)
I was really dissapointed with this book - it was so badly written in many respects. The use of punctuation was so bad. Call me old fashioned but I do like to see question marks after questions and these were absent so often. During speach a character would relate a conversation but with no speech marks within the sentence to denote someone else speaking. There was so much awful grammar. The story was pretty bad too and as magical realism goes there is much better out there for expample Like Water for Chocolate or books by the author Gabrielle Garcia Marquez. To me the story was shakey and weak and dragged on and on and in the end I almost gave up but plodded on but wished I hadn't.


The Dark Side of Love
The Dark Side of Love
by Rafik Schami
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £9.99

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!, 11 April 2010
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I have just finished this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it is a very long book it kept you interested and it was a page turner. I loved the way that the main story was interspersed by almost short stories in themselves which really captured the characters and atmosphere of Damascus at that time. Sometimes I would wonder how everything would come together but it did beautifully. I noticed on one of the previous reviewers did not like the amount of sex in the book. Whilst I probably would not give this book to my 80 year old mother in law, I did not mind it at all - in a way it is refreshing as sex is a part of life (although some of it in the book was a tad unusual to say the least) and other cultures are more open than our own in discussing it or writing about it. A magical book which I could see myself revisiting in a couple of years.


The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh Mysteries)
The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh Mysteries)
by P D James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of holes., 28 Mar. 2010
I was really dissapointed with this book especially as I have enjoyed PD James on the whole. It makes me cross when there are errors. It shall not be giving anything away when I explain that the patient was killed during the night following her operation but was not discovered until the morning. Every post-operative patient would be checked at the very least four hourly and so not to discover the patient until the morning is ridiculous. There was another character who worked in this clinic where the murder took place who had, to say the least, a murkey past and had previoulsy worked in a nursing home. Her identity has been protected so no one at the clinic or the nursing home knew of her past. Anyone working in such environments would have to have a CRB check and given the history of the character would never have been employed in such environments. I also felt that there were too many loose ends but maybe that was because by the time I got to the end I had lost the will to try and tie them all up.


A Tale Of Love And Darkness
A Tale Of Love And Darkness
by Amos Oz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting from an historical perspective, 23 Nov. 2009
Much had been written in previous reviews on this book and in some ways it is hard to add anything substantial, however for me it was a very interesting read as I have read huge amounts on the history of Israel/Palestine but nothing with such an in depth look into the pyche of some of the first of the Jewish diaspora to settle in the land of Israel. The book revealed a dichotamy between the yearning of the new settlers for their European homelands and their yearning for a new homeland in the face of mounting anti-semitism, their almost love-hate relationship with the new country and the affects of this on their lives. The book, along with many others on the subject goes some way to explain the pyche of the Israelis now. It was interesting too to note that the author did not emerge from his upbringing with the same understanding as his family and their peers regarding the state of Israel and the effect its creation had on its neighbours. On the whole the book was beautifully and beguilingly written but there was quite a bit of repetition - some of which may have been to add to the atmospherics of the book but some just seems like poor editing (some was word for word). There were also (as another reviewer remarked) lots of lists which in the end I sort of skimmed over as these were repeated too. These I found irritating. This was a heart wrenching and emotionally difficult book to read as it made me think about the individual lives of those early settlers rather than looking at them as a whole who, along with the Zionist politcal leaders, brought about the creation of the state of Israel.


VTech Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera (Pink)
VTech Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera (Pink)
Offered by AOT (VAT registered)
Price: £98.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A great success., 16 Nov. 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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My daughter loves this camera and it has given her hours of pleasure (she got it when she was nearly 7 and she is nearly 8 now) and the pleasure has been enduring and has not worn off. She has taken hundreds of pictures with it. The only problem is that it is very heavy on batteries - so much so that I invested in a battery charger and rechargable batteries which has made all the difference.


City of Thieves
City of Thieves
by David Benioff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent adventure., 16 Nov. 2009
This review is from: City of Thieves (Paperback)
On balance I enjoyed this book quite a lot although it was not without faults - one being this; chickens (unless a modern breed) do not tend to lay very much at all in the depths of winter due to low light levels unless they are kept under lights (which I doubt if they did in Russia in war time), so the plot seemed a bit implausible but it did keep me wondering if they would find any eggs (I shall leave that to you to find out). Apart from that it was a good adventure story, funny, action packed and moving.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2009 4:52 PM GMT


The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to cherish, 27 Sept. 2009
I loved this book so much. It gave me the feeling that I wanted to curl up and hold it to me (when I get this feeling it means that I shall keep the book and not give it to a charity shop like so many that I read, even the good ones). I thought the two narrators were superb - the intellectual concierge in an up-market Paris residence and the highly intellegent 12 year old girl who was as self-absorbed as any girl on the verge of teenage years, who lived there. The development of the story had me spellbound and so did the language. The descriptions of the residents and the goings on at the mansion appartments were hilarious. This is a thought provoking, beautifully written novel to which I have no hesitation in giving 5 stars.


A Fraction Of The Whole
A Fraction Of The Whole
by Steve Toltz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars What a debut!, 31 Aug. 2009
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I think that many of the reviews that have described the story line have got it about right so I won't go into it again. I really enjoyed this book. I bought it on the back of the 4 and 5 star reviews and I was was not disapointed at all. There are moments when the writing is literally jaw dropping in it's incitefulness of human folly. The characters although flawed were strangely loveable and I became completely sucked into the story. I know the book was written in three parts but that did not detract at all in my opinion, in fact had it not been set in that way it would not have been so easy to read. The reason why I have given it 4 starts rather than 5 was because there was the odd weakness but they could be forgiven in such an amazing debut novel.


The Secret Scripture
The Secret Scripture
by Sebastian Barry
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An average book with a very poor ending, 25 Aug. 2009
This review is from: The Secret Scripture (Paperback)
I did not find this book a great read, an okay one I suppose but the good style of writting did not make up for the lacklustre plot and poor ending. There were indications about half way through that shouted what the ending would be and so I was not surprised, however when the book did end it was with a limp that thoroughly let down the rest of the novel. I felt cheated as the ending could have been made so much better but instead I felt that it had not been worth reading the novel at all. If you like good and cleaver, well thought out endings this is not for you.


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