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Devotion
Devotion
by Ros Barber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The wonderful Oneworld Publications sent me this gorgeous looking book - ..., 27 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Devotion (Hardcover)
April is angry. Dr Finlay Logan is broken.

Only nineteen, April is an elective mute, accused of a religiously motivated atrocity. Logan, a borderline suicidal criminal psychologist, must assess her sanity in a world where - ten years after the death of Richard Dawkins - moves have been made to classify religious fundamentalism as a form of mental illness. Asking fundamental questions about the nature of reality, Barber skillfully explores the balance between the emotional and rational sides of human experience.

The wonderful Oneworld Publications sent me this gorgeous looking book - check them out, they have a fantastic range of books!

The story itself is certainly interesting, and the blurb pulled me in instantly as it was unlike anything I had read before. It cleverly dances on the line between religion and faith and psychology and reasoning - two arguments I find extremely interesting. It plays with the ideas of destiny and chance, and how these can often shape how our lives play out.

The book is split in to 6 parts, each with numerous sub chapters that relate to different parts of the story:

Prologue

Atheists

1. Biology

Left | Hole | Salmon | Reality | Surface | That | Contract | Lost | Found | Accident | Lodger | Trees | Gone | Beans | Song

2. Psychology

Alarm | Scrambled | Peace | Panini | Beastly | Epiphany | Acts | Stalk | Observation | Static | Interpretations | Wisdoms | Determined | Noodles | Compassion | Professional | Semi-transparent

3a. Chemistry

Reflected | Clinical | Turkey | Things | Bonds | Medication | Without | Off | Frozen | Floored | Deer | Perfume | Mad | Remembered | Breakers

3b. Physics

Through | Particular | Peculiar | Appreciation | Presence | April | Meditation | Revelations | Headaches | Ghost | Alert | Court | Achilles

Epilogue

Opening

The novel is set in the near future (so pop culture references are still quite relevant to the reader), with London still in a state of fear over terrorism, but as the story plays out we realise that the fundamentalist Christians are really the ones to be fearful of. We're pulled into a post-Dawkins world, with many of his views and arguments being brought to the forefront of the story and challenging the reader continuously about what the real answer to life is.

The story starts with Dr. Finlay Logan, the novels main protagonist, and an insight to how he got to the position he is in now and also introduces the reader to how his daughter, Flora, came to be ("His daughter's conception was a thoughtless act.").

Logan is a psychologist who is still struggling to come to terms with his daughters death (Spoiler alert!!) and who has been tasked with providing a witness testimony for the case of April Smith, a young woman who is connected to a religiously motivated mass murder of a bus of children (chilling, I know!).

April is on a determined path, during her time in the asylum she resides in, to punish atheists and this is seen in her rantings and also in her scrawling on the wall of her room.

We are introduced to Dr. Gabrielle Salmon, a charming and warm scientist who has been working on some very interesting consciousness studies in which she describes God as being a feeling that can be induced.

I won't give too much more away as you should give it a read and find out for yourself.

On reaching the epilogue, I was initially confused as I felt I had read this part already, but interestingly, Ros has included the beginning of the story at the end to help round off the story and assist the reader in making sense of what has happened. It's very cleverly done, and I found it brought a lot of things into perspective for me.

I enjoyed this book and the various different psychological elements to it really sucked me in and left me with food for thought, that's for sure. However, I did come away feeling like the novel overall wasn't as enlightening as I thought it might be, it actually left me feeling a little disheartened at the thought of a near-future world that we could find ourselves in (for this reason, my review rating might be seen as a little unfair, I understand). There were some really fantastic points in the book, but for me I feel it could have pushed itself just a little further to have been a really incredible story.

That being said, I still enjoyed reading it, and would certainly recommend it if you're after something a little more thought-provoking on your commute to work.


Station Eleven
Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The end of the world, made sexy., 28 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Station Eleven (Hardcover)
I was sent a copy of Station Eleven by the wonderful bods over at Pan Macmillan, and as soon as I saw the cover, I instantly fell in love. The colours, the imagery, it was just so striking.

I quickly got stuck into the book, and I was hooked from the first page. The writing was extremely atmospheric, painting a dark and sombre picture of the world, unlike anything I have ever known.

The introduction to each of the characters was also utterly captivating, and following them on each of their journeys kept my attention throughout. My heartstrings were pulled, I cried, I spread the book flat out and screamed at it. The writing pulled me deep into the heart of the story as it played out beautifully across the pages.

I’m a fan of post-apocalyptic stories, war stories, end of the world tales. But Station Eleven was unlike anything I have read before. It was clever, and it had balls. There were no bombs, no explosions, none of the typical apocalyptic tropes I have read many times before. The over-arching human race destroyer was something much more terrifying, a strain of the flu. Now this may not sound too frightening, but reading Station Eleven at this moment in time, with news of viruses and infections all over our televisions, it makes the story feel a little too close to home and certainly chilled me to my core.

Station Eleven is deeply unsettling, but a book I can’t recommend enough. The story is crafted beautifully, and it’s clear to see that Mandel has researched her subject matter flawlessly.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish, and have already donated both of my copies to friends who I had raved to about it. If you read one book this year, make sure it’s this one.


The Nightmare Place
The Nightmare Place
Price: £4.49

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect edge-of-your-seat crime thriller, 23 Jun. 2014
The Nightmare Place is a perfect edge-of-your seat crime thriller that keeps you pinned to each page. Steve Mosby has perfected the art of catching you completely off-guard with descriptions and events that are completely turned on their head, you are constantly kept guessing.

The story follows DI Zoe Dolan on her hunt to catch and unmask the "creeper" – a stalker who has been breaking into women’s homes and attacking them, sometimes with fatal consequences. The creeper is leaving no pattern and no clues for the police to work out how he is getting into houses and no idea as to who might be next, leading Zoe to ramp up her investigation to try and prevent the next attack.

The Nightmare Place is a fast-paced page turner that throws you right into the center of the story, leading your mind to race ahead to try and work out how the story will unravel. But no matter how much you try, it will always throw up a surprise or two that will put you back in your place.

This is a great book for any crime and thriller fans and is a strong story that you can really sink your teeth into.


Premier Housewares Saucepan with Glass Lid - 20 cm - Stainless Steel
Premier Housewares Saucepan with Glass Lid - 20 cm - Stainless Steel
Price: £13.84

1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Quality, 17 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as a tester to see if it would work on my new induction hob.

While the saucepan itself does the job, and aesthetically looks nice - it is really not put together very well.
After making some food yesterday, I moved the saucepan from the hob to the sink to drain out the water, and the handle bent - I was worried the entire thing was going to come apart.

Needless to say, I won't be purchasing anymore of these, and will be looking elsewhere for some that are of a better quality.


Chump Change (P.S.)
Chump Change (P.S.)
by Dan Fante
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.67

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, Dark and Funny, 10 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Chump Change (P.S.) (Paperback)
If you're not familiar with Dan Fante's previous work, or other writers with a similar gritty style, you may initially be shocked by this book - but it's one to stick with.

It is a fairly quick read, but every page is dripping in alcohol-charged misery and ramblings of the main character, Bruno, who has just learnt his dad is dying.
This grabs you from the very beginning and you really feel for Bruno and his poor little furry companion as they travel around in Bruno's brother's car they have stolen.

Dark, melancholy, humorous - you will not be disappointed. This is a fantastic book.


The Virgin Cure
The Virgin Cure
by Ami McKay
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Average at best, 10 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Virgin Cure (Paperback)
I had very high hopes for this book and was fairly disappointed when I actually finished it.

It had a really nice idea and character foundation that I don't feel was really built on enough, and it took a while for anything to really happen.
The book is very slow, and everything seems to happen at the very end, where you expect a triumphant ending, but this really isn't the case, and if anything the ending is very weak and predictable.

Whilst this might appeal to others, it really didn't float my boat which was a shame, I was really hoping this would be great.


An Idiot Abroad - Series 3 [Blu-ray]
An Idiot Abroad - Series 3 [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Karl Pilkington
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £7.65

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete waste of money, 10 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Whilst I enjoyed watching Karl and Warwick on their travels, and seeing them getting on each other's nerves. When the credits began rolling after only 3 episodes, I thought I was seeing things.
I was disgusted that this was so short, and had I known; I certainly wouldn't have purchased this - a complete waste of money.

I'm a huge Ricky Gervais fan, but I just felt this was a real money-grabbing way to suck fans in - I expected a lot more than what was delivered, very disappointing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 14, 2013 8:58 AM GMT


Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson
Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson
by Mitch Albom
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly positive story on such a sad topic., 13 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was first introduced to this book a few weeks ago when a friend of mine bought it on the off-chance during a trip he was taking. I bought the book, partly to see what the fuss was about, and partly because I needed something new to read.

I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Morrie Schwartz, the books namesake, is by no means a superhero, a famous performer or iconic explorer. He was a humble professor who was adored by every student who took his classes, Mitch Albom especially.

Although very near the beginning, we find out how the book is going to subsequently end, this by no means ruins the reading experience. If anything, the more you read, the less you want the book to end.

It was by chance Mitch saw Ted Koppel interviewing Morrie Schwartz, and it was here he learnt that his old, much loved professor was dying.

The main body of the story sees Mitch attempting to make up for lost time by meeting with Morrie every Tuesday. These meetings continue right up until Morrie's unfortunate death.

The story opens up as Mitch recounts his weekly meetings with Morrie, and the different topic they discuss each week. Each topic acts as a life lesson for some of our most trivial worries such as relationships and work. With each weekly discussion, it forces the reader to face up to things that they would otherwise think were the end of the world. By reading these from an elder's point of view, our minds are opened to realise that the little things are really not worth all the worry.

You really feel for Mitch and his own struggles when it comes to death; but Tuesdays with Morrie serves as a very practical lesson in this denial we all share.

Throughout the book Morrie expresses great wisdom whilst faced with his impending demise, this acts as an enlightening buffer against Mitch's resistance to face death and his own emotions. This book really stands on its own for me, and has proved to be a very eye-opening and thought-provoking. Whilst not being very long, this book is thorough in conveying its messaging and life lessons, without coming across as preachy and in the style of a self-help book.

If you're looking for a book that really resonates with you, and completely changes your outlook on life, look no further.

Immerse yourself in this touching story and let Morrie share his lasting gift with you.


How To Make Millions Without A Degree
How To Make Millions Without A Degree
Price: £3.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that proves, if you have drive you too can achieve anything!, 4 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I met Simon when he was running his Twitter pitching, and I was instantly impressed with his business head, utter determination, drive, and overall extremely friendly and pleasant personality.
I was recently recommended his book on Amazon, and didn't hesitate to download it to my Kindle - I am half way through, and I can't seem to put it down! It's extremely engaging, and is very easy to follow - there is no business jargon, everything Simon talks about is very relatable.

It's very interesting learning about how he got to where he is today, and I would highly recommend this book to any budding entrepreneurs.

Leanne


Looking For Alaska
Looking For Alaska
by John Green
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful, 10 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Looking For Alaska (Paperback)
I had heard of this book a while ago, but as it isn't the sort of book I typically go for - I was reluctant to buy it.

I eventually gave in and decided I should try and read something new for a change instead of my usual collection, and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised.

You warm immediately to every character in the book, especially Alaska. It is beautifully written and I found it hard to put this book down.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone I know, and would urge anyone reading this to give it a go, you won't be disappointed.


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