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Alison's Diary: The Nappy Years
Alison's Diary: The Nappy Years
by Alison Craig
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells it like it is, while maintaining a sense of humour and perspective, 6 April 2007
The one book I've read that really tells it like is, without being depressing or on the verge of hysteria (a lot of books dealing with the newness of motherhood, have a certain `blackness' to them, as if written in the throes of post-natal depression - this type of writing definitely has its place, but isn't necessarily what a new mother needs when she feels overwhelmed by the simple fact that she needs to take a shower)

In fact, this book tells it like a really good and funny friend would, without the self-pity often encountered in books on the same subject: the highs and lows are all there, but the lows are kept in perspective (i.e. it doesn't make you think "what the **** have I gotten myself into here???") and the general feeling of the book is that a sense of humour - and, ideally, a good support system - will get you through anything the first few months of motherhood throw at you.

This is my favourite book to give to new mommmies, as it is a great, laugh-out-loud funny book, and most have who enjoyed it as much as I did.

Just one note: I'd recommend reading it after giving birth.


The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.79

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and charming, 1 April 2007
This is the story of Henry, an -often unwilling- time traveler, and his relationship with the love of his life, Claire, back and forth across time.

It is a moving and original story, of a love that was far from ideal, but was simply destined to be. It is essentially a romantic novel, but it's so much more than that.

I found its `disjointed' writing style a bit distracting at times, though it does serve the story well...if you're looking for a light holiday / beach read, I'd suggest you choose a different book (as you wouldn't be doing it justice) and save this one for a straight-through read


Come Again
Come Again
by Josie Lloyd
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Come Together / Come Again: A better class of Romance, 1 April 2007
This review is from: Come Again (Paperback)
The first Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees I read was `We are Family', which I thought was amazing, so I immediately ordered `Come Together' and `Come Again' and read them back-to-back, hoping for more of the same.

However, these are nothing like `We are Family', primarily because these are essentially romantic novels, albeit with more interesting characters, but also because there was none of the "darkness" that made `We are Family' such a stunning read.

That's not to say that these are not enjoyable reads (`Come Together' more so, in my opinion) just in a very different vein.

`Come together' is funny, tender and very `real', maintaining the fine balance between being romantic and being soppy without ever becoming unrealistic. Furthermore, and unusually for a romantic novel, it has characters you can both relate to and care about.

`Come Again' is a sort of follow-on to `Come Together' in that it features many of the same characters, but they seem much more hastily put together, with far less depth to each in this one, so that I found it hard to become attached to any of them... in fact, they were only just likeable. Its saving grace is that, for a novel of its genre, it is definitely not predictable, and it made me smile on quite a few occasions.


Come Together
Come Together
by Josie Lloyd
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Come Together / Come Again: A better class of Romance, 1 April 2007
This review is from: Come Together (Paperback)
The first Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees I read was `We are Family', which I thought was amazing, so I immediately ordered `Come Together' and `Come Again' and read them back-to-back, hoping for more of the same.

However, these are nothing like `We are Family', primarily because these are essentially romantic novels, albeit with more interesting characters, but also because there was none of the "darkness" that made `We are Family' such a stunning read.

That's not to say that these are not enjoyable reads (`Come Together' more so, in my opinion) just in a very different vein.

`Come together' is funny, tender and very `real', maintaining the fine balance between being romantic and being soppy without ever becoming unrealistic. Furthermore, and unusually for a romantic novel, it has characters you can both relate to and care about.

`Come Again' is a sort of follow-on to `Come Together' in that it features many of the same characters, but they seem much more hastily put together, with far less depth to each in this one, so that I found it hard to become attached to any of them... in fact, they were only just likeable. Its saving grace is that, for a novel of its genre, it is definitely not predictable, and it made me smile on quite a few occasions.


Dead Famous
Dead Famous
by Ben Elton
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comedy meets social critique, 1 April 2007
This review is from: Dead Famous (Paperback)
I'm one of those people who think you can't go far wrong with Ben Elton - his sarcasm and biting wit never fail to hit the spot.

This time, he takes on the Big Brother / reality TV phenomenon and really rips into it, creating not only an excellent social commentary but a brilliant murder mystery as well.

A page turner and a very funny read


The Blind Assassin
The Blind Assassin
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.09

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again, one helluva ride!, 1 April 2007
This review is from: The Blind Assassin (Paperback)
Starting a Margaret Atwood novel is always an adventure... you can't even begin to guess where she'll take you on via what route, but you know you'll love both the journey and the final destination.

This one is no different. You won't necessarily like the characters, but you'll understand (or at least think you understand) what drives them, and the story that unfolds is unexpected, unpredictable, and a joy to read.

What more could you ask for?


A Woman Of No Importance: A tenderly observed, ruthlessly honest and hilariously funny memoir about the joys and horrors of motherhood
A Woman Of No Importance: A tenderly observed, ruthlessly honest and hilariously funny memoir about the joys and horrors of motherhood
by Kate Konopicky
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.41

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Book of no Importance, 1 April 2007
Let's just say that in the week between reading this book and writing this review, I've forgotten whether I even liked it or not.

I haven't dog-eared any pages to re-read, and didn't put it in the `worth sharing: pass it on to a friend' pile, but I don't remember hating it either so I can only assume it was mediocre... not a good thing in my book. I gather from the blurb it's about learning to deal with the fact that you'll never be a perfect mother, but if that's the point it's trying to illustrate, I think you'd be much better off with `Confessions of a Slacker Mom' or 'Alison's Diary: The Nappy Years', which are both funny and considerably more memorable


Confessions of a Slacker Wife
Confessions of a Slacker Wife
by Muffy Mead-Ferro
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars You go girl!, 1 April 2007
Following on from 'Confessions of a Slacker Mom', one of the most sensible parenting books I've read, this is the book about consciously NOT doing it all.

Coming from an obviously intelligent and relatively self-confident working woman, mom and wife, this is an interesting and well backed-up take on why our expectations regarding cleanliness, being the perfect hostess / wife / mother, etc. have escalated out of all proportion, and gives good reasons for taking the pressure to live up to these unrealistic and over-rated standards off ourselves.

Read it, and see if the attitude fits. If it does, you'll have done yourself a huge favour. If not, you can always pass it on to someone who will appreciate it.


Charlotte Gray
Charlotte Gray
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but..., 1 April 2007
This review is from: Charlotte Gray (Paperback)
You can only go so wrong with Sebastian Faulks, as his books are always beautifully written, touching, intense and melancholy.

However, this one was just a little too epic for me i.e. it could have done with being a little bit shorter and a little less convoluted.

Maybe to some extent it was the setting (World War 2, Occupied France) that didn't do it for me, but I didn't really lose myself in, or find it impossible to tear myself away from, this novel as I had with some of Faulks' other work.

If you've read his other work, by all means do read this too, but if you're looking for an introduction to Faulks, I'd go with `Birdsong' or `On Green Dolphin Street' first.


Apples for Jam: Recipes for Life
Apples for Jam: Recipes for Life
by Tessa Kiros
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated, 27 Mar 2007
If you want a "just the facts, ma'am" type of cookbook this is not for you. However, beyond the good range of simple but inspiring recipes, it was the stories and pictures that are mixed in that really made this book for me. (NB: I didn't mind the colour-coding of the recipes as there is an alphabetical index in the back)

I will definitely be adding more of Tessa Kiros in my cookbook collection.


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