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janien (hampshire, UK)

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Circular Knitting Workshop
Circular Knitting Workshop
by Margaret Radcliffe
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.55

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with information on circular knitting, 17 April 2012
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This book is not a book of patterns and is the first knitting book that has made me "think" about creating your own patterns from any yarn and for any size. For me, only knitting 5 years or so - this is so refreshing. in the uk so many knitters learn on straight needles and flat pieces - this book breaks the mould for those of us who feel stuck in a flat knit rut and long to escape moutains of sewing seams. There is also a great section on converting flat patterns to circular patterns and the detail within the book is incredible. It is as it says on the cover, a worksop. Projects are varied taking you from a basic scarf, through hats, bags, pot holders, socks, gloves, jumpers, cardigans....and teaching how to create yourself using a choice of methods. Well worth the money.

If you're a knitter on Ravelry too - the author margaret radcliffe has set up a group to help with any queries and for general discussions re the projects. What a brucey bonus eh!


Pure
Pure
by Andrew Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected......, 13 Mar 2012
This review is from: Pure (Paperback)
I expected more, so much more from this historical fiction novel about the exhumation of body parts from a Paris cemetry on hygiene grounds. Set immediately before the French Revolution, this is a subject area I've been interested in for some time - since visiting the Parisien Catacombs twice now and in my opinion - One of the best places and must see lesser known sights in the French Capital.

So I perhaps was expecting too much. The story started well enough and I was initially gripped however it seemed to tail out towards the end and I was left thinking the claims on the cover had been left as somewhat lacking.

The book won the Costa Novel of the year for 2011; I selected it as part of the Waterstones Bookclub - a must read recommended book. Mmm, not really THAT good, actually.

In short its enjoyable enough however I didn't feel the author gave sufficent attention to the harshness of the time and specifically the mass exhumation task being undertaken. Dr Guillotin was a minor character and there is a somewhat cliqued reference to heads! (Yawn!)

A great potential subject area, I'm disappointed it wasn't explored more.


House Mother Normal: A Geriatric Comedy
House Mother Normal: A Geriatric Comedy
by B Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.47

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm surprised this book isn't better known, 15 Jan 2012
Now the great thing about the 1001 list is that there are some absolute gems within it that otherwise i would never had read. This is one of those. An exceptional and unusual read about eight old people in residential care - one evening experience told from each perspective of varying degrees of age, dementia, sensory differences etc. You get a flicker from each in their own way as to what is happening that evening - the final chapter is the same evening told from their carers perspective - and is all what it seems? Shocking and incredibly. makes you think about getting older.

This is a gem of a book. How can something this good not be mainstream?

I don't give many reviews full marks - but this has definately made the grade!


The Swimming Pool Library
The Swimming Pool Library
by Alan Hollinghurst
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Author but does it need the volume of graphic sex?, 2 Jan 2012
The Swimming Pool library is set in 1983 pre AIDS London and focusses on a highly sexed gay young rich (not particularly likeable) man who doesn't have much to do other than scoring, largely with total strangers and who is then given a job by an elderly peer to write his biography, with surprising revelations.

Honestly it was good to start with in its inevitable shocking sense but just got so tedius very quickly. Surely the main character could find other things to do for the majority of the day other than seeking or having sex with lovers and total strangers including in porn cinemas, public toilets, etc. etc.

But there was a reasonable story behind the soft porn and the book is well written by the author so overall i gave it a good rating and worth reading. Just less of the graphical sex would have been the icing on this books cake.


Casino Royale (Penguin Modern Classics)
Casino Royale (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Ian Fleming
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars A quick OK read - not as action packed as i hoped, 2 Jan 2012
Well this is the first Bond book and the first I have read. Unfortunately Hollywood have done so a good job the book appeared somewhat lame in comparison. An Ok read but I won't be rushing off to read any more in the series.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Penguin Modern Classics)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Ken Kesey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding read, 7 Aug 2011
This novel stands the test of time and is shockingly brilliant. Ken Kelsey apparently didn't like that Hollywood told the movie version from the perspective of another character and I can see the reason why. I was gripped for three days reading this and had to remind myself it was written in the 1960's. The fishing trip depiction is hilarious. Overall as good and as humorous (though tragic) as A Catcher in the Rye.


Sharpe's Tiger: Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Seringapatam, 1799 [Sharpe 1]
Sharpe's Tiger: Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Seringapatam, 1799 [Sharpe 1]
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic introduction to great british hero richard sharpe, 30 May 2011
The siege of Seringapatam, India 1799. The introduction of Bernard Cornwell's great British Hero Richard Sharpe.

Now I never watched the TV dramatisation of this series. The book is so entertaining and gripping. Humorous and engaging. I loved this introduction to Sharpe and can't wait to see where his army career takes him next. Only 20 books left in the series to read - what a damn shame lol


Sepulchre
Sepulchre
by Kate Mosse
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars as enjoyable as labyrinth, 20 May 2011
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This review is from: Sepulchre (Paperback)
The Author's previous (to this) book Labyrinth won the first Richard and Judy bookclub award and it lauched her writing career big time. I enjoyed that and this one as much. A comfortable historical read. Somewhat long at 700+ pages, well researched and entertaining throughout. It doesn't pull any major league punches but I enjoyed the dark fiction set in 1880's and modern Paris / Southern France. The ending was a tad "(yawn) really - I never expected that!" however i wouldn't let that stop me recommending this author to others who may not have tried her.


Misery
Misery
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best classic King novels, 1 Jan 2011
This review is from: Misery (Paperback)
This was my first re read since reading after first publication. Since initial reading I must have watched the Kathy Bates movie about 5 times and I used to think the movie represented the book pretty well.

On re reading however I think the book is much better than the (great) film. This is King at his early best. The dark subtle humour within is brilliant and Annie Wilkes is a terrifying character. There are many differences in the book to the film.

Famous author Paul Sheldon is found in the snow by Annie Wilkes after his car crashes and he loses consciousness. She is his biggest (and deranged) fan. Kept captive and secret from the rest of the world in her remote home, he is forced to bring his historical fiction heroine Misery Chastain back from the death and rewrite yet another Misery story. This is the only way he may survive...

As with many books - this is a better read if you manage to do so before watching the film.

Classic King and one of my favourites.


Dark Matter: A Ghost Story
Dark Matter: A Ghost Story
by Michelle Paver
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best ghost story I have read for a long time, 27 Dec 2010
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Occasionally a new book comes along that demands, indeed deserves a full read in one session. Dark Matter is one of those books.

"Out of nowhere, for no reason, I was afraid. My skin prickled. My heart thudded in my throat. My body knew before I did that I was not alone.

Thirty yards away on the rocks, something moved."

Jack is a 28 year old lonely londoner who accepts a job as a radio operator for an Arctic 1930's field biological expedition.

The group of four is whittled to one and Jack is alone in a cabin within the arctic wilderness. Alone for weeks with husky dogs for company....and what or who else....

Choose where to read this book carefully. Read it alone on a winter's night, snuggled by the fire with nothing but a dog for company....and to reassure that those bumps and groans you hear are but a figment of your imagination. Feel your heart beating in your chest and be prepared to get scared, really scared....

Dark Matter is a ghost story. The best I have read for a long time.


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