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L. Hogan (Ireland)
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The Olive Season: By The Author of the Bestselling The Olive Farm: Amour, a New Life and Olives Too
The Olive Season: By The Author of the Bestselling The Olive Farm: Amour, a New Life and Olives Too
by Carol Drinkwater
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit scattered but worth perservering, 3 July 2007
Ms Drinkwater does a great job of painting a wonderful picture of life in the south of France. She has a lovely turn of phrase that at first was almost too rich for my taste. About a third of the way through the book, I was wonderng if I should bother finishing it, so sweet and cloying were the descriptions. Im glad I perservered though. As the book progresses you get more storyline and less description. Having read the book while heavily pregnant, I could sympathise with Ms Drinkwaters own tragedy, but I agree with another reviewer who found her inability to act without Quisha and Rene annoying at times.

This is a light read for anyone who enjoys "The good life abroad" type books. There is some lovely imagery that will stay with you long after you have put the book down. Perfect for a holiday read or for bringing a bit of sunshine to a dull day.


The Comet Sweeper: Caroline Herschel's Astronomical Ambition
The Comet Sweeper: Caroline Herschel's Astronomical Ambition
by Claire Brock
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but a bit lacking in science, 2 May 2007
This edition is just lovely, beautifully bound with a great cover. its a pleasure to hold and carry around. The story of Caroline Hereschel's life is certainly an interesting one. It was so varied and anyone with an interest in the history of science cannot fail to be drawn into her struggle for recognition.

Perhaps because I read the story through 21st century eyes, I found her constant subjugation of her own ambitions frustrating. Why didnt she scream and shout and stamp her foot to get the attention and time she deserved? The story is as much a comment on the times she lived in, as it is a history of her life. Reading other books of the period it is often easy to forget how stiffling life was for a young woman, expecially one with any talent and it does Ms Hereschel credit that she managed to over come the restrictions of both her class and her culture to become so well recognised.

My only complaint about the book was that the writing was a bit dry. I get the feeling that it was adapted from somes ones university thesis or from an academic paper, which is surprising as the author has previously won awards for her science writing. That said, the writing is very clear and there is no over whelming scientific detail (maybe that is what, as a scientist, I missed!). I would have liked to have learnt more about the science Ms Hereschel did and its contribution to what was going on in science at the time.

An enjoyable if slightly single faceted book, but definetly one that will look lovely on your book shelf!


Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood
Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood
by Anne Enright
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.02

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An author I could really relate to, 2 April 2007
This is the best book Ive read about pregnancy and motherhood. I liked the "dispatches from the front line" style, giving the sense of how disjointed life becomes when you have a new baby. I was really able to relate to the author and often found myself nodding in agreement with her sentiments. I often feel like I am inhabited by a little stranger, an alien. I found this book to be a great antidote to both the pink and fluffy "mother hood is amazing" and to the "warts and bodily fluids" humourous books out there. I felt that her writing was beautiful, sparse and clear, yet with warm humour. Some images were so vivid. I would reccomend this book to you if you have had enough of the Pink and Fluffy pregnancy books, or, if like me, you arent madly maternal. Its definetly a book I'll read and enjoy again


The Wedding Officer
The Wedding Officer
by Anthony Capella
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.92

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely romance with a bit of tasty food too!, 27 Mar 2007
This review is from: The Wedding Officer (Paperback)
In parts, this is a lovely light read; the story of the lovers who get together despite themselves is one told again and again. It is the setting: Naples just after it has been liberated from the Nazis and the circumstances that set this novel apart. The main characters are beautifully drawn and you get a real sense of place and time from many of the details in the book. The food is of course lovingly described and there is enough comedy to make you laugh and smile. Many of the secondary characters are quite cartoonish and one dimensional: the evil mafioso who uses his position to blackmail our heroine, the barman who knows everything that is going on, the prostitute with the heart of gold. But this doesnt take away from the story at all.

The book has a dark edge to it too. How could any book set during war not have? While the author doesnt dwell on the war, it is ever present, as are the injustices and atrocites comitied during times of war by both sides. Apparently many of the scenarios used by the author come from real memoirs and diaries of soliders stationed in Naples in the mid fourties and this certainly addds to the credibility of some of the more hare-brained schemes for defeating the enemy that crop up!

If you like romance, food or Italy this this is definetly a book you will enjoy


Endymion Spring
Endymion Spring
by Matthew Skelton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.14

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea lost in bad writing, 16 Mar 2007
This review is from: Endymion Spring (Paperback)
This is an interesting story and I loved the idea of a book of knowledge made from dragon skin. Unfortunately, the great idea is let down in this over-written and under-edited story. The author uses five sentences where one would do and still, the characters are two dimensional. I felt no empathy or even sympathy with the characters. I have come to expect a lot more from writers of young adult and early teen fiction than this slightly insipid offering. I dont know if it is the author's first book. It certainly reads like it is. Hopefully, he will improve with experience because he has some great ideas


The Food Of Love
The Food Of Love
by Anthony Capella
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glorious retelling of Cyrano De Bergrac, 12 Mar 2007
This review is from: The Food Of Love (Paperback)
This is a beautiful retelling of the Cyrano De Bergerac story where two men fall for the same girl and the more accomplished one helps his more handsome friend woo the luck lady. Instead of words these boys use food and wow the food is amazing. This is a book for all the senses. I loved the descriptions of Rome. Ive only been there once, very briefly but this book made me want to go back. The traditional Roman cuisine didnt appeal (tripe and offal) but the descriptions of how the barristia fine tunes his coffee machine to make the strongest cup of coffee in Rome were amoung my favourite passages in the book. This is a lovely light hearted tale and I would reccommend it to all lovers of food, coffee Italy and slightly quirky romance!


The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth (Rough Guides Reference Titles)
The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth (Rough Guides Reference Titles)
by Kaz Cooke
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun but get the facts too, 6 Mar 2007
This book is light hearted and irreverent and made me laugh out loud several times. As long as you alreadyhave a more serious and indepth book to refer to, this one will make a great addition. The illustrations are great and I could really relate to a lot of the diary bits. The information is very much geared to UK readers but its hard to find a book that has any information about the irish market at all.

I woulndt use it as my primary reference during my pregnancy but its great fun and makes a great gift for anyone who is pregnant!


The Gypsy Madonna
The Gypsy Madonna
by Santa Montefiore
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plodding and slow, 26 Feb 2007
This review is from: The Gypsy Madonna (Paperback)
I hardly ever fail to finish a book but The Gypsy Madonna brought me close. I thought it would be a light fluffy read for my holidays but I was bored within the first few chapters. I kept going in the hope that htings would improve but the pacing never picked up and the main characters just became more and more annoying. The only saving grace for this book were the minor characters, such as the staff and guests at the hotel where much of the story plays out. The main characters were stiff and one dimensional. If you are looking for something like Joanne Harris' earlier books then dont look here!


The Interpretation of Murder
The Interpretation of Murder
by Jed Rubenfeld
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich and complex murder mystery, 12 Feb 2007
I dont know a lot about Freud's theories, so this book was as much an education in physcoanalyais as it was an interestng murder mystery. Fact and fiction and cleverly and seamlessly interwoven and turn of the century is New York is brilliantly realised. Although this book is heavier going, it made me think of Caleb Carr's "The Alienist", so rich is the detailed picture of New York.

This is a gruesome story though, and I would only reccomend it for the not-too-squeemish reader, especially if you know nothing about Freud's thories, as this was the most shocking element for me! It's a book that will suck you in early on, so dont pick it up unless you have lots of time to spare, as you wont want to put it down.


Your Pregnancy Bible: The Experts' Guide to the Nine Months of Pregnancy and the First Weeks of Parenthood
Your Pregnancy Bible: The Experts' Guide to the Nine Months of Pregnancy and the First Weeks of Parenthood
by Anne Deans
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very useful and comprehensive, 27 Dec 2006
Yep! This has been a great reference. I keep it by my bed and dip in occasionally. Im not sure its the type of book you read cover to cover, but its great to have easy access to the answers to the more common questions that arise in pregnancy, especially for a first timer like me. The advice is in no way patronising and so much of it is common sense. As I am in ireland much of the material about ante natal care doesnt apply, but its general enough to give you an idea of what to expect. Definetly reccomended for all first time mums and theres even a chapter for first time dads too.


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