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Jeanette Levin "janlevin" (N. London, U.K.)
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Iron Gustav: A Berlin Family Chronicle (Penguin Translated Texts)
Iron Gustav: A Berlin Family Chronicle (Penguin Translated Texts)
by Hans Fallada
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great and informative read!! ..., 1 Feb. 2015
600 page book - I'm only up to 170 - an outstanding book! I know much about WW2, grew up in that period, but very little about WW1. His writing about the family and its relationships is so revealing and well-written. Reading about post-WW1 in Germany is an eye-opener to me. I will complete my review when I complete the reading of the story.
Well, I have now completed the story and it is an outstanding read. It was one of those books whereby I slowed down my reading and paced myself - I just did not wish the book to end. The characters were so real, no romantisizing about the relationships - these were harsh times and seem to have produced harsh people trying to survive. I should like to review the ending, but I am not one of those 'spoilers' who tell the whole story in their review - READ IT!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2015 12:27 PM GMT


SWAN 8 LITRE CATERING URN
SWAN 8 LITRE CATERING URN
Offered by Pricelover Deals
Price: £51.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, but serves its purpose., 23 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: SWAN 8 LITRE CATERING URN
The main 2 faults with this urn is that it needs de-scaling so often and the electric lead is permanently attached to the urn, making it very difficult to take to the sink to empty. Mos other urns I have owned have leads which plug in and out of the urn, making the urn much more easy to handle.


Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum
by Katherine Boo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing and Informative Read, 23 Aug. 2014
An amazing book! I was unable to put it down. Yes, it is very very sad and depressing and I am sad that some reviewers found it 'boring' and were full of criticism. Katherine Boo has put a great deal of work and love into this fine book. I have been to India and whilst I have not seen the slums, I have seen the children begging on the streets and it is very upsetting - but there is so much to tell about why all this happens - the corruption, the abuse, the unfairness of it all and how the poor try so hard to get out of their abject poverty and Katherine Boo has told us so much of this. If some people found it an 'uncomfortable' read - it's o.k. to be uncomfortable sometimes and learn more about what goes on in our world.


Gone Girl
Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - apart from the ending., 21 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
As another reviewer has written, the book was excellent, apart from the peculiar ending. One minute I was going really slowly 'cos I couldn't bear it to end. Then - the ending was suddenly there like a 'fart' in a thunderstorm! Don't let it put you off though, the good read was 461 pages and the ending only one and one quarter pages and only the last 3 sentences were irrelevant and spoiled it. You could always write your own ending! I think if Hitchcock was making the film he would have changed the ending to a spectacular mind-boggling one! But Hitch is long GONE himself and I implore the film maker to SURPRISE US!


In a Country of Mothers
In a Country of Mothers
by A. M. Homes
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 2 Nov. 2013
I am not going to tell you about the story, some of my fellow reviewers may have already spoiled it by doing just that! Apologies to those who like to know the whole story - I do not!
I thought this book was quite gripping and exciting. The therapists' behaviour was quite outrageous - all that we are taught not to do. Having said that, I thought it was most helpful to discover just how damaging it can be when therapists start acting outside the boundaries. A good lesson to all, including myself!


The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty Year Search
The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty Year Search
Price: £4.40

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking Read, 15 Oct. 2013
I am amazed that only 3 people have read/reviewed this book. I am half-way through it for the second time, having read it several years ago and having loaned it to a number of friends. Someone mentioned to me the other day - "Grow where you are planted" - does that mean 'make the most of your life, wherever it leads?' Easy to say, harder to do. I think that it might have been better for Mike if he had had details of his earlier years, when he was old enough to ask the questions. Some adopted children have a need to know and I think it is their right. Adoptive parents and authorities should not have the right to hide the origins of their children. My first husband only discovered that he was adopted at the age of 17 when he was called up to do his National Service in 1946 and, upon production of his 'short form' birth certificate, was asked for his full certificate. He asked his mother for this and it was at this moment that his adoptive parents had to tell him that he was adopted. The shock that this gave him affected the rest of his life, although 25 years later we found both his birth mother and his birth father and learned all about his beginnings. This was really helpful and enabled him to put the past into perspective and value his adoptive parents.

Amazon and readers please note, I wrote this review a couple of years ago and it has disappeared from the Amazon Reviews of this book.


The Mistress's Daughter: A Memoir
The Mistress's Daughter: A Memoir
by A. M. Homes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual little gem of a book., 9 Oct. 2013
I loved this book! The subject is dear to my heart, having been through the joy and heartbreak of 'finding' or 'being found', with my 1st husband, who only discovered, at the age of 17, that he was an adopted child. He had trotted off, in response to his National Service call-up, birth certificate in hand, as requested, only to be sent home to get his 'full' birth certificate. That was when his parents had to tell him that he was adopted, as a young baby, in 1930. The shock, I believe, arrested his emotional development. He didn't tell me that he was adopted until we had been married for 13 years, with three children. Together with my help, we 'found his birth mother. He too, like A.M. Homes, had a 'needy' mother; his father would have liked to have married his pregnant girl friend, but was sent packing by the family, as was the baby.

I think, because of the above, I have always been immensely interested in this subject and therefore devoured this little book, so well-written and full of real life and what it means to be adopted, to be forced to give up your baby, to be 'found'. I loved all exploration of Homes's ancestors and thoroughly understood her need to know her roots. I admired how she gently avoided bringing her loving parents into the book but, when she began her research, their background too was explored - she wanted to know about anyone who was connected to her, whether genetically or not.

I can understand, however, that not everyone would find this subject of interest and others who might find it particularly distressing.

Thank you Ms A. M. Homes for sharing your story.


Insulated tea/coffee pot White 36oz 1.0 litre - Unbreakable polycarbonate lining.
Insulated tea/coffee pot White 36oz 1.0 litre - Unbreakable polycarbonate lining.
Offered by Bar Equipment Direct
Price: £22.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Limited use, 6 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The teapot is great if used immediately. But when someone is ready for their 2nd cup, the tea is much cooler. Unlike the large vacuum jug, it does not hold the heat because the tea is exposed to the air.


The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1)
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1)
Price: £3.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very interesting., 6 Oct. 2013
I am sorry to write that I am struggling through this book. It has so many good reviews, but I am in the minority. I wonder whether the 5* reviews are those of the now-grown-up Harry Potter readers? I had read almost 200 pages when some interesting reading began and has gone on for quite a number of pages, but it is starting to get boring again. I do have empathy for detective Strike - let's hope his next case benefits from the criticism of this one.

Continuing . . . Well, I've read a bit more - not much - but I have read two more books meanwhile - The Mistress's Daughter - A.M. Homes (Great) and half-way through Warsaw Anagrams - interesting - review both later. I do intend to finish the Cuckoo's Calling, if possible. I have empathy for the detective, Strike, and would like to see him get a little happiness.

I am struggling on - I don't know whether I shall get to the end, although I'm almost there and it has been a tedious read. Sadly, apart from Strike himself, I find all the characters totally uninteresting and therefore couldn't care less about them. I am sorry to say that I haven't the slightest interest in whether she killed herself or was killed.


The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So far, not so good!, 11 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Casual Vacancy (Paperback)
I am on page 131. I loved the opening few pages, from then on it was all downhill. Too many characters, too many nicknames, I'm not sure whether to go back to the beginning, whilst it is still in sight, to make a list of all the names and relationships, before I try to continue reading, armed with my list, or whether to just give up and get on with my Book Club choice which needs to be purchased and read by mid-September! I'll return to let you know what I did!

I haven't picked the book for 2 months. I don't think I could memorize all those characters and their nicknames. I shall keep it for when I'm desperate!


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