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littlemissme (UK)

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Two Lives
Two Lives
by Vikram Seth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 22 Aug 2006
This review is from: Two Lives (Paperback)
Vikram Seth turns the narrative skills so evident in "A Suitable Boy" on his own family, and the result is this compelling and engaging biography. His Indian great-uncle and German Jewish great-aunt lived through a turbulent period in the history of Europe and the world, and Seth manages to make the large-scale elements - such as the battle of Monte Cassino, the fate of the Jews in Berlin and the wider Reich - and the personal details of Shanti and Henny's own stories - his career as a dentist, her correspondence with her German friends, their marriage - equally vivid. The stories are not sentimentalised, either - while Seth's great affection for Shanti and Henny is obvious, he presents the reader with a remarkably clear-eyed view of their flaws and failings as well. The whole thing presents a fresh look at a much-chronicled era.


Wife in the Fast Lane
Wife in the Fast Lane
by Karen Quinn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.46

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Adequate at best, 22 Aug 2006
This review is from: Wife in the Fast Lane (Paperback)
I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, "The Ivy Chronicles", so when I saw that Karen Quinn had a new book out I didn't think twice about buying it. I'd like my money back now, please. Ivy was everything Christy is not - engaging, believable, funny, likeable. The plot of this novel clunks badly, leaping from incident to incident with no real narrative thread, and the ending is a big fat two-dimensional cliche which seems to have taken an express trip away from Planet Reality. (Goats? In a Manhattan apartment? You what?) There were moments when I found myself wondering if the two books had really been written by the same woman. Quinn's first outing was above the common run of pink-covered chicklit, but "Wife in the Fast Lane" belongs firmly in the slush pile with the rest. My advice: don't bother.


A Total Waste Of Make-Up
A Total Waste Of Make-Up
by Kim Gruenenfelder
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not, however, a waste of reading time, 12 April 2006
Letting Cosmo's 'Book of the Month' page dictate my reading is not something I do very much, but the published extract from this particular specimen sent me straight out to buy it in my lunch hour. And I didn't regret that at all. It's funny, touching and well-written. Despite her LA life, well beyond most readers' frames of reference, Charlie is likeable and sympathetic, and you find yourself really caring about what happens to her. I'd happily recommend this to friends, and I'll be keeping an eye out for more from Kim Gruenenfelder.


The Cat That Could Open the Fridge: A Curmudgeon's Guide to Christmas Round Robin Letters
The Cat That Could Open the Fridge: A Curmudgeon's Guide to Christmas Round Robin Letters
by Simon Hoggart
Edition: Hardcover

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh-Out-Loud Hilarious, 10 Dec 2004
I made a complete fool of myself in a London bookshop by reading this book: I laughed so hard I almost fell over. If, like me, you're infuriated every year by the fact that people really seem to think that the results of the dog's hernia surgery and Chloe's Grade 8 contrabassoon will interest their friends, you may fall over too. If you are a round-robiner, on the other hand, this might shame you into giving up or at least being less economical with the truth. Either way, it's a very good buy.


The Money Diet
The Money Diet
by Martin Lewis
Edition: Paperback

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy It Now!, 16 Aug 2004
This review is from: The Money Diet (Paperback)
There are lots of money books out there, but in my mind this one rules the genre. It's full of really helpful tips on saving serious amounts of cash with everything covered from CDs to pensions. It's well laid out, and you can read it straight through or find the hint you're looking for quickly and easily. It's in lucid, clear language, and as a final bonus is also quite an entertaining read! Buy it. It's bound to save you what it cost.


Shopaholic Abroad
Shopaholic Abroad
by Sophie Kinsella
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ick. Ick. Ick., 16 Aug 2004
This review is from: Shopaholic Abroad (Paperback)
I like a silly girly book as much as the next woman, but thirty-odd pages was all I could take of this. It's derivative, poorly plotted candy-floss with characters (especially Becky herself) who manage an amazing double whammy of being both as two-dimensional as wet cardboard and completely unsympathetic. It's also badly written. If you can live with this, then go ahead, but don't say you weren't warned. Otherwise, go and read something decent instead.


The Harper's Quine
The Harper's Quine
by Pat McIntosh
Edition: Hardcover

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly original, 4 Jun 2004
This review is from: The Harper's Quine (Hardcover)
Those familiar with the genre of mediaeval crime may be thinking "Not another one!" However, Pat McIntosh is thankfully not the latest in a long line of painfully poor imitators of Ellis Peters. The setting (15th-century Glasgow) is original, and is beautifully brought to life; the characters are three-dimensional (and actually develop); the plot is tightly crafted (and will keep you guessing); and (best of all for a pedant like me), McIntosh's research has obviously been rigorous: there are none of the grating anachronisms which so often plague historical fiction, and which I for one find an instant book-ruiner. All in all a fantastic debut, and I hope there will be more!


Chloe
Chloe
by Freya North
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On of my favourites, 19 Feb 2003
This review is from: Chloe (Paperback)
I have read all of Freya North's books, and still think that this is the best. The basic premise is unlike any other book I have ever come across, and North exploits its potential to the full. Chloe travels round the United Kingdom following instructions from her late godmother, and finds a home, a task and a man in each of the four countries, all of them very different. The book is light-hearted and quick moving, and leaves the reader with the feeling that there is a perfect place for everybody... or perhaps even one for every season!


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