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Lecari (UK)

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Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment
Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment
by Bryan Talbot
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 16 Nov. 2008
I didn't actually know what this was about before I bought it - my own fault, I guess. I was expecting a story involving Alice, and maybe information on how the book relates to Sunderland. I had a quick flick through and it seemed OK. However, taking it home and reading it - I was definitely disappointed. I only got halfway before I got fed up and gave up.

I didn't like the author's disjointed way of writing - he switches between topics constantly. I also found the endless local history of Sunderland very dull - as someone who has never been to Sunderland, and has no plans to go, it just didn't interest me at all. At times it did feel like a travel guide. It's a good idea, and I'm sure (judging by all these positive reviews) that if you have been there/are going there/live there, it is a great, entertaining read as you can engage with the material. As it was, I just got bored and didn't care.

My own fault for not doing research before buying, but it was an impulsive buy - I saw it in a shop and it intriuged me. I regret that now!


In the Red: The Diary of a Recovering Shopaholic
In the Red: The Diary of a Recovering Shopaholic
by Alexis Hall
Edition: Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, light read., 21 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this after seeing the author on TV, and thought that it might be inspiring to myself - while I can't say that I have £30k of credit card and loan debts and have a shopping addiction, I do sometimes spend far more than I should, and thought that this might help me with some suggestions and support as to how to curb my spending before it gets out of hand.

This book, as has been said, is definitely quite light entertainment. I managed to read it in an afternoon. It's not going to give you lots of saving tips, but as I had hoped, it was definitely inspiring and has given me the motivation to look through my wardrobe and sort out things I no longer need! I really enjoyed her writing style, and easy to relate to. I'm sure there are many women who can relate to her and her problems, and her way of rationalising every unnecessary spend.

I did have a few criticisms; firstly, the amount of typos. I noticed quite a lot in my reading of the book, a lot of them were pretty obvious things, and it doesn't seem to have been proof-read. While it's not a real criticism I guess, it did (for me) detract from reading it as I felt the urge to circle the mistakes with a red pen! Secondly, it would have been better to know what her income was and how much she was putting towards her debts and how much towards essentials such as food/rent/dog stuff. After all, she did document how much of her debt she had left, but this was hard to put into perspective without other details.

I did feel when reading it that there was a lot she could have improved on (such as taking her own lunch into work, instead of spending a fiver in Boots, or selling more unused clothing on eBay with better starting prices!), but this was documenting her resolution to not spend, which I felt she did pretty faithfully. It would've been nice to know more about 'her' and details of her life (such as how she and her partner met, or what type of dog she has - which was only said about 3/4 of the way through!) as sometimes it seemed a little impersonal. But overall, it is a light and enjoyable read, that other women (and men!) may also find inspiring when looking through their debts and overflowing wardrobes.


Twilight: Twilight, Book 1 (Twilight Saga)
Twilight: Twilight, Book 1 (Twilight Saga)
by Stephenie Meyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to the hype., 26 Jan. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I found this book to be very disappointing. The characters felt one-dimensional (Bella and Edward in particular), there was no real depth to them, and I found it frustrating that all they seemed to speak about was their feelings and Edward's vampirism (all other conversation seemed to happen off-page). I also hated that the vampires appeared to be absolutely perfect; almost god-like. Edward is perfect at everything (which I'm sure would frustrate Bella more than is shown), and always magically turned up whenever Bella was in peril. His family are no different.

The story was also predictable, with no real twists, and I felt it was poorly written. It is a good page turner (I read it in a day) but it was definitely nothing ground-breaking - I didn't feel like anything had happened other than a pair of hormonal teenagers declaring their love for each other. I feel it's definitely not worthy of all the hype it has generated (including an upcoming movie!).

I give it two stars because it was obviously good enough to keep me reading all the way through and it wasn't necessarily a bad story, just not very memorable.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 11, 2008 8:35 PM GMT


The Stars' Tennis Balls
The Stars' Tennis Balls
by Stephen Fry
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic and touching, 12 Aug. 2007
As most of my friends know, I am a big fan of Stephen Fry, so I guess it's no surprise that I liked this book. But I have read another of his stories so far, 'Making History,' and I didn't think it was all that good. This one, however, really gripped me - I couldn't put it down.

It is the story of Ned, a schoolboy who has a lovely girlfriend, good looks, intelligence, and is destined for Oxford - the type of person that everyone loves but hates at the same time. A prank played on him by his 'friends' turns horribly wrong, and an arrest over possession of cannabis ends up with him becoming an IRA suspect, and he is sent to an insane asylum to rot. He manages to escape, ten years later, in the 1990s; now a full-grown adult, who has never heard of mobile phones or the Internet. He manages to become a dotcom millionaire, and slowly takes revenge on
those who put him into the asylum when he has the power to do so.

It's quite a tragic story, but entertaining in places too. The only part I was unsatisfied was with the ending (as usual!); it wraps up in just a few pages, and I didn't really understand the reasons behind his final decision. Definitely an interesting story, though, and I'd certainly recommend it to others. A very interesting concept, and delightfully written.


Dot Homme
Dot Homme
by Mrs Jane Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special, 12 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Dot Homme (Paperback)
I bought this with a magazine, so I'd have something to read while at work. Jess, the main character of the novel, works as a researcher for a daytime TV show (they always have glamorous jobs), and for her birthday she's given an account on an internet dating site. Not much of the book is about the men she meets through it and the dates she goes on, though (a bit misleading, in my opinion, since that's what the blurb talks about most). Instead, the majority of the book deals with her relationship with her sister.

There's nothing particularly stand-outish about this book; just typical light humour 'chick-lit.' Some parts were good and unexpected, and it is a good page-turner (even if it was obvious who she would end up with in the end). Definitely better than some 'chick-lit' books I've read, but nothing special. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't amazing - a good holiday read. Probably more enjoyable for women who don't read much, or enjoy reading the articles in Cosmo.


The Interpretation of Murder
The Interpretation of Murder
by Jed Rubenfeld
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting idea, 12 Aug. 2007
This book is very loosely based on Freud's trip to America in 1909. Nothing much is known about it, and ever since he hated America and never went back. I say very loosely - obviously, with no real records to the contrary and a lot of imagination, the author has created a thrilling murder/assault case around the time of Freud's trip. (The author does admit this; he doesn't admit to it being completely accurate.) Although Freud himself does not solve the murder, his (fictional) friend Dr Younger does, and seeks Freud's advice as he psychoanalyzes the surviving victim of the attacks.

When reading this book you have to bear in mind that it is mainly fictional. A lot of the characters did not exist, neither did several of the buildings, nor the murder case. I found myself enjoying it a lot more when I ignored that it was supposed to be about Freud and Jung, but more just a group of psychoanalysts, as otherwise it is rather difficult to believe in places. However, I believe that Freud and Jung's characters did keep true to the reality (from what I know of them both), including conversations and the theories/ideas they have.

With that in mind, I really enjoyed it; it was thrilling and exciting, and had enough plot twists to keep me guessing as to who the culprit is and to whether they will be able to prove it. The ending completely surprised me, too, as well as the final analysis of Nora, the victim of the attacks. I would certainly recommend it to others who like mysteries; it's really worth the time to read (it is quite long). Unfortunately it doesn't look like Jed has any other fiction novels available from a quick search on Amazon.


The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
by Eva Rice
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good holiday read, 12 Aug. 2007
I was initially intrigued by the title of this book; it reminded me of a song I like. I received it in a book swap, and although it starts slow, I was glad I persevered.

I finished it fairly quickly, and afterwards it didn't really seem like much had happened. It is set in post-WW2 Britain, in the 1950s, and the main character, Penelope, is 18. By chance she meets Charlotte Ferris and her cousin Harry, and this book documents their adventures at Penelope's medieval mansion Milton Magna and the fancy parties Harry is invited to. Penelope is asked to act as Harry's girlfriend to make his ex jealous while he tries to win her back.

This is basically the entire plot of the book, which doesn't sound very exciting written down, but it's brilliantly written, and keeps the reader captivated. The characters are all believable and very likeable, too; I shall keep a look out for any other books by Eva Rice. I'd definitely recommend it, perhaps more for an entertaining holiday read than a 'serious' book.


The Queen's Fool
The Queen's Fool
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £8.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good 'The Other Boleyn Girl', 12 Aug. 2007
This is the second book in Philippa Gregory's Tudor series; this time, the story is seen through the eyes of Hannah Green, the Queen's Fool, who is Jewish and has the gift of Sight, and her time at the Tudor court from the death of Edward to the death of Mary.

This book really made me feel for Mary. Everyone knows her as 'Bloody Mary,' a murderer, but Philippa's portrayal of her is a woman who just wants to help her country regain the true faith and save their souls from sin, no matter what it takes. Mary is left to die, heartbroken, having seen her marriage fail, her husband stolen from her by her own sister, been taunted for her two still-born (possibly false) pregnancies, and her country prefer Elizabeth to her. Her nightmare has come true, as she sees the man she loves stolen by a younger woman, just as Henry was stolen from Mary's mother Catherine by Elizabeth's mother Anne many years before. You really do feel for her, and it makes her much more human.

As the story is told through Hannah's eyes, obviously it focuses on the plight of her life, and her thoughts on being a woman and wanting to be independent, rather than marrying her betrothed and being a good Jewish wife. I personally disliked the sillyness between her and her husband, as it went from subplot to main plot as they flee to Calais. Although I liked her as a character, I just wasn't interested, I picked up the book to read about the Queen and the Princess, and just wished the main story would start up again. This is why, unfortunately, I can't give it full marks like The Other Boleyn Girl - the parts with Mary and Elizabeth are enchanting, and I was completely sucked into their world.

However, this one can't have turned me off the series too much, as I've bought the next in the series, The Virgin's Lover, which I'm really looking forward to reading.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2011 7:35 PM BST


The Boleyn Inheritance
The Boleyn Inheritance
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 12 Aug. 2007
This review is from: The Boleyn Inheritance (Paperback)
This book is the latest in Philippa Gregory's series, and focuses on the lives of Henry's fourth and fifth wives Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard, and George Boleyn's widow, Jane, who has served all his wives so far. This is done more in a diary format - the point of view changes between the three characters in (usually) 3-4 page long thoughts and telling of events. This can be confusing at first, and it took me a while to get into the story. This covers the period of Anne's entrance into England, to Katherine Howard and Jane Boleyn's execution. These two Queens are the ones least known about, and Philippa chose to look at those two to try and give a new perspective on them, and perhaps change people's opinions of them both.

I thought it was incredibly interesting to read, and enlightening. I just wish more of it could have been based in facts (though obviously, lack of records made that impossible). It's also interesting to see how Henry changes - from the sweet but slightly selfish and hedonistic boy portrayed in 'the Constant Princess' to the tyrant in this book, who can declare a marriage void and give his ex-wife the title of sister, and have no one call it madness.

Overall I would definitely recommend this one, I really enjoyed it and liked the change in writing style. Again, not quite as good as 'The Other Boleyn Girl' but still a very enjoyable book.


Innocent Traitor
Innocent Traitor
by Alison Weir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable., 12 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Innocent Traitor (Paperback)
This historical novel discusses the life of Lady Jane Grey, a young girl who was Queen for only nine days after the death of Edward VI, before Queen Mary took the throne back. She was a distant relative of Henry VIII through her mother, and was also a devout Protestant. As Mary was a Catholic, the rebellion centered around keeping the country to the Protestant religion. Unfortunately it failed, and Lady Jane Gray was beheaded at just sixteen years old.

Alison Weir is a historian, and has written books around the Tudor period, so although obviously the story is mainly fictional, it is based on historical facts. It's surprisingly well-written, too, in first person, although it can be confusing as it changes POV regularly between the characters. I thought it was quite heartbreaking at the end, I have always been sympathetic towards her, but particularly so now.

The quote on the front cover states that "if you don't cry at the end, you have a heart of stone," and I'd say this is pretty true. It's a tragic story, but very compelling and certainly worth reading if you enjoy historical fiction.


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