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Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK)
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The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus Book 3)
The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus Book 3)
by Rick Riordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The usual excellence from Rick Riordan, 13 Aug 2014
My children and I have just finished this together. It has taken quite a while. Volume Three of The Heroes of Olympus is certainly good value for money coming in at about seven hundred pages.

It is however, seven hundred pages of Riordan's excellent prose, which fuses mythological stories and ancient history with the modern world to great effect and which has awoken a total passion for mythology and the worlds of ancient Greece and Rome in my children for which I will forever be indebted to Mr Riordan.

Annabeth sets off to Rome with her trusty quest companions to try and find the long lost statue of Athena and bring it to light in order to try and save the world from imminent destruction.

As you do.

The children were sad that Ella the Harpy didn't make much of a showing in this volume, but the two crazed Roman giants in the amphitheatre kind of made up for it, and we are all massive fans of Leo and following his story thread with particular interest.

Bring on volume four.


Outcast: (Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness)
Outcast: (Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness)
by Michelle Paver
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Fourth book in an excellent adventure series, 13 Aug 2014
My seven year old and I are steadily working our way through the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series of which this is the fourth of sixth.

As an adult I would say that they are pretty formulaic, quest based fantasy adventure stories, based in a kind of neolithic world full of magic and spirits and demons.

As a reader I would say that despite this formula, they are well written, very exciting and really fun to read with my son, who absolutely loves them, particularly the relationship between Torak, the boy hero, and his faithful companion Wolf, except that wolf is way more than a companion and totally steals every scene he is in.

You need to read these from the beginning of the series to truly appreciate them. The story follows a huge plot arc, and if you start here it's not going to make much sense to you now. Do start with Wolf Brother though, and just keep reading. You won't regret it.


Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star
Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star
by Tracey Thorn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely interesting, 13 Aug 2014
I follow Tracey Thorn on twitter and I like what she has to say. I grew up with Everything But The Girl, and loved a few of their tracks, which have been some of the sound tracks to key moments in my life. These things, along with the book blurb calling Tracey the Alan Bennett of pop, made me decide that I had to read this.

I think the Bennett comparison is probably not the case, if I'm honest. Thorn writes engagingly and honestly about her life in pop music. I like her frankness over the distinctly non starry aspects of the business, and the difficulties of balancing the life you want with the life you sometimes end up living and the life you are trying to have with your family. I thought her ambivalence about what fame can give you was interesting, and all in all it was a good read. It didn't glue me to the page, but it was well written, thoughtful and pragmatic to a degree you don't usually get in a pop star's autobiography.


Christmas Pudding (Capuchin Classics)
Christmas Pudding (Capuchin Classics)
by Nancy Mitford
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, 13 Aug 2014
This is a very early Mitford novel, and is usually dismissed by critics as being one of her weakest books. I love Nancy Mitford's work, whether it be a collection of letters or her journalism or her novels, so I decided to give it a go anyway. I have to say that I absolutely loved this. It is very, very silly indeed. It owes a lot to Wodehouse, and a bit to Waugh, but it is carried off in Mitford's own inimitable style, and as long as you are happy with very little plot line, a lot of silly jokes and some aristocratic froth it will make you very happy. It did me.


Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
by Rachel Cohn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.77

5.0 out of 5 stars A Delight, 13 Aug 2014
I saw this film several years ago, and was distinctly underwhelmed. I came across the book recently and was intrigued to find it was co-written by David Levithan whose work I find interesting and very appealing, so I gave it a read.

It is a charming, quirky romance with none of the usual slushiness and over sentimentality. It has grit, it has humour, it has an off the wall approach to what constitutes romance and love, and it is a delight. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love this new era of teen fiction where sexuality is complicated by the fact that anything goes, but love still wins out, and what seems to be so difficult, when it boils down to basics is the same the world over. Love will pretty much conquer all, whoever you happen to fall in love with.


The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1
The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1
by Graeme Simsion
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it more than I did, 27 July 2014
I wanted to love this. I had heard great things about it before I took the plunge. Sadly, the most I could muster was a mild liking for it. I think the main problem was that it reminded me quite a lot of one of my favourite books; 'The Pleasure of My Company' by Steve Martin, which is a similar kind of thing, but to my mind, much better written. I kept comparing the two in my mind and The Rosie Project came off worse every time.

Having said that, if I hadn't already read The Pleasure of My Company I am sure I would have enjoyed this a great deal more. It is a gentle romantic comedy with intelligent writing and a sharp sense of humour to give it depth and a bit of oomph.


Bonkers: My Life in Laughs
Bonkers: My Life in Laughs
by Jennifer Saunders
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, 18 July 2014
I grew up with French and Saunders, and loved their comedy. Both women are very talented and I have enjoyed following their careers both as a comedy partnership and in their own right.I had read and enjoyed Dawn's book; 'Dear Fatty' and was interested to see how Jennifer's compared. I have to say I enjoyed it hugely, in a totally different way. Jennifer employs a light touch to skim across the surface of her life, giving you a flavour of what it is to be her, and writing for laughs a lot of the time. It is almost as if this is a script of the film of her life rather than a warts and all autobiography, which is fine by me. It's funny and touching and kept me turning the pages.


Pot-pourri from the Thirties
Pot-pourri from the Thirties
by Bryan Guinness
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Lovely, 18 July 2014
This is a strange little memoir, because it is incredibly selective, and very, very eclectic. I am a fan of the Mitfords and have read a great deal about them and their circle, which is how I came to pick this up, as Bryan Guinness was Diana Mitford's first husband.

This is beautifully written, and elegiac for a time long past. It is fascinating in the glimpses it gives of a life of such privilege. The good thing is that Guinness seems such a nice man, which is not something I had entirely expected to feel. He writes with empathy and feeling and a depth of education and understanding that make this a pleasure to read. I particularly loved the sections about his travels through Russia, Japan and China with his second wife.


That Close
That Close
by Suggs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, he writes like a dream., 18 July 2014
This review is from: That Close (Hardcover)
I got this book to be nosey, frankly. Turns out I enjoyed it way more than just the nosiness quota. Suggs is a great writer. He has a brilliantly readable tone, a sympathy for his subject, which is not just about himself, and a way of telling a story that has you utterly hooked. I particularly enjoyed the stories of his early life, usually the bit of a life story I enjoy the least if I'm honest, and the way he writes about London is more of a love letter than anything else. I was utterly delighted with this book.


Lust, Caution: And Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)
Lust, Caution: And Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Eileen Chang
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost on me., 18 July 2014
A series of four short stories about life in 1940s Shanghai. I found these really hard to get into. They depict a world I am not familiar with and the nuances of the symbolism in the stories I think was totally lost on me, meaning they were rather confusing, flat and distracting and there was no sense of the danger and excitement to the stories the book jacket promised. I suspect they are mini masterpieces, but they are lost on me I am afraid.


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