Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now
Profile for CC > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by CC
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,744
Helpful Votes: 214

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
CC "constant reader" (Galway)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
pixel
This Must Be the Place
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.91

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Straight to the charity shop, 25 May 2016
This review is from: This Must Be the Place (Hardcover)
Inspired by the respectful reviews in 'quality' newspapers, I used up bonus points in my bookshop to buy this. What a waste. I have nearly arrived at the end of it but I'm not going to bother finishing it. The dizzying and mixed up 'action' is all over the place, and now it seems we are in South America where Daniel the central character is getting homespun wisdom from a woman on a bus. The central character is predictably a mess and there is no possible reason why we should be interested in him, the central female character is frankly, unbelievable, a kind of 'manic pixie dream girl', and all the other characters are flat, flat, flat. This cannot be the same person who wrote Instructions on a Heatwave. It doesn't even work on the level of a travelogue. Down to the charity shop it goes. Maybe somebody more intelligent than me will appreciate it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 13, 2016 3:31 PM BST


Now and Again
Now and Again
by Charlotte Rogan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could not finish it., 12 May 2016
This review is from: Now and Again (Hardcover)
I bought this book because it looked interesting but not one of the characters came alive for me. I just felt, probably wrongly, that the author seemed to be sneering at them, all the time. Did anyone else get this impression? Maybe I'm used to a more persuasive style. I'm certainly used to a more textured one - the town, the office, even Iraq were flatly and cursorily described. I got a far better sense of place from a Stephen King novel I re-read shortly after leaving this down. In the end I didn't care what happened to the characters, and I got the very strong feeling that the author didn't care either.


Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
by Sally Fallon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Very convincing., 9 May 2016
I bought this book on a Wednesday and read most of it, fascinated and convinced by most of it (except for the embargo on tea and coffee - I think these drinks are actually good for us in moderation. Also, nobody is going to get me to eat brains or tripe). On the following Saturday I went to the funeral of a relative, in a very fertile rural area of midlands Ireland, characterised by both big and small farms on land heavily watered by the River Shannon. As I sat and watched the queue of local people going up to sympathise I was struck by how good-looking they all were - good colour, lovely skin, thick hair (not that many bald men, interestingly), bone structure, features, bearing, everything. These are people who have lived for generations (up to the present one anyway) on the produce of the land, animal fats, good locally grown spuds, milk, butter, eggs. So there might be something in it. Also, this book's recipe for cooking brown rice was the best I've ever used. I've been eating brown rice for years and I'm always hungry an hour or two later. This time, I didn't want to eat for at least another six hours!!
Like some other reviewers, I was put off by the occasional hint of religion (I am religious myself but it has no place in a cookery book) and prescription about lifestyle. I also thought some of the quoted remarks about weak mothers and weak babies were ugly and unnecessary, bordering on eugenicism. But on the whole, this is well worth reading.


The Button Box: Lifting the Lid on Women's Lives
The Button Box: Lifting the Lid on Women's Lives
by Lynn Knight
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.94

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best kind of popular history, 13 April 2016
History through haberdashery - what a lovely idea and it works, too. It also reminds us of how important the activity of making and decorating clothes was, for women of all generations up to the 1960s. In oral histories, old women sometimes say, with tears in their eyes, 'My mother made all my clothes' and go on to describe a dress or a skirt or a blouse, in vivid detail, down to buttons and trimmings.Women often thought of making clothes as self-expression as well as work.

I was really disappointed to see a lacklustre and begrudging review of this on one of the English newspapers by Rachel Cooke, a writer whose work I admire. She missed the point of it really.


The Husband's Secret
The Husband's Secret
by Liane Moriarty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read., 6 April 2016
This review is from: The Husband's Secret (Paperback)
I read this book far too quickly, and will go back again for the atmosphere. For a start, it is refreshing to have Australia as a setting, rather than the UK or USA, but that was only the icing on the cake. The writing was clear, the characters spoke in their own voices and the dilemmas and crises faced by the characters were vividly described. AND it was third-person, past tense, which allowed the author to handle a number of scenarios and settings quite deftly and allowed her, also, a bit of indulgence (which I thoroughly enjoyed) in the final chapter. I will be looking for more books by this author.


The Girls
The Girls
by Lisa Jewell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All right - not up to usual standard, 21 Mar. 2016
This review is from: The Girls (Hardcover)
Well I kept turning the pages and thanks to the map I could easily imagine the communal garden, but like some other reviewers I found this book was not up to Lisa Jewell's usual standard - which is, admittedly, very high. The author kept very obviously throwing us little hints to lead us off the track but these were so glaring that they didn't fool me for a minute. And she seemed to be taking the p*** out of the home-schooling family and at the same time, allowing us into their mother's point of view, so that we knew she, at least, was not the guilty one. We kept being invited, though, to suspect her husband. The whole book kind of rushed by, and the pace felt a bit forced. Lisa Jewell's book usually have some kind of point, or moral - she was 'against' selfish serial monogamy in The Third Wife, 'against' over-idealization in The House We Grew Up In - but the only life-lesson I drew from this book was to never, ever, live in a house or apartment in north London that had a communal garden in it.


The Widow
The Widow
by Fiona Barton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good but a missed opportunity., 1 Mar. 2016
This review is from: The Widow (Hardcover)
First of all, it kept me entertained and gripped on a long train journey, and afterwards, and no badly-written book can do that. Secondly, it told a 'familiar' story from an unusual angle, and it was breath-takingly damning on the ugly way the media go about getting stories - a reporter actually making herself a cup of tea and taking charge in an interviewee's house. Does this happen? It must, you couldn't make it up. But PLOT SPOILER HERE I thought the book was far too gentle with the main character, who seems to have chosen to see her husband's depravity as 'nonsense'. The police, and everybody, were too soft on her. And it didn't work for me the way the husband's 'control freakery' was laid on with a trowel in her narration in the early chapters, preparing us for his badness but in a very by-numbers way. I thought it would have made a much better novel had the husband been a total weakling in every way rather than just morally, and she, the control freak who covered up what he did, because I'd say that's the way it often happens. But ultimately, a good read.


Nothing Simple
Nothing Simple
Price: £2.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid writing, credible characters., 26 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Nothing Simple (Kindle Edition)
Don't be put off by the other review. Sure, this book lacks urgency but that doesn't take from it at all. I loved it so much when I borrowed it from the library a few years ago for holiday reading that I borrowed it again recently and enjoyed it even more. The writing is very vivid and the relationships utterly believable. How she holds all the threads together I don't know, but it is effortless. Certainly, Mills manages to convey the utter absorption in young children that happens when you have a few of them, and the strain this can put on a marriage. But that's only a small part of it. I could see, feel, smell the neighbourhood Ray and Dermot lived in, in Houston. It's an ordinary story of an ordinary emigrant life but it is still really absorbing and a pleasure. Why isn't this book better known, or celebrated more as an example of the emigrant experience?


The Uninvited
The Uninvited
by Dorothy Macardle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, beautifully written, 13 Jan. 2016
This review is from: The Uninvited (Paperback)
I made myself read this book slowly so as not to finish it too soon. To be honest, I put it on my birthday present wish list out of a sense of duty - I am interested in history and DM was a key player not only in the Irish revolution but in the interpretation of same. So I decided I'd better see what she could do with a novel. The writing is sharp and clear and often lyrical, the characters are believable and sympathetic, and the plot is very very good too. There aren't many people who can write about the occult convincingly, but she manages it. The reviewer in the Irish Times said it wasn't as spooky as stories by Elizabeth Bowen - I disagree strongly. I found it quite spooky enough and certainly better than Bowen (though in my book that wouldn't be hard.) Fair dues to Tramp Press for rediscovering it. But why did they let Luke Gibbons next or near it to write an introduction? He goes on about irrelevancies like the 1937 Constitution, he triumphantly seizes on every little detail that bolsters his specious argument that the novel is really about Ireland, and he ignores the salient fact that Ireland, as a subject, when it comes up in the book, is treated naturally, easily and optimistically - one of the characters, a rather patrician Irishman, says he has 'boundless' faith in the new Ireland of the 1930s. SO - ignore the introduction and enjoy this wonderful read.


A Simply Delicious Christmas
A Simply Delicious Christmas
by Darina Allen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I prefer the origina., 26 Nov. 2015
I had the original, kindly given to me by my mother-in-law when it appeared first, and I used it to bits, and not just at Christmas. It got so blotched and torn that eventually I had to throw it out. So I was delighted when this one came out and I bought it.

I was so disappointed with it I gave it away even before Christmas, last year. The original book was about cooking; this was about lifestyle. The original book gave us a little description of simple Christmas growing up in Co. Laois - this book had to tell us all about the big extended-family Christmas in Ballymaloe, which sounds like a nightmare.

Maybe the author is parodying herself. Could anyone really be that smug in her privilege and lifestyle? I'll keep an eye out for the old book, there have to be copies of it somewhere. All that said, this Christmas cookery book is better than Nigella's - but that isn't saying much.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2016 1:38 AM BST


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8