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Between the Assassinations
Between the Assassinations
by Aravind Adiga
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not that good., 22 July 2009
I am probably very prejudiced here. Having been born and brought up in the same town as Mr Adiga spent a good part of his childhood [my mum knew his uncle, apparently :-)], his fictional 'Kittur' was almost instantly recognisable as Mangalore, in South India. Names of his townships are also very close to the town (in fact, some of them are actual names of places, like Valencia, Bunder, Lighthouse Hill, Bajpe etc)

Basically, he has drawn from his experiences in our little town to portray it with a savage intensity, which ocasionally grates on me, as a previous resident. What I am trying to say, is that the book is overly brutal, very self-consciously so. It made for uncomfortable reading, and while it has it place, I just did not feel the whole atmosphere of real town Mangalore seeping through, as I would have preferred.

The reason for the three stars is that a few stories feel too amateurish, and that they were written a while ago, and included for the sake of making up a book. However, there are gems within the collection, particularly, the one about the domestic servant. I didn't really like the 'White Tiger' very much, and much prefer this collection, as the realism is a lot better, and it resonates better with people's lives.

In the Dark
In the Dark
by Mark Billingham
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Gritty and Pacy but..., 25 Mar. 2009
This review is from: In the Dark (Paperback)
Hmm, well, there's always a 'but.'. I am a Mark Billingham fan, and I have read all his books, having become hooked by reading 'Sleepyhead'. Pretty much all of his books are invariably well written, with fantastic pace, and really tight plots. My favourites so far have been The Burning Girl and Lifeless. The problem with this one as compared to the others, for me anyway, is that there are too many loose ends, especially when you don't really expect them. I like things wrapped up neatly, with a nice resolution at the end. Of course, I know real life is not like that, however, this is fiction, and its not unreasonable to expect the loose ends tied up. For example, you're not told about the baby's paternity or much about the affair. That's just one of my niggles.

The second is that the story again fails to deliver a really really surprising twist. How many of us hate the tags on the front saying stuff like... 'major twist' etc? It just makes me want to figure it out throughout the book, instead of enjoying what is a pretty well written story!! Incidentally, I did figure it out quite quickly, though I was surprised by the first twist.

I don't know if I really enjoyed a Mark Billingham book without Tom Thorne in it. I did enjoy his cameo, though again, I knew that he would show up somewhere, the only excitement was figuring out when. And the little tip in that anecdote there was cheeky :-)

So... if you feel like you want to pass an enjoyable (well, if you enjoy this sort of writing, obviously) few hours, this is the book for you. If you want a really gritty realistic look at London, then you may want to read Londonstani instead (I didn't like that, by the way).

That said, I am looking forward to Mark's next book, and the teaser was VERY tempting. But even without that, I would still read his books, because he does offer that little extra excitement!

Commotion In The Ocean (Orchard Picturebooks)
Commotion In The Ocean (Orchard Picturebooks)
by Giles Andreae
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.94

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and witty, 30 May 2008
I got this book for my 5 month old daughter and I love it and so does she. The pictures are big and colourful, and she loves me reading the poems to her in a sing song way. I prefer it to books with one or two sentences! We also enjoy looking for the starfish doing silly things! The reason I have given the book 4 stars is because I would would have liked it more had it had stiffer pages that would be able to handle pulling and pushing and being chewed on. The price is also a bit steep. That said, I will still be buying the rest of the series, as its beautifully written and illustrated.

Lamaze Allie the Cat
Lamaze Allie the Cat

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 16 May 2008
This is a great product. I got it when my baby was about 2 months old, and its prtty much grown with her. She used to love batting at it on her play gym, now she cuddles and plays and makes a lot of noise with it at 5 months, and it also gets chewed up a bit. Soon she'll be able to pull its tail and use the teether as well. Its hours of entertainment, which is fantastic for a busy mom, as it keeps baby busy and happy. Its larger than it looks in the picture and we feel we've got a really good deal for the price.

Philips AVENT ISIS Manual Breast Pump with 125ml/4oz Breast Milk Container
Philips AVENT ISIS Manual Breast Pump with 125ml/4oz Breast Milk Container

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy as can be..., 12 Mar. 2008
I got this set just before I gave birth and my partner laughed and said I would never use it. Boy, was he wrong. My baby had a really strong suck which equalled really really sore nipples. Enter this pump. I have been constantly using it for over three months now and I have always managed to express more than 18 ounces in one go... in about an hour and half. It lets you control your rhythm and expressing, which means less sore nipples and faster milk supply. I have been able to even catch a movie while my mom looked after the baby. Also when I am out and about with the baby I really do not care to have to run around to find a place I can breast feed baby, and also find the whole process quite awkward. Expressing before I go out means I can relax, and bottle feed her the expressed milk wherever I am, including in trains and buses.

I used the Medela Electric pump in hospital once, and it took over 2 hours to express just 8 ounces and hurt like the very dickens. Therefore I recommend this one to anyone wholeheartedly. Its one investment you won't regret and the price is so reasonable. The bottles come in pretty handy too. Once you move on to the bigger 9 oz bottles, you can use these to freeze milk. Great buy all around.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2008 3:47 PM BST

What to Expect When You're Expecting
What to Expect When You're Expecting
by Arlene Eisenberg
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not exhaustive!, 14 Feb. 2008
With all the scaremongering that this book offered, I thought I was prepared for anything to go wrong. Unfortunately, I seem to have got the one thing that this book had no information on (obstretic cholestasis, if interested)... the book had a lot of information, but I have to agree that it is really an American book and was not overly relevant within the British context. That said, I found it useful to skim through and gain quick ideas as to what to expect with pregnancy in general.

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