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  2. what is everyone doing?

    Hazel, I can't believe your boys are so big. What maturity your older son has shown in getting tested. You must have a lot of good experience to help him cope.
  3. what is everyone doing?

    Oh, I should also add that my sister is expecting her third baby. That's pretty awesome news!
  4. Found it - thanks Viccie! We all know that Robert Galbraith is really J K Rowling and I am a bit late to this book series. I was intrigued for a long time about these book so I thought I would dive in. A model falls to her death and her brother (she was adopted) hires Cormoran Strike, ex-Army, ex-happy, ex-housed, to investigate because he knew the brother in an earlier life. Cormoran also hires his last assistant for the job, as money is running out and he can never get an assistant that suits. A temp, Robin, comes into his life and makes it a little better for now. The plot, for me, was ok. A little cliched with 2D characters; model, rapper, fashion designer - just worlds that hold no interest for me and I wasn't that fussed about the murder. But, the setting up of Strike and Robin as a crime-fighting duo was really interesting. Strike is a fascinating character and one I'd like to read more about. And Robin, efficient, compassionate and ambitious, was a great character too. I love them together and I hope they get some more gruesome and interesting crimes to solve.
  5. what is everyone doing?

    Thanks momac and meg. Eldest is 16, he will be 17 in May. They have told us that he is very high-functioning, very clever but he has the social aspects and is very insular. These things we kind of knew. The surprise came with his sensory issues - clothing and noise seems to be an issue, though we have a very quiet house and life so that seemed to have suited him all these years. We live our lives small and very contained and that has definitely suited him. Though I suspected, I would never had him tested as I didn't much see the point as he copes very well and his intelligence blurs everything else, but no, he asked and we were very supportive. I think as he became more aware he realised that he was different to his friends. It is an adventure meg! I keep telling hubby that no two kids on the spectrum are the same, that if you've met one kid with autism/aspergers then you've met one kid with autism/aspergers. Thankfully through my work I have a lot of experience and can help hubby understand - but that said, when it's your own, it's a different ballgame.
  6. The Woman in Black

    Found a copy of The Woman in Black on the church bookstall this morning - so will be re-reading it to see what I missed last time.
  7. what is everyone doing?

    I am quite impressed that your eldest asked for testing - that seems pretty mature to me. How old is he now? Two of our grandchildren are on the autistic spectrum, so I know what a shock getting the diagnosis can be. and also what a relief, as it answers so many questions (yet asks many more!). Our grandson is now 16, and copes with his autism remarkably well considering how very difficult he was when younger. It is gratifying that a time when many kids become a bit unmanageable he is showing signs of maturity. Granddaughter is only 9, and her autism manifests in an entirely different way, so we were very surprised by her diagnosis, and have no idea what effect puberty will have on her. You are all embarking on an adventure, and I hope your son and the rest of the family find it more rewarding than you might fear. Good to se you here!
  8. This sounds terrific. Thanks for the heads up.
  9. what is everyone doing?

    Meg, thanks for the flower descriptions, don't know that I've even seen fritillaria at our garden centre, maybe not a good climate for that here but will ask next time I'm in there. Looked at pictures on the web and they are very elegant flowers and droop nicely, almost snowdrop shape. Good to hear from you Hazel, you sound so busy - I hope the driving goes o.k. - it's strange at first but after a while it will all become second nature. That's a relief for you, no doubt, that you know what it is that has become a bit of a problem for your son. Many people with Asperger's do really well both socially and in the employment environment, but then you have the book so you'll be aware of all of that. Wishing you and the family well, was wondering where you were.
  10. Poetic Wanderings

    In Scarlet town where I was born There was a fair maid dwelling And every youth cried well away For her name was Barbara Allen Twas in the merry month of May The green buds were a swelling Sweet William on his deathbed lay For the love of Barbara Allen He sent a servant unto her To the place she was dwelling Saying you must come to his deathbed now If your name be Barbara Allen Slowly slowly she got up Slowly slowly she came nigh him And the only words to him she said Young man I think you're dying As she was walking oer the fields She heard the death bell knelling And every stroke it seemed to say Hardhearted Barbara Allen Oh mother mother make my bed Make it long and make it narrow Sweet William died for me today I'll die for him tomorrow They buried her in the old churchyard They buried him in the choir And from his grave grew a red red rose From her grave a green briar They grew and grew to the steeple top Till they could grow no higher And there they twined in a true love's knot Red rose around green briar. Anonymous - 'Barbara Allen'
  11. Ella Minnow Pea

    What a great book this was. I loved it and I remember being saddened by the events within. Must read it again sometime.
  12. The Woman in Black

    I used to be such a huge fan of Susan Hill, The Woman in Black a favourite but then she started turning out these little short scary stories that weren't that great in between lovely family dramas. Then I stopped reading her books. I vaguely remember her commenting negatively on some issue that I totally disagreed with her on...can't even remember what it was but if was enough to put me off her.
  13. This is a perfect mix of crime, history and Americana. I absolutely loved it. Set in Atlanta in 1948 this book flips between two sets of police officers, 2 white in the regular Atlanta division and 2 black in the Negro division solely responsible for covering the areas where black people live, called Darktown. When a black woman is pulled over in a car, a passenger to a white driver, and later found dead, no one seems to care. Boggs and Smith, officers in the town's first and only black division, struggle to investigate this crime amid mounting resistance to their very existence. From an historical point of view, this book was fascinating. The attitudes and resistance the black officers faced was often upsetting, often horrific and often shocking. The book also succeeds in being an engaging crime novel, unravelling at a satisfying pace without cliche. It really succeeds in both areas and makes for a great, meaty read. I felt that it took me ages to read as I was digesting it very slowly - I don't know why, it just demands that care. Highly recommended - and I have bought the follow up already.
  14. I loved this thriller, absolutely loved it. Gina Royal is a housewife with two perfect children, a boy and a girl of course. Her husband, Melvin, is a hard worker and a good husband. Until one day, a car crashes into their garage and when Gina returns, she finds the cops all over her house and she is placed under arrest. Turns out, and this doesn't spoil the book, that the crash revealed her husband's horrible secret. Gina spends a year in jail before being acquitted. She then goes into hiding with her kids as the horrible trolls of the world believe her to be complicit in her husband's crimes and won't leave her alone. She relocates several times but at the time of this book, she is living in Stillhouse Lake, a remote village. The kids are schooled on how to leave instantly should they need to relocate again and how precisely they need to lock down the house every day and night. Life in temporary at best. Then a body surfaces in the lake and Gina's life threatens to unravel again. I couldn't wait to pick this up every night. It is utterly compelling and towards the end, I could feel my heart pounding. Thankfully there is a sequel, currently patiently waiting on my TBR pile!
  15. I love the cover and actual physical book - cerise pink and black, with black end papers and page edging, it's a gothic masterpiece. However, the book is an ok thriller. Quincy, Sam and Lisa are the Final Girls. Each have survived a bloody massacre - not the same event - and lives in notoriety as an infamous final girl. Obviously this plays on the horror movie cliche of the one girl who survives, usually the one who has kept herself free of sin. Fast forward and one of the three is dead - Lisa. And Sam comes out of hiding to meet up with Quincy, convinced that someone is trying to kill the final girls. This book flips back and forth, from the present to the past. We find out what happened to Quincy in her horrific event as the puzzle of the present is uncovered. These passages were the most interesting. It's an interesting thriller and while you are not exactly guessing who the new killer is, it's kind of obvious, I did enjoy reading this. The only issue I had was the character of Sam who was actually quite annoying - though this is clearly set up against seemingly angelic Quincy. It's a good read, though there is better thrillers out there.
  16. Reservoir 13

    On TBR pile. Weird thing is, I recently cleared out my bookshelves and found I have all of MacGregor's books and have precisely none of them. I must like the sound of them, and the covers, and yet the writing/subject puts me off...
  17. what is everyone doing?

    Hey everyone I haven't been around very much and I apologise. I seem to do a lot of that here, but thank you to megustaleer for contacting me about being AWOL. I do hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas and a good new year. I got to the end of the year and realised that I had only read 17 books in 2017 (or so). I used to read around 80-100. I don't know quite what has happened - it may be related to social media, but it's something I plan to rectify this year and BGO is very much part of that. I miss reading and over the past few months I have bought a ton of books. I was doing 3 college courses at once - still involved in two and one finished on the 6th February where I had to hand in a year long assignment - it ran to 74 pages. Bloody hell. I started to learn to drive - have had 9 lessons so far and really, really need to pass my test because I can't get a new job apparently without my licence! Not enjoying it that much but needs must... Last week my eldest was diagnosed with Aspergers. Woof, that's the first time I've said that to someone. We always knew he was different, but we adjusted our lives a little and he was just him. But about 18 months ago he asked if he could be tested as he obviously started to notice differences and we began the process. It's been a long year or so with not very fun interviews and questionnaires...but on Wednesday it came to an end with him being diagnosed. We are letting it sink in just now. Nothing will change but we'll understand him a little better now. Initially, he refused to let anyone know and refused to look at all the support materials they sent us home with. But I bought a book about it, left it on the kitchen table without saying a word to him and that night the book disappeared. I found it in his bed the following day. So we are getting there. Youngest took up drums and now plays in three school bands. We have drums in the house. It's noisy. Well, that's pretty me caught up. Just need to post some book reviews. And again, huge thank you to meg, who while being hugely frustrated by me I imagine, still has enough concern to prompt me into action. X
  18. Book Lists 2018

    06. Kill Creek, Scott Thomas CURRENT 05. Final Girls, Riley Sager *** 04. Stillhouse Lake, Rachel Caine ***** 03. Good Me, Bad Me, Ali Land **** 02. The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith **** 01. Darktown, Thoma Mullen ****
  19. what is everyone doing?

    There are lots of varieties of fritillaria, the most common here are the wild F. meleagris ( snakes-head fritillary, which grew in my last garden) or the Crown Imperial, a large showy garden variety. The one I bought is Fritillaria uva-vulpus, which should do well in a tub if we get a nice sunny spring. It shares the tub with some small cream and maroon violas, and I am hoping they look good together. I don't go much for growing flowers, so it will be a matter of luck. The tulips i bought are Persian Pearl. They only grow to 10cm (4"), so I am hoping the daisies don't smother them before they flower. I filled a third pot with some rampant spreading flowers I am trying to eradicate from the garden - don't know what they are called, but at least they will be contained, and easier to control in the pot. Looking at them, I think we will need another pot (or two), as there is still some temptation to cut across the lower corner of the lawn. I envy you your snow, just a little bit. Not that I'd want it hanging around for long. Hope your garden starts coming back to life soon.
  20. Hedda Stein-Sun's Unremembered Islands

    This is the forum for promoting or discussing members' own work, so i have moved your thread here. I am curious about the tag to "baking", but not curious enough to buy a kindle
  21. what is everyone doing?

    Meg, what a nice way to spend your day, potting up your treasures from the garden centre. Don't know what fritillaria looks like but sounds nice, will look it up on the Net. There's so much pleasure associated with flowers, planting them, just looking at them and then there's the fresh fragrance - hoping our snow melts soon and we can see our bulbs coming up. There isn't a lot of snow left but enough to cover the flower beds so here's hoping the temperature starts climbing a bit.
  22. Hi All - free on Kindle Unlimited the new book Hedda Stein-Sun's Unremembered Islands Hedda is a young Viking from a disgraced Clan with one chance to restore honour Then a terrible choice What if you found three groups of innocent prisoners but could choose to only save one? I am a newbie author and call comments good or bad would be great Anthony Nordvik-Nash Stein-Sun.com
  23. The wounded surgeon plies the steel That questions the distempered part; Beneath the bleeding hands we feel The sharp compassion of the healer's art Resolving the enigma of the fever chart. Our only health is the disease If we obey the dying nurse Whose constant care is not to please But to remind of our, and Adam's curse, And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse. The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere. The chill ascends from feet to knees, The fever sings in mental wires. If to be warmed, then I must freeze And quake in frigid purgatorial fires Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars. The dripping blood our only drink, The bloody flesh our only food: In spite of which we like to think That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood— Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good. T.S.ELIOT - Four Quarters: "East Coker", part IV
  24. Thanks for the review Viccie, I will get it as it sounds like my kind of book.
  25. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

    I enjoyed this book very much, everyday was looking forward to reading it. Agree with the criticisms by Mr HG and MInx and with the similarities with the Rosie Project, hoping the sequel (?) isn't as bad. Apparently Reese Witherspoon has bought the film rights, so expect an Hollywood version soon.
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