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About Minxminnie

  • Rank
  • Birthday 11/12/1965


  • Location
    West of Scotland
  • Interests
    travel, photography, reading (doh!), cinema, lying in on a Saturday.

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  1. what is everyone doing?

    Ha, ha - so true, luna! I have read a fair bit in the last few days. I've really enjoyed the enforced down time. And when I have been at work, I have made sure to take my Kindle, in case I get stranded somewhere and need to keep busy!
  2. Currently Reading

    Oh, this is on my virtual TBR. Love MacLaverty and it's a long time since he has published something.
  3. A Very English Scandal

    I should add that it is being adapted for TV, with Hugh Grant as (a better looking) Thorpe and Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott, the hitman's target.
  4. This is a well written history of the Jeremy Thorpe affair. For anyone too young or too far away, Jeremy Thorpe was the leader of the Liberal Party in Britain in the 1970s, and he stood trial for conspiring to murder a young man who was blackmailing him. Roughly speaking. I was aware of the scandal but too young to understand what was going on, so when I heard this reviewed well on Radio 4, I was keen to read it, and I snapped it up for 99p on Kindle. It is a complicated story but it's made quite readable with some witty asides and reflections. The main thing for me was just how scandalous it really was. I mean, can you imagine discovering that Nick Clegg or Ed Milliband had used donations to party funds to hire a hitman to bump off his mentally unstable ex-lover? (He got off, but he did it.) I am still gobsmacked.
  5. what is everyone doing?

    Your knitted nativity is lovely, meg. My dad has an interesting one. It was brought back from Germany by his dad who was a soldier in WW2: he had looted it from a bombed house. I don't know how I feel about that. Germany was so badly destroyed that it's unlikely anybody would ever have reclaimed it, and it would probably just have gone into rubble, but it does seem slightly wrong. On the other hand, it got me interested in learning German, leading to me studying the language, living there for a year and making lifelong friends, so it had some benefits in cross-cultural understanding!
  6. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    I was given the first book in the Outlander series as a present at work. I have a good friend in Germany who has tried to get me to read the books for many years, and I've never been too keen. Now that the teacher who works next door to me is obsessed, it looks as if I'll be giving it a go after all! I was also given a badge, by another friend (who knows my reading habits well.) It says "Eat. Sleep. Read. Repeat". That's my holiday planned! Merry Christmas, BGO!
  7. uploading free to read books

    Hi there, I don't have any personal knowledge, but I'm a teacher and a lot of my pupils share their writing on various sites. The best known seems to be Wattpad. I don't know that it is uk specific, though, and you might find it very teenagey! Or you could start your own blog? My friend has done this. He doesn't promote it much but he has found readers in surprising places.
  8. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    I bought the new one from Graeme Macrae Burnett, Accident on the A35. It's a sort of quirky crime novel, a follow up to his debut novel (but nothing to do with His Bloody Project). It's a cute wee hardback; I don't normally buy hardbacks but this isn't a normal sized one. I also received The Trouble With Goats and Sheep as a birthday present, and I bought a fascinating book as a present for an English teacher friend. It's called The Lost Words and is by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris. I got it from Amazon and didn't realise it would be a large A3 size picture book. It is trying to communicate nature vocabulary to children (as many kids don't know these words any more) and is a mix of beautiful illustrations and acrostic style poems, using the letters of the word (say, "acorn") as a springboard for some beautiful poetic writing about the object. I am fascinated by it and almost don't want to give it away.
  9. Amazon shipping problems

    Oh yes. I ordered a whole pile of stuff a few years ago, and got a card to say it was in the garage, except it wasn't. When I phoned to complain, they replaced the lot without quibble. I reckon they had a dodgy driver who was keeping the stuff, but I never found out why they were so quick to back down.
  10. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

    Oh, I loved it too! I read it a good long time ago now - must be pre-crash.
  11. "Happenings" anybody?

    Hi Paul, The whole point of BGO is to discuss books, so we like to keep discussion on the site, rather than directing people to other sites. It will be good to hear your thoughts on the books on this thread. Feel free to join in other threads too.
  12. Is Tess of the D'Urbervilles a Feminist Novel?

    Hi Elliejean, Welcome to BGO! This is an interesting question: I'm an English teachet, so I'm always looking for ways to get young people to engage with classic texts. Would be interested to hear more of your thoughts as we are usibg this text this year. As meg says, we like the discussion to take place here - that's what we exist for! Please do join in other threads too.
  13. Have a Rant!

    I suppose it matters whether it is consistent with the narrative, characterisation and style and not just used for tittilation. I remember, in my early teenage years, coming across some relatively graphic sexual content in a novelisation of the 80s show Dallas. I wasn't ready for it (I would have happily have read it with great curiosity a year or two later) and I now understand that it was there because it was a mass market piece of pretty trashy fiction. At the time, I didn't see why it was there at all. More recently, I was very disturbed by a shockingly graphic scene of violence in Edna O'Brien's Little Red Chairs. Once I had read it, I couldn't "unsee" it, and it didn't sit well with the tone of the rest of the book. That was done for more literary reasons, but I was unhappy at being made to see those images. I have heard other readers say the same thing. To be honest, though, in the case Momac cites, I wouldn't feel any obligation to read it if it made me uncomfortable, as it probably doesn't add much to character or plot, but not knowing the book, I can't say. I'm never averse to a bit of skimming if needed - I've skipped far more vital stuff!
  14. Just Abandoned

    I abandoned Helen Dunmore's Birdcage Walk last night. I have always liked her writing and I wanted to read this since it was her last - she died earlier this year. It's about a young, politically aware woman who married a property develop in Bristol in the late 18th century. He wants a traditional wife and is increasingly disapproving of her mother, stepfather and their circle. An early chapter also gives reason to be wary of him and what he can do. It's style reminded me a lot of Girl With A Pearl Earring, and what I read of The Minatuarist. It all sounds good, but I found it slow and overwritten. I also disliked the insertion of other documents - letters, newspaper reports etc - from which the characters learned about political events elsewhere. I always dislike being made to read what the character reads, as it disrupts the flow of the narrative voice. I'm frustrated to have given up. I'll look forward to someone reviewing it on BGO.
  15. Rest in Peace

    Sounds like he had a bit of a drink problem. What a shame. He was a month older than me and very much one of my generation. Seemed like a lovely man, but he seems to have been troubled.