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Everything posted by ottilie

  1. Nice to see some of my favourite books already mentioned by other members My two stand-out books of 2013 have been The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Atonement by Ian McEwan. I found myself thinking about both for several weeks after I'd finished reading; always a good sign! Notable mentions for Pigeon English (Stephen Kelman), The Crane Wife (Patrick Ness) and Lullaby (Chuck Palahniuk) too!
  2. Sometimes a Great Notion - Ken Kesey
  3. I also read Moranthology after loving How To Be a Woman and found it disappointingly patchy. The celebrity stuff is as frothy and inane as its subject matter, and the first article on "mental health issues" was offensive - I had hoped we'd moved on from the "just pull yourself together" brand of thinking, but apparently not. There were redeeming points though; the pieces touching on more serious subjects were head and shoulders above the lighter ones, and I couldn't help enjoying her ridiculously enthusiastic Sherlock reviews. Some of the articles were quite old and felt somewhat irrelevant. Basically Moranthology feels like a quick and easy way of cashing in on the success of How To Be a Woman, but it might backfire. I certainly won't be in as much of a hurry to read the next Caitlin Moran offering.
  4. My children's book group has just finished reading this debut novel, and we were all pretty impressed with it. The Snow Merchant is the story of 12 year old Lettie Peppercorn, landlady of the White Horse Inn, in the land of Albion. With a hapless father who is mostly to be found at the local gambling dens since the disappearance of her alchemist mother, Lettie's adventures start with the arrival of a mysterious stranger bearing tales of a new invention called snow. A host of villains, a feisty heroine and a healthy dose of alchemy make for a fun romp. The writing is quite lyrical in places and is a pleasure to read aloud. There are also some rather lovely black and white illustrations by Tomislav Tomic. My book group gave it a rating of 4.5/5 which I think is a fair assessment. Recommended for readers aged 8 - 12.
  5. Thanks brightphoebus, I'm really excited!
  6. Thank you Barblue I'm delighted that I've been chosen as a giver this year. As of April 23rd I will have 20 copies of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness to give away. I'm also planning a World Book Night event at a local arts centre, so I may post more when I have some news...
  7. I am currently struggling with The Crash of Hennington by Patrick Ness. I am prepared to persevere at least for a little longer because I really rated his Chaos Walking trilogy for young adults.
  8. Just heard about Richard Briers. Sad indeed.
  9. That's not one of the ones I've read, but I have to say that I'd happily try anything she's written, on current experience.
  10. Here you go, Momo http://www.worldbooknight.org/books/2013 Thanks Tay. I don't think the list is as strong as it has been in previous years, but whereas before there were several books that I really liked but none that I loved with a passion, this time there were two that I felt I could quite happily press upon strangers!
  11. Has anyone applied to be a giver this year? I've not done it before but felt sufficiently passionate about two of the books on the list so decided to give it a go. Looking forward to hearing later this month whether I've been successful. I'm also wondering what people thought of the choices this time?
  12. The Colour - Rose Tremain. My third Tremain novel and I'm really enjoying it.
  13. Hooray! Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to bring back BGO - I didn't realise how much I'd miss it till it was gone!
  14. Excellent! I'm encouraged by your recommendations. It's not often I'm drawn to a book purely by looks, so I'm glad it's unlikely to be a big mistake! Since I bought it I've read a few reviews that said it wasn't up to Susan Hill's usual standard, but as it's the first book by her that I've read that shouldn't bother me.
  15. After much deliberation and to cheer myself up in the crappiest of crappy weeks, I spent my Christmas voucher/Waterstones points on three books. One Day - David Nicholls (mainly because of the BGO thread) The Long Song - Andrea Levy The Small Hand - Susan Hill (it might be awful, but it looks very pretty! )
  16. The only ones I can remember are: Animal Farm - made a huge impression on me, aged 13/14 Silas Marner Romeo and Juliet The Long, the Short and the Tall A Tale of Two Cities Prologue to the Canterbury Tales - which I loathed with a passion matched only by my hatred of the English teacher who insisted on reading it aloud to us in his creepy, oily voice...*shudders*...
  17. Cider with Roadies - Stuart Maconie. Suitably light and funny, just what I need at the moment.
  18. I second Hazel's suggestion of Michael Morpurgo's books (although Skellig was actually written by David Almond!) Whilst on the subject of David Almond, his recent prequel to Skellig - My Name is Mina - is brilliant to read aloud, and incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking. It does contain some mild swearing if that's a consideration? Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is a cracker, and how about Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy? Masses of action and humour and great male and female characters. Not sure about the read aloud aspect, but worth a try. Kate di Camillo is a very safe bet, I've not read a bad book by her, and they're always lovely to read out loud. Maybe more for the younger end of your age bracket though. Philip Pullman? I've read The Firework Maker's Daughter and The Scarecrow and His Servant as well as the His Dark Materials trilogy, and either of the former two would be great. I think His Dark Materials is probably best read alone, but others may disagree. Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series is very popular and while aimed at boys more than girls, I think it could appeal to both. I'm bound to think of more, but must stop for now!
  19. The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco. It's pulled me out of my post-Christmas reading slump.
  20. Hmmm, Pride and Prejudice; Iain Banks' The Crow Road; The Lord of the Rings; my three favourite Truman Capote short stories or a little bit of Calvin and Hobbes depending on the level of "comfort" required!
  21. My children's book group read this last month, and it was a resounding success. It was funny and had a lightness of touch that I enjoyed. Echoes of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, but not quite as dark. The children liked following the clues and trying to work out who the criminal was. Most of them are planning to go on and read the next two books in the series, so I think that says it all! A fun and easy read, recommended for 8-11s who like humorous books.
  22. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I've found the first two chapters gruesome, yet fascinating!
  23. Other Voices, Other Rooms - Truman Capote
  24. That's one generalization too far for me. YOUR children may be lazy and moronic, but none of the ones that I know are. And they do read. Real books. And lots of them.
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