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anneliesscott

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About anneliesscott

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core_pfieldgroups_99

  • Biography
    Home-educator, cellist and teacher
  • Location
    Guildford
  • Interests
    Film, theatre, travel
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  1. Just had our book group session on this book. I found it much as Cassie did, and only got to the end because it was for book group. In our group of 5, two of us hated it, 2 absolutely loved it and the third was half way, mostly liking it but understanding why 2 of us didn't. I felt it brought up some interesting ideas on what it means to be Jewish, but wish he'd just written an essay, rather than make us plough through this dull, plotless novel peopled by irritating characters. Funnily enough, it was the women I really liked in the book - the men were all appalling people (perhaps with the exception of Libor - but only perhaps.) The humour was not at all the sparkling wit I'd been led to anticipate and only just alleviated the dullness. All in all, I really wouldn't bother, but it's only fair to reiterate that two good friends would be saying the exact opposite!
  2. I found "Fury" by Salman Rushdie too "intellectual" but couldn't decide whether it was just pretentious. Either way it has put me off reading anything else by him! There are certainly authors that I assume I would find intellectually challenging, and I'm not always sure I'm up for it - but I love it when I have to read something that I would otherwise give up on, for instance for a book group. I read "Love in the Time of Cholera" for a book group - would definitely have given up on it otherwise, and got to the end feeling all the better for having experienced such amazing writing. I think Grammath is right when he says that if a book really feels "too intellectual" then it is a flaw of the book, not the reader. One of the reasons I love Ishiguro is that he can explore the full range of human experience with language that is instantly accessible - I never need a dictionary by my side. Will Self and Rushdie on the other hand - I just can't be bothered. Interesting thread lunababy!
  3. Just finished reading this and absolutely loved it. Others in this thread have described the concept and subject matter - all I'll say is that I don't share the misgivings that some reviewers had about this book. I found the depiction of a young man in the grip of bereavement absolutely mesmerising and completely related to Leo, the first of the two protagonists. I was equally drawn into the WW1 story in the book, and found the battle descriptions amongst the most believable and horrifying I have ever read. Moritz's long walk home never gets tiring for the reader, and the idea of someone being sustained during such a trial simply by the memory of one kiss was wonderfully romantic. All in all, I was really captivated by this book - it was heartfelt and emotional without being slushy, distressing and hard hitting without being gratuitous, and had a great overall structure which kept the pace of reading just right.
  4. Just read this book on holiday and absolutely loved it. I agree with those who find it a step up from Starter for Ten, which I enjoyed very much for its brilliant observational comedy, but found rather shallow overall. THis was far from shallow. I loved the format of the book, and how you found out how the protagonists were getting on, both separately and in their relationship together, by "dropping in" on them on the same day each year. I found the ups and downs of their life both authentic and poignant and by the end of the book was completely involved in the characters lives. I personally loved the sudden return to the first day of the book towards the end, and have some more information to fill in the gaps in my knowledge about how these two people started out in their long friendship. I loved the unexpected turns of the book, and the author's masterful understanding of human nature throughout, not to mention his ability to make the reader laugh out loud on numerous occasions. Very highly recommended by me!
  5. Like a couple of you, I didn't click with this straight away. I am so pleased that I "had" to read it for a book club, because I might not have persevered otherwise and now I've finished it, I can honestly say I loved it. I love books that teach me something, and it sent me running for the internet to look up Trotsky (about whom I had no idea I knew so little) and the Riveras. I loved the book's principal idea about the most important part of any story being what we don't know about it, and I loved (and was appalled by) the terrifying depiction of life in paranoid 40s and 50s USA, where the Constitution was completely trampled under assertions such as, if you needed to take the Fifth Amendment, you must therefore be guilty of something, and that to disagree with the segregation laws meant you were anti-American. A book very much worth the effort needed to read it - highly recommended.
  6. Thanks Meg, that has reminded me of some authors I had completely forgotten about! It's a genre I've long since abandoned, but 2 weeks in the sun is making me long for that sort of fluffiness again!
  7. Hi all, Off on holiday for a couple of weeks, and have some really great books with me, but also want some pure escapism. Have loved Jilly Cooper in the past but can't stand Penny Vincenzi, love Jane Green but hate Nora Roberts. Has anyone got any ideas for any authors I might enjoy given these rather vague parameters? Many thanks in advance! (And please don't judge me for my love of Jilly Cooper!)
  8. Just rewatched Hot Fuzz - probably the funniest film of the decade!
  9. Just went to a fantastic wedding, where they did something I've never come across before, but absolutely loved. It was a small wedding, just 25 people, and instead of 1 long reading, we were each given a small quote on love or friendship to read out, one at a time. They were all great quotes, some funny, some tear-jerking, all apt and it made everyone at the wedding feel so involved.
  10. How to win friends and influence people - Dale Carnegie
  11. We've just ordered our E books, and while I love paper books and always will, I'm very excited to be setting off on holiday in September with an e book loaded with fab literature, but weighing less than a single paperback! I love new technologies and am happiest when they live side by side with the traditional ways of doing things - I think vinyl to CD is different in a way, because there's nothing you can't do with a CD that you could with vinyl, and in fact the extra advantages (fast forwarding, skipping tracks easily, no needle to scratch the disc) far outweigh anything else IMO. I can understand where the original poster was coming from, but find it a little too extreme!
  12. I meant that I agree with Tay!
  13. I agree with Hazel - my daughter adored the audiobooks of the Northern Lights, and listened to them nightly for so many months that she virtually knew the entire series from memory.
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