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The Maid

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  1. We've been computerless since last week. Fortunately I got a Kobo Arc for my birthday so I'm back online. Could anyone tell me if there was a vote for the category for the next book group read as last time I looked you were discussing options and now I see that it's to be a Sherlock Holmes? Did I miss something?
  2. Why not just have two reads? I would appreciate a choice. Maybe, as Grasshopper has said, different genres or have the top two in the same vote being taken up, it has been very close in the past? Some of you might want to read both.
  3. Personally, more concerned about the rise of the rat population in our vicinity. We live fairly close to a large shopping centre and see rats out and about outside there in the day-time. Over the weekend my DH looked out of our kitchen window and saw a rat nibbling at our blackberries, the cheek! Going to have to lay traps again which worked last year. My sympathies, Athena & Nonsuch, re. the chickens. However, I don't understand why you can't eat chicken anymore as I would separate the fox killing them for its food and KFC etc buying other mass produced chickens for our consumption. I did read a newspaper article a couple of weeks ago about how fast food chains were sourcing chickens bred too fast (i.e. killed too young) and pumped full of antibiotics etc which makes me wonder how good this is for our health. If I could afford it, I would only buy organic chicken who have led a long enough life. Many years ago I worked in the Dairy industry. What I learnt from then about growth hormones and antibiotics being fed to the Americans via their milk and beef and the possible threat to our milk industry going the same way converted me to organic milk at any cost. We've always bought organic potatoes and carrots too.
  4. Thanks to all for the congratulations, I am basking in reflected glory and very proud of them. Re. rabbits, this conversation brings to mind Alan Titchmarsh's monologue in one of the audiobooks I have of his where he blames Beatrix Potter for romanticising rabbits and their exploits! I bet no gardening parent with experience of the havoc rabbits can cause would ever read her Peter Rabbit to their kids! I also vaguely remember Gervase Phinn having a tale or two to tell about farmers' kids who reacted to this and other such books too.
  5. To busy over the last few days to post that our son no.2 scored a fantastic 100% in his English Language GCSE. He did very well in the rest of them too.
  6. Those whose focus is on the news can end up depressing those around them. I would add people who persistently complain about other people and their actions or words and don't consider having a chat with the person they're complaining about to address said complaint. General moaners, I suppose. BTW, this thread could go on & on & on as it is so easy to see the negative in others and situations etc.!
  7. It has been very interesting to see your experiences/views of the man himself. I hadn't looked him up on Youtube. It was because I enjoyed the Music & Monarchy series that I wanted to see his other work. He certainly doesn't sound very PC but I don't mind that as provocation can sometimes reveal alot about the other person's character and motives. I hasten to add that I don't do this myself but I do know someone who does and it certainly makes those around said person think and, occasionally, overreact. It takes all sorts to make a world and patience and forgiveness is needed with some. So far I've only had time to watch the first episode of the first series of Monarchy with my eldest son. The picture quality wasn't at all like the HD Music & Monarchy because it was made in 2007 and seemed to be shot in bright sunlight at the wrong angle to the camera. Hope it doesn't turn out to be an inferior quality set and hence the cheap price. I'll be querying this will Amazon, from whom I purchased it , if it gets worse. BTW apologies but I forgot to use the Amazon link here on BGO to make my purchase.
  8. Very funny! The Language Dept. at my teenage kids' school set them the task of creating a Mr Men or Little Miss book in Spanish. This meant writing an original story, illustrating it and producing a finished copy. Two of my kids have done Spanish and had to do this and absolutely loved doing this. As teenagers they could see how to bring out an adult slant in a kids story to keep the adults reading it amused. I loved it too.
  9. I haven't read the novel you're reviewing but I've read Richard's biography of his father's side of the family: Fathers & Sons. It is very good for a biography but if he's written a novel in the same way then I can see it wouldn't work. Unfortunately, bookwriting has become a very profitable business for "celebrities" generally as can be seen by the number of so-called autobiographies which come out on a regular basis and haven't actually been written by the person on the frontcover. Ghostwriting is lucrative for those involved. I struggled through Alfie Boe's which had obviously been dictated and passed on to a ghostwriter. It was full of errors etc. I decided to stick to listening to his singing only. I started Rob Brydon's recently and gave up after a couple of chapters as it wasn't funny or interesting.
  10. Thanks, tagesmann. Have you read the books? I was wondering if they have more detail than the TV series.
  11. It's the second time he's had this surgery!
  12. I like cookery books and biographies especially historical ones. What about an Agatha Christie? (I've only just started to read her novels and I now realise why a friend of mine at school loved them or are they too easy a read?).
  13. We've been watching David Starkey's Music & Monarchy BBC series. I've really enjoyed it. I purchased a couple of bargains recently - a set of audiocassettes from our local library of his Six Wives of Henry VIII for £1 and the boxed set of all the Channel 4 Monarchy series, Elizabeth 1 series and the Six Wives series for £14ish from Amazon. Has anyone seen these? I'm hoping that these will be useful for GCSE & A level History as well as enjoyable watching for the rest of the summer hols and beyond.
  14. Hope it all gets sorted asap, Momac. We've been celebrating all day today as eldest son has achieved brilliant A Level results: Maths, A*, Further Maths, A, Physics, A & Music, A. Having had toenail surgery yesterday (both big toenails), he now happy but exhausted! He will be going to uni to read Maths. Hopefully, his toes will be fully healed by then.
  15. I remember seeing her on BBC Breakfast TV for the launch of her book. It's lovely how looking at her drawings of her children brings back memories of my own at that age!
  16. I sometimes check my previous library borrowing record online to remind me what I've read from the library now. A while back I bought a book from a charity shop, started reading it and thought it was vaguely familiar, checked my library books online record and sure enough I had read it about 3 years ago! I felt disappointed in myself for not remembering. Must do some DS Brain Training again before it's too late. I blame it on the sleep deprivation.
  17. I do sometimes depending on what I'm doing & depending on what I'm listening to. Other times I'm too lazy or too busy to bother. I've got some murder mystery audiobooks to re-listen to because I can't remember who did it!!! I suppose they are good value for money now as I'll listen to them more than once. It's a bit like the falling asleep in front of the telly and missing the end of a Poirot etc. I'm permanently sleep deprived since having children many moons ago. The hot weather hasn't helped either, it's only just cooling down where we live. I prefer the old cassettes to listen to as when you've stopped you know exactly where you are, CDs aren't the same as I have to make a note of the track etc I've reached. I haven't got an iPod. I once had a basic MP3 player but accidentally trod on it and broke it and never replaced it. I do have a cassette/radio/CD player in my kitchen which is used alot for all three.
  18. I'm late to this too. I listen to audiobooks & like Meg. always make a distinction between abridged and unabridged in asserting whether I've actually "read" the book. I was never read to as a child by my parents ( ) & I've definitely been making up for that ever since with audiobooks and listening to Radio 4 & Radio4 Extra dramatised books (which I wouldn't count as having read the book). My other concern with saying that I've read a book, which I've actually only listened to as an audiobook, is that I rarely listen to one without doing something else such as housework during which my concentration is sometimes interrupted and I don't digest said audiobook as I would if I was reading it. I suppose I'm saying that I'm not sure I would consider myself to actually have read a book properly until I've read the written words.
  19. What's this - an except from the Radio 4 programme "I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue"? Waawo should definitely be on the panel game - I couldn't stop laughing!!!
  20. I've been meaning to read this, even got the audiobook version on CD (many years ago!) & never listened to it, plus it is on my son's A2 set booklist so I vote for this.
  21. I wanted to single out David's advice here (and Mister Hobgoblin's comment too) as since my last post I have read the text in question courtesy of our local library. If I was doing this text as my 16/17 year self, I would have had real trouble with it. However, in today's world and bearing my son's personality and ability to cope and our family dynamic then I don't think that there is a problem afterall. I wish I could have got my hands on a copy sooner! I've let the school know. At least they know I am interested in what he is doing re. A levels!! I do have another question and that is how do you assess the quality of an English Literature degree? Are Oxford and Cambridge degrees in this field superior? This is looking ahead to next year when we will again be doing the tour of University Open Days. Also, re. job prospects, is it worth considering combining English Literature with another subject? Where did all you English Literature teachers do your degrees?
  22. Thanks everyone for your input. I have had some discussions with the school and they are looking into my queries. My son won't be doing The Handmaid's Tale as this will only be offered to who are not well read and struggle to draw on their own experience of English Literature. The English Dept. are going to look into what they will offer re. doing or not doing The Bloody Chamber and get back to me. My son taking part in all these discussions, afterall he's the one who'll be doing the A Level! Wuthering Heights and Northanger Abbey are the other possible texts. All this is only relevant to A2 so there is plenty of time to prepare. Meanwhile I'm off to the library to get my reserved copy of Enduring Love by Ian McKewan which is one of the AS texts. The Great Gatsby is the other AS novel.
  23. Son no.2 has been told on his Sixth Form induction day that he shouldn't do Eng. Lang. & Lit. A Level but English Lit. instead. I am a bit worried about a couple of books which the school has selected to do on this A Level. Namely, The Handmaid's Tale & The Bloody Chamber. I looked them up on Amazon (my local library didn't have them in) and I can now see why one of Son no.1's friends (a girl) was upset by what she was having to read. Does anyone on here have any advice for me as a parent and for my son no.2? Would it help him if he read some of the revision notes first to gain an understanding of the background to the books first. I think I have more of a problem with The Bloody Chamber so insight into how to approach that particular book would be especially helpful. BTW I've looked at Student Room website to see how current and previous students have coped but a lot of those posting seem not to have really tackled their course very well! Also, why do schools narrow down the number of books to the bare minimum and not give the kids more of a choice in text selection. It would be better for my son if he knew he would have an alternative text to use in each case and thus have more of a choice in which questions he will have to answer. I'd really appreciate a reply from an English Literature teacher, thanks.
  24. Glad I dropped by and will certainly be doing so regularly. Looking forward the changes, David. Thanks for the good wishes, Megustaleer. I've already looked up a couple of set books on the A level course in past posts and will definitely be reading them for myself.
  25. Eldest finished his A levels on Thursday and no.2 son finishes GCSEs on Monday. It has been a hectic and pressurised last few months. Eight weeks 'til we get the results for A levels then the GCSE's the following week. It's already feeling very strange not having the focus of revision and exams coming up and I'm not the one taking them!! Son no.2 will be doing, among others, English Lit. & English Lang. at A level so looking forward to that. I thought I would log in again - it's been 2.5 years since I last did! Hoping to have more time to look in occasionally.
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