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Everything posted by hannibalheyes

  1. Have just got into Redbreast by Jo Nesbo - seems like a good police thriller, am enjoying it very much. He's being hailed as the new Steig Larsson, but he's not as good IMO!
  2. I'm going to use my library as much as possible. Bless it. I have all the new releases on pre-order, and enjoy knowing that I'm 37th in a queue of 65 to get the next Val McDermid, or whatever. No more waiting a year for the paperback to come out cos I'm too stingy to buy hardback.
  3. We read White Fang, Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh and the Silver Chair by Lewis. Hated the first two, loved the Lewis. For O level, we did A Tale Of Two Cities, short stories by Dylan Thomas etc, R&J, and poetry by G M Hopkins, and Eliot's Wasteland. Can't remember the rest. At A level, we did Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner and Greene's The Power and the Glory. Also the non-fiction story of the Elephant Man (?!). Poetry was all sorts, but mainly the War Poets. For my degree, we read so much I can't remember it all - but do remember Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination, and Women in Love. Poetry was ace - more Hopkins, and Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron et al. I remember a book called The Golden Treasury of English Verse - Fab. More Eliot. As for Shakespeare - we did Othello, Henry V (both), Henry VIII, Love's Labour's Lost, Midsummer, Hamlet (boo), Macbeth, Much Ado, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew and a few more too. Big on Shakespeare, my course was. I love him.
  4. Amen - I'm piling up the audio books, great company for cooking and other kitchen-shenanigans.
  5. My comfort reads are crime thrillers - if I want something less challenging or an easier read, I'll pick up whichever is newest - Lee Child, Peter Robinson etc. I don't tend to re-read books - unless it's years later.
  6. HP and the Deathly Hallows pt 1. Wow is all I can say. Loved it.
  7. I am going to abandon mark Mills' Savage Garden - it seems rather tedious to me, and too similar to a raft of books I've recently finished. But then, I have just picked up a copy of Lee Child's Worth Dying For...
  8. Wicked thanks - viewed and ordered (through link) along with the Science of Harry Potter for my son this Xmas. Great stuff!
  9. I think this was filmed as 'Christmas with the Kranks'. Which is a really so-bad-it's-good kind of Xmas film.
  10. I love the idea of you weeping over the poor, abandoned books to be found in charity shops across the country. I have to cruelly discard the books I read as I haven't the room to provide a caring home for them. Only the really special ones are allowed to remain on my bookshelf. The rest are cast asunder to the nearest chazza shop, and I hope that a kindly soul will take pity on them, and give them a new home.
  11. Although my kids are getting older, we still love the old picture-book favourites like Mog's Christmas et al. I've bought a gorgeous edition of A Christmas Carol to read with them this year - it's illustrated by Quentin Blake, so we're looking forward to that. I can't think of any 'grown-up' Christmas novels though - apart from Poirot's Christmas. I may well try some of those suggested in this thread.
  12. And I wonder how many readers have, like me, bought a second-hand book; loved it, then had to buy the rest of that writer's canon new, as they simply couldn't wait to find them in another chazza shop. Yes R J Ellory, I'm talking about you. And you, Lee Child; Sophie Hannah; Peter Robinson; C J Sansom...
  13. Stone's Fall by Iain Pears - fab so far. It's about a journalist who's hired to write a biog of an industrialist who's just died, but the trick is the story begins with his death, then is split into four parts, each detailing an earlier part of his life - going backwards. Its style does remind me of The Instance of the Fingerpost by Pears which told the same story from four different viewpoints. That was ace, I'm hoping this continues to impress.
  14. I try not to think that books can be too intellectual for me, rather that the writer is not interesting enough for me to want to concentrate. I have read many classics, many so-called 'challenging' novels, and I've come to the realisation that life is too short to waste time on anything I struggle to engage with. Is it wrong to assume that people have different intellectual abilities? I'm a teacher, so have to aim my teaching to suit diff ability levels every day. Some kids will get A*s, some will struggle to get a grade F in the GCSEs. It's a concept I am uncomfortable with - labelling anyone with a certain 'level' of intelligence. Yet I know that a kid from a 'low' ability group would not be able to cope with the work I would set for a 'top' ability level group. Maybe I'm in the wrong job.
  15. Saw Buried a week ago - was really impressed; an intriguing way to keep the audience wanting to know what could possibly happen. Really looking forward to Saw 3D this week - sad I know, but a real guilty pleasure.
  16. Oh, it's pure joy for me - Elizabeth McGovern is a joy to watch, and the downstairs bunch are far more interesting to watch than the upstairs toffs. It's so hard to imagine a life like that isn't it? Quote of the series for me was when Maggie Smith's character asked what a weekend was!
  17. I love the ending of A Tale of Two Cities, it really finishes the story well, and I was left with a real feeling of completion. Of Mice and Men too - shocking as the ending is, it does end; you really haven't any unanswered questions. I love that feeling of 'Ahh - all done...' at the end of a book, as opposed to the 'What - you can't do THAT?!!' syndrome so many seem to opt for these days. Yes, Kate Mosse - I'm talking to you.
  18. Just finished this, and totally agree with you Leyla - Jack's voice acted as a filter for too much misery. I did think the book lost its way after they'd left the room, and became too predictable in its dealing with all the new characters introduced. I would have preferred to hear Ma's perspective at that point, to gain a better sense of just how she couldn't cope. Due to Jack's narration, the bigger issues were only skirted around, and this was fairly frustrating for me.
  19. Have just started this - it's a page-turner alright, but uncomfortable reading all the same. I am 'with' the narrator at the mo, his voice rings true, although there are a few jarring moments, but that may be due to the subject-matter.
  20. A Simple Act of Violence by R J Ellory. Ace so far!
  21. Good luck with that - almost a year to wait for you then! (That's why I borrowed it from t'library - I can buy it in paperback later to match the others. Sad OCD-ness on my bookshelf, let me tell you.)
  22. I've put a load of books on my Amazon wish list now - so will be purchasing them as soon as my Mount TBR has shrunk somewhat. Anyone read Candlemoth - it was his first novel, and sounds familiar - think I may have already read that one. It's amazing to think he's not an American with all his knowledge and believable characters. Apparently he struggled to get published at first as English publishers didn't want an American story by a British writer.
  23. I wouldn't really call them parodies. Too careful, too beautiful. But both do look at love in atypical ways, which was, in itself, a challenge to the convention of sonnet writing.
  24. Why didn't anyone tell me about him?? I read A Quiet Belief in Angles last year, thought it ace, then promptly forgot about the author, until I picked up A Simple Act of Violence, which I'm getting stuck into. I shall be purchasing more asap - what a fab writer - quietly understated, non-stereotypical characterisations, and detailed and believable narratives. Fab. And he's a Brummie!
  25. Not happy. Stephen Tompkinson is so not Alan Banks it hurts. Annie Cabot is also horrifically miscast. Shan't watch anymore of it.
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