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About Viccie

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    reading, writing, wine, dawdling around
  • How did you hear about this site?
    Sunday Times article

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  1. Book Chain

    Love in a Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
  2. Educated

    I listened to this on audio and was completely riveted by it. I have to admit to sharing some fellow feeling with her - I had a (relatively ) normal upbringing, but my father didn't believe it was necessary for girls to go to school. My 4 elder brother went to boarding school from age 9 and were at day schools before but I was educated at home until I was 11. Then, never having been among groups of children, having no sisters so no idea of what girls talked about, and no experience of school I was sent to boarding school. My experices were nothing like so extreme as Tara Westover's but I know absolutely that feeling of being apart and not understanding what's going on around you. That apart i would have been completely absorbed by this book anyway, highly recommended.
  3. Currently Reading

    Bossypabts by Tina Fey which I'm really enjoying. I think I'm going to have a quote from her laminated and hung above my husband's desk: "It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don't like something it is empirically not good."
  4. Currently Reading

    Ooh good! I'm looking forward to hearing what you think!
  5. This looks good! Thanks Hazel.
  6. Yeah I know but I don't really count it - it was written some time afterwards, jumps about 10 years and doesn't have the same narrative drive. So it's really a quartet with an add-on! Incidentally I searched for the Cazalets and Eliabeth Jane Howard and came up with one refernce to another book. I see now there have been several posts - the BGO search engine strikes again!
  7. We can thank Martin Amis for this wonderful four book series - his stepmother EJH felt she didn't know what she should do with her writing and he suggsted that she write a saga. This story of a middle class family of timber merchants, friends and servents from the years just before the war up to the war's end is the result. The series starts off in 1937 where the Brig and the Duchy, patriach and matriach of the family are still weilding a considerable control over their children and grandchildren and finishes with the grandchildren grown and growing up, making mistakes and looking to a new future. As alwys EJH's writing is superb but what I think really sets these books apart from others that cover a similar period is her attention to detail and her suberb charecterisation = there are a lot of characters, they are all quite distinct and you never get get muddled. They're also very human, even the ones who send a slight shiver of repulsion down your spine are not entirely bad and no-one is perfect either. They're all quite chunky books and are a treat to be savoured and enjoyed. I first read them in the 90's and was totally gripped. Last week I decided I'd start re-reading them and they're every bit as enjoyable as they were first time round.
  8. Circe

    The only thing I could remember about Circe when I started this book is that she was the witch who turned Odysseus's sailors into pigs and when she couldn't work her magic on Odysseus had an affair with him. This books ia about so much more than just that. Circe was the daughter of the Titan Helios, the god of the Sun, the sister of Pasiphae, the mother of the Minotaur, and a nymph who's prime function was to be beautiful and entertain - except by nymph standards she's plain and by their standards has a terrible singing voice so right from the start does not truly fit in. She discovers her witchery almost by accident and when she uses against a tormentor is punished harshly. Madeline Miller has created a powerful and complex story which seems to cover most of the charecters we've heard about in Greek Myths. One of the most appealong things about this book is how very 'human' Circe is - if that's a word you can use for an immortal - she makes mistakes, she does wrong things but she changes and develops. One of the best - and most surprising parts of the book is towards the end when the long suffering Penelope, wife of Odysseus, come to Aiaia, Circe's island and the interaction between the two women. This is really a top rate book - I listened to it on audio and it was perfectly read -and it's good enoughfor me to search out the print version so I can read it in print some time.
  9. Looks good and it's only 1.99 on Kindle and Kobo! Incidentally it also seems to be called Deep Dark Water
  10. Book Chain

    Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
  11. what is everyone doing?

    Oh Meg, I'm so sorry. That's awful. My sympathies with both of you Meg and Momac, I know what it's like. I too have made my husband very lazy about looking after himself - he's always been incredibly brave about coping with his problems (caused by a stroke when he was 29) and I assumed that he would go on like that. He's got into expecting me to do things for him - yes like remembering if he's taken his pills but it even got as far at one point as him expecting me to go to second hand book fairs and choose his books for him because he couldn't bebothered. I went on strike about that one and said I wanted to look for books for myself!
  12. The Aftermath

    Judging by the reviews you're absolutely right.
  13. what is everyone doing?

    I love that, Luna.
  14. Very Long Books - Are they worth it?

    I adored War and Peace. I read it when I was 15 and should have been revising for my mock O levels - I barely looked at any of the textbooks. I got really good marks for once, probably because I was so involved in my book I was entirely relaxed and didn't go into a blind panic at the first question. My teachers relised to their surprise that I wasn't entirely thick. My father was a mason and even he thought there was much t.oo much about masonic rituals, but then Tolstoy seems to have been inclined towards banging on. There's an awful lot about haymaking in Anna Karenina
  15. Very Long Books - Are they worth it?

    To my surprise I've read several of those books - well part of them, I confess to only reading two of the books in Dance to the Music of Time and I think I skipped Clarissa in places. I don't remember And the Ladies of the Club being that long and A Suitable Boy was just sheer enjoyment all the way through. There is an abridged version of Les Mis - look it up on Amazon. Cuts approx 400 pages.