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About Minxminnie

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  • Birthday 11/12/1965


  • Location
    West of Scotland
  • Interests
    travel, photography, reading (doh!), cinema, lying in on a Saturday.

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  1. Did anyone watch The Big Scottish Book Club on BBC Scotland or iPlayer? (Sadly no longer on iPlayer) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000bc3h It was good: it had a good selection of guests (writers rather than readers) and Damian Barr is a good interviewer. It is my claim to fame that I was his English teacher for a couple of weeks. 😆
  2. I can only say that, as a member, I had drifted away without really noticing, and as a mod, there wasn't much for me to do. Like Hazel, I had other responsibilities and demands on my time. It's an unfortunate aspect of online life that people can drift off and you never know why: I often think that, when David died, we were very lucky to actually find out. I fully understood why the decision was taken to close the site if no-one was able to take it in, but if Tag can do it, it would be great. One thought: on reflection, the fact that it's a web based forum probably puts me off visiti
  3. I'd be happy if the site continued with more focus on books. I don't think a review has to be anything formal. I just like to see that someone else has read the same thing as me and some thoughts on whether they liked it or not. I think it's a shame if anyone thinks they need to write an essay to post on a book.
  4. Minxminnie


    Great pics! Lovely dogs and a fabulous photographer. 😃
  5. I probably don't need to explain too much about this: Booker winner, writer lives in US but grew up in poverty in Glasgow with an alcoholic mother, and this is the subject matter of the novel. It's gritty and grim, and it doesn't shy away from the rough side of life. The bulk of the novel covers Shuggie's childhood in a mining village where they moved to try to help Agnes escape her demons. I suppose it is clever, thoughtful, perceptive characterisation of a woman in crisis. There are definitely set pieces that will stay with me, and the last 100 pages or so were very moving. B
  6. I bought this after seeing JG interviewed by Damien Barr on his book club show: she was talking about the second volume of her memoir, but I thought I would start at the beginning. It is gobsmackingly good, visceral and vivid. She was the late child of an unhappy couple, with an older sister, Cora, who is already an adult when she is born. Cora returns to the family home after (we presume) an unhappy marriage and is a force to be reckoned with. The memoir is a very powerful evocation of a fairly unhappy childhood from the point of view of a child who doesn't really understand that it
  7. I'm really sorry to hear this. I'm not on BGO so much any more but I do remember the days when we all talked most days and she was always such a cheerful, positive presence.
  8. I started this a long time ago and abandoned it fairly quickly: I was disappointed, having hugely enjoyed Want You Gone, her first novel. I can't remember why I didn't like it, but I think I felt the main woman was a bit of a drip and lacked agency in her own life. I have read most of her stuff since then and enjoyed it, though not as much as I enjoyed the first one. How strange to have written one book that your readership generally seems to dislike!
  9. Me too. The Aberfan episode was amazing, wasn't it?
  10. This novel was the Times Crime Book of the Month, but it's not, as I found out, a traditional crime book since from near the start, you know whodunnit but just not why. It's more of a character based novel, though there is the traditional detective and investigation. It focuses on the aftermath of a mass shooting and the experience of the shooter's mother and the mother of one of the victims. It just left me a bit flat. It belongs to the sub genre of crime which focuses on the death of a child and the suffering of the parent; there seems to be a lot of this around in TV and film as well a
  11. No I didn't think you were criticising! I agree with Heather that many people are put off reading by thinking there has to be rules, like not skipping and finishing a book you start.
  12. I think speed reading is good when you have to read, but not when you want to read. I've never learned to do it, but I think it's something different than skim reading: as far as I'm aware, it's a technique for absorbing lots of content. It's probably good if you need to absorb big chunks, for example for work. It's probably not great for reading fiction for pleasure, I reckon. I also skip bits of some books. Who wrote that books "Rights of the Reader"? One was the right to skip. If it's my book and my time, I'll do what I like.
  13. This was the book of the month in Waterstones, and had breathless praise on the cover from writers and reviewers who I respect. It was an interesting premise: a crime novel from the perspective of the victim. And I do enjoy a novel with a big rambling house at the centre. Tana French can write a great sentence: the problem was that she wrote too many of them. It just went on and on. It started, eventually, with the central character, Toby, being a victim of a beating during a robbery (it even took a while to get there). He then goes to live with his ailing uncle in the family home,
  14. I have just finished this. I was a bit disappointed: the story seemed melodramatic and drawn out, and in tone it was more chicklit than I expected. He kept filling us in on minor characters' backstory when we were in a major character's POV, which really annoyed me. But I did enjoy it in parts. I thought he captured something of small town Irish life (though I am no judge of small town Irish life, to be fair). Auntie Eileen's B&B was a comic masterpiece, and I think he is very good at that sort of thing, a sort of Irish Alan Bennett. I just hope he gets into his stride with his storytelli
  15. I have got to about p.250 in this but have admitted defeat. It just seems to be lots of stuff happening and people talking, with little of interest. It feels too whimsical and flippant, like a John le Carré rewritten by Alan Bennett. I do like Kate Atkinson but this has been deeply annoying.
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