CHARLIE CONNELLY – Attention All Shipping

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Acquired via BookCrossing 16 Jan 2006 – BookRing

An excellent “quest” book in which he travels to all the named areas from the Shipping Forecast. A good mix of travel, humour and history; funny, sweet and informative. He’s amusing enough, and a good enough writer, not to need to ape Bill Bryson – the use of “startling” had never jumped out as a Brysonism, but it must be, as every time I saw it I thought of him. And this guy can stand on his own two writing feet!


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Acquired via BookCrossing 05 Oct 2005 – trade with katybean

Hmm… not sure where the author was supposed to be getting or, indeed, why she wrote the book! A memoir of some incidents from the 1970s, it shows her and her fellow subjects in a very poor light – and we can all narrate embarassing tales and philosophies from our past without the need to publish them, can’t we?

Please note that I did ask for this and thought I would like it – so katybean not held responsible at all for my dislike of this one and its narrator!

LESLIE CHANG – Beyond the Narrow Gate

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Acquired via BookCrossing 03 Oct 2005 – in trade with Lotusflower77

Another good one! A wonderful book telling the story of the author’s mother and 3 contemporaries emigrating from 1950s China to America, and musing on her own and her generation’s cultural identity. Explains the history clearly, and is clear-sighted where it needs to be, emotional where it needs to be.

Will be offering this on a ring too, when the last batch has gone out.


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25 Dec 2005 – present from Catherine

A clever broadening of the brand, taking various types of women (boyish, frumpy, brand-obsessed etc), showing where they go wrong and how to do better and more flatteringly. Quite positive and affirming, and I can learn from a couple of the categories (but will I?) – although they cleverly refer you to their other books for the detailed advice.

ROBIN COOPER – The Timewaster Letters

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Bought 14 Jan 2006 – The Works (£1.50!)

Curious as I’d bought this for FIL for Christmas. Amusing book of crank letters and (sometimes) the replies they elicit. Gets a tiny bit samey but fun and passes the time!


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Acquired via BookCrossing 03 Oct 2005 – trade with Lotusflower77

A wonderful novel set in the range of 20th century Turkish history and narrated by the houses the protagonists live in – an unusual device that really works. Just the right amount of magical realism made it – ahem – magical but real!

I will be offering this on a BookRing soon

AZIR NAFISI – Reading Lolita in Tehran

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Acquired via BookCrossing 05 Jan 2006 – BookRing

Oh dear. I am ashamed to say that I just can’t get into this, and I’m not going to finish it. I gave it a good hundred pages – enough to establish a good idea of the terrible situation and limitations of life in Iran, but it got quite upsetting to read more and more of these events (yes, I appreciate it would be infinitely more upsetting to live through this, but what I’m saying is that the book has educated me, even though I didn’t finish it). I found it really heavy going and, pathetically, have given up.

I was glad of the chance to read it, as I’ve been thinking of reading it for ages. I don’t know why I couldn’t deal with it- I’ve read plenty of “behind the veil” and intellectual books, so it’s not that! But I was grateful for the chance to learn the small amount that I did learn.

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