TRINNY WOODALL & SUSANNAH CONSTANTINE – What Your Clothes Say About You

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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!

ALEV LYTTLE CROUTIER – Seven Houses

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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.

ANITA RAU BADAMI – Tamarind Mem

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Acquired via BookCrossing 03 Oct 2005 – trade from Lotusflower77

I had hoped for more of the Canadian life of the daughter in this story, as it would have made a good contrast, but this was a nice, often lyrical, description of a mother and daughter, rather cleverly giving the daughter’s story first and then filling in the details from the mother’s perspective.

I will be offering this on a ring soon.

How am I reading so much at the moment? Well, Matt is busy working on his projects, which are due in next week, and has been since I started my Christmas holidays, so even though I’m back at work now I have more time on my own (reading) or sitting up in his study to keep him company (also reading). One way to get through Mt TBR I suppose!

NOEL STREATFEILD The Painted Garden

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Bought 12 Oct 2005 – The Works

Read out of acquisition sequence as I had a lot of India-theme books all in a row!

Lovely story about the English Winter family’s stay in California, and plain Jane’s blossoming (no pun intended) as she acts in a film of “The Secret Garden”. The Fossil girls from “Ballet Shoes” make an appearance too – a lovely blending of favourite children’s books.

Friends tidying

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Hello, just wanted to let people know in case I inadvertently offend anyone, that I’m slimming down my “friends” list quite dramatically. This is just so that when I skim into the Friends view, I don’t see so many posts and spend so much time reading them. Anyone I “unfriend” I will keep up with sporadically anyway by going into their journals – it’s just the thing of everything coming up on the Friends view that is getting too much when I’m trying to spend less time staring at a computer screen, slack-jawed… Mainly I’m keeping people I actually “know” or correspond with a lot, if that makes sense. I haven’t not enjoyed anyone’s…!

So – nothing meant by it if I’ve removed you, just trying to spend time not looking at computer all the time!! And feel free to unfriend me in return!!

Cheers

Liz

PS Still worried I might offend someone! Or with this post, but I don’t know if people notice if they’re unfriended and I wanted to make sure I’d explained it. This is why I don’t post my life on here – incoherent and bad at explaining things!

PANKAJ MISHRA – Butter Chicken in Ludhiana

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Acquired via BookCrossing 03 Oct 2005 – trade with lotusflower77

Very interesting book about travelling around India, by an Indian writer. The tone was often reminiscent of books I’ve read about Britain by British writers – the despair and affection of an actual countryman. I can only remember reading one similar book about Asia, by V.S. Naipaul, and he was not a native of the country. Amusing (his travelling persona reminded me a little of Paul Theroux – a bit grumpy!) interesting, and informative.

I’m going to offer this up on a Ring when the current crop of Rings and Rays have been sent on their way.

PREETHI NAIR – 100 Shades of White

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Acquired via BookCrossing 30 Dec 2005 – BookRing

I think this fulfilled the promise of her earlier “Gypsy Masala” – more self-assured and realistic, and very absorbing. I nearly made myself late for work trying to finish reading it this morning! Telling the story from the perspectives or mother and daughter alternately gave interest and vitality. I don’t think events were unbelievable – sure, a lot happens, but it’s all explicable. Really good book.

ANURAG MATHUR – The Inscrutable Americans

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Acquired via BookCrossing 03 Oct 2005 – trade with lotusflower77

A wonderful, sweet, hysterically funny novel about an Indian guy’s year at College in America. Naive and immature, he nevertheless comes through his adventures relatively unscathed and with good humour and dignity intact. A lovely book and I will look out for other novels by this author.

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