DEBBIE MACOMBER – 16 Lighthouse Road

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31 Mar 2007 – Sue Ryder charity shop, Kings Heath

Shocker – Liz reads books out of order! I have a lot of non-fic on my shelf at the moment and wanted something light and escapist.

I was a bit worried as this is in the “silhoutte” romance brand, but it’s a full-size book and doesn’t have any more romance than any other DC novel; it also has a lot more to it.

Here we meet Charlotte, her daughter Olivia and her daughter Justine, living in Cedar Cove amongst friends old and new – and we follow their friendships and romances through the intricate web of social ties and relationships in the town. No-one can do anything without it being observed, and this small-town mentality gives the atmosphere to the book – support, and care, with a bit of gossip thrown in.

An enjoyable read and I will continue to follow the exploits of the residents of Cedar Cove through the 5 books in the series I already have, and onwards as she continues to write them!

EARLENE FOWLER – Fool’s Puzzle

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Feb 2007 – gift from Linda Gillard

My first cozy mystery! Benni Harper, newly widowed and living alone, starts a new job as an arts centre co-ordinator and a new life in town rather than on the ranch. Then murder hits the arts centre and, disillusioned with the police force and entering into an entertaining love-hate relationship with the temporary Chief Of Police, she tries to solve it herself.

Elements of mystery and romance in here that I don’t usually go for – but I enjoyed it and will certainly be looking out for the other books in the series, for light, escapist and fun reads that are nevertheless well-written and worth reading!

WILL FERGUSON – Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw

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27 Jan 2007 – Bookends, Birmingham

I enjoyed his book on his travels in Japan so was excited to find this one about Canada. Ferguson takes us on a journey across Canada, through his early and teenage experiences and road-trips he takes, variously, with two of his brothers, his young son, and his wife and family. Enough emotion, history and description in the right balance – an entertaining and engaging read and I learnt much more about Canadian history.

DIANA PULLEIN-THOMPSON – The First Rosette

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14 May 2006 – Rose’s Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye

I’ve already read no 3 in this short series but it didn’t really matter. The engaging story of David, working class boy with no pony, and Pat, daughter of the Master of the Hunt, who has everything… will David get hold of a good pony and jump at the Windsor show? What do you think?

DANIEL TAMMET – Born on a Blue Day

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Acquired via BookCrossing 26 Apr 2007 – on a bookring (destined for Linda but I was on the ring anyway so grabbed the book while it was with me!)

Hm. I finished this the other day but I’ve been wondering what to put down.

While I recognise his achievements and as another reader did, congratulate him on pushing himself to the limits, I found the language that was used to express Daniel’s words in the book seemed a bit over-simple and almost patronising. Don’t get me wrong – lots of ASD people do have very simplistic thought processes and explanations of them. But I don’t believe they would write a book in that way, having an understanding of the registers to use with speaking and more formal writing. I thought it seemed to pander to the “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” reader and I would have preferred to see some sections of direct thought like this and then some more formality and maturity in the writing. I am pretty sure he could write in this way, with reference to Temple Grandin, Sean Barron, Donna thingummy etc.

So, that was an annoyance to an extent – and then I have a block on Maths so I didn’t engage with those parts. I found it a fairly interesting read with some parts to recognise and celebrate, but I prefer the work of the other writers mentioned and, indeed, fictionalisations like “Speed of Dark”, which really put across the Aspie mind very powerfully.

And no disrespect to the author – I have a feeling this was in the editing.

PETER CAREY – Wrong About Japan (April read)

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21 Jan 2007 – bday present from Molyneux

In which Peter Carey (yes, that one, the Booker-winning novelist) has a somewhat unsatisfactory trip to Japan with his son. Encompassing the history of manga, a guide to some of the towns and a father-son-road trip, this is a dreamy read, like the trip, full of misunderstandings and over just that bit too soon.

I think I’ll offer this on a bookring at some stage.

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