CATHY KELLY – Past Secrets

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Bought 24 Aug 2007 – Red Cross charity shop (when will the August books end?)

Very good novel – Kelly is reliably a good read, a successor to Maeve Binchy. This one is most involving, with 3 women who live on the same street dealing with past secrets and worries. A very good holiday read.

Linda, have you read this one?

MARGARET REYNOLDS / JONATHAN NOAKES – Iris Murdoch: The Essential Guide

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Bought 23 Aug 2007 (Amazon)

Actually an essential guide to 3 novels (The Bell, The Black Prince, The Sea The Sea) but well done and with an excellent bibliography. This might go round me, Ali and Audrey a bit when we’re doing A Murdoch A Month!

PETER HESSLER – River Town

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Bouth 18 Aug 2007 – Sue Ryder in Kings Heath

An excellent travel narrative – one of my top reads all year. Hessler goes to a small Sichuan city for 2 years with the Peace Corps, as a teacher. He describes exactly what it was like to live there, how he learnt Chinese, how he made friends. It’s told without egocentricity or arrogance, he doesn’t ignore the bad bits or stay grumpy for long; it’s absorbing and wonderful and I hope he has written, or writes, many more books.

STEVEN D. LEVITT & STEPHEN J. DUBNER – Freakonomics

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Bought 06 Oct 2007 – charity shop

This was a Liz-and-Matt read so skipped the usual reading order. I think Matthew felt the same about it – it was an interesting read, the author taking economic and statistical principles and applying them to sociological questions – why do most drug dealers live with their Mums, etc. But it was very fragmented, with no real unifying theory (unlike, for example, Gladwell’s Tipping Point) and, although they do admit this, it does make for a less satisfying read.

I’m going to use this to restart someone’s lost bookring, so that’s satisfying anyway.

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Happy Birthday Weebly!!!!

Hope you have a lovely day, entirely separate from Christmas doings and with lots of fuss, just for YOU! 

FRANCES PARTRIDGE – Diaries 1939-1972

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Bought 14 Aug 2007 – PDSA charity shop

This one has been occupying chunks of my days for the past week: 700 pages of beautifully written, fascinating, satisfying diary writing. She knew all the “young” Bloomsbury set as well as the older ones, and there are marvellous glimpses of other literary figures – dear Iris Murdoch, fat old L.P. Hartley. Sad, funny, everything really. Fits well into the collection and will be re-read with pleasure.

DEBBIE MACOMBER – 74 Seaside Avenue

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bought 08 Oct 2007 (Amazon)

Yes, I crumbled and dug this out of the TBR shelf – couldn’t resist it. In this installment from Cedar Cove, we mainly follow the fortunes of the two Get Nailed nail and hair techs – Rachel and Teri – and their complicated love lives. But our old favourites feature too. Olivia and Grace, in particular, have much to occupy them.

Good news – DM is contracted to write up to at least No 9. Bad news – No 8 isn’t out in the States till October 2008!!!!

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