VIRGINIA IRONSIDE – No! I Don’t Want To Join A Bookclub

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Bought 29 Oct 2007 – charity shop

Touted as Bridget Jones for the over 60s or “a diary of growing old disgracefully”, this tried a bit hard to be a bit shocking in places, and seemed a bit harsh on older people who want to stay mentally and physically active. Also, 60 isn’t actually that old! I found it a bit depressing and will BookCross it (lots of things on the cover and a punctuation mark in the title – hooray!)

PAUL ADDISON – Now the War is Over: A Social History of Britain 1945-51

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Acquired via BookCrossing 14 Oct 2007 – from Gill at KGC

This was an excellent survey of Austerity Britain, with chapters covering industry, leisure, housing, making do etc. Good illustrations and a comprehensive text which filled in a lot of gaps and gave me an idea of what the people whose war diaries I have been reading faced in the years after the conflict.

I’m going to save this for Matthew to read when he’s finished his History of WWII.

BILL BRYSON – The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (Dec read)

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Bought 27 Aug 2007 – Amazon

Oops – I disliked this so much that I seem to have forgotten to review it!

Purporting to be a memoir of his childhood and adolescence, this veered uncomfortably between icky bodily functions and downright made-up silliness (the superhero stuff). He can write well and with just enough sentiment to be touching, and I’d been looking forward to this for ages, so it was a real disappointment.

IRIS MURDOCH – Under The Net

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Bought 19 Jan 1995

First in my A Murdoch A Month reading challenge – so I won’t give too much away as Ali and Audrey haven’t finished it yet.

An interesting first novel, quite light and easy to read, although it actually contains a lot of the themes Murdoch will develop and concentrate on as we work our way through her novels. I had a lot of fun trying to pick out some of these so we can bear them in mind and see how they all connect. Also a fun read in its own right.

SAM SELVON – The Lonely Londoners

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Bought 17 Sep 2007 – charity shop

A rather battered copy of an excellent… well not exactly a novel, as there’s no plot as such, but a set of vignettes of men from the West Indies who have come to London in the 1950s and 60s to seek their fortune. In turns crude, lyrical and funny – very atmospheric.

MONICA PRADHAN – The Hindi-Bindi Club

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Acquired via BookCrossing 07 Oct 2007 (that’s more like it with the dates) RABCK from Bridget

I enjoyed this Amy Tan-like tale of 3 women who emigrated to the US from India, and their grown-up daughters. It was a little derivative, but had plenty of value. I guessed some of the storylines but not others, there were some interesting thoughts about culture and language, and it was a nice, easy, curled up on holiday kind of a read.

I will be offering this on a BookRing once I get some more organised.

Which presidential candidate are you?

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80% Dennis Kucinich
78% Mike Gravel
78% Barack Obama
76% John Edwards
76% Bill Richardson
74% Hillary Clinton
69% Chris Dodd
68% Joe Biden
38% John McCain
33% Rudy Giuliani
32% Mitt Romney
30% Mike Huckabee
28% Ron Paul
25% Tom Tancredo
20% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

PETER KAY – The Sound of Laughter

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Bought 31 Aug 2007 – Sue Ryder shop

Although this autobiography is quite amusing, it’s nothing like as funny as I thought it’d be. It has its moments, and is obviously told from the heart, but he could maybe have done with a bit of better editing, as some of it is quite clumsily written, and there’s some repetition and evidence that a later section was written before an earlier one, that could have been tidied up.

Not one to keep…

MAUREEN HILL – Unseen Archives: Britain At War

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Acquired via BookCrossing 15 Jun 2007 – iLounge OBCZ

An excellent book, collecting together 400 odd photographs from the Daily Mail archives, showing Britain during WWII. Good introductory sections and excellent captions save this from being just a picture book, and due to the reading we’ve both been doing on WWII recently, this was very relevant and useful. Matthew’s only up to 1940 in his giant History of The Second World War book, but was commenting that it doesn’t cover the UK in huge detail, so he’s going to have a read of this next.

MARGARET D. GREEN – Images of England: Kings Heath

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02 May 2007 – charity shop (?)

One of those old pictures books, though with a comprehensive introduction and good captions. This isn’t the one with our road on. I was having a day catching up with those on-the-sofa kinds of books yesterday.

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