ALLEN SYNGE (ed.) – Tales From Far Pavilions

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Acquired via BookCrossing 28 Jun 2008 – at the Mozfest stall

I can’t resist a good cricket book and this was an excellent collection of cricketing tales from around the (non Test Match) cricketing world, from Europe to the Poles.  Plenty of amusing stories and some poignant ones. The cricket afficianado will love this, and I’ll try to find somewhere appropriate to release it!

MARY TREADGOLD – We Couldn’t Leave Dinah

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Borrowed from Bridget this week

A lovely book and perfect time-off read (I read it in bed with a cup of Earl Grey this morning).  Set on a fictional island in the English Channel, in WW2, two children and their ponies are threatened by the impending arrival of German troops.  The English are usually OK, the French might be… and some of the Germans are nice, with all of the people  nicely characterised.  An exciting but believable plot and, of course, ponies, make this a great read.

A Nice Day Out

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I had a lovely trip to London yesterday! I was on an errand to buy Persephone Books on behalf of various people (and for my own Christmas present list) and I’d arranged to meet a Persephone Group member from LibraryThing, Louise/Fabrile-Heart there too. On the way down, I heard from a dear friend, Emma, that she and their twin daughters could come and meet up with me.  A delayed coach and a mad dash across London later, I had lunch at Wagamama with Em, Grace and Beth, and then met Louise.

We went up to the Notting Hill Persephone bookshop where I went a bit mad and squeaky but did manage to buy the 12 books on my list. And we had photos taken… here is me with my loot unpacked, and packed!  Having lovely tall, calm Louise with me was a major help – she found books for me and reached them down, and I hope I helped in return with some recommendations!

I had a nice walk back to Victoria and the coach back was only delayed by half an hour!  I got the bus back home and Matthew kindly came and relieved me of my cuboid rucksack!

A Lovely Day Out!

MARIAN KEYES – This Charming Man

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Borrowed from a colleague

Keyes’ latest was a bit hard-going. It (famously) has a serious subject – domestic violence – and this is handled well, I think. The plot was quite complicated, shifting between really long chunks of different characters’ perspectives, and took a while to get going. Maybe Keyes was trying to shoehorn in too many “issues” as we get another two completely separate themes taking part in the book too (can’t saw which, so as not to spoil it!).

It did have the usual Keyes humour and some laugh-out-loud moments, as well as being well organised – it just didn’t grab me as her books have been doing.

JON HASSLER – Grand Opening

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Acquired via BookCrossing 06 Oct 2008 – Minnesota book box

I really enjoyed this psychologically adept tale of a family moving from the city to a small town, with all the usual small-town issues – gossipy neighbours, neighbourhood oddballs, and a failing grocery store. The wartime setting links the small town into the wider world, and it’s really engaging. The feeling of trepidation I experienced in the latter part of the book was answered, but not in the way I expected…

I’m looking forward to reading the other book by this author that I picked out of the book box.

JOHN BINGHAM – No Need For Speed : A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running

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Acquired via BookCrossing 26 Sep 2008 – Rabck from GingerGeoff

An excellent book and a useful read in the run-up (ha!) to the Birmingham Half-Marathon, which I’m attempting on Sunday. Full of useful advice and laughs, we learn to not compare ourselves with others, but strive to be the best we can be ourselves, whether that means waddling along at the back of the race pack or making it into the middle.

PEG MEIER – Too Hot, Went to Lake

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Acquired via BookCrossing 06 Oct 2008 – from the Twin Cities book box exchange

A big book of archive photographs showing Minnesota’s past.

A really lovely book which I thoroughly enjoyed. With an essay, a set of pictures and some diary and letter excerpts for each season, there is much to savour and learn.

T. E. CARHART – THe Piano Shop On The Left Bank

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Acquired via BookCrossing 28 Jun 2008 – Mozfest BookCrossing stall

A lovely book all about an American expatriate, living in Paris with his family, and his gradual absorbtion into the life of his Quartier through his growing friendship with the man who runs a piano repair shop in the area. Lots of information and history about the piano and pianists, which isn’t rammed down your throat or at all clunky, but instead blends seamlessly into the narrative.

An unusual and absorbing read.

MONICA FERRIS – Crewel World

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Acquired via BookCrossing 06 Oct 2008 – local authors book swap box

These were sent directly to me in the Birmingham-Twin Cities book box swap, as they were on my wishlist!

First in this series and an enjoyable introduction to life in the small town of Excelsior (is this a real town? I saw a town of that name in another of the bookswap books…) with its varied inhabitants and lively shopping street. Betsy is an engaging character, with flaws as well as good points; she has to investigate her own sister’s death in this one, which was a bit sad, but I’m looking forward to the rest of the series (as well as all the lovely needlecraft store stuff!)

I have read book no 4 in this series, had 1-3 in the book box, and have 5 and 6, so I’ll be starting these off on a book spiral in the near future!

Birmingham Half-Marathon 26 Oct 2008

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Along with Jen/Wyldetwo I’m attempting the Birmingham Half-Marathon next Sunday. Yes, that’s 13.1 miles of Birmingham scenery as we drag ourselves round…

I’ve been slightly plagued with injury (and yes, I have been careful) so I’ve set up a Justgiving page for us (the usual charity, LUCIA) but I’m more than happy for people to wait to see if I’ve done it before donating in celebration. I’m sure Jen will do it – so if you want to sponsor Jen and gee her on then feel free to do so!


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