Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 reads...

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Paperback. Passed on to me by Daughter. Started 1st January - finished 23rd January
This is set in Mississippi 1962, "Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver". A brilliant read, the characters so well described both in looks and personality. It made me laugh out loud and feel very sad too.

Grammar-Land by M L Nesbitt
An on-going dip-into reference book on the correct use of English grammar.
Published 1878. Started 10th January
Downloaded free to my Kobo reader. Recommended by a HomeEd blogger.

Crossing the Paradise Line by Annabel Giles
Paperback. Bought for me by Hubby for my birthday 2011 but only getting round to reading it now.
Started 2/2/2013 - finished 19/2/2013 (delayed by knitting then got a cold so curled up and read the book quickly)
Really enjoyed this light read with a very amusingly exaggerated story line. Annabel is brilliant at describing her characters. Very predictable happy ending.

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Paperback. Bought for me by HelenM for my birthday 2012 but only getting round to reading it now. Winner of the Man Booker prize 2010.
Started 20/2/2013 - finished 13/05/2013
Yes it took me so long to reach the end because basically I didn't enjoy it. Why oh why can I not give up on a book as soon as I realise it's not my thing? Guess I'm always hopeful that it's going to get better!
Though there are various characters with different agendas, to me the whole thing was just a crazy, twisted analysis of Zionists, anti-Semitics and what it means to be a Jew (guess that's why my friend thought it would appeal). It is written in the most convoluted and confusing way and the Jewish references made me both angry and sad. It has gone straight into the charity collection bag!

Pedigree Mum by Fiona Gibson
Paperback. Bought for me by FayeL as a thank you for collecting her cat from the vet.
Started 14/5/2013 - finished 5/6/2013
Lovely light read, enough humour and character descriptions to keep me smiling at events happening to people I felt I understood well.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappesred  by Jonas Jonasson
Paperback. Borrowed from Alf
Started 5/6/2013 - finished 5/7/2013
An excellent read, very funny and a very different type of story line to anything I've read before which includes totally outrageous events wrapped around true historical events. Would recommend it to everyone.

The Defrosting of Charlotte Small by Annabel Giles
Paperback. Bought for me by Hubby for my birthday 2011 but only getting round to reading it now.
Started 6/7/2013 - finished 9/7/2013
A well written story with larger than life characters. Good descriptions of the depths of despair to a happy ending.

Trouble in Mudbug by Jana DeLeon
eBook. Free download to Kobo on the Playbook
Started 13/7/2013 - finished 31/07/2013
A fun but very light-weight story line with only a few main characters, one of which is a ghost!

Infant Barbarian by Jenny Worstall
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook
Started 3/8/2013 - finished 10/8/2013
This is actually two short stories. The first one "Old School" and the second one "Infant Barbarian" are very light reads with a moral tale.

Two Brothers by Ben Elton
Hardback. Loaned to me by Ann and David
Started 14/9/2013 - finished 24/913
Set in Berlin 1920. Description on the front cover reads "As Germany marches towards its Nazi Armageddon, the ties of family, friendship and love are tested to the very limits of endurance. And the brothers are faced with an unimaginable choice..."
An excellent read, seeing a very well known part of history from the perspective of just a few people. It was tragic and amusing and horrific and felt so so real. At the end of the book Ben Elton explains how the characters and events, although fiction, closely relates to the people and history if his very own family. How hard it must have been for his relatives to relive the events to give him details and how hard for Ben to hear what had happened to his own family.

Bermondsey Boy by Tommy Steele
Paperback. Loaned to me by DaveJ
Started 26/9/2013 - finished 02/11/2013
Really enjoyed this and it only took me so long because of my kidney operation when I didn't feel like reading anything! Even though it was an East End era before mine I enjoyed all the references to East London life. I clearly remember Tommy Steele and found it interesting to read all he'd done before being a celebrity. Very well written too.

Witch Weigh by Caroline Mickelson
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook.
Started 8/11/2013 (coach trip to Luxembourg) - finished 10/11/13
Very very light read, romance between a rebel witch and a drop dead gorgeous male fairy......perfect rubbish for sitting on a coach.

No It's Us Too by Miranda Hart + General Public
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook.
Started sometime this year and dipped into occasionally - finished 18/11/13
Very amusing collection of tweets about embarrassing situations. 

Dear Fatty by Dawn French
Hardback. A lend from TrishaH
Started 5/12/2013 - finished 31/12/2013
A lovely biog written as letters to people important to her. Sometimes trying too hard to be funny but mostly a good read. I was though a little sad to read all the lovely things she'd written about her life with Lenny and what a great man he is, now I know that they have since ended their marriage if more than 25 years!

And as you've probably guessed I've sat here for the last two hours in my dressing gown just so I could finish this book and consequently this post this year!

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