Archive > November 2010

The Luxe

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

The Luxe  By Anna Godbersen, book reviewThe Luxe by Anna Godbersen is a novel set in New York in 1899, at the height of the super-rich society families for whom appearance was everything. It is about a group of young people, all of whom want to break the constraints of their lives in different ways and for different reasons.

The very first page of the novel is the funeral announcement for Elizabeth Holland. After a glimpse of the funeral, we are taken back in time to a few weeks before to find out what happens. This is a bit of a strange start, opening with the funeral of one of the main characters, but it does have a page-turning effect, as you always want to keep going to find out what happened to Elizabeth during what should have been a special time of her life.


Continue reading

A Beautiful Ceremony

Buy book online

Buy book online

Tonight, This Savage Rite   by  Kamala Das  , Nandy PritishThe cover’s a shock of candy colours, magenta and emerald, canary yellow, large bold font, hitting out at you almost savagely. Tonight and Savage shriek at you in more pink and green and then you read Tonight This Savage Rite and the cover’s mayhem seems to come together in a riot of love.

Welcome to the reissue of the love poems of Pritish Nandy and India’s famous candy coloured poetess Kamala Das who wept eros up and down her stanzas. Kamala Das ended her life veiling her colourful serendipity in black and changing her name – and with it her faith – to Suraiya, but her rants of passion live on.

, ,

Continue reading

Sisters in Law

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Sisters-in-Law By Nina Bell, book reviewI bought Sisters in Law for my sister for her last birthday and she enjoyed it so much that she then gave it back to me to read. The author, Nina Bell, has only written two novels and I can’t quite work out of this is her first or her second, but it is definitely a brilliant early novel and I hope that there is much more to come from this new author.

Sisters in Law is about three women who probably would not have very much to do with each other were it not for the fact that they are related by marriage. Olivia and Heather are married to Kate Fox’s two brothers, Si and Jack. Although not having that much in common with them, Kate has a strong sense of family and likes to host family gatherings at her and partner Johnny’s newly renovated house.


Continue reading

Brooklyn

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, book reviewEilis is a young woman living in a small town in Ireland. She lives with her widowed mother and her older sister, Rose, a poised and polished woman who, it seems, has overcome her humble origins and now moves in Enniscorthy’s more up market circles. Although she’s part trained as a book keeper, Eilis can’t find a job; in 1950s Ireland, Eilis is not the only person struggling to find employment. Out of the blue Eilis is approached by a priest who knows of a job in New York; it’s only sales work in a department store but there’s a chance that Eilis could be considered for a job in the accounts office later on if she does well.

Although she’s reluctant to leave her family, Eilis takes up the opportunity and starts a new life in the United States.


Continue reading

Nikon D40/D40x Digital Field Guide

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Nikon D40/D40x Digital Field Guide (Digital Field Guide) by David D. Busch, book reviewThe instruction manuals that are provided with cameras do not usually go into a great deal of detail. Spending a few extra pounds on a comprehensive guide book for a particular model of camera seems like a good investment. For the owner of a Nikon D40 or D40X digital single-lens reflex camera, David Busch’s Digital Field Guide is an excellent choice.

After a ‘Quick Tour’ explaining how to shoot your first picture, review your pictures, correct the exposure and transfer images to a computer, the guide is split into two main sections. Part I is entitled ‘Using the Nikon D40/D40X’ and covers three chapters: Exploring the Nikon D40/D40X, Nikon D40/D40X Essentials, and Setting Up Nikon D40/D40X.


Continue reading

Simon’s Cat – Beyond the Fence

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Simon's Cat: Beyond the Fence By Simon Tofield, book reviewSimon’s Cat is one of the biggest internet phenomena of recent years. For the unitiated, it was created by Simon Tofield, and is a cartoon of simple line drawings about a cat and his owner, Simon. We never learn the cats name, but we see his antics as he demands food, wants let in and out of the house, steals chairs, and gets up to all sorts with his hedgehog pal in the garden.

In 2009 Simon’s Cat had his very own book. In 2010, he has his second book – Beyond the Fence. There is an ongoing story through the book, as Simon’s Cat leaves home in a sulk (Simon stupidly tries to give him a bath) and heads off into the big world beyond the garden fence.


Continue reading

The Dreams of Max and Ronnie

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Ronnie's Dream (New Stories from the Mabinogion) By (author) Niall Griffiths, book reviewThe Mabinogion looms very large in the culture of Wales; as Niall Griffiths notes in his afterword to The Dreams of Max and Ronnie, it follows him wherever he goes to write “like luggage”. Given this presence, it is perhaps surprising that it took so long for a publisher to commission a contemporary reworking of these classic myths and stories, to breathe new life into them and bring them to a modern audience and readership. That is exactly what Seren Books have now done in their developing range, “New Stories from the Mabinogion”. In October 2009 they presented the first two books of the series – White Ravens (based on Branwen, Daughter of Llyr) and The Ninth Wave (a retelling of Pwyll, Lord of Dyfed) – and followed them up with The Dreams of Max and Ronnie and Gwyneth Lewis’ The Meat Tree in October 2010.

,

Continue reading

Let the Great World Spin

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Let the Great World Spin By Colum McCann, book reviewThis remarkable novel begins with the arrival in New York of Ciaran Corrigan, an American who has come in search of his brother, known simply as Corrie, a monk who lives among the prostitutes and heroin addicts in the Bronx housing projects. Generous to a fault, Corrie allows the girls to use the lavatory in his flat and hands out hot drinks at all hours of the day and night, despite beatings at the hands of the pimps; Ciaran, concerned to see his brother taken advantage of, tries to persuade Corrie to return with him to Ireland. Two in particular of the working girls have an enormous respect for Corrie, even if they don’t always show it in their actions. Tillie fears for her daughter Jazzlyn who has followed her onto the streets in spite of her best attempts to give her daughter a life far removed from her own; unable to break the cycle, though, Jazzlyn has ended up on the streets, selling sex to support her two young children and to fund her heroin habit.

,

Continue reading

Pompeii: Life of a Roman Town

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town By Mary Beard, book reviewPompeii is name which is instantly evocative, of disaster, volcanic eruption, destruction, terror and death. In her book Pompeii: Life of a Roman Town, Mary Beard looks at how the town was in its life, before it was devastated by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. First published in 2008, Pompeii: Life of a Roman Town has recently been reissued to coincide with Beard’s upcoming BBC programme of the same name.

Mary Beard is a well-known classicist, with a Chair of Classics at Cambridge, where she is a Fellow of Newnham College, and she is classics editor of the TLS.


Continue reading

Sarum

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Sarum By Edward Rutherfurd, book reviewSarum” is an ambitious book to say the least. Weighing in at an impressive 1300 pages, it is an epic historical novel, the result of several years of research and writing, and takes a good many hours of reading to plough your way through it. (Or listening – Sarum is also available on audiobook, with a running time of some 47 hours!) Rather than focussing on one era of history as most authors chose to do, Edward Rutherfurd has rather traced the entire course of English history from the Mesolithic to the present day (or at least 1987; the present day at the publication of the work) of one region over the course of this book. It was both this ambition and a number of personal recommendations that led me to read Sarum; I was intrigued to see just how such a lengthy and eventful span of time could be condensed into one novel.


Continue reading

Harry and the Dinosaurs say ‘Raahh!’

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Harry and the Dinosaurs Say 'Raahh!' (Harry and the Dinosaurs) By Ian Whybrow, Illustrated by Adrian Reynolds, book reviewTaking a young child to the dentist for the first time could prove to be a frightening experience for them, having to encounter complete strangers and deal with the prospect of pain, but Ian Whybrow comes to the rescue with his story ‘Harry and the Dinosaurs say “Raahh!”

Little Harry with the big fringe takes his bucket of dinosaurs everywhere with him in Whybrow’s series of picture books. At the start of ‘Harry and the Dinosaurs say “Raahh!”‘ Harry is busily cleaning his teeth in preparation for his first visit to the dentist. He is a little afraid because elder sister Sam has shown him her filling.

,

Continue reading

Burnt Shadows

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Burnt Shadows By Kamila Shamsie, book reviewIn the early 21st Century a man stands naked and frightened in a cell contemplating that when he dresses again it will probably be in an orange jumpsuit. We don’t need to be told what that means. He asks himself “How did it come to this?” and in the next 363 pages we find out.

Nearly 70 years before, Hiroko stood on the veranda thinking about Konrad, the man she had just agreed to marry. In a flash of white light Konrad became a shadow on a rock and Hiroko was scarred for life, the three cranes embroidered on her silk kimono fused to the skin of her back. The time is 1945, the place is Nagasaki.


Continue reading

prev posts