Archive > March 2011

Dating the Second Time Around

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Dating the Second Time Around: Finding Love That Lasts By Dr. Gian Gonzaga, book reviewHere is a scary thought for you: the divorce rate for first time marriages in the UK is currently at 42%. It gets worse. If you are lucky enough to get married for a second time, you stand a 60% chance of ending up divorced. Try it for a third time and the rate climbs again to a massive 70%. To say that there are thus a large number of people fresh out of long-term relationships looking for love again is probably putting it mildly. Noticing this growing market, online dating service eHarmony (www.eharmony.com)  has brought out a book based on the principles of “relationship science” that they use for matchmaking called, “Dating The Second Time Around: Finding Love That Lasts”. Yes, I laughed a bit at the thought that people could be paired up successfully by something as unromantic as scientific analysis too, but they claim to be responsible for 542 people getting married every day in the US alone, so I guess there must be something in it.


Continue reading

The Book of Lies

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock, book reviewDuring the Second World War the tiny Channel Island of Guernsey was occupied by German troops. The Rozier family were forced to work with the Germans because their father owned the only printing press on the island and the occupiers needed someone to print their propaganda. Emile Rozier, the elder son, resented the family’s involvement with the Germans and plotted with his friend Roy Le Poidevoin to escape to England. Plans went awry resulting in his father being shot by the Germans. Emile faced years of being treated by the Islanders as an outcast whilst Roy, the guy he assumed had betrayed him went on to be hailed as a hero.


Continue reading

The War Room

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

The War Room By Bryan Malessa, book reviewThe War Room opens with a simple quote from the New York Times: “between 1820 and 1996, 7.1 million Germans immigrated to the United States – more than from any other nation”.

Think about that figure for a moment. As anyone who has visited the US will know, the constitute parts of the great melting pot are celebrated and marked out everywhere you go, in festivities, in ethnic districts, in restaurants. Yet, if Germans make up such a huge proportion of the American population, where are they? A certain Germaness is quietly evident in America if you look for it – in the use of the word “kindergarten” for nursery, in the popularity of hot dogs (originating from the German Frankfurter), in the names of Americans from General Eisenhower to 24’s Jack Bauer, for example. But nowhere does is seem very evident; whites without an obvious origin are often generically referred to as “Anglos”, which based on the observations of this book, most certainly are not.


Continue reading

Juliet

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Juliet By Anne Fortier, book reviewAnne Fortier’s Juliet uses a popular formula for crossover chick lit/historical fiction; a young woman currently going through a rough time delves into her family history and unearths dark secrets and, quite likely, a love interest along the way. It’s a shame that she does because a good story is a good story no matter what convoluted and unlikely means you use to tell it and it appears that in this case, Fortier has found a cracking story and used a dull contemporary parallel plot to present it.


Continue reading

Q&A with Christie Watson

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Christie Watson, interviewIn her debut novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, Christie Watson writes about Nigeria, oil industry, violence. The story is of twelve year old Blessing and survival of family through challenges people face in that corner of the world. The innocence which child’s narration brings into such serious issues makes it an amazing book.
Christie Watson worked as a nurse for over ten years before joining UEA for her MA in Creative Writing, where she won the Malcolm Bradbury Bursary. We were curious to ask her few questions about her first book.

CBF: Firstly, as an introduction to this interview, can you tell us a bit about your own experience with Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta where Tiny Sunbirds Far Away is mainly set?

Christie Watson: I first travelled to Nigeria over ten years ago after I met my Nigerian partner. I’d travelled to various other African countries before, and parts of West Africa, but nothing quite prepared me for how amazing a place Nigeria is.

,

Continue reading

The Food and Cooking of Slovenia

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

The Food and Cooking of Slovenia by  Janez Bogataj, book reviewJanez Bogataj’s The Food and Cooking of Slovenia has the look and feel of a fairytale book and, looking at the beautiful photographs and reading the names of some of the dishes, you might be forgiven for thinking there’s something almost other worldly here. Famed for its beautiful mountain scenery, myriad castles and picturesque medieval towns rather than its cuisine, Slovenia is not a country that springs to mind when talking about the great culinary traditions of Europe. It does borrow fairly heavily from its neighbours – in the western part of the country in particular pizza is very good, while most restaurants in the east will rustle up a hearty gulasch – but there is a strong gastronomic tradition if you know where to go and seek it out.


Continue reading

A Salute to ‘The God of Cricket’

Buy book online

Buy book online

SACHIN : Genius Unplugged by  Suresh Menon, book reviewWorld Cup time is possibly the best time to bring out a book on Sachin Tendulkar, so that his fans can both read and admire his current exploits live on the television. Perhaps the only Indian who has touched as many lives as Sach is Amitabh Bachchan. Both are figures for a millennium. Tendulkar is even more unusual because his life has never been touched by scandal, nor has he been seen to lose his cool under the greatest of match pressure, which makes him a role model for young India.

Sachin – Genius Unplugged is a collection of 18 essays deftly edited by famous cricket writer, columnist and author Suresh Menon.

,

Continue reading

Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie by Joel Stewart, book reviewDexter Bexley is a young boy with a scooter. He is out on his scooter on his own one day when he bumps into a Big Blue Beastie and falls down. The Big Blue Beastie tells Dexter that he is bored and will probably eat him up. Unperturbed, Dexter says he has a much better idea. The Beastie seems convinced. He has a scooter too, and follows Dexter as he scoots off again.

The pair have a rest at the foot of a tree among the flowers. The Big Blue Beastie complains again that he is bored and will eat Dexter up.

,

Continue reading

A Surrey State of Affairs

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

A Surrey State of Affairs by Ceri Radford, book reviewFull of good intention I recently signed up for my own blog. Due in part to laziness but primarily a realisation that what I have to say is not as important or interesting as I first thought, it has stagnated in the early stages. Fortunately Constance Harding, a fifty-something housewife from an unknown Surry village, has no such inhibitions. Encouraged by her children – 25 year old Rupert, an IT professional living in Milton Keynes who shows no signs of finding a girlfriend and settling down, and nineteen year old Sophie, currently on a gap year counting sticklebacks in the Ardeche – to write a blog, Constance writes about what she knows best: the trials of having a Lithuanian housekeeper whose skimp polyester lingerie she finds drying in her husband Jeffrey’s study, her attempts at matchmaking at the village bell ringing group, and her disgust at the rise of ready made pancakes.


Continue reading

Princess and the Wizard

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

The Princess and the Wizard by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Lydia Monks, book reviewWe are huge fans of Julia Donaldson in our house and I’m often on the look out for more of her books to share with my daughter. As it was my youngest daughter’s sixth birthday last week, I spotted a couple of this lovely author’s books that we had not yet read and gave them as little birthday extras. One book was a charming looking one called The Princess and the Wizard which Natalie has really enjoyed reading especially because there is lots of glitter on every page!

, ,

Continue reading

Grappling Life and Loneliness

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

A Pack of Lies by Urmilla Deshpande, book reviewIndian fiction has been going in many directions. Urmilla Deshpande’s novel is the story of a heroine who could belong in Jacqueline Susann’s pages, a girl who is thrown from one dysfunctional situation to another. If you analyse the situations they are the expected ones, a neglectful mother, an absent father, an abusive step father, a ‘wicked stepmother’, exploitative boyfriends, an abortion, a full term pregnancy, a brush with drugs, a shrink – everything that privileged children living on the edge could be expected to encounter.

The book opens with Ginny and her mother in Mumbai in the 1980’s – Ginny is hungry short of money and desperate for her mother’s attention, though we don’t quite realise why.

,

Continue reading

The Guardian Angel’s Journal

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

The Guardian Angel's Journal: She Thought Her Life Was Over, But it Hadn't Even Started by Carolyn Jess-Cooke, book reviewI didn’t know quite what to expect when I started reading ‘The Guardian Angel’s Journal‘ which is Carolyn Jess-Cooke’s first novel. The publicity had likened it to Alice Sebold’s ‘The Lovely Bones‘ and also one of my favourite films, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. I think that it was this second reference that really attracted me to the book and made me think that what I would read would be whimsical and uplifting like the film. I was wrong. However, having said that ‘The Guardian Angel’s Journal‘ is a fascinating and absorbing book that is definitely worth reading.


Continue reading

prev posts