Archive > February 2013

Daddy Love

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Daddy Love, Joyce Carol Oates,  book reviewDinah Whitcomb is out shopping at the mall with her five year old son Robbie when she realises she can’t find the family car. In a bit of a panic, she hunts for the car only for something far worse to happen. She is attacked by a man with a hammer who hits her over the head. Her son is abducted and when she chases the van in which his captor is driving she is run over, her body and face badly mutilated. The physical pain of her injuries is nothing compared to the horrifying loss of her son.

Chester Cash is a charismatic and attractive man, with long flowing hair and a well toned, muscular body. Ladies like Chester and Chester knows how to use that to his advantage.


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Ausperity: Live the Life You Want For Less

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Ausperity: Live the Life You Want For Less, Lucy Tobin, book reviewLike going out and having lovely things but don’t have the money to afford for them? As a triple dip recession looks to be on the cards, more and more of us are looking for ways to save money and bag a bargain. Lucy Tobin’s book Ausperity: Live the life you want for less is a handbook for the modern scrimper. In it Lucy offers practical tips, honest advice and boundless enthusiasm for the task in hand.

Divided into obvious categories like holidays, clothing, food and drink, transport and utilities, it’s easy to find advice on specific areas, so if you’ve identified an area of your outgoings that is in particular need of being trimmed back, you can dip into the book and find what you want quickly.


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Q&A with Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed

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Shaheen Ashraf-AhmedCurious Book Fans member koshkha loved Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed’s two short stories The Dust Beneath her Feet and A Change in the Weather and wanted to know more. She spoke with the author of these stories and her latest novel, ‘A Deconstructed Heart’ to find out more about the author’s inspiration and influences.

CBF: The Dust Beneath her Feet and A Change in the Weather are both part of the ‘Purana Qila’ series of short stories. I couldn’t see how the two stories were linked – did I miss something or will it take more stories for a pattern to become clearer?

Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed: I wanted each story to be complete in itself, but draw upon some of the same characters. The two stories are connected by physical location: they both revolve around Purana Qila, which means old fort.

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Bedsit Disco Queen

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Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to be a Pop Star , Tracey Thorn, book reviewTracey Thorn’s Bedsit Disco Queen (Subtitled: How I Grew up and Tried to be a Pop Star) is as much an analysis of the fickle and ever changing face of pop music from the 1970s onwards, as it is the author’s own honest, and often moving account, of her life first as a founding member of a vaguely successful but hugely influential all girl indie band, and then, with her partner Ben Watt, one half of the band Everything But the Girl.

Although the pair had met some months before on the London music scene – both by this time were already enjoying minor success and critical acclaim – the couple got together musically and romantically in their first year at Hull University where, completely coincidentally, both were reading English literature.


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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, book reviewYesterday I finished reading one of the most remarkable books that I have read for a long time. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and given rave reviews in pretty much every broadsheet newspaper going, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a growing word-of-mouth book phenomenon that seems to be popping up everywhere I go, rather like David Nicholls’ One Day did a couple of years ago. Personally I felt that One Day was over-rated, which is perhaps why my vague association between it and Rachel Joyce’s debut novel meant it has taken me so long to finally read the latter. But I have done, and I’m so glad I did. This was a book that truly reminded me just why it can be so very rewarding investing your time in a novel.


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Settled Blood

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Settled Blood, Mari Hannah, book reviewReading crime fiction that’s set in your own home town or region can be a frustrating activity; instead of concentrating on the plot and characters, you can find yourself criticising the dialogue (‘No one round here would talk like that!’) or wondering how someone on foot could get from one local landmark to another in such a short time. This is one of the reasons I like to read foreign crime fiction, or novels that are set in fictional locations: I simply don’t want the distractions that come with reading fiction set on your own manor. Against my better judgment I gave Mari Hannah’s Settled Blood a chance: I didn’t expect much having recently suffered the literary shambles of another piece of crime fiction set in the north east, Danielle Ramsay’s “Broken Silence”.


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