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Greaders please review Nov to Jan 13 books

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 2 Jan 2013 16:04

Please review the books you have read in the last six weeks. This will hopefully include the winners of the vote. But feel free to review any you have read. :-D

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 2 Jan 2013 16:28

Daughters of the Grail by Elizabeth Chadwick

I suggested this one and it didn’t get chosen but I read it anyway.
A great book, an excellent read. Basically the story is about the persecution of the Cathars by the Roman Catholics in France in the 13th century. The RCs being led by Simon de Montfort.
The background to the story is based on fact (i.e. the persecution of the Cathars) and then the story is woven around that. As usual totally believable and a lot of facts that I didn’t know. I didn’t really know about the Cathar religion and what they believed and didn’t believe.
There is also a thread running through the story about the female lineage of Mary Magdalene and their inheritance of her mystical gifts. The Catholic church are sworn to destroy Bridget who enjoys these powers and who uses her healing talents and supernatural abilities. This too is believable and is based on the alledged destruction of books of the Bible written by Mary.
If you like historical novels, and there is romance in there too, you would enjoy this one.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 2 Jan 2013 16:30

review The Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh
Quite a light story although a good read for those involved in genealogy. Parallel stories running in the 19th and 21st centuries based on The Old Mill and Mill cottage, situated on the banks of the River Itchen. Loved the descriptive paragraphs AT is so good at describing the countryside that you feel you are there.
Part of the charm of this story for me was in knowing the area well where it is set. Around the River Itchen, Winchester and Portsmouth, and the Coach that travelled through Fareham, Portchester and Wymmering, a trip I did daily from 1951 to 1956 on my way to school.
There was nothing deep in the story but it made for good bed time reading and I did enjoy it.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 2 Jan 2013 16:33

A Sixpenny Christmas by Katie Flynn

Quite a light weight book really, an easy read, likeable but nothing spectacular. Two babies born the same time to two mothers who become friends, one from a farm in the wilds of Wales and one from Liverpool. A predictable story with a predictable ending. However I read it while staying at daughter’s and it passed the time.

Michelle

Michelle Report 2 Jan 2013 19:03

Be back later in the day - already late for work and kitty is to have her stitches out today - Michelle

Greenfingers

Greenfingers Report 2 Jan 2013 19:44

The Haunting

I have read other Titchmarsh books, and much against my better judgement i have enjoyed them, this one is no exception, I agree with Ann a good but light read.+, but with an atmospheric undertone,

The Disciple of Las Vegas

I had not realised that this is book 2 in the Ava Lee novels.As I love mysteries this certainly fitted the bill. Avas attitudes to finding the stolen money which of course is linked to a gambling scam are excellent. It is unusual to have a Filipino in a story....it makes for a fast paced financial mystery, I shall certainly think of reading the first in this series

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 2 Jan 2013 22:05

Nudge

Michelle

Michelle Report 3 Jan 2013 10:08

The Haunting

A nice easy read for bedtime, I liked this more than I thought I would, usually parrell stories through a book I can find annoying at times as you can lose the thread of the storylines at times, but not it this case the parrell stories complimented each other. The block the main character had on his geneaolgy search is something most of us can sympathise with - my grandfather's true identy will always remain a mystery.


A Sixpenny Christmas

Found this a okay read, nothing special and rather predictable, I did actually recognise some of the place names and had even stayed at Bety-s-coed in the 1990s, a town which got mentioned a couple of times.

I have started reading The Disciple of Vegas and hopefully with a few days off work next week should have it finished in a few days.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 3 Jan 2013 10:34

Will be back later.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 3 Jan 2013 15:32

Thanks. Hoping others will pick up on this soon.

Pammy51

Pammy51 Report 3 Jan 2013 15:45

Sorry, Ann, will post this evening

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 3 Jan 2013 17:13

From Helen

The Haunting - Alan Titchmarsh

Much to my surprise I enjoyed this!!! I studied French and Latin and English Literature at school (why??) and some books, particularly “Chick-Lit” are not to my taste any longer. But this novel threw in a bit of family history and lots of other interesting stuff, and I was hooked.
How sad that a young girl drowned. And how sad that people have to re-set their lives and move on from a disastrous experience – so true to life. And this is Alan’s 8th novel? Amazing. I loved the way the past and the present interacted and although it was a bit happy ever after (never true, lol) I thought it was a good read.

Pammy51

Pammy51 Report 3 Jan 2013 19:54

The Haunting Alan Titchmarsh

I've always enjoyed Alan Titchmarsh's books, it was such a surprise when I read Mr McGregor (his first) how good it was.
In this book the two strands of the story, set in the early 1800s and 2010, were well balanced and woven together and although the characters do not have much depth it was very satisfying. I enjoyed the flashes of humour and as Ann said his descriptions of the natural world are wonderful. I took this on holiday on my Kindle and finished it all too soon!

A sixpenny Christmas by Katie Flynn

Quite an interesting contrast of city and rural life but a very light read. I found the basis of the story unbelievable, I'm sure a mother wouldn't keep quiet if she thought her baby might have been swapped with another and would two such different women form a lasting friendship after such a short time in hospital? However, I read this at the airport and on the plane and it was ideal for picking up and putting down without losing the plot.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 3 Jan 2013 20:31

From Perse

Patchwork Marriage by Jane Green
I haven't read the other reviews as wanted to read the book first .. write my review and then read other's comments.
Despite this book being fiction it could very well be a realistic situation for a family to be in.
There are dysfunctional families from all walks of life so whilst it was interesting enough and I wanted to read it all it was not a story that enthralled me in any way but it did make me think..
I learnt something from it.. I had not thought of people who have temper tantrums or bursts of anger etc to be addicted to this sort of behaviour in the way that alcoholics are addicted to alcohol or gamblers cannot help gambling. You hear of there being anger management classes etc for men that are violent towards women and children but in a lot of cases this stems from drug/alcohol use etc.
It is an interesting thought and I guess children who are chastised and smacked etc and continue with bad behaviour as a means of recognition and attention may come into that category.
In the story itself one could pass judgement on the behaviour of Andie, Ethan and Emily and outline ways to handle things differently but then you would not have the same story. The personalities of the characters are true to life and identify mistakes people make...
I think it would probably make very good reading for someone learning counselling or as a book to read (a discussion tool) whilst doing Psychology 101... as is Oliver Sachs book ... The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat.


The Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh
I don't mind the this era, that era in each chapter but there was not a lot to the story.
The opening paragraphs sounded rather Dickensian but after that he knocked off all the descriptive paragraphs and got down to the story. We more or less knew the connection straight away and we could see where it was all heading with Ann Flint. There were no surprises.. it was not even surprising to find all the connections between the households etc. If only genealogy was that simple and everything fell into place and slots quite easily.

Easy and quick read.


A Sixpenny Christmas – Kate Flynn
An okay story again nothing exciting even the abduction did not appear to be threatening and one sort of knew all would end up okay... I likened it to a grown up version of Enid Blyton's Willow Tree Farm series. Pleasant read but no cliff hangers.. just a cliff faller.


I also read my two that were not voted for.
The Headhunters by Jo Nesbo

A very cleverly written novel.. I thought when I started it it may have not panned out well.
It is only a small book but a lot going on and one wonders what on earth he is going to come up with next and then he leads you up the garden path and it turns out a lot differently. He does have a touch of the Jeffrey Archers in the way he twists and turns the story. A great read with a lot of cat and mouse activity and an "extremely" interesting hiding place.. not somewhere I would want to hide.. intriguing.

Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh
Actually a book I read awhile ago... I said before I loved her book Mrs Kimble which was comical about Mr Kimble and his three wives.... Baker Towers is not comical I guess one could say it is rather bleak.. it is very character driven (some might say too many people and she does go from one to the other and back again) and you find yourself wanting to find out what will happen with each of them. It is mostly about the one family and the changes that take place through from the end of World War 11 to the sixties. The towers are the towers of coal in this coal mining town in Pennsylvania. There is no plot to the story but it is about their interacting and how the younger generation see things differently... it is just an interesting story about the people of small town America. She is not Steinbeck but she is a very good writer on human behaviour.

Berona

Berona Report 3 Jan 2013 23:40

The Haunting

Not as enjoyable for me as it might be for others because I don’t believe in ghosts. Also, I’m not fond of jumping from one century to another and back again with each new chapter. However, it was very descriptive and well written for that type of plot.

Sixpenny Christmas

A little disappointing in that it started off with what seemed like a switch of new born babies and I expected to read of how they showed signs of this as they grew – but instead, the story was all about hard life on a sheep farm and of all the people involved with that. The only reference to the ‘switch’ was one mother’s fear that her son may fall in love with his sister – and there was no fear of that because the switch never happened.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 4 Jan 2013 07:00

Went to the cental library with on GReaders note book. Then found that I had listed all the books, but hadn't marked the votes.
So just looked on the library shelves for any of the books on the list.
Total found NIL.

However, I found different books by two of the authors.
I read -

In Time for Christmas by Katie Flynn

A light read, quite enjoyable but not memorable. About young sisters. Addy and Prue, who live with their widowed mother, in a flat above her shop, on the Scotland Road (Liverpool).

However, I felt that the Pru of the opening pages, was not the Pru of the later chapters. I felt that the author had rethought the character of the younger sister, making her an induldged, rather lazy child, but hadn't rewritten the early pages where she did anything to please her mother (including helping her as much as she could). Some amusing incidents, in this easy to read book.


I also found -

Echo Park by Michael Connelly

Nowadays I don't often read books of this genre. So was pleased to read this as something a bit different.
It is a "Harry Bosch" novel. He is a dective working in the Open-Unsolved Unit, in Hollywood. Bosch has always been troubled by the Marie Gesto (missing person) case, which he has been unable to solve.
Thirteen years later, he gets a call from the DA's office. A man accused of two heinous killings is willing to come clean with regard to several other murders in a deal to avoid the death penalty - including the killing of Marie Gesto.

The story has many twists and turns and a lot of action.
A good read, rather gripping, with some surprises.
Worth reading. I will probably read more of this authors novels, especially if i can find more with Harry Bosch in the leading role.

One of my charity shop finds was -

A French Affair by Susan Lewis (another of the authors on the list)

Quite enjoyable, but I didn't quite get to grips with some of the main people in the story.
The time frame seemed a bit out too, at times.
I loved the descriptions of the working of the vineyards, the suggestion that food was chosen to go with the wine, the French phrases, which were promptly followed by the English translations.

It all helped to set the mood of the place in Burgundy.

I will read it again sometime, to recheck the dates of various happenings, to see if I have got it wrong and it does it hang together properly, or I am right and the author has got it wrong.

Would prefer that it is my mistake, as otherwise the story is just off kilter..


Tess













AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 4 Jan 2013 09:54

Thanks Berona and Tess.

I have A French Affair on my shelf waiting to be read Tess, so when I finally get round to it I will try to be alert. :-D

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 4 Jan 2013 13:18

The dates are to do with the date the child died - to the date "certain information" was given to J. Which I think was around five months. (or possibly slightly less).
Certain things were supposed to happen within that time frame, which I think were highly unlikely.