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Greaders Review April books

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 25 Apr 2013 12:22

Better put this up before it gets forgotten. Not due until tomorrow but I will have to push for suggestions on the suggestion thread by Saturday PM.

Please review

Footprints in the Sand by Sarah Challis
My Secret Sister - Helen Edwards
Goodbye Piccadilly by Betty Burton
Life after Life. - Kate Atkinson
The anonymous Venetian by Donna Leon


And any others that you may have read on the list.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 25 Apr 2013 12:24

from PERSE
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

What a hoot of a book... The main character Don Tillman is a professor of genetics but he is also way up there on the autism scale.. he is very set in this patterns of behaviour.. eg he always has lobster on Tuesdays and cooks it the same way.
He decides he needs a wife.. but he has a questionairre a mile long.. not normal questions to which there can be more than one answer. He has to have specific answers, eg do you like Kidneys the correct answer is occasionally.
Then Rosie turns up with no questionairre filled in, he thinks she is a candidate but a friend of his has sent her along re genetics... she is trying to find out her birth father.
The mission on a DNA search of all the males in the faculty where her mother worked become the targets. They have to use some devious means to get the results.. one of them is to organise a reunion at a club. He and Rosie (who does waitressing) are to work the bar.
Don has no knowledge so he sets about learning all about the various cocktails but when they get there they are just the wine waiters and people are only ordering beer or wine. It is hillarious as he gets people to order various cocktails that the bar has never heard of. He does not write any orders down, remembers them all and tells the bar staff how to make them. The club has never made so much money and the owner offers him a job.
They go from one scenario to the next to find her father and in doing so he finds he enjoys life out of his comfort zone and has to make changes as well.
It is a damn good read.. there are lots of funny scenes.. it does not make fun of autism.. it is really a great book.
To top it off we saw someone reading it whilst waiting to board the plane last week and OH spoke to her and she said she was loving it.. could not put it down.

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Yes I liked it. Is it her best .. probably not but she tackles some serious issues.. the conflict between who owns frozen embryos when a couple splits up. Gay marriage which is acceptable in one state and not another and a church's views on homosexuality. Not all religious demoniations would agree with the view points of this church. There are lots of biblical quotes given and some of the arguments are food for thought.
I can see that not everyone would agree with a lot of the views in this book, it is interesting but could be considered slanted more one way than the other.

Plus it was rather appropriate as our same sex marriage bill was being read in parliament and now it is law. I will digress as I have recently watched a documentary on a chap (lawyer) who was married and they have a son. The chap became a transexual and became a woman.. the son changed from calling his father Dad to using her christian name. He now "she", still lives with his/her wife who is now a lesbian as they are now two women living together. The law stated that they could no longer be married because they were now two females so they had a civil union but now that this bill has been passed they can re marry.. in other words they will be marrying their ex but have not been divorced. Confused.. I was more amused.

Footprints in the Sand by Sarah Challis

As always with Sarah Challis I feel like I am there and having never ridden a camel even though I was standing right next to them when overseas I would not get on one. Now I wish I had.
I think it is a lovely story and feel sorry in a way for poor Aunt Mary not knowing that her little girl survived to have her own family.
I liked the Emily chapter, Clemmie chapter and Beryl chapter, they were interwoven so well and the other characters all added to the very people and their idiosyncrasies one comes across when travelling.
There was a happy outcome all around with the exception of Aunt Mary. Good reading.

The Anonymous Venetian by Donna Leon.

What a character Brunetti is.. I really enjoyed it once I got over my confusion re Italian names.. Thought I was going to have to write out a who's who at the beginning.
A very tangled web of fraud, deceit and the world of transexuals.. they would be one group of ideal tenants, keeping stum would be the norm for them. Very readable plus funnily enough I have never been one to wear red shoes. The reason being when I was about 16 a work colleague commented to me about someone who had red shoes on that they were the colour that prostitutes wear. I had never thought that but had never owned a pair, and the person who had them on was a very mumsy type of girl.. not a lady of the night by any means.
I still have not worked out what the picture is on the cover of the paperback I read.

Persie

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 25 Apr 2013 12:34

review River of Destiny by Barbara Erskine
I have never read a book by Barbara Erskine that I have not enjoyed. But this one was one of the best I have read I didn’t want it to end yet I was desperate to know what happened.
The story is told on three levels, AD865, AD 1865 and today. Not really a time slipping novel as the stories are told separately but merged by the ghosts of the past.
And over all a love story in the present day.
The characters were all so very well written. The ones who made the most impression were Lady Emily the imperious wife of the squire in 1865 who was so selfish and who had no idea of the repercussions her actions would cause. And Daniel the gentle smith.
And in the present day Rosemary, the rambler determined to ‘do right’ about rights of way no matter who or what she trampled on. There are actually people like her amongst ramblers.
Ken, another one wrapped up in what he wanted from life with no thought for what his wife Zoe wanted. I liked Zoe’s character and the fact that she was scared of sailing and admitted it, despite the derision of her husband. And Leo, the hero I could almost fall for him myself, an intriguing character.
Loved the Watts family with all their aggravating traits, despoilers of the peace of the little community, but likeable with it, except Jackson. Jade so believable as the pre teen from hell who was so desperate for love that she misunderstood kindness for it.
Loved it, sorry I’ve finished it!


Review My Secret sister.

This is not the usual sort of book that I would read as there are several of a similar type. At least I thought so. However, I had read an excerpt in a paper and it looked promising so I downloaded it to my Kindle (£3.99) I am glad I did.
The story is beautifully and graphically told by both Helen and Jenny, sometimes too graphically in the case of Helen. How that poor child survived is difficult to imagine, and how Tommy got away with his brutality is amazing too.
What a difference in the lives of the two girls although I felt that, despite the fact that Jenny had a privileged upbringing and Helen the opposite, both Mothers were dominant in their lives. Mercia with her narcissistic personality wanting to be the centre of attention and demanding Helen’s obedience, even when living in Helen’s house. And Connie because she was very ambitious for Jenny, although in a good way, working extra hours to enable her to swim, play golf etc.
It was interesting to read how they went about finding out about the circumstances of their births and Jenny’s adoption. And I had not realised that they had gone through Genes at one stage and I am now wondering who Melanie is? Is she on the boards I wonder? Well done to her anyway for giving the initial lead to Jenny.
I did find it strange that, despite the brutality of the beatings, Helen still cried when her father died, but then he still managed to rule her life by instilling guilt feelings so she accepted her mother into her home.
It was good to have a satisfactory ending, both for Jenny and Helen and for the readers, like me, who like a happy ending.
Both women seem to have become well rounded characters, I am glad I read their story – I loved the old photos as well.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 25 Apr 2013 15:33

nudge

Mersey

Mersey Report 25 Apr 2013 15:56

Footprints in the Sand by Sarah Challis

Sarah Challis has such a warm, and engrossing way of writing.

Two girls (Cousin's) finish a journey started by the girls Grandmother from England to Mali in Africa. From the descriptions of the fascinating places to the subtle and endearing characters, this book makes you get lost in the book and make you feel you are there within the adventure.... A beautiful book !!

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 25 Apr 2013 16:27

Have read two of the books will be back later today or tomorrow.

Tess

Pammy51

Pammy51 Report 26 Apr 2013 12:18

Only managed to get hold of two of the books so far.

Footprints in the Sand by Sarah Challis

Until I started reading this book I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the descriptions in one of our earlier books by Sarah Challis (Blackthorn Winter) and how good she was at building up characters. The descriptions really add to the atmosphere and your feeling of involvement in the story. Told from the viewpoints of two cousins, Emily and Clemmie, and their deceased great aunts elderly companion/childhood friend , it charts the journey the cousins make to take great aunt Mary's ashes to be scattered in Mali. I just love the idea of the girls transporting them in a pug shaped bag! Apart from the fact that Timbucktoo was in Mali I didn't know much about the country but you could almost smell the desert and feel the heat around you as you read. A lovely book with, as Perse says a happy ending for all except Aunt Mary.

The Anonymous Venetian by Donna Leon

Many crime books seem to use the contrast between luxury and squalor and this is the same with the beauty of Venice contrasted with it's suburb of Mestre, full of factories and waste scrubland. Guido Brunetti is the Italian cop tasked with solving the murder of a transvestite near the slaughterhouse in Mestre only nothing is as it seems. I liked the way Brunetti's wife Paola is used as a sounding board, sometimes questioning his values and attitudes towards the varied characters he encounters in the unfolding of this very complicated story. I enjoyed reading it but I found it difficult to gain any real idea of the amount of monies involved (fifty-nine thousand lire for a pair of red shoes?)

Greenfingers

Greenfingers Report 26 Apr 2013 13:38

The Anonymous Venetian

I have become a fan, since being recommended by my daughter to the delights of Commissario Brunettis...I have now read up to the latest book, excellent reads
and you get to know his difficult boss, teenage children etc. I now have to get my head round a DVD of this. The descriptions of Venice, etc are great, and even better when you have been there. An unusual story this one and unexpected, it is less complicated if you have read some of the others.
1
Footprints in the sand

A non typical and yet sort of typical scenario when all you see is not necessarily what is the truth. I enjoyed the story line and the difference that the journey made to the two women.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 26 Apr 2013 21:59

Nudge as a few more reviews needed

Berona

Berona Report 26 Apr 2013 22:54

My apologies. I am unable to contribute this time. I have had an eventful few weeks which didn't allow a lot of time for reading and I am still on the first of the two books which I have purchased. 'Footprints in the Sand' and 'My Secret Sister'. Hope I have more time to myself this month and can catch up to everyone.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 27 Apr 2013 08:47

No problem Berona. :-)

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 27 Apr 2013 15:48

Sorry, had a problem with my mouse (had to get a new one) so held up.

Grandsons are now here, so will do my review after they leave tomorrow.

Tess

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 27 Apr 2013 17:04

OK Tess no problem.

Jill in France

Jill in France Report 27 Apr 2013 20:43

Goodbye Piccadilly by Betty Burton
Still reading so will post asap xx

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 27 Apr 2013 20:48

Ok Jill, love Betty Burton and read a lot of hers but not read that one.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 1 May 2013 20:58

REVIEWS

The Anonymous Venetian by Donna Leon

I had read a couple of Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti books before, and enjoyed them.
I liked this one too - had to keep reminding myself that the "buses" Brunetti talks about are water buses (i.e. boats) A good story- but gussed about the first misleading detail (red herring) - for once I was not mislead.

The details about Venice were wonderful, as were the desciptions of the people and the food - Leon's word pictures were stupendous.
I am rapidly becoming a Brunetti fan, great to read about the relationships with his family and the his collegues.

The setting and the pace of the story were both just right. I will continue to read about Guido Brunetti, (drool, drool).. :-)

Since read this book I have looked up Donna Leon on the net.

She is an American and writes her stories in English. They have been translated into many languages, but apparently she does not want then translated into Italian!!

This seems a bit strange, however, the "home language" in Venice is NOT Italian, the Venitians are proud to haveeeeee their own language.

So perhaps Leon has chosen to have them translated into the language of Venice..



By the way, I also saw that there is now a cookery book out called something like
"The Food of Guido Brunetti" So other people must have been interested in the descriptions of the food too.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 1 May 2013 21:08

REVIEW part 11

Footprints in the Sand by Sara Challis


The love Sara Challis has for the desert and the Tuareg shines through in her novel.
The sstory is full of atmosphere. The reader learnt about the desert along with Emily and Clemmie.
Perhaps when I was younger I would haveenvied them their voyage of discovery, but nowadays I was more then happy to be transported by the written word.

This was a travelogue with a magnificent story attached along with an intreguing mystry.

Throughout the story, I wanted to know what happened next and what had happened in the past.

A wonderful read, I recommend to anyone who hasn't read it yet.
Enjoyable from beginning to end!


(Now I'm off to read all the other reviews).

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 16 May 2013 09:49

Nudge