Archive for December, 2010

Death of a Dancer (Liberty Lane, #2)

Death of a Dancer (Liberty Lane, #2) by Caro Peacock

In books read on December 30, 2010

I'd forgotten about this series. This is the second book by Caro Peacock - the author is a literary reincarnation of Gillian Linscott. By the looks of it I really enjoyed the first in the series when I read it a couple of years back but I'd since forgotten about it. This story took me a little while to get into but I romped through it after that. The central character is Liberty Lane - a feisty young lady in early Victorian London - I suspect the author has thought it all through and Liberty isn't completely anachronistic, though even if she is it doesn't change the fact that this is well written and entertaining. I think I'll read the third in the series soon before I forget about it again!

This was a kindle eBook.

The Lake Shore Limited

The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller

In books read on December 29, 2010

This was fabulous.

The book is a composite of four different characters stories set around a play being performed in New York. The Lake Shore Limited is the title of the play as well as this book and the play concerns a terrorist attack on the train with that name which runs from Chicago to New York. In the play inside the book this is a thinly veiled parallel to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which the play characters work through themes of love and loss and for most of the play live in a world of Schroedinger's Cat in which they don't know if a character has lived or died.

In the book it turns out that the playwright is working from her real life to a large degree as she lost a boyfriend she was already falling out with on September 11th. There are huge quantities of emotional layers to this story. It really gets into how complicated relationships can grow to be over long periods of time. I felt all the characters were real people.

The author's choice of the four characters to focus on seemed a little odd to me each time the voice changed but each time I realised after a while what this character was adding to the overall picture. Each character has a long section from their viewpoint and the only thing I thought didn't quite work in the book was revisiting each character quickly at the end of the story. I thought this seemed a bit tacked on and added little that hadn't been said earlier.

Overall a very deep and full story and one I'm glad I picked up.

This was a kindle eBook.

The Outcast

The Outcast by Sadie Jones

In books read on December 29, 2010

This book got off to a bad start with me. It hooks you into the story by showing what happens way later on. In this case we see nineteen year old Lewis Aldridge being released from prison in the 1950s. Then we go right back in time to see the events of his childhood starting with when his dad returns from fighting the second world war. I don't like the 'flash forward' device in fiction and rarely think it adds to the story, and I didn't feel it was needed here. This tale is all about how an ordinary kid gets bashed about by events and ends up living a not quite so ordinary life. I think the title gives enough knowledge to the reader that everything isn't going to go swimmingly for Lewis and the prologue is unneccesary. I was pleased that the story went on past the events of the prologue.

Apart from that I really enjoyed the story and found the characters very well drawn. Children turn into adults in a realistic coherent manner and the class boundaries of village life ring true. There are people in the story guilty of much worse crimes than Lewis and I found all the family interactions, both within families and between families completely believable. On the whole it was a good book, I think it's Sadie Jones' first novel, and I'll be looking out for more.

This was a library book.


Christmas Day 2010: A Quiet MomentChristmas LunchRelaxingChristmas Morning IIChristmas Morning IChristmas Cake IIChristmas Cake IGingerbread House VGingerbread House IVGingerbread House IIIGingerbread House IIGingerbread House I

Flickr Pics 26th December 2010

on December 26, 2010 by kirsty

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Pre-Christmas Lunch

Flickr Pics 22nd December 2010

on December 22, 2010 by kirsty

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Sewn Felt Christmas Tree Ornament IISewn Felt Christmas Tree Ornament I

Flickr Pics 20th December 2010

on December 20, 2010 by kirsty

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New Places To Find Me

In rambling on on December 18, 2010

My books database on this site has barely been keeping up with me lately. I decided to move all my reading records over to one of the book catalogue/reading social network sites. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to find one that met my needs… so I now have two external sites full of book info!

You can find me at goodreads, and also at LibraryThing. Goodreads keeps track of the “number of books read” type of statistics that I want. But LibraryThing has a great recommendations engine. No matter what I tried to do with LibraryThing I couldn’t get it to import my “date read” of each book, and it’s also lost the majority of my ~1000 book writeups. Whereas Goodreads has just randomly missed books out when I’ve imported books to it….. Neither is perfect for my needs so I’m combining both and ironing out the flaws as I go.

LibraryThing is turning into a list of “every book I’ve ever read” – it’s definitely not just my “home library”. Goodreads is more of a tracking thing. So far.

In time I hope to get the “books read” lists on this sites back in sync with what I’ve actually read. One day.

Another new place to find me in on pinterest, which is some kind of communal pinboard for pretty things. I’m neither quite sure what it is or what it’s for, I’m just enjoying it as I find it!

The Twisted Heart

The Twisted Heart by Rebecca Gowers

In books read on December 18, 2010

I picked this up at random in the library, I hadn't heard of it before. The tagline on the cover about it being a "genuinely puzzling historical murder mystery" pulled me in. Though it's not actually an historical murder mystery. In the afterword the author admits to having been inspired by Josephine Tey's book The Daughter of Time in which Inspector Grant investigates Richard III from his hospital bed. This isn't quite the same but I can see where the idea comes in.

Oxford doctoral student Kit is drawn into investigating, in the course of her literature research, a real life murder that mirrors the death of Nancy in Oliver Twist. Mostly than just seems like a little part of the plot of the book though and it takes a while to turn up in the book. There's a more interesting not-quite-romance story here about Kit who goes dancing and meets Joe and about families.

Not having known quite what to expect I enjoyed the book, despite the fact that I don't agree that it's a "genuinely puzzling historical murder mystery".

This was a library book.


Starry Snowball BlockThe Real Saint Nick IIThe Real Saint Nick IChristmas in AustraliaChristmas Party Snack

Flickr Pics 17th December 2010

on December 17, 2010 by kirsty

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One Moment, One Morning

One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner

In books read on December 13, 2010

I was expecting more of this book really. It opens with a death on the morning commuter train to London, and then follows the aftermath of that sad event in the lives of several people affected by it. There's some great observations about everyday life and the nature of relationships in here but I never really cared about any of the characters. It never seemed to add up to much and I wanted more from it.

This was a kindle eBook.

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