What have you read in 2008?

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Pondgirl

My year started v badly with Searching for Tilly by Susan Sallis. Total dross. However, things were much improved by the, I thought, highly original American Gods by Neil Gaiman and then the excellent King of Swords by Nick Stone. If you like detective fiction and don't mind quite serious violence/gore then this is a must. Very pacy and exceedingly well researched and intelligent.

I have to give a special mention to my favourite 'gem'. It may have been discussed on here already and if so I apologise for missing it. I have just finished reading 'On Chesil Beach' by Ian McEwan. It isn't very long, I read it in an afternon/evening. What an utterly, blissfully, fluent perfect book. If you haven't read it, go on, give it a try. I haven't read McEwan before as I have been almost put off by his 'literaryness', but this was intelligent and emotionally authentic and the pages just flowed past. So a big "thank you" to my bro for a wonderful birthday pressie 8)
 
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becky sharp

I enjoyed Atonement by Ian McEwan, PG...... beautifully written book.

Will try and remember to look out for On Chesil Beach
 
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Red Baron

I have read Terry Pratchett's "Making Money" Bill Bryson's "The Thunderbolt Kid" and some 'easy reading' a trilogy by Sinead Moriarty "The Baby Trail" - obviously about a woman who is trying for a family.

I've bought "On Chelis Beach" today, along with "The Beautiful Bones" and a Tracey Chevalier, 'Burning Bright' which was inspired by Wiliam Blake.

I'm just about finished "My Life on a Hillside Allotment" which I will return to regularly as I try to get a decent amount of Veg from my patch!

RB
 
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scorpio

I have just finished The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. Brilliant. it was on Richard and Judy's Summer Read which, for me is always a good advert for a book.

Here is the synopsis:

Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long-consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

A thrilling mystery and a compelling love story, The House at Riverton will appeal to readers of Ian McEwan's Atonement, L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between, and lovers of the film Gosford Park.


I recomend it wholeheartedly.
 
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Pondgirl

Def sounds like one for the 'wish list' scorps, as does Atonement.

Have to admit I haven't yet been disappointed by books recommended by R & J's book club.
 
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scorpio

I agree Pondie, I was always a little dubious about the R & J booklist, until I actually read one from the list, now if its recomended by them I tend to swoop on it. They have done wonders for new authors and for libraries.


Will get round to reading Atonement one day and On Chesil Beach.



I also read 'The Savage Garden' - Mark Mills, from the R & J Summer Read booklist, a few weeks back.

Not as good as The House at Riverton, but if you see it in the library or whatever, still worth a read:

"A haunting tale of murder, love and innocence lost set in post-war Tuscany from the award winning author of 'The Whaleboat House'. Behind a villa in the heart of Tuscany lies a Renaissance garden of enchanting beauty. Its grottoes, pagan statues and classical inscriptions seem to have a secret life of their own - and a secret message, too, for those with eyes to read it.

Young scholar Adam Strickland is just such a person. Arriving in 1958, he finds the Docci family, their house and the unique garden as seductive as each other. But post-War Italy is still a strange, even dangerous place, and the Doccis have some dark skeletons hidden away which Adam finds himself compelled to investigate. Before this mysterious and beautiful summer ends, Adam will uncover two stories of love, revenge and murder, separated by 400 years... but is another tragedy about to be added to the villa's cursed past? "


I like all these restrospective books..the past is another country and all that... :D
 
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FLYBYNIGHT

All those recommended books............when will I ever do any gardening or housework?
Maybe I'll have to start cheating on cooking as well LOL
 
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Red Baron

Funnily enough, FLY, I went out and bought these ones that you have all recommended but I haven't been able to get the Asne Seierstad one yet.

I thought it was because I just went to a little Borders but Waterstones didn't have it either! I'll have to order it, I think!


As for cooking - son is doing pasta tonight - someone else cooking for you is even better than cheating :D

RB
FLYBYNIGHT said:
All those recommended books............when will I ever do any gardening or housework?
Maybe I'll have to start cheating on cooking as well LOL
 
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FLYBYNIGHT

Hi RB

I bought mine from www.play.com it's slightly cheaper than in the shops and there's no postage. They also sell it "used".

I'm not cooking tonight either, as I've fished a portion of chicken casserole out of the freezer.
Still have to do veg though.
I'd rather come and eat your son's pasta

FLY XX
 
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Val

Hi, I have recently discovered Rosamunde Pilcher's books, I am on my 3rd now. I have also just bought 3 of her books on DVD.
 
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YorkshireLass

I got Slash's :love7: autobiography for Christmas, so that takes priority at the moment :lol:
YL :cat:
 
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Roland Butter

I've returned to a classic. Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera. I love the interplay between the characters along with the thought provoking plotline.
 
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Wild Bill

As I said in my post about 2007, I am reading Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boormans 'Long Way Down' , I'm only just over half way through!
The shame of it, but I am also reading (at the same time), 'The World without us' by Alan Weisman,which is about how nature would take over if humans died out overnight.

Trouble is I'm too busy with other stuff all the time,every time I settle down to read,I start to fall asleep!

Must be my age.

Meanwhile my pile of books to read is getting bigger.
 
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Red Baron

I could read more if I didn't spend time reading these boards :D

I always read when I go to bed but the past few nights I haven't even managed a page :shock:

I have managed to get through 'On Chesil Beach' - beautifully written - even if it wasn't the ending I wanted!

Got the Eric Clapton biography for Mother's Day, so looking forward to starting that.

RB
 
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MrsRussellB

I have read Amanda's Wedding by Jenny Colgan. It is chick lit, but the characters are realistic and believable and she has summed up the 90s in London really well. It is really observant and witty. I could not put it down and now Paul is reading it!

I read Russell Brand's autobioraphy "My Booky Wook" prior to that. Love him or hate him, it really gets to who is is and why he is, and is really well written. Amy Winehouse could learn a thing or two about beating addiciton by reading it I tell you.
 
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FLYBYNIGHT

I have just put down my book for a few minutes to give my eyes a rest!!
I'm reading: "The Secret River" by Kate Grenville.
It's a most amazing book, about the criminals who were shipped to Australia in 1806 and how they had to make a life for themselves.
Can't put it down and I'm not going to bed until I've finished it.

FLY
 
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LydiaDustbin

From pure boredom the other day, I idly picked up the Sunday Times best seller "Tell me why, mummy" by David Thomas. I have to admit that when I got it I thought it would be an over-sentimentalised story about an abused and consequently embittered child of an alcoholic mother, but the author's true story was gently written; a simply recounted version of events in his isolated childhood, his adolescence and his eventual understanding of his own addictive personality. It passed an evening for me quite nicely.

I see Mrs RB has recommended Russell Brand's book now as well as Becky before, so that's going to be added to my list.... amongst Fly's others.
 
O

Oldraver

I've nearly finished Nick Mason's book Inside Out..A Personal History Of Pink Floyd....(he is the drummer..).

Dull, dull, dull.....
 
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FLYBYNIGHT

I'm reading: The Brief History of the Dead" by Kevin Brockmejer.
Again, if it wasn't for my Reading Group I would never have picked this up, but it's an amazing read.
People die, most of them through a kind of plague which threatened the whole world. The people who have died find themselves in another world, where they are alive, but know they are dead.
I hope to find out before the end where they'll all finish up.!! Weird, but fascinating.
 
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scorpio

I have just finished "Atonement", as recomended by Becky. Not to put too fine a point on it I think it is a modern classic. I haven't seen the film, but after reading the book, I will be hoping to. its the sort of book that should be set for GCSE.

Here is a synopsis I lifted from elsewhere..

"The events of the book take place over a small number of significant days in 1935, 1940 and 1999 with their significance stretching across that lifetime. In 1935 the Tallis family live in a large house that was bought by their entrepreneur grandfather. Cecilia is the eldest daughter who has just returned from studying in Cambridge. Coincidentally, Robbie, the charlady's son, has been studying there at the same time under the patronage of her elusive father. The two have avoided each other, but on their return an event by the fountain in the garden begins to change their lives. Cecilia's sister, Briony, is a would-be novelist who spends her life daydreaming and watching those about her. When Briony catches sight of the two figures at the fountain, she begins to piece together a story, which in the context of later events has serious consequences on the rest of their lives. When the crime is committed someone will have to atone. "

The book is set in 4 distinct parts. The most compelling and harrowing, for me was the descriptions of the Dunkirk retreat. I'll say no more in case I spoil it..

Definitely recomend.
 
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