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Friday, May 31, 2019

Book 110

The Flawless Place Between by Bruno Portier has to be one of the worst books I have ever read. It's supposed to be like The Alchemist, but it's not even in the same league. A woman dies in a traffic accident and some mystic guy from the mountains appears to advise on her afterlife. Utter nonsense and cliched rubbish 1/10

 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Girl Unknown

Girl Unknown by Karen Perry is a simple idea, a girl who turns up (in the first chapter) claiming to be a daughter from an old relationship. The shadowy girl increasingly begins to disrupt the father's lives and eventually the rest of his family. The book is all about relationships, nearly all of the characters have relationships, and few of them have happy ones. Those in relationships sometimes have fault lines, which others can expose.

The problem for me with the book is that the author has had a good idea, but she's constrained by literary conventions to have a climactic ending and the obligatory twist or two. This book never quite makes it from a good first half to a satisfactory conclusion and the ending, and the events leading up to it feel contrived. Like the relationships it details, it would be better of stuck in the middle somewhere and without the need to have a finish. 7/10

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Mark and the Void

Book 108 The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray is quite an unusual book, very original in the way its structured, being a book about writing the very book you the reader are reading. It's a romantic comedy set during the financial crisis in Ireland. In places it is very funny, but I did find all the charcters blurred together and there were times where my interest was flagging, only to resurface a few dozen pages later. Not a bad read. 6/10.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Two more books

Two recent books read have been Born Survivors by Harry Bingham (unnamed shelf) which was an interesting read about three women who had babies in Nazi concentration camps. They survived as well as their children, in three amazing stories, and none of them even knew about one another. This book got 8/10. The other book (Humour) was Five Get Gran Online by Wendy Holden an Enid Blyton rip-off that wasn't remotely funny, 1/10



Next, I make a long-overdue return to fiction which the next few shelves all being fiction books. Something I can't say has been the case for a couple of years.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

And Still the Music Plays

And Still the Music Plays: Stories of people with dementia  by Graham Stokes was quite a good book. It was of interest to me as it reminded me of my mum who has dementia and is in a care home. Obviously I know her story before she came into the home but those of her fellow residents I don't. The theme of this book really is that people still act rationally even when they have dementia, the main difference being that they live entirely in the now.  The author has numerous cases where he basically figures out why a resident is behaving like he is and devises a care plan to suite the needs of the resident. They are all success stories, I am sure he has a few failures as well, it would have been nice to hear those who couldn't be figured out. A good book, a bit repetitive, and a reminder that real people are still inside the shells that they appear in the home where my mum lives. 7/10


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Do Fathers Matter?

Do Fathers Matter? by Paul Raeburn was just a series of "studies" that "proved" the importance of fathers. Books that just quote dozens of studies and draw conclusions which suit the author's agenda are ten a penny. 2/10


Monday, January 14, 2019

The Available Parent

The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens by John Duffy is the latest parenting book and was pretty similar to the rest. The same comment applies: you need to keep re-reading this book to really retain the knowledge in it. It's also one of those books where the title says it all and is the thing to retain if anything. The rest is detail and too generalised to be of much specific help. 5/10