Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing

DATE FINISHED: August 4th, 2012 

RATED: **** (4.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Harriet and David are instinctively drawn to each other through a mutual yearning to play traditional happy families. They marry almost immediately, stretch their finances to live in an enormous home, and Harriet gives birth to four normal, healthy children amidst a whirl of family gatherings and old-fashioned support. Ben, the fifth child, is different even before he is born, torturing Harriet from within; and then after birth, immediately proves himself insatiable, brutal, ‘other’. Harriet and David become convinced that Ben is not quite human – somehow a throwback from an ancient, primitive race, and untameable. In the face of this indomitable force of nature, their carefully constructed family idyll begins to crumble…

THOUGHTS:  The story of this unearthly cuckoo in the nest, threatens all sanguinity. Read more of this post

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WINNERS! Neverendings Giveaway: In a Dark Wood

Winners of the August giveaway for
In a Dark Wood by Amanda Craig are…

  • Clare B. and…

  • Lindsay Healy

Each winner will receive a 2nd hand hardback copy of In a Dark Wood by Amanda Craig, plus a neverendings notecard & bookmark. Winners will be contacted by email for postal details. Prizes will be sent within next 7 days.

Thank you to everyone who entered – I really appreciate you taking the time to browse & comment on my various blog posts.  Please check back as this will be a regular feature, and there will be a new giveaway coming soon!

Giveaway details can be found in the new Giveaways tab above, which will be updated regularly with the latest offers, winners, and archived info.

neverendings bookmarks & notecards

Using some of my favourite quotes from books I have read recently, I have designed a range of bookish bookmarks & notecards.  Click the pic for all available options!

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The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

DATE FINISHED: August 9th, 2012 

RATED: **** (4.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Every year, Trinity High School raises money by recruiting its students to sell chocolates. One year, Jerry Renault says ‘no’. At first, this is on instruction, the result of a unique kind of bullying instigated by a select clique known as The Vigils; but soon Jerry is making a stand of his own – although he is not quite sure why. Warped Vigil mastermind Archie is behind Jerry’s initial refusal, but his power is challenged when Jerry refuses to stand down. Can Archie regain control of the situation; and if not, will Jerry have proven or achieved anything? A war that is much bigger, and much more explosive than a box of chocolates has begun…

THOUGHTS:  The Chocolate War could easily have been a straightforward exercise examining the fears and humiliation of peer pressure, bullying and conformity with a side-order of positivity and the championing of self-esteem, self-belief, self-awareness (etc), but Cormier goes much further in this chillingly human story, full of challenging ideas. Read more of this post

How to Forget by Marius Brill

DATE FINISHED: August 6th, 2012 

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Mr Magicov makes a living by entertaining the old folks of Christchurch after a children’s party once went drastically awry and irrevocably altered his career path. Kate Minola, a magician’s daughter, is a career confidence trickster on the run from the FBI. When their paths unexpectedly cross, Kate promises Peter (Magicov) revenge on his own nemesis, and a share of a million pounds – but can he really trust a woman who has spent her life specialising in the long con?

THOUGHTS:  This book would make a great movie, Read more of this post

this book will change your mind

“Empathy is hard-wired into our brains. We experience just by watching others’ experiences. We tell stories to stimulate the mirror neurons. We watch a film and become the characters, we read someone’s story and for the time we’re in it, the connections within our own brains actually reshape, beginning to mirror the connections in the chacter’s brain.

“So this book, like every story you’ve ever read, heard or watched, will alter the shape of your brain. Whatever you think, this book is guaranteed to change your mind.”

from How to Forget by Marius Brill

The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy

DATE FINISHED: August 3rd, 2012 

RATED: **** 

SYNOPSIS:  Beth and Derek are on a cruise – the youngest people aboard by far. Derek has planned to propose but is miserable and confined to his cabin with seasickness, instead. Beth wanders the decks and meets up with Arthur, a successful fraudulent psychic. It soon becomes clear their meetings are not the result of chance: Beth and Art have a secret history, but what is the truth of it (and them) and will their future be together or apart?

THOUGHTS:  I found this book quite infuriating. Read more of this post