Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

It is a summer's night in 1860. In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet. Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep. At some point after midnight a dog barks.The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery: an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home. The household reverberates with shock, not least because the guilty party is surely still among them. Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later. He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects. The murder provokes national hysteria. The thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes - scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing - arouses fear and a kind of excitement. But when Whicher reaches his shocking conclusion there is uproar and bewilderment.A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.

I've read this for my book club at Waterstone's in Reading on Broad St for anyone who wants to come along it's at 7 after closing the last Thursday of ever month!
It's a very interesting read because it reads like fiction but is a very true account of what happened. The author did a great job and really making you feel as if you were there.
If you enjoy murder mysteries and true stories this is for you! Also have a look it was made into a TV series!
I was meant to discuss this with my fellow book clubers tonight, but due to my husbands work I was unable to attend the monthly meeting. Ah well next month.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

summer read suggestion!

Ever dreamed of starting over? Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that - Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. So when she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment and open up her own cafĂ©. It should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. As her friends point out, she has trouble remembering where she left her house keys, let alone trying to run her own business. But Issy is determined. Armed with recipes posted to her from Grampa, and with her local bank manager fighting her corner, Issy attempts to prove everyone wrong. Following your dreams is never easy and this is no exception. Can Issy do it?

A chic-lit but entertaining! If your looking for a summer read I would suggest this one. It also has recipes for cupcakes and other baked goodies!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer ~ A Book Review

Children throughout the developed world are suffering: instances of obesity, dyslexia, ADHD, bad behaviour and so on are all on the rise. And it's not simply that our willingness to diagnose has increased; there are very real and growing problems. Sue Palmer, a former head teacher and literacy expert, has researched a whole range of problem areas, from poor diet, lack of exercise and sleep deprivation to a range of modern difficulties that are having a major effect: television, computer games, mobile phones. This combination of factors, added to the increasingly busy and stressed life of parents, means that we are developing a toxic new generation. TOXIC CHILDHOOD illustrates the latest research from around the world and provides answers for worried parents as to how they can protect their families from the problems of the modern world and help ensure that their children emerge as healthy, intelligent and pleasant adults.

I've read this book in bits and pieces, but have read all of it. It is informative and shocking at times, but the parents who would benefit from this book the most are more likely not to read it. In another way the book doesn't say anything most of us don't already know. Surprisingly this book didn't make me feel like the worst parent in the world. It just made me more aware of some of the decisions I've made and will probably affect some of the decisions I've yet to make. If you read stuff like this on the Internet there is no need to buy this book. If your curious about how the modern world is affecting our children and want it in a clear manageable format go ahead and borrow this from the library.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson ~a recommendation

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

My daughters favorite book to date! It's one that I never tire of reading and re-reading to her! If you haven't read this book you must!
Five stars!!

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami ~ A Book Recommendation

movie tie in cover
When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.

Loved this book!! Haruki Murakami is on my top 5 favorite authors at the moment!!
A story of love life and death. A lot of people thought it was semi auto biographical but Murakami denies it. It reads like real life so I can see why the masses would want to think it was the love story of his life.
It's a story of what a person would do for love.
A story of coping with the ups and downs of relationships.
 I'm not sure I want to see the movie that has recently been made.
I really did enjoy Kafka on the Shore and had no idea what was happening in After Dark, but this one was ... dare I say ... beautiful.
It's not usually a word I use to describe a book, but it's the only word that suits it in my opinion.
I give this book 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone and everyone!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Michael McIntyre: Life and Laughing ~ a review

Michael McIntyre has become Britain’s biggest comedy star. His debut stand-up DVD was the fastest selling of all time, only to be eclipsed by his second that sold over 1.4 million copies and was the 2009 Christmas number one. He hosts his own BAFTA nominated BBC1 series, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, and won the British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-up in 2009 following his record breaking fifty-four date Arena tour.
But how did he get there?
Michael reveals all in his remarkably honest and hilarious autobiography Life and Laughing. His showbiz roots, his appalling attempts to attract the opposite sex, his fish-out-of-water move from public to state school and his astonishing journey from selling just one ticket at the Edinburgh Festival to selling half a million tickets on his last tour. Michael’s story is riveting, poignant, romantic and above all very, very funny.

I read this book in about a day! Very funny, moving, and entertaining. He starts out with his birth ending at his big break. He touches on his parents divorce, the awkward teenage years, finding the love of his life and the most important the ups and downs of going after what you really want. In a way it's a motivational story with lots of tears. Tears of laughter and joy and tears of loss and heartache.
If you haven't heard of him check him out on YouTube! Hilarious!
I give this a 4 star!

Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown {book review}

Every month a blog I follow hosts a book club, but the books chosen all have to do with food. Particularly baking. It’s very similar to ...