Review: House of Silence

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House of SilenceHouse of Silence by Linda Gillard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this tale of dysfunctional families, secrets and intrigue. Difficult to say much about it without giving things away, but it’s about what happens when an outsider spends Xmas with a family who have a complicated past. Excellent characterisation with every character having faults but being likable in their own way. Mixing the mystery genre with some romance, Linda Gillard once again manages to invent a man every woman will fall in love with ….

This is a book I will remember for a long while. Highly recommended.

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Review: The Truth About Dating

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The Truth About DatingThe Truth About Dating by Julie Christensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a freebie Kindle book I picked up and I didn’t expect a lot from it, to be honest, but was pleasantly surprised. The book is the author’s account of her adventures in dating and over the course of several months she goes on blind dates, speed dating nights and tries internet dating. As someone who has done a lot of internet dating myself, with mixed results, I found a lot here I could identify with, though I felt the author had incredible high criteria when choosing men and perhaps needed to loosen up a little!!

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Review: Get Out While You Can – Escape The Rat Race

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Get Out While You Can - Escape The Rat RaceGet Out While You Can – Escape The Rat Race by George Marshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really interesting book that takes an unusual and very British approach to learning how to make an alternative income. The first part of the book looks at wage slavery and has some interesting philosophy on how you’ll never be rich unless you take control of your own destiny – stuff I’ve read before, but it was very convincing. The author runs several money-making sites and divulges several methods of earning money online, from Google Adwords and selling domain names to affiliate marketing. Normally these kind of books bore me to tears but this one kept my interest because it’s written in a very enjoyable conversational style.

In fact, I was actually so inspired by this book that I have set up a couple of moneymaking sites myself .. thy’re both work in progress and haven’t started earning me anything yet, but if I don’t try I won’t know!

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How to be happy … just have a Boxing Day!

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Today is Boxing Day for me. Actually, it’s one of about a dozen Boxing Days I’ve scheduled into my year, roughly one every four weeks. I’ll probably only be eating turkey on one of them though, the one everyone else has in December – unless I feel like eating turkey, in which case I will. Today I’ve been eating Doritos and dips though.

“Boxing Day” is the fabulous invention of author Peter Jones in his new book How to Do Everything and Be Happy. It’s out now on Kindle for a bargain £2.99, and will be out in paperback very soon. I won’t go into too much detail about the origins of his “Boxing Day” (you’ll just have to buy the book to find out!)  but basically it’s a day when you do exactly what you want, when you want. You don’t pre-plan anything; instead you simply ask yourself “what would I like to do, right now?” and unless it’s physically impossible to do, you do it! Continue reading

Review: Room

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RoomRoom by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well I had high hopes for this, but for the first few minutes I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it. Because it’s written from the point of view of Jack, a 5 year old boy, it’s written in unfinished phrases and baby talk which grated on me for a while. However, it didn’t take long for me to warm to the characters Jack and Ma, and pretty soon the baby talk just felt natural.

The plot here shouldn’t be enjoyable – a young woman abducted, locked in a room, regularly beaten and raped who bears a child and brings him up in captivity – but there’s actually a hugely positive feeling to Room, which is much more about love and relationships than the horror of the situation. In writing from Jack’s perspective much of the horror is unspoken or merely hinted at – which in fact is more effective than if it were detailed in black and white.

Overall, I really enjoyed Room. I loved the relationship between Ma and Jack, and actually felt quite jealous of her unending patience and imagination!

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