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Minervasbutler

Minervasbutler

Joined May 2016

I read just about anything
review
Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Not another Beatles bio but an attempt to explain what the Beatles mean to the writer and the secret of their near-universal appeal 50 years on. Opinionated, sometimes wrong-headed (that is I think I disagree) but always interesting and readable even if, like me, you think you know it all. ;)

72 likes1 stack add
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Minervasbutler
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Pickpick


Second in her Farseer Trilogy sees our young hero Fitz growing up, falling in love, bonding with a wolf (well, we've all done it) and getting ever more mired in the nasty doings at court as his erstwhile protectors the King and Prince Verity are being out-manouevered by evil Prince Regal (boo, hiss). Slow-moving, maybe, but strangely compelling.

Cathythoughts Sounds good. I got the first one recently ... must find some time 🙄👍🏻 1w
94 likes1 comment
blurb
Minervasbutler
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Jerdencon Loved Daisy Jones too! 3w
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego A great month! 💖📚💖 3w
59 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

First of a trilogy, which is itself just a small part of the Hobb universe, and concerns Fitz, the bastard son of a Prince of the Six Duchies, his boyhood and youth and his training as the King's assassin. There's two distinct systems of magic, intrigue, loyalty, and betrayal and the writing and characterisation is way superior to many fantasy novels. I can see some might find it a little slow-moving but I enjoyed it a lot.

Cathythoughts Nice review! I picked this up recently & I‘m looking forward to it 👍🏻 3w
Minervasbutler @Cathythoughts Thanks! Enjoy! 3w
Soubhiville Yes! I love these books! I‘m currently reading Fool‘s Errand, first in the Tawny Man trilogy. 😊 3w
76 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Minervasbutler
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

Told as an oral history of "The Greatest Band of the 70s" this is a wonderfully clever pastiche of all those glossy rock mag retellings of the story of the Mac, CSN&Y etc. And you'll end it wishing you could reach for the Spotify playlist and hear Aurora, This Could Get Ugly and the rest for yourself. If you love 70s rock you'll dig this (man).

EH2018 Loved this book!! 1mo
mjdowens I just got my turn from the library today and squealed at work when I got the email! (edited) 1mo
JanuarieTimewalker13 So good!! I read physical copy, but I want to do a follow up audiobook listen..everyone says it‘s outstanding. 1mo
97 likes7 stack adds4 comments
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Minervasbutler
Martin Chuzzlewit | Charles Dickens
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Hadn't read this one for years and though it contains an abundance of Dickens's faults (overly sentimental, awful passages of purple prose) there is enough brilliant characterisation (Mrs Gamp and Pecksniff above all) to make it an entertaining read.

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Minervasbutler
Martin Chuzzlewit | Charles Dickens
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Yes I know, very puerile lol

Heideschrampf 🍆🙈🍆🙊🍆🙉🍆 1mo
Horrortorte 😳 1mo
AvalonRoselin Charles DICKens? 1mo
73 likes4 comments
review
Minervasbutler
The Eyre Affair: A Novel | Jasper Fforde
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Mehso-so

I really wanted to like this more than I did. A comic/fantasy novel riffing on classic literature? Sign me up. And it wasn't bad, fairly amusing in places and certainly inventive but it almost suffered from a surfeit of ideas and a lack of clarity about the rules of the fantasy world he has created. Slightly underwhelmed.

Daisey I completely understand. I enjoyed this one, but I reached a point where I just decided to give up all reasoning to make it work and go with whatever craziness it threw at me. 1mo
Minervasbutler @Daisey yes I did the same. Maybe I was a bit harsh. Liked it but didn't love it. 3 stars on Goodreads. 1mo
emz711 Whattt! Loved it. When you read the sequels, it explains the world mechanics a lot more. Keep going! 1mo
61 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Minervasbutler
Cherry: A novel | Nico Walker
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Pickpick

This reads like a millenial Catcher in the Rye if Holden Caulfield had turned to hard drugs, enlisted in the army, gone to Iraq and then tried to make a go of it as a bank robber. Unremittingly profane, misogynistic and with a cynical carapace that entirely fails to hide the vulnerable manchild beneath. Often bleakly funny, and I suspect the account of his tour of duty in Iraq is nearer the truth than the military brass would ever admit.

scowler1 I suspect the account of the tour in Iraq to be entirely factual. It's too well written to be fictitious. 2mo
Minervasbutler @scowler1 I think you're right 2mo
84 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Minervasbutler
Cherry: A novel | Nico Walker
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Great line!

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Minervasbutler
The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable | Terry Pratchett, Paul Kidby
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Mehso-so

This was apparently first published as an illustrated book and it has to be said that on its own this is a fairly mediocre book by STP's own high standards. We're back with Rincewind and Cohen the Barbarian on some sort of quest to return fire to the gods and while it's redeemed somewhat by the presence of Vetinari and Carrot it failed to raise more than the occasional smile.

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Minervasbutler
Any Human Heart | William Boyd
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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego A good month! 📖💖 2mo
66 likes1 comment
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Minervasbutler
A Winter Haunting | Dan Simmons
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Pickpick

Sequel to Summer of Night and an oddly Jamesian stew of possibly real, possibly imaginary phantoms and monsters which leaves the reader guessing how much is down to the protagonist's disturbed mental state and how much to be taken at face value. And a good ol' boy sheriff straight out of King's Desperation. Excellent.

Cathythoughts Great review.. must look up Summer of Night .. I‘m loving this cover 👍🏻 2mo
68 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Minervasbutler
A Winter Haunting | Dan Simmons
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Ooh wonder who pissed Dan off lol

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Minervasbutler
Manhattan Beach: A Novel | Jennifer Egan
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On the surface much more traditional than Goon Squad- an historical novel set in the late 1930s and war years - though she again plays all sorts of games with narrative structure, weaving 3 distinct stories together. It's part "woman's struggle in a man's world" and part "organised crime on the waterfront" and I guess it succeeds or fails depending on whether you buy into the fortunes of Anna and her father Eddie or not. I enjoyed it a lot.

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Minervasbutler
Real Tigers | Mick Herron
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Pickpick

Third in his Slough House series starring the heroically rude and flatulent Jackson Lamb and his crew of "Slow Horses". The plot is full of so many twists, turns, backstabbings and double-crosses that the reader has little option than to sit back and enjoy the ride, safe in the knowledge that all will become (reasonably) clear on the last pages, and delight, above all in the multitude of ways in which Lamb insults and belittles his hapless crew.

Cathythoughts I‘ll look up number 1. 👍🏻 2mo
Cathythoughts Or does it work as a stand alone ?! 2mo
Minervasbutler @Cathythoughts better start at number 1 imo 2mo
See All 8 Comments
Cathythoughts 👍🏻👍🏻 2mo
Tonton Must be read in order to get the full effect! Love this series😎 2mo
Minervasbutler @Tonton yep, you're right. Great, aren't they? 2mo
bookishdawg Love Jackson and his motley crew... I think the books get better as you go 👍🏻 2mo
Tonton @Minervasbutler and when Jackson moves to protect his crew! One relentless great white shark ❤️ 2mo
70 likes3 stack adds8 comments
review
Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

The story of Greer who we meet as a college freshman at the beginning of the century and follow up to the present day. The story principally concerns the influence on Greer's life of a famous feminist, Faith Frank. Wolitzer is great at creating believable, flawed characters and making us care about them. The "plot" revolves around one moment of selfish, careless betrayal and a horrific tragedy which hits the reader like a punch to the face.

Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻stacked 2mo
88 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Our narrator Nick is now approaching 30 and still drifting a bit though he has a first novel under his belt. Notable new characters we meet in this one include Myra Erdleigh and Dicky Umfraville while both Stringham and Widmerpool make notable appearances at a school reunion at the book's close. As usual the social comedy is interspersed with frequently penetrating observations on life, love and human nature.

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Minervasbutler
Angels Flight | Michael Connelly
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Bosch #6. A black civil rights lawyer, who makes a nice living sueing the LAPD, is shot dead and it looks like it may well have been a cop that did it. LA is ready to riot again unless Harry and his team can find the murderer in double-quick time. As usual Bosch is working as much against the brass as against the nominal bad guys and his love life is collapsing around his ears as well. Not a great time to quit smoking, all in all. Terrific stuff.

MicheleinPhilly HA! I just read something like the 22nd Bosch and he is STILL like, “Damn, I need a cigarette.” 😂 2mo
suzie.reads I'm struggling with the Bosch series at the moment 😫 Just read the 17th and finding them a bit boring. 2mo
Minervasbutler @suzie.reads yeah that can happen with long-running series sadly 2mo
75 likes4 comments
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Minervasbutler
Any Human Heart | William Boyd
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The story of one man's life, told through his own journals, from his school days in the 1920s, through Oxford, the War and going up to his death in the 1980s. Logan seems to meet everyone from Joyce and Picasso to the Duke of Windsor but the joy of this book is listening to the gradual transformation of the narrative voice, from precocious schoolboy through to the old man reflecting wistfully on life and approaching death. Strangely moving.

charl08 Loved this one. Great comments. The bit where he is reduced to eating pet food made a lasting impression... 2mo
Minervasbutler @charl08 yes that was simultaneously hilarious and deeply sad 2mo
77 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Rebus #4. The plot revolves around a popular politician being caught in an upmarket "hoor hoos" with his trews around his knees. Rebus scents a set-up. And where's the MP's posh totty wife when she should be doing her "stand by your man" act? Rebus is soon up to his ears in a murder investigation. The plot gets a bit over-complicated for my taste but while I think the series has yet to really hit its stride this is a pretty good read.

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review
Minervasbutler
Verity | Colleen Hoover
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Pickpick

Totally gripping psychological chiller which keeps you guessing till the end and beyond. I could have done with a bit less of the mummy-porn soft focus erotica but then I guess I'm not exactly the target reader lol. A minor blemish on a great page-turning read.

HOTPock3tt I want to read this!! ♥️ 2mo
88 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Minervasbutler
Verity | Colleen Hoover
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You're nuts girl! Lol.

Crazeedi Sacrilege!! 2mo
The_Real_Nani She must be lying! 2mo
64 likes2 comments
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Minervasbutler
Monsters of Men | Patrick Ness
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Pickpick

Ness brings his trilogy to a triumphant conclusion, with another POV voice (a Spackle, no less!) to add to those of Todd and Viola. Some profound meditations on the themes of war, terrorism, and colonialism underlying what is a helluva story that barely lets up for a moment.
YA fantasy dystopia be blowed, this has some of the best descriptions of BATTLE I've ever read. Wonderful.

Addison_Reads I just finished the first two in this series and loved them. I'm waiting on my hold to come through at the library for this one. Such a well done series so far. I'm excited to finish it. 2mo
84 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Book 2 of the Chaos Walking trilogy and our heroes Todd and Viola are caught up in a vicious struggle for control of New World. Themes of genocide, slavery, mind control and terrorism underlie a plot which has more twists than Brexit. Ness is superb on conflicted loyalties and the ethics of violence in the service of one's cause, and once again it seems a shame that these have been categorised as YA because they really deserve a wider audience.

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Minervasbutler
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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Nice job! 📖💖 3mo
72 likes1 comment
review
Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Book 3 in the Neapolitan Quartet. Elena is slowly forging a literary career for herself while Lila, her disastrous marriage behind her, seems, notwithstanding her ferocious intelligence, to be destined to a life of poverty and humiliation. The menacing Solaro brothers play a more prominent role as Communists fight Fascists and Elena tries to find some fleeting satisfaction in marriage and motherhood. Stunning.

Cathythoughts Stunning is the word ! 👍🏻 3mo
Minervasbutler @Cathythoughts Isn't it? Just keeps getting better and better. 3mo
rachaich Adored this trilogy. I've just started watching the adaptation :) 3mo
96 likes3 comments
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Minervasbutler
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Cathythoughts I loved this series 👍🏻♥️ 3mo
76 likes1 comment
review
Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Absolutely brilliant fantasy novel which is tagged YA, which I suppose is fair enough as the protagonists are teenagers but really it would be a pity if more (ahem) mature readers let this pass them by, as I nearly did. Also contains THE most gut-wrenching literary death I've read in ages. Just wonderful.

Prairiegirl_reading I‘ve had this on my shelf for a while now and I‘ve been meaning to get to it. It sounds great! 3mo
Erinreadsthebooks Great review! I don‘t love that it‘s tagged YA either. I think it‘s more ‘coming of age in a dystopia‘ 😏 3mo
102 likes9 stack adds2 comments
review
Minervasbutler
Alone | Lisa Gardner
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Pickpick

My first taste of Lisa Gardner and very good it was too. Perhaps a bit hard to swallow in the believability stakes, but hey this is a fast-moving crime thriller with a monstrous villain, a femme fatale and a flawed-cop hero so it ticks all the boxes. Recommended.

Cathythoughts Sold 👍🏻stacking 3mo
Minervasbutler @Cathythoughts lol I think you'll like it. 3mo
TrishB I love her books 👍🏻 3mo
Godpants I haven‘t been reading her books in any order but this one just came available on our buildings books table and I can‘t wait to see where it starts for Warren. 3mo
105 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Minervasbutler
Anatomy of a Scandal | Sarah Vaughan
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This one's a real page-turner, a legal thriller about a rising politician, and friend of the Prime Minister, who is accused by his young assistant of rape. Cleverly plotted - we move from the present to the Oxford undergraduate years of the main characters and the POV shifts too from chapter to chapter, and the tension builds most effectively. Gripping, twisty and very enjoyable.

Cathythoughts I really enjoyed this one too 👍🏻 3mo
83 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Second in his Dance to the Music of Time sequence and narrator Nick is out of university and drifting a bit, professionally and romantically. This one sees the introduction of characters such as Mr Deacon, Gypsy Jones (to whom our hero loses his virginity in a "blink and you miss it" episode) and Barmby but Widmerpool remains the fish-faced star.

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Minervasbutler
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Currently reading this for the fourth time and always finding something new

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Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Superb biography, sympathetic and clear-eyed, of one of the greatest English novelists of the last century. Obviously this will appeal mainly to Powell addicts like myself but even the casual reader will find much to enjoy in the portraits of Orwell, Waugh, Henry Green and the rest of Powell's circle.

101 likes1 stack add
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Minervasbutler
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Ah, publishers! This book is great btw

CaitlinR Great quotation. 3mo
Ruthiella I need to read this! I loved The Dance to the Music of Time series!😀 3mo
Minervasbutler @Ruthiella me too and this is a thoroughly enjoyable biography 3mo
58 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Minervasbutler
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Anthony Powell's dad was a dead ringer for Basil Fawlty lol

Lcsmcat 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
73 likes1 comment
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Minervasbutler
Enormity | Nick Milligan
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Mehso-so

Intriguing premise (young astronaut crash lands on a planet similar to Earth and becomes a megastar by passing off rock classics as his own), let down by interminable teenage sex fantasies and fairly poor writing. Pity, this could have been so much better.

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Minervasbutler
Enormity | Nick Milligan
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I know I sound like a grammar Nazi but do writers not have to be familiar with basic grammar rules any more? And editors?

KathyWheeler Sigh. Apparently not. 😞 4mo
Aimeesue Since grammar rules are pretty much determined by usage and this is the way a lot of people construct such a sentence, I‘d have to guess the answer is “no.” (edited) 4mo
CSeydel Ugh, this error drives me nuts, because it just doesn‘t make any sense. How does that tortured phrasing sound right (to a native speaker)? It smacks of trying too hard to be “correct” instead of listening to yourself. “Britney and me did a thing” is wrong, therefore ... it‘s always wrong to use “me”? Is that the thought? And then to follow it up with “a paparazzi” - I mean, was there an actual editor involved?? 4mo
See All 10 Comments
CSeydel Reading on ... a “hire car”? Not “hired”? I really feel this must not be a native speaker. 4mo
kathedron "Britney and myself" is even worse or, God help us, "Myself and Britney were..." etc. 4mo
rwmg @CSeydel A hired car would be a car that has been hired, while a hire car would be a car that is normally for hire, but may at present be being driven by its owner or an employee of the hire company. 4mo
rwmg @CSeydel But who flags down a hire car? Then it would be a taxi or minicab. 4mo
CSeydel @rwmg Hmm that‘s a thought. I‘m not familiar with that usage. Wikipedia says that in British usage a “hire car” is what Americans call a “rental car,” but that wouldn‘t go with flagging down either. I think you‘re right, I think he means a car-for-hire, i.e., taxi 4mo
rwmg @CSeydel I see from the blurb that the author is Australian, so usage there may be different again. But is the whole thing written in the present? That alone would make it unreadable for me. 4mo
Minervasbutler Yeah, it's all written in the historical present. I think he's aiming for a Brett Easton Ellis kind of vibe. On the hire car thing I'll give him a pass since we're on another planet ;) But the faux genteelism of "She looked at I" is something that really gets my goat lol 4mo
55 likes10 comments
review
Minervasbutler
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Mehso-so

Sullivan is no Mailer or Capote and overly fond of locutions like "the proverbial net was drawing in" or "her knees were metaphorically knocking" which rapidly get irritating. He frequently takes time out from his cataloguing of Bundy's crimes with flights of fancy where he imagines what was going through Bundy's head. That aside, Sullivan does a pretty good job of telling the horrific story, which is after all what he's attempting to do.

Kaye Good to see another true crime review ! 4mo
85 likes1 comment
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Minervasbutler
Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo
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So I suppose you could characterise this as YA fantasy, which makes it an unlikely pick for me, being as I am more of an Elderly Adult than a young one, but I actually really enjoyed it. It's well-written, the world-building is done quickly and economically and Alina, though perhaps a bit of a familiar type (mousy girl who nobody notices turns out to have awesome magical powers) is a fun and feisty heroine.

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Minervasbutler
Small Island: A Novel | Andrea Levy
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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Great job! 📚💖 4mo
70 likes1 comment
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Minervasbutler
Small Island: A Novel | Andrea Levy
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Pickpick

The definitive novel of the Windrush Generation, this wonderful novel tells a story of racial and class prejudice with a warmth and understanding which encompasses even the snob and the racist. Yet somehow it's never dull or sermonising. Unforgettable characters and frequently hilarious.

squirrelbrain I just read this too! It‘s been on my shelf for a while but I decided to read it after Levy passed away recently. Great review! 4mo
Cathythoughts Sounds really good 👍🏻stacked 4mo
quirkyreader This was a great story. 4mo
Birdsong28 @Cathythoughts You should definitely read it! 😘📚📖 4mo
89 likes4 stack adds5 comments
review
Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Probably the best one-volume account of the Fab Four's career, though American Spitz makes countless tiny errors in his account of the early days due to his unfamiliarity with British slang and idiom. He's much better when the story goes global, clear-eyed and fair in dealing with Yoko (always a tricky area). Until Mark Levisohn finally publishes Volumes 2 and 3 of his magnum opus this will do perfectly well.

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Minervasbutler
West Pier | Patrick Hamilton
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The first in his final "Gorse" trilogy, written in the fifties but set pre and immediately post the First World War and starring, if that's the word, Ernest Ralph Gorse, one of the most repulsive characters in all fiction and his seduction and robbery of a naive young girl. There is something so horrifically entertaining about Gorse's villainy, and it's written with such brio and charm that I found it irresistible.

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Minervasbutler
Blacklands: A Novel | Belinda Bauer
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12-year-old Steven's life is pretty shit- bullies and school and poverty see to that, but mainly his unhappiness is down to the fact that 19 years previously his Uncle Billy was murdered by a child molester who is now banged up but who has never revealed the site of Billy's body. Steven decides to make contact with the killer.
This is a stunning debut, creepy and thrilling in equal measure with a dollop of sly humour when you least expect it.

Cathythoughts Loved this one too. Love this writer ♥️ 4mo
98 likes10 stack adds1 comment
review
Minervasbutler
Rosemary's Baby | Ira Levin
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Pickpick

The Polanski film scared me shitless many decades ago and the book surpasses the film. Rosemary and Guy are a totally believable couple-in-love at the beginning and almost the scariest thing about the book is Rosemary's gradual realisation that Guy has sold his soul and is in on the plot. The ending, too, has layers of subtle horror that Polanski, at least in my memory of the film, doesn't come close to laying bare. Superb.

AmyG Both are huge favorites of mine. ❤️🖤 4mo
24 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
Minervasbutler
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Imagine an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery where the protagonist keeps getting reincarnated as different people, each at a different point in a single day, and who must relive that day endlessly until he manages to solve the mystery. Somehow Turton manages to convince the reader that it will all make sense in the end and gives us just enough information along the way to keep us hooked. Wonderfully weird.

IamIamIam I loved the concept and I really didn't see what was coming until it was too late but I kept asking the same thing. Such a great story!!! 4mo
cariashley Do you think this one would work on audio? 4mo
Minervasbutler @cariashley Good question. Actually I think it might be even more confusing. But I've never tried audiobooks. 4mo
Godpants This one was one of my favourites of last year. So fun. 4mo
emmaturi This book is my next read! 4mo
124 likes16 stack adds5 comments
review
Minervasbutler
The Gold Bat | P. G. Wodehouse
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Mehso-so

This was first published in 1904 when Wodehouse was just setting out and it's fair to say it doesn't give much indication of the masterpieces which were to follow. It's a school story, many pages of which are dedicated to descriptions of rugby matches, with only the most rudimentary attempt at characterisation or plot. That said, Wodehouse could never be dull and I read this slim tale in a sitting.

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Minervasbutler
The Minotaur | Barbara Vine
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A young Swedish girl takes the job of carer to John, who is suffering from a mysterious disorder which necessitates his being heavily medicated by his ghastly mother. More Gothic than strictly crime, this is perhaps not absolutely top-drawer Vine but as well-written and gripping as one would expect.

97 likes1 stack add
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Minervasbutler
Asymmetry | Lisa Halliday
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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Nice job! 📚💕 5mo
88 likes1 comment