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sophierayton

sophierayton

Joined June 2018

Books, Music, Food & Naps
review
sophierayton
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Pickpick

Give me all the Queer Eye Fab 5's memoirs!
I loved learning about his life story. He is incredibly honest and vulnerable and absolutely recognises his own mistakes and doesn't shy away from them. While the book deals with hard topics, it is ultimately hopeful and empowering. Great job Karamo!

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sophierayton
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Pickpick

All hail the mighty JK! I think she is the best writer I've ever read. If she wrote all the books published from now on, I wouldn't mind.
The Goblet of Fire - it is so action packed and there's a clear maturation happening setting us up for the later books. I still need to re-re-re-read 5,6&7 but this is my favourite so far, it's so good.

flying_monkeys GoF is my fave of the series, so I couldn‘t agree more 🤓 2d
46 likes1 comment
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sophierayton
George | Alex Gino
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Pickpick

This book is nicely done. It's middle grade, so it's a bit idealistic, cutesy and sweet, but I think it's an important book to be out there and I'm sure lots of kids will enjoy it.

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sophierayton
A Share in Death | Deborah Crombie
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Mehso-so

I was looking for a new detective series, but this is a bit too cosy for my liking, so I think I'll leave it here.

rretzler Interesting...it‘s been a while since I‘ve read the first one, but I‘ve read all the books in this series and I wouldn‘t call them cozy. Of course, I guess it depends on what your definition of cozy is - I think everyone has a different definition. This is a fairly standard British police procedural series and IMO is one of the better ones , due to the characters. Crombie is similar in style to Elizabeth George but her books are not as lengthy. 6d
sophierayton Yes, I think it comes down to scale. While this isn't a straight up cosy, it is on the cosier side imo. I was looking for a readalike for series like Robert Galbraith and Louise Penny, this author and series was recommended and I found it a bit tame for my liking. 6d
31 likes2 comments
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sophierayton
'Salem's Lot | Stephen King
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Mehso-so

Quite long and didn't really hold my attention.

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sophierayton
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Pickpick

As a girl from Doncaster, how could I not love Tan and his book?! I actually had no idea that we shared a home town, nor that we share a 'Mormon' connection (He now lives in Salt Lake City and is married to someone raised as a Mormon). There is some salty language, but it's done in a good humoured way and Tan is just so lovable that I didn't particularly mind. Tan is vulnerable but also funny and smart, I think this memoir is very well done.

Anna40 Of the fabulous five, Tan is my favorite. :) 1w
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

I'm not very familiar with this actress, so went into this book quite blindly. I agree with the sentiment “whatever, love is love“ and appreciate her sharing her story. There are a few parts that didn't gel with me, but the book was enjoyable nonetheless and overall, quite well done.

Reggie If you ever get a chance, look up The Cooler. It‘s an indie movie about 10 years old with her in it. It‘s wonderful. 1w
Anna40 I love Maria Bello. She was also in ER. 1w
26 likes2 comments
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sophierayton
Matched | Allyson Braithwaite Condie
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I thought this was a great idea and it was executed well. It was a bit cheesy at times, but what dystopian-teen-romance novel isn't? I'm looking forward to the other books in the series.

BookFrog I got to book 2. I have yet to pick up book 3. 2w
sophierayton Was that because you lost interest after the second book? I've just checked it out and I'm hoping my enthusiasm keeps going to make it to book 3. 2w
29 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. A little bit literary, a little bit thriller, a little bit mystical. I was impressed with this author and plan to check out some of her other books.

TheNerdyProfessor I liked her book Somebody Else's Daughter. 2w
Megabooks Loved this book! 2w
24 likes1 stack add2 comments
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sophierayton
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Mehso-so

What is written within, is all good stuff. However, I think the author has consciously or unconsciously, taken the nuggets of mindfulness, transactional analysis, personality typing and neuropsychology, mixed them all together and rebranded them as Positive Intelligence, including lingo like “doing a PQ rep“ which is basically taking a moment of mindfulness, which has been taught and practised for thousands of years without calling it a “PQ rep“.

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sophierayton
The Overstory: A Novel | Richard Powers
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Like trees, this book takes time to grow and realise it's power. Multiple stories come together in the Overstory which is a parallel to the complexity and community that exists underground in the understory. As well as being a great story, this book is hugely educational and the author has clearly researched the subject at length. There is a strong feel of compassion throughout, for ourselves and the world, including all of its plantlife.

Redwritinghood Nice review! This was one of my top reads in 2018. I loved it. 5d
29 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

This is a modern novel set in modern times, but it has the feel of either an old novel or a modern novel set in old-times. It has an Ira Levin - Kiss before dying vibe to it, which of course, is an old book. Perhaps this is due to it being translated from the original German?
I love the title, but think it is better than the book as a whole.

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sophierayton
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Pickpick

This is my first Nora Ephron book. She seems like she was a fun woman. I don't appreciate her thoughts on grooming, but I do appreciate that was her reality many other women's too.

Weaponxgirl I remember loving the essay on bags! They need to be big! Who can survive with a small bag, where do the books go? 3w
sophierayton @Weaponxgirl I did laugh when she said that her answer to the bag problem was to wear a large coat with pockets - that is totally my method too. And books go in my handy-dandy tote bag I bought from the library - about as cool as her metro bag I'm sure.
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/299559812700947999/
3w
Weaponxgirl That is a good bag! I have a mans leather jacket and the depth and amount of pockets is life changing! Why do we get crap pockets on women‘s clothes? Why?! 3w
42 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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sophierayton
No Happy Endings | Nora McInerny
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Pickpick

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sophierayton
Carrie | Stephen King
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It's taken me a few years to finish a classic Stephen King novel, and I'm so glad I did. Reading Carrie, which is King's first novel, has helped me to understand the author and where he's coming from. It becomes clear that King isn't some 'sicko' who takes pleasure in imagining such awful things, but is full of compassion for those who experience awful things, and like a good therapist, is not afraid to look directly at the worst things in life.

DaveGreen7777 I love your insight into King seeing things like a therapist would! Beautifully said, Sophie! 😊 3w
37 likes1 comment
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sophierayton
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Quiet, devastating and beautiful. The writing is in the style of an internal monologue and skips about all over the place like real thoughts and memories do. Difficult topics are covered with the same weight as everything else, as if to say that when you get old, you realise that everything you worried about ceases to matter. I struggled with this idea but think the way it's done is profound.

40 likes3 stack adds
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sophierayton
Affairs of the Falcóns | Melissa Rivero
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Pickpick

This book is devastatingly beautiful. It is a hard read but for those who can handle it, it is worth the pain. This is Rivero's debut novel and I look forward to following her writing career. I expect this book will be included in 2019's book awards and I hope it does very well.

35 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
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The main thought I had throughout reading this book was that the 'problem' with LGBTQ+ people, is everyone else. Why does the rest of the world care? I just wish everyone would chill out, be kind and let people live their lives however they want. This is why books like this are so important; because people fear what they don't understand, and while it's not the job of transgender people to educate the rest of us, it is generous when they do so.

Reggie Nice! 4w
Weaponxgirl Yes! It‘s no one else‘s job to prove to you that they are a person like you, it‘s your job to not be a twat 4w
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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sophierayton
The Lido | Libby Page
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Panpan

I can't put my finger on exactly why, but this book grated on me like I've not experienced in a long time. Perhaps going into it with high expectations did me no favours. This would probably fall into the category of summer/beach reads as it's of medium length and has little to no substance.

45 likes2 stack adds
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sophierayton
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I thought this was lots of fun and a great idea. Jared and his wife Michelle come across as very nice and fun people. I disagree with some of his views, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.

40 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

This is an interesting story and it's well written, but it has nothing to do with Harper Lee until over half way through and then it's a bit meh, so I feel like the title is a bit misleading.

Kristy_K I hate when they draw you in with a title/sub-title that has little to do with the actual book. It feels dishonest. 1mo
britt_brooke I agree about the misleading title. 1w
32 likes2 comments
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

Absolutely excellent!
This book is well researched and well written. Manson is insightful and hilarious. While reading I felt both hopeful and nihilistic. This book challenges the reader in the best mind-expanding way. I imagine even those who disagree with the points of views presented here, would still come away having learned something and glad they did.

RamsFan1963 I didn't know he'd written another book!! I'll have to get this asap 1mo
sophierayton Yes, it came out on Tuesday :-) 1mo
42 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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sophierayton
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Brilliant and important.
Unfortunately, killers walk among us and I salute the people who strive to understand them in an attempt to make the world a safer place. This book was very well done and I plan to read more from this author.

43 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Things My Son Needs to Know about the World | Fredrik Backman, Neil Smith
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Pickpick

This was so funny I accidentally spat my coke out over my bookshelf because I was forced to laugh. Aside from hilarious, this is charming and heart-warming. A must buy for all new fathers and anyone else who wants a laugh.

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sophierayton
The Farm: A Novel | Joanne Ramos
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I keep seeing people say this was a good idea but it wasn't executed very well. I think it was executed excellently. It's not really dystopian as it was only a relatively small group of people involved in the farm, and for all we know something like this could be happening right now. I thought it was more a satirical social commentary about how we view one another and the disparities between those who serve and those who are served. Book club rec

TrishB I enjoyed it too 👍🏻 1mo
41 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
sophierayton
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Pickpick

Fun, short, inclusive romance. Not the best story, but a nice 'meanwhile' to book 2 - A Duke by default. I don't know why it is classed as 3.5 - it should be 2.5 and 2.5 should be 1.5, but I don't make the rules.
I'm looking forward to the other inclusive novels this author might write - she's nicely set up for a gender-queer romance and I hope she explores other topics like illness or obesity too.

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sophierayton
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Pickpick

I thought this was a really interesting approach to writing about history. Food, just by sheer necessity, is an important part of all our lives and for most it represents more than just something to sustain life. I enjoyed learning about women I previously knew little or nothing about and also enjoyed learning about cuisine over the years.

42 likes2 stack adds
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sophierayton
Lacuna | Barbara Kingsolver
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Mehso-so

This is a tricky one to rate and review. For the first 2/3 I was not enjoying it, not really following what was going on and while I could appreciate Kingsolver's beautiful writing, the story just wasn't doing it for me. Then, it all came together and I felt like shouting “Yes!“ during some of the passages. So to round it off I land in the middle. Better to go out with a bang than have a good start and then fall flat. I still love Kingsolver.

35 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Dream Dark: A Beautiful Creatures Story | Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
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Mehso-so

This is short. I know it's advertised as being short and it's obvious from looking at the book but still. Some writers are able to really pack a lot into not that many pages - that is not these writers strong suit. It was over before it began and in my opinion may as well not happened at all.

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sophierayton
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Difficult but important topics discussed. There's so much in life that keep us from being honest and authentic, this book explores what it is to be both those things and more.

TimSpalding I remember Filgate when she worked at River Run bookstore in Portsmouth. It's great to see her rise. 1mo
38 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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sophierayton
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This book delivers what was promised. If not heard of most of the women and stories told. It's sectioned by timeline rather than by person which allowed for a better flow I suppose but sometimes made it unclear which woman we were supposed to be thinking was bloody brilliant at any given time.

35 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Wunderland: A Novel | Jennifer Cody Epstein
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Mehso-so

I think it's important to see things from other people's perspectives, which this book did, but in my opinion it wasn't executed very well and was quite confusing at times. Also, the Alice in Wonderland link was so tenuous it might as well not have been there.

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sophierayton
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Mehso-so

This managed to be interesting and boring at the same time. The content was good but the writing wasn't very engaging.

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sophierayton
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Pickpick

A hot romance with a good story.

36 likes1 stack add
blurb
sophierayton
Untitled | Anonymous
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I tagged people at random. Please feel free to join in even if you've not been formally tagged.

1) My back garden
2) Cold melon
3) BBQs
4) Ice water
5) Bum-Bag/Fanny-Pack
6) Bed

Thanks for the tag @Nessavamusic . Wow, my answers show me as being kinda dull. I'm alright with that :-)

@Louise @Alicepondpoe @Spencer_Labbe

review
sophierayton
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Pickpick

Can we all just stand up so we can bow down to the great JK. I am so happy to be re-re-reading this series.

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sophierayton
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Pickpick

It took me a while to get to know all the characters and feel invested in what was going on, but once I did, I was hooked. I'm sure I must have read a courtroom drama style book before, but none are coming to mind and this was done very well, especially as the author is also a litigator. I was frustrated by some of the characters actions and inactions, but I'm sure that's the way the author wanted it. The "what if" questions too are painfully real

41 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
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This book has it all! While remaining fun and witty it also explores deeper topics and takes a moral stance. I recommend googling the family tree because it can get quite confusing with all the characters coming into play. This is currently the last in this series but I would read 10 more if Kevin Kwan chose to write them. Very well done.

38 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

A painfully important book. I had to go slowly with this because I couldn't handle the injustice for long stretches of time. Why do humans suck so much sometimes?! I'm glad this journalist is advocating for change and getting the message out there.

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sophierayton
My Lovely Wife | Samantha Downing
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A bit eye-rolly and convenient at times, but on the whole a good suspense from an unusual perspective.

Severnmeadows An unsettling cover😊 2mo
48 likes1 stack add1 comment
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sophierayton
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Mehso-so

I can see how some people would find this approach inspiring, and hey - each to their own. For me this felt narrow and dismissive. I don't understand the military culture and approach - I know people say it builds discipline and weeds out those not cut out for service, but just because something's always been done a certain way doesn't mean it's the right or best way. On the whole, not for me.

37 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
The Binding | Bridget Collins
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I really enjoyed this. I sometimes struggle with fantasy as I'm not the best at world building but this is set in what seems to be historical Britain and is the same except for the bindings.
It's a good thought experiment and would make for a good book club book. To me this felt YA as it has that sense of forward motion. I would read this author again and recommend this book to most people.

46 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
The Shape of the Ruins | Juan Gabriel Vásquez
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Mehso-so

Sigh. For me this book just went round and around in circles and never stopped or got anywhere. Plus when that is the feeling you're getting, having it be the length of two books is especially tedious. I'm sure it's rather literary but the story wasn't compelling enough to hold my interest.

Emilymdxn I felt exactly the same 2mo
41 likes1 comment
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sophierayton
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I had no idea who the author was, nor was I familiar or particularly interested in Russian history and cooking, and yet, this was recommended on a podcast so I thought I'd give it a go and thought it was really good. I learned a lot and had fun while doing so.

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sophierayton
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I've heard such great reviews about this book but it didn't really land for me. Don't get me wrong, it's good, it's well written and a good story, engaging characters etc, but didn't live up to the hype for me.

gradcat That happens to me often...even with great writing (which I am forever grateful for), you don‘t always feel the story, alas. 2mo
39 likes1 comment
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sophierayton
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Mehso-so

Whaaaaa??? Beautiful writing but very confusing. I feel like I'd need to read it at least one more time and possibly more to understand what's really going on here.

TheNerdyProfessor I just entered part 2 and I'm like WTF is going on? 2mo
sophierayton @TheNerdyProfessor Yep, get used to that feeling because it didn't get clearer for me. 2mo
BookishMarginalia I bailed on page 133. Good riddance. 2mo
46 likes1 stack add3 comments
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sophierayton
Early Riser | Jasper Fforde
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Mehso-so

This was my first Jasper Fforde book. I know people love his work but for me it was reminiscent of how I felt about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: unusual, silly, sometimes funny but on the whole I just don't get what all the fuss is about. I doubt I will read any more of his books.

Cinfhen Such a helpful review! Those were my initial thoughts/doubts when I read the blurb. Don‘t think it‘s for me xx Thanks, I‘ll take a pass 2mo
47 likes1 stack add1 comment
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sophierayton
The Lost Man | Jane Harper
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Mehso-so

This was quite hard work for me and I didn't enjoy it very much until the last quarter when it all came together. There is some very good sentences and this is one of the more literary mysteries I've read, but it wasn't that great for me still.

Redwritinghood Same here. It just felt very average. 2mo
38 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

Now that's how you write a memoir! Bourdain is unflinching when it comes to assessing his character, choices and the environment he works in. He comes across as such a paradox - a nice guy with a tough exterior. It's so sad that he's no longer with us but from this book it seems like he lived his life the way he wanted to so hopefully died with few regrets.

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sophierayton
Queenie | Candice Carty-Williams
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Pickpick

This book is REAL. While it is a work of fiction it's characters are so painfully true and raw that it's hard to look at but at the same time you can't look away. Poor Queenie; a totally flawed woman who makes poor choices but we love her anyway - sound familiar?

cariashley I JUST started it. Great review, I‘m excited! 2mo
sophierayton Yes, I saw your coffee and cake post and thought you were in for a treat! Hope it goes well x 2mo
44 likes2 stack adds2 comments