Nonfiction November – Book Pairings

It’s Nonfiction November, this week hosted by Sarah’s Book Shelves. The task? Pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title.

I had so much fun with this topic last year and although I feared I’d exhausted my ideas, I’ve managed a few more pairings –

Ireland divided – Lost Lives by David McKittrick / Across the Barricades by Joan Lingard Continue reading

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Six Degrees of Separation – from Vanity Fair to You Think It, I’ll Say It

It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up!

This month we begin with William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic, Vanity Fair. Continue reading

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

One of my counselling lecturers said something that has stuck with me – “When someone is telling you a story, always listen for the rub.” I knew exactly what he meant. It’s the bit where things don’t quite add up, where someone suddenly reveals more than you expect or conversely, less than you expect. Or the bit where someone reveals a little guilt or anxiety or anger or shame. There’s always a giveaway – the story is told with a ‘but’ or an ‘although’ – however, you have to listen for it.

Curtis Sittenfeld’s You Think It, I’ll Say It, is a collection of short stories, each with their own rub. The stories are about ordinary relationships and situations – a woman runs into a high school frenemy; a volunteer at a women’s refuge takes a disliking to a new, overly enthusiastic colleague; a lonely college student is befriended by a charismatic classmate; a single mother tries to combine work and parenting. Continue reading

I’m waiting for…

Commitment to reduce the TBR stack…? What commitment?

Continue reading

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

There’s pride, there’s prejudice, and there’s also text break-ups, reality tv, ‘hate sex’, Bitcoin, jogging, and Ivy League schools in Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld’s fabulous, frothy take on the Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice.

The brilliance in Sittenfeld’s rendering of Pride is that she stayed absolutely true to the story (a ridiculous social-climber plots to marry-off her five daughters to suitable, wealthy men), and yet made it very much her own.

All five  girls had then gone on to private colleges before embarking on what could euphemistically be called non-lucrative careers, though in the case of some sisters, non-lucrative non-careers was a more precise descriptor.

The story is set in Cincinnati (Sittenfeld’s hometown) and we find Liz as a magazine journalist; Jane, a yoga instructor; Mary doing her third online masters degree; and Kitty and Lydia gadding about eating high-protein meals and attending CrossFit. Continue reading

20 Books of Summer (except that it’s winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. I’m joining in, with a particular effort to read from my stacks of hard copies. The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 3rd. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Midnight’s Children to Sisterland

six-degrees-midnights-children

It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up! Get into it!

We begin this month with Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (as picked by Jenny). I haven’t read it but my husband has – this is significant because my husband rarely reads novels. Continue reading