Round up of British Book Challenge 2013

I can’t believe it’s been a year, since I accepted the challenge to read 12 books by a British author. I’ve absolutely loved discovering new British authors this year. I’m definitely going to continue the challenge next year. We have far too many brilliant authors in the UK, that deserve much more recognition.

Here are the British Authors I’ve discovered this year, complete with a link to my review!

Here’s to discovering new British Authors in 2014 and continuing to support UK writers!

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Talking about Heartbreak Hotel With Bibliobeth

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Synopsis:

At Myrtle House, the twin beds have never been so busy…

The irrepressible Russell ‘Buffy’ Buffery has upped sticks from London and moved to a decrepit B&B in rural Wales. He needs to fill the beds, and what better way than with ‘Courses for Divorces’, his new money-making wheeze.

Those checking in include: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman; Amy, who’s been unexpectedly dumped by her (not-so) weedy boyfriend and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend is much too much for him to handle.

Under Buffy’s tutelage, these casualties of the marriage-go-round find themselves re-learning all those skills never thought they’d need again, and a whole lot more besides…

Thoughts:

CHRISSI: What were your first impressions of this book?
BETH: I found this book very promising at the start, it seemed to be written with very “real” people, which was quite refreshing, and I enjoyed the way that we had multiple points of view, even if I did find myself saying at times: “Now who are they again and what’s their story?!” Having previously read the author’s book These Foolish Things/The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and reviewed it with you, I was comparing it to that, and on some levels, it was quite similar.

BETH: How does the title “Heartbreak Hotel” relate to the story we are told?
CHRISSI: I think it’s a good title for the story, because it does relate to a lot of the central themes of the book. A lot of the themes that came through for me whilst reading were insecurities, depression, infidelity and loneliness. Definitely issues that cause heartbreak.

CHRISSI: Are there too many characters to follow in this book? Do we get the chance to know them well enough?
BETH: There are a LOT of characters in this novel, and I did enjoy all the different points of view but I do think we probably didn’t get to know them well enough to make them believable, or for the reader to connect with them properly. We do hear a lot more from Buffy, our main character, who is arguably the most important, and I did enjoy his take on life.

BETH: Which of the characters was your favourites (if any) and why?
CHRISSI: I think my favourite was Buffy, and this is only because we seemed to hear a lot more about his story than the other characters. For me, there were far too many characters and points of view. I think I would have enjoyed this book much more, had it focussed on just a few characters.

CHRISSI: How well do you think Deborah Moggach portrayed male characters? Were they believable?
BETH: Buffy is quite a loveable character, and as an actor a bit of a “luvvie,” I think. He had some quite humorous parts, like when his BAFTA was being used by one of the guests to prop open a door (shocking!). I think the author captured the male voice quite well in a number of different personalities, like poor Harold whose wife has run off with another woman, and Andy the postman who really DOES enjoy delivering the mail.

BETH: Was the author successful in her portrayal of middle-aged relationships?
CHRISSI: I think she did portray middle-aged relationships well. I find with Deborah Moggach that her characters are incredibly real and ordinary. They are very like people you may know already in your life.

Would we recommend it?:
CHRISSI: It’s not for me!- Too many characters.
BETH: Yes!

WWW Wednesday #41

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday post!

To join in with WWW Wednesday you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

What are you currently reading?

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I’m just starting this book today, it’s the next book in the review feature I do with Beth. I wasn’t that keen on the author’s other book The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I’m willing to give Deborah Moggach another try.

What did you recently finish reading?

963940I read Crimson Petal and The White and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. This is a short story collection. I thought some of the stories were brilliant, others not so much! My review will be up later this week.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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This is my next read. I don’t really know a lot about it. I borrowed it from Beth. It looks like it’s going to be a heart-breaking read.

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to leave your links to your post in the comments below.

 

Stacking The Shelves #34- The Birthday Edition: part 2

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to its Goodreads page!

So, last week my haul was the books I actually received for my birthday. This week is the rest of my birthday haul!!

Borrowed from Bibliobeth

My lovely sister sent me some books (she knows the amount I have already, her TBR pile is far worse than mine but we still continue to buy….)

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Oh my goodness! So many books that I’m excited to read. 5 of these books are part of the autumn selection of books for a book club my sister and I participate in.

Extras are Nearest Thing To Crazy , I really like the look of this book. My sister sure knows what sort of thing I like.  Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children, I’ve had my eye on this book for a while. I was also recommended My Cousin Rachel, so it’s fabulous that my sister had acquired a copy and so willingly shared! (I love my sister! 😀 )

Remaining Birthday Gifts:

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Looking at it all is rather overwhelming!! I’m really looking forward to reading Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer as I’ve heard great things about those books. I also can’t wait to continue the Under The Never Sky series with Through The Ever Night. I’m excited for ALL of these books really, I’m just not sure when I’m going to fit them in!

Too many books, too little time…

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave your link so I can visit your blog!

Talking about The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with Bibliobeth

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How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Bibliobeth for our book club read and review.

Synopsis:

When Ravi Kapoor, an over-worked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his obnoxious father-in-law, he asks his wife: ‘Can’t we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.’ His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful – and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a brilliant comedy of manners, mixing acute observation with a deeper message about how different cultures cope in the modern world.

Thoughts:

This is the second book in my sister and I’s ‘Talking About’ reviews. Our first was Bright Young Things which can be viewed here.

Here are our thoughts:

CHRISSI: What surprised you most about the book?

BETH: I’m afraid it had to be the pornography-loving old gentleman, Norman! He was one of the more “icky” characters I have ever come across although it was highly amusing.

BETH: What did you think were the main themes of the book?

CHRISSI: I think the main theme is the elderly generation looking back on their lives, reflecting on what they’ve done with their lives.

CHRISSI: Did the author do a good job of making the characters believable? e.g. do they speak in the right voice for their age group or the time period of the novel?

BETH: I do think all of the characters were believable, the author seemed to find an individual voice for each of them which must be a mammoth task but I think she pulled it off marvellously.

BETH: Which character did you identify with or enjoy reading about the most and why?

CHRISSI: I can’t say I really identified with any of the characters. I thought all of the characters were interesting in some way. They were very quirky.

CHRISSI: Did you think the ending was appropriate?

BETH: I thought it was an appropriate ending considering the themes of the book. It was almost bitter sweet in a way, and warmed the cockles of my heart even more towards the elderly.

BETH: If you were sent to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, how would you react and what would you do?

CHRISSI: I’m not sure how I’d react. I found the book depressing at times. It wasn’t an easy, light read. I think I’d find it quite depressing that I was a ‘burden’ to society.

CHRISSI: Did your opinion of the book change as you read it?

BETH: It did slightly. I feel like it was a bit up and down in places, and I felt myself gravitating between emotions of happiness and sadness depending on the situation.

BETH: Did the book affect you in a personal way, such as offending you or making you uncomfortable? Did you reassess your views on certain topics because of the novel? Do you have a better or new understanding of certain aspects or a new awareness of something you’d never thought of before?

CHRISSI: It didn’t really affect me, but it did make me consider how we treat our elderly in Britain. I also found the older gentlemen’s love of pornography highly amusing. I’m not sure that was the intention.

CHRISSI: Who would you recommend this book to?

BETH: I think most people would enjoy this novel (perhaps not younger adults), it’s not one I loved, but I thought it was quite a sweet and interesting story and I loved the back drop of India as something a bit different and original.

BETH: Would you read something else by this author?

CHRISSI: I’d give it a go! The writing style was good.