Tag Archives: book reviews

MY 2015 READING YEAR IN REVIEW


Best Novel of the Year

A Man Called Ove – Fredrick Backman

Best Non-Fiction of 2015

Improbable Libraries – Alex Johnson

The Orchid Thief – Susan Orlean

The Mole People – Jennifer Toth

Best Literary Novel

Lila – Marilynne Robinson

Terrific Reads – Fiction

All the Light we cannot see – Anthony Doerr

Breath – Tim Winton

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North

Best South African Novel

A Slim Green Silence – Beverley Ryecroft

Best Translated Novel

The Discreet Hero – Mario Vargas Llhosa

Best Indian Novel

The Story Hour – Thrity Umrigaar

Longest, most difficult read

Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon


Best Memoir

The Diving – Helen Walne

Best Thriller

I am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

Best Fantasy

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store – Robin Sloan

Best Avant Garde Novel

The Familiar – One rainy day in May – Mark Z Danielewski

Wittiest Book

Table Talk – A A Gill

Disappointments

The Little Paris Book Shop – Nina George

Zoo Time – Howard Jacobson
Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler

Leaving Before the Rains Come – Alexandra Fuller

The Ocean at the end of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

FOOTNOTE: . Try as I might, I just couldn’t limit my list to a measly ten books  … I hope my faithful readers have managed to struggle to the end of my l-o-o-o-n-g list.

 

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FACING UP TO FACEBOOK


 

 

 

Facebook: you either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.  Youngsters are embryonically attached to it, parents peer at their  kids’ friends and activities, while  the elderly regard it with suspicion or disdain. Take your pick.

Personally, I find it very useful . I like Facebook. It’s mighty useful, to keep in touch with far-flung friends and family, not to mention displaying your photos, and to share the odd article, or joke, or WordPress blog, or – even – dare I admit to this: LOL Cats.  Ahem.  Can’t resist anything kitty related. None of us are perfect, so get over it.

But my approach to Facebook is stringent. I set the timer for ten minutes – and that’s it.  When I log in, I pay attention to the first ten items on the news feed page, and click ‘like’ or make a comment. I’ve picked up useful household hints on the Newsfeed page, plus info on crime in my area. Plus more positive things like triumphs  and travels  in  my friends’ lives that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about.

Then I whizz over to my personal page info bar at the top of the page, click on the little globe, up pop the notifications and I click on the blue tag at the bottom ‘See all’ . This gives you a compressed printed list  – no pics or text – which you can quickly scan to see if there’s anything that you want/need to look at..

And then you’re done! Otherwise Facebook can gobble up hours of precious time. We both know this, so no further discussion necessary.

And so ends my three part series on taming the electronic tentacles.

Next week I have a couple of juicy book reviews for you. No, not 50 Shades of Grey. I haven’t read it, don’t intend to, not because of the explicit content, but because it’s badly written.

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