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AmyLarge

AmyLarge

Joined January 2017

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
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Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
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The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves
review
AmyLarge
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Pickpick

An interesting reimagining of the Scrooge tale, and probably a bit more accessible to a modern teen audience. A good blend of science, magic and good old fashioned teen angst! Holly can be a totally annoying character, but bear with her because, as we all know, the Scrooge comes good in the end...

Just right for dark nights when the weather is blowing a gale.

LA_Mead Ooh I really liked this one! 2w
34 likes1 stack add1 comment
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AmyLarge
Mehso-so

Two clues dost not a treasure hunt make....
So disappointed with this one! The blurb made it sound like an in depth clue filled extravaganza, when it was mostly about people learning about the importance of being true to yourself and making connections with others. A noble and worthy endeavour, but I was promised Gothic Lady Indiana Jones! Tuesday Mooney is a wonderful character, but it just felt... Mis-represented....

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AmyLarge
Pickpick

I think, because of the lack of information about Cilka, and how the author has used accounts of multiple women to weave together a narrative, the story does, at times, slip into repetitive action. I lost count of the number of times Cilka was employed and then not! But a heartfelt story with, at its core, a testimony of the endurance of the human spirit in the face of unbearable suffering. Interesting to read something about the Gulags as well.

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AmyLarge
Caraval 3. Finale | Stephanie Garber
Mehso-so

I can appreciate that the writing of a trilogy is probably a hard thing to keep neat and tidy. But, oh, I was disappointed by this final piece! Not by the conclusions for the characters... That was fine. But how they got there.
In this book we were introduced to, pretty much, the entire contents of the deck of destiny. Nuggets of information were chucked into the story and never picked up on. It felt rushed and repetitive..... Such a shame!

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AmyLarge
Legendary | Stephanie Garber
Pickpick

In book 2 of the Caraval series, our focus moves from Scarlett to her sister, Tella. After a case of mistaken identity, Tella is now the player of Caraval. She plays to save her own life, the fate of the kingdom from the dealt Fates, and the heart of the man she loves...

Book 2 introduces some pretty fantastic new characters, they often take a back seat to the romance. It felt overwrought and with characters underutilised... Still good though.

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AmyLarge
Caraval | Stephanie Garber
Pickpick

A deadly game. A magical clue hunt. For Scarlett, the legendary game of Caraval is more than fantasy. It is a way to save her sister, Tells, and possibly herself.
I loved the premise, the language and the characters. Full of adventure and sisterly love. The lingering looks and fleeting touches romance was pitched for a more teenage audience, I felt.... But this was a great start to a promising series.

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AmyLarge
Caraval | Stephanie Garber
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Off on holiday in a few days so stocking up on reading material. Had to go to 4 different libraries but finally managed to get the set! #bookhaul

Buechersuechtling Enjoy your leisure and reading time. 📚⛱ 2mo
38 likes1 comment
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AmyLarge
Chandler's Ford Library | Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, United Kingdom (Library)
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Loved this outside of my local library today!

Buechersuechtling It‘s great. Witty. 😄 I love the idea. 2mo
35 likes1 comment
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AmyLarge
Wonder | R. J. Palacio
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Pickpick

I'm a little late to the party with this one.... But I was determined to read the book before I watched the film. The story of a little boy with facial difference and his first experiences of school. Refreshing, simple and heartfelt. I loved it. I had a version which included bonus material from the team who made the film, and the dedication they all had to the truth of the book just goes to show how it moved them too. More kindness for everyone.

37 likes1 stack add
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AmyLarge
The Christmas Holiday | SOPHIE. CLARE
Pickpick

A brooding new resident in Willowbrook and his curious dog don't meet local craft shop owner, Evie, under the best circumstances. But the more they interact, the cracks in their hearts start to heal, they begin to realise that perhaps from a wobbly beginning, something special can grow. A little repetitive in terms of language - a lot of references to dimples and tensing muscles - but that can be overlooked for a sweet, seasonal tale.

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AmyLarge
The Perfect Dress | LOUISA. LEAMAN
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Full of delicious dresses, off-the-wall brides, traumatic family dramas and at its centre, the straight laced romance-cynic and the effervescent cheerleader for love. As we watch their story unfold, held together by one miraculous wedding dress, you can't help but cheer for their attraction of opposites. As delicious as a meringue, it melts away to leave a tingly glow of satisfaction and a craving for more from this delightful, charming author.

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AmyLarge
Britt-Marie Was Here | Fredrik Backman
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Oh wow. This book packs some punch. When Britt-Marie leaves her husband, due to his wandering affections toward another woman, she finds herself alone and without all of the things that keep her grounded and safe. No more balcony. No more well organised cutlery draw. No more being a passenger in the car. So she takes a temporary job in Borg. And from there, magic springs! A bold story of how one person can make a massive difference. Loved it.

Buechersuechtling Thanks a lot for this review. Do you do it, I may give this author another try – even if I decided long time before (after “Ove”) to not read any more of his books. Hopefully I find it in my library‘s stock. 3mo
40 likes1 comment
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AmyLarge
Mix Tape | Jane Sanderson
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On the surface this seems like a light and fluffy story, but it is so much more. Dealing with the complexities of family, navigating our way in adulthood and grown up relationships, it also begs the question of how much would you risk, and lose, for a chance at perfect happiness? For Ali and Daniel, who shared a deep connection in their youth, rediscovering each other during adulthood refreshes their love for music... And each other....

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AmyLarge
LIFE'S A BANQUET. | ROBIN. BENNETT
Panpan

When an author tells you they like to be liked, you would hope their story makes them likeable. For Mr Bennett, his story was oddly disjointed and painted him as flighty, entitled, childish and too obsessed with drinking for me to really like him.
However, his book did shed light on a question: does anyone else really KNOW what they are doing? Or are we all, mostly, just making it up? To which, it seems, the answer is yes.
Lacks purpose.

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AmyLarge
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Pickpick

A delightful tale - in the present, a career driven reporter gets over a messy break up with an assignment to experience Norway at its most festive. Through misadventure and romantic misdemeanor, we see her come to understand what she values most. We also meet Thomas - a hero seeking the woman he fell in love with during the war. Through their story we also see the importance of duty, sacrifice, and love in all its forms. A perfect winter warmer.

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AmyLarge
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Pickpick

Some books are like sinking into a warm bath. They just make you go 'Ahhhhh' and all of the tension unwinds from your body and mind. This, for me, was one of those.

Adorable characters with delicious connections, bringing together this collection of lost people and helping them to heal. A bit of magic, a sprinkling of a ghost story, lots of respect for writing. And love that just leaps off the page.

Ahhhh.... Perfect.

Crazeedi Yep!❤ 3mo
46 likes1 stack add1 comment
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AmyLarge
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Pickpick

Spent a lovely day a Kew Gardens and managed to polish this one off while sitting on the bench outside waiting for my buddies.

I've seen his TV programmes, and thought he was just 'the shouty SAS man'. Really interesting to read about his life, how he has became a leader and turned his positive mindset into his greatest weapon. I particularly liked the chapter about patience as a weapon. Not my usual read, but inhaled it in 4 days! Fascinating.

34 likes1 stack add
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AmyLarge
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Pickpick

So... What do you do between naps because you've caught the lurgy and are not at work? You reeeeeead.....

Whizzed through this intense offering. Dark and twisty characters, lots of intrigue to keep you guessing. You really feel for Lizzie, and alternating chapters between her and Zach just laid bare the horrific emotional abuse and how he justified it. Lots of odd little references to things I know well - a school, a location, a trip.... Freaky!

Buechersuechtling Feel better soon‼️ I recently had more than a lurgy 🤧 but my memory is still fresh and every illness is crap. 4mo
AmyLarge Thanks! Feeling a bit more human today. The healing power of a good read? 4mo
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AmyLarge
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Oooooh, love it when a book grabs you from the very first page......

HeatherBlue Wow 😯 might have to go see if the library has that! 4mo
35 likes1 comment
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AmyLarge
A Pinch of Magic | Michelle Harrison
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Pickpick

A trio of feisty sisters, a Granny with gumption, a family curse cast by a wronged sorceress, a prison break and a pinch of magic in three seemingly ordinary household items. A wonderful premise for a story, and a great read for pre and early teens with a longing for adventure. I can't wait to pass this one on to my niece. Celebrates the bonds between sisters.

37 likes2 stack adds
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AmyLarge
The Perfect Girl | Gilly Macmillan
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Mehso-so

Hmmm... A slow start with this one, made more challenging by the fact that I just DID NOT like Zoe in the slightest, and found her mother even more infuriating!! Even when you know more of the back story, I just couldn't warm to her. The side story about her aunt and Zoe's old lawyer just seemed diversionary and packed a lot of purpose. Not a favourite, I'm afraid, and the conclusion became an easy one to guess....

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AmyLarge
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I've loved JoJo Moyes for a long time, and 'The Giver of Stars' is her best work yet! Set in the Great Depression in Kentucky, we follow a group of women who break the norms. These horse riding librarians are feisty and endearing. Songbird Izzy, tom-boy Beth, independent Marge, intelligent Sophia, and strong minded Alice. Beautiful language that bring the landscape, the adventures and the women to life with the genius of a master storyteller.

Victoria_C Great review. I just finished and really loved it. 4mo
47 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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AmyLarge
Rewrite the Stars | Emma Heatherington
Panpan

As much as I appreciated the 'Sliding Doors' nature of the story, with someone desperate to know what if they had made a different choice in their life, the main character really put me off. Very self absorbed and ultimately quite whiney, sadly. She needed a good shake and a reality check. And the guy!!! The rockstar she could have dated. The guy was an egocentric buffoon!!! Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid. I like my heroines with a more gumption.

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AmyLarge
The Warehouse | Rob Hart
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The mantra of the market dictates pervades every part of this novel. We want cheap products delivered quickly. What are we prepared to sacrifice to get what we want? In the Cloud, we see the brutal work environment, the Draconian ratings system and how those in charge are prepared to take some very 'grey area' decisions in order to give the consumer exactly what they want. And how people fight against it. A scary possible future....

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AmyLarge
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Pickpick

What could happen to our world with rising tides and depleting rain fall? We follow two characters as they deal with crises affecting water in their own times - how to protect a valuable ecological resource when others only see profit, and how to fight for survival when water has become the only resource that matters. Poignant and emotive, these stories intertwine like streams to form a thunderous deluge of a novel, rich in detail and emotion.

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AmyLarge
Surprise Me | Sophie Kinsella
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Pickpick

With life expectancy increasing, the idea of being married to someone FOREVER can seem.... Daunting.... So Sylvie and Dan start coming up with surprises for each other to keep things interesting. The biggest surprise though, is something that has been affecting their marriage from almost the very beginning.... Not what I was expecting, but a very pleasing, light read. But once you know the twist, I don't think you could enjoy a re-read as much...

45 likes1 stack add
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AmyLarge
The Grace Year | Kim Liggett
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Completely engrossing, this tale taps into the emotional rollercoaster of female adolescence, but framed within a society where women are subservient wives or of no use to society. And what happens when one girl chooses to question all she thinks she knows and open her eyes to the real value she has in the world. Brave, bold and viscerally told. A wonderful story of survival of body and spirit, when all the world seems pitted against you.

38 likes1 stack add
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AmyLarge
The Librarian | Salley Vickers
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Panpan

I found this book... Frustrating. It just seemed to highlight the nasty, petty nature of pretty much every character in the village. Even worse, a lot of the misfortunes of the children we meet seem to stem directly from their introduction to the children's library, and spunky librarian, Sylvia. Was relieved to finally get to the end of this one....

Crazeedi Librarians should NEVER be dissed!!! 5mo
63 likes1 comment
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AmyLarge
Pickpick

Totally delicious, life affirming romance that just shows that life is what you dare to reach out and make a grab for. Full of charming characters, bumbling romantic escapades, one feisty care home resident and enough recipe descriptions to leave you famished!
Loved the story and the central female characters, but was even more enamoured when I read the section from the author about the origins of fictional Cecily.
Wonderful, heart warming stuff.

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AmyLarge
Pickpick

The concept of driverless or automated vehicles does not seem so far away.... So 'Passengers' is a deeply concerning look at what happens when political grandstanding starts to take the place of the common good.... With a group of self driving cars held hostage, how do we decide who is worth saving and who to let die? Suspenseful, well crafted and, scarily, not too far from the realms of possibility... Great stuff!

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AmyLarge
Pickpick

The author uses her own family history for this tale. The eponymous Stella is not the first to carry her name, with a sister who died during infancy. From rocky beginnings the Fortuna family face poverty, war, migration, and a host of author traumas along the way. Some of the content makes for very uncomfortable reading, but the story is told with detail and respect for a very complex and interesting past.

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AmyLarge
The Flatshare | Beth O'Leary
Pickpick

A very modern love story that you just won't want to put down. Grab a post it and start writing love notes! Tiffy and Leon live in the same flat, but not at the same time.... And what results is a glorious meshing of two LOVELY people! With a cast of quirky and loveable characters, a few bad guys to mentally throw things at and a whole lot of heart. I loved this book. Certainly agree with crochet as a wellness technique too!

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AmyLarge
The Dollmaker | NINA. ALLAN
Mehso-so

This is the very heart of this story. As Andrew and Bramber learn about each other, so do we. Andrew decides that Bramber needs rescuing from her confinement and sets off to find her. Interwoven with this journey are dark folk tales - stories of dwarves, dolls and desire.
This felt disjointed and the addition of the colourful Chaplin stories only seemed to highlight the drabness of the main narrative. Not a favourite, I'm sad to say...

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AmyLarge
Vox | Christina Dalcher
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100 words a day.... And if you go over, your handy little tracker gives you a nasty little reminder to stay quiet. This is the world that Jean finds herself in. No passport, no money, no rights, no voice.... Just a mother, wife and subservient women. But when her specialist medical skills are needed, she begins to see just how far people would go for their belief or for freedom. Ending felt a little too neat, but an amazing and gripping story.

Smarkies I saw this book in the bookshop the other day and wondered if I should pick it up. Your review prompts me to do so the next time I see it. 😁 7mo
Leniverse I don't understand how you can fulfill your role as a mother with only 100 words per day! Your babies would not learn to speak and young children would run rampant! Somehow I can't see the father stepping in to do early age child care in this setting. 7mo
64 likes1 stack add2 comments
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AmyLarge
The Rosie Result | Graeme Simsion
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We've followed Don through romance, marriage, career, friendship and now we follow him into the wilds of parenthood. I loved the first two installments of 'Rosie', and was so thrilled at getting the chance to see how this amazing, original and charming set of characters continued to love their lives. As Don himself would say, World's Best Trilogy.

Fantastic new characters and dilemmas! And an amazing bar concept that NEEDS to be true...

38 likes1 stack add
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AmyLarge
Pickpick

Part Swiss family Robinson, part Von trapp, part whodunnit.... This is a tale all about the outsider. The daughter who will never been viewed with equal value to her brother. The young man who finds it difficult to embrace a religion his brother preaches. The wanderer who is searching for home, at all costs. Slow going in the beginning, but full of rich detail and a satisfying conclusion.

35 likes1 stack add
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AmyLarge
Freefall: A Novel | Jessica Barry
Pickpick

Allison and her mother have not spoken in a year. And now Allison has been in a plane crash, assumed dead. What follows is a tale told from both Allison and her mother's perspective as we learn about the strength of these two women - to survive, to believe, to love, to search for truth - and the lengths that they would go to for family. Tense, moving, and vividly brought to life.

41 likes1 stack add
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AmyLarge
Enchante | Gita Trelease
Pickpick

Enchantee really lives up to its name, with a beautiful depiction of courtly life in the time of Marie Antoinette. Camille can work magic, and she needs it. Orphaned, with a sick sister to support and a wastrel brother, she uses her wits and magical skills to keep her family together. With intrigue round every corner and where a face is but a courtly mask, she has to learn who to trust and who to fear. Wonderful, with fabulous attention to detail.

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AmyLarge
Panpan

What happens when you take three generations of women, criminal dealings, a football star, a handsome stranger and send them on a road trip / escape mission to the seaside? This...
Whilst it sounds thrilling, I felt that the characters were repetitive and, at times completely unlovable. Jade and Bonnie's constant bewailing starts to grate after a while. It just took too long to reach the conclusion, and the romance for Georgie seemed superficial.

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AmyLarge
Romeo & Juliet | William Shakespeare
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A friend of mine posted this, and I thought... Too good not to share really! Thoughts??

gibblr Who are the six? Why am I having a brain fart?? 9mo
jessinikkip @gibblr --- Mercutio, Tybalt, Lady Montague, Paris, Romeo and Juliet. 9mo
BookwormAHN Shakespearean teenagers 🤦🏼‍♀️ 9mo
48 likes4 comments
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AmyLarge
The Book of Love | FIONNUALA. KEARNEY
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We follow Erin and Dom as they start their new family, watch as it crumbles and they attempt to rebuild. While the novel covers death, illness, fertility and gambling, it is surprisingly upbeat, with beautiful twists and loveable characters. The Book of Love is where two people write down what they find hard to say and work through problems. As Erin and Dom grow, the Book of Love becomes a beautiful representation of the hurdles they've overcome.

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AmyLarge
When You Read This | Mary Adkins
Panpan

When Iris dies, she leaves behind her a hypochondriac sister, a boss with a gambling problem, a mother who raised her in hotels and a blog all about her fight with cancer. What follows is a story told through blog posts, emails and text messages. I found the narrative clipper and jumpy because of it. I also found the characters to be cartoonish with very little to redeem them. And Carl, the assistant who filled her role, was infuriating!

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AmyLarge
The Power | Naomi Alderman
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Some books stick in your brain. It feels wrong somehow to say that I enjoyed a book that deals with so much darkness at the very core of people. It is a really interesting premise, well told and with complex characters. The only major sticking point I had was the final chapter with Roxy.... I do not understand how she could forgive all that had happened before. Not for the squeamish as it gets a bit graphic, but a really thought provoking read.

CarolynM Great review. 9mo
36 likes1 comment
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AmyLarge
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I am not a natural runner. Too chubby, self conscious, and unfit with bad knees. So I approached this book more for the 'anyone can run, just get up and try' viewpoint. What I found was a fascinating look at how exercise, particularly running, taps into basic instincts and can help us to find balance when feeling distinctly wobbly. Informal, irreverent and self deprecating, it is packed full of testimonials and resources to dip into when you need.

Nebklvr I would do better if i didn‘t use all of my air muttering. 9mo
LauraBeth You‘re amazing! The beauty of running is that it‘s inclusive - everyone can do it - it doesn‘t matter how much you weigh. P.S. I lost 110 lbs from running and started running when I was 250 lbs. 😀 9mo
MellieAntoinette Great job! You can do it! This is inspiring to get myself back to the gym! 9mo
IndyHannaJones You go girl 8mo
52 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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AmyLarge
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Death and SPLINTERS!!!! I don't tend to read gothic novels but this one sounded intriguing.... A bit slow to get started but keep going with it. Creepy in the extreme, with a 3 stranded story (present, recent past and distant past) to keep you guessing.

I will never want to go near stage scenery / mannequins / any kind of freestanding wooden figure again.... they might just be watching....

DEATH AND SPLINTERS!!!!!!

IndyHannaJones This was a good one! 8mo
47 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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AmyLarge
Billionaire Boy | David Walliams
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At the end of last year, we visited my sister in London, and popped into her local independent children's bookshop. My other half was soon absorbed, and was quite sad to leave 'Billionaire Boy' behind. So I got him a copy for Christmas. Which I have now also read.

Nice, light-hearted read with plenty of comedy (and gross school dinner humour) with the central message of money can't buy you love or friends. Good for kids, big and small!

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AmyLarge
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Mehso-so

So, I've read Cecelia Ahern before. Generally, I like her style. Usually an easy read with likeable characters and lots of emotion. The Book of Tomorrow checks all of these boxes - family tragedy, several.... central character trying to connect with family.... lush surroundings.... a mystery to uncover....

It's alright, but not as well crafted as some of her others.

Have now passed on to my friend for her holiday read. Share the book love!

56 likes2 stack adds
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AmyLarge
The Binding | Bridget Collins
Pickpick

The idea of binding your memories into a book - a moment of joy, pain, or unbearable trauma - is a fascinating one. The Binding shows you the types of people who choose to be bound, and those who are trusted to do the binding. At the heart this is a love story and a beautiful one, showing how an encounter with a person can completely change us.
Masterfully crafted, deeply unsettling, and intensely moving. An absolute treasure.

IndyHannaJones Plus, that cover ain't too shabby 8mo
40 likes1 comment
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AmyLarge
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Pickpick

I love getting books for Christmas! This one came from my lovely fiancée. Quirky, with strong central characters who have some fantastic development, it will certainly keep you guessing.... Unfortunately for me, I did guess the plot twist before the end, and once you've got that it loses a little of the sparkle. But an interesting and we'll crafted read.

I've now give it to my fiancée to read.... Share the book love!

Itchyfeetreader I gifted this a few times this year / last year! 10mo
AmyLarge @Itchyfeetreader , and have they all enjoyed it too? What other books have you gifted? Anything else you would recommend? 10mo
49 likes2 comments
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AmyLarge
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Pickpick

So, I paced myself and read the lot, ending with Frost and Starlight right around Christmas. Lovely!

I really enjoyed these - aimed at YA, but definitely for the older ones. Lots of drama, suspense and romance. Excellent characters, but reading them all in a row did highlight the sometimes repetitive phrasing... So maybe break them up a bit....

Looking forward to the next one coming out next year.

Aims42 Beautiful picture! I love this filter 11mo
55 likes1 comment