Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Books read in January 2012

Needles and pearls by Gil NcNeil
Yes, another trashy knitting novel. Perfect reading for the commute in other words. This is the sequel to Divas don't knit, which I apparently read back in 2008. Is has all the essential ingredients, woman having a crisis of some description (although this one isn't at least the stereotypical young singleton), plus lots of nice yarn descriptions. It's fun to read, and worth looking out for if you want a relaxing and definitely not taxing read.

The incredible journey: Christmas from Genesis to Jesus by Steve Brady
I liked the format of going right to Epiphany instead of stopping at Christmas Day itself, and that each day's Bible reading is printed in full as well as the commentary (means you only have to take one book with you if you go away overnight!). But this one didn't engage me as much as some Advent books have done in the past. I'm not really sure why though!

Gilgamesh by Joan London
Having read The good parents last year I was looking forward to this, and although I did enjoy it, it didn't draw me in as much as her other book. The novel follows Edith and her son as they make a trip from Australia to Armenia to find her son's father. Again, I loved the descriptions of the countries they travelled through, but I did get frustrated with the way time jumped around, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, and a lot of the characters didn't seem particularly, erm, nuanced?

Sister by Rosamund Lupton
A quick pick from the display next to the issuing computer at the library, so I didn't know anything about it or the author. It's a thriller, but a very female one, without the guns, car chases etc. It is totally compelling, with a real twist at the end which I didn't see coming. I didn't have trouble following the plot (which does interesting things with time) but some reviewers seem to have struggled with that. I also liked the way the characters developed and really came to life - at first it seems so simple, a woman's sister has disappeared and she goes to try and find her, but it rapidly becomes much more complicated, making her question what she knew about her whole family as well as herself.

Office 2007 for dummies by Wallace Wang
As I'm now expected to use Outlook at a much higher level than I was before I thought now would be a good time to check I am using it to its full capabilities. This is a fairly basic book, covering the essential functions of Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint and Outlook, and most of it I could already do perfectly happily, but it did give me some useful tips to use in Outlook, so was worth dipping into.I now have a beautifully colour-coordinated task list with things to tick off and my life all organised. Possibly. I think if you wanted anything more detailed about the individual programs it would be worth getting the individual for dummies books for each program.

Attracting birds to your garden by Stephen Moss and David Cottridge
I thought I might get some good ideas from this book, but it was a bit disappointing. It's written at quite a basic level, and most of the information you could get quite easily online from somewhere like the RSPB. It's also got some quite bizarre editing - many of the pages use "layering", where you have an intro short paragraph, then a more indepth one, then a lot more detail further on. When I'm writing text using layering I put something to grab your attention in the first paragraph, then add more detail, then put a whole lot more. But this book just repeats the same thing - so you end up with the same information repeated three times on the same page!

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