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Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

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It would be  easy to sum up Normal People in one word. Overhyped. After all, Normal People has been discussed endlessly in the media, on Goodreads, on social media sites such as Instagram (better known among its many devotees as bookstagram.) The book has already been made into a BBC Three/Hulu series with a second series forthcoming and is reached the saturation point where it's possible to find Normal People gifs and memes on twitter and facebook. If readers are well, a little sick of hearing about Normal People, then who could possibly blame them?  On the other hand, Normal People clocked up some fabulous achievements. It was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Women's Prize for fiction in 2018, and it won the Costa Book Award and Book of the Year for the British Book Awards. On the other side of the Atlantic, Kirkus gave the novel one of their coveted starred reviews. And did I mention that the author was in her mid-twenties at the time the book was published? I

Around Adelaide (Best of Kathryn's Instagram)

  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kathryn White (@kathryns_inbox)

Uncle Chip's Literary Quotes

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  “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”  ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Review: Kristy and the Snobs by Chan Chau (BSC Graphix 10)

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The tenth BSC Graphix novel turns its attention to BSC President Kristy Thomas. This isn't much of a surprise, given that Kristy had one of the strongest plot lines of the early novels. A tomboy, well organised and occasionally a little too bossy, she's the perfect character to find herself in a rags to riches storyline. Her mother has now married millionaire Watson Brewer. Kristy has not been affected by her new lifestyle. She's still Kristy, she still wears the same clothes, she has the same friends and she still goes to the same school. It is just that Kristy is having problems with the kids in her new, wealthy neighbourhood.  The main instigator is Shannon, a girl the same age as Kristy, who makes fun of her clothes, the Baby-sitters Club and she even makes fun of Kristy's beloved collie Louie, who is old and sick with arthritis. But when Shannon starts playing mean pranks on Kristy while she's baby-sitting, and potentially puts the kids in danger, it's obvi

Aunt Cole's Believe it Or Get Bent

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  Actor Melissa George made her fortune in part by the invention of magnetic, removable hem clips. 

Review: To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn

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The fifth Bridgerton novel turns its attention to Eloise, the fifth born Bridgerton and best friend (and now sister-in-law) of Penelope Fetherington. Eloise is twenty-eight years old, outspoken and a spinster by choice, having now turned down six proposals. She also enjoys writing letters and will find any excuse to write one. When she sends a short note of condolence to Sir Phillip Crane after his wife passes away, she does not intend for it to eventually lead to a proposal of marriage. Or that she would run away from the family home to meet him. Or that the pair would be complete opposites, and unable to get along. This was an entertaining, light romance about a pair of opposites who turn out to be the perfect match for one another. There are lots of laugh out loud Bridgeton moments (the shotgun wedding is a particular highlight,) in between a few raunchy scenes and a bit of romance. I enjoyed this one as just a bit of fun and I will probably read the next book in the series soon.  R

Review: Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

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Published many years before Animal Farm (and, consequently 1984, ) Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London is a work of auto fiction, based on two stints the author spent in poverty. The first was a deliberate act, with Orwell posing as a tramp for two months in London. The second arose while living in Paris, Orwell was recovering from an injury when he was robbed. Down and Out in Paris and London takes these two experiences and changes a few of the details and some of the names around, presumably so that people wouldn't recognise themselves or suffer any embarrassment, so that he can expose a bigger issue--of what it really means to be living below the poverty line and how easily those who have nothing can be exploited. The novel opens in Paris (see, I told you some of the details had been changed,) with Orwell unemployed and living in a cheap hotel. An entire chapter is devoted to a vile man he meets there (basically, the man goes about in pubs bragging about how he had r