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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

‘The Red Tent’ is loosely based on the events that take place in the old testament of the Bible. It tells the story of Dinah’s life, and gives an insight into what life was like for women in this period of history.I was quite disappointed with this book. It is supposed to be a classic it is still in the top 4000 Amazon bestseller list 10 years after being published. I can’t understand why people are continuing to buy, and recommend this book to other people.

It was OK, but it lacked substance, and read a bit more like a diary than a novel. It was easy to read, but I got a bit bored with the continual births and long lists of who had which children. There was a good story buried in there somewhere, but it was underneath too much mundane information. There were too many characters to be able to empathize with them properly, and I’m not sure where the “Oldest love story never told” is?

I recommend you put this book to the bottom of your reading pile, and leave it there!

3 out of 5.

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1970s Booker Prize

The Elected Member – Bernice Rubens

‘The Elected Member’ won the Booker prize in 1971. It is the story of one man’s battle with drugs, and how his family cope with having a drug addict as part of the family. Norman is a bright, young Jewish boy living in a tight knit family in London’s East end. He has a promising law career ahead of him, but when a tragic event occurs Norman’s life begins to fall apart. His family struggle to deal with the series of events that follow. The story is told from each member of the family’s point of view. It is very moving, and although I have no personal experience of drug abuse it all seems very vivid and realistic. The drug taking is not glorified, as it can be in some books, and although Norman comes across as a deeply troubled man, you feel great sympathy for his situation.

I was totally gripped by this book. My only criticism is that there is no joy to be found anywhere. It leaves you feeling quite deflated and depressed. The writing is very accomplished, and even though you don’t necessarily want to be there, you are transported into the world completely. The descriptions of Norman’s hallucinations were particularly realistic.

Highly recommended – but have a box of tissues handy!!
4 out of 5 (point removed because it was so depressing!)

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Booker Prize

Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey

‘Oscar and Lucinda’ won the Booker prize in 1988. It is the story of the undeclared love between clergyman Oscar Hopkins and the heiress Lucinda Leplastrier. It is based in southern England and then Australia in the mid-1800s, and follows the lives of these two characters, as they struggle with gambling and their relationship with each other. 

This book started off really well. The characters were well drawn, and I felt an emotional attachment to them from the beginning. The plot flowed smoothly until about Oscar’s arrival in Australia, when I found it lost it’s pace and grip on me. I think that without the tension between Oscar and Lucinda this part of the book was lacking that magic spark. I ploughed on through these lifeless, boring pages and was grateful when it improved in the last 50 pages – I loved the shocking ending. Overall it was very good, but could do with being a slightly shorter.
Rated: 3.5 out of 5

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Other Richard and Judy Book Club

The Richard and Judy Book Club 2008

My 2008 reading started with the Richard and Judy book club. Overall I was very impressed with this selection of books. It contains some of the best books I have read this year. Although ‘Mr Pip’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ came very close, my favourite has to be ‘ Random Acts of Heroic Love’ for the raw emotion that the author has put on every page. I highly recommend this book. 

A Quiet Belief In Angels by RJ Ellory

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8/10 Great story, with a very clever, fast paced ending. A few slow bits in the middle, but overall it was well worth reading. Recommended.

Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris

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3/10 I could see where the jokes were, but I didn’t find it funny. It is just a tedious story about an average life. I couldn’t be bothered to finish it.

Notes From An Exhibition by Patrick Gale 

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6/10 This book has a good story, but the characters are a bit flat, and the plot is slowed down by frequent skipping between people and points in time. It’s OK, but nothing special.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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8/10 Gripping story that it is impossible to tear yourself away from, but this is the most harrowing book I have ever read, so I have removed two of the ten stars it deserves because it will probably cause me to have nightmares.

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

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9/10 Great story, with vivid characters and a very satisfying ending. My only regret is that I hadn’t read ‘Great Expectations’ (on which this book is based) more recently. Highly recommended.

The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon

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7/10 Slow and confusing to start with, due to constant switching between year/location. Reasonably good story, but I was disappointed by the ending, as there were too many loose ends with questions left unanswered.

Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann

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10/10 Gripping and moving from the first page. I couldn’t put down this amazing story. Fantastic ending – you can’t ask for a better book. Highly recommended.

Visible World by Mark Slouka

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5/10 There is a great story buried in this book, but it is slow and difficult to follow. I loved the ending, but very nearly gave up half way through. Only read it if there is nothing else to hand, or someone else rewrites it!

Blood River by Tim Butcher – not read yet.

The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies – not read yet.

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Other

Introduction and a skin care product giveaway

I love books! I read a wide variety of books – anything that has been recommended to me, has won a prize, or just sounds good on the cover! I look forward to sharing my reviews with you over the coming years.

And I also like giveaways! …all you have to do is go to the link for details and get the opportunity to win a Sdara Skincare derma roller that can make acne scars and hyperpigmentation discoloration fade away when you add this microneedle device to your skincare routine!

Some adults can get acne without having had it as a teen. It’s a nuisance issue where red, swollen, and even painful eruptions appear on the face. These eruptions can even be found on the neck, shoulders, chest, and back for some people. Adult acne is mainly an issue for woman, more so than men, but can definitely affect both sexes. Typically, adult acne can be cured by the same factors that cause teen acne. Hair is ѕuсh аn emotive ѕubjесt аnd with humаn nature being humаn nаturе, whаt wе want wе can’t hаvе and what wе have we dоn’t wаnt! Curlу hаіr аnd wе wаnt ѕtrаіght, ѕtrаіght hаіr аnd wе wаnt сurlу, brunette аnd wе want blоndе, blonde аnd we wаnt rеd. Likewise uрреr lір hаіr оn a fеmаlе, so vаluеd аѕ a ѕіgn оf exquisite bеаutу іn сеrtаіn parts of the world, іѕ vіlіfіеd by оur Wеѕtеrn ѕосіеtу. Why choose natural and organic skin care products? Go through www.getpumpkinandspice.com for the best natural skin care products.
The natural vs. synthetic debate has become very intense and polarized. Which is better? Which is safer? What should you use? There is so much information – much of it inaccurate – on the internet. There are consumer groups hellbent on scaring the consumer away from buying practically anything, natural or synthetic. Every ingredient seems to be hazardous in their opinion. It’s gotten a bit out of control. It can be made quite simple. If your desire is to use a skin care product with an effect on the skin use products that actually have ingredients that will provide that effect. Most synthetic ingredients used in skin care products are in there to make the product look good in the bottle. These are emulsifiers that keep the oil and the water from separating, surfactants that cleanse and preservatives. A majority of natural products will have mainly active ingredients in the product. This would be vegetable oils, herbals, essential oils and nutrients (though many nutrients like vitamin C, CoQ10 and others are synthetically made). The bigger challenge is in identifying what defines natural. Many ingredients labeled as natural are really synthetic. This doesn’t make them bad or dangerous, as many people are being led to believe. Several ingredients, such as vegetable emulsifying wax and cetearyl alcohol, are derived from plant sources and altered to become a new compound used in skin care. These start as natural so are often described as natural ingredients by the brands using them. Natural soap is another chemically altered ingredient that is no longer natural. Coconut oil is used in a reaction with sodium or potassium hydroxide to create a cleanser. The resulting compound, or soap, is called sodium cocoate – if made with sodium hydroxide, potassium cocoate if made with potassium hydroxide. This compound does not occur in nature so can not be defined as a natural ingredient. These two examples are used to show the difficulty in defining a natural ingredient. The ingredients are fine for use in natural products as they are safe, effective at their function for the skin care product, and are not disruptive to the environment.

If you’re interested in skincare, you probably have already heard the term exfoliation. Exfoliation is beneficial for all skin types, but especially so for acne-prone skin. In simple terms, exfoliator removes dead skin cells. An exfoliant is a product or procedure that reduces the amount of dead cell build-up on the skin. Your skin naturally exfoliates, or sheds dead cells, through a process called desquamation. But in people with acne, this natural process isn’t working as effectively as it should. Dead skin cells are hanging around longer than they should, plugging up the pores and creating comedones. All pimples begin as comedones. Whether your acne is mild or more severe, regular exfoliation will smooth and soften the skin and brighten your complexion. It also helps reduce breakouts by keeping the pores from becoming clogged with the pus of dead cells and sebum (skin oil). But before you run out and buy an abrasive scrub, take the time to learn about all the exfoliating products and treatments available. Making the right exfoliant choice is essential for getting good results without irritating your skin and aggravating acne. There are literally hundreds of exfoliating products and procedures available today, but all are found in one of two forms: physical or chemical.

Whether or not you have tried treatments for your acne such as prescriptions, rebalancing your hormones naturally , or over-the-counter remedies, it never hurts to try something new such as Omega 7 because you might just find that the simplest thing can really improve your skin, and this is something a lot of people are lacking in their diets.With the addition of this specific fatty acid to your regular diet, drinking lots of cleansing water and keeping sure to eat healthily, you should be able to see some positive changes in your adult acne condition.

You could also buy one just by clicking on the link.

Jackie

Farm Lane Books