Tag Archives: Handle with Care

Top 10 ‘Older’ Books Not to be Forgotten


Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted every Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers compile lists of different top 10s. This week it’s

Top Ten “Older” Books You Don’t Want People To Forget About

I’m trying to use books which I think may end up being forgotten. Not sure if I can make it to 10 but I will try my best.

1) Pop Co.- Scarlet Thomas Scarlett Thomas is probably better known as the writer of The End of Mr Y but I preferred this one. Her more recent releases haven’t quite met up to standard so I hope this one doesn’t get lost because of them.

2) Random Acts of Heroic Love- Danny Scheinmann I read this book before I started my blog. It had been very popular for a while but I haven’t seen a review of it in a long time. When I read it I adored it and wanted to share it with everybody.

3) An Equal Music- Vikram Seth This is another one I read in my pre-blog days. I read it when A Suitable Boy (which I have never managed to finish) was at the height of its popularity, and it’s probably overshadowed by A Suitable Boy. The descriptions of music and playing made me want to pick up my violin again.

4) The Historian- Elisabeth Kostova Beware about this vampire novel, it gave me funny dreams! I was in half a mind whether to include this one or not. It still seems to be quite well know, but it didn’t have the greatest amount of hype so I thought I would add it just in case.

5) The Lover’s Dictionary- David Levithan Considering this wonderful little novel is written by a traditionally YA author I worry that it will be drowned out, or will be seen as a book for teenagers, rather than the adult novel it actually is.

6) The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts- Louis de Bernieres: when I read the review which put me onto this book I didn’t even know it existed. Louis de Bernieres is best known for Captain Correli’s Mandolin, and a lot of his work prior to that is given little notice. The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts, however, is the best I have read by him.

Yup 6 is my limit.

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Top 10 Books Read in the Lifetime of this Blog


It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday (which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). I only occasionally join in with this meme but I really liked the look of this week’s topic.

Top Ten Books Read in the Lifetime of Your Blog.

Well my blog is almost 3 years old (in fact my blogiversary is at the end of this month) and in that time I’ve red and reviewed almost 200 books. So it’s a bit difficult to pick just 10…I shall see what I can do. In no particular order…

1) Pop Co.- Scarlet Thomas This is the story of a woman who creates spy kits for kids as part of a large toy company- Pop Co. One day she receives a strange coded message, who is it from and what do they want?

I really enjoyed this book. It made me think about things like the morality of corporations, and see more everyday things in a different light.

2) Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism- Natasha Walter. This book is basically feminism for the modern world. It’s one that I recommend all women read, whether you consider yourself a feminist or not.

3) Brooklyn Bites Series- Scott Stabile. These are a series of short stories set in Brooklyn and all have a connection to food. The descriptions are especially good. I’m not usually a reader of short stories but I loved these, plus they show that just because something is self-published doesn’t mean it’s no good!

4) The Lucifer Effect- Phillip Zimbardo: I studied psychology at uni and this means that a large proportion of my non-fiction reading is psychology related. The Lucifer Effect is the book written about Zimbardo’s famous Stanford Prison Experiment which studied how a person’s authority would effect their behaviour. The experiment had to be cancelled because of some of the effects, and it took a long time for Zimbardo to feel he could write this book. This meant he could apply his findings to new world events and actually means it was published at a time when people were looking for answers. It’s a scary book to read because it suggests there are things we could all be capable of but I think it’s important too.

5) Handle with Care- Jodi Picoult: I’m quite a fan of Picoult and this one is my favourite, probably because I connect with it personally. It’s a story about a woman suing her midwife because her daughter was born with severely brittle bones which should have been picked up on her scan. Well really, no, it’s more about her daughter.

6) How to be a Woman- Caitlin Moran: This book is basically Caitlin Moran’s biography, with a bit of a feminist kick. It pretty much made me fall in love with her.

7) The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts- Louis de Bernieres: since reading Captain Correli’s Mandolin I had been looking for a Louis de Bernieres’ book as good. The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts does that and more. It’s basically about a South American country with dodgy politics and the goings on of different groups and people

8) Kafka on the Shore- Haruki Murakami: I discovered Murakami thanks to the bookish community online and Kafka on the Shore is my favourite of his that I have read.  I can’t really adequately describe it, and I had trouble reviewing it, but it is fantastic.

9) Mockingbird- Kathryn Erskien: is the story of Caitlin, a girl with Asperger’s Syndrome whose brother has just died. It is a story about grief but ultimately it’s a story about Asperger’s, and Caitlin is portrayed wonderfully.

10) Middlesex- Jeffery Eugenides: Is the story of Cal, who is a hermaphrodite, about her growing up, and about his family. It’s one of those books that you can’t really tell people why they need to read it, just that they have to.

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Looking Back: Best books of 2009


So my first year of blogging, my first review of the year. Looking back it was a bit of a sloppy couple of posts but still did what I intended, as in talking about my favourite books of the year. I picked two that year, so looking back do I still remember them fondly.

Winner 1: Handle with Care- Jodi Picoult

I don’t think my memory will ever stop loving this book. It’s not just that I love Jod Picoult’s books, although that is part of it, it’s how it connected to me personally. This personal connection means I will never forget this book, and probably never stop loving it.

Winner 2: For One More Day- Mitch Alborn

Err I do not remember this book at all. Only that I enjoyed it! I wasn’t even sure of the title when I needed to write it for this post, despite having read it a few minutes before. Maybe it wasn’t so great after all!

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Handle with Care- Jodi Picoult


Cover of "Handle with Care: A Novel"

Cover of Handle with Care: A Novel

This review was written 11 & 17/5/09

Synopsis (from amazon)

Everything breaks. Some things just hurt more than others.

Charlotte O’Keefe’s beautiful, much-longed-for, adored daughter Willow is born with osteogenesis imperfecta – a very severe form of brittle bone disease. If she slips on a crisp packet she could break both her legs, and spend six months in a half body cast. After years of caring for Willow, her family faces financial disaster. Then Charlotte is offered a lifeline. She could sue her obstetrician for wrongful birth – for not having diagnosed Willow’s condition early enough in the pregnancy to be able to abort the child. The payout could secure Willow’s future. But to get it would mean Charlotte suing her best friend. And standing up in court to declare that she would have prefered that Willow had never been born…

Initial thoughts

Before I even started this book I knew it could be one which I could connect with, and I’m glad I wasn’t wrong. When I was 7 I was diagnosed with osteoporosis, a disorder which is similar to osteogenisis imperfecta, in fact at points it had been proposed that this is what I have, although tests have said osteoporosis. My osteoporosis is nowhere near as bad as Willow’s but all the same I recognise some of the issues she has as my own problems, especially when I was younger. I can’t even remember my first break, or my second, one I got falling down a couple of stairs I was crawling up, the other falling off my parents bed. (highlight for spoiler) Somewhere about this time my parents were asked about child abuse, in a less blatent way than Willow’s parents, and it wasn’t until after that they found out the question they had been asked was one asked to parents who are suspected of child abuse. When I was just finishing my first year of primary school is the first break I can remember, I broke my femur falling off my scooter, I was in traction for the whole Summer holiday. I broke my leg again falling over on my crutches, then my ankle when my foot slipped off the foot rest on my pushchair while I was still recovering. After that I had no breaks until just before I joined here, in more normal circumstances this time, I was hit by a car. I had the same bisphosphonate treatment as Willow in my teens, which was rather successful. All the same I do fear things, I fear falling a little, I’ve never been skating, or learnt to ride a bike, I’m scared of heights, I hate ladders and am not always comfortable with stairs unless I already know them. I am better than I once was, I know that just falling is unlikely to harm me, although my recent break is somewhat of a set back. I have never pitied myself, it’s just the way I am, but this book has made me think about myself, and my illness (I say for want of a better word)

Review
oh my

(highlight for spoiler) I never expected it to end this way. I don’t understand why. Why did Willow have to die, and in such a way? Was it so nobody really lost the court case? Seems extreme measures. I would like to think that at least it meant that Pippa and Charlotte, and Emma and Amelia became friends again.

For me I think this may be my new favourite Picoult book, not because it has the best plot, or is the most well written- both those are good but maybe not her best- but because it touched me personally. It didn’t make me cry but it did bring me close a few times (and generally books don’t even do that). Sometimes because of Willow herself, sometimes because I could see myself in her, and sometimes because it brought my own memories forward.
I adored Willow, she’s so brave, and somewhat unfazed, she doesn’t feel sorry for herself. Some of that people say I have but I don’t know if I could if I was as bad as Willow is. I really liked Amelia too (highlight for spoiler) in ways I felt more sorry for her than Willow because Willow’s pain was mainly physical, Amelia’s was psychological and in a way that is harder to get over

I liked how we always saw Willow through other people’s eyes. Except for the one chapter where Willow spoke.

(highlight for spoiler)I liked how Willow didn’t see the money as realy being hers so much as something that had brought her family back together. She didn’t so much care about what the money gave to her as that it made her family happy. This part made me close to tears at first because everything that had happened it didn’t really matter to Willow, she just wanted her family to be happy.

I also liked the recipes throughout the book, they made for something different.
Other people may not like this book as much, I am not sure, but I still think everyone will enjoy it.

5/5


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