Tag Archives: QI

Deals of the Moment- June


Every month amazon has a set of kindle monthly deals. This in the post where I talk about any books which are of interest.

So I’m going to briefly talk about the books I’ve read which are on offer, and those that I have bought myself. Why I liked them/bought them, and what they are about. End links are to the amazon page, any other links are to my reviews. Amazon links are affiliate links but any money made goes back into the blog (e.g. for giveaways)

Please note prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.


1,411 QI Facts To Knock You Sideways

I’ve read a few QI books and they are interesting whilst still being easy reads. I’ve not read this one, and the fact books are good for a quick flick (although probably better in hardcopy) so I will probably buy it.

Buy it…here (only £2.59)


The Distant Hours- Kate Morton

I really like the gothic feel of Kate Morton books, and for a long time The Distant Hours was my favourite by her. It’s a bit of a mystery story about three sisters.

You can buy it…here (only £1.49)


The Princess Bride- William Goldman

Lots of people love the film ‘The Princess Bride’ but I’m more of a fan of the book. It’s just funny, and adventurous, and a little romantic. I’m concerned that the footnotes (which are a bit part of the humour) would get jumbled in the ebook version though, they’ve never quite worked in ebooks in my experience.

You can buy it…here. (only £1.59)


Fallen Angels- Tracy Chevalier

On one of my previous deals of the moment posts I considered a Tracy Chevalier book, but in the end didn’t buy it. I still sort of want to read another one after reading and liking The Girl With the Pearl Earring. This one is about friendship in the Victorian age

You can buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Elements of Eloquence- Mark Forsyth

I’ve spoken before about how much I love Forsyth’s books about language. The Elements of Eloquence is about constructing your writing, and should be on the school syllabus, it’s interesting, knowledgable, and readable

You can buy it…here (only £2.59)


 

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Deals of the Moment


Every month amazon has a set of kindle monthly deals. Usually I tweet about the interesting deals and leave it at that, but this month I would like to do something different and share them more widely. If the idea seems to appeal I may make it a monthly feature.

So I’m going to briefly talk about the books I’ve read which are on offer, and those that I have bought myself. Why I liked them/bought them, and what they are about. End links are to the amazon page, any other links are to my reviews.

Please note prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.


 

The Diplomat’s Wife- Pam Jenoff

This is one I bought. It follows Marta who survived a Nazi prison camp. She looses one love and gains another, but something from her past threatens her happiness.

I bought this one because I’ve really enjoyed the other Pam Jenoff books I’ve read. I reviewed The Officer’s Lover some time ago, and loved The Kommandant’s Girl which I read a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t resist another, especially on offer! You can buy it…here (only £0.99)



Keeping Faith- Jodi Picoult

This is one I read in my pre-blogging days. It is the story of a girl who says she can hear God. There is lots of fuss from the media, from religious people, and from doctors but nobody knows the truth, and in the middle of it is a little girl.

Although not my favourite Picoult book it still holds some of the best features which I would expect from a Picoult book. It really gets you thinking and it’s very emotion, and even at the end it keeps you guessing, I always like a story which lingers with you. You can buy it…here (only £2.49)


 

QI books

Ok this is two books not one but they are safe to clump together. I’ve read both and they are both very interesting (or should I say Quite Interesting) books with lesser know facts. The QI Book of the Dead focuses on people whereas the QI Book of General Ignorance is more general knowledge. They are both equally as entertaining as the other although The QI Book of the Dead is probably easier to read cover to cover whereas you could easily flick through the book of general ignorance. Buy the QI Book of the Dead…here (only £2.29) and The QI Book of General Ignorance…here. (also only £2.29)

 



Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury

Another one I bought. This has been on my wishlist for years, and it’s on the Rory List. It’s one of those sort of ‘required reading’ books for bookworms.

Fahrenheit 451 is set in a world where books are burnt as routine, and TV is the entertainment of choice. You can buy it…here (only £1.49)


Still Alice- Lisa Genova

Over the last year I’ve read two books which have a protagonist called Alice who looses her memory. Still Alice was the best of the two (The other is What Alice Forgot, if you were wondering). In Still Alice, Alice is a professor who has early onset Alzheimer’s. It’s a very emotional story, but beautiful too. You can buy it…here (only £2.49)



The Crimson Petal and the White- Michel Faber

This is one of those books I just love to recommend. It’s difficult to put into words what makes The Crimson Petal and the White so good, just read it! I bought it for my sister after I read it, and I recommended it to my Mum’s book group (although tentatively because the main character is a prostitute, and they didn’t like the sex in The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts). It follows Sugar as she goes from ‘admired’ prostitute to kept woman, to secret live in mistress. It’s about the underside of 19th century London, basically. You can buy it…here (only £1.29)


 

Under the Skin- Michel Faber

This is neither one I have bought nor one I have read. I am tempted by it simply because it’s by Michel Faber. It sounds sort of interesting, but I’m unsure. It’s about a woman who likes picking up handsome hitch-hikers. Has anyone read it? What did you think? You can buy it…here (only £1.29)


Tampa- Alison Nutting

I bought this one because I’ve heard really good things about it. It’s been describes as a modern day Lolita with a woman. I think it could be disturbing, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good. You can buy it…here (only £1.99)

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Review of the Year 2013- Non-Fiction


I’ve only read 4 non-fiction books this year. I thought I would list them all, although the best of these is clear for me.


The End of Your Life Book Club- Will Schwalbe is about a mother who is critically ill, and her son who connect through books as she reaches the end of her life.

 

 


The Elements of Eloquence- Mark Forsyth. Is about writing and speaking style and how to make what you say beautiful.

 

 


Friends like These- Danny Wallace. Is about Danny finding all of his childhood friends.

 

 


1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks off. Another book by the QI team, full of interesting facts.

And the winner is…

The Elements of Eloquence

I love Mark Forsyth’s stuff. Always interesting, but told in an easy to read tone and with a lot of humour. I’m pretty sure reading this during NaNoWriMo helped my writing too.

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1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks Off- John Lloyd and John Mitchinson


Synopsis (from amazon)

QI is the smartest comedy show on British television, but few people know that we’re also a major legal hit in Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Africa and an illegal one on BitTorrent. We also write books and newspaper columns; run a thriving website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed; and produce an iPhone App and a sister Radio 4 programme. At the core of what we do is the astonishing fact – painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. In Einstein’s words: ‘Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.’

Did you know that: cows moo in regional accents; the entire internet weighs less than a grain of sand; the dialling code from Britain to Russia is 007; potatoes have more chromosomes than human beings; the London Underground has made more money from its famous map than it has from running trains; Tintin is called Tantan in Japanese because TinTin is pronounced ‘Chin chin’ and means penis; the water in the mouth of a blue whale weighs more than its body; Scotland has twice as many pandas as Conservative MPs; Saddam’s bunker was designed by the grandson of the woman who built Hitler’s bunker; Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, it is explicitly illegal in Britain to use a machinegun to kill a hedgehog.

1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off will make you look at the universe (and your socks) in an alarming new way.

Review

This is going to be quite a quick review because I don’t really have much to say.

As with the other QI books I have read (have a look at the QI tag) this book is full of interesting facts. It’s immensely quotable and I did tweet quite a few facts whilst I was reading it. Unfortunately some of the facts repeated what had been on the TV show, and I think the majority of QI readers are probably also QI watchers.

I read this on kindle but I think it’s probably better as a paper book, simply because it’s easier to dip in and out of a paper book. On a kindle you really have to read cover to cover which didn’t work well for a book which is basically a long list of facts.

3.5/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£0.20)

Paperback- pre-order (£7.99)

Hardback (£5.99)

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The QI Book of General Ignorance


The Book of General Ignorance

Image via Wikipedia

Synopsis (from Amazon)

The indispensable compendium of popular misconceptions, misunderstandings and common mistakes culled from the hit BBC show, QI. The noticeably stouter QI Book of General Ignorance sets out to show you that a lot of what you think you know is wrong. If, like Alan Davies, you still think the Henry VIII had six wives, the earth has only one moon, that George Washington was the first president of the USA, that Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, that the largest living thing is a blue whale, that Alexander Graeme Bell invented the telephone, that whisky and bagpipes come from Scotland or that Mount Everest is the world’s tallest mountain, then there are at least 200 reasons why this is the book for you.

Review

Seeing as I love the TV show QI I was hopeful for this book, but actually loving the show probably made the book not so good for me. Most of the facts were copied from the show so I already knew them- especially as I watch the repeats on Dave. The book was a little dry too. Although the facts were interesting, and it’s kind of amazing to think that all these things that you think you know aren’t actually true. The way it’s presented is just not as good as the TV show which I find funny, and of course quite interesting! If you haven’t seen the show you probably wouldn’t think to read the book, but if you have seen the show you’ll get little from the book. If you haven’t seen the show then the book is worth the read- but I’d say go for the TV show if you can.

3/5

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The QI Book of the Dead


The QI Book of the Dead

Image via Wikipedia

Synopsis (from Amazon)

The QI Book of the Dead is a book about life.

‘What an awful thing life is. It’s like soup with lots of hairs floating on the surface. You have to eat it nevertheless.’ (Gustave Flaubert)

Around 90 billion people have existed since the human race began. From this huge number, the bestselling QI team selected 600 of the finest examples of our species and researched them in depth, distilling this immense banquet of life into an exquisite tasting menu of six-dozen crisp, racy mini-biographies, where the internationally and immortally famous rub shoulders with the undeservedly and (until now) permanently obscure.

The object is to learn something about what it means to be alive and how we can make the most of the time we have.

The QI Book of the Dead compares and contrasts the different ways individual human beings cope (or fail to cope) with the curves that the uncaring universe* throws at us. Collected into themed chapters with thought-provoking titles such as ‘There s Nothing Like a Bad Start in Life’, ‘Man Cannot Live by Bread Alone’ and ‘Is That All There Is?’ here is a chance to share the secrets of the Dead, to celebrate their wisdom, to learn from their mistakes, and to marvel at their bad taste in clothes.

‘The man who is not dead still has a chance.’ (Lebanese Proverb)

*We don t rule out the alternative possibility of a compassionate God whose motives are beyond our ken.

Review

Bit of a difficult one to review this. Very interesting, and well written so it was as easy to read as fiction tends to be. Gave me a fair bit of knowledge without any of it being particularly useful! Quite amusing too, although I found more made me laugh in the first few chapter than in the last few. Well worth a read anyway.

4/5

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