British culture

This tag is associated with 29 posts

Juliet, Naked

Annie and Duncan fit together naturally, like jigsaw pieces, though Duncan’s passionate obsession with Tucker Crowe, the reclusive, tortured-genius song writer, has never left much time for anything more meaningful – marriage, kids, conversations about something other than Tucker Crowe and his disappearance after a mysterious incident in a nightclub toilet twenty years previously. Duncan … Continue reading

The Piano Tuner

It is my deliberate choice to start another book with a piano theme. A pure coincidence both The Piano Teacher and The Piano Tuner sit on my TBR pile, but a deliberate decision to read them back to back.  On a misty London afternoon in 1886, piano tuner Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the … Continue reading

The Piano Teacher by Janice YK Lee

“That’s us, the British colonials, battling against our circum­stances, always,” the formidable Edwina Storch says to Claire Pendleton over tea one sweltering afternoon.  It’s 1952 and 28-year-old newly wed Claire Pendleton has just arrived in Hong Kong with her civil-servant husband Martin. Thrust into a new and international world, the once provincial Claire from Croydon … Continue reading

We Are Made of Glue

Sometimes when I try to understand what’s going on in the world, I find myself thinking about glue. Every adhesive interacts with surfaces and with the environment in its own particular ways; some are cured by light, some by hear, some by the exchange of subatomic particles, some simply by the passage of time. The … Continue reading

Air mail: Letters from the world’s most troublesome passenger

T Ravencroft (Mr) would like to thank all the airlines and airline staff who replied to his letters, at times with patience above and beyond the call of duty, and without whom this book would not have been possible.  Meet the world’s most troublesome passenger, T Ravencroft. Mr. Ravencroft spent his time constructing funny, profane, … Continue reading

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

It’s 5 years since I read all of Dan Brown’s novels. Regrettably only remember part of Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons vividly, the other two are a blur. The latest offering The Lost Symbol bears all the hallmark of Brown, i.e. the reluctant Robert Langdon arrived in a museum with a gruesome scene … Continue reading

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

A Chinese girl adrift in London. An English man adrift in life. A whole dictionary of possible misunderstandings…  Xiaolu Guo’s first novel in (deliberately bad) English is a romantic comedy about two lovers who don’t speak each other’s language. The heroine is a Chinese girl who has been sent to London to study by her … Continue reading

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

Britain is proud of its traditionof providing  a safe haven for people fleeting (sic) persecution and conflict. – from Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship (UK Homes Office, 2005)  The back cover came up with a corny marketing gimmicks, it says: We don’t want to tell you what happens in this book. … Continue reading

Dimwit Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones (BJ) begin her year with a long list of New Year’s resolution, of which none she could keep by the end of the year but only one, have a boyfriend by end of the year.  So BJ set out with the desperation of having a boyfriend, moaning about lonely Valentine’s day, agonising over … Continue reading

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,507.  Christopher Boone is 15-year-old and autistic, Aspergers syndrome to be precise, who lives in Swindon, Wiltshire. Christopher Boone is very gifted. He is mathematically gifted, he has a photographic … Continue reading


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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)