Smartphone – pal or foe?

I admit I use my smartphone too much. It is a great tool and there are many benefits to ownership but are we too reliant on this device? For silver surfers, it is a social tool with friends and relatives, helps with shopping, keeps you updated with news, emails, tweets, etc. , navigation aid, banking, currency exchanges - the list is endless. However, are we too complacent? There is an interesting article on TheNextWeb. Extracts: We’ve all had the “smartphone…

0 Comments

The Devil’s Dice (by Roz Watkins)

As a Times recommendation, I had high hopes for this debut novel. Alas, it is a run of the mill crime thriller. The plot outline according to Goodreads: Detective Inspector Meg Dalton has recently returned to her Peak District roots, when a man's body is found near The Devil's Dice - a vast network of caves and well-known local suicide spot. The man's initials and a figure of the Grim Reaper are carved into the cave wall behind his corpse,…

0 Comments

Once Upon a River (by Diane Setterfield)

Introduction: A dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child. Hours later the dead girl stirs. Is it a miracle? Lovely atmospheric story dripping in melancholy. Everyone is a storyteller and the plot meanders just like the Thames. Characters weave into the book with their own back story. Beautifully written…

0 Comments

The Last of the Stanfields (by Marc Levy)

This is a fabulous read! Marc Levy is the most read contemporary French author in the world and I can see why. Story outline: "When London journalist Eleanor-Rigby Donovan receives an anonymous letter alluding to a crime committed by her deceased mother, her life is turned upside down. It points her to a bar on the Baltimore Harbor, where she finds a stranger who has received the same mysterious letter about his own mother. Together, Eleanor-Rigby and this young man,…

0 Comments

Anatomy of a Scandal (by Sarah Vaughan

This book came with many recommendations and headlines: "Full of Twists and Turns""Sensational""Engrossing pysch-thriller-cum-courtroom-drama" It was also recommended by the Richard and Judy book club. So with all this hype, I was looking to a good read! But how disappointing. The story-line is fine: Hi-jinks by the PM and best friend, James at University lead to a rape of a student by the young James. Later we learn that James is now an upcoming politician with a promising future. After…

0 Comments

You never Stop Learning – free uni Courses

Do you ever stop learning? Life is a learning flavoured experience! In retirement, we are constantly advised to use your brain, and stop the cells from dying. "Learn a foreign language" "Learn to play an instrument" and your health will benefit. You can learn new skills on Youtube (such as many DIY skills), and the Open University in the UK offers a range of free courses. Go here for the current list of free courses. Don't forget TED for inspirational…

0 Comments

Forget my Name (by J.S. Monroe)

The premise of this book is intriguing, and the first few chapters draw you in but then .... the plot becomes rather disappointingly improbable. Shame as the idea of a visitor turning up your house with knowledge of your house, but is suffering from amnesia and does not know who she is, sounds like an encouraging plot. The visitor is invited in and the drama starts to unravel. Initially, the wife is friendly, and welcoming. By the following morning, the…

0 Comments

Winning with Investment Trusts!

Investing in the Stock Market Investing in the stock market can be a risky business. However, over the long term the performance has been good. For example, over the last year the FTSE is up 2.29% (August 2018) - not brilliant and hardly better than sticking your capital in a safe Bank Account. The picture is much more encouraging over 5 and 10 yrs at 17.42 and 54.20% respectively. Of course, we are restricting our view to UK listed companies and…

0 Comments

Origin (by Dan Brown)

[star rating="5" max="5"] Origin by Dan Brown is a super read. He is a Master of the Genre. Intrigue, technology, monarchy and religious factions all contribute to yet another page turner!

0 Comments

A Treachery of Spies (by Manda Scott)

[star rating="4" max="5"] This novel has tremendous potential. The premise is indeed interesting; there are two threads: one set in the last months of World War II in the Jura area, and the other in 2018 following murders in Orleans and investigated by Captain Picaut. But I have reservations ...

0 Comments

The Girl from Venice (by Martin Cruz Smith)

[star rating="5" max="5"] This would be a great holiday read if you were vacationing in Northern Italy. The story is primarily located the lagoon in Venice and Lake Garda to the west. The plot deals with the period towards the end of the war in 1945.

0 Comments
Close Menu