Let's Get Physical
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
2M ago
 All right ladies. Are you ready? Let's go! I enjoyed Danielle Friedman's account of the rise of women's exercise classes Let's Get Physical. It's organised into chapters with titles like Stretch, Bounce and Burn, etc each denoting a different exercise. The book covers women's ballet barre, Jazzercise, yoga, aerobics, running and weightlifting and I found some chapters more interesting than others. My favourite was Burn which of course was Jane Fonda's 'go for the burn' phrase during the 1980s dance aerobics craze.  Incidentally this phrase was gradually dropped from the workou ..read more
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Breakfast at Tiffany's
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
4M ago
I enjoyed Jenny Jackson's PIneapple Street and its 'old money' Brooklyn setting.  I was also intrigued by its epitaph - a quote from Truman Capote.  'I live in Brooklyn. By choice.' I'd never actually read his famous novella Breakfast at Tiffany's and it's difficult to read without an image of Audrey Hepburn shimmering before you.  The Holly Golightly of the book is a rather less progressive young lady and at times is almost unlikeable.  I suppose when you consider her background, orphaned as a child and married at 14 before running away to become, let's say, an escort, he ..read more
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Penguin Orange Classics - The Joy Luck Club
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
11M ago
And I am sitting at my mother's place at the mah jong table, on the East where things begin. Can't believe it is almost 35 years since The Joy Luck Club was published.  I was a young woman working in a library when this book came out (pre-internet and iphone) and I loved it then and have reread it many times over the years.  I had to treat myself to the Penguin Orange Classic paperback. Very classy cream and orange cover and I love the Chinese dragon entwined around the penguin! All the motifs from the novel feauture on the front and back covers; Waverly's chess pieces, Jing-Me ..read more
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Real Tigers (Slough House #3)
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
1y ago
I raced through the Slough House series by Mick Herron since reading an interview with one of my favourite writers, Mary Lawson, who recommended them.  These well-written, fast-moving spy thrillers with a nice line in humour and a central London setting are just what I need right now.   Slough House just went live. The four of you are up. London is sweltering in a heatwave and tempers are fraying in Slough House the building for washed up spies on the wrong side of the river.  Leaving work Catherine Standish runs into an old acquaintance from her Regent's Park days.&n ..read more
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Lucy by the Sea
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
1y ago
Easily the best novel I read last year was Elizabeth Strout's Lucy by the Sea.  I love Lucy's gorgeous narrative voice.  I think this novel is as good as the first in the quartet My Name is Lucy Barton but instead of a younger Lucy in her hospital bed overlooked by New York's Chrysler building we have a newly widowed Lucy transported by ex-husband William from pre-pandemic New York to ride out the lockdown in a house overlooking the sea in Maine. Lucy's mother is a powerful presence even though she is no longer alive.  Appalling though she could be, sometimes rememb ..read more
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Love and Saffron
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
1y ago
Mother loves her magazine subscriptions, and every month, as soon as they arrive, she folds back the pages to her favourite columns. The first two she reads are yours and Gladys Taber's "Butternut Wisdom" in Family Circle. I prefer yours.  It makes me feel like I am having a conversation with a good friend, and your enthusiasm for life has taught to be more aware of my own world around me particularly the outdoors. Oct 1st 1962. Kim Fay's warm-hearted Love and Saffron is a novel of female friendship relayed in a series of letters exchanged in the early 1960's.  It  has e ..read more
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Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
1y ago
I do like a literary biography and Lucy Worsley's Agatha Christie - A Very Elusive Woman is a great autumnal read.  It's a traditional 'womb to tomb' format which can sometimes be tricky but Worsley keeps this fresh by interjecting her own thoughts.  For example, when she was researching Agatha's first husband, handsome pilot Archie Christie and saw his picture she thought he was 'totally hot!' I expected the most intriguing part of the book to be Agatha's famous eleven day disappearance in 1926 which caused so many repercussions and gave her an unfair reputation for being diff ..read more
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The Cinderella Killer - a Charles Paris mystery
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
2y ago
His hair was getting increasingly grey at the temples - still hopefully just on the side of distingue rather than decrepit - and he hoped when the grey had colonised all of his head he'd resist the temptation to dye it. So far as Charles could see from the evidence of other actors, the only tint available for men was the colour of conkers. And he didn't fancy going around looking like that. He had his pride. Pretty much the only time I listen to Radio 4 nowadays is for the Charles Paris adaptions featuring the brilliant Bill Nighy as the dissolute actor/amateur detective.  I've never a ..read more
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Lily King
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
2y ago
Lily King's short story collection FIve Tuesday's in Winter was the highlight of my recent reading pile.  I loved her 2015 novel Euphoria and her more recent novel Writers & Lovers.  The nice thing about short stories is that you can read a whole story in the morning and get a feeling of accomplishment for the rest of the day! The best in this collection I think is When in the Dordogne.  A lonely rich boy, traumatised by his father's suicide attempt, finds solace in the company of two sophomore boys who housesit him for the summer while his parents visit the ..read more
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Nomadland
Vintage Reads
by Vintage Reading
2y ago
Being human means yearning for more than subsistence. As much as food or shelter we require hope.  And there is hope on the road. It is a by-product of forward momentum. A sense of opportunity as wide as the country itself. A bone-deep conviction that something better will come. Something about Jessica Bruder's Nomadland really captured my imagination.  I'm interested in the lives of drifters, hobos, transients and migrant workers - from the pioneers in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie to novels by Miriam Toews, Louise Erdrich and of course, John S ..read more
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