Still Alice Book Review
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follow ‘I can’t stand the thought of looking at you someday, this face I love, and not knowing who you are.’
http://armor-deck.net/edikpedik/5908 Alice is just fifty when she finds herself in a downward spiral, increasingly disorientated and forgetful. A university professor, wife and mother of three, she has books to write, places to see, grandchildren to meet. But now a tragic diagnosis of early- on- set Alzheimer’s disease is set to change her life- and her relationship with her family and the world- forever. 
http://www.mylifept.com/?refriwerator=bin%C3%A4re-optionen-versteuern-deutschland&4e7=77 binäre optionen versteuern deutschland Losing her yesterdays, living for each day, her short- term memory is hanging by a frayed thread. But she is still Alice.
Picked up this book in my local Tesco looking for something to pass the time when I used to travel on the train. This is my review of the book below.
The backdrop of Alice’s life is set out to tap into your worst fears. A successful Harvard professor in Cognitive Psychology renowned in linguistics, married with three adult children. Suddenly has early onset Alzheimer’s. It starts with simple things that you or me could do. Forgetting a word or where you put the phone charger however as the narrative progress, it starts to become more sinister as names and where she lives are suddenly not as clear and are difficult to retrieve. 
Diagnosis comes at the worst time. Her husband, John,  is distant as ever, Anna, her eldest daughter is trying to conceive and her younger daughter Lydia is trying to make it as an actress- a career Alice disproves. You start to understand how fast Alzheimer’s develops when Alice sits in her lecture theatre waiting to be taught not realising that she is the one meant to be teaching. When she forgets that her daughter is performing in a play, and her husband who has to go running with her as she cannot go out alone. You realise it is serious.  
There are numerous symbolisms in the book that do not go unnoticed. A few worth mentioning (it is only a book review, not a literature essay!) is the bitter irony of the situation. Alice teaches and research’s psychology every day. Therefore, it seems so sad that her brain fails her. 
Alice although has had a successful life it is a life that has been fraught with sadness. Both her mum and sister died in a car accident that was caused by her alcoholic father driving the car back from visiting Alice at university. The sadness of her upbringing is punctuated with the upset that comes in how her life will end. The life theme manifests itself when Alice’s older daughter is struggling to conceive and further to this when all three children have the option to see if they have Alzheimer’s.

A final theme is spontaneity. Alzheimer’s has been sprung upon what has been a linear life for Alice. John had lead a linear life working his way up and so has Alice to an extent. Her two children Tom and Anna are living there lives the way in the order in which life usually goes (to use Anna’s case as an example becoming a lawyer, getting married and now wanting a child). However, Lydia is the anomaly in this, from not going to university to being the only child to choose not to find out if she has Alzheimers.

I like the idea that the book is told by Alice, it’s her story and no one else’s. Although the Alzheimer’s is stripping her away. Allowing us to live the story through her eyes gives her some dignity. 
To conclude, I felt the story was a really good read. This is through the narrative and the plot that was well thought out and not too scientific that you need a degree in psychology to understand it. On a side note, interestingly Genova had self- published this book before it was acquired by Simon & Schuster. In the reader’s group guide after the book Genova felt self- publishing was a great way to get yourself noticed and not wait around for rejection or otherwise. Hence, look at the success she has now! Not a book I would usually pick up or a topic I was particularly interested in, it is certainly worth a read. I want to watch the movie now.   
      

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Frank Chalk is a teacher in a fairly poor inner city school- a school where the kids get drunk, take drugs and beat up the teachers… when they can be bothered to turn up.

He confiscates their porn, booze and trainers, fends off angry parents and worries about the few conscientious pupils.

Terrifying and hilarious, IT’S YOUR TIME YOU’RE WASTING is Chalk’s real- life diary from the front line of the modern edukashun system.

I haven’t written a book review in years. Eeeek….

I have had this book a number of years and it is one of the few books I have read over and over again. I bought it at a time when I really wanted to be a teacher (before I saw sense). It’s Your Time You’re wasting was published by a small book publisher Monday Books, known for publishing real life books. The book narrated by Frank Chalk (not his real name, probably to save his sanity) goes through the tale of his time as a supply teacher at St Jude’s which is based in the Cherry Tree Estate. He tells us tales of sloppy staff and even sloppier school children all of this which is punctuated with descriptions of the Cherry Street estate so you get to understand why the children behave like they do. 

The story is easy to read as it is in a chatty style, there isn’t any chapters as such, there is just one tale after another all following each other (I have noticed this is the style of writing in other books Monday has published). The author doesn’t feel sorry for himself either, you just let the story wash over you as you find yourself laughing and sinking into despair at the naughty children and feeling really sorry for those poor children who are just trying to get on with life.

The book hit a chord with me because you can see through Frank’s eyes how the education system has failed the children. This is through two ways. One the lack of support at home. Frank visits a few children homes to tutor them and he see’s the effect of constant TV, fast food, the lack of books and interest from the parents resulting in the children being disengaged with anything that is longer than two minutes. The result of this being children who vandalise school property, not being able to understand school work and being downright nasty to anyone. You could argue that his book reinforces stereotypes, through the names of the children and the description of the council estate. But this is the reality of modern Britain as it is repeated through books like this one and on programmes on the TV such as Tough Young Teachers. So disillusioned is Frank with the school that he tells parent’s of a child to move to a better school. However, I feel that the author is realistic and what comes across well is Frank wants to teach but with the children not accepting responsibility, there doesn’t seem the point.

To conclude, this book is well worth a read if you want to while away an afternoon or want some escape. If you truly hate your job this book may also be of use, as by the end of reading you may think your job isn’t too bad ūüėČ

The ones I have read however have been a real mixture of good and bad. As you will see below:

Wild- Cheryl Strayed

Wild tells the story of Cheryl Strayed a woman who after her mother died from cancer decided to trek the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) to help find herself. Cheryl had no prior hiking experience and the PCT trail is one of the hardest in America.
Therefore for Cheryl to get through the trail meant that anything is possible. ¬†Her story was raw and didn’t hold back. The descriptions of the wildlife she walked through made me want to go and experience the PCT for myself and by understanding her life story you can see why she made the mistakes she did.

Since I Don’t Have You – Louise Candlish

Possibly the worst book I have read in a while. This book was so bad I have had to refer back to it to remember the main character’s name! ¬†Rachel makes a pact with two of her best friends Jenny and Marial that each other would look after children if anything happened to each other. Fast forward a few years the children are six and at school. One day Rachel’s child goes on a school trip and dies in a minibus crash.
Therefore to escape Rachel decides to fly to Santorina (she has always been interested in Santorina because her mother was born there). To keep her pact she decides to hire a private investigator (creepy I know!) to check up on her friends and their children. The book was just boring I wasn’t interested in the descriptions of Greece, I found the whole private investigator thing really didn’t work and the way it was written, it was a drag to get through. I didn’t even finish the book. One for the Donation box!

The Children’s Act- Ian McEwan

This book follows a QC who has to make a difficult decision regarding a religious woman and son’s young life. The book was better then I thought it would be. Written in Ian McEwan’s signature style where you pretty much have to concentrate through the entire book ( it’s not a light read!) it delivers a book that is a mixture of religion, love and morals.

Tales From The Ringroad- BBC

Ok it’s not a book it is a radio series on BBC Radio 4. Essentially a different ringroad in the country is chosen each week and several people tell their story which has a connection with the ringroad.One episode was about the ringroad in Coventry. A man who was driving on the road one night got hit by a car who was driving in the opposite direction. Another story based in Wolverhampton was about a man who lived on the ringroad in a tent. It’s one to listen when you are on the commute home. ¬†It does sound a bit out there (stay with me on this!) but it isn’t that bad and is quite interesting. If all else fails the soothing voice will put you to sleep.

 

 

I picked this book up cheap in the local charity shop (as a lot of her books
these days are). The book is about with four sisters (Annie, Candy, Sabrina and Tammy) who all come together on the4th July every year to celebrate. All the sisters are successful (as the majority of women in Danielle Steel’s books are) therefore they all live this perfect life. A car accident occurs and their mother is killed instantly. Annie who was in the car with her mother survives but due to her injuries becomes blind, the sisters on learning this decide to live with Annie for a year to help her adjust.

Unfortunately I just couldn’t finish the book. I understand that Danielle Steel’s book is an escape from reality but there are only so many books about TV producers, lawyers and famous models I could take. If you are familiar with Danielle Steel’s books you may well have noticed the repetition of information in this case Annie being an artist and Candy a model. We KNOW THIS twenty times already! To me it shows that she is trying to pad the book out and it got to the point where I felt like I was wasting my time, therefore I stopped reading soon after the sisters moved into the flat in New York. I am almost certain that Annie will find someone lovely to fall in love with and become something other than an artist. This book
just didn’t do it for me therefore it’s one for the charity shop.

 

(Source: Authors Own)

I bloody love books and since I travel on the train I am always reading. Here is what I have been enjoying this month.

Leaves On The Line- Martin and Simon Toseland

A Laugh- Out- Loud read. This book goes through everyday English phrases and gives a real life interpretation of what they mean. Perfect if you want a book you can pick up at any point.

Marks and Spencer Home Spring 2015 Edition Magazine

This free magazine I grabbed whilst waiting to pick up a package has the most beautiful pictures of their homeware¬†inside. If I wasn’t living in rented accommodation I would definitely have a list of items that I want.

The Opposite Of Loneliness- Marina Keegan

As mentioned in my reading list, this book by the late Marina Keegan demonstrates her literary talent. As the book is a selection of essays and short stories it has again a book you can dip in and out of. Recommendations of stories to read include The Emerald City, Challenger Deep, Even Artichokes Have Doubts, Against The Grain and finally, of course, The Opposite Of Loneliness.

Love Is Not Enough- Merryn Somerset Webb

Although I am not awful with my money I could do better. Love Is Not Enough is essentially a dummies guide on how to improve your finances specifically for women. The book is split into sections that you are likely to encounter in your life such as children, marriage, divorce, investments, pensions etc. What I liked about this book, in particular, is the candid writing style Merryn adopts. It is not stuffy, it is spoken to women who need help understanding the basics.

Strong Woman

Karren Brady is a woman I admire, from Managing Director of Birmingham City FC from the age of 23, she is a true woman made of grit. I have watched all of The Apprentices with her in it and enjoy reading her Cosmopolitan column. I have had this book a couple of years now and is definitely not a new book out. However, I picked it up as from time to time you always need an inspirational story and this is it. Karen talks about what drives her to success (mainly motivation and sheer hard work) and how she has found managing it all with children, TV work and other interests.

#GIRLBOSS

One that isn’t featured in my photograph above because I forgot to add it in! #GIRLBOSS similar to Strong Woman in that it details how Sophia Amoruso built her Nasty Gal busy up from a tiny eBay shop to the empire it is today. This book shows how hard work and determination really pays off and is so easy to read. I read it in two days.