Book reviews from East Devon Resident

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What are your favourite books? I’d love to know for a special ‘vintage’ book issue I’m planning for the autumn, writes Jane Corry. Please see below on how to get in touch. Meanwhile, here is a selection of this month’s new reads. There should be something for everyone!

The Doll Factory

The Doll Factory - Credit: Archant

THE DOLL FACTORY by Elizabeth Macneal. Picador. £12.99

This compelling novel is set at the time of The Great Exhibition in London.

Iris is an aspiring actor who watches the building of the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. There she meets a man called Silas who becomes obsessed by her. Iris is more interested in becoming an artist but Silas' fixation is becoming darker….

Ordinary People.

Ordinary People. - Credit: Archant

ORDINARY PEOPLE by Diana Evans. Chatto & Windus. £14.99.


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Barack Obama has just been elected as President of the United States.

But in south London, ordinary people are grappling with the emotional complexities of life.

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A wonderful take on two very different worlds with stunning lyrical prose.

Can You See Me?

Can You See Me? - Credit: Archant

THE CITY OF GIRLS by Elizabeth Gilbert. Bloomsbury £16.99

How many of us look back at our loves with a mixture of regret and nostalgia?

Vivien is 90 and keeps going back, in her head, to the summer of 1940 when her parents shipped her off to Manhattan to stay with her Aunt Peg.

City of Girls

City of Girls - Credit: Archant

Nineteen-year-old Vivien has a ball, meeting all kinds of people through her aunt's theatre. But then things go wrong. Later, she goes back for a second chance with a very different approach to life!

Bubbly and entertaining. The author wrote the best-seller EAT, PRAY AND LOVE.

12 RULES FOR LIFE by Jordan B Peterson. Penguin £9.99.

That's Not My Plane

That's Not My Plane - Credit: Archant

Why shouldn't you criticise others too easily?

Why should you always pet a cat when you meet one on the street?

What does the nervous system of the lobster tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life?

This fascinating book really got me thinking - and also kept me on my toes!

12 Rules of Life

12 Rules of Life - Credit: Archant

CAN YOU SEE ME? by Libby Scott. Scholastic £5

Tally is 11. She tries to be like her friends but it's not always easy.

Why? Because Tally is autistic and not everyone 'gets' her.

Tally's story is told through diary entries and is written by 11-year-old Libby Scott together with author Rebecca Westcott.

This kind, warm novel will help us all be more aware of the difficulties facing those on the autistic spectrum as well as friends and families.

THAT'S NOT MY PLANE. Usborne Books £5.99.

My toddler grandson is addicted to touchy-feely books.

It's a great way to encourage little ones to read!

This one is perfect reading for either plane-spotting in Sidmouth skies or going on holiday or both!

Jane Corry is published by Penguin and is a Sunday Times best-seller. Her new novel, I LOOKED AWAY is set in Devon. Please send book recommendations to her through the editor Andrew Coley. andrew.coley@archant.co.uk

To read more features from East Devon Resident, click here.

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