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Feng Shui Garden Design: Creating Serenity by Antonia Beattie...

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

Since ancient times the garden has been a place of meditation, stress release and contemplation.

Now, more than ever before, the garden can help you find balance and peace. The power of feng shui can be harnessed no matter the size of your garden, ranging from a couple of pot plants on the balcony of an apartment or a courtyard to a large size garden or park.

You can create a lush and healthy garden that both protects, inspires, and improves the flow of energy in your garden, your home and your life! Learn the various methods of applying feng shui to the garden you have and how it can be used to protect your home from poisonous energy, enhance your love life, improve your finances and help ease family tensions. This book will help you find out: * How good garden design and good feng shui work together * How to analyze the flow of energy in your garden * How to use plants and garden features to enhance positive energy * How to apply feng shui cures to your garden * How to creatively use feng shui in a small-scale garden


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G/day Dave We have added the large sofa in the lounge and large armchair and recliner in the bedroom although the recliner can be moved anywhere, also a large Smart TV, its had a paint job a

I think the book reviews, lodging and restaurant posts are a welcome part of this forum.  Appreciation to Daveo for posting them. 

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The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty..

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse - Pattaya.

Originally published in 1971, It remains one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon.

Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940's, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C.

A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying. Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations.

On opening day of the film, lines of the novel’s fans stretched around city blocks.

In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater.

In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events; CBS’s Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a true landmark. Purposefully raw and profane, The Exorcist still has the extraordinary ability to disturb readers and cause them to forget that it is “just a story.”


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Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami,

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Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. 

Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.

As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.


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Gielgud: A Theatrical Life, 1904-2000 by Jonathan Croall....

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Based on interviews with over 100 friends and colleagues who worked with Gielgud, this biography covers Gielgud's childhood amongst his famous Terry relations, his early struggles as a young actor, his triumphs in Shakespeare at the Old Vic and his late flowering as an Oscar-winning film star.


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The Gun Runner's Daughter by Neil Gordon.

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse - Pattaya.

For twenty-seven years, Allison Rosenthal has lived the life of the liberal elite, from summers in Martha's Vineyard to her studies at Yale.

But when her father is indicted on federal charges and his profession - arms dealing - is exposed to public scrutiny, her placid life changes radically.

And when her secret childhood lover is named as her father's prosecuting attorney, she must decide where her loyalties lie in the trial that is rocking a presidential administration.

Does family come before politics? Love before law? Truth before loyalty?

These are the questions the gun runner's daughter must face as she tries to negotiate the dangerous and murky world of her father's profession and the ambiguous morality of power - politics in America.


The Fear Index by Robert Harris. . .

His name is carefully guarded from the general public but within the secretive inner circles of the ultra-rich Dr Alex Hoffmann is a legend - a visionary scientist whose computer software turns everything it touches into gold.

Together with his partner, an investment banker, Hoffmann has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that tracks human emotions, enabling it to predict movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions.

But then in the early hours of the morning, while he lies asleep with his wife, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of their lakeside house.

So begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him.

His quest forces him to confront the deepest questions of what it is to be human. By the time night falls over Geneva, the financial markets will be in turmoil and Hoffmann's world - and ours - transformed forever.




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Churchill by Roy Jenkins

Roy Jenkins combines unparalleled command of British political history and his own high-level government experience in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject. Exceptional in its breadth of knowledge and distinguished in its stylish wit and penetrating intelligence, Churchill is one of the finest political biographies of our time.


Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore. .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange This widely acclaimed biography provides a vivid and riveting account of Stalin and his courtiers, killers, fanatics, women, and children - during the terrifying decades of his supreme power.

In a seamless meshing of exhaustive research and narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore gives us the everyday details of a monstrous life.

We see Stalin playing his deadly game of power and paranoia at debauched dinners at Black Sea villas and in the apartments of the Kremlin. We witness first-hand how the dictator and his magnates carried out the Great Terror and the war against the Nazis, and how their families lived in this secret world of fear, betrayal, murder, and sexual degeneracy.

Montefiore gives an unprecedented understanding of Stalin’s dictatorship, and a Stalin as human and complicated as he is brutal.



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On the Road by Jack Kerouac. . .
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When Jack Kerouac’s On the Road first appeared in 1957, readers instantly felt the beat of a new literary rhythm.
A fictionalised account of his own journeys across America with his friend Neal Cassady, Kerouac’s beatnik odyssey captured the soul of a generation and changed the landscape of American fiction for ever.
Influenced by Jack London and Thomas Wolfe, Kerouac always wanted to be a writer, but his true voice only emerged when he wrote about his own experiences in On the Road. Leaving a broken marriage behind him, Sal Paradise (Kerouac) joins Dean Moriarty (Cassady), a tearaway and former reform school boy, on a series of journeys that takes them from New York to San Francisco, then south to Mexico. Hitching rides and boarding buses, they enter a world of hobos and drifters, fruit-pickers and migrant families, small towns and wide horizons.
Adrift from conventional society, they experience America in the raw: a place where living is hard, but ‘life is holy and every moment is precious’.
With its smoky, jazz-filled atmosphere and its restless, yearning spirit of adventure, On the Road left its mark on the culture of the late 20th century, influencing countless books, films and songs.
Kerouac’s prose is remarkable both for its colloquial swing and for the pure lyricism inspired by the American landscape – ‘the backroads, the black-tar roads that curve among the mournful rivers like Susquehanna, Monongahela, old Potomac and Monocacy’.
This Folio Society edition is illustrated with evocative photographs of Kerouac and the landscapes of 1950s America. Now acknowledged as a modern classic, On the Road remains a thrilling and poignant story of the road less travelled


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The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff ...

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Now a major motion picture starring Eddie Redmayne and directed by Tom Hooper, THE DANISH GIRL is a shockingly original novel about one of the most unusual and passionate love stories of the 20th century. Loosely inspired by a true story, this tender portrait of marriage asks: What do you do when the person you love has to change? It starts with a question, a simple favour asked by a wife of her husband while both are painting in their studio, setting off a transformation neither can anticipate.

Uniting fact and fiction into an original romantic vision, The Danish Girl eloquently portrays the unique intimacy that defines every marriage and the remarkable story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history, and the woman torn between loyalty to her marriage and her own ambitions and desires. The Danish Girl is an evocative and deeply moving novel about one of the most passionate and unusual love stories of the 20th century.


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Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography by Piers Paul Read

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Sir Alec Guinness was one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century. With a talent recognised by discerning critics from his very first appearance on the stage, he gained a world-wide reputation playing roles on the screen such as Fagin in "Oliver Twist" and Sidney Stratton in "The Man in the White Suit."

His performance as Colonel Nicholson in "The Bridge on the River Kwai" won him an Oscar and, in his later years, he captivated a new generation of admirers as George Smiley in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars." Guinness was a man who vigorously guarded his privacy and, despite publishing an autobiography and two volumes of his diaries, he remained an enigma to the general public and a mystery even to his family and closest friends. After his death in August 2000, his widow, Merula, asked the author Piers Paul Read, who had been a friend of her husband, to write his authorised biography. Given full cooperation by the Guinness family and free access to Sir Alec's papers, including his private and unpublished diaries, Read has written an enjoyable, yet penetrating and perceptive account of an intriguing and complex man. Read shows how Guinness's quirks of character and genius had roots in the circumstances of his early life.

His marriage to Merula Salaman, a young actress of great promise, is chronicled by the many hundred letters Guinness wrote to her when serving in the Navy during World War II, while his post-war diaries reveal that readjustment to civilian life was traumatic, with doubts about his talent and a confusion about his sexual nature leading to bouts of severe depression. Guinness's conversion to Catholicism in 1956 partly exorcised his demons, but he never wholly escaped the contradictions of his life -- his domestic ties vying with wayward passions, a yearning for holiness with an intolerance of constraint, a raw sensitivity to the feelings of others with an irascible and domineering nature. Yet from the diaries and letters to his friends quoted extensively in this biography, there emerges a man of great compassion, generosity, wit and charm - intellectually curious, a talented writer, a great gossip, bon viveur and munificent host.


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Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

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Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age, in a world shaped by casual nihilism, passivity, and too much money a place devoid of feeling or hope. Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and re-enters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine.

He tries to renew feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for his best friend from high school, Julian, who is careering into hustling and heroin.

Clay's holiday turns into a dizzying spiral of desperation that takes him through the relentless parties in glitzy mansions, seedy bars, and underground rock clubs and also into the seamy world of L.A. after dark.


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The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

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Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby.

But Miss Wonderley is in fact the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, and when Spade's partner Miles Archer is shot while on Thursby's trail, Spade finds himself both hunter and hunted: can he track down the jewel-encrusted bird, a treasure worth killing for, before the Fat Man finds him?


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A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

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With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975.

The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers - a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village, will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future. As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.


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Growing Up in the Gorbals: The Ralph Glasser Omnibus by Ralph Glasser

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Born to Jewish immigrant parents living in the notorious Gorbals of Glasgow, Ralph Glasser vividly recounts his hardships and childhood troubles.

His story is poignantly and intelligently told, avoiding the temptations of bitterness and nostalgia, and reveals an evocative and deeply powerful portrait of life in the Gorbals.

Moving from his early years, through a brief education and time working in a barber's shop and a clothes factory, Glasser's tragic tale ends in triumph with his acceptance into Oxford - a lasting testimony to the dedication and commitment of a very talented man.


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The Life & Times of Louis XIV by Alfredo Panicucci..

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The House of the Dead/Poor Folk by Fyodor Dostoyevsky,

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Arrested in 1849 for belonging to a secret group of radical utopians, Fyodor Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years in a Siberian labor camp - a terrible mental, spiritual, and physical ordeal that inspired him to write the novel The House of the Dead. Told from the point of view of a fictitious narrator - a convict serving a ten-year sentence for murdering his wife, The House of the Dead describes in vivid detail the horrors that Dostoevsky himself witnessed while in prison: the brutality of guards who relish cruelty for its own sake; the evil of criminals who enjoy murdering children; and the existence of decent souls amid filth and degradation.

More than just a work of documentary realism, The House of the Dead also describes the spiritual death and gradual resurrection from despair experienced by the novel’s central character—a reawakening that culminates in his final reconciliation with himself and humanity. Also included in this volume is Dostoevsky’s first published work, Poor Folk, a novel written in the form of letters that brought Dostoevsky immediate critical and public recognition. Joseph Frank is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton University and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literature at Stanford University.

He is the author of an acclaimed five-volume study of Dostoevsky’s life and work.


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Cole: Biographical Essay by Brendan Gill..

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A telling collection of lyrics, photographs, letters, scores, and articles, accompanied by an intimate biographical essay, sheds light on the great composer-lyricist Cole Porter's life and work.


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Five Sisters: The Langhornes of Virginia by James Fox.......

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The beautiful Langhorne sisters lived at the pinnacle of society from the end of the Civil War through the Second World War.

Born in Virginia to a family impoverished by the Civil War, Lizzie, Irene, Nancy, Phyllis, and Nora eventually made their way across two continents, leaving rich husbands, fame, adoration, and scandal in their wake. At the center of the story is Nancy, who married Waldorf Astor, one of the richest men in the world.

Heroic, hilarious, magnetically charming, and a bully, Nancy became Britain's first female MP.

The beautiful Irene married Charles Dana Gibson and was the model for the Gibson Girl.

Phyllis, the author's grandmother, married a famous economist, one of the architects of modern Europe.

Author James Fox draws on the sisters' unpublished correspondence to construct an intimate and sweeping account of five extraordinary women at the highest reaches of society


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Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett .

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Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep of the Royal Thai Police returns in his riveting and smokily atmospheric new thriller.A farang–a foreigner–has been murdered, his body horribly mutilated, at the Bangkok brothel co-owned by Sonchai’s mother and his boss.

The dead man was a CIA agent. To make matters worse, the apparent culprit is sweet-natured Chanya, the brothel’s top earner and a woman whom the devoutly Buddhist sleuth has loved for several lifetimes. How can Sonchai solve this crime without sending Chanya to prison?

How can he engage in a cover-up without endangering his karma? And how will he ever get to the bottom of a case whose interested parties include American spooks, Muslim fundamentalists, and gangsters from three countries? As addictive as opium, as hot as Sriracha chili sauce, and bursting with surprises, Bangkok Tattoo will leave its mark on you.


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Old but good yarns from Alistair Maclean 60 baht each @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange


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Lloyd George: The People's Champion, 1902-1911 by John Grigg.....

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John Grigg's four volume life of "Lloyd George" is one of the great political biographies.

Volume 2, "The People's Champion 1902-1911", in the author's own words 'carries the story on to the zenith of his whole career before the Great War.

By the end of 1911 he had already achieved far more than be claimed for most politicians in a lifetime...

The period covered here is one of intense controversy and acrimony, in which Lloyd George's speeches attacking the Conservative Party and its lordly backers are among the finest examples of polemical oratory in the English language.

The central drama is the constitutional conflict surrounding Lloyd George's 1909 Budget, the People's Budget, which was such a powerful tool of social reform.

There is much more besides, not least vivid portrayals of his relations with Asquith and Winston Churchill.

The latter, again in John Grigg's own words 'was Lloyd George's closest colleague in two ways: they worked together on major reforming projects, and both were men of genius...

They also enjoyed each other's company and had a strong affinity of temperament.

This volume won the Whitbread Prize. It is a tragedy John Grigg didn't live to complete his magnum opus but what exists is a masterpiece.


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Montaillou : The world famous portrait of life in a medieval village by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie...

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The bell'Antonio by Vitaliano Brancati..

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Antonio Magnano, a young Catanese seducer, is unable to consume his marriage with the beautiful heiress Barbara of whom he is perhaps too in love.

In the climate of machismo that prevails between the two wars, the scandal quickly breaks out.

The most bitter and significant novel by Vitaliano Brancati (1907-1954).


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The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. . .

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In 1815 Edmond Dantès, a young and successful merchant sailor who has just recently been granted the succession of his erstwhile captain Leclère, returns to Marseille to marry his Catalan fiancée Mercédès.

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If.

There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.


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OUT IN THE MIDDAY SUN - Singapore 1941-1945 : The End of an Empire by Kate Caffrey.

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Original account of the Fall of Singapore, unique in that it follows events right through from the first rumblings of war to the final repatriation of those few men lucky enough to have survived the four years as prisoners of the Japanese. Tragic and appalling though it was, the story of the campaign, which makes up the first part of the book, is often surprisingly funny.

Miss Caffrey's re-creation of a city about to be blown wide open in which people still behaved as though in the heyday of the British Empire makes absorbing reading.

The second part of the book deals with the long and terrible period of captivity with sympathy and understanding.

Even when recording the history of the Burma railway and the notorious death march, the author keeps a clear head: the Japanese don't emerge as monster but as men with an entirely different set of values and with remarkable courage and endurance.

The whole gruesome story is made tolerable by the author's vivid re-creation of the physical and domestic details of the camps and of the ways in which the men kept each other going and some survived.

In this book Miss Caffrey, whilst maintaining a scrupulous regard for historical accuracy has, through her own vivid interest, transformed an unhappy episode of British military history into a fascinating book.


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