Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Teleportation Accident

History happened while you were hungover.
When you haven't had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone.
If you're living in Germany in the 1930's, it probably isn't.
But that's no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: whether it was really a deal with cosmic evil that claimed the life of his hero, the great seventeenth-century stage designer Adriano Lavicini; and why a handsome, clever, charming, modest guy like him can't, just once in a while, get himself laid.
I am a sucker for beautiful covers and Ned Beauman's The Teleportation Accident happens to have a cracking cover.  When I finally managed to stop staring and open the book to read the first page, I was worried. Was Beauman's second novel going to be a verbose waffle, trying too hard to be what a Man Booker Prize longlisted book should be?  He certainly had me going for a while...and then it became funny.  Not small laughs either, but proper out loud, I have to repeat what I've just read to everyone I can find, funny.  Beauman had me hooked at 'Tassels on Tassels on Tassels on Tassels' and my worries about not understanding a thing melted away. 

That's not to say that The Teleportation Accident is just a barrel of laughs.  It's frustratingly bonkers and that's down to the lead character.  Loeser is pretty much a loser.  He could have been an Ian McEwan character, for he is totally, unequivocally selfish.  He's completely oblivious to events outside of his own small world, including the impending WWII, and only cares about his ever decreasing sex life.  Loeser only starts to look like a better human being when he is in the company of the other demented characters that populate this weird world. 

There's a haphazard nature to the book, in the way that Loeser keeps falling into trouble, but at the same time Beauman makes sure that everything that happens stays interconnected and relevant to the core story.  I also found that just because the setting and the year changes, it doesn't mean the story or Loeser will, turning The Teleportation Accident into a bizarre version of groundhog day. 

The ending, while wrapping everything up, is still a bit WTF?!? but after I finished I realised how glad I was I kept reading even though I wasn't keen on the first few pages.  It makes me wish that more of this sort of fiction would find a way onto the Man Booker Prize longlist/shortlist each year, proving that intelligent reads don't always have to be uptight and dreary.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Top Ten Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List

Tuesday keeps rolling around quick, doesn't it?  As always Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this week it's all about authors I'd put on my auto-buy list, no questions asked.  I'm playing fast and loose with the topic again.  While most of the authors I have listed are auto-buy in normal circumstances, due to a current lack of funds most have become auto-reserve from the library.
1.  Kelley Armstrong
Armstrong books are very easy to read and I can go off on an adventure for a day.  My particular draw to her was how she builds a history and a world around her characters not only through her novels, but through her short fiction, too.
2.  Jim Butcher
I always ask for the new Dresden Files book when it comes out as I know I'm going to enjoy it.  No questions asked or answered. 
3.  Chuck Wendig
 The Miriam Black books have more than stunning covers.  Good, clear, characterisation, forward momentum, tension, and great vocabulary of expletives.  Is it time for Cormorant yet?
4.  Margaret Atwood
I first became aware of Atwood when I had to read The Handmaid's Tale for English A-level.  I got the best mark out of all my exams, ever, on that paper.  Atwood does high-brow speculation fiction like no other and I am always intrigued as to what her next book will be about.
5.  Gail Carriger
I fell in love with Soulless because although it is the first book in the series it didn't read like that.  It read as if these people had lives outside of this one book.  Plus it's a bonus that the voice inside my head reads Carriger's words in a rather posh voice. 
6.  Audrey Niffenegger
I'm in love with The Time Traveller's Wife and this love means that I will read anything that subsequently follows.
7.  Ian McEwan
I like learning about different careers and as an English student I like the meta references.  Then to perfect the trifecta, I adore McEwan's often selfish characters who you should hate but can't help reading their stories.
8.  Madeline Ashby
I liked learning about a subject that in any other author's hands would have gone over my head.  vN was intelligent but accessible with an interesting story and great characters to boot.
9.  Emylia Hall
Emylia Hall's debut novel, The Book of Summers, was full of evocative images, which was great for the coldness of last February, and I'm certainly going to get her second book when it is published.
10.  Tess Gerritsen
I can always count on Tess Gerritsen books for good mysteries where the perp isn't always obvious.
Who made your list this week?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Across the Universe

Amy has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away.

Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet.  But fifty years before she's due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder.  Now Amy's lost on board and nothing makes sense - she's never felt so alone.
Yet someone is waiting for her.  He wants to protect her - and more if she'll let him.

But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies?  A killer is out there - and Amy has nowhere to hide...

I am finding it hard to write a review of Across The Universe by Beth Revis.  I finished it two weeks ago, and I can't really remember any thoughts I had while reading.  Revis' tale was pleasant enough, and yay for a bit of SF YA, but there seemed to be something missing.

The only problem I can recall is that I wasn't as grabbed by Across the Universe as I wanted to be, finding it very easy to put it down and leave for a couple of days.  This could be because I didn't really care too much for one of the protagonists: 'daddy's girl' Amy.  I was very glad that the narration was split between her and Elder, as I don't think I could have stood for a whole 400 pages of Amy's inner thoughts. Although I wasn't so keen on her, one of the redeeming features of Across the Universe, for me, was the relationship between Elder and Amy.  I couldn't quite figure out if Revis was aiming for her characters to fall in love at first sight or for them to have an instant curiosity about something different.

Overall, I think there's more of me wanting to like this book than actually liking it for what's on the page.  However, I am still interested as to what will happen in the next book, and maybe that will be a chance to convince me that this series is better than it first appears...

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.
In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.
I had so many problems with this book that I don't know where to begin.  I knew I shouldn't have read it.  Get ready for a Paloma Faith on Room 101 discussing Fifty Shades of Gray type rant.  I warn you now, there will be spoilers.

I mentioned this in a review of book three, but I'm perplexed that the scatty mythology that Jones has set up is changed when a plot-line needs it to. I found this quote infuriating:
'...I'm supposed to remember a message given to me by a departed when I was in the low single digits? What the bloody hell?' Pg140
Why can Charley, the woman who can recollect everything, who can remember being born,  not remember this message? Is it because it's not about Charley and therefore can be considered memory trash? Or that Jones can't remember her own characters powers?

Jones has been banging on about Charley's capabilities for FOUR books now, and where's the pay off for regular readers?  I know as much about Charley as I did in book one. Oh apart from that I now know that she can project her soul elsewhere and that Dutch means Seeker. WOOP. DE. DOO.  For a series to work well there needs to be a balance between an overall arc and cases of the week.  If you can't even do that then pick one and stick to it, and make it good.  While I'm on the topic of 'Case of The Week', if you're going to have a step-sister and step-brother be in love don't, for crying out loud, name her HARPER! It screams that your are ripping off Charlaine Harris.

Then what do I come across on pages 163-167?  An evil British meat suit demon. Sooo original.  For crying out loud why do all high up demons have to have a British accent?  Plus it wasn't even described as a localised British accent. We don't all speak with plums in our mouths, so should I have imagined the guy speaking like a Geordie?

However, the core problem I have with this series, the one that makes my blood boil, is Charley's attitude towards men.  In the last book, Charley was used as bait by Reyes in order to lure out Earl Walker, his abusive father figure.  Charley was tortured in her own living room, not to mention that Amber, her best friend's teenage daughter, was put in danger, too.  You'd think you'd have some problems with this guy who put you in mortal danger....but no.  She refers to the whole episode as an 'accident' which suggests that no-one is at fault.  Then on P.83 Reyes offers an apology, "I'm sorry, Dutch.  I never thought he'd come after you.".  So, what was the plan then Reyes?  Because she sure looked like bait to me.  Don't even get me started on Charley's dad.  He got a little bit more of a cold shoulder, but then she can't sleep with him, can she?

Just what is with the characterisation of Charley? Surely after being tortured by a man she would have at least small issues with men groping her all the time? But no, she loves it.  Charley's PTSD was non existent and ,of course, could be cured by having some cheese-tastic sex with the person who got her in that situation in the first place.  Said sex scene reminded me of the kind of writing Ms Perky was going for in 10 Things I Hate About You. I thought it was cringe worthy, and the line, 'until I milked him' has to have been the highlight of the whole section for me.

But, I'm in the minority according to goodreads, etc.  Even my own mother thought it was good (but then this coming from the woman who hates most female characters on t.v for absolutely no reason apart from they're female.)  When I raised my rage points, I got told that I was getting on my high horse and that it's just fluff.  But it's not.  It's masquerading as fluff with some really horrible messages that men can do whatever they want with you, even get you killed, and it's okay as long as they're smoking hot and touch you up every now and again.  I apologise for having a brain.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Katya's World

The distant and unloved colony world Russalka has no land, only the raging sea under endless storm clouds.  Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean.  It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it.  But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent.

Katya Kuriakova doesn't care much about ancient history.  She is making her first voyage; the first easy journey of what she expects to be an easy career.  But soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, and learn that her world's future lies on the narrowest of knife edges.  For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.

Dare I say Katya's World is one of the best Young-Adult books I have ever read?

Jonathan L. Howard's SF tale is action based, which left little room for Katya to tell me how she feels about every incident (something that is quite common in YA books).  It was great watching this person grow, without being explicitly told the whole way through her every thought and emotion.  Katya is a fantastic intelligent female character, and a great vessel in which to explore this alien world.  She's not the only one, as there are plenty of other well developed and intriguing characters that serve more to the story than just being 'red shirts'.

Amongst all the excitement and danger, there is a lot of humour and a lot of heart.  On another plus side, this was officially the first Young Adult book I read with no romance!  Was it strange? Did I miss it?  Not in the slightest because Katya's World portrayed different aspects of love, duty and loyalty.

Howard doesn't doesn't talk down to his audience, but whips them along saying trust me.  While the bare bones of the story is very familiar, Howard expands this recognisable plot and fills it with admirable characters to make this story unique amongst it's other YA counterparts.  I can't wait for the sequel, Katya's War.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Top Ten Favourite Characters In X Genre

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  I'm hoping the X stands for whatever genre I want and not some sort of sub-genre that I've been unaware of because I live under a book shaped rock.  Therefore, my Genre is 'the Back of Waterstones Norwich'.  That encompasses a few genres (SCI FI/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Horror), but seeing as a bookshop lumps them all together I don't see any reason why I can't for today.

1.  Miriam Black - Blackbirds/Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig
Spiky, damaged, feisty and foul mouthed.
2.  Alexia Tarrabotti - The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
No-nonsense, practical and intelligent, with very good taste in friends.
3.  Eddie Bear - The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse/The Toyminator by Robert Rankin
The original Ted...I fell in love as soon as I found out you had to turn him upside down when he'd been drinking.
4.  Xaphan - To Hell and Back series by Matthew Hughes
For me, he was the best thing about The To Hell and Back series. Mainly because he reminds me of the Weasels in Who Framed Roger Rabbit!
5.  Jamie Vegas - The Otherworld Series by Kelley Armstrong
The whole reason I started reading the Otherworld series was because of a short story that featured Jamie.  I can't tell you why she's my favourite, she just is.
6.  Harry Dresden - The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
A loyal, witty lug head, who would do anything to protect his family and friends.  There's many a reason as to why I love the Dresden Files, and Harry is certainly one of them.
7.  Bob - The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
A talking skull that sounds like a horny version of Boni from The Trap Door?!?  How can I not love Bob?!
8.  Amy - vN by Madeline Ashby
Amy had her own agenda in vN, but it never stopped her from helping others in need.
9.  The Bonies - Warm Bodies by Issac Marion
I liked the idea of a zombie hierarchy.  Even though I'm not sure I want to see the film, I'd like to know if they pulled the Bonies off.
10.  Ivy Hisselpenny - The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
She was in my top ten last week.  I like how she's portrayed as silly, but she's just as loyal as Alexia, and somewhat more perceptive than people give her credit for.

    That's my list for this week.  What do you  think?  Who is on your list this week? Any characters from series that I've picked that you prefer?

Monday, 18 February 2013


Running away from her forced polygamous marriage leads 17-year-old Rhine Ellery straight into a trap: a twisted carnival whose ringmistress desires the beautiful and unusual Rhine as her star attraction.  But with Gabriel - her lover and fellow escapee - Rhine remains determined to reach Manhattan, fin her twin brother, Rowan, and start a life far from the gilded prisons that have confined her.

  The road to freedom is long and perilous - and in a world where women only live to age 20 and men die at 25 - time is very precious.  And worse still, Rhine's sinister father-in-law, Vaughn, i determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

Again, I was ill when I read Fever (pretty much read Wither and Fever back-to-back), but I still enjoyed following the journey of Rhine and Gabriel now they have escaped from the mansion and the devious Vaughn. 

I thought that Lauren Stefano provided a brilliant take on what happens after the happily ever after of the first book.  Just because you escape prison doesn't mean that you'll be safe outside.  Stefano has even further fractured the world in which Rhine must survive. To begin, the pair encounter a carnival of prostitutes, and this is where the main plot lines are set in place: drug addiction and trust issues between the pair. There's a constant strain put on Rhine and Gabriel because the reality of outside the compound doesn't live up to Rhine's somewhat romanticised stories.  Different, intriguing characters are introduced, as well as interesting and detailed world building throughout(I really enjoyed the description of Madame's Carnival). There's also the constant threat that Vaughn will never truly let his daughter-in-law go.

While Fever certainly avoids the second book slump, I do wonder how Stefano will end her series?  Will Rhine ever be reunited with her twin?  And will a cure be found in time for Rhine and co.? 

Saturday, 16 February 2013


In our brave new future, DNA engineering has resulted in a terrible genetic flaw.  Women die at the age of 20, men at 25.  Young girls are being abducted and forced to breed in a desperate attempt to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it.

16-year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wife.  Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cage - and Linden's cruel father.  With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in what little time she has left.

I didn't realise it at the time, and it wasn't until I spotted another reader's comment on goodreads, that Lauren DeStefano's Wither has a lot in common with Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.  Both are about women wanting to escape houses in which they have been forced to live, and have to procreate with a man they don't love for the greater good. 

While Wither certainly doesn't come close to the genius and complexity of The Handmaid's Tale, it's still a good read.  I may have been ill at the time and all my brain needed was fluff but that's not the point. I thought Stefano had created a good premise - plenty of secrets and lies to be uncovered throughout the trilogy- with interesting characters that were proactive even when they were trapped.  Having been forced into a polygamous marriage, Rhine's relationship with her sister wives were complicated, sometimes heartfelt, and constantly changing throughout the book.  Then there's the 'crazy lady in the attic' factor that is always interesting.  For this story, it's Rhine's father-in-law in the basement conducting experiments in order to find a cure to prolong his son's life.  Nothing explicitly is revealed about what happens in the basement, but this adds a sinister vibe to the story and another reason why Rhine should be plotting her escape.

I've already read the second book in the trilogy, and the review should follow shortly!

Friday, 15 February 2013


Wendy Everly can barely remember what it was like to feel like a normal girl.  She'd wished for her life to be different but everything is so much more complicated than she'd expected.  And she certainly hadn't dreamt she'd be getting married at eighteen to a man she didn't love - all for the sake of duty.

As the big day approaches, Wendy can't stop thinking about two different men - and neither of them are her husband-to-be.  Finn, quiet, strong and determined to do what's right, and Loki, dark and seductive - a sworn enemy who once saved her life...

With all out war just days away, Wendy needs to act quickly if she is to save her friends and family.  But while her loyalties and duties are to her people, deeper passions are leading her elsewhere.

And as her worlds collide Wendy must sacrifice everything she loves to save them.  But will it be enough?

WARNING: This review *might* be a bit spoilery.

Ascend is pretty much a good conclusion for Amanda Hocking's Trylle series.  It is all about growing up and how to make the right decision.   Most of the supporting characters get pushed aside in this book (with the exception of Willa, who is allowed some growth, too.) and it really is a chance to show how much Wendy has changed over the course of the series.  She is unrecognisable from the somewhat selfish person she was in book one.   Now an adult and making mature decisions not only about her kingdom but her love life, too.  There's still the annoying love triangle: Wendy's relationship with Loki grows over the course of the book, and her relationship with Finn deteriorates into something new.   I'm extremely glad Hocking didn't back track on the ideas she had put in place in Torn, as I think this would have ruined the entire series for me.

These books have never been about action, but about world building and character interaction.  Therefore, the climactic fight between the Vittra and the Trylle may have been short and sweet, but I did laugh at the Buffy-esque moment when Wendy finally gets the upper hand over her father. 

Right up until the last few chapters, I was content with how the series was wrapping up.  Then I started to notice the direction Hocking was corralling her characters in and I thought....oh balls.  The last moments I spent with Wendy and co. read like the epilogue in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.  I get the need for a happily ever after, but this was way too happy, way too neat and tidy.  Then there was the short story included in my edition.  Normally I sing the praises of these extra stories, but this time around Hocking further hammered home how twee and perfect everything was for the Trylle.  I'm not's not like I wanted everything to turn out like one of Elora's last paintings, but maybe the ending could have been a touch more subtle?

Another problem I had was the contradiction of Wendy not wanting a one-night-stand with Finn, because it would only be for one night.  Flash forward to her saying a 100 pages later that she was okay reversing the situation when having a chance to sleep with Loki.  Was this a case of double standards or was this intentional because things would eventually work themselves out?

Overall,  I'm not sad that this was the last book.  I think there's room for more stories (perhaps from a different narrator?), but everyone is in their perfect happy bubble, so maybe they should be left that way.

To Read Or Not To Read?

I thought I'd seen the last of Charley Davidson.  She was on my Top Ten Tuesday list of most frustrating characters.  I specifically said that I couldn't keep reading this series (see here for my review of the third book) as it would become 'hate reading'.  I don't actively go out to give a book a bad review because the author has spent a lot of time in crafting their story - I hope - and put themselves and their story out there into the world of readers.  I try very hard to be positive.  So I decided enough was enough, and that I would leave Charley behind and try to find something more to my liking. 

This was going well...until my mum ordered and read the fourth book.  She's told me that it's quite good and that I should read it.  I'm not so sure....Do I give this series one last chance?  Or do I return it to the library quickly and get back to my scheduled TBR pile?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Hell to Pay

Meet Chesney Arnstruther. Once a mild-mannered insurance actuary, now a full-time crime-fighting superhero, it’s all he can do to kick bad-guy ass while at the same time holding down a steady relationship with the gorgeous Melda. Something is going on.
Meet Xaphan, wise-cracking demon and the source of (almost) all of Chesney’s powers. He’s been asked by his infernal master to give Chesney whatever he needs... but surely stopping bad guys is not in Hell’s plan? Something is definitely going on.
Meet Arthur Wrigley, a modest yet charming older gentleman whose nasty little hobby is fleecing innocent widows. Meet Simon Magus, ancient mystic and magician from Biblical times now very much enamoured of Vegas, baby. And pray you never meet the Chikkichikk, a proud and ancient race of, well, warrior dinosaurs, from the universe that God made then rejected before He started monkeying around with this one.
Whatever the hell is going on, this is definitely the third book in the wondrous To Hell & Back series.

Losing none of the previous offerings wit or charm, Matthew Hughes has ended his To Hell and Back series in the best possible way: by leaving me wanting more.  The structure of Hell to Pay resembles the content of the two proceeding books.  Part one is Chesney and Xaphan dealing with a con-man the old fashioned way, like they used to in The Damned Busters.  I thought this was a clever way to start the book, as the sequel, Costume Not Included, had been more about theology than a newly minted superhero. 

However, the intelligent religious discussion that I have come to expect from Chesney and Co. isn't abandoned for long.  Part two of Hell to Pay returns to matters of 'The Twelve' and the disruption in Hell now that Satan is working on The Book of Chesney in the Garden of Eden.  This time around the discussions of how we came to be doesn't overpower character development.  I thought that Hughes had allowed for smaller moments between individual characters, and this paid off.  Chesney's realisation that the changes that Joshua made to him perhaps weren't for the best and that he didn't need fixing were handled in a sensitive and skillful way.  Then there's a discussion between Chesney and Melda towards the finale that's verging on heartbreaking.  On the brighter side, Hughes made sure that the fantastic rum drinking fiend Xaphan had plenty to do, and occupied quite a lot of Hell to Pay.

I'm definitely sad to see the series conclude but I think that the final few pages left the characters I had grown to love in a good place.  Though maybe in the future Xaphan could have his own spin-off series?  Please?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Holders

17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother - from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland's "problem" and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.

She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together information about their family's heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for... but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

I shouldn't like The Holders as it contains three of my pet hates: A whiny narrator, love at first sight and plenty of telling and hardly any showing. And yet...I couldn't stop reading Julianna Scott's debut novel.

Scott had me hooked as soon as Becca and Ryland were leaving America behind, and heading to a boarding school in Ireland.  Those first few chapters contained so much potential for where the story could eventually lead and I was excited to follow Becca on her journey.

What kept me reading, even when I had my doubts, was the logic that was behind the tropes that I normally hate.  Becca is whiny teen because she doesn't get to whine to other people.  She has had to be an adult in order to protect Ryland.  The whole love  at first sight thing is explained in a way that relates to the mythology of the Holders.  Also, for Becca it isn't necessarily insta-love.  Finally, there is so much information that Scott needs to relay to the reader that maybe there will be more showing in the second book now that the world has been established.  Maybe I'm making excuses because I found this book charming despite it having flaws that I normally abhor.  Or maybe The Holders was genuinely a good read.
An interesting, and somewhat fun, introduction to what could be a fantastic series.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Top Ten Favourite Romances

It's Top Ten Tuesday Time again.  As always it is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week is all about my favourite romances.  I did have a list of ten compiled, but at the last minute I decided to change my list completely.  Therefore, this week my top ten is really just a small top two...
1.  Henry and Clare - The Time Traveler's Wife
Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife is one of the few books that I have re-read multiple times.  I always forget that I become super emotional after I've finished reading, but for me that's part of the reason why I love it.  Henry and Clare read like people who would exist in the world and who really love each other.  There is no insta-love.  You get to see their relationship develop over time (even if it is a bit wibbly-wobbly) and it's not always sunshine and light.  I get that the whole thing is a closed loop and that perhaps Clare didn't have a choice in falling for Mr. DeTamble or vice versa.  Yet for me, The Time Traveler's Wife is perfection and really my favourite romance is the one I have with Clare and Henry every time I pick this book up.
2.  Ivy Hisselpenny and her Hats - The Parasol Protectorate

Forget Alexia and Lord Maccon; there is no greater romance than that of a woman and her bizarre hats.  The author of The Parasol Protectorate, Gail Carriger, has a great character study of Ivy on her blog and often I find on her twitter feed Ivy hatbombs!
That's my rather short list for this week.  I was thinking of including Harry Dresden and all his friends, or Jamie and Jeremy from the Otherworld, but in the end I really only really have two favourites...What did you pick this week? 


Monday, 11 February 2013

While I've Been Away...

Lack of updates due to being away at Matt's for just over a week.  Not that there wasn't bookish things going on.It all started in the library, on the Saturday I left, where I got these out:

 I had reserved Lost Girl based on a review, found Across the Universe in the stacks (Strange Chemistry featured the series in a post about YA Sci-Fi.  After I read said post, I spotted an enthusiastic tweet from Lola at Reading By Lamplight about the third book.  Hence I decided that it was a sign from the universe that I should give it a go.) and even though there is a huge wait-list for the last book in Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy, what else was hidden amongst the other YA books?  Only Ascend!

As I was going straight from the library to the train station, there was a bit of a discussion as to whether or not I should take all three books with me.  I already had my Kindle and another book with me , so I grudgingly gave over Ascend and Lost Girl so I wouldn't have so much to carry...

This would have worked if I hadn't gone on a book binge whilst in Norwich that afternoon.  Admittedly it's not as bad as it could have been.  There was at least six other books I wanted, but I restrained myself and just went for these three:

 I had been debating whether or not to wait for the library to get a copy of Etiquette and Espionage or just go and buy myself one.  In the end I didn't do either as my fantastic boyfriend bought me a copy!

The book haul didn't stop there, as when I got home today I found this waiting for me:
That's about everything for me.  I don't know where to start once I've finished Matthew Hughes' Hell to Pay (which is excellent so's like he knew I wanted more Xaphan and decided that, yes Emma, that's a fantastic idea!).  Have you read any of the above or picked up anything interesting recently?  Let me know so I can add it to my TBR pile!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Top Ten Best Bookish Memories

This week Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is all about my best bookish memories.  I haven't been to many booky events, so mine are a bit lame but they're mine all the same.
  1. Going to the library as a kid.
  2. Getting the last Harry Potter book before going to work when I was at Uni , and then going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Christmas and nearly crying because it was totally worth the wait.
  3. Reading Chuck Wendig's Blackbirds while in Edinburgh.
  4. Going to the S.J Watson event in Norwich.
  5. Going back to the library as an adult.
  6. Being accepted into both Real Readers and the Robot Army.
  7. Accomplishing my goal of reading 100 books in a year.
  8. Reading Anna Karenina in that same year.
  9. Seeing my boyfriends face when I bought him a book that was hard to find.
  10. Starting my blog.