Monday, 17 November 2014

Hey Stranger...

I have been wanting to write a post for weeks...but I have got it in my head that all keyboards in this house are horrible to type with.  Especially the ones that involve using a touch screen.  However, I'm starting to think that maybe by using the touch screen it will encourage me to get better at typing and I will thus make fewer mistakes!

So, what have I been up to? Working, eating and sleeping appear to be my main priorities at present.   I have been reading, but not as much as last year, and have managed to squeeze a little bit of baking in too, when I don't feel like being a sloth (which is most of the time these days).  I've added a pic of my latest baking creation - Chelsea buns!

I've found myself getting overly stressed at the weekends when I'm by myself.  I tend to start listening to the more vicious thoughts that circle my brain, and they don't stop until Matt gets back in the evenings, at which point I'm a complete rage monkey.  Don't get me wrong, I like being by myself every now and then, but moving here has made me feel pretty lonely.

Enough of the you can tell I'm pretty much all in my head at the moment.  As far as reading goes, even though I've read less, I've read some extremely brilliant books this year.  A few favourites have been The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman and Lies we Tell Ourselves by Robin Lee Talley - both books that I have received from work's book club.  For Halloween, I read Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts, a collection of shorts that cemented my love for Hill.  I know that short stories are supposed to have twists, but one of the stories in there made me feel like I had been punched with a plot twist!  I also read the sequel to The Shinning, Doctor Sleep and was pleasently surprised at how much I liked it.

I'm going to try and update this blog a bit more, try and participate in Top Ten Tuesdays when I feel like I have something to contribute (does anyone else find it hard to come up with 10 books each week without feeling like they are repeating themselves), and visit other blogs.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Silent Wife

Together for many years, but never married, Todd and Jodi appear to be a perfect couple.  Jodi looks after Todd - which goes as far as overlooking his many affairs. However, their relationship begins to crumble when one Todd's current squeeze has some life changing news.  Putting Jodi's life into chaos, events begin to take a dark turn.  

Comparable to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, what with the alternating narrative of a couple in trouble, but A. S. A. Harrison's The Silent Wife is inferior in every way. This book left me wanting so much more from the almost two-dimensional characters. I wanted Todd to be an equal to Jodi; not just a selfish guy going through a mid-life crisis, who always thought that the grass was greener on the other side.  I wanted Jodi to be more aware of her actions and the consequences.  There are sparks, when she enacts tiny acts of revenge on Todd, but as the plot progresses she loses ownership and becomes passive to events unfurling around her.  Normally I like unreliable and unlike-able characters, but not this time. Both Jodie and Todd seemed to drift through a cookie cutter plot, with neither of them taking ownership of their actions.

Admittedly, The Silent Wife is easy to read, and I did like the ambiguous ending.  However, I can't think of it as more than a book that could be taken on holiday and forgotten soon after.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wednesday Bookshop Binge

You know you're a known book addict when the guy who runs the bookshop emails you to tell you he's re-stocked the free proof selection!  Tried so very hard not to squeal when I spotted the newest Rainbow Rowell book!

Monday Book Bonanza

I think I made up for not being able to buy any books last week....

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Last Bus to Coffeeville

Last Bus to Coffeeville by J. Paul Henderson follows Doc upon his journey to fulfil his college sweetheart Nancy's last request: to help her die before her Alzheimer's worsens.

I wanted so much to like this book. It has a dark sense of humour, and a old folk story vibe.  However, the charm can only last so long.  Too much space is given over to minor characters histories. I was okay learning all about Nancy, Doc and Bob.  I was sort of okay reading about Doc's godson and his troubles at the news station. But once I reached the section about Eric's parents, and then Eric's parent's friends, my patience ran out.  Superfluous not only in the words compacted into sentences, but in sentences packed into chapters, for me Last Bus...could have benefited from a major edit.  There was no focus, and you know it's bad when the main event, the main plot of the story mentioned in the blurb, still hasn't happened 200 pages in.

I understand that the author was trying to fit in everything synonymous with America throughout the decades (small village life, war, secret government missions, the secret life of the neighbour, race issues, cult issues, cuba, etc etc.).  However, he was so concerned about packing all this in that the main focus - a friend helping another to carry out her wishes - got lost, and that is a real shame.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Friday Bookshop Binge

No bookshop binges next week, as the guy who runs it is on holiday. To make up for this I ordered the new Miriam Black book, The Cormorant. Can't wait! In the mean time I'll have to make do with my last purchase for January.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Wednesday Book Shop Binge

At first, I thought that I was going to walk out empty handed...and then I found Ella minnow pea....and then The Bookshop...and then William Shakespeare's Star Wars!
Days like that are the best.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Guess who's back?

I'm back...ish.  I'm not in the full swing of all things blog related just yet, but wanted to do a little update post before I hopefully start putting the life back in my pancake.  So much has happened in the last three months, I'm not quite sure where to start.

I Moved
When I wrote my last post there was barely anything of mine in the house.  Now there's lots of my stuff.  Which includes Twoey, a present from my friend Rosie, so named because I have a feeling he'll be saying "must be blood...must be fresh!" any day now.

I Started a New Job
I started a new job at a company that distributes books back in October, and have met some lovely people.  But the best part has to be the books. Oh the books!  Please see the picture below of all the books I have purchased/obtained over the past three months.  The best part is that I haven't spent more than £20 on the whole lot.

I also joined a book club at work, where I get a proof copy of a book to review two months before its release.  I've read two books so far, the first I wasn't that impressed by, the second I loved.  I'm not sure if I can post more substantial reviews on here straight away, but once the books are released, then I'm sure it will be okay.

The Hard Stuff
Not everything's been good.  I'd been waiting for the catch...and it came when my Nan died on the 23rd of November.  The 50th Aniversary for Doctor Who was that day, and they had a #savetheday campaign running for a few months prior.  I know it sounds silly, but The Doctor really did save my day, without messrs Smith, Tennant and Hurt to give me a bit of light relief for 75 minutes...well...

My love of reading is because my mum loves reading.  And she loves reading because nanny loved reading.  I remember when my sister wasn't into reading (she is now) and my nan was worried, "because you're never alone if you've got a book."

So, yeah.  Good times, bad times, 2013 was a really weird mix of a year. But enough of then.  This is now.  In 2014 I hope to be sharing more reviews with you, visiting other blogs and commenting a whole lot more, not to mention sharing pictures on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of my book shop binges.  Who knows, I may even change the name of this blog if I can come up with something good.  So, here's to another year of blogging.  Let's hope it's a good one.