I thought a blog would be a great way to exchange book recommendations as I love reading and writing reviews. I've also started putting pen to paper, and have recently completed a creative writing course. Maybe you'll be reading one of my books down the line!?
If you want to share about what you're reading, or anything at all for that matter, let loose and go for it!
Here's my update post. I'm swamped with work for nanowrimo (national novel writing month) that kicks off on November 1st, so I'm just going for one bingo this year, I think. I previously said that my wild card author was Belinda Bauer, but that was when I was intending to use her novels for more than one square. Instead I've opted for Robert Galbraith, whose novel Lethal White, I'm reading right now. I'm using it for one of the two available squares on the right hand side, either Modern Horror or Cozy Mystery. I haven't decided yet.
The picture of my cat Mac (the one in the box), is for squares called. My cat, Walter, lying on my bed, is to mark squares I've read and the picture of the two of them together if for squares called and read.
Classic Horror/Cryptozoologist/Cozy Mystery/New Release/southern gothic/terrifying women/a grimm tale/modern horror/creepy carnivals/relics and curiosities/murder most foul/diverse voices/amateur sleuth/supernatural/shifters/ghost stories/doomsday/13/terror in a small town
What I've Read So Far:
Suspense: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Terrifying Women: Penance by Kanae Minato
Terror in a Small Town: The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
Darkest London: A Very English Scandal by John Preston
Unfortunately I’ve been ill for the last few weeks and in the brief periods I’ve been well I’ve been preparing for Nanaowrimo (national novel writing month), which I’m going to be participating in this year. I’m finally getting back to some semblance of normality, so I feel up to writing a review of this fantastic book. As reading has taken a back seat recently, I’ve decided to just go for one bingo. Thriller/suspense isn’t really my genre, so I’ll be more than happy with one bingo.
It would be easy to forget that this is a work of non-fiction, based on the personal life of Jeremy Thorpe, the Liberal Democrat leader. For my American friends, the Lib Dems are one of the three main political parties here in the UK. They typically get a very meagre share of the seats available in the House of Commons, with the Conservative and Labour party holding the lions share.
Before Jeremy became the leader of his party he’d done some things, specifically in his personal life, that he didn’t want to come to light. At the start of the book he relates this problem to his fellow party member and so begins a plot to cover it up. Jeremy’d been involved in a homosexual relationship in his younger days and, at the time, homosexuality was illegal. The man he had this relationship with had letters which alluded to the affair, although by no means specific. Jeremy knows that if the letters become public, though, he’ll be tarnished and unable to continue in the public sphere.
Jeremy doesn’t actually do much of anything to rectify the situation, but elicits the help of his friends and fellow party members to do so instead. He was apparently such an infectious and charismatic character that his closest would do almost anything to protect him. The establishment did their part in helping to cover things up, as well. This is most abundantly clear at trial towards the end of the book.
The book is written in a sparse and journalistic style, as you’d expect from a work of non-fiction, but the plot is so fascinating that that has little bearing.
I watched the mini-series starring Hugh Grant right after I finished and the perspective the book was told from (Jeremy’s fellow party member) was lost in the screen adaption. The overall feel of the adaption felt a little different due to this, but the book was followed closely in most other regards. Overall, though, it was quite good, with a great performance from Hugh Grant who played Jeremy.
This was a very topical novel that I read for the new release square. It was about a seventeen-year-old girl called Sofia, from London, who moves to Syria to further the Islamic cause. Her father follows her over in order to try and persuade her to come home. We therefore have a duel narrative.
Aside from what you might think in regards to a book with such a topical theme, I found it lacking in substance somewhat.
When we meet Sofia she’s very ardent in her belief of the cause and this got a bit repetitive. Every problem she encounters is a test and she twists every event to suit the Koran.
She marries almost as soon as she arrives in Syria and also works for a type of militia at the same time. She begins communicating with a girl via twitter, who is actually her father (this happens early on) and using the internet as a means to locate her. The people surrounding her are always called brother and sister (hence the title), but this is where any sense of community between them ends. The majority of her associates, even a man she marries, are distant, cold and often violent. They have clearly been ravaged by war, resulting in warped personalities. Sofia continues to rationalise every occurrence she doesn’t agree with until her father finds her. This was the part of the novel I struggled with the most. There was much anger from Sofia towards her father and I kept waiting for this to be expanded on. Eventually when the two of them were alone this issue of animosity was discussed, but it was light on detail and substance. What I really couldn’t get past was Sofia’s about turn soon after she saw her father. All past discretion's were seemingly forgotten and Sofia, someone who was ardent in her beliefs, dropped them very quickly in an effort to escape. I admit, there was a very good reason for her to do this, but it just felt too easy.
Sofia’s narrative and her fathers were interesting, if a little scant. There didn’t feel like a huge amount of depth to them. Events were interesting and there were a couple of occasions were I was shocked, but except for the fact that I learnt some new things, it wasn’t great. The characters lacked much depth and the ending was a little predictable.
I read this for the new release square.
The authors debut novel, Conversations with Friends, is one of my favourites I've read this year, so regardless of Bingo, I felt physically compelled to read it her latest effort. I couldn't look at it just sitting on my kindle anymore! I'm not going for a blackout in bingo anyhow and this is very short at just over 200 pages, so I decided to go for it. I can happily say that it's excellent already. It's about two young people and charts their relationship from school to University. Another bonus, it's set in Dublin, just 200 miles from me.
Apologies, I have neglected Booklikes of late, but I'm back with a vengeance, in more ways than one. Here's a quote I particularly enjoyed. I'm sure you can all guess who it's alluding to, satirically, of course:
"How would you write it? If you decided to write it's story?"
Now it was Sam's turn to smile.
"Oh, I don't know..."
"I do," she said confidently. She pushed off from the railing and began to slowly circle Sam as she talked, forcing him to turn to follow her. "You would start with a character from some seemingly perfect small town, someone not unlike yourself. You know, a little bland."
Sam gave a snort. "Sounds good so far."
"And the house wouldn't be in the country; it would be right in the middle of town so you could overpopulate the book with too many characters and Midwestern details. No offence."
Something totally different for my next read. This is about a seventeen-year-old girl who's been radicalised and moved to Syria. Her father's trying to find her. The chapters alternate between her and him as he tries to track her down. I'm really enjoying reading something a bit different. The plot is exciting, the writing well done and the characters fascinating.