Hol

Hi everyone,

 

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!

Reading progress update: I've read 20%.

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment - John M. Preston

This is my next read and I'm really enjoying it. Intrigue and scandal at it's best.

 

Bingo Call: 9/11/18

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:

Reading progress update: I've read 41%.

The Good Sister - Chris Morgan Jones

It's fascinating learning about the warped thought process that justifies Islamic fundamentalism.

Reading progress update: I've read 35%.

The Good Sister - Chris Morgan Jones

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.

 

 

Halloween Update Post

Here's my update post. I may or may not use this as a master post. We'll see. My strategy, at the minute, is to just read whatever books I fancy most. I can just see how it's going to turn out; I'm not going to get a bingo until the last week or something! However, I really don't mind all that much, I'd far rather read the books I want to for now.

 

Markers       

 

The picture of my cat Mac (the one in the box), is for squares called. The other picture, my cat, Walter, lying on my bed, is to mark squares I've read.

 

 

Called

 

Classic Horror/Cryptozoologist/Cozy Mystery/New Relealse

 

 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

The Stepford Wives - Ira Levin

I’ve always had a soft spot for Ira Levin and saw this book on a list when I was looking for something to fill the terror in a small town square. I haven’t seen the film and came to it as unspoilt as is possible with such an iconic story.

 

The story follows Joanna, who’s just moved to Stepford with her husband, Walter, and two children. When she moves in she wants to make some friends in the community, but soon becomes aware that the women of Stepford aren’t interested in much other than housework.

 

A central focus is the men’s association which is a group for the men of Stepford to preside over community matters, although this is never clearly defined. Immediately Joanne is unhappy with this, being a big supporter of the women’s liberation movement. She tries, without much success, to start a women’s group in the community, but eventually finds out that something similar was in effect several years ago. She then begins to wonder why the women of Stepford have changed so dramatically, going from women who had their own group and were interested in feminism, to women who are apparently only interested in housework. She beings to uncover the secrets of Stepford slowly, with the help of her friend, Bobbie.

 

For such a short book it has a big impact and raises a lot of question, many that are still relevant now, like whether men actually appreciate women for themselves, or just what they represent in a home. Aside from the themes, I always enjoy the sparse writing style of Ira Levin as it makes space for more character-building. His books never meander, sticking very much to the point. Nothing he gives the reader is filler and always has a point.

 

There were quite a few questions left unanswered and as I’m not a proponent of ambiguous endings, that wasn’t my favourite aspect, but the power of the story made up for it in spades.

 

                      

Penance by Kanae Minato

Penance - Kanae Minato

I loved Minato’s last book and after discovering a number of weeks ago this book was out, I decided to read it for bingo and had another agonising wait.

 

The book follows a group of women who witnessed a murder when they were children. The group of girls all said they couldn’t remember what the murderer looked like at the time, so the mother of the murdered girl blames them for the perpetrator never being found. She tells them a few years after the murder, when they’re still children, that she’ll enact revenge on them unless they (a) catch the murderer, or (b) commit some act of penance that she’ll be happy with. We then follow each woman independently, in adulthood, carrying out whatever task she’s chosen.

 

This novel was completely different to the authors debut. Her other book was an out-and-out suspense and I expected this one to follow a similar path. There were surprises, but they were sparse. In favour of shocks, the author went for a much more literary feel, contained within a crime narrative. Going by the blurb I expected a crime novel, but something a bit more than what I got. This felt almost like five interconnected short stories, rather than a novel. What I loved so much about the author in her previous book wasn’t really there this time. She still has the ability to craft a twisty tale, but these sections were confined and not the overarching emphasis. I still enjoyed it, I just expected something different than what I got. I’ve been reading quite a bit of crime lately and it’s been done better. I got the feeling the author isn’t sure where she’s going or what she wants.

 

The main similarity with the first novel was that questions concerning morality were explored and weaved throughout. We got all sides of the picture, which was one of the most satisfying aspects.

 

I didn’t much like where the novel ended and feel it would have benefited from another 50-100 pages. As it was it was quite short, at just over 200 pages.

 

                     

Reading progress update: I've read 15%.

The Stepford Wives - Ira Levin

Next read. I've always enjoyed Ira Levin and I come to this one mostly unspoilt.

 

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Reading progress update: I've read 240 out of 240 pages.

Penance - Kanae Minato

Well, that was very different to her first novel which was littered with suspense. This was more of a literary crime thriller. Much more sedate. I enjoyed it, but nowhere near as much as her first.               

 

                       

Look what came in the post today...

BT very kindly offered to send me her copy of The Book Lover by Ali Smith and I received it today, beautifully packaged and in great condition. Thank you so much, BT, I'll read it at the first opportunity.

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 60 out of 240 pages.

Penance - Kanae Minato

The first chapter read like a short story, so I'm interested to see where it'll go.

Board and Markers

I don't know how this'll come out, but I've spent ages on it with only minimal computer software. My markers are my cat Walter (silver tabby lying on my bed), for squares read and my other cat Mac (ginger), for squares called. I just posted it and had a  look and you know what? It'll do :)

 

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil - Jay R. Galbraith

I enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling so much, like being reacquainted with Strike and Robin, that I wanted to read the third book in the series, Career of Evil, right away. Bingo came calling, though and since I knew it’d fit perfectly I hung on….by the shards of my nails!

 

Career of Evil picks up pretty soon after Cuckoo’s Calling with Robin preparing for her impending wedding to Matthew, her fiance. Strike’s P.I business is doing well, he’s got a good number of clients and is finally beginning to make traction. All that comes crumbling down, though, when Robin receives a package in the mail which contains a severed leg! His business begins to feel the strain as people see him as being connected with the killer. Strike has 3 possible culprits in mind, so he and Robin begin investigating them.

 

This was my favourite book in the series. I really liked Cuckoo’s calling because it built on Strike and Robin’s relationship, but this one went a step further. What’s most important here is what’s not said between the pair as they spend an increasing amount of time with each other. Their relationship becomes deeper and with that comes another dimension, exacerbated by a crisis between Robin and Matthew. I did feel there was a certain completion to their relationship at the end, so maybe the next book will focus more heavily on the case they’re investigating.

 

As always with JK Rowling aka Robert Galbraith, every conversation, every character, every plot development is meticulously thought out and therefore has an authenticity it’s hard to find elsewhere. I know I say a lot that characters are very believable and authentic, but with JK Rowling it’s of a higher degree than most other books. She doesn’t overload on details, gives just enough and weaves it through a narrative which is hard to put down.

 

Like the second instalment this one is quite grizzly, so bear that in mind if you pick it up.

 

I’m on the library list already for the next instalment (which isn’t even out), but seeing as I’m waaayyyy down I think it’ll be a while before I get to it. I’d be more eager to read it if I thought the relationship between Robin and Strike was going in a new direction, but I don’t feel that. In a way this book felt like a line was drawn under their relationship. I’ll still read it, though…eventually.

 

                     

Bingo Call: 9/3/18

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:

Reading progress update: I've read 7 out of 240 pages.

Penance - Kanae Minato

I've been so excited to start this, ever since my hard copy came through the postbox on Friday. I absolutely loved her other book, Confessions, so can't wait to get stuck in. When I discovered classic horror was called I did wobble a bit, but no, this is the one I really want to read, so classic horror can wait.

 

                        

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Career of Evil - Jay R. Galbraith

I'm a little bit behind, but I just finished my first bingo read! Now I have to make a definitive choice in regards to markers. Get a move on Hol!

 

                      

Currently reading

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment by John M. Preston
Progress: 20%
The Good Sister by Chris Morgan Jones
Progress: 100%