Monday, 16 October 2017

The Seagull by Ann Cleeves (Vera Stanhope #8)

Book Review

The Seagull by Ann Cleeves - Reading, Writing, Booking

"If only you knew, she thought, you sophisticated customers in your dinner jackets and glittering dresses, sitting on the terrace drinking cocktails and champagne. If only you knew what really goes on here."

The Seagull is written by Ann Cleeves and published by Macmillan.

I'm back from holiday with a good'un, a review of the latest book in the Vera Stanhope series, The Seagull. I managed to get through quite a lot of books on my week off but none as quickly as this one, which I read in a day.

Anyone who's concerned that Ann Cleeves might be losing momentum in the Vera series need not worry, The Seagull has the same intricate story, realistic characters and atmospheric Northumberland setting, and of course, the brilliant creation of Vera Stanhope.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Mini Blog Break

I'm taking a break for blogging while I'm on holiday for two weeks.
I was going to schedule blog posts but I've been far to busy/lazy.
I've got lots of books to read while I'm off so I'll be back with lots of book reviews.
See you soon.

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Monday, 2 October 2017

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Book Review

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan - Reading, Writing, Booking

"He would die to stay alive, to savor the sensuous gallop of his thoughts toward some truth he hadn't yet perceived."

Manhattan Beach will be released in the UK on 3rd October 2017. It is written by Jennifer Egan and published by Corsair.

I'm still not sure how I feel about Manhattan Beach. It has a strange way of encroaching on you and, even though it's not a thrill a minute, you can't put it down. And yet, I felt that the story was a bit too meandering and had too many different directions, many of which came to nothing in the end.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

10 Stephen King Tattoos - Literary Ink Series

Welcome back to another literary tattoos post.

I've featured tattoos inspired by children's stories and Jane Austen's classic works, but this time it's a little bit different, these are tattoos from horror expert Stephen King.

I'm a big fan of Stephen King's books, but I'm not sure I'd want some of his more horrific characters and scenes inked permanently on my skin. Still, it was fun looking for these tattoos and there are some amazing ones out there; not just characters and images but Stephen King quotes too.

I've tried to just include tattoos inspired by King's books, so, though there are some amazing tattoos of Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, I've not included them as they're influenced more by the films than the book. Though I'm sure there are some with a bit of crossover.

There are still some great Stephen King tattoos though, check them out.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben

Book Review

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben - Reading, Writing, Booking

"After all these years, they found me."

Don't Let Go will be released in the UK tomorrow (26th September 2017). It is written by Harlan Coben and published by Century.

If I was a teacher marking this book it would be a B- with the note; good effort but must try harder.

Harlan Coben is an established author but to me Don't Let Go read like a newbie author's offering, there's a good story in there, but it needs work. To be fair, I've never actually read any of his books before, and he's a bestselling author so he's obviously doing something right, but Don't Let Go just felt a bit...sloppy to me.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère

Book Review

The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère - Reading, Writing, Booking

"I was thinking of the big white void that had slowly taken over inside him until all that was left was that semblance of a man dressed in black."

The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception is written by Emmanuel Carrère and published by Vintage.

I'd never heard of The Adversary before, or Jean-Claude Romand, but when I saw this latest edition on NetGalley I had to request it as the true story sounded so incredible. In fact, I think if the story of a man conning his family for almost 20 years and then killing them all before his secret could come out was written in a fiction, I would have said it wasn't believable.

And yet, real life is often stranger than fiction, Luckily, Carrère tells this story in a way that is quite understated, letting the brutality of the crime do the talking rather than courting controversy by inserting thrills. The Adversary is a well written and fascinating exploration of a crime and the criminal.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Audiobook vs Reading - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - Reading, Writing, Booking

This is a general ramble on my part, a little bit about the pros and cons of listening to audiobooks over reading, it's not specifically about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but as that's the audiobook I've just finished I'll mention it here.

First off, let me say, I loved The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Even though I'd never fully read it before I grew up knowing large parts of it because my Dad quoted it all the time

"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."

I quite often thought he was mad, going on about depressed robots and whales falling through the air, but all becomes clear once you read it, or listen to it.

That's what this is, it's not a review, I'll tell you right now that I gave it four and a half stars, I'd give it five but I only give it to my very favourite books and this didn't quite make it.
But part of me wonders if this is because I listened to it on Audible instead of reading it. Did I miss out on something? Or did I gain more by having it read to me by the wonderful Stephen Fry?

This is quite a rambling post about my own experience with audiobooks, if you want you can skip to the bottom where there's a simple pros and cons summary of audiobooks vs 'real' books.