Happy Monday everyone.

It’s been a long but brilliant week. I had a bit of a mind clearer on Saturday which I think I’ll write a post about soon. For now though, here’s what has made my week commencing Feb 20.

Coffee Eclairs

During the working week we had a coffee minute with the other teams in our building. We only moved to our new office block recently and haven’t had a chance to meet everyone. A couple of minutes to introduce ourselves and say hello was lavely. Oh, and they had the most incredible coffee cream eclairs. (Amazing to photograph too.)

Week Commencing Feb 20: Coffee Eclairs

Pokemon Go (Gen 2)

I am a biggggg Pokemon Go fan (still.) It’s been months since I deliberately went out but recently. We’ll I’m a bit re-obsessed. Favourites include Phanpy, Girafarig and Sudowoodo. Any other players in and around Greenwich hit a gal up? We could grab coffee and search for Tyranitar.

Week Commencing Feb 20: Pokemon Go Girafarig

Greenwich Open Days

Many will know I work for the University of Greenwich. I had the chance to take over the Universities Snapchat for a couple of hours during the open day and laved it. It makes me want to maybe try Instagram stories. Here’s a favourite photograph I took during the day.

Week Commencing Feb 20: Living Wall at Greenwich

Wordbrain

Favourite new app of the moment. Wordbrain is a word puzzle which asks you to find hidden words. You have a grid of letters and a number of words to find, but you have to do it in the right order. Oh, and find the correct words. It can seem impossible but it’s a fantastic mind mess. I’m currently only ranked as rat brain but I’m working through the puzzles one by one. I’ll get to the Unicorn brain eventually. One to definitely download.

Back to the gym

I’ve been slacking on the gym. It’s only been a few weeks but I’ve just not been going. But, the lighter mornings and evenings have really helped. I’ve felt stronger, more determined and mentally prepared to take on the weight-loss plateau I’ve been in.

Week Commencing Feb 20: Gym Time

T

I wanted to make a special shout-out to T this week. He’s been a super-star this. Coming to rescue me at the supermarket (bulk buying is tough when you’re a tiny human.) Bringing me coffee during my stint at the open day, and making me cry laugh whilst watching The Client List. Love you boo.

There’s my week commencing. How was yours?

 

You know when you buy a book for someone and they just don’t love it. Or they keep slightly quiet about it. Well, I bought this for T a couple of months back because he’s a cat person. (I’m not a cat person in the slightest.) Seeing as he was trying to read quite heavy political books at the time I thought – he would love that. Turns out he didn’t. So I decided to read it and let you know what I thought – so read on to find out.

Blurb

A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another. 

One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby Garden. But then something happens that will change everything again.

The Guest Cat is an exceptionally moving and beautiful novel about the nature of life and the way it feels to live it. The book won Japan’s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award and was a bestseller in France and America.

My Review

Right, so The Guest Cat is a very simple novella with a very simple plot-line. A young couple renting a beautiful guesthouse become enamoured by a tiny cat who they attempt to entice into their home. Refusing to pick her up or invade her space the cat quickly becomes a regular visitor and soon has the young couple under her spell. The couple know that the tenure in the guesthouse will come to an end in a few short months. The older couple who own the house attached to it are becoming a little old and frail and the estate will be sold and bulldozed to be made into flats. With this in mind, the couple spends as much time with the darling cat Chibi. The story narrates the touching story of the warmth, light and meaning the little cat brings to the lives of the couple.

I might seem a little bland or a little two dimensional but this book is so much more than that; it brings a life lesson both of love, companionship and respect. The Guest Cat is written in first person narration, almost in a memoir recollection. It has both detailed paragraphs and events that pinpoint important moments in the life of the couple of the cat. (There is cause to believe this is a true story.) There is very little interaction between characters it’s really a focus on the relationship between the couple and the cat that grows beautifully throughout.

The writing is very poetic and very descriptive and I have to say it’s my very favourite writing style. I love overly descriptive text and I think at times this can cause the story to become very loose in terms of tangents and time frames. Maybe at times this could cause some readers to become bored. (I think this is where T struggled with the book) but for me, it just wove stronger the bonds between the three ‘characters,’ and as I continued through I grew quite attached despite the shortness of the book.

There are inconsistencies. Chibi the cat is described with different colourings at one point which is a minor flaw. Additionally but at one point the wife and the cat have quite a tense falling out, Chibi bites her and she, in turn, discards the bed they’ve set up, the toys they’ve accumulated; but a passage or so later they are fine the cat is back and there is no explanation. I did like however that Chibi is referred to throughout but the humans are never named. The writer, his poet wife, the friend named Y – the names referred to towards the end are all cats. I liked this.

Final Thoughts

I get why T wasn’t sure on this. On a superficial level, it’s a story about a cat and a young couple and their relationship. Underneath it’s about so much more. The trouble of housing, the relationships that are altered and damaged by the cat, the personality changes from having a new companion and the climax of the story how this can abruptly change at any moment (for multiple reasons.) This is a decent little read that will entertain, provide a little philosophical insight but will probably really you consider getting your own little Chibi.

Amazon – Goodreads 

 

 

Books I've Lied about reading

I have a confession; it’s months and months since I read a classic book. PLEASE DON’T ATTACK ME.

I went through a stage of really getting into classic books; I read them in the bath, on the floor of trains, on buses and snuggled up in bed. Might have made it through half the list I promised myself I would read and then for some reason I stopped. Over the last 6 months I put down all the classics and pretty much have only been picking up crime and thriller books since.

I clicked onto Facebook this morning (#PRODUCTIVITY) and this post flashed up; How Many Of These Books Have You Lied About Reading?

I love Buzzfeed and their click-bait titles, and I thought what the hell. I ended up with this answer.

You checked 5 out of 52 on the list.

You’re not bothered about how cultured you’re perceived to be. You’re not into the
classics and don’t mind who knows that. Lying about the books you’ve read is a slippery slope that you refuse to fall down.

So, these are the books that I might have white lied about reading and to be completely honest with you, I’m not even that ashamed.

The List

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I feel many readers, as like myself might have at some point said a tiny porky as to whether they’ve read someone’s favourite classic. Maybe in this situation:

Person in Love with the book: “Oh god, everyone has read Gone with the Wind! Seriously, it’s an honour to have been born in a time where it was written.”

Lizzy (awkwardly) “Oh, never read it myself – cover put me off. Think I might have heard good things but not put my mind to it yet.”

Person in Love with the book: “Well, right, bye.”

Okay, maybe not as extreme as that but it’s how I’ve felt on numerous occasions. It’s like when you meet a boy and they ask you whether you’ve heard of a certain band. Suddenly they are your favourite band despite the fact you’ve never heard of them.

“Oh, didn’t they do a secret gig in Manchester 4 years ago – yeah I was there. Wore a band tee and they picked me out from the crowd. Pretty cool tbh with you. Oh you didn’t hear of that very secret gig, well can’t call yourself much of a fan can you.”

So, I thought today we could come clean about the classic books we might have lied about reading. In the spirit of positivity let’s not get down that we never made it through Oliver Twist or that we found Pip’s journey a massive let down (Great Expectations is not a book I own up to have read – I despised it.)

PS: I just want to point out Buzzfeed it’s not that I’m not into classics.  Just, I haven’t read them yet.

Let me know which bookish white lie reads you want to get off your chest in the comments.

 

snowflake

Hellllo readers hope you’re well – I apologise that the blog has been a little off for a while there’s a reason for that and it’s also the reason they’ve been a lot more guest postings but I will get into this. I currently have very little internet and unfortunately before that day came that the internet just wasn’t there I had quite a few scheduled up to post so I apologise it’s been a little heavy on guest postings recently. Today I have a fantastic guest post from Lynn Case and it’s a brilliant interview so I hope you won’t mind! Enjoy 😀

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Well, I’m, just a country girl at heart, I have lived most of my life in California.  Except for a few years spent in Alaska while my husband, Dan, was serving in the U.S. Army. We have two grown children and many pets. Multiple dogs, cats and a very curious cockatoo named Clyde. I love to cook, if you follow my blog on my website www.lynncasebooks.com you will see a few recipes that I like to share and I love to write.  I don’t always make public the things I write, but some I do.

We have traveled across the country and have visited thirty eight states in the U.S. some multiples times.  Through our travels is where I get some of the inspirations for my stories. Writing short stories here and there while growing up, being a private person, I never shared my writings, even with close friends or family.   Much less allow them to be made public.  I was strongly encouraged to publish my first novel, Fear’s Revenge in September 2013.

I received tremendous feedback from readers so I decided to release my second novel, Return to Lily Cove in March 2014 and just his past August I released my third novel, Gabrielle, lost and I am currently working on my fourth novel in the series, Feathers in the Wind.  Hopefully, I can get this one done and released in early 2016.

Who or What inspired you to start writing this book?

I kept having scene run through my mind and after a few days of it repeating itself I decided to start writing them down.  Day after day until the first book was done.  Then it was onto the next story.

aa__fears_revenge_icon__med

What three words would you use to describe this book?

Roller coaster ride, maybe? That’s what one reader said about it.  I really liked that description. 

Who is your target group for this book?

My books are about women in their late 30’s.  Because basically us women are never older than that, right ladies?  So my target group is women 18 and over.  I feel that some of the chapters are a little graphic, so I wouldn’t recommend them for younger audiences. 

Tell us about this book.

Allison Symms had forgotten everything about that night over twenty years ago.  The night she was held captive in an old cabin in the woods. Last thing she can remember is running through the woods and crashing head on into something, falling back knocking herself unconscious.

She doesn’t remember anything about that night until one day she gets knocked over by a city bus taking a turn to sharp and hits her head against a flower planter and goes unconscious once again.  Then she begins to have horrific nightmares and flashbacks to events that she can’t remember.

After seeing her therapist and undergoing hypnosis, all is revealed about the lost events of that one traumatic night. Allison decides to take the law into her own hands and take Fears Revenge on the four boys that held her captive.

As each detailed step of revenge Allison takes against, Cole, Tyler, Tony and Bobby she is beginning the healing and growing process in more ways than she bargained for. 

Do you have a favorite chapter from this book?

In Fears Revenge my favorite chapter is definitely chapter 15.  I think I was laughing the whole time I was writing the main scene. 

What do you hope people will gain from reading this book?

Well, I hope they enjoy reading my novels for stories themselves.  I do hope the readers ultimately get the message that regardless of what or how your life has turned out we make our life what we want.  If we don’t like what we have been dealt with in life, we have the inner power and strength to change it.  

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?

All my novels are available in print in perfect bound, hard bound and in ebook for those readers to download on their iPads, tablets and smart phone.

What advice would you give to other Writers?

Write, just write.  Write it down.  Whatever comes to mind, it may not make sense to you right now, but later on it might.  Just keep writing, never give up something you love doing.

 Tell us the link where potential readers can buy this book.

My books re available pretty much everywhere.  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Books, Xlibris and my website www.lynncasebooks.com 

Any additional links?

My website :  www.lynncasebooks.com

Facebook :  https://www.facebook.com/Lynncasebooks/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lynncasebooks

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcq2uOH7XoyU8P6UEBvaCqw

 Is there anything else you would like to share about this book?

 Yes, It has been reviewed and had a Hollywood Coverage completed and is available for movie or television.

aa_book_photo__lynn_case

So there we go readers – a fantastic interview with a really fantastic author. Have a wonderful Tuesday and I hope you enjoy the post later today too!

 

street-preacher-by-aaron-davis-1

Helllo readers, cheeky little Sunday posting for you. I’ve got a really exciting post for you next week which I’m going to be typing up tomorrow *eeee* but for now, a really super lovely guest post from Aaron Davis and the book Street Preacher.

When John begins shouting his sermons in the middle of crowded downtown sidewalks, his only goal is to collect enough money for some food and a place to sleep.

. . . INSTEAD . . .

. . . he finds himself on the path to faith, a path that may cost him more than he ever imagined.

Can you describe your book to my readers in three ish sentences?

Street Preacher is somewhat inspired by Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood” That is to say, I was reading that a lot while I wrote my novel. Mine, however, is about the struggle to find faith beyond just simply saying “I believe” or affiliating with a church. This struggle is observed by various characters that each reflect different views of faith. There is John who is the protagonist. George who has no faith. Marty who is a sort of jaded, ministry-worn sort of Christian. Jennifer is an idealist. And Walter usually comes into the book to speak truth, though he is not without his faults.


Who is your favourite character from the book and why?

My favorite character is Walter, because he authentically loves others despite his own homeless situation. It was tempting to make him perfect so I had to add a bit of pride to him, but I think that is common. Even at our best, we all struggle somewhere.

Is there anything in the book you wish you had changed now that it’s out there in the world; a different sub-plot or maybe a new character completely? (I love asking this question!)

If I were to add more to this book, I would have developed Marty a little more. He runs the shelter, so he cares, but he also has an almost jaded view from working there so long

street-preacher-by-aaron-davis

So is this the only book in the series? (Or will there be more?)

This book is not part of a series, no.

Do you have any other books, or plans to write more?

I have two other projects in the works.  I am writing a book of my own struggles with depression and I am writing a novel about a police detective tracking down a serial killer. The theme of that book is vengeance vs justice.

Where can my readers follow more of your writing?

People can learn all about my writing, plus read blogs and poetry at www.authoraarondavis.com

So there we go, a lovely little post with the author Aaron Davis! Have a fantastic evening and thank you to this wonderful author for letting me feature his book on MLBB!

Links

Amazon