Hellllo readers, time for another Top Ten Tuesday’s post and I can tell today’s is going to be utterly difficult. Ten Wishes you would want your genie to grant you? More BOOKISH WISHES PLEASE! Gah, there are so many things I want, it’s going to be a toughie to knock it down to ten but I’ll give it a go, you know me.
Power over the reading slump:
The first would have to be, to have the power to always know what book to read if I’m stuck in a reading slump. Honestly this would just be – perfect.
Portable Library please
I would like a portable library – kinda like a Tardis but smaller. So I could crawl into a trunk and it would actually be a full sized library that I could potentially carry with me ie on holiday or moving house, and it is never full. That would need to be a must.
Meet Amber from The Chocolate Run
This one may seem a little odd but many of you know how much I adore Amber from the book The Chocolate Run. If we could go and stuff our faces with chocolate and wine I would be a very happy lady.
Mr Boddington’s classics collection from Anthropologie
I saw these stunning covers on a lifestyle bloggers youtube video I think and was like – I NEED. Much to my luck they’re all sold out. Sorry wha! I would like them all, stacked up in my portable library!
Okay, so this is a bit different but I’d love the ability to sniff out books; not in a physical way but to enter book stores and feel the books – so if there’s a sneaky Bukowski hidden away with a stunning cover, or a first edition Austen hidden behind a Jeremy Clarkson autobiography (you never know) I would love to have the ability to feel the books. If that makes sense!
Allllll the moneys
An unlimited book budget – so all the books would be mineeeeee
A bookmark that can never be lost
Pretty self-explanatory based on everything I’ve written on my ability to keep bookmarks. Or maybe a spell that I can open to the page I was last on. Hmmmm – Accio-pageturneroverer?’
NO SOUND PLEASE
You know when you’re reading and you’re on the bus and someone is having an argument with their mum/aunt/dog and you’re like no, stop it, I would like to be able to just block them out and create a bubble around my reading lovliness.
Less bookish more blogish, but I wish a genie could just post on my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads because I am just rubbish at remembering. That would be nice.
Finally, I would like to have rowdy drunken curry with J,K Rowling, Bukowski, Shakespeare, Dorothy Koomson, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer and Stella Newman please.
These would be so wonderful if they came true although never will *sobs* What would add to my list?
So, it’s Sunday and the end of this celebration of mylittlebookbookblog. I’m going to keep it short because I’ve waffled enough this week.
I’ve learnt a lot blogging and I’ve learn a lot about myself in doing so and to be honest with you, I think that this blog has ultimately saved me from a number of cripplingly scary moments. My life right now is a little in limbo and it’s terrifying. I’m not sure what I want to do let alone where I want to be and in the last ten months I’ve seen the worst of myself and the panic that comes from graduating and feeling a little lost. But this blog has brought out the best of me.
I have felt so wonderfully supported and this blog has been a life saver and I just wanted to really say thank you. From my mushy emotional and slightly whimsical heart. Because you are the best people that I could have ever wished for. All the authors, the bloggers, the tweeters, the likers the commenters and the emailers (these are not words) but all of you. Thank you. Thank you so much and here’s to another year of this pretty goddamn wonderful tiny space of the internet that I have found I’m able to call home.
Afternoon readers, a little news from my little book blog. On the 29th of April 2015 I will be celebrating the two year official anniversary of mylittlebookblog.com. I can not believe how much this blog has given me in terms of confidence in my writing and reviewing, the sheer number of authors, readers, publishers and book bloggers I have met who have been such a joy to get to know and the number of books I’ve read and been introduced to. I will be celebrating the two years blogging between the dates of the 29th of April and the 3rd of May and would love as many of you to get involved as possible. Whether that’s a guest post, helping me with a give-away in terms of prizes or just sharing my blog posts on the day. If you would like to get in touch please comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“If you take a book with you on a journey,” Mo had said when he put the first one in her box, “an odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it… yes, books are like flypaper—memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.”
― Cornelia Funke, Inkheart
When I found out that ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ was written by Rowling I didn’t have the immediate feeling of getting hold of a copy and giving it a read. I may have been an avid HP fan but this book really didn’t take my fancy. Despite myself I downloaded a copy, to which it sat untouched, for months until I was having a terrible day at university and found myself reaching for my Kindle. As soon as I read the first page I was hooked; I devoured this book and thought it was a brilliant piece of writing! So settle down and get stuck into this review!
Comoran Strike is a soldier who after being sent to Afghanistan has come back from the war, and after being hurt in an accident and losing a limb he has had to start a new life and become a private investigator. Strike is a brute of a man however he is a modern-adaptation of the hard-mannered detective. He drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney and after the ending of his on/off relationship with Charlotte causing him to find himself homeless, Cormoran Strike is a mess. However, he is not lost, actually he is far from it. Strike is a hard working character, with analytic skills, an understanding of how to get to people and how to get the real, hard facts. However, work is slow and difficult, until a certain case comes along. A very famous model, Lula, has appeared to commit suicide; but her brother John seems otherwise. He employs Strike to take on the case and investigate the suicide. However there is another character to introduce at this point; Robin finds herself suddenly immersed in Strike’s office after take a temp position in his office. However their relationship starts with a rather rude first meeting. Strike’s soon to be ex-girlfriend is storming out of the office, and Strike, after running after her rather rudely knocks Robin over, who is unfortunately in his path. To stop her falling he grabs her breast causing an immediate reaction between the two characters. Robin however gets the job as the secretary and she is ultimately the one who opens the novel to the reader and she definitely deserves a mention. She is a lovely English woman who, recently married is naïve and innocent but desperate to get a little action back into her life; and she sees this job as her chance. She throws herself into the work and becomes Strikes personal assistant becoming more and more involved in the case.
The book continues by weaving back and forth between the continuing case and works to mix in a number of different and diverse characters that all have a say about the recently deceased Lula. Quite interestingly it is a book about looking and re-looking. This is not a slap-dash mystery; it is a well planned and executed plot-line. Strike at one-point states ‘the dead could only speak through the mouths of those left behind and through the signs they left.’ and this is exactly how they solve the case. Cormoran and Robin immerse themselves in the life that Lula lead, acquainting themselves with rappers, models, hair-stylists, fashion designers and rock stars. Comoran who is the son of a rather famous musician has always kept a distance from the world of the rich and famous and now finds himself moving through a world where he really doesn’t fit in. Rowling doesn’t miss a beat when describing the social differences that begin to show between Strike and the characters that start to appear when discovering Lula’s rather hectic life and Rowling really explores this; especially in the discussion of Lula’s rather raucous and arrogantly selfish boyfriend, who turns about to be a more complex character than we first thought! The story at this point stars to evolve, and Strike who originally had no feelings towards Lula starts to develop an emotional attachment to case due to learning about her through her friends and her family. He also begins to build relationship with Robin and their relationship becomes strong as they start to solve the case together. The story continues with tension building to finale, however, there are no spoilers here so get a copy and start reading!
When I was reading this book I kept trying to imagine that I had no-idea that Rowling had written the book and instead that is was the pseudonym. It was pretty difficult but I think that if I had been given the chance to read the book without knowing I wouldn’t have picked it out. However after reading and picking at the writing of the book I can see the style hints of Rowling. One of the most obvious ways of telling is through Rowling’s fluid writing. There are never any dips in her writing and it keeps the pressure on. Secondly the detail that she manages to get into her writing is brilliant; no stone is left unturned and no detail is not included; however it is done in Rowling’s brilliantly non-descriptive but still intensely written prose. I loved the way the story flowed through and managed to mix mystery with an understanding of friendship and companionship. The characters were really well written and I found that they were all well described. The plot was succinctly written and delved and weaved between characters and clues; also the twist at the end was a strong ending. I must admit I did wonder about the the finale and I did entertain how the book actually ends; however I dismissed it and then it turned out that’s what it was! I must remember to trust my detective skills!
Would I recommend this book? Definitely! I have seen many reviews that slate the way in which Rowling revealed that she had written the book after it plummeted in popularity and many say that it is only mediocre at best. However, I think that it is a clever little book with a lot of potential and I think you can only judge a book once you’ve read it and this one deserves a read.
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.
J. K. Rowling
(sorry couldn’t help myself!)
As an avid Harry Potter fan I was surprised when I learnt that J.K. Rowling had decided to turn her back on the world of wizards and instead pen a book for adults. I was increasingly surprised to learn we were leaving the potions and dragons behind for a case of a casual vacancy and a novel concerning a parish council election in a small West Country town. However I dutifully sat down to read and was happily surprised
In all, the Casual Vacancy is a solid and traditional book about a little town called Pagford. Resembling almost a study of life in a village town we learn about each of the characters as their stories weave and interlock unearthing nuggets of gossip concerning each other. However under the veneer of the hanging baskets and beautiful war memorial there is deceit growing with the cracks showing to reveal arrogance, condescension, sexual frustration, racism and a punch of snobbery. The plot however begins with the death of the hero. Barry Fairbrother falls on his knees and dies of a brain aneurysm in the car park of the local golf club. His death creates a “casual vacancy” on the local parish council and there are a number of people that are very happy to take his place. However the parish council have other plans and want to recruit one of their own, led by Howard Mollison the grotesquely obese delicatessen owner.
The main problem is that Barry was opposing the parish council on their plan to reassign the fields, a rundown estate to the council of Yarvil, a nearby city. This allows them to reassign the responsibility of addicts, and benefit claimers to Yarvil whilst keeping Pagford its beautiful unblemished self. The election continues until there is a post on the Parish website from the ghost of Barry Fairbrother causing unease and shock. The plot rumbles along and we meet a surprisingly large number of characters with different snags and hitches, whilst characters jostle and bustle to fill the parish council seat.
The plot although busy definitely has an underlying sense of organisation and a strong social message of a sense of responsibility to others and the devastating effects that will happen if we live to scheme and undermine other people. I don’t want to give much away about the characters because you need to discover and gain thought about them yourself but they are well presented and we can tell the definite change in social class and status. I loved the honesty of the life of Krystal and her mother Terri a drug addict that is unsuccessful trying to kick the habit and look after her little boy Robbie. The situation they are in whilst the people of Pagford try desperately to get them off their hands is extremely sobering and hurtful.The plot although sometimes predictable staggers along to a climax that left me shocked but not disappointed. I never lie, so I won’t here; it’s not a spell binding masterpiece that will one day become a classic, but it’s not bad at all, seeing the building of the characters and seeing how their lack of empathy and their obsessive attitudes to filling the Parish Council leads to the final climax of the dramatic ending.