A thank you from mylittlebookblog

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.

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Two Year Anniversary of mylittlebookblog!

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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 mylittlebookblog2014@gmail.com

Thank you

x

Piano from a 4th storey window: Jenny Morton Potts

Good evening readers, hope you’re all well unlike me, a little sick bunny. It seems I have caught a tummy bug which left me rendered completely useless yesterday. After being rudely awakened by my housemate, I heaved myself out of bed to go and purchase whatever it was she was complaining about. Hauling a sick ridden body out of bed dressing it in patterned black, red and white leggings, an orange t-shirt and a pair of blue fabric pumps and a massive coat with a fur hood I must have looked comical. I cannot wait to move away from the drama of where I live. Before I get too off topic there are a number of reviews that were supposed to be posted days ago but I’ve been so sick I haven’t had any time to sort them and amongst packing for the move last week. I’m hoping to get them written up ASAP so if you’re waiting for a review it’s on its way I promise. So, without further delay onto today’s review.

Lawrence Fyre and Marin Strang aren’t like other people. He is the eccentric owner of failing Sargasso Books in the Brighton Lanes. She is an ex-Jehovah’s Witness and isolated Spanish teacher. If they live together in his illegal, beautiful, rope laddered lock-up; can their love overcome their losses?  Original, sexy, very funny and deeply moving. An author in complete control of a number of unforgettable characters and emotional highs and lows, Jenny Morton Potts leaves the reader breathless, and wanting more.

So as the blurb suggests Marin Strang is a Spanish teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way she wanted it to; having to live on a wage from numerous temporary teaching contracts and coming out of a rather painful breakup she’s in a bit of a sticking point; in limbo as to what she should do next. An ex-Jehovah’s witness but with ties to her father who remains a loyal member, Marin finds her days wandering The Lanes in Brighton a shopping spot and ends up in the a café named Number 8. Here she meets Lawrence Fyre, the owner of the (failing) store Sargasso Books. The two, after a number of chance meetings enter into an intense relationship but a number of hiccups including his sister and the intriguing Nina could force their relationship to fail. Will their relationship rise or flounder? You’ll have to get hold of a copy to find out!

So, there’s the book in a nutshell; now you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a rather stereotypical boy meets girl style plot-line but it’s more than that. Firstly I have to commend the author for getting the feel of Brighton down so very well. I could feel the blustery wind and see the cobbled lanes full of brightly painted houses, it’s incredibly evocative of the little seaside town. The writing style is wonderful although a little difficult to get into to start with. It reads almost like a stream of consciousness, which we don’t experience all too often as a reader and when mixed with dialogue and narrative it was a little different at the start. However as you get more stuck in the words rise and fall in a very smooth almost lyrical prose which I thoroughly enjoyed.

In terms of plot line it is the perfect mix of both tragedy and love story and the whirlwind mix throughout is both tender and comedic. The two main characters are wonderfully written both quirky in their own rights but written with a real feel of human warmth and understanding. They come alive with each other and the conviction of their relationship is maddeningly exciting and euphoric. The pace is fast and forward thinking, it ricochets off with such breath taking speed that I found myself reading chapter after chapter without noticing.

I think what makes this book is the style; it is a unique and unforgettable writing quality that is both quirky and gripping. It also allows for the highs and the lows of the novel to really come alive and punch the reader in the jaw which is exactly what I wanted from this novel. It is a love story but it also intertwines personal growth, the pressure to conform to society or religion and trust in the relationships we have. It really made me sit up and listen and made me think about my own place in the world that I find myself in.  Overall a stylish and quirky read that was a wonderful mix; thoroughly enjoyable.

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A lovely little book market in London

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“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

Vivian’s Couch: Michael Obiora

Good morning readers, and happy Valentines day to you all. I’m having a wonderfully lazy morning watching films in bed with Lola and writing you this lovely review. I was tempted to review something romantic to fit the theme of today but instead decided to bring you something a little more real. Instead I’m bringing you something gritty, honest, shocking and a sophisticated read. Perfect for a lazy Saturday morning.

Kieran Ledley is the world’s most expensive football player, he is also one half of glamour couple “Kier-rissa,” and his step-brother is about to be released from prison. Freddie Abani is the MP for Woundham, who was touted as London’s potential first black Mayor – until the summer riots. Rupal Advani is a former policewoman and is now a marijuana addict. Gemma and her struggling filmmaker husband Pete Newman, are trying to save their marriage. Vivian Moses is a therapist, and they all have her in common.

So the premise is overall simplistic, the book tackles the different stories of a group of people including the World’s most expensive and sought after footballer and a former police officer who is finding it difficult to move on and is turning to drugs to relieve the stress. It also features a couple who’s relationship is in its last lease of life and an MP who is seeking to become London’s first black mayor however is struggling to come to terms with his father leaving him when he was younger. It’s a diverse bunch but they all have one thing in common and that is Vivian’s couch. A therapist who is also dealing with her own internal struggles.

What I really liked about this is that it gets straight into the actions, it doesn’t wait or hold back at all. We are immediately thrown in and have to quickly adjust to the pace of this well thought through story. We are introduced to the characters one by one by their sessions with Vivian, each dated differently as to add different time zones and to allow us to get to know the characters and their back stories. It’s very much a documentary style book allowing us to have an almost crude insight into the lives of the people who find themselves spilling their secrets to Vivian. By mixing the lives of both ordinary people and celebrities, it allows for an extensive look how different choices, good and bad lead to our current situations in life.

In terms of characters each is laden with many different characteristics; Vivian is strong on the outside but we learn that she is also dealing with her own demons due to addiction and a terrible relationship with her now ex-husband. Gemma and Pete are contrasting in almost every way possible, she is possessive and jealous whilst he appears to have lost the will to live causing immense friction. Kieran is struggling with his life in the limelight and being pulled in every direction whilst trying to hide from the increasing media attention. I could go on, each is well presented and thought through to make the interweaving stories as real as possible.

I think the main reason I enjoyed this book so much was because although ultimately a fiction book it really felt like each of the stories could be on going right now. It felt like a glimpse into a secret world and I felt I could relate many of the stories told to events happening in the harsh modern world that we currently live in. Another thing to note is that I really liked the cover, it is simple and yet striking, it really gives an insight into what the book is going to cover which was lovely. The theme of diversity was really strong throughout but handled incredibly well to help bring the city to life.

This is not a happy story, but instead a real reflection of modern day life, and I loved it for that.

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Exciting news here at mylittlebookblog

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Solstice Shorts hosted by Arachne Press

A celebration of National Short Story Day of the Winter Solstice and of the narrative power of folk music, bringing together story and song on the Greenwich Meridian- on the theme of time. The festival has grown in scope at it is now a marvellous mix of live short stories; chosen by our exquisite line up of judges and read by actors; and folk music from leading local professional and amateur musicians, backed up with writing and singing workshops, all of which will be BS: interpreted throughout, as we’d like to make the event as inclusive as possible. We also plan to live broadcast the performances, and podcasting them for future reference. We have  confirmed venues at the beautiful West Greenwich Library from sunrise (8.04) till 11.30 and at The Royal Observatory Greenwich in the Astronomy Centre from 11 till sunset (15.53) We have confirmed judges for the short story competition: Alison Moore (award-winning short story writer and novelist,) Imogen Robertson (writer of the acclaimed Crowther & Westerman historical crime series) Rob Shearman (Doctor Who and multiple short stories) and Anita Sethi (Journalist; reviewer and Broadcaster.) Each of the judges is contributing a story to the day and the book that will be published of the winning stories from the competition.

I, Lizzy Baldwin from mylittlebookblog will be shortlisting the stories for the short story competition with the lovely Cherry Potts. I could never have guessed that MLBB could have brought me so many incredible opportunities and I cannot wait to get stuck in reading and shortlisting. I am so incredibly excited to be part of this festival. If you are interested you can see more here! http://tinyurl.com/mxh849e. There is a little problem and that is that the festival is a little short on funding, I am currently adding some well deserved pennies and pounds but if you fancy donating anything to the cause of this lovely little festival then click here: http://www.sponsume.com/project/solstice-shorts-festival. I have never asked anything from my readers before and do not feel obliged or pressured to, I’m sure we will push this project through no matter what. If you are interested all the information is in the links above! 

30 Day Challenge!

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Good evening bloggers, it is lovely to be blogging to you today. For all that asked the essay was finally given in after hours and hours of hardcore reading, writing and referencing. I was happy with the final result and I even though I’m not 100% happy with the everything written I couldn’t have given anything more and that’s all you can ask for…isn’t it?

 So, I’ve taken a few days out of blogging which was horrible but essays are more important than fun and therefore my thirty day challenge was put on the back burner for a couple of days. However without further ado onto the next question in my challenge! The question for today is ‘favourite book title.’ I think this is an interesting question as we’re always told not to judge a book by its cover and therefore the title doesn’t always imply how brilliant the books is as a whole. However I have two contenders!

‘The Time Travellers Wife,’ by Audrey Niffenegger the only way to describe this title is simple but stunning. I think that it perfectly describes the plot however it creates a sense of magic and interest.

However the winner is…‘Time stops for no mouse,’ by Michael Hoeye. I not only loved this book but I also love the title! It is a beautifully sweet title for an equally beautiful book, It’s a children’s mystery book and the delicate title matches the beautifully delicate story on the inside. A must read for children!

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In the rodent-populated city of Pinchester lives Hermux Tantamoq, a brilliant watchmaker. When the beautiful adventurer and aviator Linka Perflinger drops into his shop to have him fix her watch, Hermux instantly falls in love. Then a shady-looking rat comes to pick up the watch instead… and with a little investigating, Hermux is head over heels into a mystery involving curious kidnappings, murders, and the formula of Eternal Youth, while Dr. Mennus tries to stop Hermux from getting it.