For the love of reading…

So, in the spirit of my recent blog statistics I decided I wanted to write a blog post in reflection of this recent accomplishment for mylittlebookblog. I know I say this a lot but I never expected to keep this blog going a year let alone making it this far. I think confidence in my writing played a big part and I think a deep panic that people wouldn’t enjoy my writing was another. Skip forward, nineteen months (that is such a long time) and this blog is my second job. I spend all my time thinking about reading, and books, new authors, who I owe reviews, who I can do guest posts with. I read on the bus, in the bath, on the train, in the morning, evening, I spend days reading at the weekend, my life is spent with my head in a book. I remember once when I was younger I told myself I needed to throw myself into the real world and stop being so obsessed with the fantasy world. I am a terrible daydreamer and as a child I used to just drift off imagining pretend events and happenings. I must admit I did get a bit of a reputation as a ditsy airhead but it was because I lived in a different world, one that I now as an adult find in all the books that I read.

I wanted to talk about books that meant a lot to me when I first discovered reading. There were lots to choose from and I conclude that there were four writers that ultimately made me the reader I am.

1) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes made my childhood. I was a big reader but I was made to read comprehensive texts which were incredibly boring and made me very sulky. When I could finally pick my own books to read I stumbled across the Hound of the Baskervilles and a number of other texts by this wonderful author. It’s fair to say I was hooked, even now I can say he is the founder of my desperation to find more books like his. Sherlock Holmes is also my ultimate book crush; he is the most wonderfully in-depth and exciting character and if I could spend one day, no just one hour with a character from a book, it would be him. We would get coffee in London and people watch as the clouds blustered by. We would talk about life and love and death and I would fall completely in love with him. It would be terribly British and it would be my pleasure. Sometimes I take a minute to wonder what my life would be life if I hadn’t let curiosity get the better of me and begged my year six teacher to let me read it. Let’s maybe not think about that!

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2) Jacqueline Wilson: Now I’m older I’m not a big fan of Wilson’s work, but as a child her books really spoke to me. I loved how she spoke about more taboo issues and real life events. She didn’t shy away from it and in the bubble of nice children’s books they spoke to me on another level. I wasn’t a shy child but I found her characters incredibly relatable and the way she wrote was easy for me learn from. I learnt from her that books could speak of feelings and pain in a deeper way than I had read before, although it may have also been because my mother was not to happy about me reading her books and getting the wrong idea! Now I know that her books don’t touch on the words that other authors do, but at the age that her books became a permanent feature in my life I learnt a lot. I even had a little Sylvanian Families Rabbit that I used to carry around just like Andrea did in The Suitcase Kid

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3) Roald Dahl: Roald Dahl I’m sure is a big one for lots of readers of all ages. Mine came in the form of the book ‘The Witches.’ My dad used to read to me all the time and Roald Dahl was always a favourite; his stories were magnificently wicked for children’s books and I fell for them like you would not believe. It wasn’t until we read The Witches together that I realised what a hold books could have over people. It is not an overreaction to say I was terrified of the witches; I was so scared that I didn’t sleep for weeks and weeks. We used have to get up early before school to read it, or after school because if we read in the evening there would be tears at bedtime. Roald Dahl taught me that books could make you feel things that you hadn’t experienced before and even now when I see The Witches on a bookshelf or in the library I feel my heart beat a little faster

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4) J.K Rowling: This author is one that I continue to go back to whenever I can and I will forever be a loyal fan. Harry Potter I am sure is a big part of a lot peoples childhoods and the fan base of this series is ridiculous but for every single reader it means something different. It started an unstoppable love of reading. I stayed up all night and I would fight my Dad for the chance to read the book. When people ruined the books for me for me by spoiling it by telling me bits that had happened before I had to chance to read them, I howled; it changed reading from a hobby to everything for me. I put it off for so many years, and when I sat down I realised that books are pretty much everything for me. I love all of her books and will remain a dedicated fan for probably all of my reading life. Her writing is wonderful but it’s where she came from and her refusal to give up that has continued my drive to get my foot into the publishing industry.

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So there you go; a little bit of me and where my love of reading started. I will be a reader for the rest of my life and I will forever be incredibly proud of that: Always

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The Promotion: Jacke Wilson

Morning Little Bloggers! Hope you have enjoyed the numerous posts this morning. I finally looked through the whole of my email inbox and have realised that I have so many more books to review, more than is physically possible, so I am getting my head down and getting those books read and reviewed! (If you are waiting for a review I am getting round to it I promise!) The first thing to say is that I have already reviewed ‘The Race,’ another book by the brilliant Jacke Wilson which you can check out here: mylittlebookblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/the-race-jacke-wilson/ and then secondly, you should check out his brilliant blog here: http://jackewilson.com. I am constantly checking out his new posts and I think you should too! Anyway onto the review!

“I should have jumped at the promotion, of course.…Even as Jennifer the office manager sat in the chair across from me, all smiles and positive energy, I elided the two developments…What I did was worthless and yet the firm was eager for me to do more.” The Promotion: A Novella is the deadpan cri de couer of a lawyer trapped inside a Kafkaesque firm, tasked with recruiting new attorneys even as he himself slides into obsession and madness.

Seeing as this is not my first encounter with Jacke Wilson’s work I knew that I was going to be taken on an incredible journey, and one way to really sell the book to you, is that since I read it on the long train from Stoke-On-Trent, to the glass city of Milton Keynes a couple of days back, I have not stopped thinking about this book. Questions stem from how I feel about it? The ending? The main character? What really happened?  See, this is a book that makes the reader think. If you are looking for a book that hands the plot to you on a plate, turn away now; this depends wholly on the interpretation of the reader. But for now, down to the basics. The book is an incredibly quick read, with only five chapters and ninety-four pages, you could, like me, get this read in a couple of hours! The books main setting is in a law firm; we follow the no-named protagonist, who becomes obssessed with a case that has him riled. As he struggles to balance the commitments of the new promotion, with his obsession with the cold-case that has suddenly come to life, we see the difficulty the main character has in balancing sanity and passion. See, our lone hero is obsessed with passion, with the frenzy, with fervor, and this case has him excited, desperate to see it through. The question is, how will he deal with the sudden realisation, through this case, that his life may not be worth that much after all?

One of the things that I loved most about the book was Wilson’s ability to create so much content in such a short amount of space. We see the main protagonist build, and build to a peak, before seemingly spiralling out of control, unable to deal with the facts he has been told. The mix of trouble and depression contrasted with anticipation and promise is built up astonishingly well. The dialogue is sarcastic and funny, but has a deep sense of a struggle, and of anxiety which gives the book a deeper meaning which kept me turning the pages till the very last sentence had been read. The book is told in a first person narrative, and although we never learn the storytellers name we do learn a lot from him; in a job that  appears to be draining everything from him, he is given the promise of a promotion, however this brings about the knowledge of a new case that takes hold of the mind of this said person, and leads him on a path of utter self-destruct. In the description above it describes it cleverly as Kafkaesque, and it definitely has links with Kafka’s work such as ‘The Metamorphosis.’ The writing lulls the reader into a false sense of securtiy before snapping back and drawing them back into the storyline. Although there is no clear climax point, the story builds and builds before sudden turmoil takes hold, leaving the reader to gather their own personal thoughts on what the writer is trying to convey. Additonally, we are introduced to a number of different characters, with extremely contrasting character profiles which the reader can easily distinguish between and they all add additonal feeling to the narrative. As in all of Wilson’s work the writing is beautiful balanced between dialogue and description and is smooth in the telling which makes for a very easy but sophisticated read.

What I loved most was that the main character is obsessed with passion and passionate people; he wants people to remember him, he wants his job to matter, he wants to make a difference. However, throughout we are subjected to the utter lonliness and gloominess that comes from this constant search for something passionate and real. One way to look at it, is as a mid-life crisis, that occurs when the protagonist realises that he has nothing to show for the life he has created, and maybe this is a message to us all; what the message is you will have to decide for yourself! Whether passion, is, the ultimate gift, or whether it is something that is ultimately inobtainable. I’m going to leave this review here as not to give anymore away; I think this book needs to be interpretated and will be interpretated differently by every single reader! So go on, get a copy, give it a read and let me know what you thought it is definitely, definitely worth a read!!