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Reading Week Day Seven

Ok, it was ambitious to expect to blog every day of my self-imposed ‘reading week’. As is so often at the moment, life with kids gets in the way with governors’ meetings, hospital appointments, and so on in addition to the school runs and general need for the company of their mummy. 

However, I finished reading The Power today. I was expecting it to be as amazing as a Bailey’s prize winning novel could be; it certainly did not disappoint.

With its multiple narrators, movement through the ten years before ‘The Cataclysm’, line drawings of historical artifacts, and amusingly intriguing prologue and epilogue, this is a magnificent book.

With an even tone and quickening pace, and well-realised, wonderfully complex ideas, this novel shows just how accomplished a writer Alderman is.

What would happen if, overnight, women discovered that they had electrical power at their fingertips? Starting with a small number of teens scattered throughout the world, the balance of power is irrevocably altered and civilisation struggles to deal with this. Like the girls’ electrical pulses, the story builds, arcs and explodes spectacularly. 

Alderman details the origins of this power, its effect on certain women, and the world-wide repercussions. It’s scarily believable. 

Despite the serious sounding review so far, this is an immensely readable, fast paced, rollercoaster of a read. It’s excellent. I am not surprised there is talk of a screen adaptation; it’ll be great!

If you’re looking for a thrilling read, more than a flimsy summer fling, a novel with guts and great writing, try The Power

It’ll ‘jolt’ you out of the everyday. It’s a blast!

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Posted by on 15/06/2017 in review

 

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Reading Week: Day Two

Mainly Twitter. And scrolling news bars.

I’m afraid that with the dramatic events in the UK’s general election last night, any hope of serious reading has gone out of the window now.

I have, however, discovered the point of Twitter. Using it for rolling news, instant reaction to an event, scrolling while watching live tv, this is a perfect medium to keep yourself informed, up to date and entertained. I now love it!

However, the uncertain outcome of the election is driving me back to the novel. Off to take my chosen prizewinning, dystopian, feminist sci-fi novel out for coffee before the school run. At least I’ll find a coherent narrative here, regardless of the news outlets.

 
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Posted by on 09/06/2017 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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Review: Hot Milk by Andrea Levy

If you’ve been into any branch of Waterstones this past week, you’ll have not failed to spot this little novel; it’s our fiction book of the month for June. I treat BOTM as a book club and read as many of the choices as I can.

Having caught snippets on Radio 4 while it was still published in hardback, I knew some of the plot: Sofia and her mother visit southern Spain in search of healing. Sofia is a slightly hapless twenty-something, wasting her first class masters in anthropology while she works as a Barista, sleeping in the store’s stockroom. Her mother, Rose, is in her mid-sixties, suffering from mysterious paralysis. Along the way, Sofia meets the alluring Ingrid, the temporary (and tempting) lifeguard Juan, the unerving, patrician Dr Gomez and ‘Nurse Sunshine’, her newly-religious, estranged Greek father, alongside chained-up Alsatians, pregnant cats, stuffed monkeys and a multitude of jellyfish.

The characters hide as much as they reveal. The clashes between Spanish, Greek and Yorkshire cultures is amusingly evident, and the heat of the Spanish sun is almost palpable.

The novel is claustrophobic, mysterious and lyrical. It explores issues of identity, wellness, duty, sexuality, and fractured families.

The Guardian describes it as ‘hypnotic’; I was certainly entranced while reading.

Although short (little over two hundred pages long), the characters remain in my thoughts; the heat of the sun and sting of the jellyfish stay on my skin.

A great, lyrical summer read.

Picture from penguin.co.uk

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (ISBN 9780241968031)

 
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Posted by on 08/06/2017 in review

 

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Reading Week: Day One

I have inadvertently found myself with a week off work; not through illness, just badly timed annual leave. I am still needed for the delights of the school run and the nightly unplugging of the children followed by pyjama-wrestling, so have to make do with a ‘limited hours only staycation’.

I shall read.

Stuff the housework. Stuff cultural destinations (unless they have comfy chairs and nice tea). Stuff the weather. I shall being to tackle the pile of proofs and my TBR bookcase.

Here goes…

I returned from a HarperCollins event with a box of books, to add to the already amassed pile from work.

(Apologies for the poor quality photos; impressionistic only!)

 
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Posted by on 08/06/2017 in Life, Reading space

 

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Dusting the Blog-webs


With a slightly laboured title, I am returning to blogging. 
And about time too!

Some things have changed since I last blogged: we’ve moved from the North-East down to the Big Smoke of London, I work part time, my children are almost as tall as me.

One thing has remained constant: books! Anyone who knows me – or who has even noticed the title of this blog! – knows that I love books. 

I love books as objects, inspiration, escapes, portals, entertainment, guilty-pleasure, wallpaper, decoration. And working a few days a week as a Bookseller is a perfect way to keep my love-affair alive.

And so, as a way of keeping my critical faculties going, rewiewing what I’ve been reading, and sharing book-ish musings with whoever might be reading this, I shall be dusting down this blog, blowing away the cobwebs, and setting my book-ish thoughts free!

Want to join me?!

 

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A New Challenge

Well, hello again virtual world!

Shamefully, it’s been more than an a year since I posted on my blog. Many things have happened over the months and more books have been read.

However, I am not about to challenge myself to another book experiment or limit.

Instead, I am going to try to discipline myself with my other favourite form of words:
writing.

I aim to post something every fortnight (at least) on my other blog ( notebookmum.wordpress.com ); something original, my own words.

Your comments, feedback, critique, emojis, and so on are much appreciated.

So, are you along for the ride?

Time to write!

Time to write!

 

 
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Posted by on 16/06/2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: The Silent Wife

Is this new addition to the wife-lit/misery-marriage canon worth the hype?
With a similarly dark cover, enticing cover quotes and rave reviews, one cannot avoid comparison with Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
Todd and Jodi have been together for over twenty years; not married although everyone assumes so. They live in an enviable apartment in Chicago; he a property developer, she a psychotherapist. They are childless but are accompanied by their dog, Freud. Their relationship reaches a crisis point as she discovers the latest in a series of affairs. Something has to be done.
Told in alternating chapters, the tension builds slowly. In fact, the cover ‘blub’ evokes a particular expectation which, in the end, is much more subtle.
The characters are well-rounded and engaging; there is much description of the trappings of their lives and its reflection of their unhappiness. This is a very well written thriller. The ending is not quite as expected; a little lacklustre compared to other thrillers. However, part of the enjoyment is in the journey, not just the destination, and I would recommend this ride. It’s worth (most of) the hype.

Bookwormmum.wordpress.com
(received from realreaders.co.uk)

 
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Posted by on 25/03/2014 in Uncategorized

 

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