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The Storyteller- Jodi Picoult


Synopsis (from amazon)

For seventy years, Josef Weber has been hiding in plain sight.

He is a pillar of his local community.

He is also a murderer.

When Josef decides to confess, it is to Sage Singer, a young woman who trusts him as her friend. What she hears shatters everything she thought she knew and believed.

As Sage uncovers the truth from the darkest horrors of war, she must follow a twisting trail between terror and mercy, betrayal and forgiveness, love – and revenge.

Review

The Storyteller is a little bit different when it comes to Jodi Picoult. Her books tend to follow a formula, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the subject matter changes, and it works for the type of books she is writing. Her basic outline though is there’s an issue- you see different character’s point of views, and it’s not always clear who you should be backing- at least at first. Usually there’s a twist somewhere along the line which makes you question your own judgement of the situation. Basically they get you thinking- sometimes even after you’ve finished the book.

So you can understand why when I heard Picoult’s new book was centred around a former concentration camp worker I couldn’t work out how her formula would fit. You can make someone feel sympathy for someone like that but you can never make someone understand that there might be a good reason why they did what they did, so how was Picoult going to make that work.

There was a lot more in the past of this book, Franz’s past, the past of one of the women in the concentration camp, and her fictional story, which started before she was in the concentration camp and finished whilst she was there. Then there was the area now. With Sage finding out the truth about Franz. There is an element of should Franz have to suffer for something he had done so long ago, especially if he is remorseful (which at times he seems to be, but at times doesn’t seem genuine), if he is old and might well die before he even gets charged? Can he be forgiven?

It wouldn’t be much of a book if that was the only challenge, so yes there are more, and the history b its are interesting. There is little I can say without giving away some pretty major plot points (and I’m all for spoiler free reviews).

I’m still not sure I would say this is a favourite Picoult, but it’s a little too different to compare. In terms of others which are different it probably is the best, although even the different ones are hard to compare to one another.

4.5/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£3.80)

Kindle (£2.00)

Hardback (£9.00)

Other reviews:

So Many Books, So Little Time

Sam Still Reading

Book Journey

Between the Pages

Did I miss your review? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Historical

Sunday Surfing 20/4/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

 

Happy Easter everyone :)

Around the web this week

The American Library Association has released a list of the most challenged books of 2013. Number one is Captain Underpants.

Is Reading Anti-Social?

Cringe-worthy Proposals From Fiction

Pultizer Winners Revealed

Books Which Grab You From Page One

Which Hunger Games District Do You Belong In? I got district 3, which would be ok, I guess

 

And on the blog this week…

I talked about the Birmingham Independent Book Fair

My Nephew read Horsey, Horsey, Don’t You Stop

I reviewed The Rosie Project

 

 

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The Rosie Project- Graeme Simsion


the rosie project, books, book, Graeme SimsionSynopsis (from amazon)

‘I’m not good at understanding what other people want.’

‘Tell me something I don’t know . . .’

Love isn’t an exact science – but no one told Don Tillman. A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don’s never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie – ‘the world’s most incompatible woman’ – throwing Don’s safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he’s feeling?

Review

Everyone in the book blogosphere seems to have read The Rosie Project, and most of those people have loved it, I’ve not seen one negative review. I am no exception. I loved The Rosie Project.

It was cute and funny, and romantic, and quirky. Don was such a unique, yet believable character. He was a little bit of a less asexual Sheldon Cooper (of The Big Bang Theory).

Big Bang Theory, Sheldon, Sheldon Cooper, Bazinger, books, The Rosie project

Sheldon

Rosie is Don’s complete antithesis, but, for some reason, it works. Rosie takes Don completely out of his comfort zone, she helps him to relax.  Don is so clever, but he’s blind when it comes to women, when it comes to Rosie. It means you see lots of times that Don is being clueless, you want someone to come and show him everything objectively- I think that could have worked for him.

I did love Don as a character. I loved reading the story through his voice. He obviously cares about things, he always works really hard at everything, but he doesn’t understand that you can’t learn everything from books, or in an intellectual way. It’s kind of adorable.

When looking for reviews of The Rosie Project I found out that a sequel is coming out this year. I’m excited to see the sequel but not sure if it will really work, especially if it was written just because The Rosie Project itself was so popular. I fear it won’t meet up to the amazingness of The Rosie Project, but I’ll still read it.

5/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£3.80)

Kindle (£2.99)

Hardback (£9.52)

Other reviews:

Giraffe Days

The Little Reader Library

Bookjourney

Under A Gray Sky

So Many Books, So Little Time

Sam Still Reading

As The Crowe Flies (And Reads!)

Words For Worms

No Page Left Behind

Chrisbookarama

Leeswammes Blog

Farm Lane Books

Have I missed your review? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here.

 

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Filed under Fiction review, Humour, Romantic

Children’s Hour: Horsey, Horsey, Don’t You Stop


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.
My nephew has had me reading/singing Horsey, Horsey, Don’t You Stop today. It’s a book of rhymes with pictures showing the baby sign which goes with the rhyme and some lovely bright pictures.

My nephew has specifically asked for “more cake” (pat-a-cake-pat-a-cake) and “more horsey” (Horsey, Horsey Don’t You Stop) and has been dancing and doing the actions along with it.

It’s a simple book, and if you already know the rhymes not really necessary, although it is good for the kids to be able to find the rhymes they want.

Buy it:

Board book- new (from £58.71)

Board Book -used (from £0.01)

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Birmingham Indepedent Book Fair


I visited the Birmingham Independent Book Fair on Saturday, and I promised a post about it on twitter, so here we are.

The fair was hosted at the Ikon gallery,  run in conjunction with Writing West Midlands,  and featured a number of independent publishers and self-published writers from in and around Birmingham. I must admit I didn’t realise there were so many publishers in the area.

The publishers and authors were:

Twin Books | Fringeworks | Flarestack Poets | William Gallagher | Boo Books | Pigeon Park Press | Cinnamon Press | Silhouette Press | Cannon Poets | Shadow Publishing | TJB Books | Offa’s Press | Black Pear Press | The Alchemy Press | Ellie Stevenson | Nine Arches Press | Gingernut Books | Crowded Quarantine | Foxwell Press | Fair Acre Press | Five Seasons Press | Cassowary Press

Unfortunately we got to The Ikon a little later than intended and a couple of the stalls had already closed, having said that the majority seemed to be selling the types of books I don’t tend to read; crime, horror, poetry, short stories.

We did however visit a few stalls and found some things of interest.

The Pigeon Press stall was by far the most interesting. It was run by two of the authors; Heide Goody and Iain Grant.

What first attracted us to the stall was Heide’s map. She’s in the process of creating a map of places in the Midlands which feature in literature. I was able to add Ruby’s Spoon to her map. She’s hoping eventually to make an app. with the map so you can look up places where you are and see if there are books set there.

We bought a copy of the collaborative books between Heide Goody and Iain Grant Clovenhoof and Pigeon Wings, both of which look like they will be rather amusing. The boyfriend thought they sounded like they would be in a similar vein as Good Omens. I haven’t read that so I couldn’t really comment.

Just noticed the placing of the badge of Pigeonwings…

 

There were a lot of collaborative pieces from Pigeon Park Press actually which is interesting. I’ve always been interested about how the interaction between authors and each others characters work, seeing as authors tend to know more about their characters than is in the actual books.

 

What else? Cinnamon Press seemed interesting for writers. They hold lots of writing competitions, which I may enter if I ever finish my NaNoWriMo novel.

I also talked to Tom Bryson. It was interesting to talk about his writing process. He seems to go in for a lot more planning than me, and jumps around writing key scenes before linking them, which might actually work better, I’m not sure. My joining sections do tend to be my main problem.

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Sunday Surfing 13/4/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

 

Around the web this week

Author of the Adrian Mole books, Sue Townsend has died

A book of letters written by Paddington Bear will tell his story from his view point

Scenes you wouldn’t expect in classic books

When not ‘getting’ a book make you feel stupid

Which Little Woman are you? I got Jo, which is what you want really :)

New literary prize for self-published authors

Diary Of a Part-Time Indian has been banned…again

And The Bailey’s Prize shortlist was revealed….

And on the blog this week…

It’s been quiet, cause, Christmas and stuff. Just one post:

The kids read What Do I Look Like?

I reviewed House of Glass

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House of Glass- Sophie Littleford


Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge (by the publisher, via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

Jen Glass has worked hard to achieve the ideal life: a successful career, a beautiful home in an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, a seemingly perfect family. But inside the Glass house, everything is spinning out of Jen’s control. Her marriage to her husband, Ted, is on the brink of collapse; her fifteen-year-old daughter grows more distant each day; and her five-year-old son barely speaks a word. Jen is on the verge of breaking, but nothing could have prepared her for what is to come….

On an evening that was supposed to be like any other, two men force their way into the Glasses’ home, but what begins as a common robbery takes an even more terrifying turn. Held hostage in the basement for more than forty-eight hours, Jen and Ted must put aside their differences if they are to have any hope of survival. They will stop at nothing to keep their family safe—even if it means risking their own lives.

 

Review

Have you ever watched the TV show Hostages? (Don’t bother is you haven’t it’s compulsive watching, but generally rubbish). There are certain elements of House of Glass which remind me of Hostages.

Obviously they both have a hostage type situation, there is also a hell off a lot going on in each of them which doesn’t really seem like it matters that much to the plot. It’s worst in Hostages because you know why the family are being held hostage, and therefore the extra bits are basically padding. Whereas with House of Glass you don’t know why the family were picked (you know to a level why they are being held hostage, but not enough), so anything which doesn’t seem to be related to the family being held hostage could be a reason.

They do seem both a bit contrived. Like there is too much going on for just one family. Everyone seems to have something bad going on, in the case of House of Glass only one of them is unlikely to be connected to the hostage situation. It feels a bit like there wasn’t enough story so Littleford added extra plot lines to stretch things out a bit.

They also both have a bit of the kidnapper’s own story. It’s something I like about both of them. In House of Glass it’s told through the hostage’s eyes, so you can never truly work the kidnapper’s out. Having said that it was pretty obvious- at least to me- who had bought the kidnapper’s to the family’s door.

It’s pretty action packed and keeps you reading. I wanted to know the truth throughout too, but it wasn’t the best crime book I’ve read, or the best thriller, or the best ‘issue’ book. The previous Littleford book I read was better, but then it was a bit more my type of thing, it’s what made me want to read House of Glass.

3/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£0.59)

Paperback (£8.97)

Other reviews:

Have you read this book? Leave me a link to your review in comments and I will add it here.

 

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Children’s Hour: What Do I Look Like?


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

We have been doing a whole lot of work on emotions in toddler room over the last few weeks and reading  What Do I Look Like? as part of this (the other book we’ve been reading about emotions is Augustus and His Smile). There’s no real story to the book. It asks what the child will look like when certain things happen. Then you lift the flap and their face is shown. It’s good as a teaching tool because it talks about different emotions, and gets the children to talk about how they might feel in different situations. It also doesn’t actually name the emotions so the kids can talk about how they think the child is feeling from their expression.

The kids enjoy it because they like to lift up the flaps, and because they like to copy the faces.

Buy What Do I look Like?:

Paperback- new (from £1.50)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

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Sunday Surfing 6/4/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

 

Around the web this week

Famous books with bad reviews

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film will be a thrilogy

Top 10 Fictional Mothers

Remember that lovely new library I talked about? The staff can’t reach all the books

Rooftoppers wins the Children’s Fiction Prize

And on the blog this week…

The kids read ‘Eat Your Peas’

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Children’s Hour: Eat Your Peas


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

The kids either love or hate Eat Your Peas. It tends to be the older of the toddlers who enjoy it, and even ask for it, but I think the younger ones tend to find it a little too long. It’s a story about a Mum trying to persuade her daughter to eat her peas, but Daisy doesn’t like peas. Mum’s bribes start getting more and more outrageous; 100 puddings, never have to was, dress, brush your hair, chocolate factories, zoo animals, space rockets, trips to superland, but still Daisy will not eat her peas.

It’s a funny book, and fairly simple. It’s great to be theatrical when you’re reading it too, as the Mum gets more and more desperate. The pictures fit the story perfectly, you could almost read the book with pictures alone, and as the pictures get more and more crowded the more and more desperate Mum gets. Plus they’re by Nick Sharrett which is always good

Buy Eat Your Peas:

Paperback (£5.03)

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

Sunday Surfing 30/3/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

I missed Sunday Surfing last week so here are two weeks worth of links

Around the web

Children’s classic books retold for adults. I like the Brown Bear one

James Patterson is the world’s best selling author. J.K. Rowling comes top in the UK

A quiz, What Type of Book Are You? I got second-hand book, not sure whether to be offended!

Some People Got Money From Amazon

Alice Munro is being dedicated on a Canadian coin

And Astrid Lindgren (author of Pippi Longstocking) is going to be on a Swedish note

Real beautiful places featured in books

You can no longer send books to British prisoners…or can you?

J.R.R Tolkien’s translation of Beowolf to be published

Some original Harry Potter artwork is up for sale

Read an extract from the next Song of Ice and Fire book. (Spoiler free link)

The ebook royalties war

 

And on the blog…

I reviewed A Long Thaw

And A Game of Thrones

I took part in It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

The kids read There’s an Ouch in my Pouch

And My Mum And Dad Make Me Laugh

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Children’s Hour: My Mum and Dad Make Me Laugh.


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

My Mum and Dad Make Me Laugh is all about a kid and his two parents. His Mum loves spots and his Dad loves stripes. One day the family go to the zoo. Mum loves the leopards, and Dad loves the zebras, naturally, but the kid loves something else.

It’s a cute little story, and sometimes a little funny. The main thing really though are Nick Sharrett’s illustrations. His usual bright bold style, and having a book which has such a focus on patterns really lends itself to his style.

It’s not a favourite with the kids, but they enjoy it enough to stay focused.

Buy My Mum and Dad Make Me Laugh:

Paperback (£4.49)

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A Game Of Thrones- George R.R Martin


Game of Thrones is the first book in the A Song Of Ice and Fire series. I read it as part of the TBR Pile Challenge.

Synopsis (from amazon)

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plot, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men… all will play the Game of Thrones.

Winter is coming…

Review

Game of Thrones was one of the books which had been on my to be read (TBR) pile for a long time (years, literally). It was the size of it, partly, and the thought of starting a series, I’d heard that it’s difficult to keep track of the characters, basically it was daunting. So despite the fact that I had heard it was really fantastic, even in my pre-blogging days, well before the TV series was out, and despite wanting to read it before I watch the series, it stayed on my shelf all this time. It probably didn’t help that I don’t actually read that much fantasy (despite my Harry Potter obsession), in fact most of the fantasy I read (including this) is recommended by fellow Harry Potter fans, and I always hope to find something I will love this much.

Game of Thrones was very good. It is certainly epic. It takes some effort to read, and some concentration. The characters can be a little difficult to keep a track of, especially at first, but I found that most of the time I knew who was who and how they related to each other by the end.

I don’t think it was the plot which made Game of Thrones good. There were certain plot elements which did hook me, but mainly I was interested in the characters. There were some great characters. Lots of strong women. My favourite character though was Tyrion. I still can’t quite work him out, and that’s why I like reading him.

The end made me want to read the next straight away I my boyfriend has the whole set so I will be able to, but I decided to have a breather.

4.5/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£4.00)

Kindle (£2.99)

Other Reviews:

Blog A Book Etc.

Under A Gray Sky

Owl Tell You About It

Nylon Admiral

Reading is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Curiosity Killed The Bookworm

Have I missed your review? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here

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Children’s Hour: There’s An Ouch In My Pouch!


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

There’s An Ouch In My Pouch! is one of our new books, but it hasn’t gone down too well. It’s about a young Wallaby who finds that his mother’s pouch has become uncomfortable so goes to find  a new pouch. The kids find it a bit long to follow, and I think there being so many animals they aren’t familiar with doesn’t help either (and add that they are still obsessed with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? So nothing else is good enough). They do like the repeated complaining of there being an ouch in the pouch however.

To read it’s really annoying. Full of tongue twisters and lots of Ws and Rs.

Buy There’s An Ouch in My Pouch!:

Paperback (£5.03)

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A Long Thaw- Katie O’Rourke


Disclaimer: I was sent this book free of charge (by the author) in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

Cousins Abby and Juliet were born into one big, close family. But when Juliet’s parents divorce, it tears the family apart and sends the girls in very different directions.

Juliet grows up too quickly, forced to be responsible for her younger sisters as well as an alcoholic, single mother. Abby grows up a pampered, sheltered only child.

As women, they try to mend the rift and come to terms with the way their shared history connects them, in spite of the years apart.

Told in alternating narrative, A Long Thaw explores how the two women are shaped by the traumas and triumphs of childhood. It’s a story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.

Review

I read Katie O’Rourke’s previous novel ‘Monsoon Season’ a couple of years ago, I don’t remember much about it, except that I enjoyed it, but I think I preferred this one.

The two characters were very different, Abby maybe a little too settled, Juliet not settled enough. They really did something for each other, in a way it was a coming of age novel, for both of them.

I think as a character I liked Abby best, or at least I identified with her the most, she’s quite similar to me, Abby. Juliet was a little blind. I think she wanted things to be a certain way now she had left her home, and she denied evidence that suggested things weren’t better, or how she wanted them to be.

Whilst I identified more with Abby I did find Juliet’s story more interesting, and I was more eager to read her chapters.

At one point I did think that maybe things were feeling a bit  artificial (and I can’t say what without spoilers) but it was an easy event to accept, and it was something which became a moment which had to happen.

3.5/5

Buy it:
Kindle (£3.59)

Other Reviews:
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a comment with a link and I will add it here

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It’s Monday. What are You Reading? 17/3/14


It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Bookjourney Visit Book Journey for links to other blogs and to add your own.

Click images for amazon page.

I’ve not taken part in this for a while, but I have time to create a post this week so thought I would join in.

Currently Reading


A Game of Thrones- I have finally gotten around to starting this series, A Game of Thrones has been on my shelf for ages. It’s long, but I’m enjoying in more and more the further I get into it. Shall probably finish this today. I’m reading it as part of the TBR Pile Challenge


Benediction- This one was a freebie from netgalley. I’ve heard good things about it so am looking forward to really reading it (have barely started). It’s an uncorrected proof though and doesn’t seem to have any quotation marks, which is a little annoying!

Finished Last Week.

House of Glass- another netgalley read, from an author I’ve read before. I think by the end I actually preferred this to the previous book I read by Sophie Littleford, but I had a few little annoyances too. I’ll probably review it next week.

Reviews


Attachments a pleasant romance, and good for this type of book. Nice for a relaxing read


The Train Ride was my Children’s Hour pick last week. Very simple story chronicling a train journey.

Added to the TBR


Benediction freebie via netgalley!

Dry bought for my kindle. It’s been on my wishlist since I read Running With Scissors (in my pre-blogging days) but it was on 99p on kindle so I finally bought it.

The Library of Unrequited Love also bought by me. A few people on BCF have been reading this one, and it sounded entertaining.

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Filed under It's Monday! Waht are you reading?, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Memes

Sunday Surfing 16/3/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

Last Sunday Surfing of 2013! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Around the web this week

Learn About Ukraine by Reading Ukrainian Writers

Malorie Blackman Talks About the Decline of the School Library

Writing Characters Invented By Other Authors

The Best Opening Lines

A Survey Has Shown Those of Lower Class Tend To Read Less. The article seems to suggest that it’s a cause rather than an effect, which I’m not so sure about.

And on the blog this week…

I Reviewed Attachments

The Kids Read The Train Ride

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Filed under general, Memes, Sunday Surfing

Children’s Hour: The Train Ride


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I read The Train Ride to the kids because they have been obsessed with trains recently (one of them went on holiday with his Dad and spent the whole time on the train, or the tram, or the underground, or the bus). It’s a very basic story. A girl is on the train, what will she see out the window?

It has a nice rhythm to it with the repeated “What shall I see? What shall I see?” and “That’s what I see. That’s what I see.” making it sound like a train. Those are the bits the kids like actually. They can join in easily. Otherwise they find the story a little uninteresting. It probably would have helped if the book hadn’t fallen apart and been stuck together in the wrong order! (How does someone even manage to do that- especially when the title page is stuck in the middle, makes no sense).

The pictures are nice, and I guess the kids can say what they see- if the pages are in the right order.

Buy The Train Ride:

Paperback (£5.03)

Big Book (£12.72)

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

Attachments- Rainbow Rowell



Synopsis (from amazon)

It’s 1999 and for the staff of one newspaper office, the internet is still a novelty. By day, two young women, Beth and Jennifer, spend their hours emailing each other, discussing in hilarious detail every aspect of their lives, from love troubles to family dramas. And by night, Lincoln, a shy, lonely IT guy spends his hours reading every exchange.

At first their emails offer a welcome diversion, but as Lincoln unwittingly becomes drawn into their lives, the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realizes just how head-over-heels he really is, it’s way too late to introduce himself. What would he say to her? ‘Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mails – and also, I think I love you’.

After a series of close encounters, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart? And find out whether there really is such a thing as love before first-sight.

Review

Everybody seems to love Rainbow Rowell right now. I was intrigued to see what was so special about her. Even people who don’t normally review YA seemed to love her, so I thought there must be something. I went for Attachments because it’s her adult novel. I thought it would be  the most…sophisticated, I guess.

I did I suppose expect chick-lit, it sounds like chick-lit. It’s probably the category that Attachments most easily fits into. The style is a little different though. For one thing the main focus is probably Lincoln, where it would usually be a woman in chick-lit. There was a strong focus on Jennifer too, but maybe a little less than to Lincoln. We mainly saw her through her e-mails, we knew a little more about her than Lincoln did, but mainly we knew her as Lincoln did.

I’m not sure why more chick-lit isn’t written like this- with the reader seeing how the man thinks and feels. Surely he can be more attractive if you can see what he is really like? How much he loves his leading lady? With Lincoln it seems even better because he doesn’t know what Jennifer looks like. He falls in love with her personality, before he become physically attracted to her.

In terms of chick-lit it’s very good. Cute. You feel you really get to know the characters, you can see why Lincoln loves Jennifer, and you can love Lincoln himself. Plus there is a very everyday type feel to it. No real dramatic romantic moments, just real life. No perfect, a few pitfalls. Real.

I like the kindle cover, by the way, it’s like one of those magic eye pictures.

4/5

Buy it:
Paperback (£5.59)
Kindle (£3.99)

Other Reviews:

Have I missed your review? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here.

4 Comments

Filed under Chicklit, Contempory, Fiction review

Sunday Surfing 9/3/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

Around the web this week

Quotes to Make you Fall in Love with Books

The Worst Author Blunders

New App Allows You to Read a Novel in 90 Minutes. Don’t like this at all, think it would take the fun out of reading

Which Author is Most Popular With School Children.

The Telegraph Suggested The Best Children’s Books of All Time, not much modern on their list though

The Importance of Comfort Reading

The Longlist for the Woman’s Fiction Prize was revealed.,,,I’ve not read any of them

 

And on the blog this week…

I Reviewed The Book Thief

The Kids Read Don’t Wake the Bear, Hare!

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Filed under general, Memes, Sunday Surfing

Children’s Hour: Don’t Wake The Bear, Hare!


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I was going to do a whole World Book Day post today. We asked the kids (well their parents really) to bring in books. Only two did, and one was one I’ve already featured on Children’s Hour, so that plan didn’t really work out. (The books were We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Mother’s Day For Kanga by the way).

So instead one of our new books; Don’t Wake The Bear, Hare! In Don’t Wake the Bear, Hare! all the animals in the forest are getting ready for a party when they find that there is a bear sleeping. Now bears are pretty scary so the animals don’t want to wake him.

All the panic is quite funny, with the repeated “Don’t wake the bear!”. The kids find it pretty funny, and I do too. The pictures meet with the whole busy atmosphere too. And there’s a rhyme, which is always good in kid’s books. The kids in pre-school seem to like it too.

Buy Don’t Wake The Bear, Hare:

Paperback (£4.49)

Hardback (£6.07)

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

The Book Thief- Markus Zusak



Synopsis (from amazon)

HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH

It’s a small story, about:

a girl

an accordionist

some fanatical Germans

a Jewish fist fighter

and quite a lot of thievery.

ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW – DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES

Review

Oh wow! Someone asked me if they should bother reading this (whilst I was still reading it) because they’d heard that the ending was horrible. Which is a bit of a silly thing to ask about really. A story narrated by death, in Nazi Germany, pretty much guaranteed to to have some not very happy bits. Yes, by the way, the end is pretty horrible but inevitable, and not unexpected. With death being the narrator it means that you do get some sort of inkling of some of the things which will happen. Not the complete situation, but enough not to be too surprised.

You would think that with knowing what would happen would make you stop yourself from getting too attached to the characters involved, or stop you from being too sad when things happen to them. Somehow it didn’t however. Maybe it was where the hints were placed, that we got to know the characters enough to be a little attached already.  Maybe it was that you can’t really stop yourself from becoming attached to characters even when you really, really don’t want to be attached to them.

Either way I did feel attached. At times that made things heart wrenchingly sad. At times it brought tears to my eyes.

But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

4.5/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£3.50) Edition other than shown 

Kindle (£0.99)

Other Reviews:

Lit and Life

So Long and Thanks For All The Fish

Writer, Reader, Dreamer

Words for Worms

Book Journey

Knitting and Sundries

Earphoria

Keep Watching the Words

HeavenAli

Reading is The Ultimate Aphrodisiac

The Perpetual Page-Turner

My Devotional Thoughts

Yeah, pretty much everyone has read this!

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Filed under Fiction review, Historical, YA

Sunday Surfing 2/3/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

Around the web this week

Someone in Japan has been destroying items relating to the Holocaust

Listen to writers reading their own work

These films were turned into books…don’t ask me why!

Books which (maybe) shouldn’t exist

Words which used to mean something else

Apparently wizards support Scottish rugby. As much as I like extra bits and pieces from J.K. Rowling this is a bit over the top.

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed Little Women

The Kids Read Baby Animals (Hide-and-Seek)

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Children’s Hour: Baby Animals (Hide-and-Seek)


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Baby Animals s one of those books which tries to make kids like books by being a book with something extra. It has touchy-feely sections, and lift-the-flap pictures. The words tell you to look for something specific on the page, but, to be honest, the kids aren’t that bothered about finding the right animal so much as by just generally lifting the flaps. I suppose it is a bit more engaging in that it makes the kids interact with a book, but I don’t think that it really sparks their imagination or gets them interested in stories in the same way as a book which has a focus on the words does.

The words are not really the important thing in this book, in fact they’re pretty boring. However them not being important does make it a good book for the kids to look at n their own.

Buy Baby Animals New or Used:

Board Book- New (from £17.47)

Board Book- Used (from £0.01)

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

Little Women- Louisa May Alcott


Little Women was read as part of the TBR Pile Challenge 2014 and The Rory List.

Synopsis (from amazon)

Following the lives of four sisters on a journey out of adolescence, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women explores the difficulties associated with gender roles in a Post-Civil War America.

Review

Lots of people love Little Women, don’t they? I think maybe I read it at the wrong time. I should have read it when I was younger maybe. I can see myself liking it around he time I read A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden, and all the Noel Streatfield books. It has a similar tone. As an adult though, I didn’t like it so much.

It struck me as being a little preachy to be honest. I get the idea of good role models and having a moral story- it’s even addressed within the book, however it’s almost too perfect, even as they have their own struggles with things they find hard the girls never really seem to need redeeming.

The characters were too set in their ways. The idea of Beth always being perfect, and Amy always a little vain, and Jo with her boys. There was no real depth there a lot of the time.

Looking at Alcott’s life it seems that it is very much based on herself and her sisters (her being Jo, of course). Maybe this is why Jo seemed like the most defined character, because Alcott could see into her own head, but not into that of her sisters.

Whenever I think about this book I think about the episode of Friends where Joey and Rachel read each others favourite books, Rachel’s being Little Women, and Joey’s habit of hiding books in the freezer.

3/5

Buy it:Kindle (FREE!)
Paperback (£2.40)
Hardback (£5.29)

Other Reviews:
Did I miss your review? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here

5 Comments

Filed under Children's, Classics, Fiction review

Sunday Surfing 23/2/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

Around the web this week

Classic Literature in Lego. This is awesome, if you click just one link make it this one.

Lewis Carroll hated the fame which came with Alice in Wonderland. Not a surprise really, writers don’t expect to become famous, it’s certainly not why they write.

Writers with Regrets. Following the whole JK Rowling Hermione/Ron saga…

New Haruki Murakami Novel to be Released in the UK and US in August. Yay!

Books Tend to be Rated Lower by Readers After Winning Prizes. Another not a surprise. More people read it. More people to not like it. Higher expectations.

Less Than 1,000 Independent Bookshops left in the UK. The only ones I know of in Birmingham are specialist. There used to be one on the high street, but I didn’t visit it very often, it was a pretty rubbish as a bookshop for one reason, I was rarely home when it was open, a few reasons really.

The video is about reading to dogs to helps reader’s confidence. I heard about it first time last week, but it seems to be more widely  spread than I would imagine.

And on the blog this week…

I really need to get some reviews written. I have a half written review of The Book Thief, and need to write reviews of Little Women and A Long Thaw. This week I only got out one

Children’s Hour: It Looked Like Spilt Milk.

And I revealed the winner of The Literary Blog Hop

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Children’s Hour: It Looked Like Spilt Milk


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Recently the kids have been mainly interested in books which have already featured on Children’s Hour (most notably Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Peace At Last, and One Mole Digging A Hole- which I still can’t read without thinking about ‘Three bears, ficking fairs”) so I’ve sort of had to search for a book to use for Children’s Hour this week.

It Looked Like Spilt Milk is a book we’ve only read a couple of times, mainly because we’ve borrowed it from outreach (the nursery is in a Children’s Centre, the outreach team run stay and play sessions, and crèches etc.) so can only have it for a limited amount of time. They have a version with soft toy props, which I suppose helps the imagination as you can look at the shapes from different angles with ease. It Looked Like Spilt Milk is a series of white silhouettes which look like different things- but aren’t those things. The kids like to try and work out what the different shapes are- although they don’t generally have a lot of suggestions as reviews on amazon seem to suggest- maybe it’s the age.

Either way it is a good interactive book, and the kids enjoy it.

Buy It Looked Like Spilt Milk:

Paperback (£4.26)

Board Book (£4.17)

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Literary Blog Hop: Winner


I had over 120 contenders for The Literary Giveaway Hop, so now it is time to pick a winner.

I’ve used random.org to pick someone off the list and the winner is number 80 that is…

Nancy

Who chose to win Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. Well done Nancy, I will be e-mailing you shortly.

 

Thank you everybody who entered :)

 

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Sunday Surfing 16/2/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

I’m doing a Sunday Surfing on Sunday! Wonders will never cease!

Around the web this week

Children’s Book Awards Shortlist revealed

…and the Folio Prize

Is binge-reading the new binge-watching? Plans for series books to be released in quicker succession. Main problem? What if the first one is rubbish?

Most searched for out of print books in 2013

Doesn’t this sound like the best sort of party?

Twitter love stories. Some cute, some funny.

Hilary Mantel becomes the only living writer with a portrait in the British library

The problem with leaked quotes? Not always accurate.

Find your literary love story

There hasn’t been a video in these post for a while. So here are 8 bookish proposals

 

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

The kids read My Best Friends

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Children’s Hour: My Best Friends


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

My Best Friends is (believe it or not) about friends. All the things friends do, all the ups and downs. It’s a sweet book, but doesn’t really have much substance. The kids find it fairly interesting to look at the pictures and talk about the things they have done however. And the pictures remind me a little of Nick Sharret, so they are nice and colourful and cheerful.

 

Buy My Best Friend from other sellers:

Paperback- new (from £4.99)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

Hardback- used (from £1.56)

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock- Matthew Quick


Ugh, horrible cover

Are you looking for the Giveaway Hop? You can find it here

Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge (via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

How would you spend your birthday if you knew it would be your last?

Eighteen-year-old Leonard Peacock knows exactly what he’ll do. He’ll say goodbye.

Not to his mum – who he calls Linda because it annoys her – who’s moved out and left him to fend for himself. Nor to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing the unthinkable. But to his four friends: a Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour, a teenage violin virtuoso, a pastor’s daughter and a teacher.

Most of the time, Leonard believes he’s weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he’s not. He wants to thank them, and say goodbye.

Review

Okay, so to review this book in any sort of decent way I have to reveal an important plot point. It’s major, but not really a spoiler, you find out in the first few pages. However, if you want to go in completely blind just know I would recommend this book, and don’t read any more of this post.

Leonard takes a gun to school. He plans to kill one boy. A boy who has made his life hell. Then he plans to turn the gun on himself. First he wants to say goodbye to his friends. Will anyone work out that something is going on? And can they stop him?

I picked this up from netgalley mainly because I’d heard good things about one Quick’s previous novels; The Silver Lining’s Playbook (which was made into a film). I didn’t expect some literary great, but I liked the sound of the plot, and I was interested to read it. I wasn’t disappointed.

The one thing which really struck me about this book is how much I liked Leonard. I didn’t think I would be able to have more than sympathy for him, and whatever had made him want to become a killer. I liked him though. He was a little weird maybe, but I like quirky people.  I didn’t want him to kill anyone, I didn’t want him to start shooting that gun. I can’t say I didn’t believe that he would, but I thought there might be a chance he would see another way. Each time it seemed like he might give up on his plan, and at times when it seemed he would see t through I was impassioned, either cheering that it might be okay, or hoping that he might still not do it.

For a long time we don’t really know why Leonard wants to kill his classmate. We can see why he dislikes him, but not why he hates him enough to want him dead.

I don’t think I can say much more without spoiling. It’s a fairly easy read. It’s style is conversational, and it isn’t all doom and gloom, there is a little humour there too, mostly black humour, yes, but it provides light relief.

(highlight for spoilers) The end? Well it just wasn’t right. It should have either stopped earlier or carried on further. I respected Herr Silverman for going out of his way as he did, and he undoubtedly helped Leonard, but there was something a little phony about him to, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I wouldn’t have got that if it ended earlier, if it had ended when Leonard was saved from himself. Then there was the whole thing with Linda not taking him seriously. Honestly I thought she was worse than Asher, I could understand (even if I didn’t agree with) how Asher behaved, but Linda just didn’t seem to care. With Leonard refusing help from Herr Silverman, and being denied help from his Mum (Linda) I didn’t see how things could really get better for him. Maybe he no longer wanted to kill Asher, or no longer could, but does that mean he wouldn’t resort to some other desperate measure. I needed to know that Leonard got help.

4/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£2.99)

Paperback (£6.49)

Hardback (£6.59)

Other Reviews:

Recovering Potter Addict

The Perpetual Page Turner

Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

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Filed under Fiction review, YA

Sunday Surfing 9/2/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

I missed Sunday Surfing last week. So this week I’m merging two weeks together.

Around the web this week

The Shock of the Fall won the Costa Book of the Year award not read this but it does sound interesting

Couples who are similar to Elizabeth and Darcy

Cats in Children’s Literature. Where’s Carbonel?

How books survived where drug lords and terrorists couldn’t

J.K Rowling said Hermione and Ron should not have ended up together. But they did, so, ha!

Neil Gaiman talks about why we need libraries and reading. This is a long article, but worth a read anyway.

Writers homes to visit

And on the blog the last two weeks…

The kids read Something Beginning With Blue

And Peely Wally

I reviewed Dracula

And The Meaning of Liff

And I started a giveaway with a choice of 26 books

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Literary Giveaway Hop 8-12th February


I always love The Literary Blog Hop, hosted by Judith @ Leeswammes

The idea behind the hop is to giveaway a literary book, so no YA or chick-lit here.

As this one falls over my birthday I’m going to do what I did last year, and make a list of books to choose from which I have read, and loved, published each year from the year I was born (1987) to last year. The winner can pick any book from this list. Where possible I have linked to reviews of these books (in bold), if I haven’t reviewed them then I link to amazon.

You don’t have to follow me to win (although it’s nice if you want to). And anyone can enter so long as The Book Depository ships free to your county. Just fill in the form below the list.

1987- Norwegian Wood- Haruki Murakami

1988- Matilda- Roald Dahl

1989- Like Water For Chocolate- Laura Esquivel

1990- The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts- Louis de Berniéres

1991- The Liar- Stephen Fry

1992- Mostly Harmless- Douglas Adams (or choose another book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series)

1993- The Virgin Suicides- Jeffrey Eugenides

1994- Handle With Care- Jodi Picoult

1995- High Fidelity- Nick Hornby

1996- The Beach- Alex Garland

1997- Penguin Lost- Andrey Kurkov

1998- Big Fish- Daniel Wallace

1999- Waiting- Ha Jin

2000- Q&A (Slumdog Millionaire)- Vikas Swarup

2001- Life of Pi- Yann Martel

2002- Everything is Illuminated- Johnathan Safron Foer

2003- The Time Traveller’s Wife- Audrey Niffeneger

2004- Pop Co.- Scarlett Thomas

2005-  A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian- Marina Lewychka

2006- The Elegance of the Hedgehog- Murial Barbery

2007- The House at Riverton- Kate Morton

2008- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet- Jamie Ford

2009- Shades of Grey- Jasper Fforde

2010- The Swan Thieves- Elizabeth Kostova

2011- The Lover’s Dictionary- Daniel Levithan

2012- Peaches for Monsieur le Curé- Joanne Harris (or any previous book in the Chocolat series)

2013- Life After Life- Kate Atkinson

Notes: My list was made up by looking at Wikipedia and (occaionally) Goodreads lists of books published within that year. If there are any mistakes blame them!

Books may be different from covers shown in links.

For more chances to win some great literary books visit the blogs below. Good luck!

Linky List:

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Seaside Book Nook
  3. Booklover Book Reviews
  4. Biblionomad
  5. Laurie Here
  6. The Well-Read Redhead (US/CA)
  7. River City Reading
  8. GirlVsBookshelf
  9. Ciska’s Book Chest
  10. The Book Stop
  11. Ragdoll Books Blog
  12. Nishita’s Rants and Raves
  13. Lucybird’s Book Blog
  14. Reading World (N-America)
  15. Journey Through Books
  16. Readerbuzz
  17. Always With a Book (US)
  18. 52 Books or Bust (N.Am./UK)
  19. Guiltless Reading (US/CA)
  20. Book-alicious Mama (US)
  21. Wensend
  22. Books Speak Volumes
  23. Words for Worms
  24. The Relentless Reader
  25. A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall (US)
  1. Fourth Street Review
  2. Vailia’s Page Turner
  3. The Little Reader Library
  4. Lost Generation Reader
  5. Heavenali
  6. Roof Beam Reader
  7. Mythical Books
  8. Word by Word
  9. The Misfortune of Knowing
  10. Aymaran Shadow > Behind The Scenes
  11. The Things You Can Read (US)
  12. Bay State Reader’s Advisory
  13. Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
  14. Lizzy’s Literary Life
  15. Books Can Save a Life (N. America)
  16. Words And Peace (US)
  17. The Book Club Blog

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Filed under Blog Hop, Giveaway

Children’s Hour: Peely Wally


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Peely Wally turned up in pre-school with the same group of books which included Something Beginning With Blue. I almost wish it had been given to toddlers because I can see them enjoying it. It’s fairly simple, and has lots of animals which our kids seem to be very into recently. Unfortunately it’s already been ripped, which will make it difficult to read to them (and I know the manager will be annoyed, seeing as we have been asking for new books for months).

Anyway there was one particular child in pre-school who loved Peely Wally, so that’s how I encountered it. It’s the story of a bird who lays an egg, but gets so excited that she knocks it off the branch, and it travels over a lot of different animals before it gets back to her, and hatches.

It’s funny, and has a lot of scope for dramatics, so it’s a good one to read. The pictures are bright, but simple, and some of them even look like the kids could easily be copied by the kids (Peely Wally herself is a scribble with beak, eyes and legs).

Ok so a personified scribble does make me think of Dr Who (and a clip I can’t find in decent quality), but this one is much cuter!

Buy Peely Wally:

Paperback (£5.99)

Kindle (£3.99)

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Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

The Meaning of Liff- Douglas Adams and John Lloyd



Synopsis (from amazon)

In life, there are hundreds of familiar experiences, feelings and objects for which no words exist, yet hundreds of strange words are idly loafing around on signposts, pointing at places. The Meaning of Liff connects the two. BERRIWILLOCK (n.) – An unknown workmate who writes ‘All the best’ on your leaving card. ELY (n.) – The first, tiniest inkling that something, somewhere has gone terribly wrong. GRIMBISTER (n.) – Large body of cars on a motorway all travelling at exactly the speed limit because one of them is a police car. KETTERING (n.) – The marks left on your bottom or thighs after sunbathing on a wickerwork chair. OCKLE (n.) – An electrical switch which appears to be off in both positions. WOKING (ptcpl.vb.) – Standing in the kitchen wondering what you came in here for.

Review

I’m not sure I can really call this a review, I have so little to say about this book.

It was humorous, generally speaking, but may have worked better as a book to dip in and out of rather than as one to  read from cover to cover (as I did). Some of the words are words that it might be nice to have a word for too, and some of them even make sense connected to the place name used. I’m not sure why they used place names, it was probably easier than making up entirely new words, however entirely new words would have been better I think, and they might have even crept into use (flange of baboons anyone?).

I would recommend the hardcover as a book to flick through, it is a rather handsome volume too, so might make a good coffee table book (if your coffee table isn’t already covered with papers, and pens, and glasses, and books and various other items as every surface of our house tends to be).

3/5

Buy it:

Hardback (£6.99)

Kindle (£4.49)

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Filed under Fiction review, Humour

Dracula- Bram Stoker



This book was read as part of The To Be Read Pile Challenge, and The Rory List

Synopsis (from amazon)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula introduces one of literature’s most famous characters, as the terrifying Count wreaks havoc on the band of hunters intent on stopping him.

Review

When I posted my list for the To Be Read Pile Challenge a lot of people said that Dracula was a great choice, so I decided to read it as my first book for the challenge.

A lot of my TBR pile books are classics, mainly because I find that reading classics tends to take more stamina than more contemporary novels. Dracula was no different really. It was probably easier than some of the other classics however.

I like gothic novels so I loved the gothic elements in Dracula, although I did expect a bit more of that. I also enjoyed the hunt as the ‘team’ tried to track down, isolate, and destroy Dracula. It had a decent portion of action but also had some thoughtfulness which was more interesting to read. I imagine when vampire folklore was less well known these portions of the novel would have seemed smarter and have much more of a climax. Nowadays vampires are pretty ingrained in popular culture so things aren’t as much of a surprise.

There was a little bit of a feminist element which I hadn’t expected. Mina is undoubtedly a clever and strong woman. She is often seen as just a woman, until she does something that is seen as remarkable, and even then the effects of that only last for a a little while

3/5

Buy it:
Kindle (free)
Paperback (£8.77)

Other Reviews:

Have I missed your review? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here

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Children’s Hour: Something Beginning With Blue


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Something Beginning With Blue is a bit like a colour version of I Spy Shapes, except it makes more sense, the things are, generally speaking, things which are always that colour. Whereas with I Spy Shapes the things could have been other shapes most of the time. It describes something which is a different colour on any other page, then on the next page will reveal what that thing is. It is a bit difficult for the kids to guess what the thing on the next page will be. The easiest is probably the dragon, and the toddlers don’t tend to even consider it as an option.

However it does make them think about the colour, so, hopefully, it helps things stick too. The writing has a nice rhythm to it which makes it easy to remember after a few reads, and makes it more interesting for the kids. Plus the illustrations by Nick Sharratt are bright and bold.

Buy Something Beginning With Blue:

Hardback (£6.99)

Board Book (£4.49)

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Sunday Surfing 26/1/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

Maybe I should re-name Sunday Surfing as Monday Surfing. Second week I’ve been out Monday rather than Sunday

Around the web this week

Latvians Made a Human Chain to Send Books to Their New Library

Joanne Harris gave some tips for writers. Harris is probably best know as the writer of Chocolat, and the following books The Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsier le Curé

Ten Literary quotes which are commonly misquoted

You can still sponsor my NaNoWriMo efforts until the end of January. Money raised goes to Macmillan Cancer Support and The British Heart Foundation

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed House of Sand and Fog

The kids read But I Do Know All About Chocolate

And I reviewed The Uncommon Reader

Planned for this week is definitely a review of Dracula. I also have plans for writing reviews of The Meaning of Liff and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.

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The Uncommon Reader- Alan Bennett



Synopsis (from Amazon)

The Uncommon Reader is none other than HM the Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace. She reads widely ( JR Ackerley, Jean Genet, Ivy Compton Burnett and the classics) and intelligently. Her reading naturally changes her world view and her relationship with people like the oleaginous prime minister and his repellent advisers. She comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with much that she has to do. In short, her reading is subversive. The consequence is, of course, surprising, mildly shocking and very funny.

Review

I think I would think much more of the queen if I knew she read widely, with all that travelling she should be able to, right?

This was a pretty simple, short, read, and entertaining you could quite easily finish it in one sitting.

I found it had me laughing out loud on a number of occasions, and it certainly makes me want to read more Alan Bennett.

If nothing else it really made me love reading. It’s really a book which champions reading, and all it’s wonderful effects.

I find it hard to write a review. Others have done a better job than me. All I can really say is you won’t regret reading it.

4/5

Buy it:
Paperback (£5.75)
Kindle (£4.19)

Other Reviews:

Have I missed your review? Post a link in comments and I will add it here

2 Comments

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Children’s Hour: But I Do Know All About Chocolate


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

If I hadn’t used Handa’s Surprise for Children’s Hour already it would almost certainly been my pick for this week. The kids are suddenly really into it and want to read it (multiple times) everyday. One of the toddlers, who doesn’t talk much, is obsessed with the monkey taking the banana. HE keeps coming to show me the picture, pointing and saying “‘nana, monkey, awwwww”

However seeing as I have used Handa’s Surprise already I thought I would choose a book which one of the pre-schoolers brought in a few weeks ago But I Do Know All About Chocolate. It’s a Charlie and Lola book which was written to raise money for Comic Relief. I’ve encountered other Charlie and Lola books before, and I don’t think this one is as good. Charlie does always teach Lola things but this seems very much more facts thrown together with the names Charlie and Lola stamped on it.

Having said that it probably is a good way for children to get interested in fairtrade and how chocolate is made, and the kid who brought it in liked it at least. I like Lola’s voice too, it’s quite authentic I think, if a little posh!

As this was published for comic relief you cannot buy it new, however you can buy a used copy:

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

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House of Sand and Fog- Andre Dubus III



This book was read as part of The Rory List

Synopsis (from amazon)

Kathy is a young recovering alcoholic recently seperated from her husband. When her family home is repossessed she is devastated. Her house is sold at auction to Behrani, a former Iranian Air Force officer for whom it represents an entry into real estate and a passport to the future for his family and his own version of the American Dream. For Kathy, its loss is the last of a sereis of insults life has dealt her and the stage is set for a gut-wrenching tragedy.

Review

This book was on my wishlist for years, then on my TBR pile for years, and now it’s been in my review queue for about a month, it’s almost as if the fates are against it. I read a review which finally made me take it off my TBR pile and start reading it. I can’t for the life of my remember where the review was, how I wish feedly had a search function! It’s the thing I most miss from google reader. Anyway, if it was you, I apologise, but if you let me know in comments I’ll add a link to it.

So almost a month after reading my overriding thoughts are about the characters. Maybe my reading is a bit character driven because I didn’t really like any characters enough for me to like the book.

My dislike for Lester is probably in fact what connected me most with the book. I couldn’t quite decide if he was just an idiot or was somehow naturally destructive. Loosing her house wasn’t the worst thing that happened to Kathy, meeting Lester was.

I had the most sympathy for Kathy as a character, everything seemed to go wrong for her, although I didn’t think she was completely clean of fault. Maybe she was just naive, but thins did seem to get worse because she didn’t see the big picture, and because she didn’t think things through carefully enough. I can see it as being somewhat a form of denial, if she avoids situations and decisions then how can anything be her fault? I felt sympathetic because she probably got the worst and least deserved problems through most of the book.

I also had some sympathy for Behrani. Really he was just trying to make something of his life. Choosing Kathy’s house to buy was bad luck really, and I can see why he felt he should get something out of it. He didn’t show much thought for others when it came down to it, but for him the house was more than a house. It was his only chance to make something of his life. He was too stubborn mainly, but I didn’t begrudge him.

In the end of things it was too much. The end was a surprise, but somewhat inevitable when you look at past reactions and experiences of the characters.

3/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£6.47)

Other reviews:

Have you reviewed this book? Leave a link it comments and I will add it here.

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Literary

Sunday Surfing 19/1/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

I’m a little late with Sunday Surfing this week. I was ill yesterday. Anyway, here we go….

Around the web this week

What is a good review? In a word of online reviewers, amazon reviews, and professional reviewers, what is really helpful?

Literary ‘Bromances’

Books to get you through the winter I’ve not actually read any of these, so would you agree?

How branding is making it hard for new and unconventional writers

The Literary Giveaway Hop is back It falls over my birthday again

 

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed We Need New Names

And the kids read You’ll Soon Grow, Alex

 

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Children’s Hour: You’ll Soon Grow Alex


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

You’ll Soon Grow Alex is currently pre-school’s favourite book. One child has even started making Alex puppets so she can act out the story herself.

The story is all about Alex. Alex is fed up of being so small, and he tries everything to make himself taller, but nothing works. He asks everyone what to do. He does it all, but nothing works. They he has an idea, his uncle is very tall- how did he do it? His uncle shows him what it’s like to actually be tall, and maybe it’s not so great.

It’s a pretty good story, actually. Although I’d find it difficult to pinpoint what’s good about it. It’s a bit funny, but not the funniest book. The pictures are nice, but not fantastic. There is the repeated refrain which makes it easy to join in with, but it doesn’t continue throughout the whole story.

You can only buy You’ll Soon Grow Alex from ‘other’ sellers on amazon:

Paperback- new (from £98.26)

Paperback- used (from £0.01)

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We Need New Names- NoViolet Bullawayo



Disclaimer: This book was given to me free of charge (via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

‘To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them. Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and not even this one we live in – who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?’

Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn’t all bad, though. There’s mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices.

They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live. For Darling, that dream will come true. But, like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home, Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges – for her and also for those she’s left behind.

Review

I don’t really know what to say about this book. I’ve been putting off writing my review, and now I’m even more clueless.

It wasn’t a bad book, it was just a bit…meh. There were good bits, but as soon as something started getting interesting the story changed. The time kept leaping so the story didn’t seem seemless. I got a fairly decent idea of what it was like for Darling in her country, but we didn’t seem to actually see much of why it was so bad, apart from being a shanty town.

Again with the American section it felt not quite detailed enough. I got a sense of what it might be like to be an immigrant- maybe more so than someone who lived in a shanty town. However there was just too much information too quickly. We didn’t see how Darling settled in really, or how she got on with different challenges- we just knew they existed. Plus there were bits that seemed even just to be normal teenage issues. Which, yes, Darling would have experienced, but maybe we could have seen a bit of what was more unique about growing up as an immigrant in America if those ‘normal’ teenage sections were taken out.

It had a lot of potential, and I really enjoyed some sections. However I would have liked more detail, any event or thought seemed too quick. It never felt exactly complete.

3/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£4.49)

Paperback- pre-order (£7.16)

Hardback (£10.34)

Other Reviews:

As the Crowe Flies (and reads!)

Word by Word

The Relentless Reader

3 Comments

Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

Sunday Surfing 12/1/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

Around the web this week

Category Winners of the Costa Prize were revealed. Yay Life After Life!

How do you write in a gender which is not your own?

Great meals in literature. I have a feeling there are better ones out there, maybe something in Tolkien?

Rules of writing a bad review (by which I mean negative, not poor!)

Conundrums for bookworms. Number 17…yes…

It’s been a while since I posted a video. This one is related to the reviews this week.

And on the blog this week…

More of a normal schedule this week, although I still have reviews to catch up on.

I reviewed The Migraine Mafia

The kids read The Cat in the Hat

Coming soon reviews of ‘We Need New Names’ and ‘The Uncommon Reader’

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Filed under general, Memes, Sunday Surfing

Children’s Hour: The Cat in the Hat


Children’s Hour is a feature posted every Thursday here at Lucybird’s Book Blog. Children’s Hour is my time for reviewing children’s picture books. In my job in a nursery I encounter lots of children’s books, and these are the books I use for Children’s Hour.

You can find links to past Children’s Hour posts here.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Apparently there is some big (I think mainly American) thing about Dr. Seuss being required childhood reading, and just generally awesome. Sort of like Roald Dahl, but with more rhymes, and less ‘horror’. So it is with a little apology that I say I never liked Dr Seuss, even as a child. My sister got a few of them from the library but I just found them generally annoying, and pointless. Possibly because she liked Green Eggs and Ham which only has 50 different words in it.

Anyway I did my best to avoid Dr Seuss. Then The Cat in the Hat turned up in toddler room (possibly because my collegue, who works in preschool hates it- she may have sneaked it out). At first it was on the shelf, so I could avoid it, generally. However it has now somehow migrated into the book box. (Luckily) I have never actually got all the way through it, because it’s long for a nursery book, and you can never sit for that long without being interrupted, so I can only give a very basic storyline. The Cat in the Hat turns up at the house on a rainy day and tries to entertain the kids in silly, and, frankly, ill advised ways. Mother is not home, so he can basically do what he wants. (The less said about a mother leaving two young children at home with only a fish for supervision the better- it’s one of those thoughts you just have to suspend to read children’s books).

One of the children has wanted to read The Cat in the Hat every day this week, sometimes more than once. I can kind of see that maybe the pictures of the cat balancing everything are funny. I can see that the rhyming makes it nice to listen too, but I just find it annoying. One thing I can say I quite like is the pictures, although the Cat in the Hat doesn’t really look like a cat, does he?

If you must read a Seuss, and least make it “Oh the Places You’ll Go” which is still a little annoying, but at least has a nice message.

Buy The Cat in the Hat:

Paperback (£4.79)

Hardback (£10.89)

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The Migraine Mafia- Maia Sepp



Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge (via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

On paper, Viive McBroom lives the perfect life—a key player in a fast-paced, technical field, one promotion away from real success—but that’s only if you ignore one little problem.

Sandwiched between one migraine and the next, Viive’s life is like those choose-your-own-adventure books you read as a kid, only less fun and with a lot more drugs. And lately, as her bosses politely march her toward a vacation that might never end, even the good days seem like a struggle for survival.

Faced with frustration from her loved ones and the dark machinations of a new coworker, Viive feels herself getting pulled under by guilt, apologies, and workplace shenanigans. But then she meets the Migraine Mafia, a quirky, vibrant support group, and her fragile camouflage begins to crumble. She discovers that a room full of strangers just might be able to change the way she views her illness—and realizes that if she doesn’t learn to ask for help, her health isn’t the only thing she stands to lose.

Review

I suffer from migraines, and that’s really what drew me to this book. I do not suffer anywhere nearly as badly as Viive does. At my worst I was getting no more than two migraines a week, and currently I’m getting less than one a month *touch wood*. The severity of hers seems worse than mine too, although sometimes she can sit through them, which I really can’t. I have had my share of problems with them, mainly to do with work, but, luckily, my manager was quite understanding. Of course it’s a bit difficult for Viive’s managers to by sympathetic because she won’t admit that she has a problem.

If nothing else The Migraine Mafia is a good portrait of what a migraine can be like. One of my pet hates is people who call migraines headaches, or people who say they have migraines when they ‘just’ have a headache. Trust me, if you have a migraine you’ll know about it! Maybe it’s a book I should try to force on people to make them understand? The best thing I’ve found for this however is The Migraine Trust’s video

The story itself is about migraines more that anything. It might have been nice to see a few more ways of fighting migraine. There is an element of it but the book does make it seem like every solution is a bit of a shot in the dark. It kind of is with drugs, I still haven’t found the perfect drug to take when I have a migraine. However things like working out triggers didn’t really seem to feature so much as ‘these are common triggers, lets try stopping them’. I suppose if Viive had kept a migraine diary throughout the novel however it would have made a less enjoyable read.

The book was an easy read actually, but still interesting, possibly more so for those who don’t know anything about migraine. I was a little frustrated with Viive at times, but I did generally like her. I really liked the Migraine Mafia however.

If you would like to know more about migraine you can visit The Migraine Trust, or read one of my previous posts concerning migraine.

3/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£1.99)

Paperback (£5.99)

4 Comments

Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

Sunday Surfing 5/1/14


bird surf

Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed I’m been posting a lot of links recently. Sunday Surfing is my new feature (inspired by Chrisbookarama‘s Friday Bookish Buzz, which is one of my favourite features) where I share my favourite links from during the week, about books and blogging.

Plus a little about what’s happened on the blog this week. Lets get started.

Around the web this week

This library has no books I get the whole digital age thing, but no books?!

Reading Changes Your Brain Connectivity

What ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ Can Teach You About Life even if you don’t like the book.

Great Bookshop Names and Where They Come From I would love to visit Mr B’s Emporium for a book spa

Can You Solve These Riddles From Literature?

Apparently a book collection is an outdated item boooo buzzfeed (but they do say you should own it anyway)

So apparently this week’s video won’t embed

And on the blog this week…

I reviewed The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

Children’s Hour was all about Slow Down Sidney

I joined the 2014 TBR Challenge

It’s been review of the year time:

Overview

Challenges

Fiction

Non-fiction

Popular posts

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Review of the Year 2013- Popular Posts


This is a new section for my review of the year. What have my visitors been reading and looking at?

Most popular reviews:

Fiction- The Weight Of Silence This one always gets a lot of hits from the search engines for some reason.

Non-fiction- The End of Your Life Book Club

Children’s Hour post- Not Now, Bernard

Film of a Book- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Bookish posts:

Lists- Top Ten Books Set in War Time

Musings- Goodreads, Censorship, and Trolls

Sunday Surfing- This one, and this one, and this one, and this one, oh and this one

Bits that don’t fit into tidy categories- The Book Jar

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Review of the Year 2013- Non-Fiction


I’ve only read 4 non-fiction books this year. I thought I would list them all, although the best of these is clear for me.


The End of Your Life Book Club- Will Schwalbe is about a mother who is critically ill, and her son who connect through books as she reaches the end of her life.

 

 


The Elements of Eloquence- Mark Forsyth. Is about writing and speaking style and how to make what you say beautiful.

 

 


Friends like These- Danny Wallace. Is about Danny finding all of his childhood friends.

 

 


1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks off. Another book by the QI team, full of interesting facts.

And the winner is…

The Elements of Eloquence

I love Mark Forsyth’s stuff. Always interesting, but told in an easy to read tone and with a lot of humour. I’m pretty sure reading this during NaNoWriMo helped my writing too.

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