Continuing on with the mammoth catch up I feel that breaking it up was the right thing to do mainly because it would have been a horrendously long blog and I really didn’t want you as the reader to tire of it as I’m sure people have their own lives and their own massive book pile to get through.
I’m currently a few books behind in my reading challenge for this year so onwards…
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle (Review Copy)
First review copy of 2016. Firstly great jacket – this may be down to the fact we own a royal python but obviously I get the liar/snake connotation what ever the reason it’s a good design and got my attention.
Searle’s debut novel is the story of Roy – a conman throughout most of life who after a blind date with a woman called Betty decides that she is an easy target for his last and final con. The story of Roy’s past and developing relationship with Betty is told via flashbacks and conversations, which did keep me thinking and remembering things as I read further into the story – sometimes I would wonder if some of them were really relevant but then I would learn something about a character that would change my perception and rope me into the story again.
It was well written because I did genuinely did feel that Roy was really taking advantage of Betty who seemed to have fallen in love with him and trust him implicitly, I couldn’t help feeling that she was going to be left with nothing but the deeper you delve it starts to get quite psychological and Betty really isn’t as meek as she seems and very cleverly you begin to realise that maybe she may of had his number the whole time.
There are three versions of the truth – yours, theirs and the truth itself – great attention to plot and character development and another promising UK author.
A happy and unexpected addition to the blog as it wasn’t on my to read list, to be honest I didn’t know it existed – I was in the library getting books out and member of staff had it on the desk as it had only just come in.
I have been a fan of Rob Zombie’s music for longer than I care to admit – we’ll call it quits at a little over two decades and as someone who is fan of his movies too I was interested to see where the biography would focus on as it’s the first I have ever seen with Zombie as the subject.
It’s clear from the very outset that McIver is a huge fan and I admit to thinking it was going to be a total fan boy book and I wouldn’t enjoy it – this from a person from who when Rob Zombie came towards him and his spikey-headed friend (yes he really does have spikes in his head) completely forgot how to use words and gave him a massive hug – as I said longtime fan not just the author.
It’s has a no nonsense factual approach which contains about the right amount of info for each part of the biography, providing a concise but informative timeline into the life of Rob and his evolution from early life and influences to band member, solo artist and film director. I especially enjoyed the stories contained in the book about early White Zombie albums which whilst reading the book I did listen to with the new info and it was almost like a directors commentary and has changed the way I now listen to them. Also learning things about the movies that I didn’t know from documentaries was also a bonus.
It was really refreshing to read a biography that was so focused in it’s approach.
I came across this via book club that I follow on Instagram. I had seen it pop up a lot so decided it needed a place on a bookshelf in this house.
Between the World and Me is the author’s attempt to answer questions about American history, race and the falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on black men and women through slavery, segregation and murder.
Through a series a letters to his adolescent son Coates shares his past and his awakenings through a series of revolutionary experiences. It is the story of Man who not only wants his sons to understand and ugly and brutal past but make the reader think about the consequences those events and question our future actions.
A wonderfully honest narrative on something that some may find a difficult subject
As with The Loney in my other catch up post another genre that I almost seemed to have neglected for a while is fantasy – I had seen this in a book chart and decided it was a good time to re visit the genre as it has felt for a while that it’s become saturated with Game Of Thrones wannabe stories and tales.
This is a book that that inspired the game The Witcher which as I have not played I was not familiar with the characters or storyline. It’s a book that has been around for a while, published first in Polish in 1993 but not translated into English until 2007: The Last Wish introduces us to the Witcher Geralt a merciless assassin, sorcerer and cold-blooded killer amongst other things – there are the usual fantasy elements which are fairly standard it’s heavily influenced by J.R.R.Tolkien but does introduce the reader to some Slavic mythology which fits in well.
Ultimately it is a collection of tales about monster hunting – if you are familiar with game franchise you may enjoy it more.
Mel picked this up for me during my most recent hospital stay, it was in last years Man Booker list and as I have mentioned the Booker is my favourite of all the book prizes. This book has passed me by somehow so having the time for something so intriging really helped.
The Fishermen is the story of four brothers growing up in 90’s Nigeria. Told from the point of view of the youngest sibling, when journeying to a forbidden river in the town of Akure where the entire book is set all the brothers encounter the local madman who almost in a curse like way convinces one of the older siblings that he is destined to be killed by the hands of one of his brothers. After this event nothing is ever the same for the family, due to work commitments their father leaves their and their mother becomes ill all the while the boys are trying to deal with the change of relationships between themselves as brothers as they all start to doubt one another and also the changing family dynamic.
The book also has the political and social backdrop of Nigeria in the late 1990’s and blends in really well with overall harrowing tone of the book – it’s a great introduction into african literature if it isn’t something you have explored before
The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen (Kindle First)
Lastly another kindle first purchase. Fireflies is story of a family who live in an underground basement, the youngest boy of 10 years old has lived there his who life and only knows of the outside world through picture books. He is the only member of his family who doesn’t have a burn mark on his face his sisters burns are so bad hers are hidden behind a mask. The boy is naturally curious about the scars, outside world and who the father of his sisters new born baby is but he is scared of the carrot man a character that his has made up to deter this curiosity and when some fireflies appear the boy wants to follow the light and escape but all the doors are locked.
The story is fairly disturbing, explanations are offered which makes is more disturbing and the mask becomes a clever metaphor – not really the type of thing you want to read in bed insomnia or not
All caught up normal service to resume back to monthly updates in between wedding planning of course. Hopefully you have found something that you make want to add to your read/wish-list etc
Any recommendations welcome of course.