Monthly Archives: September 2012

The fun stats of blogging …

try not to look at my blog stats too often. Outwardly I don’t worry about rankings and the number of page views, it’s not my primary motivation for blogging. Internally, of course I’m always flattered when the blog get lots of hits and good rankings – who wouldn’t be?!  What is always fascinating though, is how people get to your… Read more »

I gave in to the hype …

The Casual Vacancyby J K Rowling So I’ve given in to the hype and got me a cheap copy of JK’s new adult book, and it will be my weekend reading… I see the knives are already out on Amazon with 50% of the 50+ reader reviews so far being negative. I’m really hoping that it’ll be better than that…. Read more »

Crime always soars in a heatwave …

The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill translated from the Spanish by Laura McGloughlin Inspector Héctor Salgado is a hot-blooded Argentine working in Barcelona. As the book opens, he has recently returned from enforced leave after he beat up a suspect in a Voodoo/paedophile trafficking ring. Investigation 1231-R Salgado Resolution Pending Three short lines noted in black felt-tip pen… Read more »

A body’s life, a life’s memories

Winter Journal by Paul Auster I’ve been an Auster-fan ever since I first read The New York Trilogy in the late 1980s, which I re-read and reviewed here a couple of years ago. Between writing his novels, Auster also writes essays and volumes of memoir. Winter Journal is a memoir largely told through the things that have happened to his body…. Read more »

Weekend musings & Giveaway results

This week has been rather busy physically and mentally; although I’ve been reading I haven’t had been in the right mind for blogging – so a big thank you again to my friend Julia for her midweek review for me. Yesterday I did have a bit of a break, and filled it with a spontaneous garage sale – which meant… Read more »

Guest review of Ash by James Herbert

A few weeks ago I accepted a copy of British horror-meister James Herbert’s new novel ‘Ash‘ to review. I loved reading Herbert when I was younger, and thought it would be really fun to revisit him. But I haven’t had time to fit reading it in yet, so I lent it to my good friend Julia, and today I’m turning over… Read more »

Illustrated books and crossover editions

I bought a signed first edition of the hardback of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which I wrote about here. After looking at some of the illustrations, I sat it in my bookcase as being almost too nice/collectible to read. The initial paperback edition is just like a slightly smaller version of the hardback but with soft covers, so… Read more »

An exceptional story for all ages…

A Monster Callsby Patrick Ness The British writer Siobhan Dowd won the Carnegie Medal posthumously in 2009 for her last book, Bog Child.  She’d started working on another, but died of breast cancer before she had started writing. Her outline was handed to Patrick Ness, author of the acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy and he wrote the book she didn’t have time… Read more »

Four candles? No, fork’andles. ‘Andles for forks!

For anyone in the world who doesn’t know what I’m going on about, I suggest you pop over here and watch this sketch by the Two Ronnies, which is one of the funniest things ever, (and Wikipedia explains the whole thing further). There’s a whole industry of tribute merchandise that has grown up around the Four Candles sketch. Loads of… Read more »

The remote effects of war …

The Coveby Ron Rash. The fighting of WWI may be happening on the battlefields of Europe, but that doesn’t mean that remote communities in America don’t feel a ripple of its effects too… Young men who volunteered are returning home maimed – Hank Shelton lost a hand, and he’s doing his best to renovate the family farm with his sister… Read more »