Currently Reading.

Sometimes I think the book loving Gods are looking down on me. I was hoping to get something to read on my Kindle as it’s much lighter and convenient to carry around on my long commute to work every day, so I was happy when this came out of my TBR Jar.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

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I’ve heard so many good things about this, and I really enjoyed Sharp Objects, so I hope this lives up to the hype it has received. As usual I will post a full review when I am done, keep your eyes peeled.

Until then, happy reading! And remember, it’s ok to have more books than shoes!

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Book Review – The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

This book is described as a group of people who get together once a month to discuss the novels of Jane Austen, and they do but if you’re expecting page upon page of in depth analysis on the work of Austen from these fictional characters then you’ll be disappointed.

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Yes, the group do select a different book each month and meet but it is punctuated with a background of further understanding of the characters that make up the six. Jocelyn and Sylvia have been friends since they were children and are now in their 50’s, Allegra is Sylvia’s daughter, Bernadette is an old friend, Prudie met Jocelyn at a screening of Persuasion and Grigg, the only guy, was invited by Jocelyn who met him at a Sci-fi convention.

It’s a strange bunch of characters with some interesting dynamics, but it seems to work, although perhaps on paper, it shouldn’t. There was something quite comforting about the book, the love of Austen that connected these people together, and the few times insight was offered, it was interesting to gain a different perspective on the famous novelist’s work. However this was too little for me, whilst it was interesting to hear more about the characters it felt that some were favoured more by Karen Joy Fowler than others. I know Jocelyn and Sylvia were the main protagonists but I felt we missed out on learning more about people like Bernadette (who seemed to have an intriguing and full life) or Grigg, or even Prudie who spoke French but had never visited the country. And for me this made the book fall a little flat.

I could understand what Karen was trying to do but I felt that she rushed the developing storylines between the characters a bit too fast and made them a little too obvious which took away the mystery and excitement that would have otherwise been there. That being said I appreciated the way the novel highlighted some of Austen’s lesser-known work, and hopefully in doing so it will encourage a whole new generation of book lovers to discover her work, it was clear to see that Karen Joy Fowler has a lot of love for Jane Austen, but I feel her idea wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.

I’d recommend this book to people who enjoy the work of Miss Jane Austen, or those who are looking for something fairly easy going to read.

Star Rating out of 5: 3

It is not everyone who has your passion for dead leaves.

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Happy reading fellow bookworms.

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Currently Reading.

So the next book out of the TBR jar is;

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler.

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As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a fan of Jane Austen’s work so I am really quite excited to give this a read. Keep your eyes peeled and as usual I will post a review when I’m done.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday, happy reading fellow bookworms.

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Book Review – The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks is one of those books that has always been on my list of books ‘I must read’ partly because the title intrigued me and partly because of how often I have heard people refer to it as ‘such a weird book’ So when I embarked upon settling down and reading this, I really didn’t know what to expect, if anything.

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Meet Frank, a sixteen year old who lives in a secluded part of Scotland, and doesn’t technically exist, according the official paperwork. From the first Chapter it is clear to see that Frank isn’t your typical teenager and instead of favouring football and girls, he prefers to make sacrificial poles made from the heads of animals, to ward off intruders.

As the book progresses Frank confesses to how he has killed three people, two boys and a young girl, all members of his family, and all for reasons that, for me, never became fully clear. He describes each murder and how he managed to escape suspicion, despite being present with each of the people when they met their untimely and cruel demise. I think it was perhaps the second and third murder that I found particularly difficult to read, so heads up if you haven’t read it and plan to. You may find yourself recoiling somewhat.

Throughout the book you learn about Franks childhood, his relationship with his father and his ‘crazy’ brother Eric, who also has a dark and dangerous streak and sets fire to dogs (sorry dog lovers, you may not like this book) The setting for the book is perfect, this little bubble of an island with dunes and bunkers and plenty of land where Frank can play out his little macabre hobbies. As the book develops Eric has escaped the hospital where he was being held and is making his way back home, this adds to the tension in the book and helps build up the climax for the latter part.

Frank consults his Wasp Factory for answers to questions – as an aside The Wasp Factory is basically a maze of death for Wasps that Frank captures and kills, with each path resulting in a different death. He keeps being warned by the Factory about a Fire. Again, this adds to the tension being built as events start happening that indicate his brother is getting closer to home. For those of you who like some closure, you do find out what made poor Eric turn ‘mad’ and I think out of the entire novel, this particularly was the most gruesome imagery I came across. Be warned it isn’t for those with a sensitive stomach.

The book climaxes to a pivotal moment when more secrets are exposed and the truth about Frank is revealed, but not in the way you might think. An evocative novel, which is incredibly gothic in its tone. I found the ending a little flat, but overall not a bad read. I’d recommend this to people who want something macabre and for those who like to be entertained by the darker aspects of life.

Star Rating out of 5: 4

Keep your entrails and sticks and dice and books and birds and voices and pendants and all the rest of that crap; I have the Factory, and it’s about now and the future; not the past.

Happy reading fellow bookworms.

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Book Review – The Promotion: A Novella by Jacke Wilson

The Promotion is the second novella I’ve read by the talented Jacke Wilson, and I didn’t think it was possible but I actually enjoyed it more than ‘The Race’

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It follows the story of a lawyer who is tasked with the job of recruiting new attorneys to join the firm he works for. From the get go we can see he’s not having the best of times. His wife who became addicted to gambling has left him and his work life isn’t much better. The new job role gives him a sense of purpose, or passion, to try and encourage people to join the business, only after a few odd lunches with two other colleagues Jennifer and Martin, he can’t help but feel that things aren’t going too well.

He becomes obsessed with a woman named Mina Meinl and soon it is all he can think about, almost like one last hurrah, if he can solve the mystery of her, his life will improve. But underlying all of this is the story of someone who has lost his or her way in the world. I’ve seen some people describe this mans decline into madness, but what I got was the slow, subtle cracks of someone falling into a depression.

I may have read it wrong but I wonder if Jacke was making us think the character was male, but is actually female. Either that or Mina represented a broken off part of the character. The final part of the book seems like the characters need to go back to simpler times, a search for some normality as the world crumbles around him. And the ending of life and death and the pounding on the door ended the book perfectly, the moment right before you know which path the character will take.

Another well-written novella, with many layers of thought threaded throughout. If you want something that you can read fairly quickly and keep you intrigued, this is the perfect book for you.

Star Rating out of 5: 5

Mina. Meinl. Me. Mine.

Happy reading fellow book lovers!

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Currently Reading.

This one came out of the TBR jar the other day, it’s a book I’ve often heard a lot about but have not had the opportunity to read…Until now.

A friend of mine said it’s one of the most bizarre books he has ever read, as usual, only time will tell.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks.

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I’ll post a full review as soon as I’m done.

Happy reading fellow bookworms.

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Update!

I’ve been out of action for a bit as I’ve been reading a book I was asked to review for a website I contribute to. However I’m back in action reading books for this blog, so keep you eyes peeled and there should be something up fairly soon!

Happy reading fellow bookworms!

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