Book Review – The Ground Will Catch You by Dave Powning

The Ground Will Catch You by Dave Powning.

1513736_10152592282338650_70066834643568387_n

I didn’t know what to expect from this book, the blurb on the back is intriguing enough but doesn’t really give much away in regards to storyline. The main protagonist is Steve Hollis, a sales man who sells advertising space and doesn’t seem to fit in with his peers. He spends most of his days fantasising about Judoka.

A chance meeting with another man once again sparks his passion for the sport and gives him a sense of belonging in another wise round world in which he feels square. Slowly but surely Steve reveals more of his past to Jack and we get a greater understanding of this young man with an obsession for order and cleanliness. What blossoms is a genuine, heart warming friendship, but all that is thrown off course when he meets the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, Emily. An interesting character in her own right, but a character I struggled to like.

This is where the story begins to develop this slow sense of tension building, which I have only ever felt when watching a film directed by Shane Meadows. This sense that something terrible is going to happen but you don’t know whom to or when. Dave Powning has written an incredibly intriguing character with Steve Hollis, one that genuinely leaves you wondering when his sense of well-disciplined calm is going to crumble. But he’s also written a character that we can all relate to, a character that made a mistake and consequently turned his back on his true passion to pursue a career and life he had no real invested interest in.

There are moments that made me laugh, especially when he’s at dinner parties or outings and finds it hard to endure the monotonous conversations in order to come across as partly ‘normal’ but there are some darker elements too and Dave has written these with an intelligence and honest observation that will leave you pondering your own decisions in life.

My only criticism would be that the ending lacked something, almost wrapping things up too completely and nicely for my liking. I think I would have preferred a little more mystery to allow me to make my own mind up about what happened to some of the characters. Saying that it’s an incredibly well written debut novel that shows a lot of promise for David Powning, who clearly knows how to captivate an audience (I read it in a matter of days) I’d recommend this to people who are interested in a little mystery and those looking for some indie authors with a lot of talent.

Star Rating out of 5: 4.5

I should also mention that if you purchase David’s book he is donating 10% of the profits to Breast Cancer Charities, which for a self published author is incredibly generous and humbling. If you would like to learn more about David then check out his website http://inkwrapped.com/

‘Directing our hope pointlessly skyward, ready to make a deal, to be granted that revelation.’

Until next time, happy reading.

x

Advertisements

Book Review – World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

It makes me quite sad that it’s taken me so long to read this book. Both in the sense that it’s actually taken me a while to finish it, as I’ve been busy with work and Wedding related stuff, but also in the amount of time it’s taken me to physically pick it up and start reading it.

1454973_10152534412493650_4865817964821859387_n

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is without doubt one of the finest, most intelligent and gripping novels I have ever had the true pleasure of reading. It gives first hand accounts from various people who lived through the Zombie War and survived.

The great thing about this book is that the style of writing feels genuine to each person telling his or her story, Max Brooks has managed to make each story unique, horrific, and occasionally funny and heart breaking in such an effortless way.

It covers people who fought on land, in the ocean, there’s even a chapter written from the perspective of an astronaut on board the ISS who watched the world burn and change from space. It’s moments like this and the fresh, new perspectives of each character that keeps this book truly entertaining. From Patient Zero to people rebuilding their lives after the War is over, it’s an extensive masterpiece.

Star Rating out of 5: 5

I’d recommend this to anyone who is interested in a clever twist of the zombie story, or for those who are fans of tension, war, politics and the test of the human spirit.

‘Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they’re used.’

 

If any of you have read this or plan to, please do comment below and let me know your thoughts, I really enjoyed it and felt that it’s a book that had elements that could appeal to everyone.

Happy reading fellow bookworms.

tumblr_mx8mlfRmdD1qj7u8ao1_500

x

Book Review – The Penguin Book of Witches by Katharine Howe

In modern day society when you hear the word ‘Witch’ an image is conjured to mind of Halloween, a crooked nose and a pointed cap and the sad fact is, at one point in time there were actual women who were persecuted by their community because they were believed to have been consorting with the Devil and were condemned as Witches.

10425152_10152552661818650_811946887902571848_n

The Penguin Book of Witches by Katharine Howe is an incredibly detailed novel. Howe has done extensive research into the Witch Trials that took place not only here in the UK, but in America and most notably Salem. There are excerpts from novels written at the time, interviews that took place, trial notes and much more in this book.

This a fantastic piece of work which not only sheds a light on the horrific ways in which women were tried but also shows how delusional and brainwashed people were. It also seems that women of a lower class seemed to be targeted by these Witch Hunters and how much easier it seemed to place the blame of death on any woman accused of having ‘spirit guides’ which to the modern person would just be a lonely old woman who speaks to her cats.

In depth, eye opening and fascinating, this book makes for a great read even if you’re not interested in the history of the witch trials. My only criticism is some of the Old English words took a while to work around to make it easy flowing.

Star Rating out of 5: 3.5

‘Sickness from unhygienic conditions made for a high infant mortality rate, but those deaths were easier to bear if they could be blamed on someone else’

x

Why I’m Currently Reading…

I thought it was about time that I updated you on what I’m currently reading. At the moment I have a few books on the go, which isn’t something I usually do but I got a little back log of stuff to work through for review purposes. One of them came from a brilliant website called Library Thing, this website allows people to sign up and request review copies of books on a monthly basis. I know there are some book lovers amongst you who may think this sounds too good to be true, but all they ask in return is for a book review, of the book, for their website.

I’ve been lucky enough to bag not one, but two books since joining last month, so I’m currently reading.

Wishes and Sorrows by Cindy Lynn Speers

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 22.48.33

I’ve also just been informed that I have won a review copy of Amanda Reynolds new novel ‘When You and Me Were Us’ – so I’m sure you will see this pop up in one of my ‘Currently Reading’ posts soon. I’m also working through:

The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe

10425152_10152552661818650_811946887902571848_n

I received this from Penguin Books and was originally going to review it for Belle About Town but they wasn’t sure that it was 100% right for the readership, so I’ll be reviewing it for my book blog now instead.

And as if that isn’t enough, I’m also working through this:

Possession by A.S. Byatt

41219

and

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

1454973_10152534412493650_4865817964821859387_n

So don’t be surprised if in a week or so you’re inundated with book reviews, which I will be posting as and when I finish each book. Some of them are more convenient to read on my commute, whereas Wishes and Sorrows and Possession are easier to read in my spare time at home.

Until next time, happy reading fellow bookworms.

x

Liebster Award

For the second time today I’d like to thank Lu-Lu’s Rants & Reads for a nomination.

la1

For the uninitiated, The Rules:

  1. Link and thank the blogger that nominated you
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you
  3. Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less followers
  4. Ask the 11 nominated bloggers 11 questions and tell them you’ve nominated them

Now for The Questions (dun dun dunnnn):

  1. Do you have a favourite reading spot? If so, where at and why? I think I’m one of those lucky people who can read anywhere, people at work even call me ‘the walking library’ as I tend to walk and read at the same time, however my favourite spot has to be a sofa in my house that is right next to my bookshelf. It’s perfect for me, it has a lamp and a place to put my mug of tea, there’s a throw in case I get chilly and plenty of cushions for me to cuddle up to if the book is scary or emotional…It’s perfect. Here’s a photo.
    10407115_10152264721723650_5212638703126251_n
  2. If you had a chance to meet an author right now, who would it be? Without any hesitation it would be JK Rowling. I have so much to thank her for, but I’d just love to sit and have a cup of tea with her. She’s a pretty amazing lady and I’m yet to read something of hers and dislike it.
  3. Which book is the most worn out on your bookshelf? It’s a copy of ‘Ballet Shoes’ by Noel Streatfield. I’ve had to cello tape the spine back together and some of the pages are loose, but I’ll never get rid of it.
  4. Hardback or paperback? For practical reasons I find paperbacks easier to carry round and read on my daily commute, however I’d always like a Hardback copy of an author’s work I love.
  5. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past month? That’s a tough one, I’d have to say it was probably ‘Paper Towns’ by John Green, I just felt it was quite convoluted and the ending was incredibly boring.
  6. If you could be best friends with any fictional character, who would it be? This is a really tough question but I think it would be between Matilda or Harry Potter, they may be cliché but they’re the people I feel closest to in the literary world, I feel as though I shared my childhood and teenage years with them.
  7. About how many books do you currently own? How many have you actually read? I’d say I currently own around 200 books and I’ve read about 80 of them.
  8. If you could be any character, who would it be? (I know, this is a repeat but this is a good question!) It may seem like a silly one but probably Bridget Jones (minus all the smoking, drinking and binge eating) and the reason is because she never lets anything get her down too much. She has plenty of occasions where she could just give up, but she doesn’t, and I admire that most about her. Or, I’d be Hermione Granger.
  9. What genre do you read the most? I don’t really have a favourite genre to be honest, I will read almost anything if it piques my interest and is recommended to me.
  10. What’s your favourite part of going to a bookstore? Looking at all the new titles, staff picks, trying to search out an obscure title from my growing list of books to read. I also like the smell and familiarity I feel whenever I go into the bookstore, it feels like I’m amongst like minded people, and no one is judging me for taking a good hour to look around, feel the books, smell the books…It’s a nice feeling.
  11. What are you currently reading? I have a lot of books on the go at the moment. I’m reading ‘Wishes and Sorrows’ by Cindy Lynn Speer, ‘Possession’ by A.S. Byatt, ‘The Penguin Book of Witches’ by Katherine Howe and ‘World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War’ by Max Brooks.

Here are the questions for the blogs that I choose: 

  1. If you could only bring 3 books with you to a deserted island, what would they be?
  2. If you could be any character, who would it be?
  3. How many books have you read this year, thus far?
  4. What was your favourite childhood book and why?
  5. What’s the best book you have read this month?
  6. Is there a book you hated when you were younger, but love now?
  7. What is your favourite book to screen adaptation and why?
  8. If you could have a drink with three authors, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
  9. Which fictional characters death has upset you the most?
  10. What’s your favourite genre of book?
  11. What are you currently reading?

 Those are the questions folks! Now, I am only choosing five bloggers (apologies if you have over 200 followers)…so here are my choices:

Books and Bookmarks

Len’s Soapbox

It’s All About Books

Jacke Wilson

The Readers

I look forward to reading your replies, until next time.

x

Are You Wondering Why?….

For those of you who wonder why there may be periods of time where I don’t seem be reading much or posting much, it’s because I’m also Book Reviewer and Literary Correspondent for the wonderful website Belle About Town. If you’d like to read some of my work on two of the books that were shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize then here are the links.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

I believe my review for The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell should also be going live in a few days, and I have just finished writing a review for a collection of short erotica stories, which should go live within the next few weeks.

Please do give them a read, share the links and if you’re feeling particularly generous, please do comment on the reviews too!

Thanks and as always, happy reading fellow bookworms.

x

One Lovely Blog

A huge thanks you to Lu-Lu’s Rants & Reads for the nomination, like her it’s my first nomination.

wpid-screenshot_2014-10-23-23-27-11-1

The rules for this nomination are:

– Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
– List the rules and display the award.
– Tell us 7 facts about yourself.
– Nominate 5 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

So seven things about me…

  1. In case you haven’t noticed I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan so much so that when I was lucky enough to go the Harry Potter Tour in London for my Hen Party last weekend, I cried many times because it felt like I was actually in Hogwarts.
  2. I have 8 tattoos and would love more, the ones I have all mean something to me and represent people in my life. However my only visible ones are the three on left arm near my wrist, the rest are in places that are easily covered with clothes.
  3. As well as reading I love cooking, baking and sewing but at the moment I don’t have time to do much of the latter two, but I am looking forward to the Christmas break so I can finally make some clothes/cakes.
  4. I am addicted to Twitter. I wish I could explain it but I can’t, I enjoy meeting new people through the many hash tags available and it’s always nice when you get a tweet back or a re tweet from a celebrity you admire.
  5. I have so many fandoms that it’s hard to list them all. Harry Potter, Star Wars, True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer – basically anything done by Joss Whedon.
  6. I like gaming, but don’t get to do it too much as my fiancé dominates the TV and games consoles. My favourite titles include Left 4 Dead, Bioshock and Batman Arkham Asylum.
  7. One of my life long goals is to slide under a shutter door as it’s closing with the grace of ninja.

There are my facts! Now here are my nominations:

Another Night of Reading

Jacke Wilson

The Little Library Cafe

Prismatic Prospects

Blogging for a Good Book

Thanks again for the nomination and hope to hear from everyone in the future. Happy blogging!

x