Book Reviews





My wishlist of books

This weekend Amazon kinda "clicked" with me. I felt that spark. That little hint of a good relationship beginning to brew between me and my "recommendations" list. (It was short lived, because as soon as I searched for Nike running wear it was thrown off and thought I actually liked exercise. Ha!)

For that short time though, things were beautiful. Book after book was thrown up and I kept thinking "yes, that sounds interesting, and definately worth a stab in the dark when it falls below a fiver". And so, my wishlist grew... and grew... and now I have enough wishes to fill a wishy library of wishes in my head.

I thought I'd share with you some of the books, as if you come here looking for a review, you probably have similar taste to me. You might find some of them intriguing yourself. And nothing feels as good as the feeling of recommending a book and getting it right. The only catch here is that I don't know what they're like yet. So don't hold me responsible if you find the writing as (in)credible as Twilight. Disclaimer done. Here's the books:

The Blue Book
by A. L. Kennedy

Elizabeth Barber is crossing the Atlantic by liner with her perfectly adequate boyfriend, Derek, who might be planning to propose. In fleeing the UK – temporarily – Elizabeth may also be in flight from her past and the charismatic Arthur, once her partner in what she came to see as a series of crimes. Together they acted as fake mediums, perfecting the arcane skills practised by effective frauds. 

Elizabeth finally rejected what once seemed an intoxicating game. Arthur continued his search for the right way to do wrong. He now subsidises free closure for the traumatised and dispossessed by preying on the super-rich. The pair still meet occasionally, for weekends of sexual oblivion, but their affection lacerates as much as it consoles.

She hadn’t, though, expected the other man on the boat. As her voyage progresses, Elizabeth’s past is revealed, codes slowly form and break as communication deepens. It’s time for her to discover who are the true deceivers and who are the truly deceived.

What’s more, is the book itself – a fiction which may not always be lying – deceiving the reader? Offering illusions and false trails, magical numbers and redemptive humour, this is a novel about what happens when we are misled and when we are true: an extraordinarily intricate and intimate journey into our minds and hearts undertaken by a writer of great gifts – a maker of wonders.

Was going to paraphrase that blurb but it was too good. Sounds all twisty-turny and dramatic though, right? 

Anno Dracula
by Kim Newman

It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders. Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history.

Risky... A "popular vampire novel" and to top it, it's got romance. *alarm bells ringing!* Does appeal to the geeky goth in me though.

Night Waking
by Sarah Moss

Historian Anna Bennett has a book to write. She also has an insomniac toddler, a precocious, death-obsessed seven-year-old, and a frequently-absent ecologist husband who has brought them all to Colsay, a desolate island in the Hebrides, so he can count the puffins. Ferociously sleep-deprived, torn between mothering and her desire for the pleasures of work and solitude, Anna becomes haunted by the discovery of a baby's skeleton in the garden of their house. Her narrative is punctuated by letters home, written 200 years before, by May, a young, middle-class midwife desperately trying to introduce modern medicine to the suspicious, insular islanders. The lives of these two characters intersect unexpectedly in this deeply moving but also at times blackly funny story about maternal ambivalence, the way we try to control children, and about women's vexed and passionate relationship with work.

It's about mothers. Why does this appeal to me? Oh yeah, the creepy death-obsessed kid. I don't condone this as an attractive-reading-material-maker. I probably need some sort of analysis... It does have a touch of the classic gothic novel about it though.

The Possessions of Doctor Forrest
by Richard T. Kelly

Dr Jekyll meets Dr Faustus in this spine-chilling modern-day Gothic fable.

 That's all the blurb says on Amazon. That's all I needed!

by Cat Patrick

With the intrigue of Memento and the romance of The Time-Traveller's Wife, Forgotten is the perfect YA novel. Here's the thing about me: I can see the future in flashes, like memories. But my past is a blank. I remember what I'll wear tomorrow, and an argument that won't happen until this afternoon. But I don't know what I ate for dinner last night. I get by with the help of notes, my mom and my best friend Jamie, and the system works ...Until now. Everything's falling apart. Jamie's going of the rails. My mom is lying to me. And I can't see the boy I adore in my future. But today, I love him. And I never want to forget how much ...Forgotten is the story of a girl for whom yesterday is lost, today is an adventure, and tomorrow is a memory. An unforgettable read. 

Ah, my love of YA comes into play here... And I do like both Memento and the Time Travellers Wife. Kinda sold from the first sentence onwards. However, maybe I should take heed of the lesson learnt from this book

Ok that's it for now. Let me know if you have read any of these and want to tell me more! 

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