Judging books by their cover #3: women walking away…

img_0666Yesterday, posting my latest read on Instagram, I commented that I had – once again – picked a book that had a woman walking away from me.  In a bright coat.  I really can’t resist these books and I’m not sure why.

Is the woman in question walking away from me or into danger?  Should I follow her?  What is she thinking – is she smiling, crying, scowling? So many questions and I want to know the answer to all of them so I have to read the book.

The Relive Box and Other Stories by T. C. Boyle

The Relive BoxThe Goodreads summary for The Relive Box by T. C. Boyle starts by describing it as a collection of “raucous” short stories.  To me, raucous means rowdy, which didn’t quite fit. So, out came the dictionary, which says that – in fact – raucous means “making or constituting a disturbingly harsh and loud noise”, and this makes a lot more sense because one of the words I had written down after finishing the book and was preparing for my review was disturbing.

I also wrote down dark, cold and depressing; there is little in these stories that could be described as hopeful – maybe the end of Are We Not Men?, which left me feeling somewhat optimistic .  The rest, if I’m honest, left me feeling depressed.  The world they present, which is probably our not to distant future if we don’t play our cards right, isn’t one I want to live in. 

Tuesday intro: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

This week, I’m reading a book that people seem to think is either brilliant or blah but that I have wanted to read for a while and which has been taunting me from my kindle…

How Much the Heart Can Hold: Seven Stories on Love

How much can the heart holdHow Much the Heart Can Hold is a collection of seven short stories on love, written by seven different authors.  I wanted to read it because they were short stories, which are one of my favourite things to read; I was nervous to read it because it had love in the title, and love stories are not one of my favourite things.

In the introduction, this reaction is one the editor says she is used to, this expectation that the stories will be on romantic love.  She is quick to stress that this isn’t the case.  Instead, the inspiration behind this collection comes from the Ancient Greek’s idea of love and that there are different aspects to it: familial love, charitable, passion and desire, love of self amongst them.  That the book looks at love from these angles makes the stories much more interesting that they might first appear.

Weekly update: 5th November, 2017

Weekly update

Morning all and welcome to another Sunday.  I hope you’ve been having a good weekend and have had a good week.  Mine has been a bit up and down, the down mainly because my cat got quite a nasty cut on his leg this weekend – cue late night trip to the vet and lots of worry.  Thankfully, he’s alright though how he’s going to cope with not being able to go out for the next five days I’m not sure – I expect lots of whiny crying.  Until then, it was going quite well.  I got to spend time with friends and also hit the 3K mark on my journey to 5K so was feeling quite chuffed.  If we get enough sunny days I should be hitting 5K by the end of November – yay!

Blog wise, I changed site hosts this week so that’s a bit all over the place.  Not all my previous posts transferred over and I have had to change blog theme.  I knew I’d have to do that but I am not happy with the one I’ve chosen so I need to keep looking for one that works for me.  I figure it will be a bit of a work in progress for a couple of weeks and just got on with reviewing mainly, doing a little bit to get things where I want them each day.

Stacking Shelves: 4th November, 2017

STSsmallOnce again, I’m joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.

It’s been a good week for reading this week and I feel like I have my Netgalley reviews under control.  I have a few “real” books that are due for review but, overall, I am back on track – yay!  So a perfect excuse for requesting more books and a trip to the library right?

I was actually pretty good with Netgalley.  I downloaded one read now selection and requested one book (which I was approved for, making me feel very happy!).

The Vanishing Box by Elly Griffiths

Stepping into the pages of The Vanishing Box is like stepping back in time.  Perhaps this doesn’t sound that surprising, given the book is set in Brighton in 1953 but I have read plenty of books set in other eras that don’t feel as close to what I imagine life was really like at the time as this.  The language, the behaviours, the people and the atmosphere – everything felt just right and I was completely drawn into the world they created.

This world involves a dogged Detective Inspector (Edgar) and his officers (Bob and Emma, a woman determined to make her way in a man’s world and – for the most part – succeeding) as well as Edgar’s best friend, magician Max Mephisto and his daughter (Edgar’s fiancé) Ruby.  They all know each other well, having worked together on other cases and the interaction between them helped make the book for me.    Given this is their fourth case, it’s probably worth saying here that this could be read as a standalone.