Last year, I read The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough. To say I wasn’t a fan is a bit of an understatement. Despite some beautiful language, the book just didn’t hit the mark with me. Thinking back, a big part of my problem was that it was a short book (a novella) that could have been a short story. The first half flowed, the second stalled and left me slightly bored.
Not long after, I read a review of The Death House on Keeper of Pages and it felt like I was reading the review of a different author. Janel, of said Keeper of Pages, very kindly offered to send me her copy of the book so I could give Pinborough another go. Now that I’m done, I have to say I’m really glad I did because this book – for me – was in a different ball park.
Maud Drennan is a forty-something carer. Originally from Ireland, she now lives in London and finds herself taking care of Cathal Flood, a man it isn’t easy to like. He frightened his last carer away, and the ones before that. Somehow, though, Maud is holding on, slowly making her way through Cathal’s house and the years of dirt, grime and chaos he has accumulated.
Whether it’s her grit, or their shared Irish roots, Cathal begins to let her in – and so does his rambling, shambolic house. Because, as well as being a carer, Maud is psychic and, pretty quickly, it becomes clear that the house – or it’s former residents are trying to tell her something.
One of my New Year book-ish resolutions was to read more physical books. That’s pretty much all I used to read. Then I got my Kindle and got a bit excited by the world of 99p books out there (who wouldn’t), filled it up and started reading. And then kept reading. The books on my shelves, those bought or gifted, sat there. Waiting patiently and slightly dusty for the day I would pick them up.
For many on the shelves, that day simply hasn’t come. Which is a shame because, sat where I am on my couch, typing away and looking over at the shelves there are so many books on there that I want to read. I just find, when I get to deciding on my next read, the ebooks always seem to come first.
Morning all and welcome to the last Sunday in January. It’s hard to believe the month is almost over, but given time goes quicker the older you get and I’m not getting any younger, it’s probably no surprise. Still, for me, it’s been quite a good month – getting my first freelance jobs was a big and brilliant thing. This week, it was also a tiring thing as I took on two jobs afraid to say no. I am sure that will change as I become more confident the work will come and I figure out my limits but it meant this week I had later nights that I have had for a while. Still, it’s better than week-in-week-out 9:5 so I’m not complaining (honest!).
The work did impact the blog a little bit, with posts early in the week but then nothing until Saturday, with my stacking shelves post – which was nice and short because I only picked up two books this week.
Once 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.
I haven’t done this meme for a while but it feels nice to be back – for this week at least – and even if I only have a few books to share.
Dark Matter is not my usual type of read. It’s Sci-Fi, which I don’t normally go for. BUT, last year I read so many good reviews that, when I saw it at the library, I decided it was worth a try.
It starts in the present, the here and now, with Jason Dessen helping his wife, Daniela, and son, Charlie, make dinner. It’s their Thursday night tradition and he is happy. Life is good, not what he might have thought it would have been when he was younger, but right where he wants to be.
Then, breaking with tradition, Daniela persuades him to go and meet a friend for a drink. That’s when it all starts going a bit – more than a bit – wrong as he is followed home in the dark and forced to drive to a remote location, where he is given a pill that will change his life.
When they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, for me and Murder in Little Shendon, the saying definitely applies. This is not a book, if I’m honest, I would have picked up if I saw it on the library shelf and even a 99p Amazon deal may not have tempted me. It’s dark, slightly bloody and doesn’t do what is inside the pages – in my humble opinion – justice.
Thankfully, a lovely publicist asked me to review a copy and after a quick look on Goodreads to see what the reviews were like (I have to do this, having being burnt before), I said “yes, please”.
Murder in Little Shendon isn’t my usual fare in that it’s a cosy mystery, set in the days when people had to ask the operator to connect them when they used the phone and in a time when murder still shocked them. I was determined this year to add more cosies to my reading life, though, and this fit the bill perfectly.
Once again I’m linking up again with Vicky at I’d Rather Be At The Beach 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.
I’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 The Death House by Sarah Pinborough. I have to say, I didn’t have much look with my last book by Pinborough, The Language of Dying, but then I say a review of The Death House on Keeper of Pages and thought she might be worth a lovely go. So, when Janel offered to send me her copy, I couldn’t say no. I’m a little way into it and, so far, I have to say it’s been a good decision. Here’s what it’s about…
It’s hard to believe that it was less than a year ago that I came across Helen Fields’ first book, Perfect Remains, at the library AND that I only picked it up because of the cover.
I am so pleased that I did because I thought it was a great book, and now – three books in – I can’t imagine my reading life without detectives Luc Callanach and Ava Turner, the two central characters in this crime series.
Luc is half-Scottish, half-French and trying to rebuild his life after it fell apart a few years previously. It’s why he moved to Scotland, where he is slowly starting to fit in with his team and get over the events of the past. Ava is a woman who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth but hasn’t let that stop her climb the ranks of the police and put herself in the line of fire more than once.
Sleepyhead is the first in the Tom Thorne series of books. Written in 2001, it has been sitting on my Kindle since 2014. When I first bought it, I picked it up quite quickly. Then put it down again because all I could picture in my head was David Morrissey, who plays Thorne in the TV show.
Four years on, I didn’t do much better with that I have to say, which says something about the TV show’s impact on me I guess. Thankfully, I couldn’t remember too much of the plot, which meant it was still a new story for me, well mostly because I remembered the basic premise.
In Sleepyhead, someone with medical training (maybe even a doctor) is attacking young women, pinching a particular nerve to cause a stroke. He doesn’t want to kill them, though, but rather cause locked-in syndrome, where the women are completely aware of what is going on but can’t move, or speak, but are rather trapped in their own bodies.