My copy of The Thorn Birds used to belong to my grandparents. It’s a hardback and missing its dust jacket, and other than the title and the author’s name printed on the spine, I knew absolutely nothing about it before reading it – not the blurb, not the genre, not a single thing. I’d never heard of it before. It was an unknown adventure in reading.
If I’d have looked the book up on Goodreads before I delved into it, I probably would never have started it. Apparently, The Thorn Birds is a sweeping romance novel that documents the lives of an Australian family over the course of three generations. Meh, boring – that doesn’t sound like my cup of tea at all. But oh, how wrong I was. I loved it!
This book is a soap opera. It’s got family feuds, long-hidden secrets, dreamy romance, saucy sex scenes, gruesome deaths, the horrors of war, natural disasters, handsome priests, beautiful women, and plenty of scandal. Continue reading “The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough | Book Review”
Goodreads told me I would love this book. The internet at large told me I would love this book. The guy in the bookshop told me I would love this book. And luckily, I did love this book, ‘cos if I hadn’t I’d have been sorely disappointed.
Rivers of London is a mishmash of urban fantasy and classic crime. Protagonist Peter Grant, a probationary constable, finds himself taking a witness statement from a ghost after a very grizzly murder. Soon after, he’s drafted into a specialist department which tackles crime that is linked with the spooky and the supernatural. Someone’s face has exploded, random people are experiencing sudden bursts of violent rage, and there’s a turf war going on between Mother and Father Thames. Continue reading “Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch | Book Review”
I’ve got a hell of a lot of unread non-fiction books languishing on my shelves and lest they find themselves destined for the charity shop, I need to get stuck into them. I started with A Single Swallow, which is a mishmash of nature writing, travel writing, and history, with a touch of autobiography along the way.
Horatio Clare documents his travels as he follows the annual migration of swallows from South Africa to Wales. He journeys across Africa and up into Europe, finding himself making plenty of friends and losing an awful lot of money – and a touch of sanity – along the way. Continue reading “A Single Swallow | Horatio Clare”
Sass, magic, time-travel, and a talking snowman. If that doesn’t make you want to read A Witchly Influence, I don’t know what will. Continue reading “A Witchly Influence, Stephanie Grey | Book Review”
I read this book in just a little over 24 hours, despite absolutely not having the time to do so, which goes to show how much gripped me. It’s a story about three women who are brought together by tragedy and public humiliation, and it’s both laugh-out-loud funny and hide-behind-your-hands cringeworthy. Continue reading “The Cows, Dawn O’Porter | Book Review”
Warning: I have a bit of a ramble here. If you want to get straight to the review, click here.
I acquired Some Lie and Some Die late last year when I helped my Mum do a mega clear-out in readiness for her to move house. She was saying goodbye to the family home she’d lived in for almost 20 years, so you can imagine there was a fair bit of clutter that had been accumulated, and a great deal of that clutter was books. Glorious books. Continue reading “Some Lie and Some Die, Ruth Rendell | Book Review”
I love a bit of Vonnegut, but I started reading Deadeye Dick back in 2012 and barely got a quarter of the way through it. I got bored, despite enjoying his trademark one-liners and deliciously scathing tone.
This time around I finished the whole thing in just a couple of days, but those first few chapters were still a bit of a slog. Continue reading “Deadeye Dick, Kurt Vonnegut | Book Review”
The first few chapters of The Bone Season left me confused. Set in 2059 and in a dystopian world in which clairvoyants exist and are labelled as criminals by the government, this story involves some serious worldbuilding and I found myself feeling a bit bamboozled by the clairvoyant lingo. However, the action kicked in pretty quickly and kept me enthralled, even when I wasn’t quite sure who was who and how things worked. Continue reading “The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon | Book Review”
I bought this short story collection on impulse when I was perusing the pretty anthologies section in Waterstones. I love short stories and I love dogs – I didn’t have to think twice. But I’ve got to be honest – I’m a tad disappointed. Continue reading “Dog Stories, Short Story Collection | Book Review”
Something that I’ve been struggling with recently is defining my genre. Right now, I pitch my tales as “speculative” because this seems to me to be the most professional way to define “weird shit” which is, apparently, what I tend to write.
People have told me I have a “style,” but when I ask them what that style is, they say, “Um, well, I dunno. It’s just kinda weird.” Helpful. Continue reading “I Don’t Know What My Genre Is (Or If It Matters)”