Monday, 31 August 2015

Send Me No Flowers by Jenny Tomlin

Donna thinks she's found the love of her life but she's only met the man that will steal it from her.

If you read the introduction to this book you'll learn that Jenny Tomlin writes books about abuse so that she can raise awareness.

I think that's all fine and dandy but at the end of the day a book has to be entertaining in some shape or form. This isn't in any shape or form.

Send Me No Flowers gave me that familiar nauseating feeling in my stomach that I always get when I read a book that bores the pants off me. It lacks conflict, it lacks excitement. It isn't gripping whatsoever. It's the opposite of what I'd call a page turner.

The writing is pretty dull and below average and I think that's got a lot to do with it. Add a plot that isn't very well constructed and you've got a bit of a stinker.

This is gritty and touches upon a subject that does need to be written about. Just not in this way.

I was glad to finish it.



Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child

New York City. Two in the morning. A subway car heading uptown.  Jack Reacher, plus five other passengers. Four are okay. The fifth isn't.

A few weeks ago I was lucky to receive several boxes of books for absolutely nothing and this is the first one that immediately caught my eye. It's also my first Lee Child book and apparently the thirteenth to feature his action hero, Jack Reacher. I liked it and didn't like it in equal measure.

So what didn't I like?

Gone Tomorrow starts off with a bang. The opening scenes grip you by the scruff of your neck and you're left with no doubt that the book is going to drag you by the ankles through a roller-coaster ride of thrills and spills. Unfortunately as a reader I was then left dangling.

A good portion of the book is then spent in what I can only describe as wall to wall meetings and interrogations. Meetings in cafes, meetings in hotels, meetings in police buildings, meetings in city squares, meeting after meeting after meeting! Meetings aren't very exciting. Not for me anyway.

Add to that the amount of time the main character and narrator spends banging on about the streets of New York. I don't know anything about New York and wouldn't know one street from another. So I found the constant street descriptions boring as well as confusing. Maybe if I knew the area I would have enjoyed those parts more.

So the good points?

Gone Tomorrow does keep you guessing all the way to the last page. You think you know what's going on and then you find out that you're wrong again, and again and again! The mystery does build up nicely and keeps you on your toes.

The action sequences ( when they happen) are brilliant. I don't think I've ever read a book where the action has been written so perfectly. Lee Child certainly does that well and probably better than anybody else.

So I'd give this one a 3.5 out of 5. A decent read with a well crafted thriller/mystery plot. It's just a shame that it was bogged down with so many tedious meetings and street descriptions.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Eight Bites Of Life by Barry T Martin

I read this last night, curled up on the couch with a bottle of red wine. The wine was lovely but it's a pity I can't say the same thing about the book.

I think I've been reading a different book to the one reviewed by a handful of people on Amazon and Goodreads.

This book contains eight rather bland and pointless stories. None of them really goes anywhere. Usually when I read a collection of stories there's at least one that I enjoyed. Unfortunately I didn't really see the point in any of them.

Great wine.


The Call of The Wild by Jack London

Kidnapped and sold to be a sled dog in the harsh and frozen Yukon Territory, Buck is passed from master to master and embarks on an extraordinary journey, proving his unbreakable spirit.

This is one of those books I've always wanted to read but never got around to it. But as far as old classics are concerned it's up there with the best. It sucked me in from the first line and didn't let me go until the last.

You know you are reading a really good book when you feel like you're in the story instead of just reading the story. I was there with Buck, racing over the snow, pulling that sledge. I felt his sorrow and his excitement and when Buck was exhausted, so was I. First published in 1903 The Call of the Wild is as enjoyable and accessible to modern audiences as it would have been at the time it was written.



Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins

In a palace in Venice, one man is dead and another has disappeared. But what exactly has happened?

I'd probably describe this as being like a Victorian Agatha Christie novel. It starts off really slow and in parts it's a pretty dull affair. I never really connected with any of the main characters or the plot but slowly it builds up to quite a decent climax.

I think the main reason I didn't connect with this book is it's age. It was written a long time ago.

Wilkie was writing at the same time as Charles Dickens and was apparently a bigger name until he died and then Dickens became the flavour of the month. People wrote differently back then and I did find it a bit of a chore at times. But the plot does crank up a lot towards the end and I ended up rather enjoying it.

The ending is a bit strange but in a good way. I've read a few books by Dickens but I think I prefer Wilkie Collins. I've heard he's wrote much better books so I intend to find out for myself.


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Law of Attraction Habits: 5 Habits That Super Charge Your Manifesting Skills

For anybody with an interest in the Law of Attraction this is very helpful little book.

It is simple and mumbo jumbo free. You probably have to know a little bit about the law of attraction before you read this because it's basically an additional guide. A top up if you like. I found it really helpful.


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Strangeville by Kenneth Tingle

A young man takes a wrong turn and ends up in a very strange place.

This book is responsible for one of the worst nightmares I've ever had. Thanks Mr Tingle! But it could also have had something to do with my mixing Cider with Champagne and a late night pizza. But Strangeville was definitely in there and played it's part!

But Strangeville isn't a nightmare, I actually quite like it. It's got some mixed reviews and I can see where some of the negative vibes are coming from. Especially when it comes to the ending. It's not the worst ending I've come across but it was disappointing. It could have done without the Twilight Zone twist and also the Epilogue. I hate end of book 'wrap ups.' I don't want to be told what happens over the next few years in the last three pages. I like to imagine 'what happens next' myself. It's part of the fun of reading a book. And end of book 'wrap ups' can sometimes rob the reader of that privilege.

Yes. You can tell this book is self published. You can tell it's not gone through the cogwheels of a traditional publishing house. And it is cheesy in places. But you know what?

I really liked Strangeville!  Warts and all. It was fun and Mr Tingle tells a good story. I was there. In a town called Strangeville. This is one of those rare books that actually manages to hook me. I felt like I was smack bang in the middle of a story instead of just reading a story. And not many books do that.

You either love or hate books like this and I kind of fell in love with a town called Strangeville.

I want to go there. I'm packing my bags.