Sunday, 22 May 2016

Slade House by David Mitchell

"The steps up to Slade House are mossy and stained, the once-proud door is peeling and rotten and the knocker is chewed by rust and time."

So being the lucky lady that I am, I received a beautiful copy of this fantastic novel for Christmas from my utterly awesome friend Nicki. I didn't realise then that I should have read The Bone Clocks  first, let's face it, it is sitting in my to read pile. That being said, this works just as well as a stand alone tale; and what a tale it is.

I absolutely love parallel universes, time travel, ghosts and a mystery, so this encapsulates a little of all those notions and does so brilliantly. So much delightful, soul sucking mystery housed in such a little book with a mysterious address that is only open to a select few.

My hesitation to share any further details stems only from a deep desire that you too enjoy this book as much as I did. So, in the words of Molly Meldrum " do yourself a favour" and grab a copy.

5 out of 5 times google will never find this place.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller

"But the food of the body is champagne and oysters; feed it then on champagne and oysters; and so shall it merit a joyful resurrection"

Well the cover promised some purple prose and yes you will find snippets within its much banned pages. This was another tick off the 1001 novels list and I do so love progress. Admittedly I read this one on iBooks so I did get a little distracted by its rambling prose.
I remember Tropic of Cancer being far more easy to follow and far more enjoyable in general.
This novel had brilliant phrases throughout but a narrative was somewhere in the ether. It was a little like reading drunk. The salacious pieces are interspersed within the work and in between there are rambling sentences that I'm still not sure have reached their destination. Miller remains eminently quotable, as there are such brilliant lines hidden within this confusion of a novel. Every time I'd consider putting it down, a standard paragraph would drag me in and I'd push on. Miller also seems at his best when he is at his most ban-able, case in point the dalliance  finally described as "Just a couple of quiet maniacs working away in the dark like gravediggers.". He seems to reduce women to their sex organs be they "miscellaneous","laughing", "glacial", "made of pure joy" or "super" and  sex takes on a somewhat removed state, devoid of real intimacy.
If you wanted to play a drinking game and take a shot each time the c bomb was unleashed, you would no doubt be passed out on the floor in no time.

Yet, for all its faults, there are compelling aspects.

4 out of 5 banned books are hard to ignore.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E.Schwab

"People always said that the waiting was the worst part, and Lila agreed."

The problem with really loving the first book of a series that is new launched into the world, is the interminable wait anticipating the next instalment. Such was the case with A Darker Shade of Magic which, let's face it, I only finished in January.  It is true that I have traversed the pages of many a novel in between, and as such, it took me a little time to recall the particular details of the first tome. The delightful memories of the world of the first book slowly returned and as such my delight in the world of the second grew.

Lila is such a great character that kept me hurriedly turning those pages. Magic, pirates, tournaments, intrigue, there is something for everyone here. My only quibble is that, as it came to an end,  I knew I would have to wait for the next instalment. My impatience for book three can only be quelled by its pages firmly pressed against my hands.

5 out of 5 magical gatherings can be more challenging than anticipated.

How to Worry Less about Money (The School of Life) by John Armstrong

"The conflicts between the concerns of money and the hopes of life are real and deep."

So there I was, questioning how bad I am with money and I thought, I know, buying a book about my tormented relationship with it will make me feel better. The book is an interesting collection of essays that force you to contemplate your situation and where it might be headed without judgement. I didn't particularly learn anything new, I'm quite familiar with what motivates me. That being said, it was still an interesting read.

3 out of 5 times visa owns my soul.