How many chances do you give a writer before you give up on them forever? With some writers, I can tell after one book that I never need to pick up another of their books. For others, it takes a while. Especially if they’re a very popular and loved author. It’s not as if I feel like I have to go along with everyone else but I do wonder if I’m missing something. After all, if everyone else thinks someone is fantastic, why can’t I see it? Matt Haig is one of those writers that a lot of people seem to really love. He means so much to people and I just don’t get it. This is the third book I’ve read by him and I was hoping it might finally show me what all the fuss is about.
Book Review – Rainbow Grey by Laura Ellen Andersonbooks, reviews
As I’ve said before, I love reading middle-grade fiction. It makes a nice change from my usual literary fiction which often deals with fairly depressing subjects. I loved The Happy Couple but I needed to read something jolly afterwards. So, of course, I was attracted to the rainbow-stencilled edges of this book. It was pure joy. Although, as we know, a petty cover doesn’t necessarily mean a pretty interior. Would the actual book live up to the artwork that had drawn me in?
Film Review – Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)films, reviews
According to multiverse theory, there is at least one universe in which Edgar Wright directed the first Ant-Man film. I like to think in that universe, the Ant-Man franchise was a much bigger success than it’s turned out to be in our universe. I’ve tried so hard to love these films because I think there’s so much potential. If I’m honest, I think I’ve always been a bit forgiving of these films. I’ve always loved an underdog and these films were always Marvel’s underdogs. They benefited from having Paul Rudd in the main role alongside a great cast. It was just the storytelling. Nobody really knew what to do with Scott or Hope. The second film was disappointing, so I can’t say I was looking forward to the third. One of the reasons why it’s taken so long to get around to watching it. The other reason being my general boredom with the MCU of late. It’s just too much these days. The different phases used to last for 2, 3 or even 4 years. Now it’s basically 1.5. Marvel is a content farm these days and I’m struggling to care.
Book Review – The Happy Couple by Naoise Dolanbooks, reviews
I can’t promise that this will be the best thing I’ve ever written. At the time of writing, I haven’t slept for about 32 hours. After a bit of unexpected drama, I ended up spending 11 hours in an A&E department. Nothing to worry about in the end but there were some very stressful moments. By the time I got back, I decided it was best to power through for the rest of the day so I don’t mess up my sleeping pattern before work tomorrow. The last-minute outing to the hospital meant that I wasn’t able to get this review written yesterday, so it was my sole mission when I did get back this morning. Well, once I’d finished the last 30 pages of the book at least. I was so close to the end when the drama occurred and I was hopeful I’d be back in time to finish it that night/morning. I’d forgotten just how much of a mess the Tories have let the NHS in.
Book Review – An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinnbooks, reviews
I was surprised by how into Bridgerton that I got. Okay, so it’s essentially just a sexy soap opera set in Regency-era London. I knew it would be a pretty casual watching experience but I didn’t think it would be my thing. I’ve never been a lover of romance novels, so didn’t think I’d care about all of those same tropes being dusted off again. I won’t pretend that I’m a huge fan but I binged watched both series 1 and 2 pretty quickly recently. An act that made me curious about the novels the show was adapted from. I had no illusions that I’d ever undertake reading the whole series but I did at least want to give one a try. Why start with book 3? Well, it made sense after finishing season 2 of the show, even if the next season is based on book 4. I also think that Benedict is the most interesting of the siblings, so was interested to see how he came across in the books. Also, I had to see if the Cinderella elements were as awful as they sounded. So, without having any belief that I’d enjoy this book, I set about reading it. How bad could it be?
Book Review – Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christiebooks, reviews
I have to admit I’ve sort of abandoned my plan to reread every Agatha Christie book. I started it ages ago and knew that it would take me ages. Not because her books take that long to read but because I didn’t want to suffer from burnout. Still, I haven’t really been keeping up with it this year. I think the last Christie book I read was back in December. Although, it’s not as if I read a great deal in 2022. I only picked up 4 of her books. Absolutely abysmal when compared to the 16 I got through in 2021. So, I’m going to try and improve this year. I’ve still got over 30 to get through so I need to get cracking. To get me started, I finally listened to an audiobook I’ve had in my library for too long. I normally like Hugh Fraser’s narration but surely David Suchet would be even better, right? At least Poriot would sound familiar.
Film Review – Air (2023)films, reviews
There’s something to be said about the power of certain actors. One of the only reasons that I wanted to watch this film was because of Viola Davis. She’s such a powerhouse of an actor and could make anything seem great. I guess I also love Jason Bateman but he’s hardly as consistent with his film choices. And Ben Affleck? He’s been doing good things lately but I wasn’t sure that he would be able to make this concept work in the same way he made Argo work. After all, there’s something tricky about an underdog story about one of the biggest brands in the world. How can you make audiences sympathetic towards a billion-dollar company like Nike? It feels like the kind of story that someone like Adam McKay could have done fun things with but Nke would never have risked that.
Book Review – The Last Bear by Hannah Goldbooks, reviews
I’ve been meaning to get this book for ages because it just sounded perfect. The fact that it was winning all of the awards only convinced me further. I think hyped books for older readers tend to be disappointing for me. However, hyped kids’ books are usually as good as we’re told. So, I was excited to read this book. Partly because of something I did at school. We were asked to write a leaflet about an animal and I chose bears. I went into so much detail that I became a bit obsessed with bears. I’ve never forgotten it and, as I found out when I discovered it recently, the leaflet holds up. The clipart isn’t great but the rest is gold. So, I reckon younger me would have loved this book and I’m reading it for her.
Book Review – Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevinbooks, reviews
How do you approach hyped books? I tend to buy them immediately and then put them on the shelf for years. The minute people start praising a book, I lose all confidence in it. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve heard nothing but good things about a book that I didn’t like. Or, at least, that I didn’t find very interesting. So, I do worry when a book comes along that sounds right up my street but is also massively hyped. It didn’t help that my friend also insisted that I give this one a chance. I do tend to trust her judgement so I decided it was finally time. I figured this would be good holiday reading but I didn’t start it until near the end of the week. Getting back to work meant that it took ages to finish it
Book Review – The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallettreviews, books
While I was away, I didn’t get quite as much reading done as I expected. I took 4 hardbacks and my Kindle just to be safe. In the end, I finished 2 and got halfway through a third. Not bad but not what I was hoping for. It gave me time to finish this one, and I’m glad I finally read it. I’ve been putting it off for a while because I was worried about how I’d feel about it. I mean, how long can Janice Hallett keep going with her gimmick before it gets old? I love the DIY approach to crime fiction but it doesn’t really leave room for the depth I’m looking for. Then there’s the fact that I was disappointed with her second book. I’d told myself that this book would be the decider. If I didn’t like it then I would probably avoid any future books. At least ones with the same conceit. So, there was a little extra pressure on this one than normal. Would I enjoy it?