Between the publication of Graeme Macrae Burnet’s first Georges Gorski novel and the second, he had become a Booker-shortlisted author. The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau didn’t get a great deal of attention when it was published. I’m not saying that the second book got loads but it certainly benefited from being the writer’s follow-up to His Bloody Project. I first read Adèle Bedeau last year and enjoyed it. When I stumbled across the audiobook of the sequel at the library, I decided it was time to get through book 2. There’s a third one on the way at some point, so at least it would leave me in a position to read that at some point.
Book Review – The Wolf Den by Elodie Harperbooks, reviews
I’m pretty sure that I bought a copy of this on my first holiday after Covid. I picked it up on a whim when I was in Waterstones. Mostly so we could take advantage of their special offer. It wasn’t something that I knew a lot about before I walked into the shop. It was just one that they happened to be recommended. I don’t even think I properly looked at the cover before I bought it. I just went in blind. It’s definitely the kind of book that appeals to me though, so no doubt I would have picked it up anyway. As ever, it sat on my shelves for ages without being read. Somewhere along the way, I also bought an audiobook copy of it. No doubt it was part of an Audible daily deal or something. One of the many reasons that I’m glad I don’t have a subscription anymore. As I’m trying to reduce the number of unread books on my Audible account, I decided to listen to it last week. As the book is about a Roman brothel, it probably wasn’t the most appropriate choice for work but never mind.
Book Review – A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynesbooks, reviews
2023 is turning out to be the year of Greek myths and their different retellings. I hadn’t meant for this to happen but I’ve just found myself in a bit of a cycle that I’m not intent on breaking. Thankfully there are so many recent books that I can read. Publishers are relishing the resurgence of mythology and it feels like every week we get a feminist rewriting of one of the most famous myths. Natalie Haynes is one of the most celebrated, so I felt that it was only fair that I give this book a chance. I guess it also helped that I’ve already refamiliarised myself with the events of the Trojan War thanks to Stephen Fry. Plus, it just happened to be available on my library app. Why not listen to it as I was working? Hearing the plight of all those women might make me feel better about my dull job.
Book Review – The Ice by Laline Paullbooks, reviews
The Bees by Laline Paull was one of my favourite reads way back in 2015. It was a little rough around the edges but it was an unforgettable reading experience. I was so excited to read it that I rushed out to buy her follow-up novel as soon as it was released. Of course, it was published 6 years ago and I’ve only just got around to reading it. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering how I normally am. I’ve had books on my shelves for longer than that. This time, I did actually try to read it earlier. I think I opened it not long after I bought it but it just didn’t grip me. I couldn’t face pushing on with it, so forgot about it. Until a few years ago when I bought the audiobook to encourage me to finally read it. Although, my initial attempt left me worried. Until last week when I decided to just go for it. Listening to it at work might actually help me finish it. If it turned out badly, I could at least let it wash over me as I went about my normal working day.
Book Review – Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reidbooks, reviews
As if I wasn’t already feeling fairly old but I’ve just discovered that this book was the winner of the Goodreads Best Historical Fiction. It’s set in the early 90s.In my head, that only happened a few years ago. How can that be considered historical? The 90s is now officially vintage. Something to be viewed with a sense of nostalgia. I hope the 90s don’t replace the 80s as the top literary setting. I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with YA characters getting super excited about old Nickelodeon shows and floppy-haired boybands. Celebrating the discovery of a really cool retro album called Backstreet’s Back. I’m imagining Ready Player One but with much less cool references. I didn’t know that Carrie Soto is Back was set in the 90s. I’m not saying it would have stopped me reading it but it would at least have prepared me. Prepared me for hearing the words “my new favourite show: ER” spoken with utter sincerity. The 90s was a weird time.
Book Review – The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwoodbooks, reviews
Last week, a friend of mine asked for reading recommendations. I enjoy talking about books with people but I do find it stressful recommending them. Especially when the person doesn’t give me an idea of what they like to read. Especially as I like to read a variety of books. I don’t like to put myself in a box in terms of genre and tropes. Although, there are certain books that I do tend to avoid. I’ve never been a lover of romance books which makes me avoid them most of the time. I’m trying to embrace more genre fiction this year and that includes romance. There might be something out there that works for me. So, I’m open to suggestions. It’s the reason why I ended up listening to TikTok and buying this book. Normally, I would have just forgotten it existed and moved on.
Book Review – Ariadne by Jennifer Saintbooks, reviews
This recent trend of feminist rewritings of myths and legends isn’t going away any time soon. It feels like every single book being published at the moment is based on some poor figure in Greek mythology. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it but do we need quite so many at the same time? People regularly moan about the lack of originality i the film industry but what of publishing? It feels as though the only books getting a green light right now are either mythology retellings or cosy crime. Flooding the market with these types of books just means that quality declines. Yes, The Song of Achilles was great but not everything can be the same. Ariadne is one of those books that I’ve heard so many good things about. Although, it was also nominated for a GoodReads award in 2021 which is often a worrying sign. I was interested to see what it would be like but also kind of scared to start it. This week, I finally took the plunge.
Book Review – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Vernebooks, reviews
How do you feel about audiobook dramatisations? I’ve listened to quite a few on Audible over the years and I think they’re quite fun. Although, you do lose something from the original source material. It’s basically the halfway point between a book and a film, right? You don’t get the full story but you still get to use your imagination a bit. On the plus side, it does mean you get distinct characterisation and it does help to sell the story. It also offers some production value that helps the with atmosphere and setting the scene. However, is it okay to listen to a dramatisation and not the unabridged version of the book? I don’t know and I’m not actually going to discuss that in this post. What I am doing is reviewing Audible’s original dramatisation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea because I needed to find something quick to listen to.
Book Review – Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakamibooks, reviews
I like tot think that I’m a big fan of Japanese fiction because I’ve mostly enjoyed everything I’ve ever read by Japanese writers. Of course, I don’t think I actually read enough of it to justify that classification. It’s all just part of a wider issue where I still mainly stick to British or American writers. As part of my plan to improve my range, I picked this beauty up last year. I found it in a bookshop when I was waiting to meet some friends. It was part of their books under 200 pages display which was basically everything I was looking for in a book in 2022. I was fully drawn in because of the bright blue cover and quirky premise. It just sounded like something I would enjoy but that wouldn’t take much work. Of course, it’s taken me almost a year to get around to reading it but better late then never, right?
Book Review – Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ngbooks, reviews
I read Celeste Ng’s debut novel Everything I Never Told You and bloody loved it. It was one of my top books of 2016 and I was really excited to read her follow-up novel. Obviously, it’s taken me ages to actually get around to reading it. I don’t know why I didn’t get to it. I know people who have loved it and I’m pretty sure I’ve only read positive things. I was also really keen to see the TV adaptation but didn’t want to watch it until I’d read the book. When it became apparent that picking up the book was going to be tricky, I decided to get the audiobook. Of course, I didn’t listen to that for ages either. I was looking for something I could listen to at work and it seemed like a good length. Time to see what I’ve been missing out on.