When is it possible to say for sure that an author is one of your favourites? How many of their books do you need to have read before you can make that claim? Even after reading His Bloody Project, I was sure that Graeme Macrae Burnet would be in a position to earn that title. Then I read Case Study and it only confirmed how much I enjoy his writing. In order to get the full experience, I also bought copies of his other works but, as usual, it took me a while to get around to them. When I found the audiobook version of this book in my library’s catalogue, it seemed like it was the right time to do so. So, I listened to it during work with the hope that I could finally bestow the all-important title on the Scottish author.
Am I the only one who didn’t know that Spotify had audiobooks? It’s a revelation. I stumbled upon this book the other day and I obviously thought it was something sketchy. I have since discovered that it’s a thing. I’m not sure how many there are on the platform but I intend to find out. Especially now I’ve paused my Audible account. If I get access to some audiobooks for free then why not listen to them. Even if I had no intention of reading them.
A lot of people that I like seem to be writing books these days and it’s worrying. Worrying because I’m inevitably going to break my book buying ban. Also worrying because I can’t be sure that it will be worth it. Just because somebody is funny doesn’t mean that they can write a good book. Likewise, just because somebody can write a good film or TV script doesn’t mean it will translate into a novel. Not all writing requires the same skills and it’s not as easy as it seems. So, I normally buy these books and then put off reading them. I just don’t want to risk them being bad. This week I decided to be brave and finally tackle one of the books on my TBR. This one is written by the comedian, presenter and all-around nice person Mel Giedroyc.
I love Rosie Jones. I think she’s a really funny and odd person. She’s consistently hilarious when she appears on chat shows or game shows. So, I was already super excited when she released a children’s book. I mean how could it not be funny? I was also looking forward to seeing how she handled the topic of disability in the book. Jones has cerebral palsy so if anyone could write a story offering a realistic insight then it’s her. I decided to also buy the audiobook because this seemed like the kind of book that deserved to be heard read out loud. The fact that there is an introduction by Jones herself was an added bonus.
After struggling to finish Beautiful World, Where Are You, I definitely needed something to get me back in the reading spirit. So, I guess a book that promised something pretty distressing wasn’t the most likely choice but I felt like this would be a good tonic to Sally Rooney’s latest dense tome. Considering I got through it in a couple of days means that I was correct in my assessment. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Sunset but I’m glad that I finally got round to reading it. I was definitely fooled by the colourful cover. I don’t know what it is but I never expect pink books to be heavy-duty. I thought they were meant to be light and fluffy. This was anything but.
Oh, what a difference the right book makes. I’ve been struggling to find the energy to read lately, so things have been taking way longer than they should. Considering I have a lot of books to read to complete my Spell the Month Challenge, it’s a little worrying. When I picked this book up, I was expecting it to take a really long time as it comes in at 400+ pages. It’s been a while since I last read over 300 pages, so I really didn’t think I’d be up for the task. Suprisingly, I managed to finish this in a couple of nights. I just got so into it. I spent all day imagining getting back home to carry on reading it. I was obsessed in a way that I haven’t been in a really long time. It was a good feeling.
Do you ever bother with signed editions? I’m not talking about being lucky enough to meet an author in person and getting them to sign it. I’m talking about those books that are already signed and, most likely, cost a little bit more than the usual hardback. I try not to care and will normally only bother with signed books by authors I really love. Of course, there may be an occasion when the signed edition is cheaper on Waterstones than the unsigned. In that case, I’ll definitely go for it but, really, I don’t see the point. If it’s not personalised, it’s just a bit meaningless, right? It’s not as I expect them to become investment pieces that I’ll hand down to my children. Nor am I showing them off to everyone I know. The signature is just a thing that exists and makes very little difference to my life. Why am I banging on about this? I pre-ordered the hardback signed copy of Come Again but it has sat on my shelf since April 2020. I do this all the time and I don’t know why I never learn. I am so desperate to get certain signed editions but then let them languish on my shelf. I definitely have a problem.
Am I the only one that seems to miss out on all of the bookish drama? It wasn’t until I finished reading this book that I realised there was a load of controversy around it. When looking on Goodreads, it became apparent that people were taking issue with the title of the book and the effect it might have on children in the care system. I understand that you have to be careful about these thing but it’s clear that most of the people making a fuss haven’t actually bothered to read it. After all, the more you know, the harder it is to complain about everything. You might say that, as someone without any connection to the adoption community, that I’m not qualified to comment on the argument. However, it’s clearly an opinion shared by Adoption UK as they’ve published a positive review of Hana Tooke’s book. I’m sorry a bunch of Karen’s are miffed but this isn’t fair to a good children’s book.
This was one of the most hotly anticipated debuts of 2020 and I was definitely intrigued by it. It took me a while to get a copy though because I was still under the illusion that I could keep my promise to be more restrained about buying books. Once I had the copy in my possession, it still took me a while to get round to it, which is the reason I’m trying to be restrained about my book buying. I buy books thinking that I need to read them immediately but find my desire wanes when the time comes. Still, after my month of cosy crime, I was looking for something a little different and this seemed like a great thing to get my teeth into. I love a character study with little or no plot. From the sound of it, Pizza Girl would be right up my street.
How could I not read this during my Agatha Christie month? After all, it’s 100 years since it was first published. 100 years and Agatha Christie is still an important part of the literary canon. The fact that this year sees the release of another adaptation of Death on the Nile only proves that. As a writer, she is so often dismissed as being a writer of cosy crime but she has continually shown her longevity. It’s ridiculous to think that people still underestimate her but that’s always been the problem with the literary canon. And I understand that there are more than a few unsavoury moments that haven’t aged particularly well over the years but she’s not alone there.