Some books just sound like they’re going to be your kind of thing. I was offered a copy of this book and it just seemed like it would be right up my street. A YA novel with LGBTQ+ representation set in the glitzy music world and written by a musician. It had the potential to be something really interesting. I admit that YA isn’t my usual kind of thing but I’m always willing to give it a chance when it sounds good enough. As I’ve mentioned, it’s been taking me longer to finish books recently but I got a fair chunk of it finished on a train ride this weekend. Not in time for my usual Monday review but close enough.
I don’t know what’s happened to me in the last few months. Reading just isn’t going as well for me as it was in the first half of the year. I don’t even know if I’m going to manage to get to 100 in 2022 let alone beat my reading score from last year. On the plus side, I have read a few books that have been on my TBR for a while. This is one of those books. Due to my history with classic gothic fiction, I was interested in this book when it came out. I possibly even have a copy of it hidden away somewhere. I found a copy on my library app and decided it was finally time to listen to it. It seemed like a good book for the winter months. There’s nothing like a good creepy book on a chilly night. Especially a book that I’ve been looking forward to reading.
My second Agatha Christie novel of the month and one that I was excited to read again. I don’t think her standalone novels really get enough love these days. I guess most modern readers are automatically going to pick up books starring Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. They’re her most famous literary creations, so why wouldn’t they go for them first? The problem is, some of her greatest novels are actually the standalones. Yes, her most famous ones tend to star the great Belgian but some of them are a little overrated. Not bad but definitely way too hyped.
I know it was the big thing back in 2015/6 but I never read The Loney. I’d never read anything by Andrew Michael Hurley until I read Starve Acre. Although, I did almost buy a copy of his bestseller but I always have so many other things to get through. It definitely sounds like my kind of book. As a fan of traditional gothic fiction, I never find contemporay gothic fiction to be anything special. Whenever a book is described as being terrifying or haunting, I’ve only ever been disappointed. I just don’t know what it is but they just lack that scare factor. Once again, his latest novel has been hailed as a spine chilling read and I was unconvinced. However, so many people on Instagram have been raving about it that I had to give it a chance. Plus, as usual, I really loved the book design. Even it it sucked, I could at least have another pretty book to add to my collection.
It’s been a while since I last logged into NetGalley. It’s mainly because I hate the pressure of it. I would always get overexcited and request loads of books. Then I’d never be able to read them in time and feel guilty. I lost access to a lot of books and, consequently, my rating went down. So, I walked away and decided to read the books I wanted to buy. Then I realised that NetGalley were offering audiobooks. How perfect? I find it much easier to fit in an audiobook in my schedule. So, I went on and requested a bunch. This was the first one that I got and I was really happy. I’d been interested in this collection but, I admit, I’d been left scared after The Wall didn’t really do much for me. Could this collection be as good as it sounded?
I’m getting a bit worried that I’m not going to finish my current read in time to write my Wednesday post. I’ve already got a short audiobook ready in case I need to shove an extra one in somewhere. It all depends on tonight. Thankfully, I still managed to get my weekly audiobook finished in time. I can’t remember who first recommended Carmilla to me but it was definitely something that came out of Instagram. I think I was having a rant about how bored I was with vampire fiction. Over the years, vampires have lost their bite so I tend to ignore them. I’d never tried to read Carmilla though. I know that it was the inspiration for Dracula and one of the earliest vampire stories ever written. But if we go into that too much I’ll probably just start banging on about John Polidori again. And nobody wants that.
Do you have a favourite book? I know that it’s one of the most difficult questions that you could possibly ask a bookish person. We have shelves crammed full of books, how the hell are we meant to edit that down to just one deserving book? It’s all about context, timing, age, and countless other variables. Although, we all have books that we prefer to the others. It’s like children: we all know our parents have a favourite but they’re just kind enough to not tell us. I’d definitely place The Monk at the top of my favourites list. The rest of the books on there might change as time goes by but this has been there since I first read it. I’ve always been a fan of the Romantic period and, though my studies, I became enamoured with gothic fiction. You may remember that I wrote a beginner’s guide to gothic fiction of the 1790s. I wrote my postgraduate dissertation on it and it was mainly so I could use this book. I love it. I’ve tried to make so many people read it but it’s not for everyone. It’s a bit much but, then again, so am I.
I’m still not entirely convinced by Robert Pattinson. It’s not really his fault. I just haven’t seen that many of his films. Besides Harry Potter and Twilight I’ve managed to avoid the majority of Pattinson’s career. I didn’t really have a reaction when it was announced he was taking over as Batman. He’ll probably be quite good but, as we’ve seen, DC movies aren’t the most reliable. My heart just isn’t in it anymore. I’m willing to be proved wrong but I don’t see a new Batman story bringing anything new to the DCEU. So it doesn’t even really matter how good Pattinson is. I mean Christian Bale was an awful Batman but people still class him about Micheal Keaton (the actual best portrayal) because he’s the most recent. When it comes down to it, film fans have a very short attention span so whoever ends up wearing the cowl will, inevitably, become the favourite of most people. Now, I realise that I have been banging on about Batman for too long and it has nothing to do with why we’re here. To The Lighthouse… geddit? Cause of Virginia Woolf? Oh, fine.
As children we’re so often told that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. It’s a quaint little adage that I completely agree with when talking about people but not when talking about actual books. As any bookish person will tell you, you can very often tell whether or not you’ll like a book based on the cover art. I buy the majority of my books based on chance encounters in book shops. The typical romantic-comedy meet cute kind of thing. I walk into a bookshop, come face to face with something beautiful, everything gets a bit blurry, strings start playing in the background, I read the synopsis, we’re a perfect match, and we end up going home together. It’s a tale as old as time. And exactly what happened with the last book that I read. It was just your everyday lunchtime book shop browse and I fell in love. With a simple white cover with a black illustration. It was creepy. It was gorgeous. I had to pick it up. As soon as I read the word Frankenstein on the back I was doomed. I’d never read anything by Marcus Sedgwick but, if this cover told me anything, I knew this was going to be for me.
As you may have noticed from my last couple of book reviews, I was starting to get a bit cocky about the frequency with which I was starting to post them. I mean two in two weeks. Who would have thought it? Especially when a matter of weeks ago I was experiencing a devastating reading slump that saw me slog through Frankenstein in Baghdad for over two months! But, I admit, I was starting to get a bit too big for my boots. Something which promptly stopped the minute I realised I’d not read a damn thing for most of last week. I’m currently reading White Houses by Amy Bloom but I’ve not been feeling it this week. Nope, what I’ve been feeling is Project Runway and whatever other shit I could find on Netflix. So, when I wrote my Sunday Rundown this week I started panicking that I wouldn’t have anything to review tonight. So I did what any other good book blogger did and bought a book that I not only wanted to read but, more importantly, could finish in one night! Really the only reaction. So, yet again, I’m keeping up my streak. With a little sneakiness.