Despite the fact that I vowed to buy fewer books this year, my Spell the Month reading challenge has made it difficult to do this. I have a lot of unread books but there are plenty of letters that I still don’t have books for. J is one of the most awkward letters for me at the moment and I had to go searching for something to pick up. I read about this when looking on the Booker Prize website. I’m not normally a fan of short story collections because I prefer a longer form. However, this sounded like something that I couldn’t miss. The fact that it’s a J title was an added bonus.
I’d love to be the kind of reader who keeps up with all of the literary awards. You know the person I mean. They take note of the longlists and shortlists when they’re released. Then they manage to make their way through them before the winner is revealed. For one thing, who can get their hands on that many books? For another, who has such a small TBR that they can happily add so many books to them? If I tried to do this with the major literary awards then I’d never cope. So, I tend to have a look through the lists and then see if any take my fancy. Even then, I don’t tend to read them in time because I never do. However, sometimes a book comes along that has such an exciting premise that I can’t not pick it up. The Employees was one of those books. I knew that I had to read it and I had to read it soon.
What have you been reading this week?
I went to take some photos yesterday and couldn’t find one of my latest reads. It’s not the first time that it’s happened but I’m normally able to find it after a bit of rearranging. I could not find this book anywhere. So, I decided to start organising my books. Starting with collecting ones that I could get rid of. I admit that I’m a bit of hoarder when it comes to books. Even if I don’t like a book or am unlikely to reread it, I’ll hang onto it for all my life. I have books from university that I still own for no reason. I’ve always lived in a house full of books and it just feel natural to keep them. But I was ruthless and managed to get the first box full of stuff I didn’t need. Here’s hoping I can keep this momentum going and get my madness down to a less chaotic level. Oh, and I did find the book eventually. It was inside a little pouch that I’d recently bought along with my Kindle. Past Laura really isn’t really my favourite person right now.
I stumbled across this whilst browsing in a bookshop. I read the back and was instantly hooked. It sounded absolutely perfect and everything I wanted to read. So, I bought a copy. Like any normal human being, right? Apparently not. At least not according to the people on GoodReads. Whilst updating my status with this book the other day I saw something that really irritated me so I’m going to have a quick rant before I get on with my review.
I would never have read this novel if it weren’t for the Booker International longlist – I’d already seen the blurb a few months earlier and decided the book wasn’t for me. After the longlist was announced, I requested and received an ARC of The Pine Islands, direct from a very nice member of staff at the publisher
So, you had already rejected a book because it wasn’t for you but then it nearly won a prize. Then you demanded a copy of it for free, knowing that, in all likelihood, you weren’t going to enjoy it that much. What the hell kind of entitlement is that? This is the kind of shit that gives all bloggers a bad name. Like the people who went into a restaurant and demanded a free meal in exchange for a review. It’s pathetic. The fact that this person also appears to be the kind of person who uses their reviews to let everyone know that they’re more intelligent than you. I mean, it’s GoodReads for fuck’s sake. If the review goes on more than 5 paragraphs it’s too much. Anyway, as you can tell it put me in a huge mood. So, I’d better get on with the reason I’m here.
If you’ve read my blog or followed me on Instagram for a little while at this point then you’ll probably know that I have a bit of a long history with the Man Booker nominees. I always get really excited when the longlist is released and desperately get my hands on loads of the books. Not only do I rarely get round to reading them but, inevitably, my favourites never end up on the shortlist. Maybe it’s my fault? Maybe I’m so cursed that any nominated book that I enjoy reading or like the sound of will never win the prize? My last read is one of those books. From the first time I heard about The Dinner Guest I was intrgiued. Telling the story of the author’s grandfather who was murderd before she was born, it sounded like nothing I’d ever read before. So, I bought it almost immediately and promptly left it on my shelves for ages. But, as I’m trying to make my through my unread books this year, I finally picked it up. It’s a pretty short book at only around 140 ages so I expected to have this done in a matter of days but, being me, I only finished it last night. And it’s safe to say I got a little emotional towards the end. But that’s been a fairly common theme this week. Let’s not talk about how many tears I shed watching the Gilette advert…