Good the be (paper) Back

How I have missed this!  Sitting down to write a blog post, talking about books, and chatting with you wonderful people.  It’s been quite a while since my last post due to changing jobs (I’m now a Recruitment Executive, helping people get apprenticeships in the automotive sector), finally moving house, then suffering the loss of internet that usually goes with such adventures, as well as other bits of life that seem to get in the way.

One of the best (but tiring) things of late has been my two hour – each-way – daily commute, as this gives me plenty of time to read, which I find easy to do on a bus at 6 am. I have read many books which will get a review in due course, including such authors as; Lionel Shriver, Stephen King, Vladimir Leskov, Edith Wharton, Emile Zola, and Vasily Grossman, to name about a third. Continue reading “Good the be (paper) Back”

Insensitivity Readers

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Holding this book in your hand, sinking back into your armchair, you will say to yourself: perhaps it will amuse me.  And after you have read this story of great misfortunes, you will no doubt dine well, blaming the author for your own insensitivity, accusing him of wild exaggeration and flights of fancy.  But rest assured: this tragedy is not a fiction. All is true.   – Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot

Catching Up, Again

It’s been a while since the blog got any attention, and that has been because I have been reading, real pleasure reading,  and taking simple enjoyment in the written word whenever I got a moment with a book.  And it’s been glorious!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

It’s been good to take the time out and avoid getting bogged down in the love/hate relationship with time and trying to get things written down topost, as well as trying to make inroads into the book pile.

Combatting this has taken the form of a mix of bestsellers – strange for me, I know – and some quality Asian literature in the form of, Ahmed Ali’s Twilight in Delhi, and the wonderfully titled The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima.  The latter wasn’t because it was trendy to be reading Japanese literature last month, but rather thanks to getting the book as a Christmas present.

As a bonus, whilst walking around the streets between snowfalls, we came across a bag hung on the gate of a house inviting the passerby to take books, so I ended up with two Stephen king hardbacks, Desperation, and Full Dark, No Stars.  Enthusiasm now renewed, and notebook filled, Febuary on WP can finally start for me.

Literature Binge

After my Charles Dickens birthday binge chronicled in the last post, a bit more variety was needed in my reading collection, and what better place to turn to for inspiration than book bloggers.  After hunting around for a short time I came up with three books that would add depth to my collection.

Again thanks to Crissy for the classy book shots.

First port of call was Claire over at Word By Word, for those of you who haven’t discovered this blog yet please be warned you will end up wanting to spend all your money on a variety of books, all of which are wonderfully reviewed.  Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat caught my eye with short stories of a Haitian flavour.

Next up was Asha’s recommendation for Twilight in Delhi which sounds like an atmospheric historical fiction novel that will captivate the senses.  Ever since finishing A Suitable Boy, I have hankered for an Indian novel to read, although I have Rohinton Mistry’s  A FIne Balance still to read, I had to have this book too. Continue reading “Literature Binge”

Getting on a Bit

Finally getting a few moments to write up some notes for the books that I have been reading this year, two completed so far,  a notification popped up with the news that this is my twelfth year on WordPress, making this the tenth year of Book to the Future.

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. from Pexels

An unexpected milestone for sure, not that there was ever a thought of the blog carrying on this long.  When conceived, this space was created with the soul aim of talking about books and making friends, those expectations have been far surpassed in the most surprising way.

From making friends in many different countries as well as meeting blog friends on two other continents, working with Penguin/Random House, meeting my wife,  and being an ocassional proofreader and editor with a couple of small publishing companies.

Not too mention all the free books that authors have been kind enough to send, as well as the reviews that have inspired me to read widely and have bulked up my to read list.  My writing has improved a bit too, so as always a huge thanks to the people who make this all viable, you wonderful readers, especially my regulars.

More book reviews will be coming shortly, they are like a dam waiting to burst.

Obligatory New Year’s Post

Although predictable, this type of post is an easy way to get the blogging ball rolling for the year, with the added bonus of not having to put much effort into it.

Looking back at the things I aimed to do last year, I clearly and consistently failed to achieve a single goal so this time around I will only focus on two things in the vain hope that I will be able to achieve them.

Firstly, carry on with the blog, be a bit more consistent and get all those book reviews and ideas written up.  There is so much half written stuff that I have knocking around, on a variety of topics. I also want to take the blog a bit wider than just books but retaining the literature feel, although now I read that back I have no idea if that will make sense. Continue reading “Obligatory New Year’s Post”

Holiday Collab

It’s Christmas! And here’s a gift you never asked for.  Namely my good self popping up to ruin Asha’s latest book vlog.

If you fancy some Christmas book recommendations, and also wish to see me trying to do my bit to camera with a harassed look as Amelia faintly cries just out of shot, not to mention completely forgetting all the points I was going to make before hand, then watch on.

Paper Heart – Boomie Bol

This book is a debut poetry collection that centers on life in three parts – love, loss, and healing. It looks at love in its many different elements; nature, family, motherhood, sex, self-love, and more. Then shifts focus to the inevitable aspects of loss, grief, heartbreaks, disappointments, abuse, and more. Finally, it lends itself to life’s possibilities of rebirth. Here it touches on healing in various forms; kindness, forgiveness, joy, forward thinking, meditation, and faith.

With an introduction that shows the author’s intent, fellow blogger Boomie Bol seeks to make a connection with each reader, and have her poems infuse into the reader’s life and hopefully be remembered at a time that they are required.

At its core, Paper Heart is a celebration of women, and also women of colour. Boomie’s poems are unapologietic and unashamed, she lays out her innermost feelings and this reader found himself appreciative for the insight into the author’s world and mind and thought process. Continue reading “Paper Heart – Boomie Bol”

An Audio Christmas Present

In the spirit of the season, I am attempting to give, whilst being as cheap as I can possibly be as well, and who doesn’t love something free, literary, and quintessentially Christmassy?

If you’re not already, follow Liz, it won’t bother the bank balance but will tick the seasonal giving and receiving box nicely.

LEAPING LIFE

My gorgeous husband and I share many things in common but we have totally opposite views on books. While I sit surrounded by piles of books I am sure I will one day read, Stephen on the other hand has a handful of beloved titles that he has read many times and so knows with great depth and understanding.

One of his favourite annual traditions is to read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Sometimes it is just to himself. Sometimes it is a special treat for me to hear him read out loud while I sit knitting.

This year he has taken things to a new level. Stephen is an expert YouTuber and so has a range of high-quality recording and editing equipment. This has enabled him to produce a podcast version of A Christmas Carol which I am delighted to be able to share with you. This is…

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What’s in a Novel?

Most people, left to their own devices, think not in clichés but with originality and brilliance; that most individual voices, once heard, turn out to be voices of beauty and wisdom.

Photo taken by Alfons Morales.

I think we all agree that a novel is nothing if it is not the expression of an individual voice, of a single view of experience — and how many of the good or even interesting novels, of the thousands published appear each year? Joan Didion (I Can’t Get That Monster Out of My Mind – 1964)