The Final Blog Post?

In the best traditions of clickbait, the title is misleading, albeit not by much.  This blog is now on an indefinate hiatus, sadly.   This damp (and unedited) squib was not the way I expected to leave on.

Frustration and fighting against the day to get some quality time in which to concentrate is a daily battle that I constantly lose, and when time does present itself, I am simply too tired to write anything decent.  If I’m not happy with my posts, and usually I am not – I just give up and post them – there seems little point in continuing.

The little time I do get will be for reading which I am just about sustaining.  Again, due to lack of time I am aggressively minimising the book cllection too, only keeping the books that mean something to me.  The I will rely on the library for anything else.

It’s been a blast but I would rather the blog stop before it gets too poorly written and maintained.  Keep supporting books, readers, and each other, and no doubt I will see you around!  Now I shall diminish into the west and remain Galadriel.

Ending Forever, Soon Arriving

In case you missed it last year – as I know I did – Nicholas Conley‘s latest book Ending Forever first came out on Kindle Vella, which allows authors to write the book in installments, harking back toCharles Dickens, et al. 

The book will be coming out for e-readers on 10th May, with a paperback edition at a later unspecified date. With such a goegeous cover I shall definitely be availing myself of the physical copy but will no doubt be reviewing the ARC as and when it arrives in my inbox.

Check out the below synopsis to whet your appetite and also cast your eye over my other reviews for Nick’s books and author interrogations, which can hadily be found here.

Axel Rivers can’t get his head above water. Throughout his life, he’s worn many hats—orphan, musician, veteran, husband, father—but a year ago, a horrific event he now calls The Bad Day tore down everything he’d built. Grief-stricken, unemployed, and drowning in debt, Axel needs cash, however he can find it.
Enter Kindred Eternal Solutions. Founded by the world’s six wealthiest trillionaires and billionaires, Kindred promises to create eternal life through mastering the science of human resurrection. With the technology still being developed, Kindred seeks paid volunteers to undergo tests that will kill and resurrect their body—again and again—in exchange for a check.
Axel signs up willingly, but when he undergoes the procedure—and comes back, over and over—what will he find on the other side of death?

Walk of Life: Feet on the Ground – Paul Northridge

What happens when we die? What is the meaning of life? What has ice-cold water got to do with sex? All these questions are answered in this book, well at least taken from my point of view in my autobiography.

I was born with Spina Bifida and therefore ended up with a different kind of a body and different aspect to life compared to the norm. I had a near death experience (NDE) at fourteen years old and I will guide you through that journey and how I reflect upon it more as I grow older.  My late teenage years and into my adulthood I have battled with depression, suicidal tendencies and self-harming. It was a secret battle where I would always put a smile on to show I was fine, and you know what FINE stands for? F’d Up (COULD SAY “FUDGED”UP, A FUNNY ALTERNATIVE), Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. We all have our mountains to climb and with me being as open as possible in this book, maybe you can associate with my experiences too.

I wanted to find love, but I really thought it was an impossible task to be attractive yet disabled. I found love in Russia out of all places in the world and this is an amazing story of synchronicity as I truly feel that things happen for a reason.

Yes, I always kept a smile on my face even though I was in some dark places in my mind. I also have a great sense of humour so please stop from putting the book back on the shelf in thinking this is a doom and gloom book, because it’s funny as anything in places. I hope it will make you laugh, cry and most of all I hope it will help you.

That is the most likely the longest blurb I have yet featured on the blog, I say likely because I am too lazy to actually check.  Autobiographies are something I delve into relatively rarely, but the reading of is a whole different kettle of fish when you have spent some time with that person.

Paul Northridge was a colleague at my last place of work, and is a bloody nice chap to boot. During one particular conversation comparing the respective lack of candidate interest for the apprenticeship vacancies we were trying to fill, we ended up meanering into other topics – including sadly departed comedian George Carlin –  it was then that Paul revealed he was an author.

I said, “I didn’t know that, I review books”, to which he replied, “I didn’t know that about you either”.  That sorted out, I got a copy of Walk of Life and read it fittingly on the often delayed bus that took me to work. Continue reading “Walk of Life: Feet on the Ground – Paul Northridge”

Another Worthwhile Read

Two reblogs in two days because quality stuff should be shared. This time it’s the turn of my very good friend Vicki and her short memoir about her younger days in Paris, a city that seems to encourage so many memorable works. I will be purchasing my copy soon, so come join me.

creativeshadows

Here you can see at top above the cover art and back cover (with blurb by the stupendous and kind Katy Naylor, of Postcards from Ragnarok and the voidspace) followed in the second image by the internal frontispiece of the book, which is being published by the equally magnificent and kind Alien Buddha Press.  Look for me on Amazon, and acquire a copy for yourself!  Shadowoperator (Victoria Leigh Bennett)

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The Swing Set in the Backyard (Or . . . So, You Want to Write a Novel?)

As ever Mike’s word are a great source of inspiration for the writer in you.

Eye-Dancers

When I was eight years old, my parents bought a swing set for the backyard.  It was red and yellow, with two swings.  My father installed it at the extreme northern end of the yard, a few feet to the left of the brick fireplace he had built upon moving into the house, years before I was born.  I cannot say I remember whether or not I had asked for a swing set or if my parents decided it would be a good idea to get one.  Either way, that summer–the summer I was eight–I spent a lot of time on those swings.

Well, I mainly used the swing closer to the fireplace.  If anyone wanted to join me, they needed to use the other swing.  Sometimes, I’d swing for hours.  I used to love swinging on July evenings, the air warm, the yard fragrant with flowers and freshly cut…

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Where I’ve Been

With a mad end to the year and the customary beginning to the next, you may or, most likely,  may not have wondered where I have been.  Well the answer is precisely nowhere.  A lack of reading hasn’t helped but I have now returned to readerly and writerly ways.

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I have been keeping myself creatively busy doing some writing for World Football Index, so if you fancy a gander at the articles that I have thus far written, you can my specific author page here.  I also missed my 13th anniversary with WordPress notification which really shows my age.

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The photos in this post were done by Cris as I am shambolic when it comes to anything visually creative. These are most of the books picked up in the back half of last year that I didn’t get a chance to show you.  Reviews of four will be forthcoming soon and my previous blog post covered the excelleny Poems from the Northeast. Continue reading “Where I’ve Been”

Poems from the Northeast – Victoria Leigh Bennett

A poet’s spiritual homeland is oftentimes not exactly the same as his or her homeland by birth. This book is a book of poems composed over a lifetime lived entirely in the northeastern United States and Toronto, Canada. It features a wide range of literary and personal topics with which the author hopes to enliven, instruct without condescension, move, and above all entertain her audience. It is hoped that there is something in this book for nearly everyone, from the full-fledged poetic connoisseur to the most casual of poetry readers.

This review has been a long while in the writing because there is so much to experience in the pages of these three collected books from Vicki.  You can find more of her, always thought-provoking writings here, whilst you are waiting for this book to arrive, as you will probably want to order it.

I found this collection somewhat perplexing, every time that I read through the book I found new favourite poems, so either I am easily delighted, or the wealth of moods catered for is ‘muchos’.  I am inclined to the latter. From simple observations to the big questions of life the variety is there in abundance.

Poems from the Northeast is a delight for the reader, with many references and allusions to authors, poets, artists, and philosophers littered throughout, I had a great time hunting for them, or looking through the internet to explore names I knew but haven’t yet read.  Continue reading “Poems from the Northeast – Victoria Leigh Bennett”

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.

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