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?

Philosophy and Literature with Iris Murdoch and Bryan Magee

I love doing the washing up, it gives me a chance to catch up with a whole host of interesting YouTube channels.  As you might expect these are a pretty eclectic mix; Agadmator’s chess match analyses, Bob Ross‘ happy little paintings, David Lynch’s weather report, a few channels dealing with apologetics, film reviews, Football Manager (as I have no time to go indepth with such a game), other assorted retro games, and science videos.

This time I wanted something a bit different so typed ‘literature’ into the search bar.  Having previously done this and ended up scrolling through a bunch of identikit YA booktubers I, understandably, left it a few years before trying again.

The below video turned up, and having heard of Iris Murdoch, but not having read any of her works I decided to give the interview a whirl. It’s an interesting chat that takes places in that nostalgically British way of having a dull studio filled with browns and beiges. I already have Murdoch’s Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature, on my list but any recommendations for her fiction would be most welcome.

Moonlight Thoughts

Posting this after a few hours sleep and two cups of overpowered coffee, both with four heaped teaspoons of the good stuff. Suffice to say my brain is now best described as ‘frenzied’.

Lying wide awake at 1am, despite soothing music playing in the background, there is little to do to pass the time except to avoid thinking about how many hours and minutes of ‘sleep’ time there is until the alarm goes off.

Unable to move this particular sleepness night, thanks to having our bed invaded by Amelia who promptly fell asleep on my arm and neck. Naturally thoughts turned to books, and then the direction of said musings ranged thick and fast, the notable being:

  • Which book to read next, ruling out recent genres and country/continent of authors likewise.
  • Pondering on more ways to better support independent authors I like, other than the blog and purchasing their books.
  • Mentally comparing the physical nature of different books like texture of cover and page, as well as the wildcard font.
  • Thoughts on how to improve my writing and where to find the time to read and write more. 1am seems like the obvious answer to that.

Continue reading “Moonlight Thoughts”

Scènes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris) – Victoria Leigh Bennett

“Paris was glorious in the summer mornings! The air was as fresh as a grackle’s wing…”

In Scènes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris), Victoria Leigh Bennett takes us back to her teenage years, as a first trip abroad opens her eyes to the possibilities of the French metropolis, and of the first buds of romance. This playful, tender memoir shows us the wonder of the city of love seen through fresh eyes. It is ripe with youthful adventure, and as bitter-sweet as a coffee and croissant.”

Scènes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris) is a playful riff off of Honoré de Balzac‘s work Scènes de la Vie Parisienne, and sets the mood for a thoughtful memoir of youthful experiences abroad in the French capital.  A city that has inspired so much literature, now has another view, which is a pleasantly nostalgic one.

It is difficult to talk too much about the book without giving away spoilers, so please forgive me if I am somewhat vague on the content and don’t expand on the blurb too much hereafter.

The reader is treated to three vignettes which give a wonderful sense of not only place and time, but also of self. Vicki’s introspective reminiscences make for a wonderful read and not only brings out the misty-eyed ememberance of travels in past days but also a yearning for more of her words. Continue reading “Scènes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris) – Victoria Leigh Bennett”

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…

View original post 1,274 more words

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.

No description available.

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.

No description available.

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”

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”

The Reacher Guy – Heather Martin

Jack Reacher is only the second of Jim Grant’s great fictional characters: the first is Lee Child himself. Heather Martin’s biography tells the story of all three.

Lee Child is the enigmatic powerhouse behind the bestselling Jack Reacher novels. With millions of devoted fans across the globe, and over a hundred million copies of his books sold in more than forty languages, he is that rarity, a writer who is lauded by critics and revered by readers. And yet curiously little has been written about the man himself.

The Reacher Guy is a compelling and authoritative portrait of the artist as a young man, refracted through the life of his fictional avatar, Jack Reacher. Through parallels drawn between Child and his literary creation, it tells the story of how a boy from Birmingham with a ferocious appetite for reading grew up to become a high-flying TV executive, before coming full circle and establishing himself as the strongest brand in publishing.

Heather Martin explores Child’s lifelong fascination with America, and shows how the Reacher novels fed and fuelled this obsession, shedding light on the opaque process of publishing a novel along the way. Drawing on her conversations and correspondence with Child over a number of years, as well as interviews with his friends, teachers and colleagues, she forensically pieces together his life, traversing back through the generations to Northern Ireland and County Durham, and following the trajectory of his extraordinary career via New York and Hollywood until the climactic moment when, in 2020, having written a continuous series of twenty-four books, he finally breaks free of his fictional creation.

Three things attracted me to this book, about an author that I have never actually read.  The price, a first chapter titled The Library, and thirdly a reference to the wonderful One Hundred years of Solitude, which I happened upon whilst flicking idly through the pages.

Despite my lack of knowledge about the author, other than seeing his many books, which are seemingly everywhere, I found this biography to be very readable, no doubt because it’s good to be nosy about someone else’s life.  it is interesting how the mundane can become rich when examined from the outside, and there is a wealth of detail here to dive into here.

Over half of the book charts Grant’s life before finding his inner (Lee) child, and whilst was good to find the origins of not only the author – an inveterate reader himself  – but also of Jack Reacher, the text does jump around a bit between times and people causing a bit of confusion at times.  This part of the book about humble and tough beginnings was interesting enough and I looked forward to reading about his writing career. Continue reading “The Reacher Guy – Heather Martin”

%d bloggers like this: