Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Three for the Price of One...ish

I have an eensy weensy confession to make.

I am a book addict.

I have heaps of them, literal stacks of books, books in boxes that I still haven't unpacked since we moved into our current house four and a half years ago because we just haven't the room for them. I keep asking my husband to put up shelves but somehow there's always something else that needs to be done first. Still, I live in hope. I have even read most of them {the books that is}.

My addiction is mostly under control but every now and again I have a binge. This week has been one of those times.

I've had Blackbirds for a while now, I got it when it was available free from the publisher, but for one reason or another I hadn't got round to reading it. I finally got round to it this week and, well, WOW! Miriam Black how do I love thee, let me count the ways!

Having devoured Blackbirds in double quick time I then bought both Mockingbird and The Cormorant and devoured them just as fast.

 I know I'm going to have to go back and have a slow thorough read of all of these books, and I'm looking forward to that, but this initial reading of the books was like the first wild swim of the year - a mad exhilarating dash that left my skin pink and tingling and my blood racing.

I love the way Chuck Wendig writes female characters, like he gets right inside their skin and totally inhabits them [except not in a creepy Silence of the Lambs type way, obviously], and Miriam Black is a great example of this. Oh and what a supporting cast. Poor put upon Louis, scummy shit-bag Ashley, Harriet and Frankie to name but a few; truly memorable characters everyone of them.

If you like your stories dark, your characters complex and multifaceted and your plot pacey and full of thrills then you might want to try these books.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Nutritional Grail by C.J. Clark

As a result of various health issues I have developed in the past year I have been trying to change my diet to see if that might improve my health.

I recently found this book. Nutritional Grail - Ancestral Wisdom, Breakthrough Science and the Dawning of a Nutritional Renaissance by Christopher James Clark.

Before I go any further with the review I just want to state for the record that I received a free review copy from Story Cartel.

So, on with the review...

I found this book to be a very interesting, thoroughly researched, and user friendly book. There are extensive foot notes to every chapter detailing the studies, research papers, letters, journals, etc that the information in this book, together with the expertise and experimentation of the author, is taken from.

The author himself began as a business analyst before moving into the field of food and nutrition and the research skills and attention to detail that he gained from his former occupation have made for a very well detailed and researched book.

There are chapters on protein, carbs, fats, etc detailing how they affect us positively and negatively, and how to get the most out of your diet. What this book does not do is tell you what to eat or how to eat it but it does tell you how to get the most out of your food and what you definitely should not be eating.

The book finishes with loads of really delicious sounding recipes that I am looking forward to trying out.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Bait Dog: An Atlanta Burns Novel by Chuck Wendig

Atlanta Burns rocks!

So, not only does she stand up for the disenfranchised, misrepresented and misunderstood, now she's doing the same for dogs! I wept buckets.

The book starts in tragedy and almost ends in tragedy. Atlanta learns some shit along the way and ultimately comes out on top - sort of.

I don't want to give too much away so this review is, by necessity, really brief but Chuck Wendig is fast becoming one of my favourite writers - I might even go so far as to say that he's up there with Neil Gaiman.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Moving the Mountain - Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Moving the Mountain, the first book in the Herland Trilogy, is...well it's hard to sum up my feelings about this story. I think ambivalent probably expresses it best.

I found myself constantly having to remind myself that it is from a different era, that the ideas presented in the story were-at one time-acceptable. On the other hand there were things in the book that are wholly admirable by today's standards and that we should be striving for-that every society should be striving for.

I found this story very challenging. It actually made me shiver on a number of occasions, and yet, I can see how at the time it would have been a ground breaking novel expressing some interesting new ideas about society and societal structure.

I have previously read The Yellow Wallpaper and loved it. This story? Well, I loved elements of it. If you know the story of the Curate's Egg that sums up perfectly my opinion of this story - "Good in parts."

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Stardust - Neil Gaiman

This story is by Neil Gaiman - what else need I say?

Well a bit actually. It is a great fairy story. There's a love-lorn hero, a damsel in distress, a beautiful princess imprisoned by an evil witch, evil witch queens, cold-hearted lords on a quest for power, a unicorn and much, much more.

The book alone is well worth reading but not only is this book available as a novel it is also a graphic novel and a film and each is well worth checking out.

I've found myself thinking that maybe this review is a bit short but seriously - it's Neil Gaiman! - that alone should say it all.

Then again I do have a MASSIVE crush on the man - I met him once at an event, total embarrassment, I couldn't speak, mumbled some random shit at him and then had to stand there blushing madly while he eyed me as if I was some slightly dangerous exhibit at the zoo that he couldn't tear himself away from. Still, I have books that he has touched with his own hands - I even have the signatures to prove it!

I suppose you'll just have to go and read the book to find out that it really is good and not just a figment of my obsessed imagination.