Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Field Guide To Reality - Joanna Kavenna


Eliade Jencks knows the only reason people call at midnight is to tell you someone has died. Professor Solete was one of her few friends. Perhaps her only friend. But his friends don't think much of her - a vague, scruffy waitress, impatient with philosophical onanism at parties. Naturally, they're horrified to find out that Solete has left her his Field Guide to Reality.
The Guide has taken on legendary proportions among the celebrated minds of Oxford. The work of a lifetime, it purportedly advances Solete's great philosophical Theory of Everything and even defines the very nature of reality. A big, important book. Only, they can't find it.
So, baffled, grieving, and slightly annoyed, Eliade sets out on a quest for the missing manuscript, and falls down a rabbit-hole of metaphysical possibility. From a psychotropic tea party to the Priests of the Quantum Realm, she trips her way through Solete's wonderland reality and, without quite meaning to, bursts open the boundaries of her own.
In this clever, darkly ironic and moving novel, Granta Best of Young British author Joanna Kavenna displays fearless originality and dread wit in confronting the strangeness of reality and how we contend with the disappearance of those we love.
Beautiful original drawings by Oly Ralfe illustrate this haunting tale of bringing light to an empty roo

This book felt like Alice in wonderland to me - I had no idea what was going on and so I just went with it as I was intrigued by the cryptic Solete and his message from beyond the grave.

I think I sort of understood what was happening at the end but really apart from being a beautifully bound book I was not really enjoying reading this book. The illustrations were dark and dystopian and took up about half of the novel.

Perhaps I am not learned enough to read this and understand beyond the basic mystery level.

I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars.
I was sent the book by Real Readers for review.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Did You Ever Have a Family - Bill Clegg


Monday, 8 August 2016

London Stone - Nick Bydwyn



When I began this book I was intrigued - seemingly unrelated events might be connected. How does a Private Investigator take the same job from two different people when they both want the same item?

The Private Investigator Drake Sanders is himself a great character in that he reads like a real person and gets himself into scrapes which realistically he doesn't get out of too well! The writing was at times a little too long winded and descriptive, when all I really wanted was action, and to get to the chase.

The scene was set well and all of a sudden it just didn't add up, but Drake Sanders didn't appear to be seeing the warning signs - surely I was not going to be able to second guess better than the Private Investigator. 

That is really where the book and me parted company - I read to the end but felt I had figured it out before Drake Sanders and he wasn't keeping up with me.

A good story but to me read a little like a 1970s movie.

I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars.

My thanks go to Netgalley for an advance e copy of the book.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Truly, Madly,Guilty - Liane Moriarty


Monday, 25 July 2016

We'll always have Paris - Sue Watson

I'm part of the blog tour for this book from Sue Watson. See my sidebar for all the tour stops.


My thanks go to Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group for an advance copy of this book to review.
We'll Always Have Paris is out on 28 July 2016.

About the author:
Sue Watson was a journalist on women's magazines and national newspapers before working in a career in TV where she was a producer with the BBC. She has published six novels, her most well-known being Love, Lies and Lemon Cake. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives in the Midlands and writes full time.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Not If I See You First - Eric Lindstrom


Parker Grant doesn't need perfect vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances.
When Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart, suddenly reappears at school, Parker knows there's only one way to react – shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough to deal with already, like trying out for the track team, handing out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened – both with Scott, and her dad – the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem.
Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.


This is a YA book but don't let that put you off reading it at any age. I really enjoyed this book. 

To begin with Parker is blind but that isn't the mainstay of the book, its about so much more and in essence so grown up with all that she and her friends deal with.

For a lot of the book I forgot I was reading a YA book - obviously all the main characters are teens but the dialogue and emotions are so mature that I just forgot. There was only one part about a third of the way through where it did turn into a little like "Mean Girls" and I did think I am too old for this! But it was a blip because the slice of Parker's life we get to witness is really amazing.

Each morning Parker and her friend Sarah hold "Home Office" where they listen to people's problems and give advice. Except that Parker really lets loose with no holds barred "advice". I found this aspect of the book really interesting. Parker is also a runner - without a guide! Then there is the romantic side of Parker but I didn't feel it ever got immature or gushy in that respect, again it was a very mature outlook.

I love the way that the writer almost accidentally referred to what for a blind person is a major thing - people moving things from where they normally are. The writing was really so sympathetic and understanding of what a blind person goes through that I thought they had more experience than is revealed at the end of the book in the acknowledgements.

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.

My thanks go to Netgalley for a copy of this book to review.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Lubetkin Legacy - Marina Lewycka