Saturday, 31 March 2012

Are You Turning Into Your Dad? - Joseph Piercy

"You know when you're turning into your Dad when......

The end of your tie doesn't come anywhere near the top of your trousers.

The four letter word for something two people can do together in bed is 'read'.

The gleam in your eyes is the sun hitting your bifocals.

Work is a lot less fun, and fun is a lot more work.

You can live without sex,but not without your glasses.

You have a party and the neighbours don't even realise it.

Your ears are hairier than your head.

You start making maps of your wrinkles in the mirror."

This is a very funny little filler that I was given a few weeks ago. It is full of humorous quotations and anecdotes about the joys of getting old and realising that you are in fact turning into your Dad! I couldn't find many reviews about this book online and this may be the only one out there, but I would recommend it if you want a good giggle.

Personally I have known for a long time that I am a clone of my Dad, and its not just because of my thinning hair and belly. I have lost count of the number of times I have gone visiting my parents, only to be stopped in some store or chippy by somebody who thinks I AM my Dad! Either I look old or he looks young!

" Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed."

Charles Schulz


Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Puck and Shaun live on an island called Thisby, a quaint, old fashioned kind of a place where killer horses come out of the sea every October!

      Puck is an orphan and is struggling to make ends meet and decides to take matters into her own hands by taking part in the famous Scorpio Races, where islanders race the dangerous water horses along the treacherous beach. Every year this beach is left covered in blood and the population of Thisby is viciously reduced. If Puck can win the race she will be able to save her home but things take on a new meaning when she meets Shaun Kendrick, the local horse whisperer who has his own reasons for winning the race.

      I was attracted to this book after reading a review in my local newspaper and also by its beautiful cover! It's a little bit longer than your average novel but well worth the read, I really liked the story and the two main characters were real and captivating. The island revolves around the magical and dangerous horses or Cappaill Uisce that live in the sea and the whole book has a lovely magical feel to it. It definitely has a Young Adult feel to it but also has a little bit of everything for all ages including fantasy, horror and romance! I'm not a young adult but really enjoyed this book. It is colourful and imaginative just like its wonderful cover design. It leaves you with just enough answered and unanswered questions and builds to a satisfying ending.

      I have read some mixed reviews for 'The Scorpio Races' and for Maggie Stiefvater's other books ( which I haven't read) but mine can't be anything other than positive. Well worth a read, whether you are currently sitting your school exams or slowly decaying like me.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Transform Your Life - Penny Ferguson

I purchased this free for my kindle a few months back because the title jumped out at me and the idea of transforming my life is an exciting concept!

I haven't read many self-help books and I was looking forward to trying one or dipping my toes in the water so to speak. To be honest I was first a little disappointed because about 60% of the book is more like a leadership or management tutorial. However I did find those parts quite interesting and hopefully it will help in my role as an RGN and as a father of two teenage boys( and hopefully one day as a multi award winning author!) It pretty much has a big emphasis on listening and encouraging others instead of simply trying to get your points across.

The rest of the book is full of helpful life tips such as positive thinking, finding out what you really want to do in life and even writing your own obituary! I havent wrote mine yet but I intend to (maybe today or tommorrow), hopefully before someone else does! Overall I found this book to be quite motivating and helpful in a constructive way and I am hoping to digest and develop some of its ideas for my own life. 'Transform Your Life' is built around 52 ideas with some bonus ideas at the end. For some reason one of these bonus ideas goes into a long discussion about growing your own vegetables which had me scratching my head and thinking I had started to read a different book by mistake!

This is an interesting read and hopefully it will help me to transform my life, only time will tell.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Sentinel - Arthur C Clarke

This is a collection of short stories written between 1946 and 1979 by Arthur C Clarke.

I have only ever read one of his stories and that was a few years ago, he was also famous for his supernatural TV series of which I was an avid fan growing up.
These nine stories are of various lengths and are what I would describe as traditional old fashioned Sci-Fi. You haven't got all the flashy monsters and space battles typically found in Star Trek and Star Wars and later books and movies but what you have got are a collection of good honest stories. Most of the stories kept my interest without blowing me away completely. My favourite was the highly original 'The Wind from the Sun' where the protagonist takes part in a space yacht race to the moon. Other highlights are 'A Meeting with Medusa' and 'Breaking Strain.'

Overall this was a pleasant and interesting read without really getting me too excited.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Book 12 The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie

Sometimes murder is as easy as ABC but this time Hercule Poirot seems to be faced with a homicidal maniac and clues seem to be few and far between. Poirot receives a letter that informs him that there is going to be a murder in Andover and Mrs Ascher is found battered to death behind her shop counter. Next young Betty Barnard is strangled on a beach in Bexhill and then Sir Carmichael Clarke is killed in Churston. Why are each of the bodies found with a copy of the ABC railway guide and who the heck is the mysterious Alexander Bonaparte Cust?

I have read a few Agatha Christie novels over the years and every time I am convinced I will solve the case and pin point the murdering swine but of course yet again I failed! In fact this time I was nowhere close probably because this one is a little bit different. Instead of having a murder committed in a house or on a train or on a boat we have a series of murders that don't appear to be linked. In this book there does appear to be a lack of clues that you can normally find in any Christie book but in many ways it is much cleverer than the others.

I would probably say that it is an avarage Agatha Christie romp and enjoyable but nowhere near as good as the likes of the fantastic 'Crooked House' or 'Murder on the Orient express.' I haven't been too well this week, suffering from a horrible viral infection that is currently sweeping through the rest of my family ( except my dog, lucky git!) so I wasn't really up to reading but I plodded on.


Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

This was a fun and quick read following the 'readathon' of David Copperfield. I remember watching some of the BBC TV series many years ago and I also watched the new movie a few years ago. This is a funny book and also very imaginative and original.

I also found more than a few similarities between my own style of writing and that of the late Douglas Adams. Will I ever be as good as him? That is the question.

If you want a quick, hilarious and relaxing read, this could be one for you.
I am hoping to catch up on the rest of the book series soon.


Thursday, 1 March 2012

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

This is the story of David Copperfield and his journey through life, his loves and his struggles. Copperfield's childhood bubble is burst upon the arrival of Mr Murdstone and his sister into their home and this sets the wheels of fate into a totally new direction. He experiences life on the streets of London and meets a lot of interesting characters along the way.

This is an enormous book and perhaps many people would need a little bit of patience to get through it. However it did keep my interest all the way and it is a good read. I found it strange to be reading a book that was written such a long time ago (probably with a feather quill and a candle in the background) on an Amazon Kindle! David Copperfield has a bit of everything, from adventure to humour to romance to social commentary. At times it is a little bit convoluted and not easy to follow and sometimes I found myself wondering who was living in which house and who was married to whom! But on the whole this book is easy to read considering how old it is. To me I found that it was written in a similar vein to an Austen book but much more accessible and more focused on different classes rather than just life of the nobility.

But what made this novel work for me were the fabulous characters! Lovely characters like Copperfield himself and Tom Traddles and Little Em'ly, Agnes and Peggotty. The awful Mr and Miss Murdstone and the wonderful and at times hilarious Aunt Trotwood as well as the peculiar and complex and conniving Uriah Heep. I can relate to many characters in the book but especially to Mr Micawber because of the problems I have had over the years with trying to stay financially afloat!

The amazing thing about this novel is the way in which it is still relevant
in 2012 and how the thoughts and trials of David Copperfield are not much different to our own.Even though our roads are no longer cobbled and carriages have been replaced by Ford Ka's and people carriers, there are a lot of similarities to modern day England.

I read this for Dickens Month and I would recommend it for anyone who has a few weeks to dedicate to one book!

4 Stars out of 5.