Sunday, 28 April 2013

Book 19 Lulu looks For Love

                                                          By Katie Pfeiffer

                        Well it has always been my intention to read all kinds of books for my 52 book challenge and for review purposes so it was about time I read a childrens picture book. I am a 42 year old bald bloke so it's obvious that this book isn't aimed at me. 


      I don't know much about Katie but this little book is colourful and funny and I'm sure she will have a great future if she wants to continue to combine her art with childrens fiction. I'm not sure about the inclusion of a spirit guide type character in a story for young children, that is my only small niggle.This appears to have been written a few years ago now and I don't know if she has written anything else but hopefully she will go on to develop herself in these two areas and it will be interesting to keep an eye on her. Whether writing or Art or both becomes her chosen area, I wish her well, wherever her future carries her.

The War of the Worlds

                                                                 H.G Wells


            'The Chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one they said.'

      When I was growing up my sister had the War of the Worlds Album and I remember listening to it, maybe through my bedroom wall, and I remember that line well. I don't know if I ever listened to the album all the way through and I don't even know how close it was to the actual book.

      The War of the Worlds was definitely well ahead of it's time, it is imaginative and thought provoking. I was expecting it to be like a bad Sci Fi B-Movie but it was totally the opposite. There are probably more dead bodies in this than any modern book I have ever read and I'm sure it must have raised a few eyebrows at the time.

      However saying all that it did take me a while to get into the story, and perhaps because I don't know anything about London or it's nearby areas I did find it quite difficult to picture any of the locations in the book. And for me the book only came alive in the final third. The ending is excellent though and kind of makes the whole thing come together. It kept my interest (just about) all the way through and it is well worthy of 4 stars out of 5, but not the most exciting thing I have ever read. Mainly due to the difficulty in picturing in my head any of the settings and London landmarks. That made it is tad difficult.

      Maybe I should take that trip to London like I've been meaning to.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

                                                   By Stieg Larsson

      Evil Shall

                           With Evil

                                               Be Expelled

      Henrik Vanger has spent decades trying to find out what happened to his niece Harriet who disappeared into thin air in 1966, finally in one last desperate attempt he enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced journalist.

       Blomkvist moves to sleepy Hedeby Island and soon realises that he is not just the hunter but possibly the hunted.

      I delayed reading this until now because of all the hype it generated along with the motion picture, I don't like to read a book when everybody is raving about it because there's always a danger that it won't live up to the hype. At 542 pages this is quite a big chunk of a book and I have since read a mixed bag of reviews. Some people think it's over complicated and convoluted and obsessed with mundane details. Yes, maybe it isn't the easiest book to read but that's what I love about it. It's a thinking man's novel, it's in many ways an unconventional thriller. I like the fact that it makes your brain work a little harder, I like the fact that the Author goes into lots of small details, I like the fact that I needed two bookmarks instead of one!

      When I first started reading I admit I was a tad weary because I was straight away hit with lots of maps and a complicated family tree on the first few pages. Hence why I needed the multiple bookmarks so that I could keep referring back to them! 

      But there's lots to love in this novel. I love the location, a fictional island off the coast of Sweden, I love the characters and I love the general atmosphere of the story. Because it's hard to describe but some books do have an atmosphere and the atmosphere of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' gets under your skin in a good way. 

      Without wanting to give away the ending, the main story ends with about 90 pages to spare and then we have what can only be described as an 'add on' or a 'wrap up' where all the loose ends are wrapped up. This isn't liked by everyone who has read the book but I kind of liked it, even though it is unconventional. Because this whole novel is unconventional, but in a great way.

       Sadly Stieg Larsson never lived long enough to see his books in print and because I don't speak Swedish I won't ever know how much this translation by Reg Keeland differs from the originally penned story. So we have to give some credit to Reg for bringing 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' to the public's attention. Now I just have to watch the movie and read the rest of the books in the Millenium Trilogy. I'm not a big thriller fan but this one is good.

       Fantastic 5/5

Monday, 8 April 2013

Book 16 All In The Mind

                                                         By Jenny Twist



      The war is over and as the train pulls into the station he catches a glimpse of the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. As he sets foot on the platform he knows he has to have her and needs her in his life. She is a nurse and is helping the injured soldiers onto stretchers to take them to the hospital.

       Her name is Tilly and she is in love. Invited down to his parents home she is terrified and excited in equal measure. Her life is about to change completely, she has no clothes and no money but she has Johnny. He is all she needs.

      Tilly wakes up in a strange room, she is scared, the room is unfamiliar and there is something missing.  She is old and He isn't there. 

What is happening?


       I really enjoyed the beginning of this one, I loved the atmosphere of war time England and the excitement of first love. It is romantic and I found myself wanting to journey more into this time and place.

      Then the story moves on and our main character finds herself in the present day in a nursing home, an old woman who has alzheimer's. Unknown to her she has been part of a scientific experiment and she is getting better and younger!

      To be honest I found myself wanting to remain in the past, to find out what happened when Tilly started a new life with her lover. But then the story changes and we are catapulted into the future and for me the plot didn't quite gel. The twist in the story just didn't work for me and it kind of lost its way towards the end when it changed yet again. I really wanted to love this book because I received a free copy for review purposes but I have to be honest and true to myself. The idea is a great one and I loved the two main characters, Tilly and Johnny, but I found myself wishing Tilly had stayed in wartime England instead of waking up many years later in a nursing home bed. Jenny Twist has a great imagination and lots of potential but for me this one didn't quite work.  Maybe it's just me because 'All In The Mind' has got some great reviews, I'm really sorry I couldn't follow suite.

     I do think there is more to come from this Author, maybe her writing will mature and we will see the best of her in the future. I read another of her books 'Away With The Fairies' earlier on in the year and I loved it. I would love to see her write something along similar lines or maybe a historical romance.









Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Stop Negative Thinking

                           How to stop worrying, Relieve stress 

                                                           and become a Happy person again 
                                                                              By Doc Orman M.D

       I have tried all kinds of self help books over the years and some are better than others and my first reaction when I started to read this was ' It's very short!'

      Yes, it is short and I was initially wondering where it was leading me or whether it was leading me down a very strange and weed infiltrated path. But guess what? It's really good! A few of the ideas it contains are covered in other self help books but on the whole it has a fresh and simple perspective on the problem of dealing with negative thoughts. There's not too much information, you won't give yourself a headache reading this, but what you'll get are a series of carefully chosen and helpful ways to become a more positive and stress free person.

      I know I found it helpful and will keep it handy. Getting rid of negative thoughts isn't an overnight battle but it's a battle that books like this can help with, a lot.

      Try it and see for yourself.



Book 14 Ten Sexy Stories

                                                    By Various Authors.

      When I started this blog, my intention was to read as many types of books as possible and it seems I may have neglected erotic fiction even though I did read one romantic/erotic book last year. When I came across this, whilst perusing the 100 free best selling books on Amazon, I thought it was a good opportunity to redress the balance. It contains 10 short erotic stories from different erotically named Authors! To be quite honest I don't  know a lot about the world of erotic fiction but I have a nagging suspicious that some of the stories are written by blokes and maybe some are written by the same Author. But what do I know, I'm a bloke and consequently I don't think I am the intended reader of this one.

      I didn't find any of the stories the least bit erotic in nature. As can be expected none of them are a work of literary genius but more importantly all of the stories lacked any exciting or enticing sensual build up. There was something rather cut and pasted about them and every one of them could have been lifted from a seventies porn magazine. Rather than being erotic each story was just one explicit sex scene to another and even though I am a red blooded male, they didn't do anything for me. And I've been married for 10 years!

      I haven't given up on erotic fiction but maybe I will have to chose my next one more carefully. The most erotic thing about this book is the front cover.


If you need me, I'll be in Space. (Flash Fiction)

This isn't as cool as it sounds as I'm currently stuck in orbit some place between my big toe and my sock. It's an awkward position to be in to be honest and it smells bloody awful. Quite what I was doing to find myself in this predicament is probably a question that is now floating through the inner workings of your brain.

You see I'm a bit of a science geek and I'm always coming up with new inventions inside my bedroom here in the TransPlutonian Space Station. It isn't much of a room and I don't have a great view through my port hole but they have allowed me to carry on with my little experiments. Well up until now that is. I was working on a major breakthrough in sub atomical travel and it's kind of gone wrong. Hence why I find myself in this rather precarious situation.

I can't move and it's a bit of a squeeze in here and I really wish I'd paid a bit more attention the last time I scrubbed my feet. On a positive note I have become the first person in the history of mankind to travel sub atomically but sadly I appear to be stuck. No doubt tomorrow they will find my lifeless body and will assume I am dead and then I will find myself being unceremoniously jettisoned into the cosmos. I never was one for funerals, especially my own.

I don't know if I'll manage to survive on some sub atomical level or if anybody will ever find me hanging onto my big toe for dear life but it really stinks in here.

Copyright Ally Atherton 2012

Space, The Final Frontier (Flash Fiction).

Space, The Final Frontier