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Book Review: The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

In July I received news that I was one of the few and fortunate to receive an early ARC of this AMAZING debut novel, courtesy of Orion Publishing. When this book is officially published on the 7th February 2019 (make a note of that date friends), I urge any fans of crime or psychological thriller novels… or frankly ANYONE to get a copy of this book!!

Why? I started reading The Silent Patient late one night on a whim. I finished reading it in less than 24 hours and I was swept away. Yep…it really is that good, folks!

 

Goodreads – The Silent Patient

 

Synopsis…

Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

 

My Thoughts…

I have always taken a keen interest in human Psychology. I was taught about the human brain and different types of therapy at school. It was one of the topics I enjoyed the most in my years of study. The reason I find psychological thrillers so entertaining is because I know just how unreliable the human brain is!

Alicia is an intriguing character. Basing a book around a character that refuses to speak is a difficult, but certainly not impossible, task. Despite her lack of verbal communication she has a strong presence throughout the novel. They say actions speak louder and words and this couldn’t be any truer in Alicia’s case. Even her silence has plenty to say when it wants to:

“Her silence was like a mirror – reflecting yourself back at you.
And it was often an ugly sight.”

Theo, the psychotherapist determined to break her silence, is just as complex. In fact, I would say he has a lot in common with Alicia. Both have had painful upbringings, have addictive personalities (different vices) etc. It really is like looking in a mirror.

As with all books of this genre I was trying to guess the ending, then second guessing my thoughts. The Silent Patient has a dramatic conclusion – one I didn’t even consider! I adored this book so much; I think that shows in the way I read it so quickly. It has been a long time since I have inhaled a book so fast. The Silent Patient is an entertaining, must-read psychological thriller!

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I was actually inspired to write this post based on a very similar post published when the meme was still hosted at The Broke and The Bookish. You can find their Bookish Pet Peeves here.

So, want to find out what gets my goat?

 

People presuming I’m lonely, antisocial or boring because I want to stay home and read

If it isn’t your hobby, don’t make the above assumption. I go to work for 8 hours a day, five days a week. Looking forward to the moment I can go home, lock the door and have some peace and quiet time is what gets me through my day. I live for and actively look forward to it. Don’t think so little of me.

 

Cracked book spines

Books, naturally, are meant to be opened and read. Why are book spines made so inflexible that you cannot open them without creasing / cracking it? I love to look after my books as much as possible and they are scarred by use – their purpose!

 

When a book ending just flops and drags the book down with it

How many of us have invested time into a book or series that ended up disappointing us? *raises hand* Not only am I disappointed that the book/series could have been so much better for itself, but the selfish part of me also regrets the time I won’t get back from reading it.

 

Annotating in books (especially in PEN?!)

Some people might actually love this. I know people at school used to fight over and jealously guard the annotated copies of books. It meant they didn’t have to read it for themselves or make their own mind up. For the true reader, having these notes just spoils the chance to make their own, unadulterated conclusions from the original text. Doing so in pencil is bad enough, but spoiling a book permanently in pen?! Are you Satan?

 

Disruptions when reading

I don’t mind a little brief conversation or question when I am reading at my desk, but try to tell me your life story and I will GLARE YOU DOWN. I also can’t read with music or my TV on. I’ve had to get used to listening to my neighbours TV. He lives in a separate, soundproofed flat downstairs but he is so hard of hearing, I can tell you what he is watching sometimes.

He likes to watch Countdown at 7am when I am getting ready for work.

 

Switching POV’s mid-chapter

This happens for more than I would like. I have no problem with books with multiple POV’s… if they are separated into different chapters. If I have to work out whose head I am in every few paragraphs, it can get confusing.

 

Folded corners for bookmarks

Again, for book aesthetic reasons. You can use literally ANYTHING as a bookmark!! Paper, card, hell even bookmarks themselves are cheap! Just don’t… I repeat – Don’t. Fold. The. Corners.

 

Shallow characters

If a character does nothing to move the plot along or impart some message to the reader, then they are a waste of space and energy. Get rid of them.

 

Overly specific and long-winded descriptions

Tolkien, I am looking at you here. As beautiful as the Lord of the Rings series is, it isn’t the easiest to read at times. There are lots of feasts with lots of food, all vividly described in detail. It contributes nothing to the plot and only serves to emphasise how greedy hobbits are.

 

Genre snobbery

I know some readers of YA literature feel ‘looked down upon’ by others for their reading choice. Personally, I think it goes both ways. I have previously gotten the impression that YA readers look down on those that don’t for not wanting to read the popular genre and almost label them as uncool. That’s just my interpretation – don’t bite my head off for it.

I can dip into the genre myself, but neither do I read a lot of it nor feel the need to for popularity sakes. Ultimately, we read the books we think we are going to enjoy for our own sakes. Let’s not judge each other for our own preferences.

 

What are your Bookish Pet Peeves? Do you agree with me?

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 3rd February 2019

It’s Sunday night again! Just where does the time go? I hope you have all had a good week!

I jumped into this one eagerly with a Blog Blitz tour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources, for Black Matter by G. D. Parker. I had the pleasure of publishing my review of the book on publication day; it was great to hear from the author how overwhelmed he was at the positive reception the book received. If that isn’t the reason to take part in these tours, then I don’t know what is!

Before we knew it February rolled around, breaking the miserable January spell. You know what that means – a new Reading List! If you haven’t checked out which blog tours I’m taking part in and what I am reading aside from that, you can do so by following the link.

 

Books Read

 

I didn’t quite hit my target of 50% for Choose Your Parents Wisely last Sunday. I was tired, so I went to bed just a little short of my goal. It was a school night after all… PLEASE DON’T JUDGE ME!!  I made up for the lack of progress earlier this week though; I finished it in time for month end!

I’ve also made more progress on Mythos by Stephen Fry, but this has had to go on the backburner for a bit! I have a number of blog tours coming up in the next week or so and my reading for those takes priority. I’m at about 25% already though, which I don’t think is bad-going considering this was an eleventh hour pick up.

One such blog tour that takes priority over Mythos is that for the Detective series by Tom Trott. Those of you that follow my blog will know that I have been reading the first two books over the past couple of weeks or so. I’ve scheduled It Never Goes Away, the third book in the series, for my first read of February. I’m at 25% at the moment and I’ll be making a huge push to get this read in the next couple of days. That blog tour is fast approaching and I’m all too aware of that fact!

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been stashing up Audible credits for months now because I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them. Then an idea came to me – I had just enough to get all the audiobooks for The Song of Ice and Fire series! Naturally, once the idea struck me there was no talking myself out of it. They are not a discovery, per se, but additions to the collection nonetheless.

 

Coming Up…

toptentuesdayI’m going to have a lot of reviews popping up on my blog this week, so to start things off lightly, I’ve decided to kick off the week with a Top Ten Tuesday post. I’m hoping I manage to pull this one off quite humorously rather than just negative, because I am going to be discussing my bookish pet peeves. We all have them, don’t we? If you want to know what gets my goat then stick around for this fun post!

 

I am really excited for the publication day of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides later this week! I had the opportunity to read and review this ahead of publication. If there is one thing to take away from my review, it is my insistence that you read it yourself. Do it. If you love crime fiction, then do it. Now. I read this book in less than 24hrs, if that tells you anything about how I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!! Ahem. So, to celebrate publication day, I am going to be re-sharing my review of the book.

 

 

 

 

Finally, on Saturday, I am taking part in what will probably the longest book tour post to date. My reading of Tom Trott’s crime detective series will finally bear fruit. I hope you can check out my post when it goes live! I have already recommended the series to a few work colleagues and local folks in book-related groups.

 

Top Blog Posts of the Week

 

Spasciuti –Two Truths and a Lie in Books, An Update

Misty’s Book Space –Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Nikki’s Novel Niche – Most Anticipated February Releases – #NewRelease #bookrelease #bookblitz

Jacks Bedtime Reading – Five book series that should be TV shows

Recipeandaread – Book Tag: My Perfect Library!

cover2covermom – February 2019 TBR

Reading List: February 2019

Hi guys!

Who would have thought it? It’s the 1st February already! Depressing January is over with at last and hopefully, we have all been paid since Christmas (thank goodness…)

Despite the weather being dull and dreary, January has actually turned out to be a productive month. I’m happy with the progress I have made towards my reading goal already. It’s been a while since I read five books in a month. Being skint probably had something to do with it. Long may it continue!

So, what have I got lined up for February, I hear you ask? Well, you have come to the right place to find out: –

 

It Never Goes Away – Tom Trott

From No.1 Private Detective to No.1 Suspect

A cryptic message from an old friend leads Joe Grabarz to an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of the South Downs. But Joe is too late, someone else has got there first: his friend is dead, and all the evidence points to him.

Ten years ago the farmhouse was the scene of three infamous murders when a young boy killed his mother, father, and little sister. Now an adult, he was released from prison with a new identity. Could he be involved? The farmhouse also sits on valuable land, fought over in a struggle between building houses and drilling for shale gas. But could it really be worth killing for? Whatever is going on, Joe knows one thing for sure: his friend’s murder is just a tiny part of it.

To bring the killer to justice Joe must dig up the past, and reckon with his own, because no matter how hard you work, it never goes away.

 

I am really excited to be taking part in the organised Blog Tour for this series a little later in the month! I have already read You Can’t Make Old Friends and Choose Your Parents Wisely; you’ll be able to see my thoughts on all three of these books in my tour post on the 9th February.

 

Karma Never Loses an Address – K. J. McGillick

Goodreads – Karma Never Loses an Address

Betrayal on Every Level

Marley Bennington had brutally murdered her older sister Samantha in a drug fueled rage. Only two people know that fact as true. One of those two people, was sitting in a state prison, serving a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. Who was that unfortunate person? Alex Clarke, Samantha Bennington’s husband, the man so buried in circumstantial evidence that he confessed to a crime he didn’t commit, rather than face a trial. He was now trapped with no way out.

It all began as sibling rivalry and jealousy, as so many tales of treachery do. Now, that intense jealousy had ended in her sister’s murder. Once Alex was tucked safely away in prison, Marley was set to inherit millions of dollars tainted with her sister’s blood. But suddenly, two obstacles stood in her way preventing her from quickly obtaining the reward for her well executed plan. One obstacle was her brother, and the other a nosy little old lady. But for Marley, this wasn’t a problem. She had killed twice already and cheated the justice system. What were a few more bodies?

Justice delayed is justice denied. Can Marley be trapped by the very people she tried to deceive? Will karma finally visit her door? Another gripping, tangled tale from the author of Facing A Twisted Judgment.

 

I really enjoyed taking part in the tour for Facing A Twisted Judgment last year. When the opportunity to tour with a second book came up, I couldn’t refuse! I’m also touring for this one very soon, (11th February), so I’ll have to get my skates on!

 

Mythos – Stephen Fry

Goodreads – Mythos

The Greek myths are the greatest stories ever told, passed down through millennia and inspiring writers and artists as varied as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, James Joyce and Walt Disney.

They are embedded deeply in the traditions, tales and cultural DNA of the West. In Stephen Fry’s hands the stories of the titans and gods become a brilliantly entertaining account of ribaldry and revelry, warfare and worship, debauchery, love affairs and life lessons, slayings and suicides, triumphs and tragedies.

You’ll fall in love with Zeus, marvel at the birth of Athena, wince at Cronus and Gaia’s revenge on Ouranos, weep with King Midas and hunt with the beautiful and ferocious Artemis.

Thoroughly spellbinding, informative and moving, Stephen Fry’s Mythos perfectly captures these stories for the modern age – in all their rich and deeply human relevance.

 

I started reading this book in the last week of January as I pledged to try to read more non-fiction books this year than I have done previously. So far I am enjoying the stories and the informative little tidbits that tie in the Greek Gods and the words that we use in English today. I’ve always liked little things like that. Weird, I know. I wanted to be a speech therapist at one point… if that explains anything to you.

 

Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares – Shaun Hume

Goodreads – Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares

When Ewan Pendle began his second training year at Firedrake Lyceum, he thought it might at least be easier than the first. Now that he knew he was a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who alone can see the real Creatures which inhabit the earth, he hoped things would maybe go a little downhill from here … How wrong he was.

Ewan is summoned by Alice Blazely, the would be assassin who he and his friends Mathilde and Enid helped capture last year, the cunning woman using her final wish after being sentenced to death for her crimes to request a private meeting with Ewan. Alone together in a deep and dank cell, Alice reveals a secret which could turn Ewan’s world upside down – again. Does she hold the answer to deciphering Ewan’s disturbing reoccurring dreams? Can he ever trust the woman who wanted to see him dead?

As if a shocking revelation from a new foe wasn’t enough to handle, Ewan must also tackle a sea monster in the Thames, deal with the evil Rosethorn twins, come face to face with a shadow troll in a London alleyway and bargain with a crafty dragon, and attempt to find a treasure lost for over a thousand years …

As the summer ends, Ewan’s year long initiation into the world of creatures and the Lenitnes is finally over. But it’s then when monsters of all shapes and sizes really do start leaping, clawing and flying at him thick and fast!

 

Not only is this a read-to-review, but I’ll also be offering my feedback to the author. I was actually sent this a couple of months ago, so apologies for the delay in getting around to it Shaun! I read the first book of the series last year – it was one of the first ever reviews on my blog. Where will Ewan’s adventures take him next?

 

The End of Magic – Mark Stay

Goodreads – The End of Magic

There are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again… This is not one of those stories. The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we’ll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose…

Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he’s stuck in a rut. Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills.

Oskar is Rosheen’s younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone. Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever. Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister.

All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before. The End of Magic is an exhilarating wild ride, by turns epic and intimate, funny and dark, and perfect for fans of Jen Williams, Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.

 

I received a request to provide an honest review from the author; upon reading the synopsis, I couldn’t refuse. I’m intrigued by the characters and the predicament they seem to find themselves in. I love fantasy novels (especially those involving magic) so my mind was made up very quickly!

So, that’s my reading list for the month! What are you reading friends?

Blog Blitz Book Review: Black Matter – G. D. Parker

***Firstly, a huge thank you to the author and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this tour! For the purposes of providing a review, I received a free copy of this book. All opinions stated are my own***

 

Goodreads – Black Matter

Purchase Links

UK – Amazon.co.uk     US – Amazon.com

 

The future is now… it’s terrifying!!! Humanity locks jaws with the ever-increasing human desires towards highly advanced technological innovations making the world a dangerous place. Unanticipated horrific consequences unfold for Tommy McGregor when he partakes in a new high-tech innovation to enhance his health and wellbeing. He thought it would make him healthier, better looking and live forever…DI Valentina is out of her comfort zone when she’s tasked to track down a killer, unknown to her, hidden behind a digital mask. The future has already fallen upon humanity as she soon discovers, nothing is as it seems anymore as society embarks in technology that’s already here. A terrifying mystery, it feeds your imaginative mind’s eye – a fast-paced “whoisit” thrilling crime, novel that will leave you guessing until the end, (or will it?) As it leaves the hairs on your arms stand on end as you uncontrollably turn each page in this 3 part series.

 

My Thoughts…

Technology is all around us. You wake up first thing to an alarm, probably set on one electronic device or another (or several, if you’re a perpetual “snoozer”). Maybe you surf the internet, turn on the TV or listen to music. Those signals are all around us, communicating to our devices 24 hours a day. It has become so commonplace that we don’t even think about it. I just take it for granted.

What if the use of one of these devices started to manipulate you? When a man is arrested and pleads ignorance to a number of crimes he has committed, DI Valentina has her work cut out for her to prove he is guilty. But is he?

Black Matter is a fast paced novel that keeps you gripped from start to finish. The book comprises of relatively short, digestable chapters. They are written predominantly from two perspectives, Tommy McGregor and DI Valentina. We also get brief interludes to their narratives from our perpetrator(s). These craftily written chapters don’t give much insight into their identity either, making you want to keep reading to find out who they are.

I wouldn’t describe Tommy as a likeable character, but that is orchestrated with good reason. It’s hard to stick criminal charges to a character that is the archangel Gabriel personified… and make it work. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for him, however.

DI Valentina is a completely different kettle of fish. Strong-minded and passionate about doing her job right, she’s actually a morally upstanding woman. Despite all the evidence pointing to Tommy, Valentina recognises that something isn’t right and instead seeks to prove him innocent.

Against the clock, DI Valentina races to find the killer before more bodies are found. How are they controlling people? What is their agenda? More importantly, can she stop them?

 

Author Bio –

GD Parker is the author of his debut novel, Black Matter. Book one of a three-part series that explores the depths of the unfolding high-tech world we now live in, making it a dangerous place.

The novel will be available to purchase in e-book and paperback formats on the Amazon store.

Gareth was born in the UK in 1981. A family man spent much of his working life in South Wales working in a professional capacity. One day he made the decision write about an idea he dreamt about.

Still working full time for a large organisation, he enjoys reading all manner of books, and spending time with his world – his family.

Twitter: @GDParker_Author and Instagram: @gd.parker_author

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 27th January 2019

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you’ve had a good one! It’s time to take a look back at my week in books:-

My first blog post of the week was the Coffee Book Tag. I loved the idea so much, I had to do it for myself. If you haven’t read it yet or would like to have a go, then count this as a TAG for you to do it! If you do, I would love to see your answers to the questions!

On Saturday I shared my review of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s such a classic that most people know it even if they haven’t read it themselves. This was actually my first time reading it – I never got the opportunity to at school. I was reading books like 1984 or Of Mice and Men instead (also very good reads). I have come to appreciate them a lot more in adulthood I have to say.

 

Books Read

It’s been a busy, busy week guys! I feel like I have made so much progress, I cannot begin to express how happy I am about it! I’ve gotten myself into a right reading blitz… so much so that I am likely to have read an extra book by month end!

My reading goal from last week was to set aside A Clash of Kings in favour of You Can’t Make Old Friends and Choose Your Parents Wisely by Tom Trott. I picked up You Can’t Make Old Friends on Tuesday and I finished it on Thursday, which is a result. I’m currently 35% through Choose Your Parents Wisely, with more progress to be made tonight to get myself to the target of 50%.

I must confess I was kidding myself in saying that I could put aside A Clash of Kings. I was at the battle of the Blackwater; it’s one of the most exciting bits. Of course, I carried on reading it, but at least not to the detriment of the other books to read. I actually managed to finish A Clash of Kings on Friday, which is even better!

As hinted above, I have also started another book to round up the month. Do you remember my 2019 resolution to try and read more non-fiction? Well, having mooched around my library for some time for inspiration, I picked up Mythos by Stephen Fry. This is the second book of his I have picked up; I love his narrative voice and his ability to recount the Greek myths, so far, is phenomenal. It’s comical as well, making it all the more palatable.

 

Books Discovered

Technically I only have the one addition to the TBR, which is Mythos. I’ve already told you about that though, so let’s move swiftly onwards…

 

Coming Up…

So, what can you expect on the blog next week?

 

Well actually, I’m such a good egg that I already have tomorrow’s post lined up and scheduled! That doesn’t happen very often… I’ll tell you that for free! As part of the publication day blog blitz, I have read and reviewed Black Matter by G.D. Parker. It’s a fast-paced crime novel that centres on technology and the ability to use it against those that use it. I really enjoyed reading it; I hope you enjoy my review just as much tomorrow

 

 

 

Later in the week, I’ll be putting together my Reading List for February. I say putting it together – to be honest, it’s almost set in stone as it is. I have a couple of blog tours coming up in February and one of those is for three books. Two days later I am set to review a fourth. I’ve been very busy on the tour front lately, but I actually quite enjoy it. In addition to those tours, I have two books to read that I have been approached with independently and an extract from another book to beta read. I may add one more book to the list, but aside from that, I’m booked out!

 

As for reading progress, I would love to finish Choose Your Parents Wisely by Tuesday, but Wednesday at the latest. That still grants me a couple of days to work on Mythos for the end of the month. I want to have that one finished by the end of the week as well. As it’s a library loan, I don’t want to hold on to it for too long. Before the week is out, regardless of progress with Mythos, I have to start It Never Goes Away by Tom Trott. This is the third book of the crime series I have been reading lately, making up my triad of books for review next month. It’s a short deadline to get this read in time, so I can’t delay starting this one!

 

Top Blog Posts of the Week

Do you recall last week I announced that I was adding a section to my Sunday Summary posts? Well, this is it! In a bid to get me to read other people’s blogs more and to recognise some lovely faces (old and new) in the blogging community, I’ll be providing links to blog posts I really enjoyed reading this week: –

India Reads – The Fellowship of the Ring Review

The Book Instruments – Bookish Tattoos

Bookish Worlds – Godsgrave

Reads, Reacts, Reviews – The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

Paper Royalty Blog – Three Bookish Things Tag

 

What have you been reading this week? Have you read any of the books I discuss? What did you think of them? I would love to hear from you!

Book Review Banner

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

In Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag lives a totalitarian life. The government says books are dangerous… and dangerous they are. They provoke thought and opinion, encourage individuality and ideas. They must be burned. Montag is a fireman, charged with the destruction of the prohibited material. But curiosity gets the better of him, and he finds himself on the path to his own destruction…

Goodreads – Fahrenheit 451

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television ‘family’. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

 

My Thoughts…

Can you really imagine a world without books? As a source of entertainment and knowledge, they are one of the most precious things to me! In Fahrenheit 451 literature is publicly spurned for its contradictory nature; the uncertainty and the confusion it causes is blamed for the unhappiness in the world. (Of course, living a life in which you are stifled of all opinion and individuality has NOTHING to do with it…)

Then, one day, a young girl walks into Guy Montag’s life. She starts to question him, his life and the world they live in. She plants a seed. He was so sure of what he was doing… what role he had in society, now he isn’t. So, he seeks the truth and turns his attention to those materials he is entrusted to destroy for answers.

Being sat on the other side of the fence to this dystopian novel, it is easy to criticise Montag for just accepting what he is told and not thinking for himself. We are used to having an opinion and the freedom to express it. Ask my work colleagues, they’ll tell you I’m one of the most opinionated people on the planet. Consider never having that choice; imagine growing up to be told something just is and you never question it.

 

They walked still further and the girl said, “Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?”

“No. Houses have always been fireproof, take my word for it.”

 

As a book-lover, I can’t help but champion Montag’s awakening. His transition from a brainwashed man who knows what he is told to one who can think for himself is liberating. It’s a change we often see in dystopian novels, but somehow it’s still refreshing every single time. Knowledge is a powerful force against tyranny, and reading of Montag’s rebellion sparks a small fire in all of us.

Would we do the same in his shoes? I hope I never have to find out.

 

 

Coffee Book Tag

I saw this tag over at The Book Prescription and it looked like so much fun! I love books and I love coffee, although if you make one like this first mug in the picture, I’ll sacrifice you to the Gods for ruining a potentially good cup of coffee…

1.       Black Coffee | Name A Series That’s Tough To Get Into But Has Hardcore Fans

 

I’d probably only say this series is tough to get into if you ignore the fact that the TV series popularised the whole thing. I’m purely considering this from a book perspective. Each book is long, epic in its volume of characters and established families that geographically span two large continents. Each continent has many cities or kingdoms with their own history, customs and cultures.

You get the drill. The Song of Ice and Fire series is not for the fainthearted… that’s for sure!

 

 

 

2.       Peppermint Mocha | Name A Book That Gets More Popular During the Winter or A Festive Time of Year

 

This is one I haven’t actually read yet, but I have intended to for the past couple of Christmases. Maybe this year!

 

 

 

 

 

3.       Hot Chocolate | What Is Your Favourite Children’s Book

 

I was actually shocked to find out this was even targeted at children, but it is. I only read this last year personally.

 

 

 

 

 

4.       Double Shot of Espresso | Name A Book That Kept You On the Edge Of Your Seat From Start to Finish

 

I read The Silent Patient last year – in less than 24hrs. That’s how much I was on the edge of my seat. I can’t remember the last time I read so fast!

 

 

 

 

 

5.       Starbucks | Name A Book You See Everywhere

 

This is one I haven’t read but am seriously considering picking up next month. Does anyone recommend?

 

 

 

 

 

6.       The Hipster Coffee Shop | Give A Book By An Indie Author A Shout Out

I have worked with so many indie authors that it wouldn’t be fair to single one out over the others. You are all fantastic guys!

 

 

 

7.       Oops! I Accidentally Ordered Decaf | Name A Book You Were Expecting More Of

 

 

So many people have raved about American Gods by Neil Gaiman, but I just didn’t get it. I stuck with it but struggled. Some suggest reading it twice, but I don’t think I’ll enjoy it again, so I won’t.

 

 

 

 

 

8.       The Perfect Blend | Name A Book Or Series That Was Both Bitter And Sweet, But Ultimately Satisfying

 

The only book I can think to put in this category is The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. Obviously, the bitterness comes from the harsh reality that Lale and Gita had to endure – it’s a telling based on a true account as well. The sweetness lies in the relationship that they maintained. They survived for each other.

 

 

 

 

9.       Green Tea | Name A Book Or Series That Is Quietly Beautiful

 

I wouldn’t say I am much of a reader of YA but this duology blew me away. I want my own Lazlo!

 

 

 

 

 

10.   Chai Tea | Name a Book Or Place Series That Makes You Dream Of Far Off Places

 

I’m not particularly travel ambitious; I’ll be the first person to admit this is a hard question for me to answer. Since reading The Song of Ice and Fire series (and consequently watching it – more weight is leant to this side of things), I have wanted to visit Dubrovnik, the set of King’s Landing. I was hoping to go last year, but alas, travel plans with friends fell through. Maybe in future!

 

 

 

11.   Earl Grey | Name Your Favourite Classic

 

It’s funny – each and every book I considered for this accolade has previously been on the “I hated this” pile. Isn’t maturity the strangest thing? I found it hard to pick this one. It was ultimately a tossup between 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale, but I think The Handmaid’s Tale just gets it.

 

 

 

 

I’m not going to tag anyone in this post in case you have already been nominated by someone else! If you would like to take part though, then TAG!! I want to see your answers!

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 20th January 2019

Doesn’t the weekend roll around so fast? One minute it’s Friday and I’m celebrating freedom for a couple of days. The next minute, I’m sat here with a cup of coffee, writing my Sunday Summary! Can three-day weekends PLEASE be a thing? I’d get more reading done that way.

Have you had a busy week? I sure did! My first post of the week was also my first Blog Tour for the year. I began reading The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire in December, quite early on. However, after an unanticipated event my blogging schedule went out of the window. I picked up my reading again in the New Year and made sure this was well read in time for the tour. If you haven’t seen my post yet, you can read my review of The Road to Alexander using the link provided.

Later on in the week I tackled the onerous task of choosing which books made the Top Ten in 2018. I was doing some background work for that post when I discovered Goodreads hadn’t included 4 books towards my reading challenge. So, it turns out I actually read 50 books in 2018! That’s a lot better than I anticipated! Choosing my Top Ten Reads of 2018 was just as hard as I thought it was going to be… but I did it!

 

Books Read

I’ve done as well as I expected on the reading front this week. In last week’s Sunday Summary post I set myself a reading target of 75% progress with A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. I’m currently at 71% as we speak, but as I’ll be reading before I go to bed I fully expect to surpass that.

I wanted to make good progress with A Clash of Kings this week as I have a few blog tours coming up. I’m going to have to almost set it aside for now, as I have two books to read for a blog tour next month. If I manage to read those quickly then I’ll be in good stead to try to finish this book for the end of the month. That’s the aim, but we’ll see how that works out in practice.

 

Books Discovered

I have added two books to the TBR this week – The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg and Age of Assassins by R. J. Barker.

I’ve made myself a pledge to try and borrow more books from the library this year. I am in the habit of just buying what I want, which kind of defeats the object of being a member of a library! So, I was good. I haven’t bought these two. It may also have something to do with it being the last week of January before pay day and I am skint… but my point stands. I need to borrow books instead of just buying them outright!

 

Coming Up…

As I mentioned above, I am temporarily setting aside A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin; I have two books for an upcoming blog tour to read. This week, I’ll be reading You Can’t Make Old Friends and Choose Your Parents Wisely by Tom Trott. My aim is to have finished the first book of the series and be at least half way through the second by this time next week.

 

Whilst reading other people’s blogs this week I came across The Book Prescription’s Coffee Book Tag and I thought would be fun to do. I love books and I love coffee, so I am all up for this tag haha!

 

 

Later on in the week, I’ll be reviewing a classic I read towards the end of the year – Fahrenheit 451. I cannot imagine a world without books and that is exactly the premise of this tale. The book had been on my reading list for a while; after getting a little reward from work, I decided to use it to get myself a copy. Fahrenheit 451 is a book I’ll keep and re-read again and again, so I am glad I own this one. I can’t wait to share my views with you all.

 

I am going to start a new feature from next week in my Sunday Summary posts. I’m incredibly hit and miss with reading other blogs (sorry!). So, in order to recognise other bloggers great posts and to make sure I read them, I’ll be linking some favourite posts of the week from other bloggers that I think you might enjoy. I hope you do!

That’s all from me for now folks – wishing you a good week filled with great books! Happy reading!

 

Top Ten Reads in 2018

Narrowing down a list of Top Ten Reads in 2018 was always going to be hard. How can you pick favourites?! It’s like asking a mother to pick a favourite child!

When I was getting a list together of the books I read in 2018 in order to make my choices, I made two discoveries: –

  • Goodreads hadn’t credited me for 4 books read, so I actually managed to read 50 books in 2018 instead of 46
  • Of those 50 books, I rated nearly half 5* ; only 7 books got a rating of 3* or less

 

 

Boy, don’t I make my life difficult…

It’s been tough and I’ve had to be brutal. I read a lot of amazing books in 2018 (as you would guess based on my VERY high ratings), but I had to narrow it down to 10. So, here are my Top Ten Reads of 2018! Where I have reviewed the book on my blog, links to my review posts can be followed by clicking on the images.

 

Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylor

Goodreads – Strange the Dreamer

Goodreads – Muse of Nightmares

 

Empire of Silence – Christopher Ruocchio

Empire of Silence

Goodreads – Empire of Silence

 

Children of Blood & Bone – Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood & Bone

Goodreads – Children of Blood & Bone

 

A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

To be reviewed

Goodreads – A Game of Thrones

 

Blackwing & Ravencry – Ed McDonald

Goodreads – Blackwing

Goodreads – Ravencry

 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne

Goodreads – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

 

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

Goodreads – The Silent Patient

 

The Cathedral of Known Things – Edward Cox

To be reviewed

Goodreads- The Cathedral of Known Things

 

Did you read any of these books, and if so, how have you rated them? If you haven’t read them yet, are they on your list for 2019?

As ever, I would love to hear from you!