Tag: satire

Monthly TBR – February 2024

I have a great reading list line up for February, and today, I’m sharing that with you in this monthly TBR post!

I had a great start to the year in terms of reading progress in January. I recapped this in Thursday’s post, if you’re interested in checking that out. Trying to keep momentum, I’m setting myself another good size list as that seems to be motivating me at the moment. I have a re-read, some non-fiction and a conclusion to a series on the list. All these go towards my reading goals of 2024!

Shall we take a look at the list?

 

Fixed Reads

 

January Insta Poll – The Atlas Six

I might as well kick off this monthly TBR post by starting with my one carryover from January. I started listening to The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake at the end of the month, and to date, I’m just over 10% through.

So far, I am only really just in the introduction of the book, but I am enjoying it so far. I’m looking forward to listening to more of this audio as I’m enjoying the casting and overall production of it so far. The story definitely has interesting elements to learn about and I’m looking forward to exploring this more.

 

Insta Poll – The Queen’s Gambit

The runner-up to the Insta Poll I ran in January was The Queen’s Gambit. I like to try and read one a month, although The Atlas Six has bled over into February.

I watched the Netflix series years ago, so I am somewhat familiar with the story. However, it’s not so fresh in my mind, that reading the book will feel too much like repetition. I did really enjoy that series, so I have high hopes for this book.

It’s a shorter than I expected considering the length of the series, but I’m sure it will be good nonetheless.

 

The Icepick Surgeon

I discovered the The Icepick Surgeon via a fellow book blogger I follow on Instagram. Bibliobeth shared her intention to pick The Icepick Surgeon up in March this year. I like the sound of the book so much that I intend to pick it up now. Naturally, I want to keep up momentum with reading non-fiction as that is a reading goal this year.

I like the sound of this one as it covers, to an extent, subjects I enjoyed in psychology. You may call me morbid if you wish, but I found it both fascinating and horrifying. If you’re squeamish, then it may not want to go into too much detail. I’m ready for it though, and I’m looking forward to picking it up.

 

Heart of the Sun Warrior

Heart of the Sun Warrior is the sequel in the Daughter of the Moon Goddess duology. I read daughter of the moon goddess just over a year ago now so it feels like the right time to conclude the series. As you are probably aware, wrapping up series is one of my goals for this year. As I have just one book to read to complete, it’s an easy win… and what I’m looking forward to in any case.

What I liked about this first book is the Asian influence on fantasy as opposed to Western. I read a lot of westernised fantasy and I’m deliberately trying to branch out.

 

TBR Jar – Master of Sorrows

I’m not consciously trying to start new series, particularly this year, but the TBR jar has forced my hand. This time I pulled out Master of Sorrows by Justin Call.

I have a good few friends on Goodreads to have picked this up and really enjoyed the book. More specifically, though, it was the thoughts of Ashleigh that persuaded me to add the book to my reading list in June 2022.

Full of magic, a villain origin story arch and disability representation, it is a fantasy that offers some different elements to those I read normally.

 

Mood Reads

 

Hogfather

If I’d realised that Hogfather was the next Discworld book I needed to pick up, I would have been more proactive and read it in December. However, I didn’t, and I’m not waiting a whole year to keep going with the series!

I’m especially looking forward to reading Hogfather, as it is the fourth book in the death mini-series. If you are unfamiliar, the various books in the Discworld universe follow different types of characters. My favourite is The Witches series so far, but it is closely followed by Death.

I also love these books because they are satirical. It’s not a genre I read Emma, but I do enjoy the humorous plot, which is usually laced with a serious underlying topic or message underneath.

 

Fool’s Errand

It’s been a few months since I’ve picked up a book in the Realm of the Elderlings series. I wrapped up The Liveship Traders series in August last year and so it’s time to return.

With the next book, Fool’s Errand, we journey back to familiar characters from the first trilogy. I’m looking forward to revisiting those characters and seeing what happens next. I believe events jump forward in time from the first trilogy, so I have some catching up to do on what happened in between.

 

Empire of the Vampire

The last book to feature on this monthly TBR is a reread of a book I read in 2022. If you are unaware, the sequel to Empire of the Vampire is due out at the end of this month. With this in mind, I’m looking to pick up this first book in the series as a refresher, so then I can go onto to read Empire of the Damned – hopefully in March.

Whilst I could have just read a recap, I have since been gifted a special addition, copy of the book, and it will be rude not to appreciate it, right?!

 

Summary

I may only have eight books on February‘s reading list, as opposed to the 10 I featured in January’s monthly TBR. However, I read just under eight books in January, and some of these are longer than those I picked up last month too.

There is enough on this list to be a stretch without being too overzealous either. I’m looking forward to each of every book on this list, and I hope you can stick around for my thoughts and my reading progress.

For now though, that’s all from me in today’s monthly TBR post. Have you read any of the books on this list?

 

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Sunday Summary – 26th March 2023

Evening all and welcome to another weekly catch up in today’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you’ve had a good week?

This week, I decided to stick with posting just three blog posts instead of four. I have to say, it’s really agreeing with me! Keeping up with a four post per week schedule is quite tricky. I have been doing it for a little while now, but I have appreciated cutting that back down to three in the last couple of weeks. If I’m honest, I think that change is here to stay.

So, what have I been sharing this week? My first blog post of the week was a discussion post on how I decide what books to unhaul when clearing down my shelves. In that post, I also talk about the types of books that I tend to buy in physical copy, as well as the decision-making process behind making space for more. As always, you can find a link to that post above.

My second blog post of the week was shared on Friday. I recently took the decision to move my Well, I Didn’t Know That! series to a Friday and rotate it with my other regular Friday features. This was the way I figured would be easiest to go back down into a three posts a week schedule. It also makes it a little bit easier for me to read up on content for each of these posts. The point of the series is to feature media other than books. I’m obviously reading a lot already, so this is extra work!

For this week’s post, I found an interesting article in the BBC History magazine about the role of debtor’s prisons in 18th and 19th century Britain. If you think we have money worries now, check out that post and things may seem a little easier!

 

Books Read

I didn’t get off to the best of starts this week. However, that wasn’t really unexpected.

 

The Book Eaters

I left off from last week’s Sunday Summary update with just 70 pages left of The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean. If I’m being frank, I wasn’t overly enjoying the book, but there was enough intrigue in the plot to keep me going to the conclusion. It was also a relatively short book, which made it easier for me to just suck it up and get on with it.

I finished it. As expected, I didn’t really enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, the book has interesting elements in it, like the oppression of women and the lengths they will go to to protect their children. However, the way the book is sold doesn’t necessarily reflect the story you get. If I’m honest, I don’t think the character development has much bearing on the story. It is sold as a book about Book Eaters, devourers of stories. But, that didn’t really have any major significance to the story line. It could have been substituted with ‘any other minority group isolated from society’ and a ‘different child’ within that community, and it would’ve been the same book.

It is a little disappointing, but these things happen. In the end, the book did achieve a rare, two star rating from me. Looking back at my history, there are very few books that I actually gave a two star rating to. The only reason it got higher than a one star rating is because there was enough in the plotline to compel me to continue with it and figure out what the heck was going on. In any other circumstance, I’d have DNF’d it. 

 

Feet of Clay

After my experience of The Book Eaters, I wanted to try and go for a book that would completely turn around my experience. With that in mind, I decided to fall back on an old favourite of mine – Terry Pratchett and his next instalment of the Discworld series, Feet of Clay.

Whilst perfectly readable, I don’t think this is one of the better works of the series I’ve read. I quite like the city watch series in general, but this book was pretty average. It was interesting enough to read, and I did quite quickly. But, this book only got a marginally better rating of three stars.

It was nice to go back to an already familiar world and setting. It has been a bit too long since I last picked up the series. I enjoyed going back to it and getting myself back into the humour and writing style that I’ve come to enjoy over the series so far. Now that I’m back into it, I definitely need to make sure I continue with it!

 

Soul Identity

Next, I started another relatively short read – Soul Identity by Dennis Batchelder. My experience of this book is proving better than the last two.

I like the concept and premise behind the book. In essence, Soul Identity combines science and, to a degree, spirituality, to explore the concept of the soul and reincarnation. It’s not quite the way I expected the story was going to go, but in my opinion, it’s better. I like the scientific angle of the book, and that it has a little less emphasis on religion than I was expecting.

The way the narrative is written, we get to explore this wider concept in the midst of a mystery that our protagonist, as a skeptic, is trying to solve.

As with the previously discussed books, there are little things that I don’t necessarily feel are required in the storyline. Unless it becomes relevant later, I am not really a fan of the Scott/Val relationship dynamic. I’m also not really keen on the authors introduction of female characters to be based on their description, with other attributes and personality coming later. But, it’s not enough to put me off reading further.

As of this Sunday Summary update, I am 71% through the book. My kindle suggests that I have just over an hour of reading time left. My plan is to try and squeeze a much is that in tonight before I go to bed.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve finally broken the record run I’ve had of reporting no new books to the reading list in my Sunday Summary posts, all thanks to my decision to finally spend birthday book vouchers. And of course, you know I’m going to do it in style. I treated myself to four new books on Friday. They are written in mixed media just like Illuminae, so definitely best experienced in print. 

The first two are additional books in a series I started fairly recently (Gemina and Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – the second and third book in The Illuminae Files).

I also treated myself to two stand-alone books that I wanted to pick up (The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and Elektra by Jennifer Saint). The former was on my radar and the latter already on my TBR. They also happened to be buy one get one half price. Shame, right?

 

Coming Up…

Once again, I’m continuing with a three post schedule. It’s definitely a lot easier for me to fit my reading in and enjoy free time for other hobbies. As much as I enjoy my reading and blog, if I overcommit myself, it can become like a second job!

It has been a few weeks since I last shared a book review with you guys. Given that I have reviewed almost all of the Harry Potter series now, I think it makes sense to conclude that set of reviews. So, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows next week. If you want to find out what my thoughts are on re-reading this book as an adult, check out that post.

On Friday, I’m back with a Shelf Control post. In this Friday feature, I review books on my TBR and talk about why I’m excited to pick them up. This week’s feature is another classic novel written by a Russian novelist, of which I have a copy ready to pick up!

As always, my last post of the week will be my Sunday Summary update.

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. I made a lot of reading progress this week, and I’m off to make more before turning in!

What are you reading?

 

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Monthly TBR – March 2023

Happy Friday everybody and welcome to my Monthly TBR post for March 2023!

February was an ambitious month for me. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get through the multitude of books I set out to. However, I read a really diverse range of books, and I’m really happy with the reading progress I made.

This month I am going to be a little less ambitious. Last month I proved that I can read a decent amount, but a target of just over 107 pages a day isn’t quite achievable for me. This month I’ll need to read an average of 70 pages a day. A much more manageable target. 

This month I am setting myself a mixture of ‘fixed’ and ‘mood reads’ as normal. I’m also setting myself a ‘stretch’ goal. This is and isn’t different from my usual reading list. Let me explain.

When I set myself a monthly reading list, I generally have an expectation that I might only start the last book on the list before the end of the month. This hasn’t changed for me, however, I’m being more transparent about that. Rather than having everybody think that I’m looking to complete this list by the end of the month, in reality, I’m hoping to get to and be on the last book. I’m especially declaring that intention this month as the last book on my list is over 900 pages long! There is no way I’m going to finish it this month. 

 

Fixed Reads

 

A Game of Thrones

The first book am I reading this month is a re-read of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. You may ask why I am reading this book yet again. If you haven’t heard already, the next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, is due out later this year.

You know that I want to be in a position to be able to pick that up as soon as it comes out. So, I am starting a re-read of the series! Whilst I don’t strictly have to start it right now, I really enjoyed reading The Rise of the Dragon last month. I’ve got the itch and if I’m entirely honest, I’ve been looking for a reason to re-read this series anyway. Now I’ve got it!

 

Soul Identity

The next book I am picking up this month is the book I pulled out of my TBR Jar – Soul Identity by Dennis Batchelder.

I’m looking forward to picking up this book as something a little bit different. The premise caught my eye and I’m willing to give it a shot based on that. I also discussed this book with my dad and he seemed to think it would be something I would enjoy as well! I can’t wait to give it a try and let you know.

 

Mood Reads

 

The Book Eaters

I didn’t quite get around to reading The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean last month. As I shared in my monthly wrap-up for February earlier this week, I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get to it.

However, I really do want to read it sometime soon. With that in mind, it is the first book on my mood read list of the month. At just under 300 pages, this is a nice short book and is a complete change from the other books and genres I have on this monthly TBR.

 

Feet of Clay

I cannot remember the last time I picked up a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel. I’m going to go back and have a look, but I would say it’s probably been about a year since I read Maskerade.

(editing Rebecca here – in fact, I’ve not picked up a Discworld novel since 2019! Whoops!)

With this year’s aim being to work on ongoing series I have started, this definitely fits the bill. By no means am I going to finish the Discworld books this year. Even after reading Feet of Clay, which is the 19th book in the series, I won’t quite be half way through.

I really enjoyed the Discworld novels for their light and satirical nature. It has been far too long since I picked one up, and I hope that going back to the series now will kickstart me to pick it up more regularly in future.

 

Death of Kings

Another series I haven’t picked up for a while is Bernard Cornwell’s the Saxon Stories series. In March, I will be picking up the sixth book in this series – Death of Kings. I am already familiar with the story in this book from watching the TV series. However, I’m still excited to read it. Whilst both the book and the show are very good in their own right, they don’t spoil each other for me. They are both enjoyable for their own reasons.

I love Uhtred’s character and the perspective we get in these books. He is arrogant and not somebody I would ever choose to befriend. However, he makes for an interesting protagonist and I can’t wait to see how the events of history are portrayed in Uhtred’s perspective.

 

Stretch Goal

 

The Mad Ship

If I managed to make it through the five books already listed in this monthly TBR post, then I’m hoping to start The Mad Ship. I’m not even going to try and finish it. This book is the longest in the Liveship Trader series at just over 900 pages. Going for completion of this book as well would change my reading count from around 70 pages a day to 100. That’s obviously quite a big jump, and not all that realistic based on my performance last month. 

I love Robin Hobb and the Realm of the Elderlings books. However, I would be lying to you if I told you that they weren’t books you had to invest your time in. There is a lot of detail; they are not the quickest of reads. Even if I’m trying my hardest, I can’t binge read these books very well. Instead, I am going to take the slow and steady approach and aim to start this book before the end of the month and include/complete it as part of my next monthly TBR. We’ll see though. It’s still a beast, however I choose to tackle it. Wish me luck!

 

So, those are the books I am going to be reading as part of my Monthly TBR for March.

Have you read any of the books on this list? Is there anything on here that caught your eye as something you would like to try?

 

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First Lines Friday – 11/02/2022

Hello and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening introductions of a multitude of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or even just a little bit intrigued about.

For today’s post I decided to keep my options wide open. I’ve been thinking about a particular author quite a lot this week, and so I’ve decided to feature one of his books today.

Can you guess what today’s featured book is from the intro?

 

Nothing but stars, scattered across the blackness as though the Creator had smashed the windscreen of his car and hadn’t bothered to sweep up pieces.

This is the gulf between universes, the chill deeps of space that contain nothing but the occasional random molecule, a few lost comets and…

… But a circle of blackness shifts slightly, the eye reconsiders perspective, and what was apparently the awesome distance of Interstellar wossname becomes a world under darkness, its stars the lights of what will charitably be called civilisation.

 

 

Pyramids – Terry Pratchett

Goodreads – Pyramids

It’s bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn’t a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. After all, he’s been trained at Ankh-Morpork’s famed assassins’ school, across the sea from the Kingdom of the Sun. First, there’s the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad — a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal – not to mention a headstrong handmaiden – at the heart of his realm.

 

My Thoughts…

I have been thinking about Terry Pratchett a lot lately and my love of the Discworld series. This is why I wanted to feature one of these books today.

These books are great fun to read. They are lighthearted and humorous, and full of fantastic quotes that I have saved throughout the course of reading them. My favourite from Pyramids is: –

“The conversation of human beings seldom interested him, but it crossed his mind that the males and females always got along best when neither actually listened fully to what the other one was saying.” 

The narrative and the characters within spoof human character and how faith and traditionalism affect human behaviour. These books are laugh out loud hilarious, and anything that features the character of death, however brief, is a hit with me.

What’s really good about pyramids is that it is a standalone novel. It’s fair to say that any of the books can be picked up independently, but the character set in Pyramids don’t seem to appear in any other future novels. So, this is an undisputed choice if you want to sample the Discworld series without committing to the wider series.

Have you read Pyramids, or any of the other books in the Discworld series? Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 18th July 2021

Good evening everyone – you know what time it is! I’m back with another Sunday Summary update post and I can’t wait to share everything I’ve been up to this week! It’s been a really good one for me. You’ll know that I’ve been taking a significantly slower pace this year, however this week I have felt more like my old self.

As I was taking part in a blog tour later this week, I decided to opt for a three-post schedule and shared my first post around midweek. That was a discussion post in which I shared my opinion on blog stats… and whether they really matter. If you haven’t checked out that post I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts!

Then, it was the time of my blog tour post on Saturday. I haven’t generally been taking part in reviews for blog tours this year, however, I have enjoyed Karl Drinkwater’s Lost Tales of Solace series to date. I had an invite for this particular book, Clarissa, a little while ago and I signed up immediately! If you’re a fan of sci-fi, or even if you would like to give the genre a try, these books are a great way to give it a go as they are approachable to everyone.

 

Books Read

I’ve made quite a lot of reading progress this week; in this respect I feel a lot more like my old self as well.

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update I have just finished reading Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater. From there I went on to pick it up yet another short story. This one was completely different to the usual type of stuff I read. It was recommended to me by the CEO of my company, who is also an avid reader. The Cockroach by Ian McEwan is a political satire regarding the subject of Brexit. It’s something we all have an opinion on and I really enjoyed reading this author’s witty take on the matter.

I’ve picked it up a couple of times casually earlier in the year, however as I hadn’t deliberately set aside the time to read it I found I just wasn’t finishing it or picking it up for a while afterwards; consequently I was having to restart. I’m glad I set aside the time this week to get through it because it was an entertaining read and it was good to get out of my comfort zone!

Next, I decided to pick up something a little bit longer. I’ve read a few short stories in quick succession and so whilst I had the reading bug, I wanted to take a step up. I scanned my bookshelves and settled on The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor. I previously read and loved her first book, The Chalk Man, and so I felt picking up her second novel was a safe bet to keep the momentum going.

And I was right. I managed to finish this particular book as well! It’s not the longest, at around 350 odd pages, but it’s the quickest I’ve read a book of that length for quite some time. I loved the premise and the execution of drawing out the narrative. The characters are also fantastic – honestly, this is a serious recommendation!

I’ve done reasonably well with audiobooks this week too. I had only a few hours of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin left to listen to and I got through those quite early on this week. I love the book, but I’m glad to finally got to the end so I can listen to something different for a change. The audiobooks are around 30 odd hours each. I’m sure you can understand why I’m looking forward to a change!

Speaking of which, I’ve actually picked of started listening to my next audiobook as well. I’m now listening to A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone. I can’t remember off the top of my head how I discovered this particular book, but it’s a psychological thriller. From what I have listened to so far, it seems to revolve around the subject of domestic abuse. Some people may not like that, however I’m reasonably pragmatic about it. Whilst unpleasant, these things do happen and I’m not averse to reading (or hearing) about it.

 

Books Discovered

Again, I have absolutely no updates for you here. This week my TBR went down one rather than up, so it’s going in the right direction for a change!

 

Coming Up…

I’m planning on beginning the week with a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s theme is Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). I can’t say there are many books I have read in one sitting, but there are a few – and there are plenty more that I would have done given the opportunity.

On Friday I’m taking part in another blog tour and providing another review for Karl Drinkwater. In yesterday‘s post I reviewed the third book of the series, Clarissa, and I’m continuing next week with a review of the fourth book, Ruabon. This particular book lived up to my expectations and so you can expect a glowing review! I hope you can check that post out!

Then, as always, I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary update!

In the meantime, however, that is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. I hope you have a fabulous week wherever you are and I will catch you in the next one!

 

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First Lines Friday – 23/04/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s first First Lines Friday post!

I’m back to posting my First Lines Friday feature on a regular basis and I am thrilled to be sharing today’s featured book with you. Today’s feature was actually inspired by the conversation I had at work today. We have just come out of lockdown this week and I’ve enjoyed being back in the office and able to have a chat with my colleagues. I quite often end up having bookish chats with my boss. It’s quite a small company and we all know each other really well. He knows about my blog and how much I read and we often talk about our current reads or compare notes on books we have both read.

Today we ended up talking about a book series we are both part way through. It’s written by a very well-known author. The conversation reminded me of how much I am enjoying the particular miniseries of which today’s featured book is a part of. We both enjoy the series as a whole for it’s lightheartedness and satirical nature. I love the silliness and laugh out loud humour, particularly from the characters introduced in the below quote.

Here is today’s First Lines Friday feature: –

 

The wind howled. Lightning stabbed at the Earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin. Thunder rolled back and forth across the dark, rain-lashed hills.

The night was as black as the inside of a cat. It was the kind of night, you could believe, on which gods move men as though they were pawns on the chessboard of fate. In the middle of this elemental storm a fire gleamed among the dripping furze bushes like the madness in a weasel’s eye. It illuminated three hunched figures. As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: “When shall we three meet again?”

There was a pause.

Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: “Well, I can do next Tuesday.”

Through the fathomless deeps of space swims the star turtle Great A’Tuin, bearing on its back the four giant elephants who carry on their shoulders the mass of the Discworld. A tiny sun and moon spin around them, on a complicated orbit to induce seasons, so probably nowhere else in the multiverse is it sometimes necessary for an elephant to cock a leg and allow the sun to go past.

Exactly why this should be may never be known. Possibly the Creator of the universe got bored with all the usual business of axial inclination, albedos and rotational velocities, and decided to have a bit of fun for once.

Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett

Wyrd Sisters – Goodreads

Kingdoms wobble, crowns topple and knives flash on the magical Discworld as the statutory three witches meddle in royal politics. The wyrd sisters battle against frightful odds to put the rightful king on the throne. At least, that’s what they think…

 

My Thoughts…

I love Terry Pratchett. And it was actually his Discworld novels that got me into reading regularly and ultimately into blogging as well. His satirical writing style was something that I came to depend on at that time.

The witches series is my favourite, with the death series not far behind. Truth be told, there aren’t many that I haven’t enjoyed. They all have their good elements, although some shine brighter than others and this can definitely be said of the witches series in my opinion.

The antics they get up to are hilarious, but probably the thing that draws me to the stories the most is Granny Weatherwax herself. I absolutely love her character! She is hilarious, sarcastic and truth be told a bit of a bossy boots, but she is a real driving force to be reckoned with. I wouldn’t like to cross her, put it that way!

I hope you enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday feature! Have you read Wyrd Sisters, or any of the other Discworld novels? If not, does this intro entice you to give it a go? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Blog Tour: Extract of Time of Lies by Douglas Board

Hi guys! I hope you are having a lovely week! In light of Donald Trump’s ongoing visit to the UK, I’m really excited to be taking part in a topical Blog Tour for a political satire novel, Time of Lies. For this post, I have been kindly provided with an extract of the book for you to read. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Time of Lies

In 2020 the United Kingdom elects its own Donald Trump.

Bob Grant, former football hooligan, now the charismatic leader of the Britain’s Great party, has swept to power on a populist tide. With his itchy finger hovering over the nuclear trigger, Bob presides over a brave new Britain where armed drones fill the skies, ex-bankers and foreigners are vilified, and the Millwall football chant ‘No one likes us, we don’t care’ has become an unofficial national anthem.

Meanwhile, Bob’s under-achieving, Guardian-reading brother Zack gets a tap on the shoulder from a shady Whitehall mandarin. A daring plot is afoot to defy the will of the people and unseat the increasingly unstable PM. Can Zack stop his brother before he launches a nuclear strike on Belgium? And just what is ACERBIC, Britain’s most closely-guarded military secret?

A darkly comic political thriller, Time of Lies is also a terrifyingly believable portrait of an alternative Britain. It couldn’t happen here… could it?

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK     Amazon US

30% off with discount code BLOGTOURLIES eye-books.com

 

Promotional Videos:

 

EXTRACT

“TIME OF LIES” by Douglas Board

 

In 2020 the UK elects its own Donald Trump as Prime Minister – Bob Grant, uneducated Bermondsey geezer and self-made millionaire. The election slogan of Bob’s BG party is ‘Britain’s Great! End of!’.

Zack, a Guardian-reading out-of-work actor, can’t believe that his brother Bob has his finger on Britain’s nuclear trigger. Meanwhile Patrick Smath, the Eton-educated permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence, is wetting himself and having to tell Bob Britain’s most closely-guarded secret for the last 25 years.

Zack is married to Kathy, a rising Royal Naval officer and Patrick’s right hand person; they have just had a difficult visit with Kathy’s mum who lives in Helensburgh, Scotland. Here they meet the business end of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Zack is telling the story. (When the author went to Helensburgh for research, he booked a trip in a sailing boat so he could get a view from low down in the water. He never imagined that he’d experience in real life the scene below. But he did.)

We walk out to the Rhu Narrows light, two hundred yards into Gare Loch on the end of a shingle spit. It’s like standing beside a Belisha beacon on a traffic island, one-third of the way across one of London’s clogged arterial roads ‒ maybe the Cromwell Road near Earl’s Court – but the Narrows is narrower. Three miles to the north, guarded by a stationary police boat and some undercover seagulls, is Faslane. In the event of a nuclear bust-up, this will be the first place in the British Isles to be vaporised, taking with it Glasgow and over a million people. The forests and heather of Loch Long and Loch Lomond would be ablaze.

Some of the seagulls eye us quizzically and call up reinforcements. A black police inflatable comes round Rosneath Point, darting about like a fly.

‘Barry and Joan do a great job looking in on her,’ I point out.

Kathy’s worry lines report for duty. ‘But their son has just bought that place near Granada. They’ll be around less in the winters.’

I can tell she’s thinking about the possible move to Washington. Kathy’s boss is Patrick Smath. He pronounces it ‘Smayth’. From what Kathy says, he’s nice enough in a sorry-you-weren’t-as-well-educated-as-I-was way. He’s no Navy man but right up there, the most senior civil servant in the Ministry of Defence. For the last year Kathy has been working for him. If there is anything to Cairstine’s mutterings about a man with designs on Kathy’s career, that man is Patrick.

‘He wants me to go to Washington, but spend some time with the war-gamers at Rhode Island first.’

‘Don’t you think war games says it all?’

‘Zack, sometimes! I’ve told you … they’re not games. They’re about getting ready for the future. For goodness sake, think about the Russians, the terrorists, the hackers. No-one’s playing by the old rules. If we don’t practise, we lose. All our best people do this kind of stuff. Why Patrick thinks I’m one of them I don’t get, but don’t wind me up.’

I hold her close and bury my face in her shawl, in the smoothness of alpaca and bamboo. When my eyes open I’m facing Rosneath Point. Beyond the Firth of Clyde lies the Atlantic.

I catch my breath at a sight I’ve never seen before. A dark sword is being unsheathed at the water’s edge. The sword slides into view between low, grey-green hills, yachts at play and a ferry boat. Its front is rounded but as alien and black as Kubrick’s monoliths in 2001. While the submarine turns towards us its length vanishes, but not for long: the god of destruction accompanied by eight armed boats and tugs heads our way. This is Shiva, with two periscopes and a sonar third eye. His trident can spit dozens of nuclear warheads more than 7,000 miles. He is coming in procession before us.

He passes us almost within arm’s reach. The submarine is one-third again as wide as an athletics track, as long as an athletics oval. Fifteen-thousand tonnes drive through the water in silence. Wavelets touch Darth Vader’s cloak before streaming in lines to lap obediently at our feet. The dorsal fin, the conning tower, rises five storeys above us. Diving planes protrude to port and starboard. The tail fin makes a defiant finger gesture out of the wake. We don’t care to find out whether Shiva’s bridesmaids will fire their heavy calibre machine-guns, so we don’t wave.

And then he is past, handing back to us permission to speak while he punts his way up Gare Loch. Yes, one of the biggest insanities in human history has just passed close enough to touch. But see the other side of me, he now says. Watch me transporting underwater what you do not care to think about. I’ve been taking your fears to a safe place for decades. Thousands of sailors and engineers and physicists have worked hard at it. The least you might do is say thanks?

 

Author Bio –

Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), which asked why so much of the business world is Managed By Arseholes. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.

Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.

As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @BoardWryter

https://douglasboard.com/home/