Thursday, December 5, 2013

The luminaries review

The Luminaries is pretty hefty coming in at 832 pages long but if you love big books and especially historical fiction, this is perfect for you.

The story is a mystery set in the gold mining town of Hokitika, on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand back in 1866.
One man is found dead, another is missing, and a working girl is found unconscious in the middle of the road plus there is $4000 of gold found in the dead man’s hut and a previously unknown wife who arrives to claim it.
Walter Moody arrives in town and finds himself in the confidence of twelve men in the back room of a local bar on the evening he arrives. They all have their own suspicions as to what has happened to the missing man, the dead man and where the money has come from.




I picked up this book because:-

1. It had won the Man Booker prize 
2. I liked the idea of a reading a historical fiction set in New Zealand, as I hadn’t read one before.
3. I’m trying read as many of the big books of 2013 as I can.
4. I liked the description of the book
5. I had read many good reviews

From the beginning of the book, I was hooked on the various mysteries.
I found the characters and the descriptions of the country very compelling. 
There are quite a few characters and a lot of overlapping storylines but it was laid out in such a way that I never got confused. 
Every time I thought I’d solved the mystery, there was another part of the story still to be told by someone else that changed everything.
I got a bit confused by all the astrological bits at the front of each chapter, so I ignored them and found doing so did not impact on the story at all! 
Though I did love the little teaser of what was to happen at the beginning of each chapter.
I do normally struggle with big books; however, I was so absorbed in everyone’s story that I didn’t notice the length of this book at all.

So I would say, try this book, even if you are afraid of big books because it’s worth it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Welcome to Night Vale


If you are looking for a new podcast, you really need to download Night Vale - it's brilliant! I love walking to work, on a sunny day, listening to the updates about this dark, mysterious, basically creepy town!

Night Vale community radio updates us twice a month with all the comings and goings of Night Vale, a small desert town in the USA. This town, though, is a little bit different to others. There is a non-existent dog park, secret police, a beautiful scientist called Carlos who has everyone under his spell and you do not want to get on the wrong side of the community radio bosses, it could end very badly for you. 

I was in instant fan as I love anything creepy and a little bit weird! I'm not sure what that says about me though!

I found this through the Bookrageous podcast, another podcast I would recommend as well to book lovers.

Monday, September 30, 2013

New geek shirts arrived-woo hoo!!

I was never a t-shirt kind of girl until I discovered ThinkGeek. And no, this is not a sponsored post!! I'd found all these cool t-shirts related to my favourite shows, so my Xmas wishlist last year was on ThinkGeek. 

I've now discovered Redbubble and Threadless too which have awesome t-shirts from many different artists.
So guess what my Xmas list is going to be this year! More t-shirts of course!

3 t-shirts have just arrived today, that takes my geek tops total up to 8. For some reason I got 2 Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock t-shirts last Xmas!

 T-shirts already owned

my work t-shirt - awesome boss or what!!
Intolerably Stupid-Jane Austen quote
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal
What girl doesn't want all the Doctors on her chest!
Christopher Ecclestone was mine!

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock



T-shirts on this year's Xmas list!


glow in the dark-cos that's always cool!
River is scary cool!

Second scary thing after River!
Enough said!

Such a beautiful picture and my dream!

The Guild artwork from Jeminabox
Aren't they always-great art
from 
Jeminabox @ redbubble








Sunday, September 29, 2013

Been gone a while!

I've been gone since May due to a big trip overseas (mainly to see my sister's new baby, who graciously waited until the day after I arrived in the UK to go into to labour-excellent timing Tree-Frog!) and moving house but I'm back now and can't wait to get back into blogging again!

I logged back onto Glipho for the first time in 5 months to discover that back in May, the lovely rubyeclipse had included me in her nominations for the 'The Lovely Blog Award'. I'm not sure if I'm too late to return the favour or if this is a continuous thing, just in case I will post separately on that on Glipho.

I am full speed ahead with reading, and I have discovered some of the great books released over the last year are available at my library-that'll save me some dosh now we have a house to decorate!

I've read 2 books since Thursday, one of which I have just posted a review about prior to this post.

I'm just about to start reading Burnt Ice by Steve Wheeler, which is a science fiction novel, the first one in a trilogy called A Fury of Aces. This is the blurb from Goodreads 

"A superb space adventure from a fresh new voice.
In our future worlds the Administration rules the Sphere of Humankind, the Games Board sanctions and funds wars and conflicts, and the Haulers' Collective roams the space routes like the caravanners of old.
Marko and his crew of fellow soldier-engineers are sent to investigate an unknown planet. When they encounter strange artefacts and an intelligent but aggressive squid species, they are forced to embark on a perilous journey far from the Sphere.
They will have to survive not only other alien encounters but also their own Administration's deadly manipulations.
Political factions and galactic media moguls vie for power ... and money."

Sounds good right?!

Review: In The House Upon The Dirt Between The Lake And The Woods by Matt Bell

I had seen this book mentioned quite often since its release and always in a positive light, so I thought I would see what the fuss was all about. Though I didn’t actually know what the book was about.


Sometimes I like starting a book with no prior knowledge, especially as some blurbs can be misleading and I have been very disappointed before now because I read a book based on the blurb.

The library did not have a long queue of customers waiting for this book, I guess my area haven’t heard about it yet, therefore it arrived within 2 days of me requesting it and I dove straight into it.

Immediately I was captured by Bell’s writing style, so unique, lyrical, visceral, like he wrote exactly as he was thinking with no restraints of correct form or structure.

“Beneath the unscrolling story of new sun and stars and then-lonely moon, she began to sing some new possessions into the interior of our house, and between the lake and the woods I heard her songs become something stronger than ever before. I returned to the woods to cut more lumber, so that I too might add to our household, might craft for her a crib and a bassinet, a table for changing diapers, all the other furnishings she desired. We labored together, and soon our task seemed complete, our house readied for what dreams we shared - the dream I had given her, of family, of husband and wife, father and mother, child and child - and when the earliest signs of my wife’s first pregnancy came they were attended with joy and celebration.”

However, his writing style wasn’t just lyrical, it was so descriptive, so rich, bringing strong, vivid images to your mind, like the one below that made me a little nauseous!

“Into my body I partook what my wife’s had rejected, and while she buried her face in the red ruin of our blankets I swallowed it whole-its ghost and its flesh small enough to have in my fist like an extra finger, to fit into my mouth like an extra tongue, to slide farther in without the use of teeth - and I imagined that perhaps I would succeed where she had failed, that my want for family could again give our child some home, some better body within which to grow.”

and this one that is a perfect example of Bell’s descriptions throughout the book that bought forth many horrifying images into my head!

 “The bear that stood before me now stomped unsteadily on its meat-thin limbs, its fur-torn, bone-sprung body led wobblingly forward by its squared head, that skull burst through tearing skin of face and snout. Orbital bone gleamed bright around the jaundice eyes  it was meant to protect, those spheres drooped upon distressed tendon, sleepy on frayed muscle, and my eyes roved mad too, took in all its shape, its stomping stance, its claws flexing free of its threatening paw. It’s voice tore from its lungs, the sound of that roar so fierce it stumbled me even before the bear tensed its body forward, ready to lean into the angry first step of its charge – and as it roared again I heard its true voice for the first time, a speech like no other.”

I could not stop reading because the writing drew me into the story in such a way that I could feel the husband’s pain, smell the rotten flesh, fear the dark as if I was him or inside him, like his fingerling son.

If I got distracted reading this, I would be surprised by my surroundings which, I feel, is always a sign you are thoroughly enjoying yourself!

I was nearly finished with this book and quite prepared to say that this is a magnificent piece of work, however, there is one thing that stops me from saying that. The story did drag on a little bit towards the end, and I’m probably not quite clever enough to fully grasp exactly what the writer was trying to say, so I felt a little confused by the ending.


I would read this book over and over again though as I just am so in love with his writing style and am hugely envious!