Slow bullets by Alastair Reynolds

I began 2018 with the intention to read more Science Fiction

This arrived yesterday from Gollancz/Orion. I began reading it almost as soon as it was out the package

Today I finished reading it.

Boom! mind blown!

A fairly short (at 182 pages) novella written by Alastair Reynolds.  I have to admit I hadn’t heard of him before or his writing so I can tick off quite a few things all in one go there.

Synopsis is quite long so read this to get an idea

Its a lot darker and a lot deeper than i imagined it would be and i’m not sure i’ll ever be able to understand it fully but I do love Alastair’s writing. His dialogue is wonderful, the plot begins fast paced and confusing to us readers but slows down and introduces us to the main protagonists, some of which Scur, Prad and Yesli are fascinating.

Its a tense, exciting thriller with a shadowy presence of doom always hanging in the air.  The characters are at first understandably suspicious of each other but throughout the story there is a sense of coming together which is beautifully written and the pace does not slip for a moment which i why i read this in a day.

Its not overloaded with ‘spacey’ terms and phrases so is good for a beginner like me. Its also the only book I can recall which has absolutely no romance or close friendships between the characters, its quite a revelation but a good one.

Bottom line is I really enjoyed it and it was a great place to begin my Sci Fi reading quest, so thank you to Gollancz books for sending me a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

 

All my friends are superheroes by Andrew Kaufman

I began 2018 by reading this fabulous little book (and it is little at just 110 pages!).

I had actually begun it last year but never finished it for some reason so I picked it on New Years Day and tore through the rest of it.

I adored this book, its a gentle, clever, clean read full of metaphors. This is the 10th anniversary edition which contains extra Superheroes which don’t all appear in the story. I found them all to be a little bit samey after a while. You can have too much of a good thing sometimes! But it didn’t detract from the book itself.

It contains lots of lovely illustrations throughout the book too by Tom Percival which really adds to the storyline.

It gave me all the feels this book and was a quick and easy read for when you dont have too much free time.

It gets a 5/5 from me.

Most anticipated books of 2018 – so far

I keep a spreadsheet of books upcoming in date order so i can see when my next book purchase will be. Currently I have 16 books due to be published in 2018 between now and the end of July. I’m sure this will be constantly added to though throughout the year.

 

But for this post I want to share with you my top 5 books.  These are all ones coming out in paperback, four of them are already available to purchase in hardback but as you know I prefer to wait for them to arrive in a format I can enjoy holding.

 

I’ll list them from least to most although I really cant wait to read them all but one stands head and shoulders above the rest.

 

So,

 

5. We have this…

 

 

Laini Taylor writes so lyrically and this book sounds just amazing.  I’ve heard nothing but high praise for it since its publication last year so its one I cant wait to finally hold in my hands and devour on 8th March. Published by Hodder Books

 

4. there’s this…

 

 

I loved Planetfall and I have the second book, After Atlas too so this is a total ‘must have’ I love Emma’s writing style and futuristic ideas. The premise sounds awesome so roll on 17th April. Published by Ace Books.

 

3. Also this delight…

 

 

I just loved The Martian and cant wait to find out what Andy has cooked up for us next. Part of my reading challenges this year involve more Sci-Fi so this should fit the bill nicely. Annoyingly I have to wait until 3rd July to get my hands on a copy though. Published by Del Rey.

 

2. Me wants this so much…

 

 

This sounds like such an unusual book idea and again its another book that has only been spoken of in the highest terms so I’m really excited to read about her ‘certainly less than quiet’ life.  I have the longest to wait though as its not out until 26th July. #idontdopatience  Published by Tinder Press.

 

1. Now for the Piece De Resistance… (drum roll please)

 

 

Being a genealogist myself and having spent 12 years tracing my ancestors and discovering many illnesses and traits I am beyond excited to read Stephen’s book about his family ailments down the years. He always sounds so passionate, knowledgeable and enthusiastic whenever i’ve heard him on tv or radio  talking about this, so know i’m going to love it. Whats even better is that I only have just over two weeks to wait as its published on 25th of this month!  Published by Simon & Schuster.

 

All dates mentioned are from Amazon and may possibly change so check bookshops just in case.

 

I will do another 5 books list next month

 

Meanwhile i’d best get reading my huge TBR pile in readiness for this bunch eh?

 

TTFN

 

Gill X

 

Its January! it’s more books! deal with it!

Yes, thats right this is another book haul or at least it will be once postie has been with my parcel.

*paces floor, bites nails and mutters under breath*

ME SPEAKING- CLICK PLAY BUTTON BELOW 

UPDATE: many hours later

They are here and I can share them with you *runs around whooping and doing the book haul dance*

Two of my reading goals for 2018 – which if you follow me on Twitter you’ll have seen me announce – are

1. To read more books by Japanese authors

and

2. To read more Science Fiction

I think you’ll agree I have made a damn fine start with this lot. Lets go through them shall we?


Literally a book about how much Haruki Murakami loves running. An autobiography of his passion for keeping fit and the reason he enjoys running for a hobby. A gentle sounding, quite short book (180 pages) which was a recommendation on none other than Ariel Bissett’s channel

For anyone new to my blog you will hear me praise Ariel many times for her quirky reads which are books I’d never heard of and wouldn’t normally pick up but, I trust her choices.


Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he’s been alive for centuries.  From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can stay one step ahead of his past – and stay alive.

The only thing he must not do is fall in love…

I mean, I ask you is that not such a teaser of a synopsis?  How could I not try this!


I’ve been waiting for this to come out in paperback form for ages. If you haven’t heard of it, go look it up right now. I just know this is gonna be a good’un and its my Sci-Fi choice, so double bubble.


These last two fit with my read more Japanese authors.  This book cover is so stunning too plus its short, shiny and floppy! Gah! what more could I ask for?


This was another book I learnt about from Ariel. (Tell me honestly am I sounding like a stalker?) Its such a simple premise and the book is another short(ish) one plus, it has those glorious french flaps. Nice touch Oneworld-Publications.

ME AGAIN 

Gill X

December book haul

Not long before Christmas I was sent these two beauties from Bloomsbury and Del Rey respectively

Just stunning aren’t they?  The book on the right is a proof copy hence no name or details and is called The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale.  I’ve dipped into it and its so evocative and beautifully written.


Then came Christmas and I was lucky enough to get the following

You can never have enough Catherynne M Valente books right? These covers are just sumptuous and her writing is glorious.

Wasn’t I a lucky little Christmas Elf?

 

 

Autumn and Winter

Hello good people! How are you all? What fabulous reading matter do you hold In your hands right now? Answer these questions and more in the comment box below and I’ll be a happy chappess (?)

What have I been doing lately? I have been falling in love with Ali Smith’s books! Oh yes I have!

(For the benefit of new readers to my blog I overuse the (!) ALL THE TIME! But I don’t care 😉

I recently finished reading Autumn by Ali Smith and although I wouldn’t rave about it, I did enjoy it and began to see my way through her very quirky writing style. There are some laugh out loud passages of absurdity that I really loved.

So when I finished I decided to treat myself to the next part of her seasonal quartet, Winter.

Now this I am loving! So much more so than Autumn. I even bought it in hardback and you know that’s not something I do often. It’s a gorgeous cloth bound semi naked hardback too and I adore it.

I’ll update as I go along and may even share the odd quote or two

TTFN

Gill

A-Z Book Tag

I saw this on Maddie & Bee’s fab You Tube channel Heart Full of Books

Its a bit of long one but bear with me, some of my answers may surprise you.

A – Author you’ve read the most books by

J.K. Rowling because I read my way through all the Harry Potter book series which is something i’ve never done before or since

B – Best sequel

As stated above I dont read book series, preferring stand alones so it has to be The Half Blood Prince, my fav of the HP books. How J.K Rowling made us do a complete U-turn on Snape was masterly.

C – Current read

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

D – drink of choice for reading

I dont especially sit down with a drink to read, I tend to snatch moments when I can

E – e-Reader or physical copy

Woah! Physical copy anyday! a massive no brainer for me. That damn piece of plastic called an ereader is just soulless and never feels like i own the book. Unless i can turn a real page i’m lost.

F – Fictional character you would have been friends with at school

Charlie Bloom from Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell sounds very cool and geeky at the same time and bonding over our love of photography would have made us good friends i reckon.

G – Glad you gave this book a chance

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt was a real delight to me even though i never read Middle Grade books normally I had heard so much hype that i had to get a copy and i’m so glad i did.

H – Hidden Gem

The arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley is a book that should be much more well known. Its a really unusual, magical realism, quirky novel and i just loved it.

I – Important moment in your reading life

This has probably got to be when I discovered YA books about 4 years ago. It has opened up a whole word of reading pleasure for me.

J – Just finished

Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister, a crime thriller with an unusual angle, which i liked but it disappointed me in the end.

K – Kind of books you won’t read

Horror, violent crime, anything with gore in it, misery memoirs and most biographies

L – Longest book you’ve read

I hate long books but the longest i’ve managed has been the Goblet of Fire. Somehow Harry Potter books just never seemed too long when you were reading them.

M – Major book hangover because of…

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. I read this last Christmas but it has stayed with me all over 2017 so far. I fervently hope for another book in this series.

N – Number of bookcases you own

Sadly not as many as i’d like. I have 2 which does not even begin to hold all my books so a lot are stored in cupboards! Oh the cruelty to books!

O – One book you’ve read multiple times

I am not a re-reader of books. There are far too many wonderful titles out there to waste time re-reading ones you’ve already enjoyed. However, an exception to this is Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens which i’ve read about 8 times now over many years. I adore Christmas so reading it was just a part of the tradition of the holiday for me.

P – Preferred place to read

Always a comfy chair in the living room. I cant read in bed, i just nod off and hate reading outside in the summer its too distracting, so indoors is the place for me.

Q – Quote that inspires you

I dont really remember quotes, sorry.

R – Reading regret

I do regret not sticking with some books and reading to the end. I tend to give up reading them after just a few chapters if they arent interesting me. Then much later if I fancy reading it again I have to re-read the chapters I already read once before which is such a bore.

S – Series you’ve started and need to finish

Like I said, i dont read book series but I was recently sent Ringer by lauren Oliver and as I’ve read Replica, which is the first book I guess I need to read Ringer to finish this story.

T – Three of your all time favourite books

A Christmas Carol,  Planetfall by Emma Newman and Dash & Lily’s Book of dares

U – Unapologetic fangirl for…

Anything to do with The Brontes. Mainly their lives rather than their writing apart from Emily Bronte’s poetry which is just amazing.

V – Very excited for this release

I’m going to be greedy here and choose more than one book.  The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (its out i hardback but i have to have the paperback version) and Circe by Madeline Miller.

W – Worst bookish habit

(See R for regret) giving up books too soon without giving them a proper go and also becoming a page corner folder overer when i can’t lay my hands on a bookmark in time.

X – Top left of shelf and count to the 27th book

The Gilded Cage by Vic James. I havent read this yet but also have its sequel Tarnished City right next to it.

Y – Your latest book purchase

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell which literally has just turned up whilst im typing this. It has the most gorgeous scarlet sprayed edges!

Z – ZZZ snatcher, a book that kept you up way too long

I don’t stay up late regardless of what i’m reading really, i’d just be too tired.

Well thats my A-Z, I tag anyone who reads this. Feel free to leave me a link in the comments and i’ll come read your choices

 

 

another book haul – Sept/Oct

Yes, I did it again. More books have been purchased and sent by delightful publishers.

Fancy a peek?  Course you do, so here they are…

I am so mega, mega excited by all these books! *cue happy squealing*

I was so lucky to get sent copies of Warcross by Marie Lu and Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Both of them came via the wonderful folk at Penguin books, and Turning for Home by Barney Norris is courtesy of Transworld books.

A new John Green book is something to celebrate so I had that on pre-order for ages along with All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. I think I am in love with this cover and its gorgeous Uranium orange spine. That blue and orange work so well together dont they? am i right?

Invictus has been bigged up all over Twitter and You Tube and i do love me a bit of time travel so im hoping i’ll enjoy that.

The Ada Lovelace book is because I wanted to find out more about her, I mean imagine being Byron’s daughter and being involved with something so modern and forward thinking as computers! in Victorian times!

I couldnt resist the Potion diaries 2 & 3 even though i havent read book 1 yet. They are an easy but fun read and im sure ill enjoy binging on them sometime in the future.

Finally to get a copy of The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M Valente is so fab. It wasnt available in the UK when it first came out and considering its based around The Brontes and the fictional world they created how could I not get it! Oh and last but not least Radiance also by the wonderful Cathrynne was a no brainer really it looks to be an unusual type of book. Such a shame about the awful cover design though. The US edition is so beautiful. *shakes head in despair*

What books are you most excited for this month?

 

 

Anything You Do Say eBook blog tour – Day 5

Welcome to Day 5 of Gillian McAllisters ebook blog tour of her latest book – Anything You Do Say.  I was kindly sent a copy by Penguin Books in exchange for an honest review.

Joanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly. But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home. Is she being followed? She is sure it’s him; the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone. Hearing the steps speed up Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps and lying motionless on the floor. Now Joanna has to do the thing she hates most – make a decision. Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong?

This book is so clever, I dont think ive come across a premise quite like it before. We get to see the story from two different angles, From the perspective of Joanna if she decides to stay, call an ambulance and confess her mistake or if she runs, lies and keeps what she did a secret. It certainly is a page turner and made me more stressed with every chapter, but happily so because it meant the author was doing a good job.  However I did have some reservations with the book, here are my Pro’s and Con’s

 

Pros

Very interesting sounding premise, a sliding doors style, what if, two scenario story.

Never read anything like it before.

The book builds up pace like a runaway train.

The tension is ramped up, like waiting for the explosion at the end of a firework.

Very well rounded characters, builds up the relationships beautifully.

Really enjoyed her writing style and how she created her characters, it kept me gripped for ages.

Cons

Tension built up over 4/5th of the book just fizzles out in last few chapters

Disappointing ending which I actually saw coming a little earlier but hoped i was wrong about.

Unnecessary dialogue and rather too wordy in places which kept stopping the build up of tension and gradually annoyed me as it went on.

Teaser about halfway through the book came to nothing but that could just have been me wanting things to go a different way.

 

Rating: 3.5/5 (was a 5/5 until last few chapters)

I would still very much recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers and crime novels.

The ebook is out on 19th October and the paperback in January 2018. Its well worth your time.

Gillian McAllister’s blog can be found here

She is also on Twitter

and Instagram

Dont forget to check out Day 6 tomorrow which is hosted by Chelles Book Reviews

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