The trouble with three. And four.


When it comes to rating books, I have no trouble handing out one star, two stars or five stars.

I give one star to books that are all-round crap (plot, writing, editing – basically the whole shebang). I give two stars to books that are quite crap in terms of plot and personal appeal but are not necessarily poorly written. I give five stars to books that make me think of nothing else but reading that particular book.

I don’t hand out one star, two star or five star ratings all that often. Most books I read I give either three stars or four stars. Sometimes it’s a clear three or four but often, it’s somewhere between three and four. And herein lies the problem. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from The Paying Guests to Anna Karenina


It’s six degrees of separation for books. Created by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

This month the chain begins with The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. It appeared in my round-up of the best books for 2014, as did The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts


1. The Man Booker longlist was announced yesterday. I’ve only read one (and loved it), so GO ANNE ENRIGHT!

2. I started uni again this week. Which means I might occasionally have a whinge about studying… Although I have already looked at previous exams and there’s no formula sheet. Which means no maths. Which means YAY.

3. It’s so nice when the interwebs is used for good. Bookish good, even better. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

1. I’m still in two minds about Go Set a Watchman. I have a copy… But the whole situation just doesn’t sit right with me. And the news of a third book by Harper Lee made be all the more uncomfortable.

2. So last week I saw Magic Mike XXL. Don’t judge. If you’ve seen it, you’ll understand that the film is a satire – without a plot, in the traditional sense. Or a script that was worked on for more than half an hour. It’s basically a soundtrack, with bare chests, fire phobias, nods to Flashdance, level 3 Reiki healers, Backstreet Boys and artisanal pro-biotic fro-yo.

magic mike3. And the “How much for the Cheetos and water” scene is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in years. Continue reading

Sample Saturday – beekeeping, letters and a memoir

sample-saturday-4Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

Clade by James Bradley

Why I have it: Probably because I liked the cover. And there was hype and lots of book shop displays. Continue reading