20 Books of Summer (except that it’s Winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. By Cathy’s own admission, she doesn’t have a great track record with her own challenge… But I do! As I’ve done in previous years, I’m using this challenge to read from my to-be-read stack (with a particular focus on hard copies). The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 3rd. Continue reading

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Six Degrees of Separation – from Less Than Zero to The Great Gatsby

It’s time for #6degrees. Join in and see which direction your book chain takes you.

This month we begin with controversial bestseller by a member of the eighties ‘literary Brat Pack’ – Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero. Continue reading

Top ways to make me buy a book

It’s not particularly hard to get me to buy a book. I’ve mentioned some triggers here and here. But publishers, if you’re reading, here are some moreContinue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Never Let Me Go to the Art of Fielding

six-degrees-never-let-me-go

It’s time for #6Degrees – I promise it’s ace fun, so join in and link up!

We begin this month’s chain with Kazuo Ishiguro’s creepy Never Let Me Go – is it a glimpse into the future? It seems too far-fetched but there were elements of the story that felt horribly possible, as there were in Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from A Prayer for Owen Meany to Fates and Furies

six-degrees-a-prayer-for-owen-meany

It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up! Get amongst it!

We begin this month with John Irving’s classic, A Prayer for Owen Meany. The story centres around a terrible accident involving two young boys. Likewise, the plot in Wiley Cash’s A Land More Kind Than Home, also focuses on the tragic consequences of an incident involving two boys. Continue reading

It Is Just You Everything’s Not Shit by Steve Stack

It-Is-Just-You-Everythings-Not-Shit-Steve-Stack

Steve Stack’s It Is Just You Everything’s Not Shit is a gentle response to the whingers in this world (who’ll find a reason to moan about everything from global warming to the temperature of their morning coffee).

The book is essentially an alphabetized collection of first-world-pleasures. And that’s okay. Because while horrid things will always exist, it’s fine to feel happy when cracking the top of a boiled egg; to feel soothed by Sir David Attenborough’s dulcet tones; and to relish lying in a hot bath reading a book. Basically, Stack is saying yes, there’s shit going down, but appreciate what you have, be grateful, and realise that while you’re busy fretting over the state of the world (and your first-world-problems), there is still lots of ace stuff to put a little ‘Yay!’ in the day. Continue reading