The Carer by Deborah Moggach


James, a once eminent professor, needs full time help. So Phoebe and Robert, his distracted middle-aged offspring, employ Mandy, a veritable treasure who seems happy to relieve them of their responsibilities. 

‘Our marriage was one long conversation that was only interrupted by her death’.

The Carer connected with me on a very personal level. A story I initially thought to be predictable, turned out to be a very powerful and surprising book, with numerous unexpected twists. 

I continually nodded my head throughout reading, raising my eyebrows on numerous occasions and thinking gosh, I totally get this. 

This is a cracking read, and it’s reinforced the fact that as you get older, life just gets more and more complicated. Fortunately, we do become wiser, so dealing with complex matters of the heart can be taken with a pinch or ten of salt. 

I think readers of a certain age would take a lot from this, particularly if they have/had elderly parents and middle aged siblings. 

I haven’t read anything before by Deborah Moggach, and unbeknown to me, she wrote The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and have added the book to my shelf. Her writing style is simple, yet magical. She designs her stories in a way that hooks gently. 

A solid 5 star read. It was faultless. 

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The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag

Hey there again bookish friends, hope you’re all well and reading like crazy!

(Image by Bibleinfo.com)

Today on my blog I’m going to be doing the Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag post. I recently read Lashaans’ post over on Bookidote and thought it was awesome, so decided to share my own sinful book secrets.

Have a look at Lashaans’ sins!! 👇🏻 Aren’t we just utterly wicked readers?! 😈

http://bookidote.com/2019/08/12/the-seven-deadly-sins-book-tag/

Ok then, off I go…

What is the most expensive book you own?

Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous? It deserves all the faffing about for the pictures because it’s just so damn photogenic and expensive. I’m also ashamed to say I haven’t properly read it! The pages are very thin and I’m scared about wear and tear. I know. Don’t go there.

And the LEAST expensive?

You’re probably wondering why on earth I’ve pictured Mindhunter with my kitchen bin. Well, I found this book IN THE BIN at work!! Shocking behaviour! Who would do this?! Anyway, me being the Womble I am retrieved it and felt chuffed at my free find, and relieved that I saved this very interesting book from a life of landfill.

What book have you shamelessly devoured many times?

Good god, look at the state of that!! It stinks, it has mould and mildew, it’s 32 years old and I love and adore it.

What attributes do you find most attractive in your characters?

I had to think about this one for a while. But these are the kind of characters I have a tendency to gravitate towards in books:

FEARLESS WOMEN WITH PSYCHOPATHIC TENDENCIES. I just love a girl with a dangerous wickedness. A dry humoured, sarcastic crazy bitch. Am I weird?

Dear Sweetpea, you’ll always be my bestie book buddy. Even though you terrified me.

And while we’re on the subject of women who have lost the plot shall we say, have you seen Killing Eve?

I’m binge watching series 2 this week and I am so rooting for Villanelle. It was on BBC One a little while back and I’m so glad my sister recommended it to me. Its based on the books by Luke Jennings. All great TV comes originally from books it seems.

What books would you most like to receive as a gift?

I’m so sad that my household still doesn’t own a Tolkien boxset. What is wrong with us? Both myself and my man are LOTR fans. Yet we don’t own the books. I just don’t get it.

What book(s) do you bring up when you want to sound like an intellectual reader?

I struggled to answer this one because I don’t try and be something I’m not. However, what I am is a bit on the odd side and I like to surprise people.

I’ve been known to bring into conversation that I’ve read The Satanic Bible and it certainly raises some eyebrows. Satanism is very misunderstood. It really isn’t about draining chicken blood into a dish and dowsing yourself with it. It is in fact quite a liberating lifestyle/religion, for those who choose to follow it.

What book or series have you neglected out of sheer laziness?

I just cannot be arsed to read this at all. I watched 3 seasons of it and then the final season. That’ll do thanks.

What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Aww man… Mr King. I just can’t explain this one really. I’ve read 3 or 4 books by this incredible author. He IS incredible, there’s no getting away from it. But I get this daunting feeling when I read his stuff. I WANT to love it all. Read it all. But I get worried I’ll become one of those annoying ‘King is THE KING of horror’ readers, who just keep harping on about him. (Like I do about James Herbert. I know, I know 🙄 He is (was) the Master of Macabre, NOT King.) So I CAN explain it after all! I’m rather afraid I’m going to end up liking King more than Herbert. And do you know what? That just won’t do.

Well, there we have it. In conclusion, I’m such a sinner. What a thoroughly wonderful and enjoyable post that was to compile.

Huge thanks to Lashaan over at Bookidote.com for inspiring me 👍🏻😃

Fancy doing your own 7 Deadly Sins post? Do tag me in it so I can have a read, this has been my favourite blog post of all so far! 😍

Twitter #Book #Giveaway

Well, good morning/afternoon/evening/night, (another day gone) it’s only me! 😁

Over on my Twitter @owlbesatreading I’m currently hosting a giveaway!

I’m nearly at the 1k followers milestone and I actually can’t quite believe it.

Just a couple of years ago Twitter was somewhere for me to see what Holly and Phil were up to (don’t judge me 😮😂). Then I started to grasp what the platform could actually do for my reading hobby (addiction) as I started following Goodreads. And it’s just totally snowballed!

I’ve discovered some great bookish people, some super duper book blogs and hours of cracking cat videos where they knock things on the floor.

Now, a few weeks ago I was having a book organising session as I purchased this absolute beauty:

A BOOK TROLLEY! ❤️📚❤️

And I ended up with two bags of charity donations as a result. I’d even come across bloody duplicates! I cannot believe I owned more than one copy of the same books and didn’t realise! (I’m looking at you Elly Griffiths and Kate Mosse, oops!)

Anyway, the whole point of this blog post is to connect with anyone here on WordPress over on my Twitter. (And it’s also an excuse to show off my TBR book trolley which I look at lovingly on a daily basis).

So what better way is there to tempt the book addicted than to just send them some FREE BOOKS and CHOCOLATE in exchange for a teeny weeny follow and some cool book interaction?! Plus it gives me space to BUY MORE BOOKS if I give some away. I know they’d be appreciated. At least the chocolate would be, that’s for sure! 😏🍫

I’d say it was great…

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Ok, let’s cut to the chase.

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Not THAT Chase! Although I do love Anne Hegerty.

Click on ol’ matey from Lock Stock up there, and he’ll head you on over to my pinned tweet. Do the stuff to be eligible to win, and finally,

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I look forward to seeing you over there in Twitterland. The land of bookish wonder and argumentative bastards who just love getting their knickers in a twist over stupid trivial stuff. I’m only there for the books. AND CATS.

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T’s & C’s to enter:

🌟Head over to my Twitter pinned tweet

🌟Like my tweet

🌟Follow me

🌟Retweet

🌟UK Book Lovers Only (Sorry, just because of postage costs)

🌟Ends 8pm on Saturday 17th August

🌟Strictly NO GIVEAWAY TWITTER ACCOUNTS (have you seen those people?!! They’re vultures, honestly 😳)

 

 

ONE STAR – A short story by The Behrg

Well, I’ve been DESPERATE for an excuse to have my say about the dreaded ‘One Star Reviews’ that get the online book communities knickers in a right old twist, and nows my chance!

I’ll start by saying, I do love it when my opinion of a book is unpopular. I also seem to get a lot of pleasure bashing out reviews for books I didn’t like, or thought were pretty crappy.

I’ve got to that age where I enjoy having a good moan, things annoy me more these days, (peri-menopausal 😬) and I’ll quite happily verbally fight my corner. (Don’t get me started on litter droppers, unruly children and bad parenting).

So, Behrgs’ book, what can I say? Firstly, I had to read it twice because it was one of those books. It was also very short, only 17 pages. But, OH MY DAYS, what a clever bloke you are Mr Behrg!

I’m not going to give anything away on the synopsis, you can get the lowdown over on Goodreads. What I will say though is this;

If you’re a book blogger, reviewer, dark horror fan who doesn’t get too triggered by stuff, ‘ave a gander at this one.

To say this is a unique story is an UNDERSTATEMENT. I’ve never read anything like it. It is the most relevant read a book blogger will ever come across. I’ll tell you that now. It was a clever, thought provoking head mash which I awarded four stars.

When I finished it, I had to have a very large gin. And then I had to have another very large gin after the first large gin. Honestly. Thank god for gin.

I’m now going to take this opportunity to share some of my reviews of books that I thought were pretty awful. I had a BLAST scribbling down at frenzied rate what I thought of them.

Two deserved two stars (at a push) and the other was, yep, a ONE STAR THIS BOOK IS CRUD I SHALL *USE IT PURELY TO PROP UP MY WONKY SIDE TABLE AND SNORT AT THE SATISFACTION I GOT WRITING THE REVIEW FOR THE LITTLE BASTARD. (*I didn’t actually do this with it because, for starters it was an ARC ebook, so in effect, I’d of have to of used my kindle. And I also do not have a wonky side table, soooo, yeah, anyway).

I do love a bit of feedback about my low star reviews on Goodreads. Some positive, and those joyous negative ones too. Those in particular do fill me with glee.

Click on the pictures to see my (scathing?!) blog posts.

Murder at the Mill by M B Shaw ⭐️⭐️

Goodreads comments:

-“This made me laugh out loud….”

-“I agree with you about this book. I will not read another one by this author.”

-“Hilarious.”

Doll House by John Hunt ⭐️⭐️

Goodreads comments:

-“Ouch!”

-“…I’m waiting to see what you write, maybe you can get it done better.” (Snarky remark, love it 😆)

Psycho Analysis by V R Stone ⭐️

No readers comments on this one, but maybe I’ll get some now I’ve highlighted how much I disliked this book.

So I’ve turned The Behrgs’ review into a post pretty much all about me and my reading preferences. This absolutely was supposed to happen and I’m not sorry in any way. Here’s a bit more about him, I know I’m intrigued by it all, aren’t you?!

This is how the author sees himself:

‘So who (or what) exactly is “The Behrg?”

While “Behrg” is a childhood nickname and the name by which my parents, siblings, and closest friends call me, it’s also my creative identity and the moniker through which my written works can be found. It’s a way for me to share an intimate part of who I am rather than just hiding behind a pen name.

So embrace the parts of you that are different and unique, that no one else can replicate, and share them with the world. Even if it means your first name becomes “The.”

Stay weird. Embrace the strange. And remember you can only find the light after wading through the dark.’

I’ll finish by saying that I’m excited to read more from this author. I’m a big fan of horror, not usually short stories, but I’ve subscribed to The Behrg and have received three more FREE shorts which I look forward to reading. He has an unusual voice in horror, and it’s definitely caught my attention.

*Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this short story.*

Find out more about The Behrg here:

https://www.thebehrg.com/

 

 

 

 

 

The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

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5star

I read this during a stressful and difficult year. I was faced with some pretty tough obstacles and struggled with my health and happiness levels. So, like many of us readers, I got engrossed in books so I could travel around when I felt unable to really go anywhere.

Joshs’ biography was book number 29 for the year, having given myself the challenge of 52 and actually managed 57! Among the 57, not one filled me with as much hope, joy and positivity as this one.

Josh Hanagarne has Tourette Syndrome. He is also a book lover, a librarian and a Mormon. He sure makes a fascinating character! His life has been a tough journey with Misty (his nickname for his condition) at his side continuously, she just interferes with his health and happiness day in, day out, making things you and I take for granted, a constant uphill struggle.

Now, Josh is a BIG guy, he’s 6’7″ and his Tourettes has a huge impact on his life, so in order to try and curb it, or have some sense of control of the daily tics, he turns to weight lifting. Maybe his physical strength can have some positive effect on Misty, so he at least has some control of his body. Hopefully Misty will then stay quiet and do as she’s told! So, with Joshs’ faith, family and steely determination, he tries to lead a normal life as possible. This is his story, and it’s incredibly uplifting. (Pun intended, weights, lifting, see what I did there?!!)

I knew I was going to LOVE this after I’d read the contents page and the 9 page introduction. The contents are ingeniously listed chapter by chapter using The Dewey Decimal Classification System. You know, the numbers on the edge of the book spine in libraries, eg: 291.13 Greek Mythology, 808.543 Storytelling. It is fantastic!

On libraries……

“The library has a robust collection of what I call, non-cuddly hate lit. This is one of my favourite things about working here: if you believe censorship is poison, here lies paradise. We have sections on anti-Mormonism, anti-Semitism, anti-anti-Semitism, anti-Atheism, anti-God, anti-Feminism, pro-Gay……there’s something to offend everyone”.

“A library is a miracle. A place where you can learn just about anything, for free. A place where your mind can come alive.”

That’s what I love about the library, that’s why more people should support their local library, they are amazing places to feed the brain. They’re a supermarket for the old grey matter. Some stuff you’ll like, some stuff you would abhor, but it’s available FREE, and the human brain needs feeding as much as the belly! Get fat on words and education, it’s healthy!! Here in the UK, libraries are closing down left, right and centre. It’s an area that is always the first to have cuts because not enough people support them. And the government wants to save money, and instead, build an enormous pointless sculpture somewhere.

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So going into chapter 2, Josh explains briefly about his Mormon faith, which I found fascinating, I’ve learnt a great deal about this religion, and it’s a bit like Christianity, with a few different twists. (That’s how I see it anyway, forgive me if I’m wrong!)

Josh is such a funny guy, considering the very tough life he leads, he seems to be able to keep his sense of humour. With the support of an amazing family, his faith, Stephen King and not forgetting the heavy metal band Slayer, he never gives up his battle.

Play guitar and read King!! Yeahhh! 

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On going to church…

“It’s an interesting experience to watch religious males try to out-righteous one another to catch the eye of the women. (…everyone trying to put the ‘stud’ into Bible Study”)

I could go on and on about this book and how it inspired me to start taking regular walks to the library on a sunny day instead of sitting around feeling pretty darn sad. Or how it’s got me walking again, in the forests and woodlands of Southern England, appreciating what I do have, instead of dwelling on what I don’t.

Josh, for those very things, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you 🙏 

I initially gave this 4 stars, but on writing my review, I’ve decided it deserves no less than full marks.

The Curse of the School Rabbit by Judith Kerr

The Curse of the School Rabbit by Judith Kerr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This had me smiling away all the way through, who could resist a naughty bunny story?!

Lovely storyline and characters, with a simple, yet intriguing plot perfect for bedtime. More so if there’s a cuddly rabbit sharing the bed, I could see myself animating with gusto to this little gem!

There used to be a menagerie of stuffed toys sharing my daughter’s bed years ago and she would of loved this between the ages of 3-9 ish.

Certainly a super book for early readers too, complete with really cool little pencil drawings, the facial expressions of the characters were delightful.

I wouldn’t expect any less from Judith Kerr, she wrote with simplicity, humour and love.

5 solid stars from me, my grandchildren (if and when I get them!) are going to share this one with me, I absolutely loved it! But then, I am a big kid at heart I suppose.

View all my reviews

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every single person that has benefited from the British NHS should read this book.

It is powerful. POWERFUL.

The people that work as front line medical staff deserve every bit of respect in the world. So next time you’re having a knee replacement done or giving birth to your baby in the maternity ward, just spare a thought to these overworked, underpaid, taken for granted Angels.

It’s little wonder they appear a tad detached from the job and patients sometimes. I’d be too if I was working a 90 hour week. Ask them how they are, and BE A NICE PATIENT. They don’t deserve the shit they get.

On the flip side, This is Going to Hurt is hilarious. Adam Kay has a way with words that made me feel like I erupted my 25 year old caesarean scar multiple times I laughed so damn hard.

This is a book I will never forget.

View all my reviews