Elmet by Fiona Mozley

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Elmet by Fiona Mozley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mini Review

I can without a doubt see why Elmet by Fiona Mozley was nominated for an award. The way in which this story was written had the power and presence of an orchestra. Sweet, sweet music, ambling along at perfect pace, flowing and describing and setting the scene. The characters were the boom from the cymbals, the mighty beat of drums, and in contrast, the delicate poignancy of a triangle.

As you can probably tell, this story totally GOT ME. Such simplicity, and yet, it was INCREDIBLE.

Elmet is contemporary fiction at its best. This story has a heart, and it made mine beat in unison with it.

*Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley who provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.*

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The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

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The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh Shaun, your hatred for Kindles and stroppy, tight-fisted customers shines through in your highly entertaining diary! I wish I could get away with customer service ‘Bythell Style’, but I doubt I’d be employed for very long! The advantages of being your own boss I guess.

Next time I come across a book with age-related mould on it, I will undoubtedly be visualising some dude in a protective suit, complete with breathing apparatus, whipping it out of my hand to dispose of it safely.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Diary of a Bookseller, what’s not to love?!

For starters, it’s about a second hand bookshop in my most favourite place ever. SCOTLAND.

Shaun gets to rummage through thousands and thousands and thousands of books FOR A LIVING!!!

It gave me a fascinating insight into being part of the second hand book industry, and it definitely isn’t all bookish loveliness.

Did I say this delightful shop is in SCOTLAND? Oh yeah, I did.

Hey, Shaun, I’m coming up for a visit in the summer. I promise I’ll put the books I look at back where I found them. (Even if they are possibly in the wrong section already. Sigh…..*Shakes head*).

I promise I won’t come in armed with a pencil, writing in my own prices on the inside page. I am SHOOK that book lovers even do this!

And I’ll BUY some books too. And possibly a walking stick.

Thank you Shaun for sharing a year of your bookish life. I sincerely hope that your Aladdins Cave continues to prosper for many, many years. Bookshops are sadly an endangered species these days thanks to that flipping internet lark. (She says, on her online blog.)

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The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards

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My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Devil’s Work was an enjoyable reading experience with a clever plot and interesting characters.

I seem to keep choosing books that have a dual narrative, past and present events being woven together to create mystery and questions a-plenty. It’s not on purpose, but it’s such a common style that I’m finding it hard to find a book that doesn’t have this! Don’t get me wrong, it is something I like and it worked incredibly well here, but with my next book choice, I’m hoping it doesn’t have this because I’m getting a bit fed up with this concept. (For now).

Mark Edwards uses clear, concise language that tells a quite complex tale that I could follow without any confusion. Sometimes these multiple time lines in books muddle up my brain and I often find I’m back-tracking to help boost my understanding. That was not the case here, Edwards created brilliant characters that I could clearly visualise, whether they were in present day or past.

Only a three star rating though, well, let me explain. I think I’m reading too many psychological thrillers at the moment. It’s one of my favourite genres and I’m becoming rather difficult to please. I’m also getting too good at predicting outcomes, hidden agendas, red herrings and sussing out the unreliable narratives. I’m looking for more WTF’s and, I hate to say it, but I’m getting a little bit bored of this genre!! 😮

The Devil’s Work is the first book I’ve read by this author and I will undoubtedly read more from him in the future based on my enjoyment levels.

Overall, a good, but sadly, not gripping read.

Thank you to the author, Mark Edwards, the publisher, Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.

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Kiss Me, Kill Me by James Carol

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Kiss Me, Kill Me by James Carol

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I tend to read a lot from the psychological thriller genre, I enjoy books that get right into my head and mess it up a bit with twists and turns and WTF’s.

Kiss Me, Kill Me was an enjoyable read, the first half being it’s better half. As the story progressed, I felt that it went off on an unexpected tangent, which kept my interest piqued all the way through to the conclusion, but at times, it did get a bit far-fetched for my liking.

The characters behaviour and reasonings were just bordering on unbelievable. Putting myself in Zoe’s shoes, the main protagonist, I felt that her thought processes and decisions didn’t properly reflect the sheer seriousness and intensity of the situation. She was a bit wet behind the ears, shall we say.

I also found that the dialogue didn’t have a huge amount of depth, making the characters undeveloped and slightly uninteresting. The repetitive use of ‘keep you safe’ started to get on my nerves after I’d read it for the tenth time.

Now, it sounds like I’m properly dissing this book, but rest assured, I most definitely am not. As I said at the start of my review, I enjoyed reading this. I REALLY enjoyed reading this. These kinds of thrillers are pouring out all over the show lately, and I’m a tough reader to please in this genre, because I feel like I’ve read it all before.

Kiss Me, Kill Me was different in that it’s unusual spiral of events were unexpected and never have I come across a psycho-thrill that went off on such a crazy-assed tangent! For that reason alone, my brain was getting a good old mashing that was keeping me turning those pages.

I’d like to thank the publishers Bonnier Zaffre for sending me an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The Secret Life of the Owl by John Lewis-Stempel

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The Secret Life of the Owl by John Lewis-Stempel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I dedicate this review to my dear Mum.

The wisest owl of all.

1935-2003

This could be one of the hardest reviews I’m ever likely to write, and the reason is nothing to do with this perfect little book.

When I was growing up, I was surrounded by all things owlish. Pictures on the wall, ornaments here and there, owl clocks, owl crockery. You name it, we had the owlish version!

My Mum was an owl fanatic! And, suffice to say, it rubbed off on me big time.

For my birthday, one of my other favourite humans ever, my partner, bought me this little gem, and I was delighted. Little did I know, but this beautifully written book conjured up a whole host of feelings that I did not expect.

At just 96 pages long, John Lewis-Stempel has produced something that I shall treasure forever. It doesn’t just contain lots of facts and figures about this truly wonderful bird, he also includes the historical side of all things owl, the myths and legends of days gone by, and, the best bit of all? Poetry. Owl Poetry.

Near the beginning the author included the poem by Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat. This poem helped me learn to read! This poem was read again and again at bedtime. With my Mum.

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Eventually, I’d learnt how to read it perfectly, write it perfectly and recite it faultlessly. And unbeknownst to me, it was in this book. I started to read it, and couldn’t see the words for my tears.

Once I’d gathered up my senses and tissues, I read on, discovering the weird and wonderfully fascinating secret lives of a creature that has been with me all my life.

This book is stunning. I’d give it fifty million stars if I could. And I know that one of those stars, the brightest one, is my dear Mum. 💗

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