Lisa's Book Life

OwlBeSatReading & The Order of the Books

Aka The Bookshelves of Order & Chaos

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Like all you bookworms, bloggers and reviewers, I often have this loose plan of what to read next. I’m usually thinking about my yearned for NetGalley 80% badge, my R2R’s direct from authors and publishers as a priority, and most importantly, what I actually WANT to read next.

So, we’re in the second week of January and my reading plan has become a bit chaotic to say the least. There’s books and e-books dotted here, there and everywhere, it’s making me feel annoyed and disorganised. I’m starting to feel in a right ol’ quandary as to what to pick up next. So, I’m going to get a bit more focused and organised, take full advantage of my lovely new diary, pens and stencils, and MAKE A PLAN.

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Time to regain some ORDER! ORDER AMONGST THE SHELVES!!

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To start with, I’ve put a note on my contact page so authors can see that I am currently not receiving review copies. I need to catch up! I have a NetGalley request ban put in place, I have a feedback ratio of 76% and that 80% badge is within spittin’ distance, and maaaan I want it.

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So, without further ado, here is my January/February reading plan. And this time, no off-piste moments, I’m sticking to it like llama saliva to a blanket.

(Click on the covers to be taken to the Goodreads page.)

Currently Reading:

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Next in Line:

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And finally:

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This is my action plan, I’m smashing through this lot during Jan/Feb like a madman and his melon.

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Have you a disorganised backlog? Does your TBR shelf need a talking to? Let me know what your plans are and I’ll lend you my enormous flaming hammer. Or something.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lisa's Book Life

Weird Book Wednesday

Who’s read (or attempted to read) a book and thought, ‘what the hell….this is weird, I don’t get it!?’

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I just wanted to share the last book that totally threw me, and, in turn, I totally threw it too. Almost out the window because it WOUND ME UP!! I was so cross with it, I DELETED IT off my Goodreads and just pretended that we’d never met.

Well, what book is it then? Can I bring myself to even think about it? It still winds me up to this day!! (Probably because I wanted to love it, but, alas, it was not to be!)

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Ok, here it is…….

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 “Superbly inventive….a rare debut: genuinely exciting.” says The Guardian.

 “Stupidly annoying….why do I not even know how to read this properly: genuinely pissed me off.”

says Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*

I mean, seriously, I didn’t even know what way to hold this, let alone understand the bloody story. I envy those fans who devoured it and sung it’s praises. But I just thought it was gimmicky shit.

THE END

I’M OVER IT

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Goodreads Reviews, Psycho -Thrill

The End of Lies by Andrew Barrett

The End of LiesThe End of Lies by Andrew Barrett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The End of Lies, the end of excitement, the end of gasping and cringing, and the end of my first FIVE STAR 2018 book!

What a book to start the year off with. First of all, I’d like to thank Bloodhound Books for sending me a copy via Instafreebie to read in exchange for an honest review.

The End of Lies is a gripping psychological thriller with so many twists and turns that it left me in bookish turmoil! Here’s the synopsis:

“My name is Becky. I arrived home to find my husband, Chris, stabbed to death and a gang of men ransacking our house.

Turns out that Chris has something that belongs to them. And if I want to stay alive, I have to find it and return it. They have given me seven days. And a beating.

There is nowhere to hide and no time left to look. So I will stand my ground as the deadline approaches. All I have is a head full of lies and a very bad plan.

This is my story.”

Andrew Barrett took me on a fast-paced, roller coaster ride from the moment I started. This is not a simmering thriller that slowly builds tension as you go, this is full steam ahead leading to total overdrive as the conclusion looms.

The plot was tight and organised, the characters I loved to hate and hated to love. The main protagonist, Becky, was an absolute joy, she was ballsy and dry-witted. The antagonist, Savage, was wonderfully awful, he truly was that perfect ‘baddie’.

The writing was stylish and quirky, with short, sharp, shock chapters. The setting was in Yorkshire, UK, so the scenes and dialogue were relatable for me, I do love a bit of British grit! Initially, the chapters alternated between before and after Chris was stabbed, but as the plot unravelled, the present was the main timescale. Heading towards the finale brought more past events into the story to tie the conclusion into a neat little package.

This was an action packed, gripping and rather violent story. There’s a fair amount of swearing with some very brutal and bloody moments that enhanced the fear factor and gave it an edge.

I was thinking of giving this 4 stars, because surely my first 2018 read wasn’t going to be 5 star literary perfection. But I had no gripes, no niggles, the characters were fantastically drawn, the plot was thrilling and the ending was so satisfying. Did I see any of those twists coming? Nope! It was outstanding. My next read has a very hard act to follow.

View all my reviews

Goodreads Reviews, Humour, Lisa's Book Life

Sweetpea by C J Skuse (a 2017 top read)

SweetpeaSweetpea by C.J. Skuse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I don’t want to talk any more about today. I just want to overeat and shit myself and die. Or shit myself after I die. Apparently that happens. And when you give birth too. Ugh. What a world.”

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day, her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples and squashes her sliced loaf, to the driver who cuts her up on her way to work. And then there’s the people who really deserve to die.

This story had me roaring with laughter like the mad woman I am. It is 100% my kind of humour, for which I am 100% not sorry for. It’s certainly NOT your average humour, and it could very well offend and disturb a lot of people. But not me, I loved it!

So, in order to try and lead a relatively normal life, Rhiannon, creates The Act. This is basically her way of fitting in with her colleagues and her group of friends. (aka ‘The PICSO’s’. You’ll have to read it to find out what that stands for. It’s absolute class, and everyone has a PICSO or ten in their lives!) They have no idea that she is a psychopath with uncontrollable murderous tendencies.

The story is told in diary format, which I love because it’s so easy to follow. What I loved about it most of all though was the humour. It was dark, deeply disturbing and very un-pc. Worryingly, I heard my own thoughts countless times throughout!

“Got on the scales first thing – still not lost the Christmas poundage. Googled ‘West Country Liposuction’. Can’t afford it. Had an eclair.” (Yes! Cake IS the answer!)

Had I have read this in a public place, I’d of got very strange looks because I was laughing and snorting and nodding my head in agreement all the way through. Rhiannon, you’re a gem, albeit a murderous one!!

Without giving too much away, here’s a couple of tasters of her many Kill Lists which cropped up throughout the story;

1. People who walk in groups along the pavement so no one else can get past, like they’re fucking in Reservoir Dogs. (Why do people do this?!)

2. Middle-class people who believe it’s their God-given right to bring their babies into restaurants and allow them to squawk all through a meal. (Ugh, don’t get me started on this one!)

3. Interrupters. (Yep, totally agree!)

I know it’s a pretty harsh attitude to have, but I’m certain loads of people think these things, the older I’ve got, the less tolerant I’ve become, so these felt very relatable for me! Not to the extent that I want to kill anybody though, I’d like to point out!! Rhiannon, you’re my kind of girl. But I value my life far too much to be your friend!

C J Skuse has created incredibly believable characters with such depth and imagination that every single one of them stood out for one reason or another. Sweetpea was an absolute joy to read. However, it certainly won’t be for everyone because there’s violence, profanity and stuff that is quite simply, very, very wrong. But, for me, entertainment-wise, it was very, very right. I just hope the author will be writing another instalment, because, damn it, that ended on a cliff-hanger! I need to know what happens to Rhiannon next!

This gets a well-earned 5 stars from me, mainly because I can’t stop thinking about it and I end up chuckling to myself!

Oh, and here’s what would be on my Kill List, just for the record;

1. Boasters.

2. Upstairs neighbours who think it’s a grand idea to have laminate floors with insufficient underlay and 3 tap-dancing kids.

3. People who lick the wooden stick of an ice lolly.

4. The previous tenant of MY flat, who insists on getting ‘payday loans’ under MY address with no intention of paying it back. YOU DO NOT LIVE HERE ANY MORE. THEY WILL FIND YOU. AND KILL YOU. Or maybe just insist you pay it back in manageable instalments of £1.21 a month.

I’d like to thank the author, C J Skuse, and the publisher, HQ (UK), for the opportunity to read this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The pleasure was all mine!

View all my reviews

Lisa's Book Life

13,569 Pages Later (A bookish Zombie Apocalypse movie)

Ok, ok, so it’s nothing to do with Zombies, but I liked that title, so I went with it!

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Aahh, this was nice to see on Goodreads, the lowdown on my 2017 journey. I’ve read some truly brilliant books this year, and I’m excited to get stuck in to many more in the New Year.

My TBR shelf is as enormous as ever, but I still NEED to buy one or two (87) that I’ve been pining for over the last year.

THESE. For starters.

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Anyway, this is (probably) my final post of the year, so I’m off now to eat shit-loads of fantastic food, get pissed, play Monopoly and read inbetween. Not much reading will get done because I can’t read under the influence…

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And finally, Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you all, you lot make this blogging malarky so worth while. Thank you 😍

Ok, I’m done. Is 10.22am too early for a bevvy? 😯

 

 

Lisa's Book Life

Top Ten Tuesday – My Best Bookish LOL’s #OwlBeSatLaughing

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I love a book that’s an absolute hoot to read, (see what I did there?!) but I do have to be in the mood to read funny stuff. So I thought I’d share my top ten funniest reads so far for the Top Ten Tuesday meme that was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

First off, we have possibly one of THE funniest ‘Books About Books’ that I can ever recall reading. Jen Campbell’s Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops. I currently have #2 on my bookshelf and I’m looking forward to reading it when the mood takes. I’ll probably be reading it soon because I’m a bit of a miserable owl this time of year, and it will cheer me up because I really don’t like Christmas very much!

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Now we have yet another book about books, Craig McLays Village Books. It isn’t funny all the time, but the characters in this were superb, with dry wit and cracking one-liners, this had me chuckling away numerous times.

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Aww, this one, it has such a special place in my heart! 💜 I used to read this to my daughter 20-odd years ago. She loved it so much. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by the brilliant Lynley Dodd. A simple rhyming picture book, with animal characters that are fantastic!

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Another kids book next, the superb Roald Dahl’s  The Twits. I loved this as a child, and also read it during ‘Dahl week’ at the pre-school I used to work at. The class all sat on the reading mat, and me doing my best twittish voice overs is something I’ll never forget. All those little faces smiling and giggling away, it was truly magical!

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Something a bit different next in line, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I watched the film of this before I read the book. It starred Robert Redford and Nick Nolte and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I bought the book second hand. I had a right good old laugh second time round! Unusually for me, I did prefer the movie, but the book was still delightfully funny.

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The next one is Peter Kay’s autobiography, The Sound of Laughter. I just adore Peter Kay, he’s the same age as me so everything he talks about in his book is so relateable. GARLIC BREAD?! GARLIC BREAD?! (You’ll only understand the comedy value of this foodstuff if you’re a fan! 😂)

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And while I’m on the subject of autobigraphies, next in line is Is It Just Me? by the super hilarious Miranda Hart. Again, I can relate so much to Miranda, she’s around my age and her book was SUCH FUN!😂

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This next book is on my Best of 2017 list, as not only is it utterly hysterical, but also very dark and un-PC. The fantastic C J Skuse’s Sweetpea. This one could possibly be ‘up there’ as one of my favourite books ever. Now THAT’S an accolade is it not?! We all know how hard it is to name favourite reads, but this is by far, a book I will never forget and will re-read for sure.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has won countless awards. This wonderful story has a main character with Asperger’s Syndrome, and Mark Haddon did a grand job of writing about such a sensitive subject with shed-loads of humour. I enjoyed it so much that I read it again STRAIGHT AFTER finishing it! What does that tell you?! As the cover suggests, it was outstanding. And so darn funny!

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And now for my final top ten LOL book, which is #4 in a series. The first three I have yet to read, and I usually never read a series out of numerical order! This was on NetGalley when I first joined and I fancied something a little different to my normal choice of genre so I requested it. And I’m so glad I did because Inspector Hobbes and the Bones (Unhuman #4) by Wilkie Martin was totally nuts! I rarely choose fantasy, but this just sounded odd and entertaining, and I loved the cover art. To best describe this one I’d say it was a Cosy Crazy Crime Fantasy Comedy Mystery! I really must read the first one to get some background on the characters. It was bonkers and quite unique.

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So, my first ever Top Ten Tuesday post is done! I’m not the most organised blogger, so whether I do another #TTT any time soon remains to be seen. My posts are a bit random, but I like it that way. At least then I’m not committing myself to blog on days I don’t feel like blogging!

Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear what your favourite funny reads are. Drop me a comment below if you fancy 😀

 

 

 

Bookpost, Competition Winner, Giveaways, Lisa's Book Life

December Bookpost (and a letter of thanks to my Postman)

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The beginning of 2018 is looking exciting, this is my latest bookpost and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to this lovely lot. Particularly the bottle of fizz and choccies that the wonderful Phoebe Morgan sent me along with a bind of The Doll House. I entered a giveaway on Twitter and was so chuffed to be a winner!

Whilst on the subject of Twitter, I also became Dan Mooneys’ 1000th follower, and he kindly sent me a copy of his book Me, Myself and Them. Thank you Dan!

The Child Finder I won in a Goodreads giveaway, so I’ve had lots of bookluck lately. Which brings me to the second part of my post, because my postman ensured I received all this promptly and everything arrived in one piece! Royal Mail, you’re pretty damn good at this delivery lark!

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The Blue Door

With the Small Letterbox

Book Addict Road

Hampshire

UK

December 2017

Dear Mr Postman,

Thank you for your continued support and patience regarding the sheer volume of bookpost you have painstakingly delivered to me over the last year.

I know I can be a pain and sometimes not be in when you knock. And I’m sorry I don’t have a ‘safe place’. I’d also like to enlarge my letterbox for you to make your life just that bit easier, but that won’t be happening I’m afraid. Ideally I need a secure drop-box so you don’t get the copious amounts of jiffy bag parcels lodged in my letterbox. But that won’t be happening either.

So going into the New Year, I am more than likely to receive regular bookpost that probably still won’t fit without a fight. I’d like to say that there won’t be as much this coming year, but I don’t think that will happen somehow. Not if I can help it anyway.

I wish you the very best of luck with your deliveries to me in 2018. At least I don’t have a barky, vicious dog who threatens to bite the hand that feeds my addiction every time there’s something for me. Perhaps that’s something to be thankful for! Who knows, you might get put on a different round so some other poor soul has to carry my sometimes weighty parcels.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, you’re the best! 😀

Kindest Regards

Lisa, OwlBeSatReading