Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

‘Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk’.

First of all, I’d like to start off by saying a massive thank you to Penny who blogs over at www.whatdoireadnow.co.uk for hosting an arc book giveaway on Twitter. I entered and was so surprised that I won!!

Right, so, how on earth can I write a review for Nothing Important Happened Today that’s going to make any sense at all because it BLEW MY MIND! I guess I’ll just start typing and see how it goes…

When strangers take part in a series of group suicides, everything suggests that a cult is to blame. How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

Nine suicides. One cult. No leader.

Click on the noose for Goodreads Synopsis

Carver by name. Carver by nature.

Crikey Will, your book has carved up my brain, your sharp words and stabby no nonsense writing style had my undivided attention instantly. INSTANTLY I TELL YOU.

Nothing Important Happened Today has the most aggressive narrative I’ve ever read. Each page was telling me something I needed to hear, in straight up, no nonsense language. Words were being thrown at me, paragraphs hitting me square between the eyes. Whole pages making me forget to bloody well blink for gods sake!! Carver ensures that you are one hundred percent listening to what he has to say.

There was an odd familiarity to each character, a strange, relatable feeling that often made me STOP and just THINK. I’d find myself staring out the window, trying to understand why I connected to a diverse bunch of characters that surely I had nothing in common with…

ALSO!!! Is it just me, or are there HIDDEN MESSAGES in this book?? Am I going crazy? Is Mr Carver trying to tell me something? Advise me? I just don’t know.

Anyway, back to the story. I love crime fiction. I also thoroughly enjoy True Crime, but I’ve never read anything that incorporates the two together. One of the BEST things about NIHT (apart from the GENIUS STORYLINE) was the real life serial killer references, a fascinating and brilliant insight into the real crimes that gave this story real guts.

This is the deepest of darkest stuff people.

Take social media. Take these Millenials’.

To best describe this book, (the style of the writing more than the plot itself) I’d say it was the English equivalent of Irvine Welshs’ Trainspotting. (Minus the jacking up and Scottish lingo that even my Scottish husband can’t understand!)

I don’t want to start ooh-ing and aah-ing about how much I want you to go buy this book, or borrow it from the library or download it to your Kindle. (Other e-readers are available of course!)

I certainly won’t go on about how sensitive the subject matter is. This book is full of triggers.

I often experience difficulties when reading books with more than, say, 4 or 5 characters. I didn’t have any trouble here though. Carvers’ short chapters with simple titles helped to keep me in the loop. This book was as EASY TO READ as it was HARD.

HANG ON A MINUTE! It’s just clicked. I related so much to Carvers’ characters because just like them, I’m a NOBODY!

I see it now. Crystal clear.

I don’t think I can write anymore about this book because it’ll be just mindless waffle. What I will say though is that I’m starting Good Samaritans by Carver in a minute because I simply need to read everything this authors written.

I’ll go and pop my review onto Goodreads, and give it the FIVE STARS IT DESERVES.

Thanks Will for writing this life-like freak show of a story. I loved everything about it.

It’s Tuesday! I’m talkin’ BIG BOOKS. It’s #Tomesday!

Good morning/afternoon/evening!

Today I’m chatting about books of size. Once in a while, I fancy something big and thick to hold (stop it! 😆) and I dig around my shelves for some inspiration of epic proportions.

I’ve a tendency to be drawn to mahoosive tomes, particularly when I’m in my favourite place ever, the book department in my local charity shop. (For which I have a self- imposed ban on until 2020, but that’s a whole different story).

What do you consider to be a Tome-sized book? 500+ pages? 700+ pages?

Well, Did You Know?

Tome comes from Latin tomus, which comes from Greek tomos, meaning “section” or “roll of papyrus.” Tomos comes from the Greek verb temnein, which means “to cut.” In ancient times, some of the longest scrolls of papyrus occasionally were divided into sections. When it was first used in English in the 16th century, tome was a book that was a part of a multi-volume work. Now a tome is most often simply a large and often ponderous book.

PONDEROUS. I just love that word! Here’s the gorgeous Jodie Comer from Killing Eve pondering how to kill her next victim. (Any excuse to add her to my post, I JUST LOVE HER!)

Okay, books, BIG, FAT, JUICY BOOKS THAT WEIGH AS MUCH AS A BREEZE BLOCK.

Let’s get some pictures, that’s a lovely stack wouldn’t you say?

Okay, I’ll quit messing with you, let’s get on with it. Here’s four Tomes of mine that are all 700+ pages.

Let’s start with the wonderful Kingsbridge series by Ken Follett, the first of my tomes for Tomesday. I do believe there’s a third in this series which I have yet to purchase. Just take a moment to feast your eyes on these beauts.

Pillars of the Earth is 1076 pages long, but World Without End is a whopping 1237 pages!

The Independent quotes on the cover for WWE;

‘You won’t be able to put it down’.

To be fair, I couldn’t pick it up for long either as holding it for more than half an hour gave me tennis elbow! (I’m an in-the-bath reader). Anyway, I’ve read them both, and they are ‘up there’ with my all time favourite in the Historical Fiction genre, both receiving five star ratings from me on Goodreads.

Next, I have two tomes that I’ve not read, but were bought in a charity shop for such a ridiculously low price, how could one resist?!

The Theatre of the World by C B Butler.

‘England 1586. Elizabeth I’s privateers are called into service to save England from its greatest peril’.

Another big chunk of history, the main character having been born in Southampton, my home town. I’ve got to get cracking on this one ASAP. I’ve just reminded myself how excited I was when I found it! Purchased at the British Heart Foundation for a quid! At 771 pages, it’s not as big as the two Folletts, but heavy enough to knock someone out cold.

And finally, my last tome for Tomesday is By Gaslight by Steven Price.

‘A dark tale of love, betrayal and murder from the slums of Victorian London, to the diamond mines of South Africa…’

And it is still on my TBR, I forgot all about it until today! Oh my life, honestly, I was DESPERATE to read this when I bought it. But off I popped it onto the shelves of oblivion, only to be found again today. *sighs*.

Note to self: leave it in full sight, a place where I stub my toe on it’s 731 page bulk.

So there we have it, four giant-size books, two I’ve read, two TBR.

What massive books do you own? Do you enjoy a book that you know you have to invest a lot of time into? Let me know in the comments. Or you could even do your own #Tomesday post. Don’t forget to tag me so I can pop over and have a read!

Right, I’m off, it’s sad, but I must dash. (Any excuse to use another Jodie GIF 😉😆)

Thanks for dropping by, and until next time, cheerio!

What’s in a Name? The Name Book Tag

I’ve just seen this tag over at Between the Bookends and enjoyed the simplicity of it and that it has a list of books. I do love a list, me. It’s dead easy, just spell your name out in books you have read.

Jess did it with her full name, JESSICA so listed 7 books. You can see her post HERE.

I’m going to grumble because I’ve got such a short name! LISA will only give me a four book list, which I’m not at all happy about. Instead, I’m going to do my list based on my blogger name, OWLBESATREADING! Who doesn’t love a nice long book list eh?!

Okay then, here we go…. (click on the books to find out more on Goodreads)

O ~ Others by James Herbert

W ~ We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

L ~ Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

B ~ Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

E ~ Elmet by Fiona Mozley

S ~ Sweetpea by C J Skuse

A ~ Affinity by Sarah Waters

T ~ This is going to Hurt by Adam Kay

R ~ Raven Black (Shetland Island #1) by Anne Cleeves

E ~ Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

A ~ Ancient Egypt by David P Silverman & Peter Bently

D ~ Demons of the Deep (Fighting Fantasy #19) by Steve Jackson

I ~ In Bed with the Tudors by Amy Licence

N ~ Necronomicon by H P Lovecraft

G ~ Going Out by Scarlett Thomas

Well that was a lot of fun scrolling through my Goodreads ‘Read’ shelf! I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my past reads. If you’d like to do your own What’s in a Name tag post, don’t forget to tag me so I can have a look!

Thanks for dropping by!

Dark Matter [A Ghost Story] by Michelle Paver

‘In one of my periodicals, there’s a paper by someone who’s worked out that what we know of the universe is only a tiny percentage of what actually exists. He says what’s left can’t be seen or detected, but it’s there; he calls it dark matter‘.

Synopsis

London, 1937. Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life, so when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway and at last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year.

But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one his companions are forced to leave. Soon Jack will see the last of the sun, the sea will freeze and escape will be impossible.

And Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…

Review

Loaded with tension and atmosphere, Dark Matter is my idea of the perfect ghost story. I could of easily read it in one sitting, I was gripped from the very start.

The writing was at a gentle pace, methodical, magical, terrifying. I was transfixed. In the first hundred pages not a lot had actually happened, but that didn’t matter to me in the slightest. The feelings of isolation and suspense traveled up through my fingers with the turn of each page, cold yet clammy because I was there, with Jack.

The relationships between the characters were bold and often amusing, their personalities deep, emotional, with subtle hints of their own darkness and fears.

Jacks relationship with Isaak, one of the eight Huskies who accompanied them on the expedition, developed into something really very heartwarming.

This is the first book I’ve read by Paver, but it definitely won’t be my last. Horror and the Paranormal is one of my go-to genres, so I’ve read a LOT of spooky reads. But this, by far, was of a higher quality, superior to most I’ve read before.

A five star rating is deserved.

www.michellepaver.comhttp://www.michellepaver.com

The Regrettable Actions of my Bookish Younger Self

So today I’ve decided to take a trip down Book Memory Lane. You know what us oldies are like for reminiscing about days gone by, all nostalgic, when times were better…

As you’ve probably all experienced in your own lives, us book lovers simply run out of shelf space. Unless of course you’re one of those lucky sods with a massive spare room/library to house every single book you’ve ever owned. (No bitterness or jealousy at all there.)

I’ve done many a charity shop donation with books I just didn’t have room for. Okay, admittedly, some I was glad to see the back of, but most were ‘I doubt I’d re-read, but I still like yous’. I have been known to *ahem* buy them again if seen for a bargain somewhere though.

In superb technicolour, here are the actual editions I have loved and lost.

[Click on the covers to find out more!]

And there we have it. A mixed bag of books from my past that I would love to have back on my bookshelves. Did any of these ring any bells? If you were a child/teen of the 80’s, I’m sure some of these covers will take you back!

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend folks!

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Read back in February 2017, I came across my Goodreads review of Shantaram and decided I liked it enough to post it on my blog. Two and a half years after finishing it, I was right, I’ll never forget this book.

A 4 star read, with many 5 star elements

I have so many thoughts whirling around my head about this book. I had to sleep on it before writing my review because, on finishing it yesterday I couldn’t write the jumble of emotions down in a way that could be understood!

I’m still struggling to piece together how I’m going to review this without writing what hundreds of other readers already have. And give it the justice it deserves for its brilliance. 

It educated me, it filled me with awe, it lifted me up and plonked me down in Bombay, with a ‘there you are, take this little lot on board’. Sometimes, it was just too much, too many characters, too much information, some of which I had little or no interest in. (Eg: I care nowt about weapons and war logistics, which, in parts, I had to skim read as this book was sooo long!) 

Had Shantaram been 200 pages shorter, I probably would of awarded it full marks, but it was long, way too long. Bits could of been 
omitted without any adverse effect on the storyline.

That said, Gregory David Roberts has written a masterpiece. I’ve experienced India in such a unique way, the beauty, the dark underworld, the passion of its people, and thankfully, all in the safety of pages of a book! 

I would probably of never chosen this to read, but I was recommended it by a friend, who then lent it to me and urged me to read it. I could see how passionate he was about this book, and I have my own book loves that fill me with ‘hey, you have to read this’ moments. So I simply couldn’t and wouldn’t refuse! 

I enjoy the challenge of a big fat book, and the challenge of reading about something I know little or nothing about. And above all, I love the satisfaction of having completed a book of such epic proportions. 

I’m rambling a bit now, so I’ll round this review up with one sentence:

Shantaram, I will never forget you.

A Predator and a Psychopath by Jay Kerk

‘She attracted me, but I didn’t know if her magnetism was because I hadn’t had sex for a year. Like grocery shopping when you’re hungry—it’s not recommended.’

It took me a little while to finish A Predator and a Psychopath because I went on holiday for a week. I had every intention of continuing and finishing this while I was away, but due to very hot weather and far too much fun both in and out of the sun, I didn’t pick it up again until I got back home. 

I did read a handful of chapters on the plane en-route, and had to laugh because one of them was called ‘Turbulence’! How very fitting!

A Predator and a Psychopath is one of those stories that I’d imagine many, many people would start, discover what one of the characters was like, and instantly stop out of sheer disgust. Normal people don’t read this kind of thing surely.

To best describe my reading experience would be to compare it to a car crash that you know is up ahead. You know full well that there’s fatalities, there could be graphic and unsettling scenes, stuff of nightmares that you’d rather not see. You look and stare regardless because you just can’t help yourself.

This book was awful. The characters were awful. So much of this book was utterly awful. I cannot stress enough how awful this book was. 

I loved it! Am I awful too? Perhaps.

What made this book worthy of a four star rating was the style in which it was written. It was so brilliantly put. So easy to follow. Each chapter flowed to the next with ease. My weeks break of not reading didn’t have any effect on my reading enjoyment. Often if I have a break in reading something, I really struggle to get back into it. Not this. It was captivating, full of triggers, I made faces throughout reading, often asking myself , why do read such horrific stuff? 

I feel like I shouldn’t recommend this book to anyone at all. The subject matter is twisted and questionable and sickening. But it was written with such intelligence, clearly, lots of research went into writing this, and that really shines throughout the book. 

To compare it to other books I’ve read, I’d say it has hints of Easton Ellis’ American Psycho mixed with Frey’s My Friend Leonard and Long’s The Book of Paul.

Thank you to Book Sirens for providing me with a copy to read in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.