Teaser Tuesday (25 Feb)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

She barely glances at the list of questions in precise handwriting before tossing the notebook straight up into the air where it turns end over end and the blur of fluttering paper becomes a white dove flapping its wings and taking flight in a loop around the theatre.  The raven caws at it from its perch in the balcony. 

~p.p. 75 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Review: The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman

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Title: The Memory Book

Author: Rowan Coleman

Publisher: Ebury Press

Published: Jan 2014

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

 

Suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s Claire struggles to stay independent and true to herself, despite not always knowing who she is or what she is doing.  Along with her family she starts a memory book of pictures and fragments of her life, knowing that soon this will be all her family has of her.  Her oldest daughter, Caitlin, has many problems of her own but Claire is determined to be there for her while she still can. Claire’s youngest daughter, Esther, only aged three, doesn’t understand why her mother can no longer read to her.  And Claire’s husband, Greg, is left watching the woman he loves as she grows further and further away from him.

I am very lucky in that so far in my life I haven’t had any true experience with Alzheimer’s, and honestly I don’t know how I would cope if someone I loved were to begin forgetting everything they are.  The Memory Book does not shy away from the harsh reality of what living with Alzheimer’s can do to a family, yet at the same time it is a heart-warming story of a loving family who all become closer because of their circumstances.

I have always been afraid of losing someone to Alzheimer’s, but reading this book has helped me to understand the disease more fully. I especially liked how most of the story was told from Claire’s point of view, meaning that the reader can know and feel the way she does.  For me, this humanised the view I had of Alzheimer’s, making it less of an abstract idea and more of a reality, but one that still included hope.  While I still hope never to have to experience this disease, I now feel that I would be able to survive it and I strongly recommend this book to anyone trying to deal with Alzheimer’s or those who want to understand it better.

The great thing about The Memory Book is that it is about a family, rather than about a disease.  Even though everything is obviously over clouded by Claire’s struggle, the struggle of her daughter, Caitlin, is no less important.  Between this and the memories each member of the family share, this book seemed to me to focus mainly on the mother daughter relationship – both between Claire and her daughters, and Claire and her mother.  Yet somehow Rowan Coleman somehow manages to weave love stories in amongst everything else.

The Memory Book is a complex look at a family in a time of difficulty, and its focus is always on the characters, rather than the situations they find themselves in.  I loved this book and will definitely be reading more by Rowan Coleman in the future. I would recommend this to anyone who wishes to read an uplifting tale of hope that includes a lot of unpalatable reality that no one can avoid completely.

[Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]

Musing Monday (17 Feb)

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Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading and asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

 

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting many reviews lately. The strange thing is that I am reading more than I have in a long time, I am just finding the reviewing difficult at the moment. Perhaps it’s because I’ve let a few finished books pile up instead of reviewing them straight away as I usually do (and still aim to do). But I think at least part of it is because I’ve been too busy enjoying reading the books and losing myself in different worlds to focus and think about breaking them down into reviews.  Of course I hope to find a happy medium between the two extremes, as I obviously want to continue enjoying books but I also want to learn, both as a writer and a person, by critically noticing aspects of the books I read and sharing them here. One way I plan to do this is by starting to jot down a few notes as I read, which hopefully will make the reviewing process easier for me so I am able to share more books with you.

How do you find the medium between reading purely for enjoyment and writing reviews?

Teaser Tuesdays (11 Feb)

ImageTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

Sometimes when she looked in the mirror now, she experienced a moment of blank unfamiliarity, as if she were meeting the gaze of a stranger.  Her name, called out to her, didn’t always register, and even the lay of her shadow could strike her as foreign.   ~pp 150 Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

 

I’m really enjoying this book and have been racing through it as I’ve had such a hard time putting it down. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series as well.

Musing Monday (Feb 3)

 

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Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading and asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

 

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing:

My philosophy has always been that as long as I have books to read I will have something to do; I have never been someone who relies on technology.  If I lost my laptop I would probably be angry as most of my life is on it, but in truth most of it is online so I’d still be able to access it. I didn’t even get a smartphone until last year.

But when I broke my kindle last week, I didn’t even consider not replacing it immediately – I needed a kindle. This is all new to me, especially as the majority of books I read are physical ones I’ve bought at charity shops or borrowed from the library; but I think I’ve started needing the reassurance that I could have access to any book at any time. Having this book blog made it a little more pressing as I have been sent quite a few digital books recently to review.  So within a few days I have found myself the owner of a new Kindle Paperwhite, and I already love it. I think I will find myself reading more and more digital books as I try to declutter my living space. I might even see about borrowing digital books from the library (I know it’s possible but I’m yet to try it).

Do you have an ereader? If you do, how important to you is it?