Teaser Tuesday (25th Nov)

teasertuesdays2014emTeaser 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:

The European settlers of North America mastered their environment as no one had before; not only were they logging the continent faster than anyone else in history they were putting its wood to a more magnificent array of uses.  So sophisticated were craftsmen in its many applications that by 1825 even something as simple as a chair might contain fifteen species of New World wood.

~ p.p. 107 The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant

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Musing Mondays (24th Nov)

musingmondays51Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB of 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!

I’ve mentioned a few times that I am participating in an A-Z challenge this year, reading a book by an author of every letter of the alphabet.  To be honest, I’m not entirely convinced I’ll finish, but I keep going in the hopes I do.  One thing that’s come from the challenge is reading books I never would have chosen. Right now I’m reading The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant which is basically about the history of logging, with a story about the Haida people, a man named Hadwin, and a golden spruce. It’s a factual book, with lots of myth and hearsay thrown in, not the best book I’ve read, but certainly interesting and beyond anything I would have thought I’d pick up (I literally picked it up as coming across a ‘V’ isn’t the easiest, nor is ‘I’ either it turns out).

Have you ever participated in a challenge, that’s caused you to read the unexpected?

Review: Unrequited – One Girl, Thirteen Boyfriends and Vodka by Christy Heron

unrequited by christy heronTitle: Unrequited – One Girl, Thirteen Boyfriends, And Vodka

Author: Christy Heron

Published: August 2014

Publisher: Waverly Blonde Books and Easiest/Hardest Publishing

Genre: Contemporary

Source: Author

My Rating: 5/5

January Estlin is like any other woman in her twenties – lost, in love, and trying to find herself. Of course, it would help if she wasn’t so in love with the unattainable Jack (or SSF ‘Short Fat Fuck’ as she and her friends call him), that she moves back to her hometown ‘for my writing’ (at least, that’s what she tells herself).  Between sleeping with Jack when he gets away from his girlfriend, a succession of men January dates, and plenty of alcohol and swearing, January’s life is confusing, chaotic, and completely relatable.

This book is not light on the profanity, sex, or drunkenness; so if that bothers you, you can move on now – but you’ll be missing out.  In this ‘anti-romance’, Christy Heron is witty, unforgettable and, un-put-downable. In my mind, her writing has a contemporary female Kerouac feel to it (only more interesting).  Personally, I found for once, the swearing actually amplified the story, and my only issue with it was that halfway through the book it seems to almost disappear (and not because the character has a big change of voice).

The book is told through the voice of January, and so at times doesn’t completely make sense, but let’s face it, no one’s mind makes complete sense. Somehow Heron has captured the state between desperation and complete mental break-down the character imagines herself having, without making the novel difficult to read.

January, like any other young woman, wants to be loved. The problem being that her love is unrequited to the point where it seems Jack is just using her. While obviously my life is completely different to January’s, I believe we all have thought ourselves in love with someone, when clearly they’re not interested, but that doesn’t stop us from pursuing the object of that love. And so January does. She knows it’s futile, but no matter what is going on in her life, she is always dragged back to the turbulent ‘relationship’ with Jack.

The main problem I had with this book was the use of names. January assigns everyone nicknames (B1, B2 for the boyfriends. ‘childless Brad Pitt’ for her brother, etc), which can at times make it a little confusing as to who she’s talking about, but for the most part this didn’t have too much of an impact on the story.

When I started reading I wasn’t sure what to expect, but found myself unable to put the book down. Honestly, I can say it’s one of the top, if not the top, books I’ve read this year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Heron’s next book.  No matter whether or not you know what it’s like to be a writer, cheat on your boyfriend, struggle to get up due to a hangover, Unrequited – One Girl, Thirteen Boyfriends, and Vodka will finally allow you to see that the craziness going on in our heads isn’t something that only happens to us (at least I hope not!). While I think this book is probably aimed at women, I’m sure men would enjoy it just as much, if for no other reason than to get a little insight to a woman’s mind. In general, my advice is go and buy this book right now and start reading, you won’t regret it.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

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

Musing Mondays (10th Nov)

musingmondays51 Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at 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:

I don’t have a problem with swearing in writing, as such, only when it is used for no good reason, other than trying to have a shock factor. I started reading Unrequited – One Girl, Thirteen Boyfriends, and Vodka by Christy Heron last week (and am loving btw), and for once was relieved to read a book where it felt completely natural for the narrator/character’s voice to include swearing.  Until I got halfway through and realised the swearing had almost completely stopped, without any character evolution to cause it. For the first time, I think ever, I feel that the swearing is needed, at least if the main character’s voice is to continue the way it started. It’s still a brilliant book, but it has made me give a little rethink to swearing can be used effectively in fiction.

Teaser Tuesdays (4th Nov)

teasertuesdays2014e

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:

It had been one of those unseasonably warm spring days that made me remember what it felt like to be a kid, listening to the slap of girls’ flip-flops as they walked past you at the town pool. I admit, during my lunch break, I’d put on some running shorts and taken a quick dip.

~ p.p. 120 Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

Musing Mondays (3rd November)

musingmondays51Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at 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:

I have been wanting to read a Jodi Picoult book for quite a while, but for some reason never got around to it now. I started reading Handle With Care over the weekend and even though it’s a fairly hefty book I am almost half way through it already. The book focuses on a child born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a  very severe condition meaning her bones are very brittle and extremely easy to break.  Until reading this book I had only a vague knowledge about this disability, but that is not what the book focuses on.  Instead, it focuses on how one child with this condition can effect everyone – the family, family’s friends, school, etc

I knew to expect an emotional read, and within the first few chapters I wondered if I’d be able to continue as the emotional impact of reading the story was almost too much to bear. However, I’m glad I continued as it has become an addictive read, constantly making me rethink things and things I’ve never thought of.  I’m looking forward to what I will discover in the rest of the book.

Are you a fan of Jodi Picoult? Which of her books would you recommend?