2013 Reading Challenge – Hitting Double Figures!

16 03 2013

I had to update my Goodreads.com reading challenge entry today as I have already hit double figures for the year! I suppose I didn’t have to update it but I thought adding another 6 books to the target was achievable so am now on a target of 30 books for 2013. Should easily reach it!

I am still reading 2666 by Roberto Bolano, it’s not that I am not enjoying it, far from it, I just think it is because it is a large book and actually a physical book that I am lacking motivation to read it. When compared to my Kindle Fire that is! e-Readers are the way forward folks, storage is less, can take it anywhere and a whole library of books at your finger tips. I also like the way it tells you what percentage of the book you are currently at, think this encourages you to get finished quicker than perhaps you would with a paper book.

What I have read since my last update:

What have you guys been reading lately?



World Book Day 2013: Promoting Literature?

7 03 2013

Today is World Book Day but then I’m guessing you already knew that.

My son’s school all had to dress up as Where’s Wally, in itself no real harm and the kids loved it, but that got me thinking, although the series are quite obviously books why are schools not promoting books with actual text in them instead of just pictures? Kind of annoyed me actually!

Shouldn’t World Book Day be used as a tool to promote reading and literature to the next generation?

Anyway rant over let me know your thoughts in the comments, would also love to know what you guys are reading on this day of celebrating books, for the record I’m getting through part 3 of 2666, you?

Things to Look Forward to

17 01 2013

It’s been a tough week work wise but I will not dwell on that point, it really is not what this blog is supposed to be about.

It has simply made me clarify what is important to me and those things that each week, or even day in some cases, I look forward to.

For me it is beyond doubt that I haven’t been spending enough one-on-one time with my son. He is growing into an awesome young man and I know how pissed I would be if I missed some of this development, so he has become a major priority at the moment. He has started enjoying his reading and has shown a preference to read to me rather than my wife so this is most pleasurable time. In addition just him and me are spending the whole of Sunday together, just the two of us. He has football followed by his choice of afternoon trip – with lunch included as he would say!

Not sure if I have alluded to it before on this blog but I am also back playing football myself after eight years away. I am thoroughly enjoying it and now have kind of ended up as third team manager after the original manager stepped down due to work commitments. We will see how that goes but I take over with us in 5th place in Dorset Division 5 (only 17 promotions from the premier league!)

It keeps my fitness levels up and with such a solitary job at times it gets me out and interacting with people more regularly.

Cricket will take over again in the summer but I don’t have such an active role in that, and nor do I want it!

My music listening has taken a backward step recently but I do aim to get that back on track and start reviewing and talking about what I am listening to on a more regular basis. Even if what I am listening to is technically out of date in terms of where the world has gone musically. I always see music, or good music, as more like books. A quality book is timeless and is reread numerous times, a good album will be cherished and will have innumerable listens in its lifetime but less analysis is done over time of a good album compared to books.

Lastly, the thing I look forward to in my chill time everyday is the chance to read, TV has almost become non-existent in my lifestyle but books and literature are certainly in vogue. Currently I am chomping my way through 2666 by Roberto Bolano which I hope to talk about here at some point. My aim is to hit 24 books read this year, got to 21 in2012 so I think it’s achievable.

What do you most look forward to in your life?

Books I’ve Been Meaning to Read but Haven’t Quite Got Round to it Yet!

28 12 2012

It has to be said that 2012 has really seen me re-kindle my love of reading, I went through a period of time where I really struggled to get through a book. 2012 – for whatever reason – seemed to change that, as of writing I have read 20 books this year (not including the numerous kid’s books – Beast Quest anyone? – that I read to my son).

I have started reading far more than watching TV and I no longer subscribe to Sports TV channels – a huge drain on my time in past years.

So with all of this in mind I have drawn up a list of books that I want to get through in 2013 – I am calling it the year of the book! Some are relatively recent and others are more critically acclaimed pieces that I just have never got through, listed in no particular order:

Gatsby_1925_jacketThe Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

2666 – Roberto Bolano (just purchased it this week!)

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally

Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

The Crow Road – Iain Banks

Humboldt’s Gift – Saul Bellow

A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

Intermingled with these will be a mixture of more populist fiction that I read as a bit of an escape, these will include The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry and Plantation by Chris Kuzneski.

I am sure over the course of the year I will add the the above texts but at least it’s a start! I am aiming to get to 24 books in 2013 after falling 4 short this year.

It would be great to hear your thoughts on this post or the books you want to read in 2013 in the comments.

Book Review: Sleepyhead

26 11 2012

I may have had my head in the clouds or something but Mark Billingham was little known to me prior to seeing the Sky One adverts for Thorne: Sleepyhead. I am now glad that I made the decision not to watch the TV show but go out and buy the books first.

Sleepyhead is the first of the DI Tom Thorne detective novels and offers a real page-turner of a read, fast paced, well written and a plot that leaves you guessing right until the end.

There are certain points within the book that really make your heart thump wanting to know what is going to happen or feeling what is happening leaping off the pages. I literally did feel as if I was living the plot at times rather than just reading it, you get a real sense of knowing and understanding some of the characters and truly having a sense of sorrow for them.

As I alluded to above it is very fast paced which keeps you yearning for more, its such an easy book to consume in a few decent sized sittings. The plot twists are what you would now expect with any major crime literature.

One of the main things I really enjoyed was the sections written in the point of view of one of the victims that wasn’t killed, we find out she is suffering from ‘locked-in’ syndrome hut that is all I will tell you. This character view offers a very refreshing stance on the crime novel and th character herself is both funny and brutally aware.

If you have not yet done so then I seriously recommend this as a good read, 4/5 from me.

Reblog: The Kid’s Aren’t Alright

18 09 2012

101 Books

Authors hate kids. I’m convinced.

Okay, maybe “hate” is a strong word. But, many, novelists really enjoy putting their young characters through the literary ringer.

Have you ever thought about how much bad crap happens to kids in famous novels? No wonder they’re all jacked up.

You’d probably be jacked up, too, if awful stuff like this happened to you:

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Alternative Book Titles

12 09 2012

Will have to check this out in more depth.

101 Books

I’m so late to the party on this that all of the partiers are passed out and on the couch. But, nonetheless, I feel obligated to tell you about this super awesome website I recently discovered.

It’s called Better Book Titles, created by a comedian named Dan Wilbur. Basically, Dan just takes a famous book and gives it a slightly more honest and accurate title. He then throws the new title on the old cover to finish the joke. It’s well done.

And Better Book Titles is actually a great site for people who don’t have time to read a long review and would like a 5-word synopsis of what the book is about. It’s pretty amazing how accurate, and funny, his recreated titles are.

Some examples:

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