Book review: Burn by Patrick Ness

Thanks to Walker Books, who sent me a review copy of Patrick Ness’s new YA book Burn via NetGalley. It is out now (yay!) so if it sounds like something you’d enjoy, order a copy from your nearest indie bookshop. Not from Amazon, please pretty please.

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Book review: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Again – a NetGalley ARC review. I stumbled across Stephen Graham Jones’s short story collection After The People Lights Have Gone Off several years ago in a secondhand bookshop, and ever since then I’ve always kept half an eye out for books by him. So I jumped on the chance to review this, and will be buying a copy. Five stars, of course.*

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Book review: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

I wrote this review on NetGalley (I was kindly approved to read a digital review copy by 4th Estate), and thought I’d share it here, because why not. I don’t request copies from NetGalley very often, so I try to fulfil the reviewing promise. Happily I also only tend to request books I suspect will be very good, so unsurprisingly, I gave My Dark Vanessa five stars. Continue reading “Book review: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell”

Bookishness

Oof, after the last slightly bleak Overly Honest entry, I think I owe this site some sort of  more cheerful update. Relevant to that entry: I’m on antidepressants now and I’m in a far better headspace than I was. Thank you to everyone IRL who is both giving me room to get back on an even keel, but also checking up on me subtly and sweetly. I do notice and I do appreciate it.  Unexpected meds side-effect: I have discovered that I’m of an age where, when I say I’m not drinking at the moment, people give my belly a knowing look and I find myself explaining that I’m not pregnant, actually, that’s just my shape. So that’s fun.

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Oh monster, my monster

As I start writing this, it’s 12.15am. In about six and a half hours I will be crawling out of bed to make a Pokémon cake for my nephew’s 10th birthday, before he arrives for a day of being spoiled. (‘What flavour?’ ‘Pokémon flavour!’ Vanilla will have to do.)

Anyway, he and his mum and her boyfriend came over earlier this afternoon. He fed the dogs lettuce until they were near ready to mug him for his pasta. He became best friends with Dog 1, who pinned him down with a paw and attempted to clean his head. After that they were inseparable. Dog 2 – less boisterous, likes her space – wagged her tail from a safe distance. Continue reading “Oh monster, my monster”

Gods and The Wanderer

Yesterday I signed up for the Edinburgh half-marathon. I often tell people that I do well with deadlines, and I really do. I need the pressure to get me going in all areas of life, from writing to exercise to… well, spending time with people even. Otherwise I just lie around stagnant, like water in a pipe waiting for the tap to be turned on, probably growing mould and smelling a bit funny.

The pressure works really well. I get motivated and creative and I DO stuff. And then I get carried away and sometimes I accidentally put a bit too much pressure on myself and water-me sort of blurts out everywhere in panic, and lands up as a useless puddle on the sideboard, waiting to be wiped up.

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Not a review: ‘Bookworm’ by Lucy Mangan

Note: this really is not a review. My about-a-book entries are never reviews, just me gushing about books I’ve absolutely loved and have time to write about. Take it for granted that if this was a review it would be a five-star thing, though, because I’m coming out of the tail-end of a migraine right now and shouldn’t be looking at a screen, but am compelled to write this. Continue reading “Not a review: ‘Bookworm’ by Lucy Mangan”

Oh Mickey you’re so fine

At the beginning of the year I signed up to the Goodreads reading challenge – basically aiming to read a certain number of books throughout 2015. I signed up less for the challenge and more to get an idea of how many books I actually do get through each year now. I figured ‘at least one a week, easy’, and I was sort of right, but only when the freelancing isn’t kicked into high gear, and when I’m between writings. At the moment the freelancing is in high gear and I’m not between writings and I’m actually feeling guilty for writing this instead of working on something else. When I do settle down to relax of an evening, I gawp at the TV. Goodreads tells me that I’m behind on my challenge and I really don’t like it.

On the upside, though, this sort of not-really-enforced reading break means that I’ve had plenty of time to let the last book I finished percolate for a while, instead of me rushing headlong into the next tale. And that’s been nice, because Mickey – the young protagonist in Paul McVeigh’s fantastic first novel The Good Son – is the kind of character you want to keep around for a while.

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… basically a Nike advert

There’s this quote that I see repeated, often, on Twitter and Pinterest, which is taken from Amy Poehler’s excellent book Yes Please.

“I believe great people do things before they are ready.”

And this one:

“You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing.”

I could actually happily post most of the text here. Yes Please is that sort of book that makes you want to try harder and do more. It also sort of makes you want to throw yourself at Amy Poehler’s feet and do the full Wayne’s World ‘We’re not worthy’ thing.

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