As expected, this week did not go as well as I had planned reading wise. Sure I read some, but life somehow took over; what with starting back at work and the Grandrentals visit I didn’t make it through as many books as I would have liked.

This week I read/reviewed:

Boy21 by Matthew Quick

Chelsea Bird by Virginia Ironside

The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus (Review to be posted 09.09.14)

These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff (Review to be posted 11.09.14)

What also didn’t help is that this week I read two books that I just didn’t like. I hate writing bad reviews and I will never openly attack a writer but I will be honest as to why I didn’t like it. Clare over at A Book and Tea and I had this conversation this weekend. How do you write a review about a book that you really don’t connect with? Is it worse when it is a self published book which shows some very fundamental flaws or is it worse when it has been published in the traditional sense? When you can’t help but feel that some of the things that have bothered you should have been picked up, filtered through and sorted before publication? It is definitely a thinker.

Ultimately, all reviews of books are subjective though so one person’s literary classic is another person’s book for the bin. It is all just personal taste and opinion.

Anywho, this week’s book list is as follows.

Who is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace – 372 pages (NetGalley)

Joni Mitchell by Malka Marom – 304 pages (NetGalley)

Playing with Matches by Suri Rosen – 248 pages (NetGalley)

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel – 353 pages (NetGalley)

Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carrol – 400 pages (NetGalley)

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl – 401 pages (NetGalley)

The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman (From my 100 Books to read list)

I also really want to read Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer – I was a bit naughty and bought a review copy off eBay. I just couldn’t wait until next year.

It does seem like a lot of books but I am going to give it a whirl. I am determined to get by NetGalley percentage rate up.

Anyway, I hope you all have a good reading week and please keep an eye out for some book related blog posts that will be posted over the next few weeks. As always, keep an eye out for some pretty cool blogger type peoples – Matt Phil Carver and the lovely Clare who I mentioned before.

L x x

Synopsis

Chelsea Bird follows young art student Harriet Bennett as she traverses life through London in the swinging sixties. We are privy to her observations about life, love, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Review

This is going to sound terribly blunt but I did not like this book. The storyline was weak (to the point of non existence), the protagonist was annoying, a flibbertigibbet and in no way strong enough to carry the narrative without the reader getting distracted on more than one occasion.

The only real saving factor is that you could argue its validity as a social text highlighting the attitudes of both men and women in arguably the most society changing decade of the 20th century. Other than that it was just kind of boring.

However, this is all just one person’s opinion. Give it a read yourself and let me know what you think

Chelsea Bird by Virginia Ironside is available now.

Chelsea Bird

Synopsis

When Finlay’s basketball coach asks him for a favour, little does Finlay know that his whole world will be turned upside down by what lies ahead. Finlay has spent the summer in training to be the best basketball player on his team. He and his seasonal girlfriend, Erin, have worked hard pushing themselves to get the best results from their body. For them, basketball may be a way out of the town where they live; a town that is damaged through gang and drug crime.

However, when the coach asks Finlay to take new boy Russ under his wing, Finlay’s spot on the team becomes questionable. To make matters worse, Finlay has to protect Russ, the boy taking his position from the rest of the school. Russ, who is suffering from PTSD after the death of his parents likes to be referred to as Boy21 and believes his father is going to come from outer space and remove him from the planet Earth. This is a lot more than Finlay bargained for in hs final year of high school

Review

Having read all but one of Matthew Quick’s books (Sorta Like A Rockstar is on my TBR pile) I have to say that so far Boy21 has been my favourite. I loved the balance of real world problems with teen angst and drama. The linking to the cosmos and space made you see how small some of the problems actually were.

I think that Quick has a knack for finding a voice for contentious issues and displays them so well in his narratives. Finlay’s love of basketball versus the love he has for Erin; that Finlay wants to do right by Russ even though he knows that eventually it will cost him his spot on the basketball team.

Quick appeals to your emotional side, making you want to root for Finlay whilst seeing the bigger picture. He weaves a social setting which is fraught with drama yet does not seem unrealistic. He uses sports to show how it can help you, not only with your peer but by giving you something to focus on and root for. Quick has created a cast of characters and a story that leaves you thinking for a long time afterwards.

Boy21 by Matthew Quick is available now.

Boy21

Ok. So I know I have recently done my big round up but now it is time for my weekly TBR list. As I said on the round up I am back in work this week and my granddaddy is coming to visit so my reading time is going to be severely hindered this week. However, I will try and get as much done as possible.

Here is the list of books I am going to aim to read this week:

Chelsea Bird by Virginia Ironside – 119 pages (NetGalley)

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus – 320 pages (NetGalley)

Walt Before Mickey by Timothy S Susanin – 373 pages (NetGalley)

These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff – 291 pages (NetGalley)

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 259 pages (Personal Reading List)

Only a brief post today but I hope you all have a great reading week.

L x

This month has been a bit of a topsy turvy month when it comes to reading. I had a few off days when my new meds were making me all kinds of dizzy but I have managed to overcome that somewhat and managed to get through a fair wallop of books. One good thing that happened this month is that I reached book 100. Whoop whoop. I only have nine more to read to beat last year’s total books read.

Here are the books I read in August:

Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan

Paper Swans by Jessica Thompson

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

What Might Have Been by Matt Dunn

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth by ACH Smith and Brian Froud

A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Your Beautiful Lies by Louise Douglas

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Necrophilia Variations by Supervert

The Mysterious Affair at Castway House by Stephanie Lam

Boy21 by Matthew Quick (Review to be posted 02.09.14)

My review pile from NetGalley for September is a little astronomical (oxymoron alert). I know – without a shadow of a doubt that – that I will not get through all of them. The reasons for this are three fold. Firstly, I start back at work tomorrow after being off for six months. I am medically fit to work. This is seriously going to cut into my reading time. Boo hiss. Secondly, my Grandaddy is coming to Liverpool for a visit this week. Yay! I haven’t seen him since October and you know what with nearly dying this year I kinda want to spend some time with him. Lastly, it is my birthday month. This shouldn’t cut into my reading time per se, however, a new influx of birthday books will make it difficult to choose which ones to read next even though I know I should be sticking to my NetGalley review pile.

Here are all the books due for review in September.

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus   Pub 02.09.14

Walt Before Mickey by Timothy S Susanin   Pub 02.09.14

These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff   Pub 04.09.14

Joni Mitchell by Malka Marom   Pub 09.09.14

Playing with Matches by Suri Rosen   Pub 09.09.14

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel   Pub 10.09.14

Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll   Pub 11.09.14

Delicious! By Ruth Reichl   Pub 11.09.14

My Other Ex by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger   Pub 15.09.14

Roots of the Revival by Ronald D Cohen, Rachel Clare Donaldson   Pub 15.09.14

Flirting with French by William Alexander   Pub 16.09.14

I Looked for the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marny   Pub 16.09.14

Wildlife by Fiona Wood   Pub 16.09.14

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley   Pub 25.09.14

Michael Jackson’s Dangerous by Susan Fast   Pub 25.09.14

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani   Pub 25.09.14

The Poet’s Wife by Rebecca Stonehill   Pub 26.09.14

An American Duchess by Sharon Page   Pub 30.09.14

Mademoiselle by Rhonda K Garelick   Pub 30.09.14

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott   Pub 30.09.14

Some books that I happened to purchase (I know, least it’s not drugs ok?) or won as prizes in August that I would like to read include:

The Virgins by Pamela Erens

Going Vintage by Lyndsey Leavitt

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Love Like the Movies by Victorial Van Tiem

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary Winston

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Candy Girl by Diablo Cody

The List by Joanna Bolouri

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

On top of this, I am trying to break down my 100 book challenge. So I have selected four books which I will try to read. Here they are:

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nikolas Butler.

So I think we can safely say, before it even gets going, that I am going to fail in completing this month’s challenge. I will give it a whirl though. I am also going to try and clear my NetGalley backlog and let’s see if I can get my review percentage rate up to 30% (I am currently dwindling in the low twenties.)

So I hope you all have a good month. Check back on here tomorrow for this week’s TBR pile.

Much bookish love,

Lisa x