The Blurb

Holy Cow by David Duchovny is a comic delight that will thrill fans of Jasper Fforde and Ben Aaronovitch. And anyone who enjoys a witty wisecrack in a novel.

Else Bovary is a cow and a pretty happy one at that. Until one night, Elsie sneaks out of the pasture and finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer’s family gathered around a bright Box God – and what the Box God reveals about something called an ‘industrial meat farm’ shakes Elsie’s understanding of her world to its core.

The only solution? To escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Shalom, a grumpy pig who’s recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave turkey who can’t fly, but can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport…

Elsie is a wise-cracking, slyly witty narrator; Tom dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny’s charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance the world desperately needs.

The Review

Ok. I like cows and I like David Duchovny. Therefore, I felt that a book about a cow by David Duchovny would be right up my street. I have to say, having now read the book, I am a little nonplussed.

For me, there are two ways that you can take this book. One as a serious satire highlighting the injustices in our world and the interspecies prejudices that animals face – an allegory for racism – or you can read it a second way. The second reading of the book would indicate to me that David Duchovny went out one night with a group of friends, got pie-eyed and then started having a drunken conversation which then escalated into this book.

Honestly, I think I prefer the second interpretation.

It is not that Holy Cow isn’t good, it just isn’t for me. It is not a book I connected with and I wasn’t eager to keep on reading it.

Holy Cow by David Duchovny is available now.

Holy Cow

Ok, so last week was a ridiculously slow reading week for me for three reasons:

1)            I was exhausted from my day job

2)            I wasn’t enjoying my book

3)            I had a cheeky weekend away with the boyfriend

But I’m back now and I’ve finished the book that I didn’t like (see the review that will be posted tomorrow). So I am playing along with Soph and Suze’s NetGalley Challenge and whilst my score hasn’t budged from 32% I’m gonna keep doing it this week. I haven’t quite decided which books I will be reading if I am honest I’m leaving that up to weird selection methods.

Anyway, I hope you all have a brilliant week.

L x

Title: Paris for One

Author: Jojo Moyes

Pages: 112 pages

The Blurb

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She has never even been on a weekend away with her boyfriend. Everyone knows she is just not the adventurous type.

But, when her boyfriend doesn’t turn up for their romantic mini-break, Nell has the chance to prove everyone wrong.

Alone in Paris, Nell meets the mysterious moped-riding Fabien and his group of carefree friends. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?

The Review

Firstly, I should say that I am a huge fan of Jojo Moyes writing and have never been disappointed in one of her stories. Therefore, I was beyond excited to read this short story. Besides the fact that I like books by Jojo Moyes and I am indeed a bibliophile I am also a self confessed Francophile. Win Win and Win!

I loved Paris for One. It had everything a girl could ask for in a short romantic story. Sweeping adventures, a hunk of a hero (yes, I actually used the word hunk) and it is set in the most romantic city in the world. Besides this, it had a really likeable heroine in Nell. Even though the story wasn’t that long you could see the character grow from mousy push over to someone with something that resembled gumption.

I tried my hardest not to be jealous of Nell but how could you not want a slice of her adventure? Well done Moyes, you have equally pleased me and made me envious. Kudos to you.

Paris for One by Jojo Moyes is available now.

You can follow Jojo Moyes (@JojoMoyes) on Twitter

Paris for One

The Blurb

A look into what moved Andy Warhol’s greatest muse

Located at 33 Union Square West in the heart of New York City’s pulsing downtown scene, Andy Warhol’s Factory was an artistic anomaly. Not simply a painter’s studio, it was the centre of Warhol’s assembly-line production of films, books, art, and the groundbreaking Interview magazine. Although Warhol’s first Factory on East 47th Street was known for its space-age silver interior, the Union Square Factory became the heart, brain, eyes, and soul of all things Warhol – and was, famously, the site of the assassination attempt that nearly took his life. It also produced a subculture of Factory denizens known as superstars, a collection of talented and ambitious misfits, the most glamorous and provocative of whom was the transgender pioneer Candy Darling.

Born James Slattery in Queens in 1944 and raised on Long Island, the author began developing a female identity as a young child. Carefully imitating the sirens of Hollywood’s golden age, young Jimmy had, by his early twenties, transformed into Candy, embodying the essence of silver-screen femininity, and in the process became her true self.

Warhol, who found the whole dizzying package irresistible, cast Candy in his films Flesh and Women in Revolt and turned her into the superstar she was born to be. In her writing, Darling provides an illuminating look at what it was like to be transgender at a time when the gay rights movement was coming into its own. Blessed with a candor, wit, and style that inspired not only Warhol, but Tennessee Williams, Lou Reed, and Robert Mapplethorpe, Darling made an indelible mark on American culture during one of its most revolutionary eras. These memoirs depict a talented and tragic heroine who was taken away from us far too soon.

The Review

Candy Darling is an interesting memoir of a pioneer in the rights of transgendered people. What is fascinating about this story though is not that Candy Darling was once a man but more so the life that she lived in the time period that she lived.

However, as much as that was an interesting aspect of her life it seems to have been somewhat ignored in this book. There is very little reference to Andy Warhol’s Factory and to the life that one of the Warholian Darlings would live. Personally, I feel that the narrative would have been a lot more interesting with these details included.

Furthermore, we are really only seeing things from the perspective of Candy Darling. The book would be a lot more interesting if we had the thoughts and feelings of her contemporaries included.

Overall, Candy Darling is an interesting read, however, if you want to know the explicit details of ‘Factory Life’ then you will be wasting your time reading this book.

Candy Darling by Candy Darling will be available on the 17th of February 2015.

Candy Darling

The Blurb

‘Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.’

Rachel, Mac and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life – until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating.

Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can’t forget her, Rachel can’t quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems.

As Rachel grieves for the life she’s lost and the life she’ll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.

The Review

I decided – somewhat selfishly – to read The Dead Wife’s Handbook. I have a mountain of review books waiting for me to bust my way through but I have been desperate to read this book since I bought it many moons ago. I’m really glad that I took the time to do so because it is wonderful.

Admittedly, I didn’t quite find my groove with The Dead wife’s Handbooks as quickly or as easily as I normally do with books, however, once I did it was a hard one to put down.

Beckerman explores the theme of loss and death in an unusual way. She tells the whole story from the perspective of a dead person – some writers have done this before however I found that the way Beckerman approached the concept to be quite unique. Whereas it is usually those that are left behind after the death of a loved one that go through the stages of grief, Beckerman positions her protagonist Rachel – the recently deceased – as the person going through that process.

What Beckerman manages to do rather successfully is make you ache with longing for the character. We know from the get go that Rachel cannot have the happy ending that is the norm for a leading character and when we see people infringing on her life and taking over where she left off we get incensed as much as Rachel does. Then we are hit with the opposing feeling of longing for her husband Max – is he supposed to spend his whole life in mourning? And what about Rachel’s daughter, Ellie? How is someone so young meant to cope with the crappy hand that life has dealt her?

Seriously, you go through so many emotions reading The Dead Wife’s Handbook that it is hard to work out how you are meant to feel and that is a credit to Beckerman’s writing.

In what could be mistaken for a sad miserable story (based on basic knowledge of the content) comes a rather wonderful and strangely uplifting story about death.

The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman is available now.

You can follow Hannah Beckerman (@hannahbeckerman) on Twitter.

Dead Wife's Handboook