Hot Dudes ReadingTitle: Hot Dudes Reading

Author: Anonymous

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Atria

The Blurb

Humans of New York meets Porn for Women in this collection of candid photos, clever captions, and hilarious hashtags about one of the most important subjects of our time: hot dudes reading.

Based on the viral Instagram account of the same name, Hot Dudes Reading takes its readers on a ride through all five boroughs of New York City, with each section covering a different subway line. Using their expert photography skills (covert iPhone shots) and journalistic ethics (#NoKindles), the authors capture the most beautiful bibliophiles in all of New York – and take a few detours to interview some of the most popular hot dudes from the early days of the Instagram account.

Fun, irreverent, and wittily-observed, this book is tailor-made for book lovers in search of their own happy endings – and those who just want to get lost between the covers for a while.

The Review

Oh, I’m a little torn about this book. We can look at the book one of two ways.

The first is that Hot Dudes Reading is just a bit of fun. It is a cheeky use of social media that allows the anonymous author and its followers (all 848k of them) to have a sneaky perv at, essentially, hot dudes reading. Like Ronseal, this does what it says on the tin.

The second way to look at Hot Dudes Reading is a little less favourable. If we slightly change the context of this book it becomes a little sinister. Let’s call it Hot Chicks Reading. Offended yet? I certainly would be. I would feel a little bit creeped out. I would find it to be lascivious and a little bit voyeuristic as well as feeling like all the people in the book are seen as is a piece of meat.

The latter makes Hot Dudes Reading a quite degrading read when you think about it.

So let us air on the side of caution and just see Hot Dudes Reading as a little bit of fun. The word play is witty and sharp, the choice of ‘Dudes’ are not personally to my taste but I can see how they are generically handsome. Mostly though – and please make room for my inner geek – I wanted to have a closer look at what books they boys were reading rather than their biceps.

Hot Dudes Reading can be seen as a harmless bit of fun, however, if you are going to see it this way then you have to accept the opposite ‘Hot Chicks Reading’ if that ever comes out. Tit for tat, people.

Hot Dudes Reading by Anonymous is available now.

Follow Hot Dudes Reading (@hotdudesreading) on Twitter and visit their official website www.hotdudesreading.com

35 Stars

The Blurb

‘My name is Flick and these are the images of my disconnected life, my forgettable weeks and unforgettable weekends. I am one of the disaffected youth.’

Marooned by a lack of education (and lack of anything better to do), Will Flicker, a.k.a. “Flick,” spends most days pondering the artistry behind being a stoner, whether Pepsi is better than Coke, and how best to get clear of his tiny, one-horse suburb. But Flick senses there’s something else out there waiting for him, and the sign comes in the form of the new girl in town—a confident, unconventionally beautiful girl named Rainbow. As their relationship develops, Flick finds himself torn between the twisted loyalty he feels to his old life and the pull of freedom that Rainbow represents.

The Review

Having previously read (and loved) Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin I was excited to see what her previous novel had to offer. Fortunately for me, Flick is an excellent story.

Without trying to make comparisons between this and Golden Boy (because believe me it would be a difficult thing to do – it would be like comparing a tree with a unicorn) I do have to comment on the growth that you can see in Tarttelin’s writing. That is not to say that Flick isn’t well written – it is ridiculously good – but having read both books in the wrong order I can definitely see how Tarttelin’s writing has matured.

Flick has all the angsty high school drama that you would expect from a cast of characters who are all still in their teens – and then some. To liken it to a teenage Trainspotting wouldn’t be wrong. It has all the elements required to be similar to the Irvine Welsh classic – starting with the sassy narration.

Flick, our protagonist, has a disaffected way of looking at life. Having lived the working class life his whole life he sees no glorious future in staying in his home town. However, dreams for bigger better things are not something that the working class kids should aspire to – because for the people of small seaside town of Cleveland, it just ain’t gonna happen!

Tartellin’s voice as a writer is amazing. You feel compelled to read her stories because she has such a gritty grip on the nuances of her characters, their situations and the society they live in. She is one of the better contemporary writers we have and more people should know about and celebrate her work.

Flick by Abigail Tarttelin is available now.

You can follow Abigail Tarttelin (@abigailsbrain) on Twitter.

Flick 2

Ove is a man who is set in his ways. He has a routine that he sticks to daily. He is angered by people who pay no heed to the rules. He is grumpy, cantankerous and a right old curmudgeon. He is also a man with more yesterdays than tomorrows.

The thing with Ove is that he dislikes change and all of a sudden everything in his life is changing. He has new interfering neighbours; his working hours have been cut due to his age and he cannot get his head round new fangled technology. Ove is a simple man. However, all the recent changes begin to open him up to a word of possibilities – possibilities that Ove reluctantly begins to accept.

Can Ove open himself up fully to these changes?

I was initially dubious about this book. I saw similarities to Mr Frederickson from Disney’s Up and if I am really honest I saw similarities to my own granddad who spends his days bemoaning that things aren’t like they used to be. It was through these similarities that I really fell in love with Ove. He tried his very hardest to be unlikeable but your just couldn’t help but become enamoured with this unlikely hero.

As a whole, A Man Called Ove tackles the larger issues of loss – loss of loved ones; loss of time and mostly loss of control. Ove strives to right the wrongs that the authorities, his bosses, the man sets for him. As I have said, Ove is a simple man but he knows what it right. And he diligently fights for the right thing throughout the book. You see this grumpy old man open up to the people and possibilities around him and grow; he is warm and loving he just didn’t have a chance to show it.

For anyone unsure about reading this book I would implore you to give it a try. If we are lucky we get to grow old but that doesn’t mean that we become feeble or helpless or unable to make decisions for ourselves. The elderly should be shown compassion and reverence not shot down for being older. This book reminds us to have empathy and respect for those who are older than us. A Man Called Ove – like the older generations around us – should not be ignored. Read this book.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is available now.

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