Judging a book

I love to read and I also enjoy reviewing what I read. I’ve been an active Netgalley user for several years and have discovered many wonderful new authors. I’ve also tried to read a lot of trash, but they always seemed a good idea at the time. Recently, there has been a considerable number of books featuring a young woman on the cover, always a back view, always walking away from the viewer. She may be in a city or meandering through a field. Sometimes she wears a dress, sometimes a coat. And I will avoid every single book featuring such a cover like the plague, which is probably quite unfair. I’m sure I’ve missed out on many books I’d have enjoyed, but there is something about that image that turns me off, regardless of blurb....

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I like books.

  Why do I have so many books? No, seriously, I want to know. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought recently and I have to say I’m not exactly sure. Not only do I have shelf after shelf of books, most of them are unread. I gave up buying fiction in a physical format a few years ago because it was frankly embarrassing how many were sitting there, waiting to be read, looking so forlorn and unloved. My kindle app is so full of books it’s hard to find the one I’m looking for. Virtual books can be hidden away where no one will see them and tut at my addiction. As a scanner I have so many interests and several non-fiction books on each one. My shelves are filled with tomes on 19th century asylums, the plague, witchcraft, writing craft, cross stitch, symbolism,...

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My Top 5 Horror Books

Do you like to be scared? Not the oh-my-gawd-there’s-a-madman-with-an-axe-chasing-me-down-the-corridor type of scared, but the ‘safe’ scare of a good horror film or book, the type of scare where the monster stays safely inside the cinema or the pages of your book? I do. While you’d never catch me on a rollercoaster, the thrill ride of literary or filmic horror is something I actively seek out. With this in mind, and in the belief that I’m not alone in this, I thought I’d share with you my top five favourite scary books and films. This post will be about the books and I’ll share my scary movies next week. The Opener of the Way by Robert Bloch This collection of short stories by the writer of Psycho scared me witless. One story involving scarab beetles, while...

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The Book Keeper

  Recently, talented writer Linda Grant spoke in The Guardian about how she had to “kill her books” as she downsized to a new flat with much less room for bookcases. You can read the article here. Although for very different reasons, my husband and I are downsizing in just over three weeks time, moving from a large five bedroom detatched house in rural Aberdeenshire to a small three bedroom end terrace in a tiny Argyllshire village. In our current house there are bookcases everywhere. The only rooms without books are the bathrooms. We have a shelf in the kitchen chock full of cookbooks, a bookcase of writing and social media books in my study, novels in the two living room bookcases and art and reference books in the dining room. My daughter’s room has...

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Wild Children by Richard Roberts

Do you believe in sin? Do you believe that your sin can mark you? This is what happens in Richard Robert’s superb book Wild Children. Told in five ‘acts’ and from 5 different perspectives, we follow the story of six different children, each turned into a wild child by some unspecified sin. From the first girl, Jenny, seduced by a Wolf boy into running away to become wild, to a boy seeking to repent from his sins by consuming the misery of others, an almost angelic dove-child, two devoted brothers and a young priest ordered to help destroy the very thing he was becoming himself, Wild Children casts a spell over the reader which remains long after the end of the book. The Wild Children are eternally young – they never grow up, although they can die –...

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