Book 48: The Bookman’s Tale – Charlie Lovett

Lovett, Charlie - The Bookman's TaleGive me a book about a another book (missing, newly discovered, controversial, etc) and I’m happy. The writing could even be mediocre (this one was better than mediocre) and I can still deal with it!

I’m pretty sure this only serves to further verify I am a bibliophile, which isn’t at ALL shocking. I requested and received a copy of this book from the publisher after previewing it on NetGalley and received no compensation in return for my honest opinion.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It was a quick and fascinating read. However, I had some issues (and this may be from the fact this was a digital ARC copy) with the books structure. The book is set up as three intertwining stories: the original story/timeline of Robert Green’s Pandosto (1592-1879) (Wikipedia link), the beginning of Peter and Amanda’s relationship (early-to-mid 1980s – 1993/4) and the current events of the story (1995).You can imagine how this would be a bit confusing, especially as I never read anything about a book before I jump into it!

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Book 14: Mickelsson’s Ghosts – John Gardner

Gardner, John - Mickelsson's GhostsThis book is definitely a reader’s book, or maybe a writer’s book? I’m never really sure what the difference is, but either way it’s a tome that really pushes you to focus on what you’re reading as there are quite a few heavy philosophical arguments and references within the novel, and it pushes you to question what is and isn’t real with the protagonist acknowledging that he’s had previous stints in a mental institution and the varying ‘ghosts’ to which the title refers.

I bought this book in 2011 at the Boston Book Festival and it’s just sat on my shelf since. I’m glad I read it, but at the same time I’m not sure why I bought it at the time as I’m terrified of ghost stories, but you’ll have to read on to find out how this one affected me. Since it’s been on my shelf for almost two years it counts for my Mount TBR ‘extra’ challenge. It took nearly two weeks to read and that’s from the denseness of the book. seriously, scroll down and read the first line—it’s a PARAGRAPH—or any of the quotes for that matter!

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Book 69: Life! Death! Prizes! – Stephen May

For what is probably my final galley of 2012 I read Life Death! Prizes! by Stephen May. I requested a copy of the book via NetGalley because the author lives in West Yorkshire, which I love! I received no compensation for the following response, which is my honest opinion.

This book just didn’t inspire me. I thought the premise was a great idea and the title is brilliant, but overall I can’t bring myself to rave about the book. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely great parts and a couple of times I found myself laughing out loud (see the end of this post), but overall I found the story a bit too much to take in and the writing a bit overworked in some spaces. I unquestionably enjoyed Stephen May’s wit, but I just couldn’t empathize or sympathize with the main character, Billy, until the final few pages of the novel and even then I’m not sure if it was for him or for his little brother Oscar.

There were two reasons for this – I felt that Billy’s speech patterns fluctuated a lot and not necessarily in a predictable manner. For most of the book his speech was, what I felt to be, spot on, especially the slang and syntax, but there were times when it felt like he was using a much older person’s language and not when you would think he would be doing this. The second reason, was May’s writing style. It bothered me on a couple of occasions when May threw in a list of social media or drinks or most of his lists really. It felt like he was trying too hard to show he was ‘hip’ and ‘up-to-date’ with the lingo of the youth. But, there were a few times where he did this seamlessly and it was great and humorous, but those he didn’t were more noticeable.

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Book 30: What Would Jane Austen Do? – Laurie Brown

What Would Jane Austen Do? - Laurie BrownWhat a fun novel! I was not expecting much as I purchased this in the Kindle sale a few weeks ago. I purchased it for its tenuous connection to Jane Austen and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

It is the story of Eleanor Pottinger and starts out as a sad depressed tale of her life and her struggle to turn things around when she meets two ghosts in an English haunted hotel.  They send convince her to help them move on by sending her back in time.  The next thing you know Eleanor is in Regency England and is neighbors to Jane Austen.  Part mystery, thriller, regency novel, costume applique and paranormal romance (thank you http://www.lauriebrown.net) the novel is an enjoyable and quick read.

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