I haven’t read or even browsed Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops yet but that doesn’t mean More Weird T...moreOriginally published on Once Upon A Time.
I haven’t read or even browsed Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops yet but that doesn’t mean More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops becomes unreadable as they are after all just books of odd things people say in bookshops, so it is a sequel in very loose terms. This also means that I can’t compare the two, but I can tell you that this is a small book well worth the purchase as you’ll read it in one sitting if you’re anything like me, and find yourself quoting your favourite bits to the nearest breathing creature even if that does happen to be your cat. My particular favourites are the ones kids come out with. Such as:
Young Boy: You should put a basement in your bookshop. Bookseller: You think so? Young Boy: Yeah. And then you could keep a dragon in it, and he could look after the books for you when you’re not here. Bookseller: That’s pretty cool idea. Dragons breathe fire, though. Do you think he might accidentally burn the books? Young Boy: He might, but you could get one who’d passed a test in bookshop-guarding. Then, you’d be OK Bookseller: You know, I think you’re on to something here.
I think we all agree that a dragon who had passed a test in bookshop-guarding could only be a good thing. Would he be any good at home bookshelf guarding though, do you think?
This is just one of those books you need on your shelves to dip in and out of as and when you fancy a giggle. And the drawings by The Brothers McLeod are simply wonderful. I’ll be getting my hands on a copy of the first one when I can!(less)
Just found the guy a bit pretentious and uninteresting. From the moment I read him telling people who are interested in PC specs to get out more becau...moreJust found the guy a bit pretentious and uninteresting. From the moment I read him telling people who are interested in PC specs to get out more because it'll do them some good and then proceeding to explain his terrible diet and smoking habit.. I just didn't love it.
I have another of his books which I also picked up on a freebie offer, The Cornerstone, which I'll give a try and hope it works out a little better. :)(less)
So The Wish List came through my door one afternoon and immediately sat there calling out to me to read it. I al...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon A Time.
So The Wish List came through my door one afternoon and immediately sat there calling out to me to read it. I almost caved but no, I was reading something else, and then I had to get started on book three of Song of Ice and Fire- oh dear. I started it. Whoopsie! This was my first Jane Costello novel and my first experience with reading it was while I was stood at the bus stop back in my dad's Leicestershire village waiting to head into town after having missed the previous bus. Any passing cars would have seen me burst into laughter many times.
This is definitely a light read, great for enjoying a good day or cheering yourself up after a bad one, but I couldn't help but find myself a little frustrated with our heroine, Emma. For the most part she's a fun girl. She works in children's entertainment as a writer for the kid's show "Bingbah" and has just come out of a relationship with a gorgeous man because he proposed to her and she didn't feel it. Or did she? She's not so sure, you see. Maybe she did love him after all? I mean.. how do you know if you've never been in love, right? Oh I wanted to pound on her a little bit when it came to her relationships with men. More than once she flung herself at a man because why not? Without even properly thinking about her dignity or what she actually wants. And there was a little bit at the end that nearly saw me throw my book at the wall, but thankfully it was just a moment and my book remained safe and sound.
Overall, the story of The Wish List was good. Hardly stop-the-press unique, but good. We have a twentysomething is turning 30 and hasn't even touched the "things to do before turning 30" list that she and her friends wrote when she was 15, and so she ends up on some whacky adventures to complete these goals within the space of about 6 months. The list contains such things as have a one night stand, learn how to play Polo, see the Northern Lights, eat in a Michelin starred restaurant.. all sorts, basically. And I can imagine how much fun Jane must have had researching this novel! Of course Emma gets into some silly situations and it's lots of fun. I really loved her determination and how she ended up trying so many new things which ultimately changed her life. And I must mention her friends because I don't believe I have ever read a chick lit with such well fleshed out side-characters. They all came with their own stories, quirks and problems and I wanted to see their happy endings as much as I wanted to see Emma's.
I also really liked the short chapters which make you feel as though you're progressing through the book a lot faster, and okay, they do cause a case of the "just one more chapter"s but when is that a bad thing really? Yeah okay, I suppose at 3am!
Go out and get The Wish List if you like romantic comedies. I guarantee you'll enjoy it.(less)
In The End features Fallen Angel Lucien enjoying his life on Earth, unaware that the apocalypse is near until the signs get too much. So once the Rapt...moreIn The End features Fallen Angel Lucien enjoying his life on Earth, unaware that the apocalypse is near until the signs get too much. So once the Rapture has happened he drives over to the spot of the Final Battle and waits. This is when he meets the Angel Lalael, a reject in the Higher Realms, who limped away from the battle to catch a breather and is determined that Lucien is out to kill him. Of course, Lucien sees him as petulant and when they both end up abandoned and stuck on Earth, they stick together out of necessity.
The first thing I have to praise is the opening. This opening was the excerpt Alex sent to me when she first asked if I'd like to review her book and I was so sucked into the prose that I was left feeling a little jarred when it ended. That's how I knew we were onto a winner with In The End and Alexandra Rowland. The opening is very Douglas Adamsesque without trying too hard to be him. It's lightly humorous with a unique plot and Alex's own, very comfortable voice.
My main issue with it was that I felt something was missing. You know when you're reading a book and it's great, you like it, but something isn't quite there and you can't put your finger on it? That. I also felt as though description was lacking a little. I struggled to create decent mental images quite often the way I usually do when reading. It is not effortless to imagine many of the things in this book. It took most of the novel to create any real kind of mental image of Lucien.. though once I did I realised he was one sexy Fallen, but that's neither here nor there.
Despite some of the issues I had with description, I have to give kudos for characterisation. Alex really brought these characters to life. Lucien and Lalael have been left on Earth after the final battle between Riel and Rielat and whether Lalael likes it or not, they have to stick together. Lalael doesn't instantly trust Lucien, in fact, I'm not convinced he realises the point when he does start to trust him but when it happens he does so begrudgingly. Lucien I find a funny little character. He's not as messed up as I'd expect somebody with his history to be, instead he's actually quite kind for a Fallen Angel. He has a cat called Antichrist and he cares about Lalael. Lalael's change almost made the novel for me. I was worried I'd have to count his character as a lost cause but then something happened and I found myself liking him more than Lucien which I really didn't expect because Lucien is awesome.
Alexandra Rowland has taken Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, and mixed them up in her own fictional pot of voodoo with her own particular brand of spices. I recommend In The End if you're a fan of Neil Gaiman style fiction. It's a really unique novel well worth a read.(less)