Currently I'm reading: Night Shift by Stephen King

About Me

My Photo
Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / knitting / cats. 
View my complete profile

Followers

Add me

Bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin Follow on Bloglovin

Page visits

Follow me on

My Blog List

Powered by Blogger.
There was an error in this gadget

Search This Blog

Loading...

Peggy Farooqi is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

28 July 2015




Title
The Severest Inks Shorts
Author
Several authors
Publisher
Severest Inks
Publication Date
May 2015
Pages
260
Genre
short stories

Description (from Amazon)

The Severest Inks Shorts collects eight stories from some of the boldest new writers on the scene today. Melding unflinching themes with innovative narratives, these works confront the rawest elements of the human condition through the potent short story form. This anthology comes loaded with bonus material, including commentaries, special monochrome editions of original cover art and transcripts.


Contents:

Red by Khalid Patel
Dr Craine’s Body by Khalid Patel
Further South by Eryk Pruitt
June in July by Hunter Heath
Mesa Boys by Matt Phillips
Georgia Rouge by Lucy Black
The Exchange by Charmaine Pauls
Grand Finale by Charmaine Pauls

My thoughts


The Severest Inks Shorts compilation of stories offers a great variety: from dark city fables to a pathologist in the mortuary, and this is what I liked so much here – the variety of it.

Each story fitted neatly into my morning commute, and it was easy to get into – something I sometimes find a challenge when reading a compilation of short stories when you have to constantly transport yourself into a different setting. All stories captured me from the beginning, kept my interest and still made sense.

I would also like to draw the attention to the original artwork on the cover of the stories which definitely caught my eye. I also really enjoyed the extra chapters at the end of the book where the authors tell us a bit about themselves and how their particular story came about.


I am sure, like me, the reader will have a favourite story after reading the compilation. We have all different tastes, and this book caters for quite a few without being too wide in range and extremes (i.e. soppy romance and hard-core horror).  I had read 2 of the included stories before as ‘singles’ and enjoyed them, and was glad to read this book. And, at the end, it is also good value for money, as you get 8 stories in book.





26 July 2015



Title
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 
Author
J K Rowling
Publisher
Bloomsbury Children
Publication Date
June 2003
Pages
901
Genre
Fantasy, Children


Description (from Amazon)

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is desperate to find out why his friends, Ron and Hermione, have been secretive all summer. But before he even gets to school, Harry survives a terrifying encounter with two Dementors, attends a court hearing at the Ministry of Magic and is escorted on a night-time broomstick ride to the secret headquarters of a mysterious group called the Order of the Phoenix


My thoughts

The more I read Harry Potter, the more I love it. I have also realised how important and much more fulfilling it is to read the books rather than just watch the movies. Just because there is, obviously, so much more info, a lot more issues ‘clicked into place’ for me – concepts explained, connections which clicked into place.  Therefore I would urge especially a young person who has only watched the movies to definitely read the books. Yes, by book 5 they are big books, but they are so worth it.

It can be a bit tricky in fantasy writing, but Rowling creates a fantasy world which we can easily image. The writing is flawless and easy to understand, with simple sentence structures and frequent returning to previous occasions in the books to aid our memory (with such a big series and a lot of characters, it is nice touch to be reminded every now and again: ‘ah, yes, that’s what it was).  And the basic structure and storyline, of course, remains the same. Harry stays over the summer holidays at the Dursley’s and returns to Hogwarts in September with his friends Ron and Hermione and the adventures start). It can be a bit tricky in fantasy writing, but Rowling creates a fantasy world which we can easily image


At this stage in the series, you would really have to have read the other books though – you cannot start with book 5.  Harry is now a young teenager, and becomes a bit more rebellious, starts to question things.  What I have also enjoyed is that slowly, more gets revealed during this book. We learn, for example, that there is a good reason why Harry has to stay at the dreadful Dursley’s house every summer holiday. I had wondered before why he would not simply go to his friend Ron’s. More starts to click into place with book 5, and I can’t wait for the next book now.



6 July 2015




Title
Shimmer
Author
Matthew Keith
Publisher
CreateSpace
Publication Date
May 2015
Pages
720
Genre
Romance

Description (from Amazon)

Volume One of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

July, 1587 

115 men, women, and children vanished from the Island Colony of Roanoke
with no explanation. The only clue left was a single word carved into a post
on the fence surrounding the village: “CROATOAN”.

This is their story, and the story of the family who was the cause of the
colony's downfall.


My thoughts:


If you have read Keith's Watcher's series, you will agree with me that he is firmly establishing himself as author of books of slightly odd teenage boy who gets thrown into a strange world which will become his world. 

Alex, a college kid, is regarded as slightly odd by his peers, as he has withdrawn himself from most of his friends since his mother vanished a few years prior. He lives with his father who owns a electro-magnetics research company. They both clearly are deeply effected but are supporting each other. On the 6th anniversary of his mother's disappearance, Alex gets called away in school to the head's office where he finds Silas, who works at his father company. Silas tells Alex that his father has also vanished and Silas has been made Alex' guardian. Silas behaves very strange, and Alex does not like him at all.  Silas then tells him about the research Alex' father was working on which involved teleportation from one place to the next within a second using a special suit. He wants to know if Alex can provide him with any information, whether his dad has told him anything. Alex fears that Silas' interest might have an ulterior motive, and goes to investigate. He finds the suit and instructions from his dad to destroy everything. But all Alex wants is to find his dad, and maybe even his mum and hopefully this place where they have vanished to. Only one way to find out, and this is to try the suit to teleport himself. The world he will find is nothing like he could have imagined. 

I did not know the original story of the 'Missing Colony of Roanoke'. and while the author has spun a wonderful story around it, it is not a historical book, but firmly set in the present day. 

What I like about the book, apart form that it is easy to read, is that even though 'The Under' is of course an invention of the author - a different world and there are supernatural elements - it is still completely believable and I could imagine inventions like that can happen. Or maybe I should not let my reading cloud my perception of the world? Oh no, long may it continue and long may we receive wonderful books like this to take us into different worlds. 

This is a great start book to a new series, and I can't wait to see how it continues for Alex and everyone in 'The Under'. 









5 July 2015




Title
Rivals
Author
Jilly Cooper
Publisher
Corgi
Publication Date
1988
Pages
720
Genre
Romance


Description (from Amazon)


Into the cut-throat world of Corinium television comes Declan O'Hara, a mega-star of great glamour and integrity with a radiant feckless wife, a handsome son and two ravishing teenage daughters. Living rather too closely across the valley is Rupert Campbell-Black, divorced and as dissolute as ever, and now the Tory Minister for Sport. 

Declan needs only a few days at Corinium to realise that the Managing Director, Lord Baddingham, is a crook who has recruited him merely to help retain the franchise for Corinium. Baddingham has also enticed Cameron Cook, a gorgeous but domineering woman executive, to produce Declan's programme. Declan and Cameron detest each other, provoking a storm of controversy into which Rupert plunges with his usual abandon. 

As a rival group emerges to pitch for the franchise, reputations ripen and decline, true love blossoms and burns, marriages are made and shattered, and sex raises its (delicious) head at almost every throw as, in bed and boardroom, the race is on to capture the Cotswold Crown.



My thoughts: 

So there is a bonkbuster before anyone had heard about Christian Grey. What I love about Jilly Cooper is that her books are sexy without having to resort to detailed anatomical /gynaecological descriptions of the act and everything around 'it'.

This time, in the second book of the Rutshire Chronicles, she takes us into the world of television instead of show jumping. But fear not, Rupert Campbell-Black is back and his story continues. He bordered on the unpleasant in the first book, but here, he mellows out a lot (though I've always loved him I have to say!) and, after a few more Rupert-like conquests, his life takes a surprising turn - with the arrival of a young woman in his life, of course. 

Yes, all the characters are OTT, but completely loveable (somehow even the 'nasty' ones). Not a lot of the other characters from book one are coming back, only Billy Lloyd-Foxe got a bit of a very small side role. But that didn't make a difference, as I quickly got to know the new people here. I couldn't really warm to domineering Cameron (who really just want's to be loved) - can't really say why. But of course, I loved Cinderella aka Taggie. There are so many other  characters, some with bigger, some with smaller parts, but I felt that I really got to know all of them really well and felt I was almost part of their little world at the end and would really like to know how it continues. 

The book was written and published in the 1980's and all of those readers who, like me, lived in the 1980's, will recognise current themes of the era, most notably the emergence of AIDS/HIV which Cooper manages to include (not the main story, of course, but Rupert, being responsible, takes a HIV test and is relieved all is clear). 

I am already looking forward to read Book 3 in the series Polo and can't wait to see how it continues for Rupert and hopefully I'll also meet some of the other characters again. 





21 June 2015




Title
Life Is All This
Author
Sheila Blanchette
Publisher
CreateSpace
Publication Date
April 2015
Pages
295
Genre
Novel

Description from Amazon

In the summer of 1975, Samuel Ryder sets off to hitchhike to the Grand Canyon where he realizes life is very good. Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona the road ahead appears to be one neverending smooth ride full of fun, adventure, and pretty women.

Late at night in a vacant hotel lobby in South Florida, decades later Sam finds himself trying to come to peace with the fact that plans do not always work out and the life you imagined is not always the life you end up living. Alone at the front desk, he writes novels and communicates via email with his wife who has left him and now runs a food truck in Colorado. The two of them alone but at the same time together, trying to work things out, trying to hold onto a marriage that has moved just out of reach.

With a sharp eye for the world around him, Sam’s memories wander through the decades of his life as a traveling salesman, husband, and father. His story takes the reader on a journey from 1960’s New Hampshire where he writes letters to his brother in Vietnam, to Boston and New York where he and his wife raise their young family during the tumultuous years at the turn of the century, to South Florida during the Great Recession.

Against the backdrop of the conflicts and anxieties of a changing world, Life Is All This is the story of a modern American family facing life’s hardships with hope, optimism, and humor while discovering that pain, loss, and distance can strengthen their love and enrich their lives. 

My thoughts / review:


A delightful little book which, as often, I read on my daily commute. 

Aged the wrong side of 50 and with grown up children, Sam Ryder looks back on his life. He works nights at a hotel reception, which gives him the chance to write books. I could immediately identify with Sam. Though a bit younger than him, with different life circumstances (and I'm certainly not a published author) there were so many pages when I thought: 'I know exactly what you are talking about.' And if you managed your children through the teenage years, you will feel for Sam and his wife.

As an aspiring writer, in a funny kind of way,  it was nice to read about a 'fellow writer' and 'how they do things'. Certainly, we all know about the little notebook we carry with us at all times to take down thoughts, conversations, ideas don't we? Another part I really liked was the chapters which dealt with how Sam looks after his war vet brother Joe and I had a tear in my eye. Beautifully written without being over-the-top, which can so easily happen with this kind of topic (a terminal disease). And despite many challenges for Sam and his family, there is a positive vibe in this book which will lift you. 

This book won't change the world, but I recommend it especially if you are at that age where your children have just flown the nest or are about to. 


I have received this book from the author in return for an honest review.