Showing posts from October, 2020

Troubled Blood – Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

2020, the year of constant surprises. I’ve never been a huge JK Rowling fan (I mean her books, not the person.  I’ve never met the woman so I can’t comment on her personally, unlike the Twitter dunderheads who like to misconstrue everything they read.) I have to give her credit for her vivid imagination and her wealth of knowledge and the amount of research she must undertake before putting pen to paper, but for me, her writing is prone to too much repetition which detracts from what could be an excellent read. So why do I read the Strike books if I’m not a fan of her writing? Easy. Tom Burke plays the lead in the TV adaptations and with it he has brought an interesting, complex character to life, one full of charm, charisma, and sparkle. I’ve become invested in the character; I want to know what the next instalment is about and what the future holds for Strike. So, for me to keep up with Strike, and to not feel like I’m wasting any of my day, I turned to Audible books for both Letha

Falling Angels in the Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt)

The last holiday I partook was a week up in Scotland (Lauder) last Christmas. It was sublime; a chalet in the middle of a working farm, bedecked with Christmas trees and lights, and surrounded by various livestock. Being December, it meant there were long evenings in which to amuse oneself, and whilst it was the perfect setting to sit in a hot tub every night, there’s only so much wallowing and Prosecco that can be consumed in a week. I needed a book to read and the novel I'd grabbed and chucked into my rucksack this time was: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt The book is based on a true story, a crime classic published in 1994, set in a world of highly original literary characters who only required the author to weave their tales together to produce this compelling gothic tale of a Savannah society. Settling back on the veranda of the lodge, mug of tea in hand, I travelled to America to be alarmed, entertained and to laugh out loud with these overtly col

Walks in Mysterious Cheshire and Wirral by Tony Bowerman (Walk 10 - Little Budworth)

“ Fancy doing a walk Saturday or Sunday?” “Yeah, sounds good to me.” “I thought we could do a walk in Little Budworth and hopefully find a spot by the lake for a picnic.” In Norman times, much of Cheshire was covered by four forests. To the west was Wirral Forest which had been substantially cleared, Macclesfield Forest covered the east Pennine slopes, whilst the central part of Cheshire was covered by the forests of Mara (now Delamere) and Mondrum. Back in those times, forests were no more than wastelands which were protected by laws so that the privileged may hunt in them. The forests were a patchwork of mixed oak woodlands and open lowland heath dotted with meres. Up until the 14 th  century, wolf packs could be found hunting amongst the cover of the trees, and both red and fallow deer grazed the lands until they were hunted out during the 17 th  century Civil War. Rare birds such as merlins, hobbys and sparrowhawks graced the skies, whilst swarms of bees gathered nectar for h

Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene

How annoying. You listen to a book. Write a few paragraphs about it, and then get distracted whilst supposedly looking for a suitable visual aid. Several weeks later you realise that all your thoughts are still sitting there unpublished!!! Graham Greene is possibly best known for his seminal works like The Power and The Glory, Brighton Rock and The Third Man. I can’t pretend to be an authority on his work, I read Brighton Rock whilst still at school and a few other extracts from various novels for “comparative purposes”, and whilst I’ve never read The Third Man, I admit to enjoying the filmed version starring Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles. Greene apparently wrote Travels With my Aunt as a bit of fun and a departure from his normal style of writing. His work often involved fragile, flawed characters that found themselves in distant lands; so this novel is no different in that respect, however, it’s impossible to try to tie Greene down to one stylistic genre. For those who have read

The Split - Laura Kay (Book Preview)

Ally’s relationship is over, and she’s taking the cat ... When this book appeared in my in-tray, it was the comment about the cat that grabbed my attention. The cover didn’t interest me, nor the title, but the idea of someone storming off having found out that they have been betrayed by a loved one, cat whisked underarm, really appealed to my sense of justice. Romantic novels (or RomComs) are not the typical genre of book I’ll head towards in a bookshop; however within reading the first few pages, I realised that Laura had written a rather special novel which kept me engaged throughout the course of the story. The Split is a story of love but not your typical romance, it is about the strongest love of all…friendship. It doesn’t really matter what life throws at you if you have a strong support network of friends and this novel highlighted this. Ally lives with her girlfriend on a houseboat in London; that is until one morning when she is brutally dumped by Emily. She announces