Friday, 30 October 2015


Have we all put the heating on now? Good.

I have now finally read The Woman in Black. The thing is with being a book blogger is that every cunt expects you to have read whatever ten books they've heard of ever. This is one that came up a lot, and that I wanted to rectify. And I wish I hadn't. Now I can't go for a piss in the night without fucking shitting myself that the shadows in the hallway are that fucking woman swishing her long black cape. A proper traditional creepy ghost story.

Remember when we all had a little chuckle cos I had somehow got myself in to a book club? Well, they're reading all the wrong books now so I just read my suggestion instead which was The Bees. This is a fucking weird book. It's about a bee called Flora and her life in the hive. She doesn't quite fit in to any of the standard groups and as such has a bit of a rollercoaster of a life. Really clever, really interesting and really odd.

From now on whenever someone says to me 'oh but this chicklit is actually really good! It's funny and ironic and mad! hahahaha!' I'm going to fire them straight out of a canon in to the depths of nowhere. Undertaking Love is one of these books that I TRUSTED someone on and this just goes to show why you should never trust anyone. Horrible, vapid two-dimensional characters, predictable plot, absolutely fucking zero lols. A right load of bollocks.

Now then. As we all know I fucking love dragons. I found A Natural History of Dragons in my local library and thought I'd give it a whirl. It all started off pretty well, but by a quarter of the way through I began to notice a problem. HARDLY ANY FUCKING DRAGONS. Just fucking Lady Trent bleating on about this and that. I want a HISTORY of DRAGONS you misleading prick-headed twats. Disappointing.

There are a lot of quotes on the cover of Shame and on the internet from people saying about what a great picture of Africa it paints and loads of shit about light and dark and all of those kinds of words that those people say. I don't know about any of that, but I did enjoy it. It's one of those that goes back and forth between time but is ultimately the story of a woman and her struggle with her past and her present. Decent.

Someone gifted me a copy of The Yellow Wallpaper fucking ages ago and I only recently realised that if someone gifts you something like that that they probably really love it and it should get bumped up your stack of books to read, so I read it. Two years later. This is a very slim book containing seven short stories. The best one is the first one which has the same title of the book and is about a woman going mad. The collection is old, bold, feminist, and very very good. Give them a go.

Sticking with going mad, the new Galley Beggar book come my way a little while ago, which I was delighted to receive. Playthings is a book about a man who is suffering very badly with a nervous condition. I don't want to give away the shape of the story, but it follows said man, a 42 year old judge, and paints a picture of mental illness and madness that is fucking harrowing and yet feels very honest and human. A wonderful book, and one that is based on a true story. Joint best book of the month.

I know I said I'd given up on psychological thrillers but you know how it is, you go down the library and it's wall to wall James Patterson and fucking Patricia bastard Cornwall and you just have to get what feels right at the time. So I got You. This is a book about a lad called Joe who falls in love (sort of, I guess that's one way to describe it) with a young woman named Beck. This is one of those really creepy, you know nothing's going to go right kind of books. Joe is a fucking headcase, and Beck is used to male attention and is confident she can handle herself and whatever situations may arise. Joe is kind of a collector, not that dissimilar to The Collector, that one in the John Fowles book. This reminded me of that. Dark, disturbing, pretty filthy at times. Not bad at all.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it but I fucking love dogs. Imagine my delight when a book called Fifteen Dogs drops through the letterbox. Fifteen dogs! The stuff dreams are made of. I had lovely thoughts about all the lovely dogs having a lovely romp together in a garden or maybe in a field or a lake or at some kind of park and all having a fucking lovely time and me reading a long and getting to know all the dogs whilst weeping with joy. That is not quite what I got. This is actually about gods Hermes and Apollo making a bet over whether dogs having human thoughts will help or hinder them and specifically, whether it will make them unhappy. Although there were some sad dogs in this novel, which did make me sad, it is an incredibly thoughtful and beautifully written book about relationships, finding your way in the unknown, loyalty and survival. Highly recommended.

I haven't quite finished it yet (which is why you're getting a slightly early post cos I'll finish it tomorrow) but I am fucking loving A Notable Woman, which is the edited diaries of a woman named Jean Lucey Pratt who kept journals throughout most of her life - between the years 1925 up to her death in 1986. Jean Lucey Pratt is a fucking megababe. She's cool as fuck and enormously forward thinking and progressive for a woman of her time. She wants to have (cos it's important and she enjoys it) a career, she struggles a bit with men but acknowledges that they are quite fucking difficult at the best of times so doesn't often let that get her too down, has her head screwed on just right while questioning why society think some things are right and wrong in a person and their orientations, and is a top line, glorious, funny and astute writer. She wasn't a famous lady, just someone who loved to write, and I'm hoping that this book will make her name more well known. She is wonderful and I'm a little bit in love. As I say, I haven't finished yet but after all this gushing if it all turns to shit in the last couple of hundred pages I'll be sure to let you know. Another highly recommended, but it is long as fuck (hardback is 700 odd pages) so be warned.

I haven't read Fear of Flying but it's good, right? I got send Erica Jong's new one Fear of Dying and you know how I love a story about a woman and her life, don't you? Well this is a lovely one of those. Our leading lady is called Vanessa. She's married to an older man who can hardly ever bang her anymore, her parents are withering away to nothing in their deathbeds, and she is suddenly realising her mortality. A funny and honest story, which managed to allay some of my anxieties about some of the many things that are wrong with myself and my thoughts and my brain in general. A very good book about an aging woman in a changing world. Joint best book of the month.

Next up was a tiny book of no more than 100 pages. The Cider Camp & Other Tales is one story that is the longest - The Cider Camp - and then a few other much shorter stories. The Cider Camp is in some horrific dystopian future where a way of dealing with homeless alcholoics is to round them up and put them in a camp where they can smoke and drink themselves to death. A bit fucked up, but a fucking good story. The other few stories in this short collection range from one about a vampire to one about a WW2 veteran with a secret. A lovely little collection with some writing that packs a real punch.

Lastly is the one that I finished just now on the way home from work - Hotels of North America. This is about ficitonal motivational speaker Reginald Morse who travels around North America (and occasionally but very rarely) in to Europe to speak at various functions and things and who stays in many hotels of which he leaves reviews for on I liked the idea but the actual execution was a bit long and slow for me, as I'm a very impatient reader. It's basically a lot of Reg giving anecdotes and telling stories which I didn't find that interesting and I thought could have been a bit shorter. Sorry.
Also, I can't find a picture of the cover for this one. I read a proof and you can see a picture of that on my Instagram, if you like.


Thursday, 1 October 2015


Alright, chaps?

You're lucky that you're getting a post this month cos I have been in the most awful reading slump. Yet, here I am, like a fucking hero, and you should all be very thankful. If you'd like to send me a gift to show how thankful you are some things I like are dogs, the sea, and cold hard cash. Picture of a dog in the sea with a fiver paperclipped to it would be literally perfect.

I started with Sunset Song, which is a Scottish novel. Some may say it is the Scottish novel, and it's based around your main lady Chris and her life and woes. And there are some horrific woes. I didn't care enough or have enough feelings to be in any way moved or engaged by this book, but if you're patient and like your literature bleak as fuck and Scottish as fuck, then give this a go.

I don't know if any of you like football but I do. Specifically Italian football. Specifically Serie A. Specifically Andrea Pirlo. Total. Fucking. Babe. Mate. In I Think Therefore I Play Pirlo is telling us all about his career and how he came to be such a fucking megababe. He's also showing us that he's funny as fuck and making me want to hug the shit out of him. If you would like to read a sports autobiography that wonderfully captures the humour and traditional enormous drama of Italians and their fooballers then get your face in this. It is so funny and so perfect.

The Well is a book that I have only heard good things about but that failed to grab me. It's about a woman moving back in to her home after being held somewhere secure following a terrible crime that she may or may not have committed. There's something weird going on but it'll take you a fucking age to find out cos it is so. fucking. slow. Give it a try if you can be arsed but if you get bored then sack it straight off cos once it's lost you you'll be gone for good.

I went through a phase of reading women's psychological thrillers a while ago, and so did every other cunt, do you remember? Well I think I've read the last one now cos I'm fucking bored to death of them. Her is about two women. They're linked somehow but only one of them knows why. This one spends ages being weird and sketchy as fuck. Then things happen cos blah blah fucking bored. A psychological thriller. If you're still in to them then read this one. If you not then don't.

Last one for the month (and the same as last month I think I managed to save the best until last) was Tampa. If you've heard about this book it might be because the hardback had a 'controversial' cover that was pink and look a bit like a cunt slit. Anyway, you've got to watch it with books that do things like that, cos sometimes all their shock factor is on the fucking cover and the insides are fucking dry as fuck. This is not one of those. This is the story of Celeste Price and her search for and seduction of a teenage boy. As vile and awful as some of the stuff in the book is, it also manages to be effortlessly funny as fuck, clever, and mad. I love it. Highly recommended.

That's all. Goodbye.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


The Summer is over. As all around you people get sadder and sadder cos the nights are drawing in and it is dark when you get up for work spare a thought for the miserable cunts like me who have suffered all the way through Summer and are now fucking delighted that it is cold and dark and damp. Mmmm, misery.

So. August started with a book that was on my shelf but that I had absolutely no intention of reading. But then guess what happened? I got roped in to a fucking book group. A book group! Jesus fucking H, eh? And what did the silly cunts do, they chose the longest book in the fucking world. I was furious. Anyway. I had no idea about what The Goldfinch was about before I started it cos what do you need to know? Fuck all except it's long and it's by the incredibly fit/terrifying Donna Tartt. I don't think that you need me to tell you about it either, cos let's be honest, you've already made up your mind that you're going to read it. Or not. Anyway. I am glad that I read it because it is actually really fucking good. The goodness doesn't escape from the fact that it is long as fuck though. If you want to, and if you can be bothered then do. It is one of those slow moving, not many characters chaps that takes you on a proper journey. It's good stuff. But long. Long.

Then I read another book. A book that I'd read before actually, twice. The Drowning of Arthur Braxton is one of my all-time favourites cos it is fucking bursting at the seams with love and life. It is also sad and dark as fuck so has literally everything you could ever want from a book. I was re-reading this because of the Kickstarter campaign to get the book made in to a film which you can back here and is still going for a day or so. I originally reviewed this book when I first read it. You can read that review here, if you like.

In real time I was still ploughing on with The Goldfinch, by the way. I didn't finish it until just before I started the next book down. Did I mention it's fucking long?

Next up was A Hand Reached Down To Guide Me - a book of short stories by a chap named David Gates. David Gates is a literary writer. He's the kind of literary writer who is readable, though, and who doesn't make me want to throw myself off something high. This collection is a wonderful observation of lots of very different people coming up against life's various obstacles.

My dear pal gave me a proof of this book called Carrying Albert Home which is about a man, his wife, and her pet alligator Albert. Your man Homer is content. His wife Elsie is itching for something. Anyway. They decide that Albert needs to go home to Florida, and so they take him. On the way they get in all sorts of hilarious/interesting bother with a whole cast of eccentric and entertaining characters. Kind of reminded me a bit of Forrest Gump. A nice story. Sometimes sad, yet ultimately heartwarming. You know the sort.
(P.S. I don't know if that cover up there is correct. Sorry.)

Last, and the winner of Best Book of August is Disgrace. Now then, Arthur Braxton would have had it but I don't think it qualifies, what with it being one of my favourites ever and also a re-read. So it's the last book I read in August that is the champ.
Disgrace is the story of David Lurie, professor at a university in South Africa who makes some decisions that lead to him not being a teacher any more and instead living in the countryside. This book is difficult and compelling all at once - beautifully written yet often uncomfortable in its straightforward and honest examination of this man and his life and actions, and the lives of those around him. Highly recommended.

Bye, then.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Hello. Sorry I'm late.
I liked that one on, one off thing that I did last month so I'm going to do it again:

First up was Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, a debut novel by Alice Furse about a girl who has not long graduated from uni and is now working in a monotonous job and living with a lad who is her boyfriend but whom she may or may not actually love. It's the story of being young and the things that you do because you have to, and they way things don't quite always work out as you thought they might, you know, where everything falls in to place and you get a great job and be in love and travel the world and get a dog (fucking hell I want a dog). So you wait for it, cos you're hopeful, aren't you? A very good debut.

Remember how excited I was when it was announced that my man Milan had a freshie coming out this year? SO fucking excited. The Festival of Insignificance is very short and is about four men who all know each other a bit and are all sort of wondering about the problems in their lives and what is going on. It is not his best, it's maybe even a bit rubbish, but I still love him.

One of my very dear pals recommended reading some Chris Cleave and so I did. Gold is about Olympic cycling, but it's not, obviously, in the same way that Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas isn't about swimming. Two women who have always been competitors in the sport are head to head for their last chance to compete in the Olympics. It's about what people do to get the things they want and to be successful. Suitably dramatic and page turn-y, but I think the other one of his - The Other Hand - might be more my cup of tea.

You want to know the title of a fucking good book? Well I'll fucking tell you the fucking title of a fucking FUCKING good book. Saint Mazie. She's a dream. In a nutshell, it is a book of the story of the life of Mazie Philips, a girl, and then a woman, and then a total all-round babe who lived in New York and worked in the ticket booth of a cinema. Mazie has stolen my heart and I will be thinking about her for a long time. I loved this book. Get yourselves a copy. This is the best book I read in July by a long shot.

The A-Z of You and Me is a book about Ivo. He's the kind of sick that you don't get better from cos he's in a hospice. When he's sat there one day this nurse tells him to pass the time he should take every letter from a-z and make up a story using a body part that begins with that letter. And so he does, cos the nurse is dead nice. She's fucking lovely. Thinking about his body and his life Ivo takes us through a story of the people, hopes, dreams, fuck-ups and dreads that shaped it. Beautifully written, emotional and heartfelt.

Next up I read Among the Ten Thousand Things which is a story about a family. The Shanley family. Their lives as they know them are shaken up upon discovering that Big Daddy Shanley (that's not his name, I forget his name. The dad. I mean the dad) has had an affair. Another book that moves back and forth through times and examines what shapes our lives, this was very engaging in parts but slightly too literary for me and just lost me somewhere in the final third. If you're one of those nice patient readers you might do better with it than me.

I haven't finished it yet because it's fucking massive and hardback and I can't take it out of the flat without causing significant damage to my gorgeous arm muscles or becoming incredibly tired from lugging such a fuck off great tome around but it is safe to say that The Dust That Falls From Dreams is another Louis de Bernieres classic. I have to read it in bed sitting up and holding it on a pillow on my lap cos I can barely lift the thing but I bloody love it. It's got the beautiful descriptive writing, slightly odd and lost characters and pure and unyielding LOVE that drew me to Louis all those many moons ago when I first started reading him. An absolute fucking delight.

Another man that I'm in love with next up, Pascal Garnier. How's The Pain? is about a hitman named Simon and a man named Bernard who Simon accosts to drive him about. It is definitely not my favourite of Pascal's - it didn't suck me in and chew me up and spit me out like some of the others but is a good read none the less. Trademark creepy characters, dark scenarios and unlikely friendships.

And that was the last one in July. A short month.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Thought I'd do one on, one off with my reading this month - read one that I've been sent to review and then read one of the hundreds that I've bought and remain sadly stacked on the shelves year after year.

The first one of the month was from Legend Press - The Artificial Anatomy of Parks. It's about a girl called Tallulah and how her life has ended up. After she gets a call to tell her that her Dad has been taken to hospital she crosses paths again with family members that she hasn't seen in fucking forever and they start to (albeit quite awkwardly) rebuild their relationships. A story about the intricate complications of family, secrets and lies.

Recommended to me by my dealer, Grand Mother Divided by Monkey Equals Outer Space has a bit of a wanky title but is a bloody cracker. Set in New York in the 80s, a dysfunctional family try to function. They each in turn meet up with a psychic/fortune teller type who lives round the corner from them and reveals a bit about herself to each member of the family, much to her own astonishment and their interest. Pretty fucking mental, pretty fucking weird, pretty fucking good.

I haven't even read all the books that I'll read this month as I'm typing this. I've finished four and I'm reading number five but it does not matter because I have definitely already read my book of the month for June (publishing in July) in The Last Act of Love. This is the story of author Cathy's life, with a big focus on her brother who was hit by a car when he was a teenager. This book tells the before and after of the life of a family after a fucking awful and unfortunate accident involving one of the family's members. This book made my heart fucking ache. It is so beautiful, so sad, and yet so rejuvenating and assured. This is not a misery memoir. It is a story about an unconditional and unadulterated love.

That last one knocked me for six so I knew what I had to take off the shelf next: a bit of Aggie. The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the first Hercule Poirot mystery (it says it on the cover, I would never know a thing like that) and is about some rich old biffer who gets poisoned and dies. 'MURDER!', I hear you cry. Luckily, cool-as-you-like Poirot's only round the corner so he strolls in and does some detecting and faster than you can say 'show me some more diagrams, Agatha' he only bloody solved it all. Lovely.

Next up was The Honours. This follows a girl called Delphine who is moved along with her family in to this big spooky house full of weird fucked up people. Kind of gothic, kind of fantasy I think that the comparisons to Neil Gaiman are justified, but Neil Gaiman without the sparkle. A well crafted and cleverly plotted novel but for me was just lacking something to give me those Gaiman-esque shivers.

The problem with Sue Townsend (well, actually now I type that I think that the real problem with Sue Townsend is that she is dead and we all miss her) is that you forget just how fucking funny she is. Oh. That's not a problem with Sue Townsend, is it. It's a problem with me. Us. Anyway.  The Woman Who Went To Bed For a Year is a fucking delight; Sue was a total babe and this book had me giggling like a right twat through a mixture of wonderfully observed human nature and top notch comic writing (as well as some heart-wrenching sad bits). Will make you want to re-read all of Adrian Mole and then binge on any other Sue you can get your hands on.

I'm feeling a bit like I never learn anything new these days so I thought I'd have a go at The Other Tudor Princess and learn about a member of the royal family who I'd never even heard of. Margaret Douglas was Henry VIII's niece and a fine specimen of a girl with red hair who ran about outside a lot and was admired by Big Fat H-VIII a lot more than his own daughter because of her massive metaphorical bollocks. Now then, as you probably know, the Tudors were all totally fucked and mental so, you know, things change from those early admirations. An interesting read. Bit heavy on the old dates and names but they were all shagging each other and killing each other and plotting against each other so it's bound to be a bit messy innit.

Eleanor and Park is one of those books that you see lots of lovely pictures of cos it looks lovely and lots of teenagers are posting it on places like Tumblr and Instagram and other trendy cool young thing platforms. It's a story about a girl who starts a new school and a lad who she sits next to on the bus and their subsequent relationship. Sorry to all of you who have a weird amount of love for the book but what the actual fuck? These pair are the fucking worst. They're so fucking cheesy and cringy and urgh. I think it's trying to do some kind of 'oh love the first time is so pure and romantic and all these feelings you have oh isn't it lovely, isn't it unlike anything else'. It made me feel quite unwell, and pretty angry at the  characters. I mean fuck me, you've been holding your breath all weekend until you can see her again, and now you've seen her you can finally breathe again? Have you? Have you, you whiney cunt? Fucking die already.

If you want a bit of a fucked up read then try Dogwood, a story set in the American South involving three girls who are friends from the beginning and share everything. Fucking everything. One of them, Harper, aged 19 is released from Prison on probation. She dips back and forth in time to tell her story of her life and her cycle of all things awful. A decent debut.

Oh, Isabel. Not only are you a top notch writer but you are also fit as fuck. Daughter of Fortune is the story of the life of Eliza, a young woman who is fostered in to a family and spends the rest of the book trying to learn and make love work. A beautiful and vivid piece of storytelling.

Remember last month when I read The End of Mr Y and fucking hated it? Well, I am very pleased to say that Scarlett Thomas' new one The Seed Collectors shits all over Mr Y from a great height - it is spectacular. It is the story of a family, and a great aunt dying and the family each being left a seed pod that is deadly, or contains the secret of enlightenment. Either Or. This family are wonderfully fucked up and dysfunctional, and I particularly loved Ollie, who is the biggest arsehole I've encountered in a book in quite a while. I adored this book - it's weird and wonderful, mad and fucking clever. Highly recommended.

The last one for the month which I've just finished is I Let You Go. A child is killed in a hit and run accident. No one knows who did it. BUT WE MUST FIND OUT. Twisty psychological thriller-y crime. I guessed the twisty bits, but I suppose this is bound to happen with the sheer volume of this kind of thing that's about at the moment. It's good though, and worth a go if you're in to that kind of thing.

So. That was June.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


May. The greatest month of the year with its two glorious bank holidays. Well done, May.

I started with The Last Days of Disco which is a story about the mobile disco scene, small town politics, and big and bold characters in Kilmarnock in the 1980's. Really Scottish, really believeable, and really fucking funny.

I'd seen Spill Simmer Falter Wither chat zooming about all over Twitter (probably cos I follow the publisher, tbh) and was intrigued by the reviews it was getting. So, I ordered myself a copy from my pal Simon who runs The Big Green Bookshop and had a go at it. It is fucking wonderful. It's basically a story about a man and his dog and it is beautiful. I could read it all day. This is hands down my Book of the Month for May. Good old May.

Beauty Tips For Girls is one of those that follows a few characters (three, in this case) who are all separate and then omfg they're all actually linked. I like these kinds of books because when there are more than about 5 characters in a book I start getting a bit confused. This one is good. It's about three women and their fears, desires, and hopes, and overcoming shit in the face of an unrealistic and pressurizing society surrounding them.

Our pal George would have had Book of the Month if it weren't for your man and his dog up there. Down and Out in Paris and London is one that has been sitting on my shelf for a while and I've only just got round to. It's fucking brilliant and I wish I'd picked it up years ago. If you're in a similar situation and old George is waiting on the shelf then get over there and pick it the fuck up and read it.

The next Robert Jordan book in the Wheel of Time series is Path of Daggers. What a fucking great name, eh? This one is book eight and is my favourite so far because it's a right minge fest. It's basically cover to cover Aes Sedai who are cool as fuck. Expecting the lads back in a sausage fest of book nine to make up for all the fanny in book eight, but we'll see won't we.

Dark River Melody is a story set in 18th century London following your man Tom Gobey and the trials and tribulations of his life. Trying to start a revolution, and hanging out with the greatest political writers of the time he manages to get himself chucked in prison. When he gets out seven years later the lass he was poking has found someone else. A story of love and adventure.

The new one from Galley Beggar Press is The Weightless World, where a pair of colleagues go on a trip because one of them (the older, madder one) wants to buy and anti-gravity machine. A story about love and loss, pouring yourself into something cos you fucking have to and things in life not always going the way you'd planned.

Another one that I probably should have ready years ago is The Bell. Basically a story about a weirdly incestuous group of people who are in this village where some cursed bell is sat in the lake. The oldies are always the best for this kind of shit, aren't they? Constant drama and moderate debauchery. Lovely.

The last one of the month was The End of Mr Y. This book lasted fucking forever. I thought maybe cos there is some time travelling type shit in there that maybe it was being clever and somehow literally pulling me back and forth through time. But no, it's just fucking long and tries to be lots of things: funny, shocking, clever etc, without actually ever managing to be any of those things. It's one of those books about books, so if you like books about old and mysterious books, I mean if you really fucking LOVE them and this is the only one you haven't read then probably get yourself a copy but if not I'd just sack it off if I were you, chums.

Goodbye, May, with your two bank holidays and your lovely short sing-song name. We will all miss you.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015



A very good pal of mine gave me the extra copy she had of Elizabeth is Missing when I was good enough to sit in the pub on her birthday, watch said book being handed to her as a gift, and keep quiet and be nice even though I knew she'd already read it. This was partly because I knew she'd give me it and partly because the girl gifting it had one of the nicest faces I've ever seen. Anyway. This book. It's everywhere. It is fine, but it's not great. From a bit of analysis of my Twitter I reckon if you'd had any direct experience with ay kind of memory loss in a loved one then it will do all kinds of poignant and mad things to your heart and head. And if you're lucky enough to not have dealt with that sort of thing then it leaves you a bit cold. I am cold. This book has been massively over-hyped.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is an autobiographical book about one lady's experience of dealing with and confronting death by working in a Crematorium. Very interesting, and if you've got a morbid side/loved Six Feet Under/have any interest in death and ritual at all it is a very good read.

Because I am a totally normal person, North Korea gives me the fucking creeps. The Limits of the World is set in North Korea where your man Han is a tour guide for foreigners. Giving up the things he loves in favour of not being executed he starts to live a secret double life where he is able to rediscover the things that he loves. A nice, human love story with a menacing backdrop.

I loved The President's Hat by Antoine Laurain and so I was absolutely bloody delighted when The Red Notebook, his new one, arrived. This one's about a lady in hospital in a coma, and a man who finds her abandoned handbag in the street. Gallic Books will never mug you off, and this is a lovely story and very perfectly French.

If you like crime and conspiracy set in 80's America then you could do a lot worse than reading The Killing of Bobbi Lomax. Three bombs go off over town and it's your man Marty-the-Detective's job to piece together what exactly is going on. It's dark, pacey, shocking, and sinister as fuck.

For a story about a couple and their lifetime together then have a go at Alf and Mabel. When Alf wakes up one day and Mabel is dead, our Alf realises he's not quite ready to let her go, so he'll just keep her safe for a while with him. So follows parallel stories of Alf and the decisions he makes following Mabel's death, alongside the story of the life of the couple - how they met, their rows, their family, and so on. Bit of a macabre premise, but it is a very nice story really.

I'm fucking bored to death of psychological thrillers now, but I picked this one up on the recommendation of my good friend friend Geeky. And she was right. The Book of You was pretty terrifying. It's at the stalker end of the thriller market and left me all jumpy and mental. I didn't think that the ending did the rest of the book justice, but a decent read all the same, and one that you can race through in a few hours.

I don't know why I keep fucking buying books about the apocalypse. I literally never, ever like them. And then you cunts come along and you're all like 'Oh Cunty you'll love this one though, it's about Shakespeare.' Well you can fuck off. Station Eleven was pretty exciting to start with but as it went on I just got more and more bored of it and more and more angry at you.

Very Good Lives isn't a book really. It's someone making a bit of cash (and yes I know giving it to charity, whatever, fuck off). JK can do no wrong by me, and reading her lovely words in a nice little book was a very relaxing and happy few minutes.

I fucking hate children but I do like a weird, fat, outsider children desperate to be loved, which is why I liked Things We Have in Common so much. This is the story of Yasmin, who's a misfit with some great dreams and passions inside her. She's a bit intense sometimes, but just go with it. A wonderfully written story with weird and fucked-up motivators. This one gets Book of The Month for April, I reckon, which is just as well I got round to it in time cos otherwise it'd be stalemate.

Last read of the month was seventh book in the Wheel of Time series, Crown of Swords. I love me a bit of high fantasy, and I have some pretty serious crushes on some Black Ajah Aes Sedai, because I am a fucking awful person.