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I read a lot of books and I write about them on here. Mummy Geek is sometimes a guest blogger....people seem to love her.....Oh and you can find me on Twitter.....@book_geek_says. Shortlisted for Blog of the Year by the 2015 Love Stories Awards...THANK YOU!!

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Things you wouldn't read in a children's book: Part 2

Hardback: £ 14.99
Publisher: Boxtree

'The thing is, Anne,' said George thoughtfully, 'I think I'm not so much a tomboy, as a lesbian...'

As they opened the wardrobe door they saw Aslan parading around in Mummy's dress.

The Gruffalo walked on through the wood, but even he was afraid of the old man with no buttons on his raincoat.

Gently, tenderly, he undid Miss Tiggywinkle's bra...'

Little Miss Sex Slave lived in a grubby flat near Baker Street.

Hee hee!!!
Happy Reading

Book Geek

Saturday 26 May 2012

Review: The Beautiful Truth

Hardback: £ 18.99
Publisher: John Murray

This was sent to me by the people of John Murray. I anticipated it to be a pretty interesting read about Poland in the war. I'd thoroughly enjoyed The Pianist so though this would be another perspective! I was wrong.

On my twitter feed I've been somewhat brutal about this book. However, I would like to clarify that this would probably be a thoroughly enjoyable read for the right person. This is not a book for me, that is why I haven't particularly enjoyed it. Obviously Seaward has done her research on Poland and WW2 and it is well written so well done to her.

To start off with, the first chapter is pretty brutal and violent, the book does not continue like this. There is far too much horse business for my liking, that is mainly because horses scare the absolute shit out of me!

I didn't really feel the tone of the book, it was all too cliched, a woman trying to find out more about herself through her family's past. All that rubbish...defo not my type of read. It made the war too romantic. It romanticised the struggle and plight of the Polish people and that annoyed me. It was brutal, it was hard, it was deadly!

The flowery language got on my nerves a lot, made the book seem in the modern day passages very chick litty. The tenses were rather odd, I had no idea as to if I was coming or going most of the time. It angered me. Also, I'm interested to find out if Seaward is a native English speaker as the sentence structures were most peculiar on occasion and reminded me of how Italian articles are when they come in to me before editing.

The story runs in alternate chapters between Krystyna in the war and Catherine now. The chapters set in the war make the modern day ones so trivial and ridiculous that it is pretty annoying to come across them. I wasn't particularly bothered to read about Catherine and her life and her searching and all that rubbish! I would have preferred it if the novel stuck with a Janek throughout. The first chapter was so promising in that respect, oh so very promising!

Right, anyway, as I've said, I'm sure the right person would thoroughly enjoy this book but sadly it wasn't one for me!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Review: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

Hardback: £ 7.99
Publisher: Constable

Hee heee heee heeeeeee heee heee heee! 
I don't think I've reviewed a coffee table type book before so here is my best shot.
Hee heee heee heee hee heee!

I have been dipping in and out of this all week and it has sent me hurtling through a vast range of emotions. I've laughed (hee hee), been worried (oh no), got a bit angry (grrr) to name just three. Some of the quotations are completely hysterical and totally bizarre and off the wall you wonder how such people can exist! Some are so terribly worrying that I fear for the future of humanity all over the world. There are proper cretins in this world, sexist people, homophobic people....idiots too! But over and above all, this is a funny funny book!

The Ripping Yarns and Edinburgh Bookshop people are fantastically sarcastic. Their responses to some of the ridiculous customer queries are brilliant. I even read a few out loud to the assistant (he doesn't believe people actually said such things, he has too much confidence in society I think). 

I think the one I laughed at the most was this:

CHILD: (firing back immediately) What is a weasel was robbing the store?
PARENT: (long pause....with the flickering of a smile) I don't know....is he armed?

(I think that being my favourite one may say a lot about how my mind works).

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Tuesday 22 May 2012

My Mum's review: The Passage

Just to start off with, I bloody loved The Passage and am so so excited for The Twelve. The Passage was even in my Top 10 Books of 2011!!!

Anyway, let's begin with the story of my Mum and The Passage.

I gave it to her when she was staying at my flat AGES ago and said, read it, it's good, I love it. Now that she is still off work due to her inability to make any vocal noise for more than 3 mins, she has read it. Anyway, we were in Yo! Sushi having lunch on Sat and I brought up her final finishing of The Passage. She began somewhat of a tirade. It started off at normal levels of noise and got quieter and quieter as her voice deteriorated, however, here is the jist....
  •  The first 150 pages or so really really depressed her. Then she clarified that actually the entire thing depressed her and she found it to be a wholly depressing read.
  • Some of the plot seemed to loose its way. There appeared to be passages that were just fillers, somewhat for the sake of it to get from A to B in the over all plot. In fact, my Mum wasn't sure that JC had a plot laid out for the entire book. 
  • Mum was annoyed that JC introduced a character then killed them off pretty soon after. 
  • Mum also got annoyed at all the 'stereotype' characters that are in it.
  • Mummy Geek decided that you could tell from the outset that it was going to be a series (she didn't know till the very end that it was actually to be a series), apparently she feels it is set up as a money maker. She fears that the next two will just be repetitive and monotonous and basically be the same as the first one, just with new characters as all the others are dead.
  • The only thing she had to say of a positive note was that it was well written.
Mummy Geek really is one tough cookie to please when it comes to books!

I bloody love The Passage and think you should all read it! Then judge for yourselves...

Happy Reading

Book Geek 

Sunday 20 May 2012

Review: The Testimony

Paperback: £ 12.99
Publisher: Blue Door

I didn't 100% know what this was about however, it sounded really intriguing and really creepy! There has been a broadcast, no one knows what, no one knows why, and they certainly don't know how. 26 people recant their time during and post Broadcast!

The Assistant had a quick snoop of the book when I first started reading it and said 'Oh I hate books that don't alter the narrative voice.' HE WAS WRONG! The narrative voice changes continuously between the 26 POV characters. The South African Drug Dealer has fantastic colloquialisms and dialect markings, the MP talks exactly like a posh boy buffoon and the Retiree is so dry and sarcastic it is brilliant! Sorry Assistant, you were wrong....tooo quick to judge.

The whole book was creepy and unnerving but that did not deter me from it at all. So so intriguing, so so intriguing. The creepy and unsettling/unnerving feature lasted through the entire read. I think that is because I was on a train for a lot of it and was so scared that something like The Broadcast would happen and everyone would go mental!

The Gamer character was pretty good. He was the exact image of disaffected youth. He was a real close up slap in the face about youth of the day. Well, for me anyway! I also enjoyed the reactions of all the different nations to The Broadcast. The US, Africa, India, Iran, Israel etc etc, all had reactions and all were described. They were almost stereotypical of the nations and I wasn't at all surprised by them. It was almost reassuring and comforting regarding the rest of the book which pretty much scared me!!

I had to love the Addams family reference! I hope you love it too! Also, have to point out the one error I saw, Tanya is referred to as Kathy in a later part of the book. OOOPS!

Anyway, have a read. Not a book I'd usually pick but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me think. Don't read it if you are a conspiracy nut or a paranoid though....you'll go more mental!

Happy Reading

Book Geek :-)

The best Geek post ever!!!!

This is the best post a Book Geek can get! Thanks to four very lovely twitterers!!!!

Thank you Book Riot!!!

Thank you Lottie and Bloomsbury

Thank you Mr Jonny Gibbings

Thursday 17 May 2012

Review: A Storm of Swords Part2: Blood and Gold

Paperback: £ 8.99
Publisher: Harper Voyager


As I'm sure readers of this blog have noticed, I'm a huge fan of this series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

Part 3 has been split in to two books and I read part one a couple of weeks ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it of course. I thought it ruled...that was until however I read this one! OH MY GOD!!! AMAZING IN EVERY WAY!

There is action, love, politics, action, death, destruction, betrayal....ahhhh what more could you need!?!?! There are so many twists and turns! I could hardly cope with putting it down and only did when I really really had to! This is a fantastic book! Gripping, unnerving, breath taking and distressing all at the same time. If you were engrossed in the story before, you will be even more hooked now. And if you haven't yet read them, then you should, just for the pleasure of reading Storm of Swords Part 2. 

I went off Jon in Part 1 but I love him once more. Bloody love Dany and Tyrion. Seriously starting to like The Hound too (kinda always had a soft spot for him though). Still not enamored with the all the other Lannisters though...they suck! Also, I will admit, I got a bit annoyed with George, the author man himself at some points...I will not say why as I will spoil the plot however, I'm sure when you read this book you'll get annoyed at George too!

The only negative I have to comment on once again is the language. The bizarre combination of modern day and old timey is dominant in this book once again. I'm finding it really irritating as it is the only flaw I can spot with the whole collection. I always notice a problem to the max if there is only one to spot! Boooo! 

Also, interesting thing I thought I'd bring up. My Assistant is about half way through Clash of Kings. He thinks that George only writes from the POV of sympathetic characters....what do you think??

Anyway, read this series, read it now! Get it! It is amazing in every way, every single way! You will fall in love with characters, the book and maybe even George himself. (He isn't the most aesthetically pleasing man in the world though...just to warn you...but I bloody love him none the less).

The LEGEND and MY HERO!!!!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Review: Pig Iron

Publisher: BlueMoose
Paperback: £ 7.99


First off the cover of this book was the hell of a shock after what I read about the book. Now that I've read the book, the cover makes sense! Wooooo!

So, on with the rest of it.

The whole novel is written from two perspectives. That of John-John and Vancy. John-John's is written as first person where as Vancy's seem to be written as letters to John-John or even a diary addressed to him. This is really enjoyable as two very different lives are described and two very different perspectives on life are. Both use language/spelling/phrases/words to denote dialect and place etc. I am really enjoying this writing technique at the moment and actually miss it when I think about it not appearing in books I'm reading.

I loved John-John. He endeared himself to me extremely quickly. I felt sorry for him, happy for him and about a million other things for him all at the same time. He is so old fashioned, it is so lovely! All the poor lad wants is a life where he can be happy. He seems to want the traveller life but without the stigma of being a Wisdom attached to it. Vancy has the traveller life but seems to hate it and want to be free of it. All I wanted was to be able to give them both what they wanted! Mac is evil and I really hate him. He is a horrid, disgusting and despicable human being. I feel indifferent about Maria. I don't really know how I'm meant to feel about her.

There are some heavy issues looked at and examined in the book. Racism, domestic violence, abuse etc. They are dealt with very candidly yet they do not seem gratuitous. Things are not dealt with in a vulgar or brash way but that doesn't make the events any less upsetting or hard hitting. However, some aspects of the racism don't give us Welshies a good rep!! Boooooo!!!! :-p

I warn you that there is a large portion of violence thrown in along with the racism and abuse etc, however, don't let this put you off the book. It is fantastic!

Short review I'm sorry to say but I don't want to give too much away!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Be Careful Please!

I'm afraid this isn't a book related blog. This is a post to beg that people always watch their drinks!

I was at a bar in my parents' town at a school reunion on Saturday night. The organisers had reserved a portion of the bar but the rest was open to all and sundry.

I turned up about 8:30pm with my boy and bezzie. I cannot remember anything from 9pm until I woke up at 5am in hospital.

My drink was spiked. No idea who by, no idea with what.

Apparently I was fine until about 11pm when I was a bit weird and the boy took me back to my parents. When there I was really really paranoid, hysterical and basically mental.
My Mum called NHS Direct, told them my symptoms and where I'd been and they said to take me to hospital.

I had blood tests done around 2am. By then they couldn't find the drug in my system as things such as rohypnol and GHB only stay detectable in the blood stream for 3 - 4 hours. However, from my behaviour, dilated pupils and racing heart rate the doc said my drink had more than likely been spiked.

I was incredibly lucky that nothing bad happened to me (well other than ending up in hospital) I was VERY lucky that I had my lovely boy with me to notice I'd become odd.

Apparently I was having a great time at the reunion and saw loads of my old friends. However, I don't remember a thing at all.

The next day I felt completely fine and had no side effects or hangover...another link to having my drink spiked.

So please do watch out! I never leave my drinks unattended so it is really scary that something was put in it without my noticing!! I am so pleased I had my boy and bezzie around which ensured that nothing happened to me!

Have fun but have safe fun!!!! Not everyone will be as lucky as I was!

Book Geek!

Friday 4 May 2012

Unlikely things to read in a romance novel

Yes, yes, stolen....

Hardback: £ 14.99
Publisher: Boxtree

'It was love at first sight - she a beautiful heiress, he a donkey with a hat.'

'As the night drew in, she kissed his lips and they parted. She climbed inside her luxurious four poser bed and he trudged back to his kennel.'

'They met as if it were ordained in the stars, as if the very gods themselves had bade it happen; it was at a sales conference at a hotel in Solihull.'

'As she pulled towards him she could feel his heart beat next to hers. That's strange, she thought, his heart's on the wrong side of his body.'

'She stepped out of the bathroom in just her nightie, stood in the moonlight and whispered tenderly, "I'd give that 10 minutes if I were you."

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Review: In Her Blood

Hardback: £ 12.99
Publisher: William Heinemann

This was sent to me by the lovelies of Flashbang. You can find out more about them and their crime writing contest which is associated with CrimeFest at www.flashbangcontest.wordpress.com.

Unsurprisingly this is a crime novel, a murder mystery.....several murders. 

It's based on Berlin, a seemingly pretty regular lady who works for a civilian investigation firm tracking down and prosecuting unlicensed loan sharks. She is pretty damn cool. Her life is a total mess but she rules. She is strong, confident, feisty and doesn't tolerate any shit! Also, as she is a civilian investigator, how she gets sucked in to this whole situation and begins investigating it herself is pretty believable. She has the training, the knowledge, the patience etc etc.

Doyle is another of the main characters. I imagine him to be like Derrick Branning on Eastenders (yes, I do watch that show. It's my one piece of mind numbing telly, it's my guilty pleasure!). He is an East End gangster, old school gangster, very old school gangster but, to be honest he isn't as bad as you think. His life is pretty tragic and I feel really sorry for him to an extent. I can see that he is a case of nurture not nature. 

The story is pretty compelling to read. You want to know who dunnit, you want to know what happens next and how all the threads intermingle. You get a real sense of time. This book was set not that long ago, the recession, it even makes reference to the Icelandic bank that went tits up. This was a huge relief after Bitterblue and its crazy lack of time setting shizz. I learnt a lot about heroin and the treatment of the addiction from this. I didn't really know much about it and this was rather enlightening! 

Money is a big central focus of the plot and money is a scary arsed thing. To be honest, it seems that money is in fact the bad guy! Money is evil and must be treated carefully! It's temperamental! It's like a bomb. It was difficult sometimes to work out who the bad guy (actual bad character) was. The phrase 'I'm going to see a man about a dog' was bandied about a lot by several characters and always when they were about to do something bad or break the rules. It made a lot of characters morally ambiguous. 

The whole story is tragic. The lives of the people involved are tragic. The whole story is an entire tragedy. Everyone is pretty normal and seems to have had their lives ruined by one or two bad choices. It is so ordinary in many respects!

The only flaw I'd note in this novel is that on several occasions I was able to guess what happened next and who people were. That did let me down a bit as I like to be kept guessing. However, because I'd guessed I wanted to continue to read, and read quickly, so I could prove I was in fact correct.

If you are a crime fan then pick this up. I think it's out this month.

Happy Reading 

Book Geek