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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!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Review: Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula

Publisher: Titan Books
Price: £ 7.99

I read a new Sherlock Holmes novel from Guy Adams a while ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was far better than anticipated and ended up being a pleasant surprise. Now....let's move on to this one.

There was an excellent set up for this book with the foreword etc, I was pleased with that. LE has great Holmes knowledge and has obviously done his homework. HUZZAH! The voice of Watson was also superb. Again, this was a clear indication of the amount of research LE has done. However, you could tell on occasion that this was written by someone of American persuasion due to the turn of phrase.

I sadly was not convinced by the relationship/inclusion of Van Helsing with Holmes. Or to be honest, vamps and Sherlock. I know that this is a new spin on Holmes and all that jazz but I do feel that this is a bit too far fetched for the world of Holmes. Holmes as a bounty hunter type figure didn't work for me.

The novel was indeed a page turner and yes it was fun to read, however, I would not recommend it for anyone who is a die hard Holmes fan. It's worth a read but you will have to try to forget the fact that it is a Holmes novel!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Review: Spilt Milk

Publisher: Atlantic Books
Price: Hardback £ 12.99

As an old man lies in a hospital bad, he tells stories of his life and his love in a beautifully tragic way! That is the premise of Spilt Milk.

The whole thing is in first person so you feel very very sad from the beginning! It wouldn't work in any other person, of that I am sure. I was wondering if this is a translation as the author is Brazilian. If indeed it is, it is an excellent one! However I really hope that nothing has been lost due to it being a translation as so often happens....that makes me sad!

I worried for Eulalio the whole way through, I worried about him having someone to love him, I worried if people actually were listening at all or if he was just coherent in his head. I worried that no one really gave a crap about him. But, I also selfishly worried that I would be like him one day. I was truly terrified and deeply scared!

Eulalio's whole life seems tragic and misguided. However, some stories he tells seem very blunt and he seems very detached from them. The tone and sentiment conveyed between stories such as these and those full of passion were written so well that I just couldn't believe it! The ramblings had some of the Catch 22 about them and I began to feel a little bit loopy myself but, again, I take that as a sign of excellent writing! 

Overall, this is a heart wrenching and beautiful book that is not one to be missed. It is eloquent and sublime and should be on any avid readers list. Also, the word Pusillanimous is used and that is not used enough in my opinion!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

P.S. When I realised why it is called Spilt Milk, my stomach did a flip....urrrrgh!!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Review: Winter Warmers

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

First of all, sorry to the people of Little, Brown who are lovely and sorry Carole Matthews. I am afraid that these really were not for me at all!!! I don't mean to offend and I am sorry, but as you know, I am always honest in my reviews...brutally sometimes.

This is a collection of 'heart warming' Christmas stories, and as I am NOT a chick lit fan...I hated them and I am delighted they were short....VERY SHORT.

All I Want For Christmas Is You
The only bit of glimmer I saw in this story was that the girls in it worked in publishing. Not my realm of publishing but publishing none the less...this hope did not last long! It was so predictable and naff that this story fell in to the realms of tedium and made me think, WHO ACTUALLY READS THESE AND HAS NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN???

Cold Turkey
This story made me immediately think (as if followed the first one) where the hell are people's families in these wretched stories. Again it was annoying to see what saps people can be. I admit I can be one sometimes, but seriously, do we need to read about how we can all be complete idiots? The cliched thing happened again! I found myself wishing that the bloke would chop her head off and replace it with the Christmas turkey just so something interesting would happen. Basically this was another cheesey crock!

About Gardening
Finally, I saw something to get my teeth in to here...I embraced the narrators bitterness....however this was VERY short lived as it ended with happiness and flowers and cheese! (Sorry if that was a spoiler, but really...if you couldn't work that out from the beginning then what is wrong with you???).

Anyway, once again, sorry about the negativity surrounding this collection. Many people do enjoy chick lit and all it apparently has to offer but I really am not one of them!

Happy Reading (if you must)

Book Geek

Monday, 17 December 2012

Review: The Quaint Christmas

Publisher: The Friday Project
Price: Free ebook...ATM anyway

Ahhh, it seems I have read another little festive shortie, and as I always do, here is my quick little sharing review. The lovely people of The Friday Project highlighted the freeness of this via twitter and as I loved Mr Craske's ebook Above His Station I thought why the hell not!

You can see in some ways that this was written by DC as there is the same tongue in cheek aura around  the story. Also, the characters and total caricature and I do love a good caricature! There was the feeling of a Dicken's stylee Chrismas in this shortie once more...I can't seem to get away from that world ATM and I am certainly not complaining. The story felt old, however, there were a few elements of the modern world apparent on the odd occasion and there were a few moments of contemporary language. However, I didn't mind that at all..it worked!

There was a lot of humour and I loved its subtlety as much as the not so subtle moments. A particular comedy highlight was the staring moment! That was totally superb! There was an element of the Sherlock Holmes around Quaint which I liked too as you may well know from previous posts that I do love Mr Holmes!

At the end you feel all warm and fuzzy so this is defo a nice quick Christmas read...specially as it is free!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Review: A Treacherous Likeness

Publisher: Corsair
Price: I am unsure I am afraid as it isn't on my bound copy

First thing's first....you need to watch this if you don't know a great deal about the Shelleys http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isjSHdsIGf4 It helped me a great deal and enhanced my enjoyment of yet again another great book from this very talented lady!

I read Tom-All-Alone's earlier in the year and thoroughly enjoyed it all and I am thrilled that the world is back! We are back in the Dickensian-esque world of Charles Maddox! YAY! There are a few recap bits but you will be delighted to hear that they are subtle! YAY!

The changes in voice for letters etc were wonderful! The great uncle Maddox writings were amazing! The tone was so blunt and to the point but slightly amusing. The flash back was great also. It made me fall in love with old Maddox...as well of course Charles....yes, yes I am still in love with him! The subtle author voice that popped in every now and again was delightful...completely wonderful. It adds humour and brings you back from the novel and reminds you that you are separate from it, I actually enjoy that in LS's books...which is unusual for me!

The plot was dark and twisty and tragic and compelling and gripping and amazingly enjoyable! I knew bugger all bout the Shelley's and I'm not an expert now but they seem mighty interesting. It is clear from the whole thing that LS has done, once again, epic amounts of research! I would recommend reading Tom's first, then this as you will loose a certain something. But, read both of these! READ THEM!!

OOO, Also, that was a Christmas bit! YAY!!!! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!


Book Geek

Review: Two Short Things

Publisher: Vintage
Price: £ 1. 99

I was sent this by the lovely Vintage people! I have no real idea who Julian Barnes is...I'm sorry! I know the name and I recognise his face but I have no real idea of why he is so regarded. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this essay. I love his love of books! The whole piece is funny and entertaining and written in a wonderfully engaging friendly and conversational tone. YAY! This piece made me feel totally totally happy that people in the world love books for all the AMAZING reasons there ever were and are and will be! YAY I feel delightfully happy after having read this! Also, this quote rules 'To own a certain book - and to choose it without help - was to define yourself'.

Publisher: Mantle
Price: Free ebook

Downloaded this free after a Tweet recommendation and I enjoyed it a lot. It was good. It was gritty, and not Christmassy at all..even though it is a Christmas-ish story, however I enjoyed it LOADS! I don't know much about Inuits but I think I want to learn more about them now. They seem pretty interesting indeed and their culture is intriguing! It was very sweet and a tad upsetting too! Lots of love in it!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

Friday, 14 December 2012

Review: 21st Century Dodos

Publisher: The Friday Project
Price: £ 9.99 (also an ebook)

Mr Stack did some kind of crazy experiment with this book and offered it as a free ebook. I took advantage of this and have read it...and here is what I think, along with a few other bits and bobs.

21st Century Dodos is a collection of musings about things our society has lost or made extinct! From the very dedication I was already off to a cracking start and it amused me greatly! I was only one entry in and was already loving it! The happy nostalgia was great! Loads of memories were brought back from the offing and things I hadn't recalled from my memory in years...I am however hoping this isn't in a Jason Bourne way!!!!

I loved the conversation tone and the feeling of reminiscing with a friend. It was completely honest and true to life! But, by the end I felt a little bit sad about all the things we have loved and lost over time! *sob*.

Now, I have to provide you with a few comments on a few nostalgic things about this book...please stay with me!

- I bloody loved a good cassette tape! Used to record pretend radio shows with mates.
- I no longer own a VHS player which means I cannot play many an EPIC film I own on VHS.
- I think 2 dodos is for polaroids...I see them muchly!
- Squeeeee arrrrghhhhh reeeuuuurrrcchhhssschhhh bllloorrgghhh muuccrrrggpphhhggg
- When really small, Mummy Geek once found me talking to someone on the rotary dial phone. Apparently I had picked it up and called a totally random stranger.
- I am only 26 and remember white dog poo....however I am Welsh.
- The publisher of my publishing house ALWAYS whistles the same tune....we believe it is his warning signal.
- Captain beany of the Monster Raving Loony Party used to drive round my childhood town with a loudhailer from his car. I found out last Saturday that he is still alive.
- 5 dodos should be awarded to the thanks gone, scary arsed non secure train doors!!!
- I think Mummy Geek still has a Midland Bank cheque book cover somewhere in her house.
- There is an Athena in Exeter! In my uni days I bought many a gift for people there!
- I remember a school supply teacher throwing a bit of chalk at the class shit and then upgrading to a board rubber when he didn't shut up.
- Like a bit of a loser I can still sing/recant with the exact intonation and tones many of the advertising slogans mentioned in Dodo.
- Last film I saw with an intermission was James and the giant peach...the cinema doesn't even exist anymore. :-(
- If you want crap local ads in the cinema then hit the Apollo on Aberavon sea front!
- I used to love a good 10p mix from the paper shop. It was all about pink milk bottles and chocolate mice.
- I was not aware that the paper around chocolate cigarettes was in fact inedible and NOT rice paper....bugger!
- I write to Godmother Geek a few times a month and she writes back to me! Whooooo for snail mail.
- Two spaces after a full stop is the bane of my career as a magazine editor!

So, yes, my general ramblings aside, this is a great book for general wonderment and will appeal to people of all ages....however, you will find it more of a history book if you are now in your teens as you probably have no idea what half of the stuff mentioned is or that it even existed.


Happy Reading

Book Geek

Monday, 10 December 2012

Review: Dark Chocolate: A Tale of Christmas Fear

Bums! I can't get this the right way round! SORRY PEOPLE!
Anyway, the lovely @brainconfetti sent me this lovely pic:

And with it came the above comic book and a cute little business card!

I am sure you will all agree that she is one talented lady! However, I wanted to give the comic book a quick review/mention as it is a totally unique delight and a cracking group effort!

It was put together by @brainconfetti and three other tweeters, entirely via twitter who have never met before. And let me tell you it is a funny and cute little tail with some absolutely AMAZING illustrations! It's festive also which actually makes my life happier as I love Christmas! 

Each illustrator has a totally unique style and that is totally clear in the book, however it detracts nothing as it makes the collaboration even more amazing!!

If you do get to read this then enjoy and laugh and get a warm fuzzy feeling!

I did!


Happy Reading

Book Geek 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Review: Once in Golder's Green (sampler)

Publisher: Duckworth
Price: £12.99 (hardback)

This was a Sampler of the stories from OIGG so I only have three to comment on, but I will comment none the less! BOOM!

The fact that I was reading this book brought up a discussion in the man office about anti semitism and if it is a prevalent today as it once was. Also we discussed other racism etc and it was rather enlightening and interesting indeed! Anyway...on I go.

I haven't read a short story collection by one person before so I was most intrigued.....

Once, in Golder's Green...
I didn't realise it was going to be autobiographical...I am hoping that the author was pulling from real experience and not just using his name for fun. The story was a bit of a journey of self discovery and set up the whole selection with a bang! The Rabbi was Very stereotypical and I thoroughly enjoyed him also, there was an AMAZING bit...I will say no more though.

The suitcase by the door
I didn't really feel comfortable with this story as it didn't really seem like the author's style. If it is to say that story one is indeed true. However, it did draw a great sadness from me for Aaron and I also pitied him!

The miraculous Rabbi Feldman
The tone/style of this story felt far more comfortable I was so so sad for the Rabbi in the beginning but delighted by the very end! WHOOOOOP! The question of what do you do when your very being is being scrutinised? However, the comedy element saves you from the gloom!

Happy reading

Book Geek