Sunday Salon – Farewell August

Hi everyone! I would say August has been a good month for me reading wise as I’ve read six books in total. I know for some of you this is slow reading, but it’s the most I can generally fit in. This will be the first year when I’ll have a rough idea of how many books I’ve read. From and including March I’ve read 31 books, so I may well end up having read over 50 books this year. It’s a shame I haven’t kept records before, but it was only finding Librarything that encouraged me to do this.

Yesterday I started to read my Librarything Early Reviewer book for August which is Quiver by Peter Leonard. So far it’s been an easy read, but I’m unsure where it’s heading at the moment.

I won’t be getting much reading done today though as a silent migraine has struck and I’m feeling so faint, washed out, nauseous and generally run down. 😦


The Outcast by Sadie Jones

The Outcast by Sadie Jones

Lewis arrives back from prison in 1957 now at the age of 19 and of course that has me wondering what he went to prison for. Time then reverts back to a much younger Lewis and follows his childhood tales which include an extremely traumatic event, which changes Lewis to a quiet, withdrawn little boy that it appears nobody really understands.

The book moves forward in time and we find out why Lewis was in prison. Lewis appears lost with himself and with the opposite sex, but is drawn to differing girls/women that may be able to fill a small part of his needs. Lewis’ family and their neighbours are very much central to the story and they all seem to carry so many demons within them. Kit is a neighbouring young girl that has always been drawn to Lewis and she feels she understands him the most, but he tends to cast her aside as he feels she is not for him. The community in general takes against Lewis for various reasons and Lewis feels in some way he must fight back after hurting himself physically and mentally for so long.

I found this a very difficult book to describe in terms of what happens as I didn’t want to give away any spoilers, as I feel it’s a book that just needs to be read and absorbed. One cannot help feel so sorry for Lewis and want to shake everybody around him so that they can see what he is going through. However everyone in the book does appear to be suffering in various ways. I feel that this was an exceptionally well written novel that is dark, disturbing, distressing and depressing, but at the same time a most wonderful, colourful, absorbing read. As I was reading it I felt things were going from bad to worse and it seemed as if Lewis was doomed to fail in anything he tried to achieve. For me it was a book that had me desperate to find out what happened next and was very difficult to put down. I was absolutely amazed to find that this was the author’s debut book, will definitely look out for the next.

Read this book – I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.


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Booking Through Thursday

Todays question from BTT:

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?

Or, um, is it just me?

I have to say that sometimes I read books for the story and other times its for the emotions and feelings it evokes. It’s great that sometimes they can come together. I do quite like a mix and I have to say with many of the thrillers I read the descriptions and emotions are secondary and I love finding out where the book is going next and following all the twists and turns. I find I can also be in the mood for descriptive books and can sometimes indulge in classics like The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (I loved this book!). So depending on my mood I like a bit of everything!

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

“It was before and after Jeanie. The before had the sweetness he felt kissing her, and her being close to him that first time, and the after had the familiar coldness he felt when he had slept with her and ever since.”

Taken from: The Outcast by Sadie Jones (p191)

Tuesday Thingers on Wednesday

Today’s Topic from Boston Bibliophile :LibraryThing authors. Who are your LibraryThing authors? What books of theirs do you have? Do you ever comment on an author’s LT page? Have you received any comments from an author on your LT account?

The only author I have on librarything at the moment is C. Comfort Shields who has written the memoir: Surviving Ben’s Suicide, a book that looks at the feelings and life of the partner of the person left behind, who can sometimes be forgotten as they’re ‘ONLY’ the boyfriend or girlfriend and not the wife or husband, which as Comfort found out didn’t lessen the pain and sometimes these people were the closest to the deceased when they died and maybe understood the deceased more so than even close family.

See my review here

I haven’t yet received any comments on librarything from authors and I have not yet written any comments to authors either.

If I am Missing or Dead by Janine Latus

If I am Missing or Dead by Janine Latus

This memoir follows Janine through her childhood with a father who seemed to see every female in terms of their sexual looks. This seems to stick with Janine and follows into her adult relationships. Her relationship with Kurt is very unhealthy, but it appears that Janine did not see it this way and blamed herself for an awful lot of the problems she suffered with Kurt. At the same time her Sister Amy was living with an alcoholic abusive husband and Janine very quickly could see how bad this was and that her sister should not tolerate this. Amy eventually sees the light and leaves this relationship, but alas she fall under the spell of another man, Ron who it seems is capable of far worse than her former husband.

This book makes me question why is it that we can always see the mistakes other people make in their relationships and yet can so often be blind to our own? It saddened me reading this book that intelligent people could find themselves in these emotionally tormenting troubles. It also makes me question if putting two incompatible people together with drastically differing personalities could actually spark domestic abuse but actually, if people met their soul mate who had clear boundaries would violence or abuse ever erupt? I appreciate there are abusers out there who would probably attack anyone they are in a relationship with, but are there others who, not understanding the other person and not knowing how to begin to understand them, find themselves in situations they would have never foreseen? Please don’t take me as saying that it’s an excuse for abuse as I’m just trying to understand; I don’t condone abuse, physical or emotional, and always believe there is a better way.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and thought it was very well written, although the content was obviously sad.

I do agree with other reviewer’s that it did suggest it would be more about the sister, than Janine, but I believe writing it this way gave a clear message of how childhood influences our adulthood.


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Monday Musings – The dreaded reading slump!

Should Be Reading asks the following questions:

What do YOU do when you find yourself in a reading slump? How do you get out of it? Do you keep trying different books until you find one that draws you in? Do you just give in to the slump until it passes, and do something other than reading for a time? Do you ask for help? And, if you ask for help, what great (or, not so great) advice have you been given on how to get out of the slump?

The reading slump tends to start for me after reading a great book and then picking up the next, and even knowing that it’s likely to be a good book once I get into it, I find I just haven’t the enthusiasm. To me it feels as if I am mourning the last book and need to adjust. I do tend to find I’m online more whilst in a reading slump as reading small paragraphs and reviews on other books tends to get me interested again. I certainly have not had any big slump this year; it’s generally only been a few days whereas at one time it could prolong itself for weeks!

I do tend to find that if I’m in a real slump then a change of genre can be just the thing to restart the reading brain cells. I find I very rarely pick up lots of books before choosing; I generally choose one and stick with it unless I find I absolutely cannot bear to read it. This only happens very occasionally as I do tend to know what books I am going to enjoy even if I’ve not read the author before.