Showing posts from July, 2015

What do you do when you're asked to review?

I've read and reviewed books by A. J. York before. I know roughly how long they'll be. I know I'll enjoy the storylines, and I know A. J. York's very English voice will appeal to my English heritage. When I receive an email from her asking for another review, it's not hard to say yes. After all, this will be a quick, short, thoroughly enjoyable read, and I'll fit it in between my other commitments... eventually. Ms York is always very willing to wait, which helps a lot, since my other commitments are rapidly wearing me down. I've read and reviewed lots of wonderful picture books from Wisdom Tales too. They are one of my favorite publishers of children's books, and their stories always blend cultural significance with immediate relevance in a thoroughly pleasing way. When they send an email asking for a review I always say yes. Picture books are lovely, uplifting, quick reads. And the time spent writing a review (probably longer than reading the book) i

What books would you take on vacation?

I went to England to spend time with family, and, of course, I carried some books in my case. I did also take a tablet computer pre-loaded with kindle and kobo reads (plus a few pdfs), but I'm still neurotic about running out of battery power in the middle of nowhere. Real books, though heavy, do have the advantage that they don't need to plugged in on the plane. So... what did I take? I didn't take I Am Pilgrim  by Terry Hayes because it's too big and heavy, but I did read it during my trip, because my sister-in-law loaned it to me when I arrived. So... not a book for the journey so much as one for the destination. I have to include it though, or I'll mess up my review list. And I loved it--a complex story that weaves multiple histories and characters, intersecting timelines, mysteries, terror and more, all tightly drawn so no thread pulls free, all compellingly told, and all so horrifyingly, hauntingly convincing. Not for the overly squeamish, it's a thorou

One day you might hear him!

It really doesn't seem so long since I wrote a blogpost about " The Best Singer you might never hear ," Liam was a finalist in Britain's Got Talent, and his soprano voice was just incredible. Then he became an alto with an amazing range, and still his voice changed. Record producers didn't want to know - they just told him to come back when his voice had broken. But Liam breaks records. His voice never broke and he's always been able to sing. Now, aged 19, he's an amazing tenor, studying at a prestigious college, coming top of his year, and looking forward to the sort of career where yes, you will hear him. Meanwhile I got to hear Liam sing Ave Maria. I've never before been in the presence of a voice like this. I've known there are singers and good singers and more, just as there are writers, authors, good authors and more. But I'd never imagined how wonderful a seriously good singer would sound to my untrained ear. Now I know - there is noth

Do you prefer long books, split books, or short books?

I was searching the bookstore for something to read on a journey. Not too long, I thought, as it would be a pain to carry. (Yeah I know, I could have taken a kindle, but the battery might have run out.) Not too short, or I'd finish it too soon. And not one of those unfinished, wait-for-the-sequel type books or I'd just get annoyed. So what would you choose? And why was the bookstore suddenly full of delightfully huge and enticing tomes that wouldn't possibly fit in my handbag? So what did I read? You'll have to wait and see. For now I'm just posting reviews of what I read earlier. And Deadman Switch by Sam Powers is both long and split. It's the second volume in a trilogy, and it's probably best read after reading the first. Better still, read one, then two, then three (which I haven't read yet), as the story really doesn't reach an end, and there's lots to be resolved. Drink some bold, dark, intense five-star coffee while reading - there are