Sunflower by Post Malone, featuring Swae Lee is a beautiful song featuring on a jam packed soundtrack full of songs that you want to hear again and again. It’s from 2018, I’m sure you’ve already heard it and if not, why not? Either way, stay where you are and watch the video here.
Reading when I can, Blogging if there's time, Listening on repeat
Human by Death is one of the few albums that with no hesitation, I listen to from beginning to end. It flows as a story being told, a mood that develops and equally as individual songs that make you sing along with, nod your head to, then mosh because it’s inevitable and necessary. If you don’t get it, that’s perfectly fine. However don’t dismiss the music without giving it a listen
The mood they create in their songs is an all encompassing atmosphere which surrounds you in a bubble. Deftones goes heavy, pulls in melody and Chino Moreno’s high notes, juxtaposed with the low, gives you a distinct blend of amazing. Plus, when you delve into the lyrics, well it’s a revelation: these guys understand, they get it, they know.
The Spell of Mathematics is all that and more.
Listening again to songs that you heard when you were a teen because you choose to/ bought the album yourself is special.
Killing Joke is one of those bands for me.
Picking one Killing Joke song is hard. Don’t judge me for having the gall to do so. I realise that there are other excellent choices available.
Is Chop Chop on your shortlist?
H.E.R’s lush voice, sweeps you up and engages you in a story that you want to hear. These singles are just two of this talented artist’ back catalogue.
Take a few minutes out of your day, to listen one or both songs and be wowed.
Bernard and the Cloth Monkey is a quietly harrowing look at a slice of West Indian culture in London’s 1990’s. The story of a fractured family is deftly revealed in present day conversations and as each daughter reminisce on their past
Looking for a suspenseful ghost story? Look not further than The Whistling. The atmosphere and sinister occurances result in a cracking read.
Xianxia novels are high-fantasy stories that feature magic, demons, ghosts, magical beasts, immortals, and Chinese folklore and mythology. Jade Fire Gold is a really great read and I’m hoping there is a sequel or at the very least another book in this universe.
If a revenge wedding that spirals into a fight to the death is your kind of thing, then look no further than The Venue to keep you entertained.
When you find a book that resonates, is fun, interesting, engaging and well written, you can’t help but wallow in the warm glow of bookish love. Murderbot is a character that will either grow on you (before the end of chapter 1) or you will adore instantly, there are no other options.
The name Murderbot invokes so much curiosity. I’m glad that I took that first step to find out more about this complex and wry personality. Looking forward to more adventures with this character.
A Family Matter depicts a dysfunctional family that that is too real for comfort. As we learn more about the characters in particular the patriarch Poppa and the long dead Momma, we despair about the reach of people who should never have been parents. This graphic novel is a challenging read but worth it.
“A cult is like porn, you know it when you see it”
But not everyone sees the tendrils of a cult at first glance and this is what makes Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism a good read – seeing how people get caught up in these groups. That and the fact that it widens the scope of cult to groups who use similar methods to engage their members and dominate their time and attention.
The narrator was engaging the topics discussed in such a way that it was like hanging out over coffee with a friend. Having a really good conversation with a topic that ran and ran eventually leading to a late lunch and then calling it quits only because you had dinner plans you couldn’t cancel. Enjoyable.
Tucked within a YA adventure story full of magic and intrigue is a powerful message on being you. Holding onto your principles despite the cost, and hoping but not expecting that those with closed minds/ who write you off, will eventually see you for who you actually are, not what they’ve assumed.
Wonderful start to a new series by B.B Alston, read with feeling by Imani Parks. Enjoyed it immensely.
The Heart Principle illustrates all the reasons why I love Helen Hoang’s books. Because she has characters who are funny, interesting and diverse. They represent the real world in a convincing way. I believe that these two are finding their way to love together. It’s a beautiful story that will make you glad you’ve read it.
The Echo Chamber is a laugh out loud story on the perils of modern society and social media’s influence on our way of life. Far fetched and very funny. Hold out for the audiobook and you won’t regret it
You will be amused and charmed by this tale of pest control. No preventative measures or exterminators rather polite notes. How very civilised
It’s not often that I will say I’m gleeful of the comeuppance of well deserving individuals, then compound it by confirming how amusing I find their murder. Once you’ve read How To Kill Your Family, you’ll understand why
Kindred is about about Dana Franklin a black woman from the 1970’s who keeps accidentally travelling back in time and meeting with her slave-owning ancestor. Don’t imagine what happens, pick up up this graphic novel to read and see what this journey is like. You will feel all the feels.
The Gatekeeper’s Staff was heroic, dramatic, full of suspense and the best thing yet was that this world of West African folklore was a mystery. Get the audiobook and you won’t regret it
Hermatite is a magical read, with all the classic vampire essentials, ending on a cliff hanger which leaves you quietly pacing, eager for the next instalment.
What is it like to be a black teen now? These difficult and topical themes were portrayed in a real, accurate and age appropriate way in Black Brother, Black Brother. A must read.
What are NetGalley Featured Reviews? Read on to find out more about this and Top Reviewer status
This version of the eighties isn’t rose tinted nostalgia. My Name is Leon is about a biracial child in care, how he gets there and how he comes to terms with the realities of his life. Tough in places, well observed and a terrific read.
Each story directly or indirectly, references a diary. Knowing you history, remembering your past is key to your present and defining your future. Importance of recording one’s thoughts equates with better knowing oneself
The Vanishing Half is a labyrinth of themes on racism, sexism, gender, motherhood, and so much more. It’s a compelling story about black twins who can pass for white, and it delves deep into the complexities of identity
Hench, like The Boys, set heroes in a world where they are three dimensional, showing their wants, desires and motivations.
Anna has been at their mercy and didn’t appreciate the experience nor the repercussions. Hench is her journey on fighting backing using modern methods including data mining and social media to take them down.
Hench is engaging, entertaining and a really fun read
I loved Mills and Boon as a tween/teen and avidly consumed this sub genre of romance novels on a frequent basis. So much so that they were battered beyond recognition. Now I look at that time and think, why don’t I read that genre as much now. Why are some of my old favourites out of favour?
Who isn’t fascinated by words?
If you’re ambivalent about it then this post if for you. Hopefully my enthusiasm will rub off and you will find one or two that you like.
A brief introduction to why I like words so much and which ones are taking my fancy. Hint – the more obscure the better!
There are many things to like about The Memory Police, the narrative structure, the well drawn characters and world building. Another aspect that I can’t let go unsaid was the delicate way information was revealed. I didn’t realise just how chaotic the island was until I (the reader) was invested in the story and found myself, like the islanders equally wounded by this calamitous place. But its thought provoking insight into the power and relevance of memory is what lingers and will not be easily forgotten.
Clive Barker takes a straightforward plot layers it with intent, infuses it with wonder and leaves you absorbed in a world that horrifies yet ultimately delights. This is his gift as a storyteller. If you haven’t already, get to know, Cabal one of his classic horror novels.
When you like the synopsis more than the book itself, you have to wonder why, especially when there are zombies galore.
When you notice you’re in a reading slump, what do you do? In my case, I navigated my way through by listening to music and other distraction tactics. Read on to find out how well that worked.
The Boy In The Black Suit is fundamentally about life, setbacks and grief. When life is hard, how do you cope? As a teen whose mother has just died and a father has given up on being a recovering alcoholic. Life is difficult for Matt. The writing is good and the grief is real. making this a compelling read.
The Silver Metal Lover is a love story about finding yourself and the person that compliments, brings out the best in you. Their relationship is beautifully developed within the constraint of a future world beset with environmental issues and discontent, So even though it breaks my heart every time I read it, there is such joy and hope in this sublime sci fi tale that I can’t help but love it.
“Hell is the absence of the people you long for”. Station Eleven shows us a world crippled by a virus and the survivors who remain in the aftermath. This is a perceptive and astute retelling of humanity struggle to come to terms with this loss and the future they have to create. A tremendous book. May’s Book of the Month.
Teen sister detectives solve a murder mystery on their high rise London housing estate. Good plot, great characters, fantastic representation and excellent narration. Recommended.
This zombie tale delivers an interesting premise on the genre with plenty of danger, thrills and gore. It invites us to question what makes us human. You will be fascinated as I was to know more about the assertion. Scary but thoughtful read.
May looks good to go. I have a few ARCs scheduled and a couple in particular that I’m looking forward to, Michelle Obama’s biography to listen to before I see the Netflix special and catching up on anything I should have read.
I read about half of the books that I had planned to read in April so not very successful in trying to avoid building up a mini backlog. But hey ho, these things happen
No-Mod takes place in a techno-religious city, where the marginalised include those without biomedical modification. Addie’s search for answers takes her on the run revealing more about this autocratic world than she had envisaged. Riveting YA read with little details that make it a pleasure to read. I am looking forward to the sequel.
Corporate Gunslinger seems so very timely about the power of corporations and overwhelming debt. Insurance companies already use small print to deny claims, thus it’s no stretch to imagine the possibility that they would eventually utilise skilled killers to ensure they don’t have to pay out. In no way does it seem strange that gunfighting is part of the American legal system.
The cover for Cuckoo’s Egg is beautiful. It perfectly captures the essence of the book. It shows Duun, cradling Thorn as a baby. Between the artwork and back cover we already know it’s about an alien culture meeting human, however it’s the way it intersects, how the story is told which is very beautiful.
This dystopia raises men to see themselves as first with no equal. The dismissive way women are perceived, spoken of and to permeates society at all levels. Fortunately perseverance and a dedication to the future generations leads a group to quietly rebel.
Bri is a typical teenager, rash, impulsive but also thoughtful. I found her annoying in part but realistic at heart. You too will want Bri to win on talent alone and make the right choices, because she deserved it , but this isn’t a fairy tale, the reality is, being talented isn’t enough. On The Come Up is a fantastic read about making choices and fighting against stereotypes.
I haven’t read Whipping Star in about 15 years. But on picking it up I immediately remembered chairdogs, float homes and stage frozen Pan Spechi and what these terms meant. Perhaps because they’re descriptive as well as inventive is why they are still memorable for me.
Who Goes Here? is funny, that has to be mentioned first. Not that you wouldn’t have noticed as it permeates the whole book: the characters, dialogue and situations are humorous and well articulated. But before you get the wrong idea, this isn’t a gagged filled romp with set pieces.
This book is a must for those who love well written psychological thrillers, that pulls on the heartstrings but not gratuitously so and with characters that you are rooting for. It will make you feel big emotions, be judgemental and sincerely consider your views on several serious issues. What a gripping read!
Dewdrop is a joyous story about being a good friend, an encouragement to those around you and being you – the best you can be. In the sweetest of ways this is age appropriate mindfulness and resilience training.
We are taken on a journey of quiet intensity as these women are faced with the knowledge of what they have done, why and the catastrophic consequences of their plans not being accomplished
As the novel is interspersed with vignettes on cults, their leaders, serial killers and victims, Will Carver has thoughtfully given us (the reader) enough context and examples to assist us in the hunt for the leader and other members of the group, so we are not reliant on the police who appear incapable of solving this in a prompt and satisfactory manner.
I am a sucker for intrepid children who are resourceful and disarming. Whose small efforts make a big difference in their lives and in Lizard’s Tale, the world stage. These are children who have purposely decided to make a stand against obligation, expectations and gender roles.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo eloquently shows that that love, abuse, the whole spectrum of the human condition is the same and gives no quarter for ethnicity or gender. Her understanding of human beings and ability to convey the complexity of human thought, behaviour and action, through a multifaceted, nuanced depiction of race and relationships in an accessible way, is a triumph.
Orphans of the Tide is a fantastic tale about history, loss, friendship, and love. It takes place in a bleak land almost devoid of joy, where the inhabitants are focused only on survival, a place mired in mystery: this is The City. Where strange things happen because they always have and only a few remember or know the truth of the matter.
The world-building is wonderful and the characters charming, thoroughly recommend
Eerie-on-Sea is revealed to be a wonderful place – thought I’m not sure that I want to live there, but would be extremely happy to visit – which is filled with peculiar happenings and strange wondrous everyday things, that the inhabitants take for granted.
There are twists and turns galore, robots, machinations and comeuppances.
I started to really like this book when things started to go wrong, culminating with the group trapped in the cave. That’s when it decided to get eerie, creepy and claustrophobic.
I hope that I was able to adequately convey my sentiments on this beautiful depiction of an universal human trait: the lies we tell to feel better about ourselves. It was a masterful insight into a realised person and wider community, truly a great read on so many levels.
The Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of short stories exploring the lives of Nigerians at home and abroad. Proving a touching, insightful, raw in places and agonising in others read.
An American Marriage is an exquisitely tender illustration of the complexity of marriage and family.
Beneath the humour there are serious themes at play, it deftly masks the undercurrent of distress that is revealed subtly throughout the novel to explain why Ayoola kills and Korede doesn’t condone but neither exposes her. It really gets to the heart of the sibling relationship – the expectation of what you should, could and must do for family.
Remarkably Bright Creatures has enabled me to learn a lot about octopi yet more about compassion and resilience.
Every Heart a Doorway was far too short because the interesting elements weren’t detailed enough and the pacing wasn’t great. All of a sudden we’re in a mystery, two minutes later the teen detectives have solved the case and we’re happy ever after for the ones who aren’t dead.
Girl by day. Cat by night. Ready for an adventure. All is revealed in Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue.
The Arrangements is a day in the life of this relatively unknown woman married to the infamous boorish man who became President of the USA. It’s probably what you expected but still worth the read.
Nobody But Us shows us the extreme lengths you can go to to right a wrong.
I Saw Santa’s Underpants is a silly festive tale that younger readers will enjoy for the rhyming and bright illustrations. Whereas older readers or curmudgeons will focus more on gaps in the storyline.
All the elements rolled up make Relatively Normal Secrets a fine middle grade read.
Utopia PR is an audiobook that will have you chuckling, bemused at how similar that world is to ours. It depicts a world that on the surface appears far fetched or extreme but worryingly is not.
The Seawomen impressed with its slow start building up to a satisfying end. Whilst predictable and obvious: ‘power corrupts’, it wasn’t told in an overt way, you had to pay attention. A book that resonates.