Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Books

March saw a total of 7 books finished, making me 8 ahead of schedule in my 2015 GoodReads challenge to read 52 books.

(March also saw the month I remembered to photograph some of the covers (unlike last month) but completely forgot to take a picture of all the books together...)
 
 
Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell

Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell

 
I picked this up because I recognised the name as the actress who plays Patsy in Call the Midwife (who was quite the socialite in her younger days apparently!). Shiverton Hall is a boarding school with a violent past which is uncovered gradually throughout the book with all sorts of demons and ghosts being thrown in along the way. It's written for children but is actually rather gory in places (graphic descriptions of people vomiting up their own intestines for one). I did think it was quite good though, well written and easy to bring the storyline to life - just the sort of dramatic plot a lot of children seem to enjoy but equally a quick and entertaining read for grown-ups.

 
Shiverton Hall: The Creeper by Emerald Fennell

Shiverton Hall: The Creeper by Emerald Fennell

 
The second in the series by Emerald Fennell, this one sees more adventures with ghouls and poltergeists and a plotline which develops a bit further with Arthur's background and his relationship to the owner of the hall. Just as good as the first book, possibly a bit better as there's more depth to the story and to the characters. I imagine there's going to a third book at some point as there's a few ends that were left open for the future.

 
Sew Over It by Lisa Comfort

Sew Over It by Lisa Comfort

 
I picked this up from a charity shop in Bath for 50p after spotting the Sew Over It brand on a few other different blogs. I don't think it's really aimed at advanced sewers (which is good because I'm definitely not that) but there's a good lot of information and ideas of ways to transform clothes and alter things. When I get my sewing and craft area tidied up I'm going to read it properly alongside my sewing machine and random bits of fabric.

 
This Old Thing by Dawn O'Porter
I watched the TV programme when it was on last year and thought it wasn't too bad (admittedly Dawn can get a tad annoying) but I did like the transformations they did to some of the vintage clothing. This book accompanies the show but it's a bit thin on the ground when it comes to actual instructions and ideas for what to do with your vintage and retro bits and pieces. Instead there's lots of advice about how to find and look for vintage clothing and how to identify things but it all seems a bit well, fluffy.

 
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

 
This is the next book for the Bloggers Book Club (as organised by Alice and Jenny, we're chatting on 16th April via Skype so I think there might still be time to join in, give them a shout on Twitter if you want to know more - Jenny is here and Alice is here). It's a collection of essays and short stories written by Marina Keegan, a Yale graduate who was killed in a car accident 5 days after her graduation ceremony. It's got quite a cult following after one of her essays was published in the Yale Daily News and then her parents collated lots of her other work together into the book. I thought some essays and stories were better than others and the ones that were good were very well-written. Others were okay but well, maybe it's just me but while you're reading it you can't help wonder all the time whether it would have become quite so famous if she hadn't passed away. There's no doubt she's a good writer but I'm not so sure she's a spectacular writer. Interestingly I thought it was also noticeable how many of her stories featured death in some way.

 
More Than This by Patrick Ness
I have to confess I must be one of the only people in the country who didn't really like The Knife of Never Letting Go. I read it when it was first published back in 2008 when I was working in my local library and spotted in arrive in the new stock boxes. I just really didn't get on with his style of writing and so never wanted to read the other two books in the trilogy. Anyway, despite not liking the author's other work, I thought the storyline of this one sounded intriguing - a boy dies at sea, being smashed onto some rocks only to wake in a strange new (apparently) desolate land. Is this the afterlife or something else entirely? Without spoiling the plotline, when you realise where exactly he is, it's certainly an interesting premise and one that actually makes you slightly paranoid for a short while. The world he wakes up in is very well-described and one of the only main downsides to the plot is that the twist in the tale is revealed about halfway through, which of course makes you think "well, how is the rest of the book going to pan out then?"

 
Martin Harbottle's Appreciation of Time by Dominic Utton

Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time by Dominic Utton

 
I just snuck this one in, finishing it this evening. It's a series of letters and emails sent between Dan (who works at the Globe newspaper) and Martin (the managing director of Premier Westward trains, the line which Dan travels every day). Dan decides that every time his train is late, he'll write a letter to the managing director which lasts the equal amount of minutes. Through these letters we see Dan's home and work life slowly unravel and become more complicated. The idea of the letters is based on the authors real life blog documenting his complaints to First Great Western. I'm not sure how much of the storyline is based on the author's life but the trials and tribulations of Dan's work life very closely mirror the rise and fall of a certain tabloid Sunday newspaper a couple of years ago. It's quite a fun read even if Dan's style and tone of writing do seem a bit grating at times!
 

5 comments:

  1. I like the sound of that last one even if I'm not keen in Tabloid style. I just like books formed of correspondence! X

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  2. Hmmmm I think I quite like the look of Shiverton Hall. Your so good reading Sevenbooks! X

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  3. Ooo, I do like picking up children's books here and there, I'll have to check out the Shiverton Hall series because you have me intrigued!
    :-)
    Life’s Open Pages

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  4. Ah, some proper intriguing ones here! Particularly liking the sound of the last three. Saving this for later :)

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Thank you very much for all your lovely comments; I do have every intention of replying but sometimes life with a baby gets in the way...

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