Friday, 23 August 2013

Book club choice for September

If you are in the Big Comfy Book Club (or even if not) then take a look at what you might fancy reading in September. Pick 1 from the list below and I'll add it to the vote. Whichever wins will be announced next Friday (30th) on here, Twitter and Facebook.
Apologies for not announcing that Sexing The Cherry by Jeanette Winterson had won August's choice on this blog, I promise I'll get better! If you have read Sexing the Cherry then we'll have a chat about it on Facebook on Sunday 1st Sept at 4pm.

Leave a comment below with your choice. Click on each title to read a synopsis on

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling
The Life And Time Of The Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

I picked this up as I had a gift card for A**zon that had about £3 left. I'm really glad I gave it a go as it was a joy.

Harold one day receives a letter from a lost friend telling him she's dying. Harold is 65 and stuck in a rut. More than a rut, a twenty year crater. Whilst walking to the post office to post his reply letter he starts to question himself. Is a letter to this friend enough? He skips the first post box and decides to walk to the next, just so he can think a while. This thinking travels over 600 miles.

Harold is a quintessential 65 year old Englishman. Too polite, forever rolling along on the tide of his life taking in whatever other people say and do. During his walk he encounters dozens of people from young evangelists to closet homosexuals, foreigners and journalists. But it's the relationship between Maureen his wife and himself that I found to be touching. She is fussy, picky, nagging constantly and a catalyst to his journey. Along the way, he reminisces about how they met, the good times and bad. The walk untangles some lost memories. They also make Harold face his fears he's held back for 20 years. With nowhere to hide, the memories keep flooding through. I've never cried at a book, but I had a lump in my throat twice with this.

I could write a lot more but I don't want to leave too many clues as to the ending. Seek it out.

A nice 7.5 cushions on the comfometer.

It also name checks Nuneaton which was nice.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This book review comes a while after reading this tome due to a family wedding, a break in and some shop stuff. Anyway, I read this as part of our bookclub, The Big Comfy Bookclub (join online! right HERE). Its over 600 pages so I gave myself (and the group) 5 weeks to read it, It's the second Neil Gaiman book I've read, the first being Stardust.

Gaiman is held in sci-fi and fantasy circles as a talisman, a hero of all. Comics, kids, YA and adult fiction all being conquered. I must admit, I was slightly disappointed with Stardust but delved into American Gods with no preconceptions. I thoroughly enjoyed it all, it was a blast.

The anti-hero of the book is Shadow, a prisoner just released finding his way in the world. The way he was due to navigate was quickly swiped from his grasp in the first chapter or so and thus begins his journey across America.
It's really a road trip. Several stories, characters and locations, both in this world and others, are visited and have an effect on Shadow. A few book club members questioned the reason for Shadow going along with situations just on a whim, or as easily as someone asking. I found this great as I never really knew where it was all heading. He had nothing to lose by going along.
A few minor points for me was every few chapters there would be an in depth story of a culture, a certain male or female, that ran for quite a few pages. It gave the book a larger canvass and understanding of the age of some of the characters, but it took me out of the Shadow story too much.

I've been given some more Gaiman book recommendations and will be tackling them in due course.

On the comfometer I've given it a very strong 7.5 cushions.

If you're in the book club (or want to be) then we should be reading Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson right now, and we have til Aug 30th to finish. It's only 140 pages or so.

I'm actually reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it.