Friday, 19 August 2011

Book review: Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King

Nightmares and DreamscapesNightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King

I love Stephen King's short story collections simply because if you don't like one, you know that it'll be finished soon and you can move onto the next, not that this happens very regularly! My favourite stories in this collection were The Moving Finger, which was insanely creepy! I had to search my bathroom every time I went in there; The House On Maple Street where the kids get one up on their stepfather and The Ten 'O' Clock People, which is a genius piece of observation. Umney's Last Case, The Doctor's Case and Sorry, Right Number were also brilliant. The only story I didn't really like, and it was more of an essay anyway was Head Down. I'm British, have never seen a game of baseball ever played and don't know anything about it, so for most of that story I was lost!
Otherwise, an excellent collection, as always, from the master that is Stephen King!

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Friday, 12 August 2011

Book review: Tooth and Nail/Strip Jack by Ian Rankin

Tooth And Nail / Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus, #3, #4)Tooth And Nail / Strip Jack by Ian Rankin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tooth and Nail & Strip Jack by Ian Rankin

I love Rebus, and it wasn't until I was reading two murder mysteries side by side that I realised how much a better writer Rankin is. Not only were the plots excellent, but Rankin injects little thoughts from Rebus that make you smile, even if you've just been faced with a bloody body.
The first book, Tooth and Nail was the weaker of the two. Rebus had been called down to London to help George Flight with a serial killer. Although it was good, I prefer Rebus in his own place, because something felt missing.
Strip Jack was brilliant. Rankin juggles a lot of characters but makes it easy for the reader to follow them all, as always, the ending is a surprise and every word is perfectly written!

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Book review: The Rosary Girls by Richard Montanari

The Rosary Girls (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #1)The Rosary Girls by Richard Montanari

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Rosary Girls by Richard Montanari

Right from the off, I didn't like Kevin Byrne which was one of the main reasons I only gave this three stars. I thought he was a thug and he twisted the law to suit himself, but the addition of Jessica saved this book. She's a likable character, even if she's unrealistic. There were also more characters than necessary, extra cops that I don't think added anything to the book.
The plot on the other hand was good. I felt like Montanari had done his research about the Catholic church as well as the Philadelphia Police Force. I thought I'd figured out who the murderer was, but Montanari was one step ahead of me and actually surprised me. I also love how he tied everything together. A few words mentioned at the beginning of the book were more relevant than I ever realised! I will read some more Montanari books, in hope that I grow to like Detective Byrne.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

You would think that I would be used to travelling on public transport by now seeing as I do it with regularity. I get the bus to work and I get three trains and the tube every few months when I go down South. Nevertheless it never seems to be the same and the several theories I have about travelling are always proved wrong.
I'm currently on a Virgin train back home (to Chester specifically, where I change for Chirk). My first theory is that travelling in the evening is quieter. Last year I was surrounded by an arty-farty group of people who thought everything was hiLARIOUS and would laugh several decibels above the norm. Tonight I'm surrounded by kids, half of them are quizzing eachother on Harry Potter (they're rubbish by the way! They don't know half of the answers), the other half are literally squealing and screaming! It is definitely not quieter to travel at night.
The second theory, which I'm glad has been proved wrong is that once there's a cockup, everything goes down hill. Well tonight the family with the screaming kids stole my seat, so I moved back a row. I was busy worrying that I ha stolen someone else's seat when this gorgeous guy came towards me and put his bag in the overhead compartment. Then he (and his lovely smell, may I add in a non-pervy way) sat down next to me :) I am one happy bunny! Oh and btw, his name is Stuart (I think, not that I'm earwigging or anything!)
Much love as always! Xxx
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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Updates From East Sussex

Hello, good readers! I'm currently in Barcombe, staying at my Nan's house until the 10th of August. Tonight I'm off to the Highlands to meet up with the UCTC crew but I thought I'd give you an update on what I've been up to these last few days.
For a start, on Wednesday I went to The Bull Ring in Oswestry with Sophie for a meal. The starter was Garlic Mushrooms! Absolutely gorgeous! The sauce was delicious and the mushrooms were diving. For my main course I had some kind of pasta dish. That was pretty bad. There was no flavour and it was really stodgy. In fact, I didn't eat much of it. For pudding we had chocolate fudge cake, which was beautiful, but a little dry. Overall the meal was okay, the starter more than made up for the crappy main. The atmosphere in The Bull Ring wasn't the best. There were only a few other people so when it came to talking we kept our voices low for fear of being overheard. The prices weren't bad, three courses for a tenner, but it would've been nicer for there to me more customers around. It doesn't make the place look good at all!
Friday daytime I travelled down South with my Aunt and Uncle. It was my Uncle's birthday on the 4th, so he and his wife had come up to Coventry to go to a motor museum of some kind. They gave me a lift back on the Friday. It was a long day, but I'm glad to be down here for a few days to visit my friends and family.
Anyway, I better be off! Time to get ready! Much love xxx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Heatwaves and Brainwaves

I am currently at Oswestry bus station waiting for the 2A to take me back home. For only the second time this morning I did an 8-2 shift and now, I'm completely nackered. It didn't help that the dogs woke up at five-thirty this morning. When I got to the kitchen (at six thirty, I'm not that mental), they were both completely crazy. I'd never seen them more excited, running back and forth, chucking the ball in the air. Normally when I get there (and that's not very often) Blackie becomes attached to you until you give him food and Spot looks like he's got a hangover. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. My point is, that there is seriously something wrong with the world at the moment. In the immortal words of Phil Collins: 'I can feel it coming in the air tonight'.
The thing that's coming, or rather, is already here, is the heat. It's too hot. Walking from the bus stop to work at half seven this morning was bad enough let alone being stuck inside the stuffy rooms at Fairholme. There's no air in the building, no breeze, it's just stilted and muggy. It makes everyone sleepy, headaches and illnesses worse. Now that I'm out still at the bus station by the way, it's not so bad. But I long for an ice cold shower.
On a side note to my best friend Kieran, who normally reads this. Thank you for the answerphone message. But do you really have to make them so bloody long haha! He has a tendancy to make them a one sided conversation telling me about everything from the weather to how work's going. Although normally he's asking me to remind him of something we discussed in our last conversation, like when I'm coming down South. It's this Friday by the way.
Anyhoo, I'm going out with Sophie tonight, for a drink and dinner. Some girly time is very much needed! Much love xx
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Monday, 1 August 2011

Book review: The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

The Troubled Man: A Kurt Wallander MysteryThe Troubled Man: A Kurt Wallander Mystery by Henning Mankell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

I'm a massive fan of the Swedish television series Wallander, so was excited to get my hands on the book that it was based on. Unfortunately I was disappointed. The main character of Kurt Wallander was a cold, almost detached person, nothing like the series, even if the books came first. I also missed the presence of the other characters such as Svartman, Martinsson and Nyberg. Sometimes I felt like the translation was a bit iffy as well, not quite hitting the mark or flowing smoothly. Otherwise it was well written and had 'the pull'. The plot was good, but didn't cover a subject matter I was interested in. However, I will investigate the first Wallander books in hope of a more warm protagonist, surrounded by his team.

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