On another shelf

goneagain

I am in the middle of reading another book by Roisin Meaney, and I will post a review soon, in the meantime here is a different one, while you wait. You are not going to believe me, but I bought this e-book for under €2. (I did promise I would discuss cheap books, didn’t I? So you can see what you can get for the price.) “Gone Again” by Doug Johnstone. Was it a masterpiece? No. Did I enjoy it? Yes.

It is a rather fast paced thriller. There is something about a male narrator that I enjoy – the lightness, if I was to describe it in one word. The “eh” kind of an attitude; I won’t have a healthy meal today, I will buy a take away two days in a row and won’t think about it twice – kind of an attitude. I cannot say that I got to like Mike, the main character very much, not with his anger management issues – no to hitting women. Not even when she is a bitchy mother of a school bully who picks on your son. It’s just not right. I didn’t dislike him though, he is a loving father, I have to give him that. He doesn’t make his life too complicated but life tends to get tangled whether you like it or not – especially when you are a fictional character of a thriller book, then it can really get out of hands.

Mark’s wife disappears one day. He is happily married, but he questions his marriage when she is gone for a second time. He finds it hard to believe however, that she would have abandoned their son Nathan out of her own free will, even if she got fed up with her partner. He recalls her post natal depression that drew her away from home the first time and wonders if this it happening again, now that she is pregnant with their second child. The author digs dipper into the troubled young mother’s past to give us a more complex picture of her personality.

The more information the detectives gather the more inclined they are to consider a foul play in her disappearance and her husband as a suspect. While the police is concentrating their scarce resources on him, Mark decides to take the investigation into his own hands… Cliche? Yes. Readable? Yeah. Take on a sunny holiday to the beach or read on a bus half asleep in the mornings. Action spirals out of control pretty quickly, so it’s a fast read.

How is the poor little Nathan going to forget about all he has seen, pictures that no little boy should have witnessed? I don’t know, poor Mark asks himself that very question. What happened to his wife? No spoilers, you will just going to have to find out for yourself.

Rating? Ah, alright let it be 3 grey-cloud-1-300px grey-cloud-1-300px grey-cloud-1-300pxclouds, stars or monkeys.

clouds, stars or monkeys rating

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px – one of the best books I read

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– charmed

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– good read

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

grey-cloud-1-300px – don’t waste your time

Happy New Year’s read

   Something+in+Common.jpg

“Hi Aneta
Many thanks for your very candid reviews of the books, glad you’re enjoying them and thank you for spreading the word. 
Best
Roisin”

As promised, here is about another book by Roisin Meaney. I just finished reading “Something in Common”.

At the start I was a bit disappointed. Not because I was expecting some magical sparkle, it wasn’t a Christmas read any more, but it seemed to have been missing something… I wanted to know more about the two main characters, Helen and Sarah, but as I was turning the pages I was getting an impression that their stories run separately to the rest of the word, hanging in some sort of a limbo. I wanted to see them interacting more with the outside world.

Yes, there was Alice, Helen’s daughter, unfortunately not bringing the book more to live until she reached her teenage years; There were the residents of the nursing home where Sarah got a job as a cook, and a handful of more people but still Helen-Sarah-Helen-Sarah… The two women were sending letters the each other and perhaps if it was just the letters for just that part of the book then the two sole dimensions wouldn’t bother me.

I could see how Sarah’s and Helen’s personalities were purposely drawn to be strikingly different for contrast (I much more prefer when such crafts are put in place by the writer in a much subtler way) but I agreed to let it go and kept on reading. I don’t like giving up and I liked the ease the text was written with. It doesn’t necessarily has to be a quick read for me, I am up for challenges, but nowadays with my little baba pulling at my hair, banging his wooden blocks, having a concentration span of five minutes on average and constantly looking for more stimuli, I do not mind an easy read.

Progressively it got better though. The individuals grew on me, I started liking them more and more, and that’s also how a story gets you, isn’t it? I remember being a young reader and getting used to the characters so much that I actually missed them each time I put the book down… It was interesting to see how the time was passing by, Ireland changing in the background, Helen, Sarah, Alice and the others all growing older and maturing.

R. Meaney shows how life’s events change people. I think that’s her strength as a writer. Helen in this book, and Laura in one that I read previously by the author “I’ll be home for Christmas”, are the prime examples. Whether they turned out for better or worse is for you to judge but certainly neither Helen nor Laura would have been who they had become if their lives took different paths or if they encountered different people.

When the ending was approaching I was afraid that, as it happens so often, it will be rushed and therefore out of proportion, not in pace with the rest of the text – it was beginning to seem that way, but the plot took a twist which has enriched it. I don’t want to give away too much, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

What did Helen and Sarah have in common then, if anything, one may ask? I believe it was their honesty that connected them. Although Helen’s words were sharp as a blade while Sarah wouldn’t dream of offending anyone, both women were pretty straight forward with the people around them and refused to live a lie. Why don’t you meet them for yourself and see if they will leave a mark on your life. Even fictional books can teach us something.

 3snoflake-300px.png snoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.pngsnowflakes, stars or blobs… it deserved, I believe.

snowflakes, stars or blobs rating

 snoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.png– one of the best books I read

snoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.png– charmed

snoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.png– good read

snoflake-300px.pngsnoflake-300px.png– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

snoflake-300px.png – don’t waste your time

What was my Christmas read last year?

imag1382         illbehomeforchristmas

What are you looking for in a Christmas time read? For me it’s warmth. The kind of warmth that the twinkling lights on a tree and a child’s smile can give. I don’t expect much in the sense of a literary craftsmanship for the occasion, although a badly written book can put me off even around that time.

Reading “I’ll be home for Christmas” by Roisin Meaney was like being wrapped in a warm blanket and sat in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate in my hands. Funny enough, it wasn’t a cosy read, no decorating the tree or baking cakes for the main character. To the contrary, what can be more unsettling than being stranded in the airport hundreds of miles from home just before Christmas? What brings the comforting feeling into the book are the amazing characters. Not sugar coated but each with a set of their own problems and yet still eager to help others and bring them joy. Yes, this is the time of the year when you do want and need to believe in the goodness in people. Might be a bit unbelievable but Christmas is a magical time and so is the little island off the Irish coast where the book is set. I did enjoy the Irish scenery – the raw countryside, untamed sea, the piercing wind. Despite its harsh weather conditions the remoteness and isolation of the welcoming island made an attractive place to escape to in your imagination.

Overall a good Christmas read for people who are willing to let a little bit of magic in, but I suppose if you are looking for a Christmas holiday read you must be open to it. Yes, you might be a cynic on a bad day, and may not believe in so much kindness in the word but I hope you do, at least when it’s Christmas time, when we all want to be kids again and believe in Santa and forget our everyday worries, for a little while at least.

I know it’s not Christmas anymore and I don’t particularly enjoy being reminded that it’s already gone and that the next one is far away but I needed the introduction. The book encouraged me to buy another of R. Meaney’s books, two even (found them at a good price as e-books, just a click away, couldn’t resist. Me, who used to overthink every purchase, now so hasty… Not enough time on my hands now – having a baby can be exhilarating in that way. Then again, how wrong can you get when purchasing two books for under a tenner, especially when you already read something by the author and enjoyed it, eh?).

I would give the book 3 baubles  RGB-Christmas-Ornaments-300px.pngor stars or hearts…

I shall return with a review of another R. Meaney’s book, as soon as I finish reading it.

baubles, stars or hearts rating

patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px – one of the best books I read

patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px– charmed

patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px   – good read

patternedbauble6b-300px patternedbauble6b-300px  – disappointed, thought it was going to be better

patternedbauble6b-300px – don’t waste your time

First blog post

Books, books, books…

      I cannot decide whether I like reading or writing more – I enjoy books, reading and writing alike.

      Something I learned a long time ago about language comes to my mind now; that it is just a code we use when we want to express ourselves. We do our best to ensure that what we say gets through to the others the way we intended, but the human mind is creative and a language is just a code and what comes across can never be a perfect match to what we mean. This realisation dooms on me especially when I take into account that English isn’t my first language, but I am improving, I hope.

      Books. I do like them indeed. I am proud of my little collection. I am running out of bookshelf space and had to acquire an ebook reader sometime ago. Although I was a bit reluctant, old fashioned maybe, used to the paper feel, the smell of a new book, I have to say I like the device. Do you know what’s good about it? It’s like reading the right hand side page all the time. Isn’t it a bit annoying, reading the left hand side page of the book, especially the first few pages? When the whole book heavies in your hand on the right and keeps closing on itself and you cannot see the print nearest to the binding, and you try to open it wider and you just cannot settle and get into the story? And no more bookmarks! I was constantly loosing them. Desperately searching my bag for a used ticket or something when my stop was approaching. (Yes, I commute to work, every day via Luas). Thanks God the ebook readers don’t have the kind of an operating system that computers do. If I was to wait for it to load and then log off each time, I would not have gotten one. But they are great, the ebook readers.  Amazing, how many books mine can store and it doesn’t get any heavier in my bag.

      I like buying books but I don’t like spending much. I am especially happy when I can find books for under a fiver, new books, even cheaper than some second hand copies… I will try to give you a few tips how and where to look for such occasions and show you what you can get for the price and perhaps you will find that you can enjoy some of them.

      Happy reading.

          Aneta