It’s been quite a week!
- Shiny Issue 4 has been published. If you haven’t been to have a look yet, please pop over. More on that below.
- I finally got my laptop back from the repair shop after a fortnight of having to rely on my old Pentium (much to my daughter’s disgruntlement, as it’s hers now). Using a slow laptop has been good for my FB games habit – something to maintain methinks!!!
- I went to a workshop on Disaster Emergency Planning for Schools in London – which was excellent and included tabletop exercises on fires and minibus crashes. A grim subject, but having good procedures in place helps you to deal with these awful incidents so much better (although naturally one hopes they’ll never happen).
- The workshop venue was just up the road from Waterstones Piccadilly, and yes I did succumb to a quick visit afterwards, purchasing a handful of novellas for future reading after the TBR dare finishes at the end of March.
- Talking of the TBR dare, the face of the dare has always been Dakota, James’ beloved Basset Hound. Sadly Dakota died earlier this week. We’ll miss her antics on James’ blog, and send big hugs.
- I was at my school’s quiznight on Friday evening. Our staff table had a disastrous first half but picked up in the second to finish midway on the league table.
- We did manage to get the few bookish questions right though, which is a small rehearsal for the 6th Mostly Bookbrains quiznight this coming Friday. For a change this year, I’ve not done the questions, and will be on my Shiny Co-editor Simon’s team. They won last time, so I hope I won’t drag them down!
- And I read lots – so plenty of reviews to come….
* * * * *
One interesting thing came out of a comment that Helen left on my review of Elizabeth Goudge’s children’s classic The Little White Horse – click here. Helen said: “I do think that the rule ‘If you didn’t read it as a child, you won’t enjoy it as much as an adult’ is almost universally true but Diana Wynne Jones is, I am finding, an exception to this.” I can’t comment on the Diana Wynne Jones bit really, only having read one of her books pre-blog, but tend to strongly agree with the first half of Helen’s comment.
I offer the review of my adult re-read of Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr as proving the point. I loved that book all over again. However, I am sure that there are other children’s classics that also break the rule – do let me know, I’d like to read some of them…
* * * * *
Now for a couple of links to a pair of my Shiny pieces:
Chinaski by Frances Vick
Chinaski by Frances Vick is the story of a rock band that so nearly made it, but were halted in their tracks when charismatic lead singer Carl dies. This happens right at the the start of this gripping novel which spares no punches about the hard work required to make it in those pre-Youtube days. The story of the band and what happened next is told through the eyes of Carl’s friends and colleagues – the band member, the ex-girlfriend and their manager.
For those that enjoy books about rock ‘n’ roll, this is a must, especially with the Marshall amp on the front.
Read my review here.
Incidentally, some of you may twig where the band Chinaski got their name from … I only discovered this when researching for my review – it’s after a recurring character in Charles Bukowski’s novels – another author to add to my to read lists.
This was Frances’ first novel and I also interviewed her for our Shiny New author slot, and she proved to be as fascinating as her book.
Read the interview here.
* * * * *
That’s it for today. Enjoy your Sundays and I’ll see you with some proper book reviews very soon.
* * * * *
Chinaski source: Publisher – Thank you. To explore further on Amazon, please click below:
Chinaski by Frances Vick, Cillian Press, 2014. Paperback original, 250 pages.
Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr, pbk.