The House That Books Built
Review
0 Stars
A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing
A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing - Eimear McBride
My lack of rating for this book is simply because I cannot make my mind up about it. Reading the reviews here, my feeling swings widly between 'it's the best; groundbreaking, genius, prose-as poetry etc etc', and 'it's the worst; harrowing,too-clever, impenetrable..'and so forth. I will say that as a rule I detest 'stream-of -consciousness' as a style. I only read this book because it won the Bailey's Prize and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I almost gave up at times until I 'got my ear in'so to speak and the sense of the thing began to show itself.But that was also when the sheer horror of the situation emerged;the broken relationships, the degradation and , at times, the sexual violence.
I don't regret having read this- I cried,I was shocked, and sometimes I was dazzled, but I was never unmoved...
Review
5 Stars
Traveller of the Century
Traveller of the Century - Andrés Neuman
I have never made as many notes/highlights on my ereader as I have with this thoroughly enjoyable book. I won't rehash the plot; others have written great reviews already, but I will say that I forgot I was reading in translation- it was so beautifully done. There were phrases and passages in this book so delicious that I wanted to savour and cherish them for a long time. I can't remember feeling such a sense of satisfaction on finishing a book as I felt with this one.
Review
0 Stars
The Testament of Mary
The Testament of Mary - Colm Tóibín
I can't rate this fairly as I am struggling between the literary aspects of this and the subject matter insofar as it relates to my faith .(I'm Muslim, and Mary/Maryam is a loved and respected figure for us,as for Christians) I can't really articulate what I mean, except to say that it's like reading a biography of someone you love or esteem written from an entirely unexpected angle,so that you don't recognise them at all..
I enjoyed the writing, but don't want to give an unfair rating based purely on my gut reaction..
Review
5 Stars
Calling Me Home
Calling Me Home - Julie Kibler
if I could give this 6 stars I would..it had me in floods by the end (which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned!)
Review
5 Stars
Khirbet Khizeh
Khirbet Khizeh - S. Yizhar, Nicholas de Lange, David Dean Shulman
I found this short book profoundly moving..I don't feel I can even begin to review it..so I leave that to more capable hands than mine..this article by Jacqueline Rose says everything I might want to say.. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/mar/12/rereading-jacqueline-rose-khirbet-khizeh
Review
5 Stars
The Immorality Engine
The Immorality Engine - George Mann
I rated this highly just because I love it and am falling in love with the whole steampunk 'thing'....
Review
5 Stars
Sharp Objects
Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn
I decided to read this after hating 'Gone Girl' with a vengeance. I thought it wasn't fair to judge an author on only one book, and I have to say this was so much better. However, I still felt as if I needed a shower after reading it..the book is so dark and there are some characters that made my flesh crawl. This writer's books provoke a completely visceral reaction in me, for reasons I can't put my finger on.. But either way I wasn't left unmoved, which is no bad thing..
Review
5 Stars
My Struggle: Book Two: A Man in Love
My Struggle: Book Two: A Man in Love - Karl Ove Knausgård, Don Bartlett
I can't begin to describe this and how much I loved it..I feel as if I have been hit over the head and am seeing stars; I feel completely drunk on it..
I can only therefore refer you to this article which has coincidentally come out today ..

http://goo.gl/yNOlp
Review
0 Stars
The Islamist
The Islamist - Ed Husain
hmm..will have to think about this book a lot more before I assign any 'rating' to it..
Review
4 Stars
Little Men
Little Men - Louisa May Alcott
I found myself going all sentimental and misty eyed over this. What a lovely childhood the children have in this book..
Review
5 Stars
House of Leaves
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
Either this is the best thing ever, or the most pretentious thing ever...can't decide but I loved it..
Review
5 Stars
The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
I can't even begin to review this, I loved it..I was informed by it, I was moved by it , and the ending left me an emotional wreck. The triumph of the human spirit in the face of exhaustion and desperation..I don't even know what to say..
Review
4 Stars
Natural Causes
Natural Causes - James  Oswald
review to follow..
Review
4 Stars
The Shock of the Fall
The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer
review to follow ..eventually...
Review
0 Stars
The Instructions
The Instructions - Adam Levin
sorry to say it, but after wading through over 400 pages of this book I gave up..a whole section about a game called slapslap finally did me in..(I got the point of it in context, but found myself flipping through the pages waiting for something to happen and for me that's not a good sign.
I didn't like the 'voice' of the main character as it was far too old-another reviewer here made the point that if you don't manage to suspend disbelief on this you'll be in trouble, and I agree.
My other issue was that I know nothing of Judaism, yiddish or hebrew and found I had a distracting sense of missing something especially when theology was being discussed.I kept wondering how it would read to someone who actually knows about these things..
My only sadness is that I didn't realise this sooner..not for me, this book, but then we can't all like the same things..
Review
0 Stars
Gone Girl
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
I'm not going to rate this because I really disliked the characters and can't comment on the writing fairly. All I can say is that it didn't live up to the hype for me, although there are many people her who seem tpo have loved it. I'm just not one of them..