Do you finish every book? What about those one you are not enjoying?

I started two books in December and one in January which I am not really enjoying. One I have stopped reading as it’s a classic and it’s Charles Dickens Christmas stories, I may try it again later on but the stories were odd. They didn’t all seem to have a definite plot line and they weren’t Christmas themed stories, I think it was just a tradition to tell stories during Christmas.

The other book is an autobiography-because I’m criticising it I’d rather not name it- and I decided to download the ebook on impulse. Most autobiographies I’ve read are by comedians so I’m used to a funny book but this one wasn’t funny. And the author kept putting down and criticising these people from their past, now while these people may have deserved it at the time it just made me feel like this person was using their book to have a go. It just didn’t seem right, people grow up and kids are mean to other kids, is it right to lay all in a book? I know this person has done a lot and made a lot of themself but they are in no way humble in the beginning of this book and it was grating to me. (Maybe it’s just me I’m not confident talking about myself and bigging myself up for want of a better turn of phrase there).

The other is a free ebook from netgalley, which I’ve had since October and only now got to read. I got right into it to start with, I loved the characters and the start got right into a bit of action. But then afterwards there just seem to be a lot of talking and characters sitting around. And then I got very annoyed when a whole chapter went something like this: 1.02 mrs green drove her car to the station, 1.03 her husband got to work. Through the whole chapter a list of things happening. This is after a lovely chat between two characters, this is meant to be the action part of the story. After that there was a lovely bit about a secondary character and her past. One of the main characters reappears and we wait for the action again but then it gets all chessey, it’s an old book, but I couldn’t really get all worked up with archaic magic rituals. This is not even half way through! And it’s so cheesey.

I hate not finishing a book and because I’m on the Goodreads challenge I’d like to fnish the one’s I’ve started but: argh! Is it worth it? I’ve just finished one book (Foxlowe) within 9 days and I’ve been reading the others for longer. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a book or I find if I get through a boring bit it gets better but…. if you’re not enjoying it shouldn’t you just drop it?

I hate not finishing.


Foxlowe By Eleanor Wasserberg

Foxlowe (Hardback)

I discovered this book one day in Sainsburys, with time to wait before the bus ride home I flickered through the pages. It got my attention straight away and I bought it later on, I had a good feeling. I usually go for gothic novels, but it was the story itself that drew me in. This is my review for Foxlowe by Eleanor Wassenberg.
Green grew up a commune, she doesn’t know hardly anything about the outside world, Foxlowe and The Family are all she knows. From the very first chapter we are drawn into the darker side of life in Foxlowe, we are told about the ‘Spike Walk’ a line of nails along the wall which they have to draw their arm along as they pass and then turn around at the end and go back down. This is the punishment; it’s also to drive out the Bad, a force which is believed in as strongly as a devout Christian believes in God and the devil. Within Foxlowe this isn’t considered wrong, it’s the norm. From that moment on we are drawn into Green’s life at Fowlowe. The story is compelling and quickly you find you’ve got to the end but not unscathed.
Without spoiling too much of this story, at one point we are taken to the present moment, then back to the story in the past and although you know something is going to happen slowly, slowly you are drawn closer and closer to it but like that door in a horror film the ghoul hides behind, you can’t resist turning the page to find out what happened.
And then the end! I did not see that come although in hindsight it makes a lot of sense.
I would recommend Foxlowe to anyone who doesn’t mind the darker side of fiction; it’s not the darkness of horror stories but the darkness of the human mind and soul. Realism not magic. For those who like a story with impact. This should win awards really, it’s an amazing book.  I loved this book, it had everything that I love and look for: it’s compelling and there are realistic characters you care about/hate. An atmospheric style that’s a pleasure to read.  And the ability to grasp your attention and not let go until the final page.


On Writing

Everyone has a story within them. It doesn’t mean that they will write it or that they are writers. But everyone has a story. The shelves are full of boy meets girls stores (or hopefully boy meets boy and girl meets girl these days too let’s be equal shall we?) or coming of age stories.
I just read a short article written by someone who was commenting on how there shouldn’t be a book written by this characters from the tv show ‘Gilmore Girls’ what I found very strange was this was someone who must have some interest in writing,to sit down and spend some time writing an article, saying that this character didn’t have an interesting story. Now you may not have seen the show but Rory’s mother left her home as a teen mother and raised her daughter alone with no help from her family, estranged from her family. Rory grew up and went to a private school and University (spoilers!) she left briefly after her boyfriend’s father shattered her confidence and made her feel like she could not be a journalist. She ended up going from star student and role model to a criminal, after being upset and stealing a boat with her boyfriend. A mistake which she had to be punished for. Sorry I digress.. my point is she has a story to tell.
There are many books out there with drama, a story is just conflict or drama. A character with a problem. That’s a story, And this character had problem- so she had a story.

Everyone has problems in life, maybe they left school and got stuck in a dead end job (oh, wait that’s mine sorry) or left Uni after a short amount of time for various reasons (sorry, me again) or saved someone’s life once (my father) or was in an abusive relationship or lost a child, or battled with a disease, or had a disease. Everyone has a story to tell, just flip through the women’s magazines. Do all these teen celebs who have books on the shelves have a story? That’s up for debate.
A story yes, a good story?
It all depends on perspective and of course the writer themselves.

I’m off to find myself a story to read… Lord of the Rings reread,