Saturday, 26 December 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year From Nerdish Mum

It's that time of year when people look back over the year and come up with their top ten lists etc, but this year I haven't done that, but I still wanted to make sure that I said thank you to everyone who has followed an interacted with me throughout the year. I wrote my first ever blog post on the 1st of January 2015 and its been quite a journey from then until now. I've learnt a lot about myself and discovered some really good friends along the way.

I'm not making any new years resolutions per say, but I will be becoming a lot more structured in my blogging to ensure that I give out more frequent but still quality posts. Obviously my main content will still be books but there will also be posts about any conventions I go to, updates on my penpal activity and maybe even ocassionally any geeky crafts I may get up to. I am always open to any suggestions of what you would like me to blog about, maybe read a book you suggest to see what I think or if you have questions about my reading or penpalling I could always do a Q and A. I have a lot of fun and interesting (I hope) ideas going forward and I'm really looking forward to bringing them to you, I also have something really exciting coming in the first week of January so keep your eyes open!

I don't want this to be too long so I wish you all a very happy holiday period and I hope you have a fabulous new year and I look forward to seeing you all throughout 2016 :)

Don't forget to say hi in the comments and let me know if you are making any new years resolutions!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Escape To Gettis...And Love - Gerri Bowen

I was lucky enough to receive an e-book copy of Escape To Gettis...And Love direct from the author Gerri Bowen in exchange for an honest review.

I haven't read many historical fiction books, though I'm not entirely sure what genre of book this is, I'd possibly categorize it as contemporary historical fiction. Though that may sound odd, it works out really well and I really enjoyed it. The reason I'd say this description is because instead of a modern woman going back in time somewhere, there is a historical man (and others) that come to the modern time. I have to say that I think this was a lot more interesting for me than the other way around.

I don't really want to go into too much detail about the actual story as a) I don't want to give any spoilers and b) I feel you should read it yourself and discover what happens as it happens. I will say however that there were two characters who were particularly interesting, Koozie and Dromo, who apparently appear in another book called Love's Blood (but you do not need to read that first to read this) and I think that I will have to pick that up too just to read more about them because of just how amazing they are.

The absolute number one thing I love about this book is that the main character is an older woman who is a bit of a badass but can cook too. She is also a mother and grandmother which I don't think I've ever come across before. She's a young grandmother, but a grandmother all the same. I also love the sense of family throughout the book, it's so nice to see such a close knit family and group of friends that will literally do anything for each other,

There is such a mix of things that goes on in this book that you would think that it may be just too much and everything may just get lost, but the way Gerri Bowen has written it all, it just works so well and flows beautifully. I am glad though that there is a glossary of the creatures and beings that pop up in the book as there are some that I had never heard of at all before, so it was good to get a description.

The only thing I would say that I struggled with, was that there were so many characters that at times, I wasn't 100% who was who meaning I had to flick back just to confirm who certain people were, All the characters were brilliant and had their own personality but there were just so many of them it was hard to keep track.

Ooh I will also just mention quickly that at the beginning of each chapter there is a little intro that gives hints about what will happen in the chapter, I thought this was really nice and I enjoyed finding out what it meant as I read through.

I started this book on the 11th of December 2015 and I finished it on the 17th of December 2015.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (Contains spoilers)

I finally got around to picking up one of this years biggest reads and I've been amazingly good and managed to miss any and all spoilers about Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I tend not to read a hugely hyped books as soon as they come out (unless it is something I've been waiting for) and I read them when the hubbub has died down and then I can make my own decision about it without being influenced by other peoples excitement.

Things started off well when I saw that it was written in dual diary entry format as I like that style of writing as I feel like it reads quickly and I always just want to read that next bit to see what the other person thought. Sadly from then on out it's all down hill from there.

None of the characters, main or side are nice people in any way. I can't remember a single good person throughout the whole book. This lead me to really not caring one way or another about anyone and I barely remember anyones name as they really didn't matter to me. Both the main characters, Amy and Nick are both just awful people. Neither of them have any notable redeemable features and I really just hated them right from the start of the book.

The story itself is kind of beyond belief and though I've not seen a single spoiler about the book, I still had guessed what had happened I think from chapter two, it was really that obvious. The more I read the more I kept saying to myself "REALLY?" but I kept thinking that maybe it would get better, so may people seem to love this book, maybe I just haven't got to it yet, Let me say, it did not get better it just got more and more ridiculous.

There will be some spoilers in this paragraph so if you don't know anything and don't want to spoil yourself, skip to the next paragraph. The ending really just finished me off for this book, it is so unbelievable I just wanted to launch the book across the room (but I'm nice to books so I didn't do that). There is no comeuppance for all the bad stuff, wasting police time, murder, defamation of character etc. which really left a bad taste in my mouth and then the fact that Nick would give up everything to be with such a.....I have no word that I would type to describe Amy....and to knowingly put a child through that kind of life. Fair enough if he was planning to stay till the child was born and then take them away from her, but to actually knowingly stay with that kind of person and subject your child to it is not something a loving parent would do.

The one thing I will not take away from this book is that it is really well written and it was easy to read. That is the only reason I have given the book two stars instead of one, Sadly I do not understand the hype and it's not one I will be recommending to anyone any time soon.

I started this book on the 26th of October 2015 and finished it on the 30th of October 2015.
I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Girl With The Blue Umbrella - Heather Awad

I was extremely lucky to receive an e-book copy of The Girl With The Blue Umbrella directly from the author/poet Heather Awad in exchange for an honest review.

It has been a long time since I picked up a poetry book, I don't read it very often but when I do, I usually enjoy it thoroughly. The style I'm used to is definitely the classic format that rhymes and/or uses the iambic pentameter, the kind of stuff you read in school for your English class. This collection of poetry is an extremely fresh and modern way of writing poetry and it works beautifully. I will own up to the fact it took me a couple of reads at first to get the "rhythm" of each poem, but that is due to my lack of experience in reading modern poetry rather than the way it is written. The poems are all exceptionally well written and they all tell a story which I loved.

Out of the 62 poems, there were a few that stood out to me and are ones that I will come back to time and time again to read and remind myself of certain feelings or thoughts. The poem "When I'm Bored" I really identified with the people watching and making up stories about them, as I said in my review of The Haunting Of Hill House I really identified with Eleanor because she made stories up about things as she was driving and I felt the same thing again while reading this poem.

"At The Parade" really captures the festivity of a parade, but my absolute favourite line is "...she knows I'm taking pictures, saving memories" This feels like it was written about me, I love to photograph pretty much everything and I feel it's my way of making sure we don't forget things that have happened or that we have seen, so describing it as saving memories is just perfect.

"Too Much Noise" is just perfect, I'm going to save it at that page and every time someone asks why I like to sit in silence I'm just going to show it to them and let Heather explain far more eloquently than I ever could. I think out of the whole collection this is my favourite poem as it speaks to me on a personal level.

"Blue Angels" is fantastically well written and descriptive, so much so you feel as if you are they lying on the sands too and watching all the things going on and enjoying the experience. This poem is really upbeat and you can almost feel the heat of summer while reading it.

The last poem I want to specifically mention by title, is "Skipping Class" It is heartbreaking and it feels so very personal and the emotions are so raw you feel voyeuristic while reading this, looking in from the outside on someone's pain and wishing that you could do something about it.

Overall I really enjoyed this collection and as I said, there are poems that I will come back to over time to read again. As in all collections though there are some poems that I liked less than others, not that I didn't like them, as they were all written so well and the subjects were all ones that people can relate to in one way or the other, but that I just preferred the others.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone with a passing interest in poetry, especially if you'd always wanted to try reading poetry but maybe weren't sure where to start or you just wanted more contemporary topics to read about.

I read and completed this on the 24th of November 2015.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.