Please note that you will not find any unfavourable reviews here. I only write reviews on books that I enjoyed reading.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

A Fair Cop by Michael Bunting

This is one of my favourite types of books. The genre has many different names; a true life story, an autobiography, a memoir, non fiction and so on.

A Fair Cop is all of those and more. I fear this review will not do it justice. I have struggled to get into words the impact it has had on me.

Michael Bunting is a very skilled writer, the story grabbed hold of me from the first page and held me engrossed till the very last word. I wanted to read it all in one sitting but the words in A Fair Cop reminded me that it is important to let life get in the way of a book, no matter how interesting the reading may be.

A Fair Cop made me reassess my priorities, revaluate all the things that I held most dear. By the time I finished reading this magnificent book I had a strong urge to hold those I love nice and close but I also felt cleansed and somehow renewed.

Although this book contains one of the most harrowing, shocking tales I have read in the past few years, it is also filled with a raw insight into the ability of the power of 'good' to tuck itself away in places you'd least expect.

Michael Bunting had his eyes opened to this remarkable quality by being stripped of most things that he cherished. In this memoir he shares his new found insight.

Between the covers of this book are some twisted, crazy angry people, many painful insights into the raw emotional and physical brutality of human nature but also and most importantly there are unexpectedly beautiful insights into life, fear, love, hope and kindness.

There are some amazing characters in this book and the most impressive of all is the the author himself with this display of unpretentious inner strength. I suspect that he would want to disagree with that statement as what comes across on every page is the humility of this very talented author.

I am amazed that this is his debut novel and look forward to reading anything else he chooses to write.

I was very pleased to read that Michael is writing another book.

You can read some more traditional style of reviews of A Fair Cop by clicking
here here, here

You can find out lots more about Michael Bunting's writing

A Fair Cop is published by The Friday Project (an imprint of Harper Collins).

You can buy copies from here, here or here

Thursday, 18 December 2008

9987 by Nik Jones

9987 kept me enthralled from start to finish.

I now understand why Caroline Smailes referred to it as 'Cinematic'. This is one to watch and I mean that quite literally. I wouldn't be surprised if this book was made into a movie in the next few years.

The main character is most endearingly disturbed. I know such a thing should be impossible but I challenge you to read the book without thinking the same thing...well for the first half of the novel anyway. I blame Nik Jones's skill at luring the reader into initially believing that his main character is simply a diligent worker, confused, obsessive but generally a well intentioned young man.

Eventually his darker side is revealed but by then the reader has already fallen under the spell of his gentle 'mommy's boy' alter ego. By the last chapter he is clearly, irredeemably and unlovabley psychotic. Even then Nik Jones still managed to shock me with the ending to 9987, perhaps I am too gullible or perhaps I'm not. You'll have to buy a copy and make your own mind up.

I dare you to spend an evening in after reading this without making sure your doors are locked, windows are shut and curtains pulled tightly together.

9987 will be published by
Tonto Books on the 19th January
You can find out more about Nik Jones by
clicking here
You can pre-order your copy of 9987 by
clicking here, here or here

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Bullies, Bitches and Bastards by Eileen Condon and Amanda Edwards

This book made me laugh or cringe every page I read.

It is the perfect stocking stuffer for any adult you know ( at least those who won't be offended by the title). After all who hasn't experienced at least one episode of contact with a bully, a bitch or a bastard in their life?

This book is something that everyone can relate to in a variety of ways; relief that it isn't only happening to them or all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum for those who need to learn not to take themselves so seriously.

It is published by the Friday Project (an imprint of Harper Collins) and you can buy your copies here, here or here. Buy it now and you'll be prepared for some cosy nights in where you can laugh away those post holiday blues.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Writing Therapy by Tim Atkinson

This was a book that went everywhere with me during the time I spent reading it. It is one of the most unique books I have ever read. Once I'd finished reading it I felt a certain smugness, as if I alone had discovered a rare jewel.

The narrator is a young woman who leads the reader on a raw excursion into a joust with madness. Writing is used as a most valuable tool in amongst a battery of less useful therapies. Be warned, this book is not an easy read, it is not junk food for the brain and it demands the attentions of a 'thinking' reader.

The plot is somewhat disturbing and shocking in parts of the book and it twists upon itself in places as Frances uses her own words that she is writing to help her view herself and her behaviours from different perspectives, to help her come to terms with her experiences.

It is said that Jung discovered that drawing mandalas had power to bring order to the psyche and to prevent overwhelming disorientation. Mandalas are thought to transmit positive energies to the people who view them.

This book radiates spiritual energy and could even be regarded as a path to enlightenment by those struggling with writers block. I would postulate that Tim Atkinson's novel 'Writing Therapy' is the mandala of books.

'Writing Therapy' is also ideal for those preparing to write their first full length manuscript. It is an effective 'how to' book cleverly disguised as an innocent novel.

You can buy a copy from all major books stores online or by clicking here or here.
Tim Atkinson's blog is here

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Valentine's Labyrinth by Jamieson Wolf

Valentine's Labyrinth is another triumph by the master story weaver Jamieson Wolf.

Anna loves Valentine

Emprius loves Anna

Valentine loves Asterius

Lady Magnolia loathes everyone

The tale draws the reader deep into the year 270 AD. Between the pages of this book lie lushly decadent experiences.

A magical and sweetly innocent handfasting ceremony conducted in a forest serenaded by the sound of gently ringing bells.

Extravagantly erotic love scenes.

Exceptionally vile and frightening evilness in the form of Lady Magnolia.

This book delivers it all in an enchanting tale of the kaleidoscopic impact of love. Read this and you should find yourself wrapped in a feeling of wellbeing and hope by the time you read the closing sentence.

Valentine's Labyrinth will be available from Cobblestone Press on December 17th.

To find out more about Valentine's Labyrinth
click here

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Leading The Dance by Sarah Salway

I loved this book. The stories overwhelmed me in a myriad of different ways. Readers of my blogs will already know that I am a big fan of short stories and it is no secret that Sarah Salway is an exceptionally talented author. So forgive me if I repeat what others have already said about this magnificent book.

In fact that is all I am going to say about 'Leading The Dance' although I will repeat it one more time; this is a magnificent collection of short stories by an exceptionally talented author.

Click here to do yourself a favour by buying a copy. Click here to find out more about Sarah by visiting her blog.