Next Book – Out of Chingford by Tanis & Martin Jordan

Hello everyone on the interweb 🙂 How the devil are you? 2015-01-20 18.21.23You’re looking good, must be those new years resolutions to stop eating bad things? For myself, I resolved to not make new years resolutions this year, and it is going really well. Slightly more gut, and I have just finished off a few After Eights (it’s only 18:41!!!)

This is the usual quick post to announce the next book that I will read. I am really enjoying Lord Foul’s Bane. I find myself half way through it and picking up speed. I might tail off as work has stopped play quite a bit recently, but I think I should be able to keep up the pace and power to the end. Just in case I do manage to polish Lord Foul off quickly, I am being all proactive and choosing my next book early. I would be amazingly surprised if anyone has this book to read along with me, but then again I’m not getting hundreds of you reading in parallel yet anyway. I think that’s partly down to volume of followers and partly down to my slightly odd mixture of books. I like the odd mixture and I think that is one thing that is fun about my challenge. I would really like more followers though, so if you know anyone at all, tell them about my blog and my horrendously interesting twitter feed (@pocobooc)

I found Out of Chingford in a second hand book stall at my kids school. It was one of a pile of books that I picked up and dutifully gave to my wife so that I could have them for Christmas as stipulated in my rules. I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens out of Chingford. It’s a wild world out there!!

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Book Review – The good man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ – Philip Pullman

This is going to be the shortest book review I have ever done. Very little comment and not a huge amount of opinion!

The Good man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ was disappointing. I won’t beat around the bush, it could have been so much and it really wasn’t. It sums to a pretty basic retelling of the salient parts of the Christian story with the odd suggestion that the miracles (including the resurrection) could be explained away. The thinking is sound, the story idea is sound, the book is not.

It’s saving grace is the Afterword which contains almost 20 pages directly from Philip Pullman explaining why and how the story came about. I enjoyed this part of the book. Philip Pullman can write very very well, his message is good and I wish he had written a more in depth book in the style of that last chapter instead of try to commit it to a story.

Ho Hum. I’m giving the book 6/10. It was readable, the Afterword saved it at least one full star. It could have been so much more.

Rating: 6/10

Link to The Good man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ on GoodReads

Next book – Lord Foul’s Bane by Stephen Donaldson

wpid-20150109_144108.jpgI’m about to get back into The good Jesus and the scoundrel Christ after a bit of a break. I began to slow down on the book a few days ago, but I have also had the MANFLU and therefore not gone too close to things that make me think. I should be able to finish The Good Jesus… pretty quickly, so even though I am getting a bit of a backlog of reviews having not manage to finish the Bill Hicks one yet, onwards with the reading. You know what I say;

“Look after the reading and the writing will look after itself.”

Well, you didn’t know I say that because I haven’t said it before, but it sounds good even though it’s not even remotely true.

But I digress. Right, back on track, where was I? Oh yes, there I was, how irresponsible to have misplaced such a well umm, anyway. Next book. Huzzah!

I have chosen Lord Foul’s Bane by Stephen Donaldson. I have got all of The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant , The unbeliever. AAAnd, I have all of the Second Chronicles as well!! I am pretty sure that these books are quite highly regarded, and I think that there is a strong religious angle to them. I am imagining something akin to the David Gemmell Jerusalem Man themes? With a surname like Covenant and what with him being an unbeliever, something interesting is bound to happen! It will be interesting reading something else with a religious viewpoint after The Good Man Jesus… I think similar themes, but a world (or maybe two) apart.

“So, PoCo, you have 2 trilogies on your bookshelf, have you read any of them? I know that the only reason you bought them from that second hand shop a decade ago is because lots of people recommended them to you.”

PoCo hesitates and looks shifty “Um, well, never quite got round to them to be honest. I’m sure they are great…?”

As soon as I finish the current book, we will see, won’t we!

Is there a Santa?

This is my first reblog! I took the plunge as this is such a great blog post.

It caught me slightly unawares. I love the sentiment that allows love, family and health to be gifts. I believed that, but had never really seen it written down. I also like the main “is there a santa” arguments. I am not religious, but belief is a powerful force in every life, and understanding how to use it is fundamentally important. My eldest son has just had his first, shall we say, “new style” Christmas and I was proud to see his belief morphing and changing in such a positive way.

Thank you for a great post

Book Review – The Man in the Water – Ali Sparkes

41f9YtSdjbL._BO1,204,203,200_Well now, this review is a little over due as I finished reading The Man in the Water on the 16th Dec. That was last year!!! The book took me 2 days to read and 2 weeks to get round to writing a review. I have read and reviewed Tuesdays with Morrie since then, and am probably going to finish Love all the people today if I have any choice in the matter.

The Man in the Water is a young adult book that successfully tells a strong story simply. The book is set in Jersey and follows a family on holiday. It has two main plot lines. One concerns the man in the water that uses some of Jersey’s war history to tell a well realised ghost story. It’s a bit spooky without being over to top for the target audience. The second story arc is about the family and relations with their holiday neighbours. It touches on class divides and some related themes, but to maintain my ethos of not giving away the plot in my reviews I won’t give any further detail 🙂 Suffice to say that the two main arcs come together very successfully at the end.

This book was written by Ali Sparkes for charity. I described some of the background and about the charity when I announced that I would read it. All proceeds from the sale of the book are going to help a very worthy cause ( Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital.) I know that a huge amount of work went into creating, editing and publishing the book by everyone who was closely involved. I have shamelessly plugged this book a bit on twitter to see if my HUGE influence could contribute in some way to sales before Christmas. I’m sure that orders flooded in, but in one (or two) last ditch attempt(s), I’m sure you know a young reader who has some Christmas money or an Amazon voucher burning a hole in their pocket? This would be a very good use of their money from both a literary and charitable angle.

In conclusion, this is a very good book (did I mention that?) I enjoyed it, and I know that young readers will like it even more. Go buy it!

Rating 8/10

Link to The Man in the Water at Amazon (because it isn’t on goodreads and unusually I want you to buy this one!)