Next Book – The Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

2015-03-24 07.39.03I’m cutting it fine to announce this next book as I am probably going to finish The Bourne Identity tonight or tomorrow (work permitting.) It’s taken me quite a while to read, but it has been worth it.

My Book Activity page has been a little non committal about what I am planning to read next as well. Up until <in a minute when I change it, so by the time you read this post, it will be changed!> the next book section has read:

Haven’t got one yet. I’m thinking it should be one of my new ones? Then again, I haven’t read a fantasy for a while and I do need to slot them in amongst the others??

I really really want to read some of my “new books”. Those would be the ones that I got for Christmas! But, I’m not going to let myself just yet… Yes, you’ve guessed it, I took the second option and will be picking up a fantasy for my next book.  The Pawn of Prophecy is the first of David Edding’s Belgariad series. And again, like The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, I own a good few of the series. And again, although I own quite a few David Eddings books, I have never read one!!!! (aaaand again, you see why I started this blog) As some of you will know, I read quite a bit of fantasy in my late teens (some one or two years ago approximately.) I also have friends who have read all the David Eddings books but I have always had something else to read. Well David, now it’s your turn. Your rightful place on my bookshelf has been asserted for many years. Your rightful place in my mind (ew) is about to be realised. Bring forth the fantasy realms of the Belgariad and all the adventure that comes with them…

Footnote: I am going to need to find a better way to arrange these new book posts. The title and the bloody great picture give the surprise away some what…

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New current book – The Hunted by Tarn Richardson

proxyReally quick update due to sudden availability of The Hunted by Tarn Richardson. I know Tarn, and have been itching to get hold of some of his writing. I haven’t been able to crowbar a copy of The Damned from him yet, but the teaser trailer is The Hunted; a prequel that was released today! AND, it’s free on Amazon!!

I want to read this so much I’m promoting it to my actually current book! Stand aside Primo Levi; I’m enjoying you very much, but this prequel must be read now!

So what are you waiting for?? Go get a copy from Amazon. I have been watching the progress of reviews coming in for The Damned on Goodreads and they are all really good so far.

Next Book – The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

I’m about to start a chapter called “Gold” in Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table. I am as usual building up a head of steam, and suddenly find myself past half way through the book when I still feel as if I am getting started with it. The prose is well constructed and comfy and I am enjoying the content, but it has not revealed it’s true purpose to me yet. There is darkness brooding in the form of World War 2, but it hasn’t really affected Levi or the main themes of the book yet. Segregation and a certain tension, but I know from the blurb that bad events will come to pass before I reach the end.

2015-02-22 20.03.58If I’m honest, I am actually a bit premature with this next book post. I usually like to get blog posts finished at the weekend if I can, as I have more time to twitter away, and then occasionally even some left over to read and check before committing my words to the eyes of the internet… I wish I could spend the larger part of my time developing my blog, my community and my ability to both read and write. It feels like the right thing to do, but at the moment it doesn’t pay the bills.

My next book is going to be The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum. The copy that I have is one of the first publication run in 1980. It is VERY second hand, and apparently cost me 85p from a charity shop; good grief, how long ago was it that even charity shops sold books for 85p? It wasn’t even in a sale, but written in pencil inside the cover! I have had this for a good few years: probably since the film came out, and that was 2002 – 13 years ago!!!!!!!!!! Oh My Goodness.

I chose this book as my next because it represents a genre that I haven’t touched yet. Spy fiction, action, thriller. I have a few more of this sort of thing squirrelled away and I am looking forward to diving in. My preconceived expectation is for tight fast paced prose and gritty, detailed descriptions of, well, um, aviators and bullets 🙂 I’m estimating that I should get to start this by next weekend, but recently I seem to have been overestimating how long it takes me to read. Maybe I’m speeding up? Is that good or bad? Two questions to end this post that I won’t be answering soon. If you have comments feel free to start the speed debate.

Next Book – The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

I find myself slightly on the back foot as I write this hasty next book post. I am really enjoying The Woman in Black, but not more than Out of Chingford. I gave Out of Chingford a 5/5 rating on goodreads, but that will round down to a 9/10 on the final review (well, you can’t give a 10 can you!!) I really like the goodreads rating system BTW. I’m finding myself using that and doubling it for my ratings. Silly I know, but I started rating out of 10 and it would be a pain up the proverbial to change it now! For info, goodreads ratings are, and I paraphrase here:-

  1. Don’t touch it, even with someone else’s!
  2. OK, take it or leave it.
  3. Good Book, I enjoyed reading it.
  4. Great Book, I recommend it and you should really read it if you can.
  5. READ IT! rush out and buy it or you will not be able to breath tomorrow. It is fantastic!

So, Out of Chingford was a really good book. I think I will rate Woman in Black a 4/5, but although I’m not rating it as highly, I cant put it down! I have been reading it while walking along and took the opportunity to read at lunchtime today, both are things I haven’t done for a long time, at least since starting this blog. There is of course the possibility that I subconsciously want to get it over and done with, but I don’t think that is really the case. I am finding that I’m actually goading myself into being scared by it and doing it anyway…

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Sorry, just realised that I have digressed. Quick post to announce the next book, then back to the reading!

My next book is The Periodic Table by Primo Levi. I chose it because I didn’t want to dive back into another fantasy or go towards sci-fi at the moment. Something based in reality felt right, maybe because I enjoyed Out of Chingford so much, but I think this is going to be wholly different! When I bought this book I actually thought it was about the periodic table, but on reading the blurb I am really interested to find out about Primo’s life and experiences. I get the feeling that it is going to be a very well written book, written in a slightly quirky style that partly diffuses the hard reality of a life that has seen some great suffering. Partly, but from the short reviews on the cover the book is “brave” and honestly confront and describes the facts of a life partly led in WW2 and the holocaust. Lastly, there is a review on the front cover. It starts “The book it is necessary to read next…” OK, so be it.

Next Book – The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

2015-02-02 18.28.46This “Next Book” update finds me motoring through Out of Chingford at a great rate on knots. In doing so, I have noticed something about the way that I read a book, I guess it is similar to most people? I potter around the start wondering how I am ever going to finish this book in anything short of 6 months. By the time I have got 1/2 way through, I am either picking up pace quite quickly (good book), or I really notice that I am 1/2 way through and wonder when I am going to start picking up pace (bad book or one that saves all its fire for the end.) If I get a decent way into the second half before I notice, then I am obviously on a roll, the story is really great and I am in danger of finishing it pretty soon. That is where I am with Out of Chingford!

So, next book… On the activity page I had previously written:-

Thinking it might be a horror? maybe The Magic Cottage by James Herbert?? But then again I read a James Herbert and I have other horror. Hmm??

I had a think and have now made a choice. Firstly, I thought I would go for a horror as I haven’t really read a proper horror since I started. As you know, I did read The Fog by James Herbert, and if you read the review, I didn’t find it all that, well, horrific! The Magic Cottage came to mind as I tried to read it many years ago and it freaked me out quite a bit. From memory, it starts with an idyllic cottage in the woods. On returning to this cottage, the protagonist of the story finds an altogether more sinister building. It freaked me out as I wasn’t expecting it. I am therefore pretty sure that The Magic Cottage will be a good read when I get to it, but The Fog was poor enough that I have been left doubting my memory and wondering whether The Magic Cottage is going to be as scary as I want it to be. So, I have grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns and chosen The Woman in Black by Susan Hill as my next book. I saw the film when it was in the cinema and although scary, it was more tense and jumpy than anything else. Great film, but I get the feeling that the book is going to be much more “interesting”!!

To add to the fun, I have a second hand copy of the book and it is filled with additional writing a bit like the half blood princes potions book! I think in this case it was a study book for GCSE or A-levels. As you can see from the photo it even has stick in tags to mark certain pages (oooh.) The additional info will either add to the experience or detract from it, I will let you know in the review. It is not a huge book and the font is pretty big so I don’t think it will take long to get through. Especially if I rush it so I don’t have to read it at night 🙂 I should be back with another “Next Book” pretty soon.

On re-reading what I have written I realise that I have just decided to read a REALLY SCARY BOOK that also happens to be a GCSE course text. DOH. Lets see shall we. If it’s not as scary as I expected I solemnly promise to read The Magic Cottage next.

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!!

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!

Quick Next Book – The Man in the Water by Ali Sparkes

I have a couple of friends (you know who you are) who are involved in a charity called friendsofpicu.org.uk. The group is raising funds for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital in the UK. One of the ways that the group is raising funds for this very important facility is via the sale of a special book. Ahhh, a book, a book, ooooh, I see why your blogging about this now!!

41f9YtSdjbL._BO1,204,203,200_The book’s author, Ali Sparkes, became a patron of the charity and wrote the book for the winning bidder at one of the charity’s events. ALL proceeds from the book go directly to the charity. So I saw my friend out in the cold a couple of weekends ago, at a Christmas Fayre selling the book. I hadn’t even thought about it before, but I offered to introduce you (my multitude of loyal followers) to the book to see if we could push some sales and do some good for the charity. I also already own the book as my son bought it so I am allowed to read it under The Rules 🙂

The Man in the Water is a pretty short children’s or young adult book. I should be able to nip through it quite quickly. I will tweet as I go as per usual, and I will review at the end. It is a bit odd that I am crowbarring this book in just ahead of Bill Hicks, That may be one of the biggest divides between between two books that I have read back to back! Watch this space to see how I get on.

You can get The Man in the Water from Amazon as a paperback and there is still bags of time for this to get to you and be all wrapped up before Christmas.

So what are you waiting for?

Next Book – Love all the People by Bill Hicks and John Lahr

Hello everyone. I am amazed that I have managed to go 2 weeks without blogging! It’s a real shame to say it, but work has properly stopped play recently. I have started travelling to work on the train, and I had been using that time to read, read, read. I have to say that it is a much better use of time than concentrating on driving, or at least it is when you get to read books. I have only read on a few days this week as I have had so much work to get done. But, reading keeps me sane so I have squeezed it in around other things as you do, and that is good. It is quite surprising, given my lack of time, that I have managed to get quite a way through The Sword of Shannara, but I did manage to get through a chunk last weekend. I have to say that I came very close to putting this book down, but now that I am into the buildup to the end I’m glad I didn’t.

Oddly, I have still been doing Twitter quite a bit. I think I identify with the quick nature of the medium, and it is something I can do as I walk from the train or between buildings that reading or blogging or other work can’t get in the way of. Suffice to say, I’m happy when my brain is busy, but I guess that is kinda obvious?

As a side note, I have a massive history of starting a book and stopping half way through. I found this happened with a book I was enjoying as much as one that I wasn’t. I think writing the blog is helping me to get over that particular deficiency. The read, blog cycle means that if I stopped I would have to ‘fess up, and that would be bad. I am bound by my own contract Rule number 5.

Right, time to get to the point. I’m tired, I am not in the mood for getting into the details of work or my mental deficiency regarding staying power (other deficiencies are in existence!) and I want to stare at something and not write. I may read my book, but my eyes are stinging a bit, so I might just shut them?? I haul my sorry A**e to the book case and pick the next book. I don’t want another fantasy as I need to spread them out a bit. I don’t really want a Sci-Fi as I read Altered Carbon and that has me topped up on the future for a while, but then again, I have a more limited array of other fiction. To be honest, that is partly because I read a lot of other stuff before I started the blog…

Got it 🙂 My next book is Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines by Bill Hicks and John Lahr. That is a bit of mouthful as titles go, so I will have to get creative with the hashtag on Twitter! I don’t usually do autobiographies or biographies, but I have a couple floating about. Bill Hicks was a big part of my formative years, and a chunk of his cynicism and world views rubbed off on me. The back cover uses words like genius, brave, brilliant and right. I don’t disagree with any of them and would probably add a few more that are along the same lines. I think I am going to enjoy reading this book. I also think that my twitter feed will have a few more swear words and some quality quotes when I get to start reading this 🙂

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Now that is done I’m either going to pass out or read a book? WooHoo, it’s the weekend.

Starting the Sword of Shannara

Just a quick post to follow up my tweet. I managed to abstain from starting The Sword of Shannara all day, and got quite a bit of my Altered Carbon review sorted out on the train instead, yay me!

BUT

I’m about to go and sit with my children while they read. So in full consciousness of breaking my own “don’t start the next one until the review of the last one is finished” rule. I’M STARTING THE SWORD OF SHANNARA NOW.