Did you know, in the UK 77 Million brand new books go to pulp each year? That means only 17% of books get a good budget for marketing. I didn’t know that until I decided to join “A Box of Stories”
What is A Box of Stories? It is a subscription service that helps stop books from going to pulp and allows authors to get their hard work read by avid readers like me, and maybe you too. Even though I read many many books each year, so far 36 read this year, I decided to go for a box every three months, so that’s 16 books a year which will be easy to get through along with all the others I read. You can link your GoodReads account to it so they can make sure that they never send you a book that you have read, which is a win in my eyes.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then feel free to join via my link here that will give you £4 off your first box, or copy the link below.
At the beginning of the year, I decided my Goodreads challenge would be 30 books. Now for those who really know me, know that I usually have about 10 to 15 books on the go at one time, and flit between them. I need constant stimulation when reading and if I find that the book is lulling a bit, then that goes down and I get another one and read till that gets to that point, or more often than not, I decide that I need a different story, feel, drama, whatever, it just needs to be changed. I can sit in bed at night and start to read, then after say 30 minutes swap books and continue to read.
So, after 8 full months and a few days, I hit my 30 book challenge. I have mixed it up quite a bit and changed genres throughout. One of the best reads so far was The Salt Path by Raynor Winn which is about her and her husband Moth losing their home, business and everything due to a bastard so-called friend. Their journey of being homeless, dealing with Moth’s diagnosis of a terminal illness, wild camping and surviving on very little money and dried noodles really was a testament to their determination. This really is a book I loved and would recommend it to everyone. Oh, yes, his name really is Moth!
Other books read which completed the challenge since my last book post was Bundy: Portrait of a Serial Killer by Robert Keller and Neverland by Jeff Dosser. Both books proving I really do swap from genre to genre.
As you will know, and if you don’t, take yourself off to a darkened room and a laptop and read my blog, god-damn-it. Only kidding! I set myself a challenge of 30 books to read this year, so far I have managed 6 and I am part way through far too many to mention, but here are the ones I have managed to read up to now.
Sequel to SCOUSE GOTHIC. Gothic/fantasy thriller set in present-day Liverpool. The same characters from Scouse Gothic return and find that their pasts and present continue to become further intertwined. Vampires and mortal co-exist and discover that the boundaries between friends and family, good and evil becomes even more blurred. Included are maps of Liverpool marked with references to the text, illustrations and recipes based on characters and events in the story.
Based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—a love story in the midst of atrocity.
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
Life can be difficult – even when you’re dead.
Lathom lies awake. His nights are plagued by nightmares and his days by hallucinations and cravings for blood. Worse still he’s stone cold sober all the time – immortality has its drawbacks. Melville has decided to put his past behind him and live for the future – unfortunately, his past has other ideas. Peter is worried that his research might create human vampires – and also that he may already know one. Frank ponders how to make an omelette without breaking your favourite egg. And Sheryl wonders if it’s unnatural for vampires to live together. Perhaps, love isn’t all you need – perhaps all you need is blood.
A new edition of one of the best-selling and best-loved books of recent years, with a new introduction by the author. The publication of Wild Swans in 1991 was a worldwide phenomenon. Not only did it become the best-selling non-fiction book in British publishing history, with sales of well over two million, but it was also received with unanimous critical acclaim, and was named the winner of the 1992 NCR Book Award and the 1993 British Book of the Year Award. Few books have ever had such an impact on their readers. Through the story of three generations of women — grandmother, mother and daughter — Wild Swans tells nothing less than the whole tumultuous history of China’s tragic twentieth century, from sword-bearing warlords to Chairman Mao, from the Manchu Empire to the Cultural Revolution. At times terrifying, at times astonishing, always deeply moving, Wild Swans is a book in a million, a true story with all the passion and grandeur of a great novel. For this new edition, Jung Chang has written a new introduction, bringing her own story up to date, and describing the effect Wild Swans’ success has had on her life.
The Pope is dead.
Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election.
They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals.
Over the next seventy-two hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
From the ocean, it rose.
Every fourteen months it appears on a secluded beach in a small town just before dawn.
One morning during his daily run to the beach, Danny Lynch witnesses the strangest and most incredible thing he’s ever seen.
A dark, man-like figure emerges from the ocean, stands for just a few moments on the beach, and then retreats back to the surf.
Danny’s perspective on the world changes in an instant, and as the only eyewitness to this event, his mission now is to convince anyone who will listen that what he saw was real.
But with only a vague photo and a dubious story, that task is proving almost impossible, and his only hope may be in finding a mysterious woman who was at the beach earlier that morning, and who may hold the terrifying secret that could cost Danny his life.
What did Danny see? And why is he in danger?
So far so good with my challenge, and I am three books ahead of schedule. One of the current books I am halfway through is Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, set in the decade after WWII. It is a little odd, but enjoyable. I read some reviews and it really does divide the readers, some find it a ramble of thoughts, but I cannot see what they are moaning about, it is written like a memoir, so it will ramble, but there are correlations throughout. I loved The English Patient, both book and film, and when I saw this was was drawn to it. It was in my shopping cart for weeks on end, as I thought it would drop in price, and in the end, I yielded to its allure. Then again, any book in a book shop has a big allure.
I love the feel and smell of a book, especially brand new ones, and very old ones that have a heady lived-in smell. I am sure that if you like your books like me you will understand my ramblings. If heaven exists, then for me it would have to be an enormous library with comfy sofas, good coffee and deafening silence. Void of screaming children, people, mobile phones, or any distraction from the words in the books. Oh! and an automatic food bar, so I could eat too. Maybe a knitting section with an abundance of yarn and patterns, after all, I would need some form of exercise LOL. But this is heaven so I would not have to worry about exercise really or getting fat etc., as that is all sorted out on arrival. So there it is my heaven, a place to read, knit, drink coffee and eat without getting fat. Fingers crossed I am right!