Hello and welcome to my first monthly wrap-up! Apologies for not posting in a while! I’ve been super busy with job applications, having people to stay and I also went to a friend’s awesome wedding! I’ve not had much time for reading, but I’m back to it now. Also, more apologies – I’m writing most of this post in the early hours of the morning, so if it’s boring, I apologise profusely; I’m very tired, but determined to give all of you something to read (and cause to think that I’m very much alive!)
As this is my first wrap-up, I’d like to direct you to this page where you’ll find a short description of my star ratings. Also, I’ve decided to sum up each book I review in one word which you’ll find in green above the book cover, just to keep things interesting!
This month, I have finished a total of six books (2 novels, 3 comics and 1 short story). I know I definitely could have read more, but I am still very happy with this, seeing as I hadn’t finished anything since the end of March! Here is what I read:
1. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman:
This book is about the birth of the Anti-Christ, the End of Days and the attempts to avert said Apocolypse by Crowley, a demon and Aziraphale, an angel who have become accustomed to life in the human world. What’s not to like?! This book made me laugh out loud so many times and has firmly become one of my favourites. 5/5.
2. The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine:
Set in an Edwardian London department store, this book follows Miss Sophie Taylor, formerly of good social standing, recently after her father’s sudden death. Left with nothing, Sophie must work as a shop girl in order to fend for herself, but when the department store’s owner has his prized, one-of-a-kind clockwork sparrow stolen, it’s up to Sophie and her friends, Lil, Billy and Joe to work together to find the perpetrators. This book was recommended by one of the booksellers at the Gower Street branch of Waterstones and I’m so glad I bought it. With codebreaking, espionage and even murder, this book constantly keeps you guessing. Despite struggling through the first 25 pages or so, I really enjoyed this book. It started off a bit too slowly for me, and for me, Woodfine spends a bit too long setting the scene which I found boring, but once the actual mystery kicked in, I found the cliffhangers and twists made it very hard to put this book down. I’m very excited for book two! 4/5.
3. The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman:
This is NOT your typical zombie story. But at first glance, it’s going to sound like 28 Days Later so please bear with me. A small town sheriff wakes from a coma to find that the whole town has been overrun with zombies. He sets out to find his family, not to mention some answers. There were things I liked such as the superb black and white artwork, the suspense and tension and the feeling like this was better preparing me for the zombie apocalypse (because we all have to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse). However, this first volume is definitely “finding its way”, with clunky dialogue in places, not to mention the pacing always being a bit…off. I also found it difficult to remember who was who, meaning a lot of flicking back to refresh my memory of the characters, though that could be a fault on my part due to my awful memory. All of that aside, the first volume was effective in making me want to find out what happens next. 3/5.
4. The Walking Dead Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman:
It is now winter and the pace picks up as the group struggle with lack of food, suitable accommodation and well… more flesh-eating zombies. The art is still good, despite a change in main artist from Tony Moore to Charlie Adlard and a lot more happens in this volume than in the first. For me, the character interaction is better, with both relationships and feuds forming and playing out. I am enjoying this series a lot; probably because it is less about zombies or how they came to be, but more about the survival and morality of those who are still alive in a world without a government, police enforcement, hospitals or easy access to food. I hope it stays that way. I’m really excited to see where the story goes and the only reason I haven’t yet is because Volume 3 isn’t available at the library yet. 5/5.
5. The Accidental Salad by Joe Decie:
This is an assortment of short comic strips about the artist’s life in Brighton. It’s a good blend of autobiography and fiction, giving often witty snapshots of the artist’s life, but this just wasn’t for me. I did like the idea of seeing the thoughts of someone who spends a lot of their time inside their own head, but a lot of the jokes just went over mine. I think it’s safe to say that this is a personal taste issue and it doesn’t reflect badly on the art which is good, but I do know someone who might like the content of this comic book more than I did, so at least their birthday present is sorted. (You never know, if you read that person reads this blog, then it might be you…*chuckle* 3/5.
6. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman:
This short story published in 1892 is comprised of the diary entries of a woman who has been diagnosed with “temporary nervous depression” after the birth of her child. She is told by her husband – a doctor – to rest and avoid social interaction and work of any kind, including writing, thus leading her to hide her journal. Without stimulation, she becomes focussed on and eventually obsessed with the yellow wallpaper of her bedroom. Without giving too much more away, this story give great insight into mental health issues and the expectations of women. Despite being written over 100 years ago, this story is truly timeless and I really recommend it to anyone. 5/5.
That’s all from me. If I have time, I will write an in-depth review of one of the books above. I haven’t quite decided which one yet. Comment if you’d like to see me review a particular one. Also, please do follow this blog to get updates of my new posts. It’s easy – click the menu on the top right hand corner and scroll down to find the “Follow” button or enter your email address if you don’t have a WordPress account.
Super geeky love,