Books · PND · Reviews · What Are You Reading?

October Reading – 100 Word Book Reviews


It Sucked And Then I Cried: How I Had A Baby, A Breakdown, And A Much Needed Margarita by Heather B. Armstrong (creator of dooce.com) (Gallery Books, 2010) ~ 4/5*

Opening line:

My husband has great hair, but even more impressive than that, he has impeccable taste in socks.

~

As a fellow sufferer of PND, many moments in this memoir rang painfully true and I shed more than the odd tear at the situations and memories they triggered.

There were also frequent laugh out loud moments when Armstrong was bluntly honest about the indignities of having a baby and unexpected moments you inevitably experience with a newborn in tow.

However, had I not been a parent myself, I’m not sure I’d have engaged particularly well with it as a whole. My enjoyment heavily relied on the feeling of shared experience.

Worth a read but not a full five stars.

*

Reality Deconstructed by Andrew Bellingham (Red Feather Writing, 2012) ~ 5/5*

Opening line:

Gemma had been wandering for a day and a night before I met her.

~

Another quirky short story from Andrew that made me really think.

Reality Deconstructed didn’t go where I expected it to and I found myself enjoying the journey it took me on.

I love the tone of this story, the narrative voice is strong and likeable and I didn’t find it hard to trust him without question despite all the craziness going on around him.

Exploring the power of the sleeping subconscious, Andrew plays on that strange sleep-state where you are still sleeping but almost aware and questions what affect this wakefulness has on our dreams.

The result is thoroughly intriguing.

*

The Dead by David Gatward (Hodder Children’s Books, 1st July 2010) ~ 4/5*

Opening line:

It was when Lazarus opened his bedroom door that he noticed the smell.

~

I picked up The Dead because I wanted something quick to read alongside another hard-going book I’m reading. It was perfect.

I finished it in two sittings and loved it.

A bit different from other horror stories I have read, The Dead was full of intriguing twists and developments that always kept the pages turning.

I really liked Lazarus, the lead character, because he didn’t fall into his role easily on discovery of the weird things happening around him – he doubted everything and ran away. He was very human… and you need a touch of human when you’re frightened.

*

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas (Viking, 2009) ~ 5/5*

Opening stanza:

I am always there.

But they don’t care if I am

because I am furniture.

~

Sometimes you read something that says a million things in very few words. Because I Am Furniture is one of those things.

Not written in the style of a conventional novel, the story of Anke’s life at high-school, on the volleyball team and at home with her abusive father unfolds with disturbing clarity.

I finished the book in one sitting, unable to tear myself away as the frighteningly simple and violent tale unfolded across the pages.

Captured beautifully, the emotions Anke goes through as she reaches breaking point in her life cut you to the core and break your heart.

*

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