Book Reviews / Blog Awards

Happy Friday one and all!

I've blasted through a couple of books recently - ones that have been mentioned on here multiple times, but without any review (since reviewing without finishing seems a little off...). On top of that, there are a couple of blog awards I need to announce / give thanks for. I have definitely been a tad lax on this point, so thanks and apologies go out to fellow writers and bloggers.

So yes, it's a super special double focused Friday post - huzzah!

A sunny afternoon just a couple of days ago, I manned up, sat on the balcony, and finished EIGHT DAYS OF LUKE. I'd left it with perhaps 15 pages to go (a bad habit) and it took no real time to finally finish this interesting little book. In all honesty, I didn't fall head over heels for it, and if I didn't know Diana Wynne Jones already, I'm not completely convinced it would win me over. It's quite likely that if I'd read this as a kid, my thoughts would be different. I posted just t'other day about reading certain books while you're still young, and this might be a good example. In the end, though it was a good read and I didn't see the ending coming, I found the plot a little bit too ... hmm ... unsatisfying, and the very end really did come from no where to make everything neat and tidy. Her writing is flawless as ever, and the interaction between characters (child and adults) is brilliant and, I'm sure, even funnier to a kid, but in the end I think it's not the best read I've had lately. 

John Connolly's THE GATES (covered from a slightly different angle here) was a really good read (or, in this case, listen). Issues of age group aside, the plot was original and, more's the point, completely unpredictable. The characters were vivid, just the right side of funny, and perfectly rounded, and any book than can mix up science and particle physics with the opening of the gates of Hell without raising a few eyebrows has done a marvelous job. I'll read more of his stuff - what higher praise could I give?

Now, onto awards.

Paige, over at The Dream Words has been kind / foolhardy / wise enough to pass on The Booker Award to me!

Apparently it comes with Rules. These are: 

This award is for book bloggers only. To receive this award the blog must be at least 50% about books (reading or writing is okay) Along with receiving this award, you must also share your top five favorite books you have ever read. You must award 5 bloggers, with booky blogs you adore.  

Following my own tradition, I won't pass it on right now, but will reserve that for some more thought. As for my top five books...

  1. SKELLIG, by David Almond. It's unlikely this will ever be dethroned.
  2. LIFE OF PI, by Yann Martel. Despite the lackluster performance of his latest book, this one, and SELF along with THE FACTS BEHIND THE HELSINKI ROCCAMATIOS, keep Martel up there.
  3. WUTHERING HEIGHTS, by Emily Bronte. Gothic, tragic, brilliant.
  4. A WILD SHEEP CHASE, by Haruki Murakami. Sometimes when it seems like an evil sheep is trying      take over the world, the only satisfying ending is to find out that an evil sheep is trying to take over the world.
  5. CLOUD ATLAS, by David Mitchell. This will soon be coming out as a film, and honestly, the trailer looks blinding. Observe:

Lane Heymont, over on his brilliant blog, passed on the Sunshine Award to me. For this one, you need to list ten things about yourself

  1. My Japanese is decent. My French is, increasingly, really, really not.
  2. I just celebrated my one year anniversary! My wife is brilliant.
  3. My favourite animal is either a donkey or a duck.
  4. My professional aspiration as a child was to be a burglar. 
  5. My professional aspiration now is to be an author, but also, just a little, to be a burglar.
  6. Really, really want to go to Portugal, but can't work out why.
  7. I don't believe in Eskimos.
  8. Favourite sport is, depending on my mood, tennis, athletics (800m) or football.
  9. I've always had trouble counting.

Getting this awards means a lot, so thank you guys, and thank you to all who read this. I've said it before, but writers need community to hold back the obvious madness, and being able to interact with budding and professional writers alike is a real joy. Sharing, supporting, learning, etc. Great stuff.

And I rather think that's enough for now. Take care all, and have a great weekend.

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