Sunday, 19 October 2014

Bookcase Showcase: Author Mila Gray

One of the wonderful perks of being an author is the FREE BOOKS! It’s like supermarket sweep and makes me deliriously happy. This wonderful bunch of books is made up of some books that Pan Macmillan sent me and I bought myself. I devoured them all. I really loved The Interestings and Shotgun Lovesongs.

This is one of my bookshelves. I’m actually packing up to leave Bali (sob sob) so I’ve already donated a ton of books to the school and library and to friends.  

These are the ones I’m shipping because I can’t bear to part with them. I have a lot of Dave Eggars, who is up there with David Mitchell as one of my all time favourite authors.

Night Film was a firm favourite last year, as was Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers which was recommended to me by some bloggers in Singapore when I visited.

I read very eclectically - from YA through to literary fiction and memoir and would encourage anyone who wants to be a writer to do the same! 

Mila's latest book Come back to me is out now


Monday, 13 October 2014

Magnus Bane Quote Vote

Walker Books invites you to partake in the Magnus Bane Quote Vote to celebrate the forthcoming release of The Bane Chronicles in hardback

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Magnus’s many adventures than by hand-picking sixteen of his sassiest quotes and pitting them against each other in a battle to determine the warlock’s wittiest witticism.

We strongly encourage you to have your say, starting on October 22nd of this year.

To get involved, simply follow #LoveMagnus @WalkerBooksUK on Twitter.

And please, share this invitation – this is not an exclusive party.

Monday, 6 October 2014

4 days to go until The Maze Runner...

The Maze Runner Film is releasing at the end of this week on 10th October

I am particularly excited to see how the film has been adapted and see the lovely Will Poulter on screen (I met him very briefly last year at an anti-bullying event and he is lovely)

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But
he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment
at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why
or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that
every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to try and find out.

The Maze Runner out now in paperback (£7.99, Chicken House)

I read The Maze Runner back in 2010. You are dropped into a world where you do not know what is happening or why it is happening and I found it very confusing as a reader to start with but suddenly things start to click into place and I'm interested to see how this is done in the film.

I did like the idea behind the story and I liked how the boys interacted with each other, complete with their abrupt manners and own cursewords (reminding me of a variety of children I have taught over the years) and there were a few creepy moments with the grievers.
In the last section and everything that happened it was fast paced and interesting and I think the series as a whole could be very good based on all the ideas thrown about.

I am very excited to be able to offer a signed copy of The Maze Runner for one of my readers. If you want to enter simply leave a comment in the box below with a twitter handle or an email address to contact you on and I'll pick a winner at random later on in the week. 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Bookcase Showcase: Author Susan E Fletcher

Susan's favourite books

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It is a stunning book. It isn’t long, but it brims with such poetry and tenderness that it stayed with me for months. I wish I could have written: I’m so grateful that Robinson has.

Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. It isn’t often that I am so thrilled and drawn into a novel as this. I took it everywhere with me, reading with every spare moment. It’s a clever, daring adventure story, but also a beautiful account of lasting human love against the odds. And what a heroine!

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I read this, whilst researching my latest book A Little In Love. It’s a huge, intricate, relentless tale – or many tales, woven into one – of life in revolutionary Paris. I was bewitched by it. A breathtaking book.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. A strong-minded heroine, a wild setting, a supressed passion, a devastating secret – and the flawed but enigmatic Rochester … I have loved this since my teens!

Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human – all from Bloodaxe. It was poetry that made me fall in love with the written word; it remains a huge part of both my writing and everyday life. These anthologies are treasure chests; each time I dip into it I surface with a new, beautiful thing.

The Poisonwood Bible – by Barbara Kingsolver. I read this book and felt like I was in the Congo with these four wonderful narrators; its sense of place is a total joy. As well as being a consummate example of a multi-voiced novel, and lyrical, it also packs a huge emotional punch.

Van Gogh: The Life – Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. This is supreme biography of an extraordinary and misunderstood man. I read it whilst researching my current novel and it has brought Van Gogh brilliantly to life in my mind. 

Sue’s brand new novel, A LITTLE IN LOVE, the story of the broken heart of Les Miserables, is out now.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Current state of play

I wasn't going to write this post. I've thought about it for a while but didn't want it to become a pity post or an outlet for me to moan but then after a lot of thinking I thought I would so those people who kindly send me books and read my little bit of the internet would know what is going on ...

I  love reading. I love talking about the books I've read and that was the reason why I blog and why I've done so for the past 4 years however of late I'm not feeling it. I'm struggling with the books and as a consequence I'm struggling with the blogging and I can put it down to a variety of reasons

1) My reading time in the last month or so has got smaller and smaller as work has got tougher and tougher. New changes brought in by the government to change what I'm doing day to day at school are making the paperwork side of my job insane. Teaching is fine, the kids are fine but the paperwork is not. Nine years ago when I started this job I saw myself doing it until retirement. Now I'm not so sure I'll be doing it in two or three years time. To cut a long story short after a day at work my poor brain just can't cope with getting down my thoughts about the particular book I've just read.

2) I'm giving up on so many books at the moment. As mentioned my reading time has got smaller so I am getting less and less tolerant of books I'm not actively enjoying and less willing to stick with a book for the sake of it. In the last month alone I've given up on over 15 books that I just couldn't be bothered to finish.

3) All the books I've had of late, barring a few exceptions, just haven't been that great. It's not to say they have been awful but just OK and once or if I finish them I've really not got anything to say about them with any enthusiasm or excitement.

4) I'm currently sitting in TBR limbo. I'm caught up on review books and nothing left on my TBR pile is anything I really really want to read. I've not received anything new for review for a good while because it seems that generally not much is released YA wise between mid October and January and it is possibly too early for January review titles to start arrive yet which means I'm now just waiting for those to drop through my door (That said I have had one. The Art of being Normal by Lisa Williamson. It was awesome. Literally the best thing I had read since the beginning of August. I cannot wait to review that on here).

I don't want to stop blogging but I'm worried if I carry on trying to force it I am going to start to resent it so my plan is to carry on reviewing titles as and when / if I have something to say about the books I read between now and the new year. I have several guest posts pencilled in which I think will be fab. I'll still be posting bookish posts and vlogging with Bookish Brits. However it is going to be a lot quieter between now and January to give me a bit of down time, allow me time to focus on the lovely January 2015 titles I'm hoping will start to arrive in the not so distant future and get myself scheduled ahead for the new year so I can come back with more enthusiasm and excitement.

In the meantime if you want to know what I'm reading (or giving up on) find me on goodreads (see my sidebar for widget that'll lead you to my page) or on twitter @overflowingklc. If you have any really awesome reading recommendations to get me through the TBR limbo let me know in the box below because I need something to read and get excited about desperately.

Monday, 29 September 2014

September review

This month has been a funny old month for me reading wise. Quite frankly being back at school has really taken its toll and I'm struggling to get time to read properly and less time to review so I am finding that I'm picking up a lot of non-review books because I don't need to think about them after they are done while my brain is too full of school stuff. Roll on half term and proper reading time.

Read in September

161) Play by Kylie Scott
162) The Mark of Cain by Lindsay Barraclough (British Books Challenge)
163) The Italian Girl by Lucinda Riley (British Books Challenge)
164) The World Beneath by Janice Warman (British Books Challenge)
165) Buffy: The Making of a Slayer by Nancy Holder
166) Sally Heathcote Suffragette by B Talbot (British Books Challenge)
167) The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell (British Books Challenge)
168) The art of being normal by Lisa Williamson (British Books Challenge)
169) The Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
170) Famous in love by Rebecca Serle
171) The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley (British Books Challenge)
172) Pea's book of big dreams by Susie Day (British Books Challenge)

Book of the month
Has to be the very wonderful The art of being normal by Lisa Williamson which I got a very early proof of (David Ficking do very very special prrofs FYI). It is amazing. You all need to read it ... scrap that everyone needs to read it. It was an utterly perfect read for me and I can't wait for it to be published so I can buy multiple copies and give them to everyone.

Book events attended in September
Sadly none.I do have some exciting ones lined up for next month though

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Books I can't wait to read

I am in a reading sulk at the moment mostly because all the books I want to read aren't published yet and most of which aren't out until next year. This list could have been much much longer but I don't have any covers yet for some of them so I'll hold off talking about them just yet. Below are some books I cannot wait to get my hands on.

Othergirl by Nicole Burstein

Louise and Erica have been best friends since forever. They're closer than sisters and depend on each other for almost everything. Just one problem: Erica has superpowers.

When Erica isn't doing loop-the-loops in the sky or burning things with her heat pulse powers, she needs Louise to hold her non-super life together. After all, the girls still have homework, parents and boys to figure out. But being a superhero's BFF is not easy, especially as trouble has a way of seeking them out. Soon Louise discovers that Erica might be able to survive explosions and fly faster than a speeding bullet, but she can't win every fight by herself.

Life isn't a comic book - it's even crazier than that.

I cannot tell you how excited I am by this book and have been for ages. Nicole is one of those wonderful people who I chat to regularly on twitter (and in real life on the odd occasion we happen to be at the same event) and I love following her insane daily antics complete with ladynerding, dog shaving accidents and ballet classes to name but a few. I want it. I want it now and doing my absolute best not to talk to her about it until nearer the time so I don't do her head in about it in a stalkery fashion.

The Devil you know by Trish Doller

Arcadia “Cadie” Wells has one primary goal in life –– to escape the sleepy Florida town where she was born and raised. Since her mother's death, she's sacrificed her boyfriend, her spot on the soccer team, and even her plans for the future to raise her little brother and help her still-grieving father. On a rare night out at a party at the local state park, Cadie meets a couple of good-looking tourists and impulsively agrees to join them on their road trip from one end of Florida to the other. But when their adventure goes tragically wrong, Cadie’s new goal is to make it home alive

I'm not sure Trish's books are all that well known in the UK and I have no idea why I ended up reading her stuff but I did and I was so glad I found her. I love her books and cannot wait for this one. I haven't even really read the synopsis but I want it because Trish has written it. 

Because you'll never meet me by Leah Thomas

In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

This flashed up on netgalley but not to request. Not sure what that is about but enough to gain my interest and I hate my kindle anyway so I probably wouldn't read it until I got a print copy.

Us by David Nichols

'I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.'

'Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?'

Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they'd be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?

It's not often an adult book makes it onto my radar and even rarer for it to do so prepublication but I do already have my eye on this.