Friday, 27 September 2013

The Cephalod Coffeehouse - My favourite book this month

This is a new bloggers' 'Book Club', organised by The Armchair Squid. The idea is that on the last Friday of each month we blog about the best book we've finished over the past month. If you'd like to be part of this, the details are here.

For me, this is a tricky one because I've already blogged about the book I've enjoyed this month - That Sadie Thing by Annalisa Crawford.

Road to RouenHowever, there is another book that made me laugh aloud and that was an absolute delight to read this month and that was The Road to Rouen by Ben Hatch.

This is an hilarious, often painful tale of marriage, kids and a summer spent touring France so that struggling writer, Ben, can write a travel guide. I loved the dialogue - the kids are so funny - and also the honesty with which the relationship between the parents is portrayed. Needless to say, it's not all a smooth ride - in fact very little of it is! My favourite part has to be the escapade with the donkey - but if you want to know more about that, you're just going to have to read the book! And as for Ben's misadventure over the border in Spain... mind-boggling! If France, or the idea of France, seduces you, this delightful romp will charm the pantalons off you. This book isn't just a comedy, though. Ben examines his life so far, his motives and his relationship with his father as well as pondering on his future. There's also some back-story on the couple's lives 'pre-kids', which plumps out the characters of Ben and Dinah very effectively. I was left sympathising greatly with (long-suffering) Dinah,  and longing to re-visit France. I also wanted more, because there's nothing so wonderful as an easy read that makes you laugh. Real escapism!

Please hop around now to find out about other September favourites! Here's the list:

1.The Armchair Squid2.Remembering Grace
3.Vanessa Morgan4.Trisha @ WORD STUFF
5.M.J. Fifield6.Denise Covey @ L'Aussie Writing
7.My Creatively Random Life8.Subliminal Coffee
9.The Random Book Review10.Divine Secrets of the Writing Sisterhood
11.Scouring Monk12.Clarissa Draper
15.Excuse Me While I Note That Down16.Mark Noce Stories
17.StrangePegs -- Temporary Anne18.Blue Sky Gazing
19.What's Up! MOCK?20.Nicki Elson

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Another book recommendation

Do you ever read a book on Kindle (or other reading device!) and wish it was available in paperback? Some books, you just need to hold in your hands and feel the pages. This, for me, is definitely one of them - and now my wish has come true! I've tried short story anthologies before - including those by well-known authors - and haven't been exactly blown away.  I was beginning to think I wasn't really a fan of short stories until I read That Sadie Thing. I admit that Annalisa Crawford is an online friend of mine, but I can - hand on heart - say that doesn't influence me. As we all know (and it's painful), we can't automatically like or endorse the writing of all our writerly friends.

Anyway, this book is packed with diverse stories about diverse relationships. The writing is expressive but unpretentious and the stories very readable. I find that they kind of bob around in my head, demanding attention after reading - Annalisa has a knack for characterisation and atmosphere - and this is a book I would return to.

I've just really enjoyed my second reading and with three bonus stories it's definitely worth buying in paperback even if you've already got it on Kindle.

Anyway, that's all! Just wanted to say this book is now available in paperback - it would make a great, inexpensive Christmas stocking-filler for someone!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

IWSG September

It's still sunny here and I'm ignoring the fact that it's September and pretending it's still the middle of the summer. For once, we've had a good summer and everyone I know seems to have had their spirits lifted by it!

I'm not insecure this month, which is a nice feeling. I have a story in September's Woman's Weekly Fiction Special, another submitted and another just begun and I feel pretty chilled. I think this new, laid-back state is because I put writing on a back-burner for the summer. I spent time with my friends and family, caught up with people and didn't break myself in half trying to fit writing in around it (although I did manage to write one story.)

At the start of the summer holidays I was thinking I'd have days and days to write, but once the texts started to-ing and fro-ing and the calendar filled up, I could see that wasn't to be the case. I wrestled with the idea of putting some people off and leaving whole days free, but in the end I decided that...


I could write my novel for the 4 weeks I had free, ultimately abandon what I'd written and not have spent time with all these wonderful people. So I didn't write.

Now I'm back at school, my time is limited and I'm inspired to write again. I have come to the conclusion I like having small pockets of time to write in. Whole days are scary! Too much time to procrastinate - as most of us know!

I'm off to see how you're all getting on now!

Thanks for reading :-)