28 Apr 2017

SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS.

The first time I've felt up to doing some bloggy visits since my recent stay in hospital. I promise to get around to dropping by soon if I haven't already done so. In the meantime .. another book read and reviewed pre my stay on Ward 29. TT

SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS by JACK CHENG.

PRESS RELEASE BLURB: An astonishingly moving and heart-warming debut about a space-obsessed boy's quest for answers.

From the first pages you will fall in love  with eleven-year-old Alex Petroski as he sets out on a mission to launch his iPod into space, the way his hero Carl Sagon, the real-life astronomer, launched his Golden Record on the Voyager in 1977. With a series of audio recordings, Alex will show other lifeforms out in the cosmos what life on Earth, his Earth, is really like. But for a boy with a long-dead dad, a troubled mum, and a mostly-not-around brother, Alex struggles with the big questions we all ask ourselves. Where do I come from? Who's out there? And, above all, How can I be brave?

Alex's unique, undefatigable voice will captivate readers young and old and remind you it's always good to see the world a little differently.

<<< About the Author >>>

Jack Cheng was born in Shanghai and grew up in Michagan. After spending nearly a decade in New York, working in advertising and tech, he now lives in Detroit. 

Follow him on Twitter @JackCheng/ www.jackcheng.com

SOURCE: A GoodReads win. An Uncorrected Proof copy, as such I'm unable to share my 'First Sentence' or 'Memorable Moment'.

READ FOR: Not applicable.

MY THOUGHTS: A novel I actually rather liked despite the fact that I felt it was somewhat let down by what I felt was at times a largely implausible plot that at times had me somewhat concerned. Without giving too much away, didn't any of the characters ever notice what seemed to be Alex's mother's disinterest in her son? Didn't they ever question just why an eleven year old was travelling America by himself? Did two grown men really think it suitable to befriend an eleven year old in this way?

No?

Perhaps its just me needing to suspend my disbelief, maybe its just me reading too much into these scenarios rather than simply taking them as a vehicle to explore the issues of which there were plenty.

Issues such as mental illness, loss and finding yourself. Suitable (I would have thought) for most of the 9 to 12 year old age range at which See You In The Cosmos is primarily aimed.

A character I grew to care for ... eventually. As in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, with which this book has been compared, I at first found Alex's voice irritating and, well, sort of rambling (with so many run-on sentences joined without the proper conjunction I admit to becoming frustrated at times) but then maybe this had more to do with the fact that the book was written largely as a set of recordings about life on earth as seen through the eyes of Alex - recordings which he intended to send into space for the benefit of any life forms that should happen across his iPod.

Not a fan of audio-books by any stretch of the imagination. However, somehow a bit disorganised on paper, I can't help but wonder if audio would be a better format for this particular novel.


20 Apr 2017

(WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB #11): 11TH HOUR.

11th HOUR by JAMES PATTERSON & MAXINE PAETRO.

BACK COVER BLURB: Is one of Detective Lindsay Boxer’s colleagues a vicious killer? 
She won't know until the 11th hour…

A notorious drug dealer is gunned down using a weapon taken from the evidence locker in Lindsay’s own department!

Lindsay must investigate her closest colleagues. But who can she trust? 

And is she placing herself, and her unborn baby, in a deadly situation?

FIRST SENTENCE {PROLOGUE: REVENGE. ONE}: A good-looking man in his forties sat in the back row of the auditorium at the exclusive Morton Academy of Music.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {PAGE 119}: "Maggots, like all animals, are what they eat. If Jane here was poisoned or drugged, the tox screen on the milk shake would reveal that. So I put some squirmers into the blender and sent that out to the lab. Hoping for something, Linds, I was hoping for arsenic. Instead, we found benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine."

SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

READ FOR: What's In A Name? challenge: 'A title with a number in numbers' category (2nd book of 6) and Mount TBR challenge (8th book of 24).

MY THOUGHTS: Though book 11 of a series that I believe currently stands at sixteen novels I can't say I felt I'd missed anything by not having read any of the previous books. Indeed I found Detective Lindsay Boxer so irritating that I didn't feel inclined to know anything more of her. 

With what seems like books churned out every few months, I don't know if its merely a case of quantity over quality, a case of it being co-written OR whether its just a not-so- good novel as happens to the best of authors and especially during a long running series. One thing I do know though is, with their short, snappy chapters I normally turn to James Patterson's book when I want a quick, easy to read thriller, but this one alas this failed to hit the mark.

OK, so it is fiction and as such I expect certain liberties to be taken. And yes, I'm British and therefore perhaps used to slightly different procedures but surely no pregnant police detective (let alone one pregnant with what I gather was a 'high risk' pregnancy) would still be on such active service as to be involved in high speed car chases etc? 

Then there were the cases. Both rather mediocre, the perpetrator revealed rather early in one of them, the other easily guessed at. I don't know if its typical of this particular series to feature two cases but I'm afraid I didn't think the writing strong enough to support them both.

Not yet totally finished with the novels of James Patterson (though I'm rapidly beginning to understand why so many copies grace the shelves of the various charity shops)  but I rather think this may well be the first and last Women's Murder Club novel that I read.


14 Apr 2017

SERVICE RESUMED.

Heartfelt thanks to my blogger buddies and FaceBook friends for your kind words, to those of you living close enough for your visits and, of course, it goes without saying, Mr T for, well, being Mr T. I cannot begin to express how much your thinking of me meant.


Though still not 100% and on some pretty hefty pain medication I'm glad to be back home after almost six weeks in hospital and am looking forward to resuming Pen and Paper in the next few days.



4 Mar 2017

SERVICE INTERRUPTION.

Sorry for the lack of postings. Her ladyship is rather unwell at the moment and in hospital. I will let you know as she progresses and hopefully won't be too long before she's back.

HD