Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Don't Need The Whole Dog by Tony James Slater

Tony Slater - the idiot abroad from That Bear Ate My Pants is back, but this time mainly in the Welsh Valleys in Treorchy.

This book is based on his exploits in a few different locations / situations, but as always, you can trust him to muck things up in funny and cringe-worthy ways.

I had thought this book would be mainly set in Thailand, but more than half of it is about doing up the house his father bought in Treorchy whilst Tony, his mum and his sister were away in America.  Tony, being actorly trained, wants to be on telly, so gets in contact with a TV company to film them during the project.  It doesn't mention which TV programme it is, but with mention of a "heavily pregnant presenter" it is easy to work out which programme it is, and go on to find it on youtube.  I resisted watching the programme until I'd finished that part of the book and it certainly gives another slant to the term "interactive book" hahaha.

I wasn't too interested in the yachting part of the story, but the book got back into the swing of things when Tony gets to Thailand.  I'm a shy, boring, rule-abiding person and Tony's skin of his teeth living would just terrify me.  

This is quite an instructional book.  I've passed on snippets of house renovating to one colleague and guidance on holidaying in Thailand to another colleague.

I keep mentioning Tony's name rather than refer to "the author" as after reading two of these books, I feel like I know more about him that anyone should ever want to.  

This is probably my favourite book of the year so far.


Monday, 29 April 2013

Clovenhoof by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

This is the story of when Satan got kicked out of hell and goes to live in a Birmingham suburb.  He is forced to live in a flat in a converted house and makes friends with his neighbours.  Of course, Satan being Satan, he has no “people skills” and no knowledge of financial matters.

I found this a really funny story.  Satan, or Jeremy Clovenhoof as he is now known as, just doesn’t understand real life and the effects of what does and what he says to people.

As I was reading this, I was picturing it as a sitcom.  Most of the action is set in the flats or the pub and there were some great one-liners.

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Davina Code by Janet Elizabeth Henderson

The Davina Code is a full on frothy chick-lit story about girl meets boy accidentally ties boy up, both fancy each other whilst hating each other at the same time.  Hilarity ensues and so on an so forth.

My one and only complaint about this (as a landlady, myself) is that what Jack - the landlord - is doing, is totally illegal in the real world, no matter how hot he is.  But then, if he wasn't "stalking"  his tenant, there wouldn't be a fun story to be read.

The story definitely flows along, with some good supporting characters on the side-lines.  I liked how Davina always managed to side-step Jack, leaving him muttering at her.

This is the second book by this author I have read and enjoyed.  It is not high fiction, but hits the right spot when I need a good dose of chick-lit.


Monday, 15 April 2013

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters by Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone writes what she calls "Fractured Fairytales" whereby she takes a tale and minces it up real good and  throws it out the other side.  In my opinion, the links are tenuous at best, however, the stories she writes are very enjoyable in an often frantic way.

In this story, Alice gets caught up in a world full of lawyers, mobsters, killers and strange English people.

This is frantic half the time, then a bit slow paced at others.  I was over half way through when I re-read the synopsis and half the stuff hadn't happened yet.  Sometimes Alice was a bit dumb, other times quite sneaky.  I quite often forgot that she wasn't some 20 year old, but a 40-something, which is not the norm for a chick-lit type book.  Perhaps my new heroines are double the age of my old ones.

Another fun read.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Swimmer by David Haynes

The Swimmer is David Haynes first book and as a début (albeit with an overhaul), this is a very good book.

May and Joseph start investigating the case of an unknown swimmer whose battered body washes up on shore on a winter's day in Cornwall.  The story is not just set in the present, but goes back a hundred years into Cornwall's tin mining industry era.

In the main, this is a quite gentle murder/mystery although there are a small handful of swear words that sometimes stopped me short.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the bleak winter landscapes and seascapes.  Even I was feeling a bit damp at times reading the story.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

A Rat's War by R.M.F. Brown

I'm not sure why I picked this up, nor why I started reading it, but there was something about it that drew me to it once I'd downloaded it on a freebie day.

Two teenagers are caught up in WW2 in Germany trying to cope in a bombed out village in the cold wet wintertime.

The descriptions of their pitiful lives were very vivid.  I felt cold to the bone just reading it and wondering how I would cope being cold and wet all the time, whilst being cosy indoors in this, the second coldest March on record.

The secret was very unexpected and brought a different perspective to the story.  It certainly made me think.

I found this to be well written and did enjoy it and was thinking about bits of it much later.