Sunday, 26 July 2015

Book Review: The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right Now
Matthew Quick
The Good Luck of Right Now is the 3rd book that I have read by Matthew Quick, after reading The Silver Linings Playbook and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Having loved both of these so much, it was only a matter of when I was going to read this book rather than if.
Meet Bartholomew Neil. A 39 year old man who has spent all his life looking after his mum. After cancer took his mother from him, Bartholomew realises that he has no idea how to live and be on his own. He has never had a job, never had a girlfriend, never known how to pay bills and never even sat at a bar with a friend having a beer. Through the help of actor Richard Gere, a bipolar priest, a beautiful librarian and a foul mouthed very troubled young man Bartholomew learns all about life. All he wants is love and happiness, but soon comes to realise that you can't have this without pain and sadness.
All of the Matthew Quick's books I have read so far involve mental illness, special needs and troubled characters. The Good Luck of Right Now is no different. Although these books are fictional it really makes you think hard about people whose life is affected by mental illness. I know from personal experiences how hard it can be and I'm sure most of you know someone who has struggled as well. I don't know why, but I find these stories so intriguing and Matthew writes them with so much heart. He uses just enough wit and happiness to run alongside the sadness and hurt of true life. One minute you are laughing out loud the next you are trying to hold back the tears.
I loved all the characters in this book. Each one of them gives you something different. My favourite of them all was Max, the foul mouthed troubled young man. If you are offended by the F word then you probably will not like Max, but I found it to add to his character and think that he would not be the same person without the constant swearing. I love that although Max is dealing with his own personal grief, he is there for Bartholomew to support him on his life journey.
The writing of this book was unique and original. The whole story was all told through Bartholomew as he wrote letters to his confidant Richard Gere. By doing it this way you got a true feel of not only what was happening in the story but everything that was going through Bartholomew's mind good and bad. 
The story in itself was fantastic. You go on a huge journey throughout the book, not only with Bartholomew, but all the characters involved. I always find books that end differently to "everyone lived happily ever after" the best as life does not work that way.
Is there anything I did not like about this book? No, not really. I loved it and could not put it down. I read it in a week and a half which is really quick for me.
I scored this book a 5 out of 5. Matthew Quick wins again. He is probably my favourite author. I can't wait to read his latest book Love May Fail which was recently published. I fully recommend you read this. If you don't normally read this sort of book then why not try it? It may surprise you.
I would love to know other people think that have read this book. Do you agree with me or not? Let me know.....
Speak soon

Saturday, 11 July 2015

2015: Half Year Book Report

2015: Half Year Book Report
So.... We are half way through 2015 already. It's crazy really. People always say the older you get the quicker time goes. This is true. It only seemed like Christmas 5 minutes ago and before you know it Christmas will be here again. Talking of Christmas has anyone still got books to read that they got for Christmas? I still have 3 to go, which is not bad for me as I still have some to read I got the Christmas before.
I don't know about you, but sitting on our bookshelves are about 100 books unread.. I keep trying to read them but then you get sucked into a book shop. Caught in a tractor beam like you are in Star Wars or something.. An hour or so later you leave with another 2 or 3 books which you just HAD to buy. The books you have said you will read next just get pushed to the back of the queue. This seems to be my pattern all year round.
I have been really impressed with how popular books are again and really think that social media is helping. Not only for the big writers out there but for ones that are just starting out. I know that most authors are on Twitter and all the publishers big and small are spreading the word each week as to what new books are out. If it was not for Twitter I would not have read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Disclaimer by Renee Knight both debut novels that were published in 2015. There was a social media buzz about these books that really got me excited and wanted me to go buy these books.
I don't normally set targets for myself in life as I feel they can take over your life and in a way ruin it. However at the start of the year I did decide to set myself a little goal when it came to reading books. I am not the fastest reader at all. But like most things the more I do it the faster I become. I looked at how many books I read last year and wanted to beat this total in 2015. I decided that I wanted to read 1 1/2 books a month which would give me a total of 18 for the year. Now I know there are people out there that have probably read 18 books in the first 3 months of the year but if I achieve this, this will be the most books I have read in a year. How am I doing you may ask? Well on 28 June I started to read my 10th book of the year. This makes me so happy that I am on target. Do you have targets when it comes to books or do you just read books as and when?
My Favourite books of the year so far:
Out of the 9 books I have completed so far this year most have been Thriller/Crime/Mystery novels which is by far my favourite genre. Another little goal I set myself is to read more books from different genres to broaden my knowledge and to learn from different styles of writing and story telling. I am not the biggest fan of Autobiography's but I really enjoyed KP by Kevin Pieterson and I also liked The Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey, a memoir of her life living with a rare disease. I have not read a Sci-Fi book in years but just had to read A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson (one of my favourite actors) & Jeff Rovin. What do you read generally? Do you stick to one genre or do you enjoy mixing it up? My 3 favourite books so far in 2015 all scoring 5 out of 5 are:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Playing Mrs.Kingston by Tony Lee Moral
Unlucky 13 by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
What is happening for the rest of 2015:
Well books, books and yes you guessed it books. I am a little excited about the next 6 months in the book world. I have just started to read The Good Luck of Right Now by one of my favourite authors Matthew Quick. There are currently 3 books that are to be published later this year which I will have on pre-order. First up is the new James Bond novel called Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz. This will be published on 08 September 2015. Just 2 days later on the 10th is one book I really can't wait for. As a huge Star Wars geek I cannot wait for the new movie to come out on 18 December, but before then a new Star Wars novel is to be published called Aftermath. This is written by Chuck Wendig & Tim Lebbon and the story bridges the gap between Return of the Jedi & The Force Awakens. Thirdly on 20 October 2015 the 3rd Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling) is published called Career of Evil. Both my wife and I have loved the first 2 books and will probably have to play rock, paper, scissors to see who will read this first. Other books I will be reading this year are Flash Boys by Michael Lewis (Blindside/Moneyball) which is a story on how computer programmers are changing the stock market on Wall Street. Then I will be reading a book that I have been trying to read for ages. I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. A Jason Bourne type thriller that will take you all over the world. I say this is my plan but it all depends on what those book shops force me to buy between now and the end of the year. It would be just like me to read non of the above...
Lastly I would just like to thank everyone who has read one of my blogs. I am now at just over 1800 hits which is just fantastic and makes me happy that people out there read what I write.
I hope that whatever everyone is reading you are enjoying and would love to hear your reviews and thoughts. You could even write a guest book review on my blog if you like.....
Speak soon


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Book Review: 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

14th Deadly Sin
James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
14th Deadly Sin is part 3 of my Women's Murder Club series catch up, having finished 12th of Never and Unlucky 13 this past month. 14th Deadly Sin is the latest book in the series.
The Women's Murder Club is about a group of friends that live in San Francisco, America. They are Detective Lindsay Boxer from the SFPD homicide department, Dr Clare Washburn Chief Medical Officer for San Francisco, Yuki Castellano a District Attorney for San Francisco and Cindy Thomas a crime reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper and together they help catch some of the cities most violent criminals.
A string of armed robberies are being committed by people dressed up in SFPD gear. Are they imposters trying to put the blame onto the police? Or are they actual police officers gone rogue? Meanwhile a women is murdered in the middle of the day in front of hundreds of people but the police have nothing to gone on to prove who did this. A member of the Women's Murder Club suddenly decides she wants a change of job, is this going to work out well or will it be the mistake of her life?
I did not know what to expect from this book. As I loved Unlucky 13 so much I was hoping this would follow suit and be just as good, but there was the worry that because Unlucky 13 was so good it was going to be a poor follow up. I'm afraid it was a poor follow up. I mean not that it was a really bad book but just not as good as the previous. I thought the initial plot lines were good and mysterious and you got stuck in to the book as usual. I just felt as the stories went on they went a little flat in places and did not have that spark that kept you gripped.
One of the sub plots was one of the Women's Murder Club leaving her job and taking on a different challenge. As you have grown with the characters throughout the books you personally felt like this was a bad decision. I was shouting at my book telling her not to do it. I laughed about it afterwards and thought to myself I am glad no one can see me doing this. Does anyone else do this when you are reading a book? If you disagree with a characters decisions do you find yourself wanting to butt in and tell them? It will be interesting to see how many people do this.
14th Deadly Sin did something that the other 13 books in the series did not. It actually finished on a cliff hanger. It's as though the 15th book has already started and people are in danger. Did I like this sort of ending? yes in a way as it gets you all excited about the next book. The problem is we have to wait till March 2016 to find out what happens which is way too long and I may have to read the end of this book again to before I read it.
I scored this book a 3.5 out of 5. I was torn between a 3.5 and a 4 but I went with the 3.5. The reason why I chose this score is as stated before Unlucky 13 was so good and this one was way off the mark. I believe if you love the series like I do you must read.
That concludes my Women's Murder Club series catch up having read the 3 latest books. It was great to see how the characters have grown and some cracking storylines. I would love to know what other readers feel about reading back to back books by the same author? Do you like it or do you like to read something different in between? Let me know.
Speak soon