Sunday, 14 September 2014

What I'm Reading!

To keep my brain from completely melting down I like to read a very wide range of styles and genres. I have a system in place that I like to think keeps me from going too soft on my noggin. I like to alternate between children's and adult's fiction. So when I've just finished a hard going very grown up book, I like to get stuck into a world of magic or steampunk, or maybe both or not those at all. I just like to have something I can escape to and enjoy. Of course I can do this with grown up books too, but this is just my system and it works for me.

This past couple of weeks I have read Alex Marwood's crime thriller 'The Wicked Girls'. Here's the blurb: One fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time and by the end of the day are charged with murder.

Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of attacks on young female tourists in a seaside town when her investigation leads her to interview funfair cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day when they were just children. But with new lives – and families – to protect, will they really be able to keep their secret hidden?

I haven't read much crime for a while, I've been guilty of reading more than my fair share of fantasy and magic of late, so it was a pleasure to return to this genre. It's a taut, fast-paced book. I enjoyed the hopping from different points of view to glean a cohesive arc of the plot as it unfolded. Once I'd got to grips with the flashbacks and present day, I enjoyed piecing together which old identity belonged to the two main female protagonists.

The book reflects the prejudice of a nation, and mob mentality that is endemic within our society. It's a dark and disturbing book that makes you stop and think about your own views and morals. I would definitely recommend this to any other fans of crime thriller, and even if you're not it's worth a try to push your boundaries!

The second book I've just read is Cressida Cowell's 'How To Train Your Dragon'. I'm guilty of watching both films, and seeing the TV series first. But after visiting the Seven Stories exhibition this summer at Wolverhampton Art Gallery - A Viking's Guide To Deadly Dragons by Cressida Cowell, I thought I really should get round to reading the actual books. Not to mention seeing the fantastic illustrations, I'm a big fan of illustration. I trained in Fine Art, after a brief stint in fashion I specialised in Painting and Printmaking, but part of me regrets not doing Children's Book Illustration, which was also on offer at the university.

Bit of a blurb frim Amazon: Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was an awesome sword-fighter, a dragon-whisperer and the greatest Viking Hero who ever lived. But it wasn't always like that.
In fact, in the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you'd ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast; not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport and CERTAINLY not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet... It's time for Hiccup to learn how to be a Hero.

How to Train Your Dragon is a fun tale, and the first in a series. It's completely different from the films and TV series, in both plot and appearance so reading the book afterwards wasn't an issue after all. Easy to read, and now I'm keen to read the rest of the series and find out what else happens to Hiccup, his dragon Toothless and the rest of his Viking tribe The Hairy Hooligans. I enjoy a flawed hero, in this case a very un-viking like viking, who is scared and not very good at anything heroic. Humorous for both adults and children, and I shall be sharing Hiccup's adventures with my own children during bedtime stories :)

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