Patrick Melrose is now 22, and on his way to New York to pick up His father’s ashes. We spend two days with him there, as he bombards his body with a frightening amount of drugs, and wrestles with himself, his acquaintances, and the world. It’s black, funny, and so very clever. You will need a strong stomach….
I have long been encouraged to read Terry Pratchett, and I put it off, I’m not sure why. I think, somehow, I just had a sense that he wasn’t for me. Perhaps I chose the wrong book. The Colour of Magic is very imaginative, funny, or at least amusing, and action packed, but I didn’t really enjoy it. All action and jokes, no character development and no heart. It’s kind of like a video game, with one dimensional characters moving quickly from one life-threatening situation to the next. If you like that sort of thing, it’s great, but I read for something different.
“Bogey brain…smelly sausauge…”
This is a hilarious and warming story of two cheeky little creatures that fall out and fall in again over a lolly. Filled with the best nonsense name calling it is a story with a message about making friends.
Mums, dads and older siblings will have a great laugh reading this aloud to their own cheely creatures.
“The Bad Guys” by Aaron Blabey, has been a long sought after series in our house after word-of-mouth in the school classroom, so I borrowed a couple of episodes. Mr Wolf, Mr Shark, Mr Snake and Mr Piranha, the bad guys trying to prove to us they are really heroes, are a big hit. It’s a quick book to read to my eight year old, who thinks it’s hilarious. The comic strip speech style of writing encourages character specific voices (and a Spanish accent for Mr Piranha, of course, as he’s from Bolivia) and much shouting when the text is big, bold and in capital letters like ‘I SAID, BOO HOO. BOO. HOO.’ My eleven year old then takes the book away to read to herself and says she is hooked from the very first page. My kids are eagerly awaiting the next instalment of this entertaining series. (And, me too! I don’t think you have to be a kid to enjoy it.)
Three Men in a Boat is a classic I am only just getting to now. It’s that particular sort of British humour -bumbling, self-deprecating and obvious, mixed with a travelogue, nostalgic for the history of the countryside along the Thames. Quaintly amusing, historically interesting (given that it was written in the 1880s and was looking back) and with a marvellous dog called Montmorency, this is a quick, fun read.
I have resisted this book for some time. Jane Eyre is my absolute favourite, and I am not at all keen on it being messed with. In the end, I read enough positive reviews from lovers of the original that I tentatively picked it up. Actually, it’s a lot of fun. Reader, I murdered him. Jane Steele loves Jane Eyre, and while her life has many similarities, and the book is set not long after Jane Eyre, the story is full of twists and turns, and is not a retelling. The language was sometimes a little odd, and it was a bit modern in places, but it is fun and romantic in spirit, and I did enjoy it.
Flora and Ulysses is a book with a capacious heart and a flying squirrel.
Flora Belle Buckman is a natural-born cynic, lover of comics – especially ones that provide practical advice, with titles like ‘Terrible Things Can Happen To You!’.
Told with a sense of humor, this story about a serious kid who finds adventure in the most unlikely way will make you chuckle, and maybe even cry a little bit. But by the end of the story you’ll be glad you were a passenger on the ride. Continue reading
I started out enjoying this story. It was a fun read. The situations ridiculous but told so matter of factly that you just went with the flow of the story. But by the end it all seemed a bit rushed which empathised the ridiculous and the story became less endearing.
This was a little slice of Italy. When food writer Paul arrives in Italy to finish his book and finds his car rental booking nonexistent, he finds himself hiring a bulldozer instead. It is the characters that Paul meets that make this story, more than the fact that he is driving around Italy on a bulldozer. They are quirky and interesting and make for a story that is a little off centre but enjoyable.
What do you do when a Grandma fires rooster brand chilli sauce at your face? You go to war.
Charlie wants a paper round. He has a number of very good reasons to get a paper round, among them being he will get to ride his bike more. What does he need to do to get his paper round? He need to go to war, he just doesn’t realise it yet.
Charlie and his best friend Hils star in this unusual and often eccentric tale about what it is like to go to war against one of the most beloved groups in the community – people’s Grandmas.
Interspersed with fun facts and very cheeky dialogue, this book has great appeal. Want to know how to say ‘fart’ in ten different languages? Read this book! Want to know what a secret language would sound like using only things you find in a public restroom? Read this book!
Will Charlie win the war? Will he get his much-wanted paper round? Read this book!
Alan Brough is probably best known for his TV role on ABCs Spicks and Specks, this is his first book, and a very good one it is too.