Books I WISH were movies…..Or TV Shows.

So, a little while ago I talked about those books that had been made into Films or Television shows and which ones I felt worked and which ones did not. Now I’m going to take a look at a few books I WISH they would snap up and do something with.  I guess its difficult to pick…after all not everything can be as successful as Game of Thrones or Twilight.

 

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Lets start with this little gem I read recently from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.  A brilliant adventure, with witty characters who, I’m guessing, would end up looking beautiful on screen this is perfect film material. In fact I would not be at all surprised to see it in movie form at some point in the future – Sadly I think George Clooney is becoming a little long in the tooth to play Nick Fox because in his younger years for me he would have been spot on perfect. The nice thing about this novel is there are going to be more starring Fox and O’Hare so in my mind it would probably work just as well as a tv series – following on in the footsteps of such shows as Leverage and White Collar I’m sure it would be extremely popular. I have not yet cast Ms O’Hare in my head…so if anyone else has read it…you tell me!

 

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Another recent read for me (see coming soon for review) and this one would definitely make an amazing movie. A game of chance (or is it?) lots of wonderfully intricate characters and a mystery to boot, I can see it visually with no difficulty at all. I imagine the ambience of the movie to be something like “The Sixth Sense” all dark shadows and subtle clues to the outcome, if done properly it would be truly amazing. I can see it appealing to a wide audience as a character driven mystery piece and the backdrop of University life is a perfect setting. If I ruled the world…..

 

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Lets move on. Tv series anyone? Well, Neil White’s novels starring Reporter Jack and Police Officer Laura would be a terrific serial show. You will be able to learn more about Mr White during favourite authors week and again towards the end of September when his latest standalone novel “Next to Die” is released. I’m reading it at the moment, yes I can see that being a film as well. But I digress..back to the point. I can see this being great because there are some terrific stories involved here already, and I imagine it would be easy for script writers to add their own spin for future tales. Tv shows work well when you have two terrific main protagonists who also make the perfect partnership – each bringing something to the whole and having the ability to be people you relate to and care about. The relationship that exists between the pair would also translate well to screen…I keep changing my mind on the casting for this particular imaginary adaptation – perhaps I need more of their story to be sure…over to you Mr White.

 

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There are oh so many I could go on about but for my final choices I have gone with one for the television and one for the film medium. Lets start with Jane Casey’s terrific “Maeve Kerrigan” books. A strong, independent and yet quirky female lead, backed up by many weird and wonderful characters…yes I DO want to see Derwent on my television screen and no I have no idea who would bring the most to the role – this would make what a terrific television series. Mainly because it could be both light hearted and witty (Maeve does get herself into some scrapes) yet dark and really quite terrifying if the tales are told properly. Again if I ruled the world…

Moving on to The Straw Men trilogy from Michael Marshall – as a trilogy it would make a marvellous set of films. Yes you WOULD have to be 18+ to watch them – no sanitising or it would not work – but if you like films such as “Seven” and “The Silence of the Lambs” then you would love a movie, cleverly done, of “The Straw Men” Again characters are key – The casting of Ward Hopkins, John Zandt and The Upright Man would be key to making this “pop” as I call it – but if they got that right this would be scary yet fun….a serial killer thriller with heart.

 

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So over to you. Tell me do – which books would you LOVE to see turned into terrific movies or television shows. Classics that have been missed perhaps – or that next great show that is going to conquer the world…Game of Thrones is a phenomenon – can you pick the next great thing?

Casting is key. In all.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

 

Coming Next Week to Liz Loves Books.

So here we are at yet ANOTHER weekend – where does the time go? Christmas soon. No lets not think about that..

So its been a wonderful week for me on the blog, some great author chats and of course The Humans. No idea how many people that book will touch in its lifetime but I’m guessing the numbers will be large…

Anyway onwards and upwards, lets see what I have for you next week. Hopefully another terrific time and some booky book stuff to keep you happy.

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On Monday to celebrate its release I shall be telling you a bit more about “Moon in a Dead Eye” from Pascal Garnier, a wonderfully quirky little novel and you can find out a little bit more about the author along with an extended review of the book and why I loved it.

 

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On Tuesday you can read all about the “Books I wish were movies”. A kind of a follow up piece to some recent articles I wrote about books that then become television shows and movies, this will tell you about the ones that I think SHOULD be converted to visual format. I will include some television talk as well – some books just lend themselves to being terrific television series don’t they? I often wonder why some of them have not been snatched up already….perhaps there will be some here that are already lurking in that netherworld called “development hell” and we don’t know it yet….

 

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On Wednesday I will be talking about Book reviewing. Blogging. “The Pitfalls of Reviewing” is the working title of this article. I have had a wonderful time since starting my blog and I have only been involved with the most wonderful of people – other bloggers, authors, publicists, publishers – all of them terrifically entertaining and funny people who have the same great love of books that I have. Some of my fellow bloggers have not been so lucky all the time..so I shall talk a little about that and also about my feelings about writing bad reviews. Yes I know it should be done…I have an aversion to it and will try and put into words why that is.

 

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On Thursday you can find out more about a lovely lady and terrific writer Martine Mcdonagh. I was lucky enough to “meet” her during the initial stages of my blogging life and I have read and enjoyed both of her wonderful but extremely different books. Find out more about them and also there will be a Q&A with Martine herself where she will talk about writing. And stuff. Look out for that one!

 

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On Friday its all about Kerrigan! Jane Casey writes this series of books – A series I am extremely fond of it has to be said. Maeve Kerrigan is a fantastic quirky character and she has enough tremendously terrific sidekicks to make every single novel in the series an absolute joy to read. Oh and the mysteries are always beautifully mysterious as well. Find out more about the books and the author herself as she joins me for a Q&A. You don’t want to miss this one folks, especially if you have not met Maeve before….

 

So thats your lot. Hopefully there will be something there to keep you all happy. Once again I am looking forward to the week.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Book Comparisons in the World Of Publishing…My thoughts.

So. We’ve all seen this on books whilst perusing the shelves of bookshops to find our next great read… “If you love *random popular author* you will LOVE this” or more directly “This Years *random extremely popular book* ”  Its a great way of pulling readers in…is it not? Well. Yes. And No. I thought I’d talk a little bit today about my thoughts on the matter and from a personal reading point of view what might work on me when I am purchasing a novel and what might send me running in the opposite direction as fast as my little legs can carry me. Of course every reader is different – so there are no hard and fast rules and this blathering is simply my own personal little foibles coming to the fore.

In my mind there are 2 types of comparison when it comes to promoting a book. The Direct comparison to a particularly well known and popular novel and the General comparison to a particularly well known and popular author. You could also look at  Bloggers comparisons where we bloggers and reviewers may refer to another book or author to get our point across when writing a review. So lets have a look.

I’ll start with the one that is more likely to work on me. That would be the “General” comparison. If a book tells me I might like it if I like Val Mcdermid (which of course I do!) it tells me a certain something about the genre the book is in, what type of tale I might expect and gives me a good general feeling about whether its for me. That along with the “blurb” about the plot gives a great indication of whether or not I should spend my hard earned cash. Of course it doesnt necessarily mean that I will love the book – or that the author has written one anywhere close to being as good as Ms Mcdermid’s – but as a shove in the right direction I might pay attention. There is one exception to this – and I dare say every reader has at least one – if you attempt to tell me that a book is as good as Stephen King or like his, then unless I’ve got a recommendation from a fellow King lover that it is indeed worth my attention I’m going to back away quickly. NOTHING is “like” Mr King or even close to being as good. Never has been for me and I did at one time buy books that had this claim. I was invariably disappointed.  Having said that, of course that one is extremely personal to me – so isnt really an actual indication of anything! The next reader will go “ooh I quite like Stephen King so I’ll try it”….

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So lets move on to “Direct” comparisons. I actually hate these. I’m not saying at all that it doesnt work when getting readers to purchase…it just doesnt work on me. When I see a direct comparison I will not necessarily AVOID the book but I will be wary. Again in this situation I turn to fellow readers and bloggers and those publishers and publicists that I trust and have never let me down (Yes Kate at Harper Collins, Sophie Goodfellow and Sam Eades I AM looking at you!)  – is this book going to disappoint me because I LOVED the book its being compared to? Or is it a fair comparison. And of course its difficult…because people read differently! My own personal opinion is that it does neither book any favours to be compared to each other in such a direct way….expectations can be raised to the point that an author, especially if they are publishing their debut, has no real chance of meeting them. Equally the other way happens. You loved Gone Girl. You don’t think anything will strike you the same way. So you avoid books that are tagged as being “as good as,this years” simply to avoid disappointment. And yet…sometimes…the book is better.  Another problem with direct comparisons is the expectation of a certain outcome to the novel. Gone Girl is a great example to use here so I will talk a little bit about it. WARNING – IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ GONE GIRL ITS POSSIBLE WHAT I’M ABOUT TO SAY MAY SPOIL IT. LOOK AWAY NOW. Next bold capitals will tell you its safe to return!

 

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So. How many times have you seen “THIS YEAR’S GONE GIRL” on a novel? Or have read the “soundbites” on a book and seen that Gone Girl is tagged. Its been a thing this year it has to be said. And what do I IMMEDIATELY think? I think…Unreliable Narrator – nothing new to be found here. Move along. I EXPECT that the person telling the story is lying. That any twist in the tale of a book that is being compared to Gone Girl will invariably at its heart have a character who is not being honest with us, the readers  A direct comparison of this nature CAN completely and utterly spoil what the author is trying to achieve. Often a book is better written than GG. And the characters in them are not actually liars. In fact on occasion there is absolutely no real comparison to be made aside from very small ones. One book that was compared to Gone Girl recently was amazingly good – and the only similarity I could find was that it told a story from the point of view of the two people involved in a marriage. The only books I have read that have the “Gone Girl” tag are the ones that have been recommended to me by the good folks I mentioned earlier. If I randomly see it on a novel in a shop I’m not buying it. Sorry!

 

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SAFE TO RETURN NOW…COME BACK COME BACK!

So there we go. I think General Comparisons can be helpful. I think Direct Comparisons can be difficult to get right. If I were a marketing guru (which I blatantly am not!) I would think very carefully before making a direct comparison and be very very sure about what I was trying to achieve. You may win but you may lose out by using this tool. One readers opinion….

To finish a quick word about bloggers using other novels to make their point. This can be very useful – certainly if Raven of Raven Crime Reads http://ravencrimereads.wordpress.com/  amongst others tells me I will like a book because I liked another I’m going to pay close attention. There are other bloggers and reviewers I follow who I would trust on that as well – so certainly comparisons can be useful in the world of reviewing – if you follow a certain reviewer and find that they point you in the right directions then by all means listen to what they have to say. I hope that I can achieve this for people following my blog and general blatherings – but when you are reading it in a publicity release or when they are being used to market a novel then I would say – take some time to consider YOUR own views on this subject, what works for you and stick with it!

Comparisons are not the root of all evil – but they CAN be misleading!

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

Liz Currently Loves…….I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

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The buzz in the book world was huge about this one – so I have to say I did approach it with some trepidation. Occasionally books that receive a lot of hype can be disappointing but that is absolutely not the case here. For me personally it more than lived up to the hype  – in fact I would say its probably one of the best books I have ever read for sheer scope and scale – and also simply as one of those books you cannot put down no matter how hard you try! A review will follow shortly but first, lets find out a bit more about the author and the journey….

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Terry trained as a journalist working on broadsheet newspapers and producing a national current affairs radio programme in Australia before turning to screenwriting.

With George Miller, he wrote the screenplay for Road Warrior/Mad Max 2 (which I loved!) He co-produced and wrote Dead Calm, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and a large number of TV movies and mini-series – including Bodyline and Bangkok Hilton – two of which received international Emmy nominations. A personal note, Bangkok Hilton is an amazing mini series about drug smuggling abroad and the consequences of being caught with drugs in certain countries. I would highly recommend watching this if you have not done so already! It still stands up today for me as one of the best series I have watched.

He has won over twenty film or television awards. Further credits include Payback with Mel Gibson, From Hell, starring Johnny Depp, and Vertical Limit with Chris O’Donnell. He has also done un-credited writing on a host of other movies including Reign of Fire, Cliffhanger and Flightplan, starring Jodie Foster.

Its hardly surprising considering the sheer depth of experience then that Mr Hayes has written a masterful thriller…..

 

Synopsis

 

Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation.
But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book.
What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.

 

Review

In some ways this may end up being a fairly simplistic review in comparison to others I have read about this wonderful novel. However for me, this book was very much about the journey I found within its pages – hooked from the very first paragraph I barely looked out on the world again until I was done. For me, as a book lover, blogger and a person who just wants to send your way the very best stories I find out there, this says more than any in depth critique of “I am Pilgrim” could achieve. I do have more to say of course – but that is the long and the short of it fellow readers.

Firstly, what struck me when I received my copy was the sheer size of the book. That excited me – nowadays its rare to find a book that can hold your attention over so many pages – authors don’t tend to write them. Now of course, there is nothing wrong with a book of any size as long as you ENJOY it but I have always been a lover of stories that perhaps give you that little bit more. Its difficult to achieve but Terry Hayes has done so. There is a reason why “The Stand” by Stephen King is still my number 1 book of all time – it, like Pilgrim, is an absorbing, exciting, heart stopping tale with heart that doesnt end in a flash but gives you greater insight and a longer period of time over which to enjoy it. If you, like me, appreciate that sort of thing then this book is definitely for you.

Following “Pilgrim” on his journey was without doubt one of my favourite reading experiences ever. The sheer scale of the story will astound you – as you learn about his background, the things he achieved or perhaps didnt, you will be enthralled and totally caught up in the moment. I have seen reviewers say that it was obviously written with an eye to a blockbuster movie – well I can see their point, especially given the author’s background – but actually I disagree. Its all about the story….written in a way that will keep you READING – it wasnt until I was done with it that I cast it in my head (yes, yes I do that with everything!) during the actual time spent within its pages, a movie was the last thing on my mind. Starting off as a murder mystery it turns into something else altogether – a chase across continents to stop an atrocity and to catch an evil man. Part crime mystery, mostly enthralling spy thriller with an opponent the like of which you may think y0u’ve seen before but havent – its heart stoppingly good. Not since Nelson De Mille’s “The Lion” who appeared in some of the John Corey books will you find a “terrorist” as intriguing as this one. And just as intriguing is the man trying to catch him…a man I still don’t truly know.

Its clever. Its exciting. It is never dull and always unexpected. It has more than one story – you will get an awful lot for your money here. Apart from that I say nothing. If you want an in depth plot analysis you will need to look elsewhere – it won’t be hard, this book has touched many – I will end by saying that this is a must read for anyone who simply loves books. And reading. And finding those stories that will always stay with you and you will read again. Will it knock any of my “top ten reads of all time” down a space on my list? Well you’ll have to wait and see. My Top Ten Books is a blogpost that will appear later in the year!

 

Transworld books brought us this story  – you can follow them on Twitter here. https://twitter.com/TransworldBooks

If you would like to grab yourself a copy of I Am Pilgrim clickety click here. http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Am-Pilgrim-Terry-Hayes/dp/0593064941/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1375955820&sr=1-1

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

Precious Thing by Colette Mcbeth. Loved it. You will as well.

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A little while ago I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of “Precious Thing” – when I wrote my “Twisty Tales” article (link can be found under “Articles”) I mentioned this one briefly and promised to return to it. So here we are. Precious Thing is a terrific page turner, an engrossing read and a clever little tale.

Colette Mcbeth herself kindly offered to answer a few questions for me and here is what she had to say.

 

Did you know the outcome from the start or did it evolve as Rachel told her story?

I always knew part of the ending which was supposed to be the final twist but then as I was writing the second draft I began thinking it was all a bit too neat. That’s when I came up with the final outcome.

 

Was it always going to be written through Rachel’s eyes or did you consider at any point giving Clara her own say?

It’s key to the story that we see everything from Rachel’s perspective. I did toy with giving Clara a few chapters but nothing more than that. I’m glad I didn’t.

 

Do you have a favourite “peripheral” character from the book?

Robbie the news editor! I should say I have never had a news editor like that, but you do hear stories. He’d have been a nightmare to work for.

 

Was Precious Thing a lot of fun to write?

The first draft was hard work, it’s definitely not my favourite part of the process. The second and third drafts were where it came to life, you get those moments when you can see it all slotting in to place, or you find yourself doing something mundane like cooking dinner, hanging out the washing and another twist pops up in your head. That is great fun. There’s hardly any violence in Precious Thing but certain scenes were quite emotionally draining to write. You live in the character’s head and in some chapters that was a disturbing place to be.

 

Have you cast the film in your head? As a reader I always do that – I wondered if writers suffer from that as well

Of course! You’re always trying to visualise your characters so fantasy casting can be a great help. I’d love Andrea Riseborough to play Rachel, I think she’d be brilliant, and we both grew up in the same street in Whitley Bay, directly opposite each other in fact.

 

Can you tell us anything about your next project?

It’s the story of two women who were both attacked by the same man years apart. Melody survived but feels dead inside, Eve was killed. When her body is found police connect the cases and Melody embarks on a mission to get to know the dead woman. But the more she finds out about her ‘friend’ the more she realises Eve is the only person who can teach her how to live again.

 

Thank you so much Colette. I shall very much look forward to the next book.

 

Review

 

First of all a huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Rachel and Clara meet at school and form an unshakeable bond. Best friends, they know everything there is to know about each other…or do they? Years later Rachel is a successful tv reporter with a loving boyfriend and a great life, while Clara has not had such a happy time of it. When Clara goes missing Rachel begins to question everything she thought she knew about her best friend…..

I loved this very much. The story is told by Rachel in the form of a letter, or diary if you like, to Clara and has a taut, expressive narrative that is not only terrifically compelling but is also quite dark in its tone – as Rachel hovers between obsessive worry about where Clara might be and slow forming terror as she comes to realise the horrific possibilities, you are drawn right into that place and time with her. Slowly revealing the course of their friendship from the day Rachel sat down next to Clara in the classroom and leading us up to present day you will never be quite sure what the outcome might be.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I DO love a clever book. This was clever and then some. Sadly I can’t say very much because its difficult to tell you WHY it was so clever without giving anything away – And I am certainly not going to do that so you will just have to trust me fellow readers, it IS extremely clever. Intelligently written, almost poetic prose in places which changes depending on Rachel’s mood – I love the slight bitchiness that sometimes enters her “voice” – if you love a good twisty tale that you really can get your teeth into then this one is certainly for you.

Brilliantly done from Ms Mcbeth I can’t wait to find out what she has in store for us in the future.

You can follow Colette McBeth on Twitter here https://twitter.com/colettemcbeth

If you would like to read the book clickety click here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Precious-Thing-ebook/dp/B00C74SKSG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375864783&sr=1-1&keywords=precious+thing

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

 

Yes Yes Liz STILL currently Loves…The Humans by Matt Haig

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So a few weeks have passed and I wanted to return for a moment to “The Humans” by Matt Haig. Anyone who has followed my story and its links to this wonderful novel may be interested to hear an update – and it gives me an excuse to talk once again about the wonderful story and offer anyone who hasnt yet read it another chance to read my review.  Also to hear from some of the other people (some close to me) who have read it and their thoughts.

So things are much improved in my life – and that improvement started with that one long night, when I was at my lowest and I picked up “The Humans” with the thought that it might be a fun, light hearted read that could pull me out of the darker feelings I was having. It ended up doing so much more than that – I have said previously that this book saved my life and it did. As “Andrew” went on his journey and discovered the worthwhile side of humanity, so did I. Depression is difficult to conquer but you can wrestle it under control. With help and love and understanding from those around you, those demons can be banished. Something I’ve been learning and its been a life affirming journey. This book was and is a huge part of that. And hell, its ENTERTAINING. Highly so.  If you havent read it then please do…whether it looks like your “type” of book or not. It won’t disappoint you. I can promise you that hand on heart.

Mr Haig has been having a bit of a nasty time of it of late. On Twitter and in various places he’s suffered some rather nasty asides…because he speaks up about the issues surrounding Depression. He’s not afraid to say it how it is or to point out how debilitating it can be…and occasionally fatal. He talks about his own experiences in an effort to help others. And trust me thats not easy – since I started this understanding of mine of what I suffer and how it affects me and those around me I have also tried to be fairly honest and open about whats what. Heck I find it hard and I’m just Liz sat around doing some book reviewing (And I love being a reviewer because I LOVE books!)  – I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for someone with an increasingly large public profile. So I’m going to take this opportunity to say Thank You. And please don’t stop. Its important. To people like me.

So here are a few things that a few people had to say about The Humans. I’m going to start with my lovely daughter Melissa who says it better than I could say. My heart and soul. The girl who was teaching in China and when she realised I was in trouble was on the first plane home without a thought and hasnt left me since. Following her a few others. To finish a good friend on Twitter – Karen. Her story may break your heart….

 

Melissa Lovely Daughter. Human.   https://twitter.com/melissabarnsley

For me and my Family “The Humans” has been much more than just a book. It has been a guide, a manual of sorts, to lead us through some difficult times and direct us over to the other side. The fine balance between comedy, misery and childlike wonder achieved within its pages is a style I have rarely come across (I would liken the narration to that of “The Curious Incident of The dog in the Nightime although of course here we are talking aliens not autism , both offer a fresh perspective on reality). When reading you will find yourself battling inner turmoil, coming to care for the protagonist as you watch him learn the beauty of Human error and perhaps discovering this beauty for yourself.  Matt Haig has written more than words – he has given us a piece of himself, something that very few authors manage and many choose not to do, but something that makes us readers eternally grateful. So thanks Matt: thank you for sharing this part of yourself and rest assured that it will reach the minds of many.

 

Karl Herring. Great Friend. Human.   https://twitter.com/shads616

The Humans was an insightful and thought provoking perspective on human behaviour. I found the main characters journey to be truthful and relatable. It was a breath of fresh air to read someones honest thoughts on how humans treat each other and what we truly find to be important in a world where we destroy so much of what we are told is worth while. it was a book that I fell in love with and that will stay with me for a very, very long time.

 

Georgina Gilmer. Better known to us as “Aunty Gorg”  – Harry couldnt manage “George” when he was little! Great Friend. Human.

 

When Liz reccomended The Humans to me I was more than happy to give it a go; I have always been an avid reader with a wide taste in genre. Boy was I not disappointed! The story was so refreshing, and believable, I found myself hooked and even whilst at work I would find myself looking forward to my break and finding out what the main character would do next. I loved how the book addressed issues such as relationships within familes and problems in our society, dealing with very raw, very human feelings but still having that “sci-fi, fantasy” feel; keeping the story light but relatable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and take my hat off to Matt Haig. Would recommend it to everyone, and infact already do!

 

Twitter friend. Blogger. Bookshelf Butterfly. Human. https://twitter.com/booksbutterfly

I really enjoyed The Humans because the story was so honest and meaningful. The lead character was so endearing and his journey is utterly heartwarming. But other than that the story was also very clever, funny and original. All these things together, for me, made this an unforgettable read.

 

Karen. Twitter Friend. Great reader. Human. https://twitter.com/karlou

Last August my brother committed suicide. In the dark days and weeks immediately after his death I read almost incessantly. I couldn’t sleep because when I closed my eyes all I could see was his body (I had to go to the mortuary with my father to formally identify his body). I read so I could bear the raw grief ripping at my heart. I believe that it’s thanks to books I survived those days, I’m not sure how I’d have coped without books giving me a respite from my at times overwhelming reality. The Humans wasn’t published then but I wish it had been. With my grief not being a linear process there are days when I am hit again with an almost unbearable sadness. I know that on those days I will turn once more to The Humans for within its pages I am reminded that pain is necessary to appreciate the best life has to offer and to quote from the book ” to keep the sun above me”. I don’t ever feel suicidal but there are times when I question what it means to live, reading The Humans reminds me.
Thank you everyone. A heartfelt thanks.

 

Me. Liz. Blogger. Kind of Human. My original review.

So we come to “The Humans”. Anyone who has read my blogpost “How a book speaks to you”  will know that this book is now a very big part of my life. One I will read again. One I will use to get me through the tough stuff. And isnt that amazing? And it could work for you…but lets leave that behind us for now and talk about the book as a book. As entertainment, as fiction as an amazing read and one that will absorb you entirely into its pages. Because it will. This story will amaze you. It will touch your soul no matter where you are in life. It will, I promise. Maths Professor Andrew Martin makes a miraculous breakthrough. But someone is watching…someone who thinks that we are not ready for such things. And they decide to put a stop to it. However as in life, these things don’t ALWAY’S turn out how you have planned them. “Andrew”, instead of carrying out the things he is supposed to be doing, ends up entangled into life. With humans. And their foibles. And despite his efforts to continue on his mission these pesky human people with their quirks and their feelings and their stuff just keep getting in the way…and so begins a journey of discovery. An awesome, wonderous journey of discovery. And peanut butter. Well, who DOESNT love peanut butter? Oh and don’t forget Newton the Dog. Very important stuff don’t you know! Witty and insightful and brilliantly written in a way that makes it easy to love, Matt Haig has given the world something. He has certainly given people like me something miraculous – my faith in the human race is somewhat restored. And if you know me in real life you understand what a gift that is. Still, even just as a random book you pick up because you fancy it suddenly, its pretty darn good. So read it. Not everyone will love it – we are all different – but don’t hesitate to give it a go because if you don’t I promise you – you are missing something,well, super cool. And we all need a bit of that in our lives. And I give you this. Or rather Matt Haig does. Your life will have 25,000 days in it. Make sure you remember some of them.

 

Follow Matt Haig on Twitter here : https://twitter.com/matthaig1

If you have not yet read the Humans and would like to clickety click here. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Humans-Matt-Haig/dp/0857868756/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374844776&sr=1-1&keywords=matt+haig

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 


												

Lie Still by Julia Heaberlin. LOVE those Texas Women!

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So today its all about “Lie Still” a wonderful mystery thriller that is now available for all you lovely readers to enjoy. Characters are key here – you too will love them I promise. Julia Heaberlin kindly took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me….lets see what she had to say.

 

I have to say I loved those Texas women – which one was your favourite?

Letty, Letty, Letty. She just makes me laugh. I have this policy about people: As long as they make life more entertaining, I can forgive a lot, and Letty falls into that camp. You gotta love a 300-pound ex-pageant queen on a hot dog and banana diet who carries an assault rifle in the trunk of her car. I realize she is almost a cartoon. Almost.

 

Did you always know the ultimate resolution or did the story evolve as you wrote?

I usually don’t know the end; I start a book with a simple idea and let the characters take me on a twisty road. I like to weave many threads and then pull them together in the final pages. One of my primary goals is for readers not to know where it’s going, and it helps if I don’t, either!

 

Emily hides a violent secret – was it a difficult subject to tackle as sensitively as you did?

Yes and no. I never expected when I sat down to write that a date rape would be at the heart of my protagonist, but page after page, she told me it was. It didn’t define her, but it colored the way she viewed our sometimes dangerous world. And once I was on board, I really wanted to write something that I think is rarer in this male-dominated thriller world: a female protagonist who is a victim of a crime, the hero of the story and the primary voice. In books, you don’t usually hear from female crime victims years after the fact; the crime is often a prop to get the story started.  I wanted Emily to be talking for all the many tough women out there who have emotional scars from an experience like this and move on.

 

Do you prefer e-book reading or reading a physical book?

Yikes, you should see my bedroom. Every surface covered with books to read. My bookshelves are overflowing with ones I can’t part with. For me, it will always be the physical book. I have an immediate dislike for any house where I walk in and can’t immediately see books. It’s like a museum with blank walls.

 

Favourite thing to do when not writing?

Watching my son pitch for the last 15 years. We experienced so many of the same things when it comes to our two passions (pitching and writing). In both, there is so much rejection and failure and then moments of bliss that make up for it. Being there for his moments of bliss on and off the field far outweigh anything else in my life.

 

Thank you Julia!

Find out more about Julia here: http://juliaheaberlin.com/

Follow her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/juliathrillers

 

Review

 

First of all thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy of this novel via netgalley.

Emily is desperately trying to leave a violent past behind her and escape a stalker who has haunted her for years. Pregnant with her first child she and her Husband move to Clairmont, Texas. Hoping for a new start Emily finds herself thrust into the heart of a group of Texas women, all of whom have secrets – run by their “Queen” Caroline Warwick, who may also be hiding secrets of her own. When Caroline disappears Emily finds herself having to unravel the threads of her past, as well as her present in order to save herself.

I loved the way this novel was written. It was kind of messy like Emily herself but in a very good way….as she unravels things YOU unravel things and the story has many twists and turns along the way. Cleverly released information in small doses makes you turn the pages all the faster to find out who is hiding what and why – and the characters are not always what they appear to be. Emily herself reveals her own secrets along the way – she hides from herself as much as from anyone and this makes her a very well drawn character. The Texas women are all intriguing – hey and annoying in equal measure – their “voices” will speak to you, I could almost hear them as I read. And the final resolution will not disappoint…

This novel also tackles some serious subjects head on and in a realistic and I think quite important way..the second book I have come across recently that does so. This gives it an edge over a standard mystery thriller and for that reason as well as the fact that its a great story  I would highly recommend it.

 

To Purchase Lie Still clickety click here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lie-Still-ebook/dp/B00CR6MNFU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375686289&sr=1-1&keywords=lie+still+julia+heaberlin

 

Also Available:

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Synopsis

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?

That’s the question torturing child psychologist Tommie McCloud after she opens a stranger’s letter only days after burying her father. The woman claims that Tommie is her child, kidnapped thirty-two years ago. Suddenly, a deeply rooted Texas girl finds herself linked to a horrific past: the slaughter of a family in Chicago, the murder of an Oklahoma beauty queen and the kidnapping of a little girl named Adriana. With everything she has ever believed in question and a stalker determined to stop her, Tommie must discover the truth about her family’s secrets and the girl who vanished.

To purchase clickety click here : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playing-Dead-Julia-Heaberlin/dp/0571287689/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

 

Happy Reading Folks!

Coming Next Week to Liz Loves Books.

Well folks, here we are at another weekend and last week was such fun! My grateful thanks to Chris Ewan, Mark Edwards and Louise Voss for taking the time to answer some questions for me, and my article on all things twisty was extremely popular. Hurray!

So what do I have for you next week? Well…lets see….

 

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On Monday it will all be about the amazing book Lie Still by Julia Heaberlin. Available now, I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this one and boy, its a corker. I LOVED those Texas women! Julia kindly took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me so you can hear from her, along with a review and various linky links on Monday.

 

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On Tuesday I will be revisiting that wonderful novel The Humans from Matt Haig. Anyone who has read my early blatherings about this book and how much it helped me will know that it is now in the top 5% of my favourite books ever written. On Tuesday I will talk a little more about it, post the review again and you can also hear from some other readers who have loved this novel and why they did so.

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On Wednesday in kind of a follow up to my twisty tales article last week, as promised I will tell you about Precious Thing, an amazing story that will keep you guessing. Colette Mcbeth has also kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me and you can see what she has to say and find some more information about the book on Wednesday.

 

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On Thursday you can find out about all things Pilgrim. Highly rated in the book world, this novel lived up to expectations and then some – its possibly one of the best books I’ve ever read, let alone in the Thriller genre. Find out why when I post my review along with some information about the author and other bits and pieces. Should be a good one!

 

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On Friday in another follow up to the twisty tale article I’m going to be talking “Book Comparisons”. You know – that marketing ploy when you see on the front of a book “This years Gone Girl” or “Ian Rankin fans will love this”. Readers – you know the type of thing! I will be giving this readers opinion of when it works and when it doesnt, and how perhaps to avoid the pitfalls when you are choosing your next read and may be either encouraged, or indeed put off, by a comparison that is being made.

 

So there you go! Thats Next Week for you. Hope there is something in there you fancy…

 

Happy Reading Folks!

Happy Publication Day. Dead Line by Chris Ewan.

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So a very happy publication day to Mr Ewan for the terrific thriller “Dead Line”. I tracked Chris down and asked him a few questions – see what he had to say, followed by a review and some linky links.

Dead Line is a terrific thriller. Was it fun to write?

Dead Line involved a real change of approach for me, and doing something new and challenging is always fun (even if it sometimes didn’t feel that way when I was figuring out how to write the book). The biggest change is that Dead Line is the first novel I’ve narrated almost entirely in third-person. Most of my writing before now has been driven by first-person narration, but I enjoyed the third-person sections I wrote for Safe House, so I thought I’d experiment with writing more of a novel in this way. Dead Line is a very dark book, set in the sunshine of Marseilles, and playing with that contrast (as well as visiting Marseilles for research) was a real blast. On top of that, learning more about the somewhat murky kidnap and ransom industry, and some of the individuals who make their living as negotiators, was fascinating.

Which of the Dead Line characters is your favourite.?

Much of the novel is told from the perspective of Daniel Trent, a hostage negotiator who is trying to find his missing fiancee. He’s a tough, uncompromising character, who is willing to go to extremes to get what he wants – pushing far beyond what normal people might do. And writing about a character like that can’t fail to be interesting. But I also really liked writing about Stephanie Moreau, a beautiful ballet dancer who happens to be married to the crook Trent suspects of abducting his fiancee. Stephanie came out much darker, and more damaged, than I’d anticipated.

Do you have any particular writing habits?

I have a bunch of writing habits that I try to stick to as much as I can, which is not as easy as it used to be now that we have a baby daughter to shake things up! What I aim for is to be at my desk by 9am, to write five pages (double-spaced) straight to my computer, then to come back the next day and do exactly the same thing until a first draft is complete. Usually I work seven days a week, although just recently I’ve been taking a day off on a weekend. If all goes to plan, I’ll have a first draft of a novel after something like four months, and from then on I just work as many hours as I can for the next five months, rewriting the manuscript and getting the book into shape. I do a lot of rewrites and revisions before I show the book to anyone. When it’s close to ready, my wife reads it. After that, I usually do a final polish before sending it to my agent. It usually takes me a year from first coming up with an idea to completing  a book. Fingers-crossed the same will be true for the book I’m currently working on!

 

Breakfast: Greasy or Healthy?

Boringly healthy, on the whole. Unless I’m in the States, and then all bets are off — usually meaning pancakes and strong coffee (and then repeat!).

What are you reading at the moment?

 

I’m reading a whole bunch of great books at the moment, including The Shining Girls by Lauren Buekes, Eleven Days by Stav Sherez, and A Willing Victim by Laura Wilson. A book I finished not too long ago, and loved, is The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald.
One thing you would want if stranded on a desert Island?
Hey, I live on the Isle of Man, which sometimes doesn’t feel so different. But a magic portal into a pancake house would suit me.
Thanks Chris!
Review

Having loved “Safe House” I was very much looking forward to this novel from Mr Ewan and I was very excited to receive a copy from Netgalley – thank you kindly.

Daniel Trent works in the dangerous field of hostage negotiation…along with his fiancee Aimee. When Aimee goes missing herself, Trent has a good idea of who is responsible…but then his chief suspect is kidnapped and so begins a desperate search for answers. Can Trent save the kidnap victim and find Aimee?

Well what can I say…fast paced and amazingly addictive this novel rushes you headlong into Daniel Trent’s world and what a world it is. Cleverly strung out, my desire to find out what happened to Aimee soon matched Trents own…and I breathlessy followed him through all the twists and turns of the story to the final resolution – and that resolution my reading friends was clever, unexpected and brilliant.

I adored Trent as a character. Single minded, hell bent on the destruction of anyone who gets in his way no matter the consequences made me add him to my list of “literary characters I’d certainly marry”…in fact perhaps a future blog piece can talk about all those guys – he’ll be somewhere near the top. The rest of the characters played their part admirably – trust no-one would be my advice and even then you’ll be surprised at what happens. My favourite character by far was…ok I’m not going to tell you. You tell me when you get a chance to read it and we’ll compare notes! No spoilers here.

I adore a good page turner and this novel certainly falls into that category. There are rare restful moments – make the most of them because shortly you’ll be on that rollercoaster again. Don’t fall off! Enjoy. Happy Reading Folks!

Find out more about Chris Ewan here : http://chrisewan.com/

Follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/chrisewan

If this sounds like your kind of book clickety click here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Line-ebook/dp/B00CR6MNFA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375344157&sr=1-1&keywords=dead+line

 

 

Also available:

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Synopsis

When Rob Hale wakes up in hospital after a motorcycle crash on the Isle of Man, he is told that Lena, the woman he claims was travelling with him, doesn’t exist. The woman he describes bears a striking resemblance to his recently deceased sister, Laura, but has he really only imagined her?

Convinced that Lena is real, Rob sets out to find the answers to who she is and who is behind her disappearance. He is aided in this by Rebecca Lewis, a London-based PI, who has come to the island at the behest of his parents to investigate his sister’s suicide. But who is Rebecca really and how did she know his sister?

Together Rob and Rebecca follow the clues to discover Lena’s fate. In doing so they realise that even on an island where most people know each other, everyone hides a secret, and sometimes your best option isn’t to hide but to stay and fight.

If you fancy that one (and you should) clickety click here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Safe-House-ebook/dp/B0086KPYWK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375344459&sr=1-1&keywords=safe+house

My grateful thanks to Chris Ewan for answering some questions for me and for providing me with such a great reading experience!

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

6 Books that made me Cry. Sob.

So today I’m going to tell you about 6 of the books that made me cry. When I can I’ll tell you why…but its not always easy to put your heart into words…sometimes you cry just because. Its touched on something personal in your life, or it has simply just spoken to you somewhere that you can’t quite see.

These are not the only books to ever make me cry, but they are some of the most recent, and the most memorable. So here we go. Simply put…..

 

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Lets start with Tony Black, His Fathers Son. Mr Black is better known for his brilliant crime fiction but with this novel he went another route. And did so in an amazing way. You can find a review for this under “Coming Soon” and on its publication day there will be a whole blog post talking about this one.

Why did it make me cry? Well its beautiful, evocative, a story of a family in tatters – and it touched on things going on in my personal life. I too am sorting through the aftermath of a change in my family unit so this families story touched on MY families story. The wife in the novel suffers depression – known in wider circles as the “Black Dog” – and hey. So do I. Her story and that of her husband tugged at my heartstrings. So yes I cried. Not least because I saw it from the other side – Joey has to deal with many things in order to hold his family together. To find out if he succeeds you will need to read the book – and I would because even if you don’t have a personal connection to the story its a darned good read!

 

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Now. The Book Thief. What on earth can be said about this magnificent novel. You cannot find a review for it on this site as yet – I didnt have the words – that lovely friend of mine Sharon Sant is going to guest review it for me as soon as she has time so you’ll have to wait for her thoughts. I never even considered reading this – then Will Carver mentioned it during a “top 1o books” discussion a while ago and I took his word for it. Thank Heavens! Athough I DO blame him for the tears. Thanks Will!

Cleverly told from the point of view of “Death” we follow Liesel Meminger as she traverses the waters of war torn Germany, collecting books along the way. Its her story – and that of Death who is ever watchful. At the end of this novel I had tears streaming down my face, they lasted a while. Having spoken to other people who have read this novel, it has affected them all in the same way. Its a sad tale but an uplifting one. If you havent read it please do  – it doesnt matter which genre is your favourite. This one is a novel for anyone who simply likes to read.

 

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Next on my list is Tom Vowler’s “What Lies Within”. Review can be found here. http://lizlovesbooks.com/lizlovesbooks/liz-currently-loves-what-lies-within-by-tom-vowler/

Another family story this touches on nature v nurture and what constitutes the REAL meaning of family. It also tackles a serious subject in a sympathetic and realistic way…something that touched my heart. Anna’s story is both happy and sad – perhaps the fact that Anna is very much finding herself was the reason for my tears. But I’m not sure. There are many aspects to this wonderful book that could cause a tear or two. You should perhaps have a read and find out whether or not it will speak to you…..

 

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The Madmans Tale is an older read of mine from years ago. No review available as yet, its on my re-read list in order to add a review to site, and having thought about it in order to write this blog its just moved up the list. So hopefully I  can provide you with a full review soon.

This is crime fiction in a way. But then not really. Following the recollections of Francis Petrel as he looks back at his time in a mental hospital – a time when a killer stalked the corridors and he was drawn into the investigation – this is really a story of hope. And redemption. As Francis suffers flashbacks and hallucinations he believes his madness is returning. It makes for a stunning read – with a mystery at its heart. I cried for Francis, I did. The end left me in pieces. Happy ending? You’ll have to read it to see but there are no guarantee’s…….

 

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Candlemoth. Oh Candlemoth! The first book to make me cry and realise that sometimes a book CAN touch your heart, I look back on this with great fondness. Also on my reread list to add to Mr Ellory’s page here, it was certainly one of the books that turned me into the prolific reader I am today.

Candlemoth tells the story of Daniel Ford. Sat on Death Row with only 30 days until his execution is set, he looks back on the events that lead him there – and so begins the story of a friendship that was supposed to be forever. Daniel’s story is a sad one. It is. It speaks about how life catches up with you – how events in life can change who you are. So yes, tears. Tears for Daniel and for his friend Nathan. A beautiful story….

 

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Finally, we come to The Humans. This will be short and sweet. I have already spoken about this novel a lot in various blog posts going back to when my site was first up and running. The tears I cried over this book were cathartic tears. Life affirming tears. Dealing with MY depression this novel spoke to me in a way that I can’t put into words.

My “support” network of friends and family have mostly all now read this wonderful book. In honour of that on Tuesday 6th August you will be able to find a new article about The Humans which will include a small paragraph from a few people closest to me about why they loved this book – because this, like “The Book Thief” is a book for anyone that reads. Find out why from me AND others on Tuesday. And if anyone reading this has read it and would like to contribute do let me know.

 

So there you go. 6 books that made me cry! I’ve shown you mine…how about you show me yours? Is there one book that had you in floods or many?

Happy Reading Folks!