Thursday, 19 November 2015

Spooky Reviews!

So sorry all, I missed last weeks blog post on Thursday, thank you to those of you who checked back. Here it is in all it's glory, the Halloween reviews!!

Virginia Woolf
Hogarth Press 11/10/1928 Kindle
Kindle Classics

In a strange turn of events, I actually saw the film of Orlando before the book. I found the story much more dark, confusing and bizarre than the film and I really enjoyed that, it felt like I was unwrapping a secret part of the story I didn't know before. I loved the Tiresus style gender bending and the struggles of the genders between them selves. The exploration of ying and yan in a persons' personality as well as their body was interesting as well as the impact of a woman losing her fortune and rights in a world where she was once a man.

It was fantastical in all the right ways and incredibly readable. I was surprised as I've struggled with Woolf's essays before and thought the book would be another dribble of musings from the mind. I find stream of consciousness style writing quite self indulgent actually, so I was pleased to find that Orlando was very well constructed and not in the least annoying. I might even try another of Virginia's soon (first name basis, obviously).

William Beckford
Borrowed from sister

Vathek was written at a time when the Arab world was exciting and new. Arabian nights had just been translated into English and was inspiring writers and artists. It is a Faustian tale with the added character of a devilish mother. I did not enjoy this book. I liked the descriptions of all things luxurious and pleasurable. And even the eternal torments were well described, but without any feeling it seemed. It just seems uninspiring in its writing style. There was very little to go on in terms of character and I found it quite biblical: begot Simon, begot John, begot Adrian, begot Ahmed, begot Roger, begot Dave.

I did manage to finish the book in case something interesting happened, but I found it neither frightening nor gripping. Not a Halloween read I would recommend. There are two more books in the collection to go and I am hoping for more chilling tales. Perhaps there was something about the setting that made it difficult to feel Halloweeny. I associate fear with cold shivers and misty moors, Vathek is set some where in the desert or middle east and no one is ever cold with fright and the setting didn't suit the Gothic feel I wanted. Can anyone recommend a book that takes place in the heat and is frightening for next year?

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Job Jealousy

A few months ago I wrote a post about whether I had sold my soul for a pay check. Although I am happy in my job, I think that it is probably true. For the benefits of some job security in my life, I have taken on a position which is not my dream job and I remain on the stepping stones towards my future career without actually having arrived.

I know that the road ahead is long before I can say I am truly happy in my position and I don't think it will be at this company, although my current job does afford me many positive things.

It is difficult not to feel jealous of those who have worked hard and deservedly gained the positions that I have been dreaming of. Everyone's career is difficult but as more and more of my class mates eventually find a footing in the correct industry, I am reminded again and again how much I would like to have their job instead of mine.

I'm not sure what to do about this feeling. I think all I can do is be happy for those people who one day I might hope to call my colleagues. It's really hard not to fall into a pit of despair about your job. I think I have to try and appreciate what I've got while still balancing the ambition to move on.

Anyone else suffer from Job Jealousy?

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

Remember the 5th of November. Well bonfire night does call for something a little different. I'm going to do the Secret Life of a Book Blogger tag! I'm also still recovering from my trip to Hong Kong, so thought I'd do some thing different and when I saw So Little Time For Books tag anyone who wants to do it, I thought I would.

1. How long have you been a blogger?
In this incarnation, it's been about 18 months. I started in May 2014, I had a blog before that which is defunct now that had some of my creative writing on it.

2. At what point do you think you'll stop blogging?
I'm really not sure, as I said I have a dead blog already, maybe one day this one will fizzle out as well. But actually what I hope will happen is that as I go through my life, my blog will change, because this is as much an opinion blog as it is a book blog. It covers so many aspects of my life so as that becomes more colourful and exciting, so will my writing!

3. What is the best thing about blogging?
I love when someone picks up a book on my recommendation and lets me know. Actually, since this blog is mostly for my own entertainment, it makes me happy if anyone reads it, even just friends and family. It's not about a huge audience for me, it's about cathartic writing and debriefing my reading with SOMEONE even if it's with the void.

4. What is the worst thing?
Trying to come up with ideas that are new or even vaguely new. Another thing that's tough is just sitting down and writing them. You've had the idea, and now you have to implement it?! Sharing the blog so that someone will read it. I don't think I have any followers that would check in on a Thursday to check my new post, which one day I might have...but generally no one will read it if I don't share my own work on Twitter and Facebook.

5. How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?
Almost no time at all. I almost only use book covers which link through to Amazon or I use my own pictures.

6. Who is your book crush?
James Fraser from Outlander. Even when he's an older man in the later books, still inspiring, still amazing.

7. What author would you like to have on your blog?
I'd love to interview Diana Gabledon Or Elizabeth Gilbert. I find both of them such interesting people and I feel like the interview would descend into the most fascinating discussion. Actually, I just want to meet them...

8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
Recently I've had to plunge right into writing my blog as soon as I'm home from work while I cook dinner. I might have changed into my slippers, but mostly just my work clothes.

9. How long does it take you to prepare?
Anything from an hour to weeks. From the idea, building a draft, sketching out the structure and what books I'm going to feature, it could take a while. especially since some drafts would fit better around holidays, I will take my time whittling away at that one and mean while dash of a quick post for this week.

10. How do you feel about the book blogger community?
I think it's great. I don't know much about it...I knew I want to blog, but because I love what I read and didn't want to forget things. My reading record is a tiny list at the side of the page and it's favourite part of my page. Anyway, I don't know many other book bloggers, I don't visit blogs for reviews on books, I'm more interested in reader's lives, so I like tags like this etc that goes beyond the books.

11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
I have no idea as I don't have one. My favourite blog isn't a book blog its about AMWF couples and culture and it is diverse every week and very well written. I check in with it all the time. So I think that's the answer, not posting a review every single week would be my advice, but that's because that's the kind of content I like. For successful blogging, check out some of the lovely writers I've tagged below.

I tag...
Books, Biscuits and Tea; Bookables; The Queen of Teen Fiction and Fangs, Claws and Wings

Thank you so So Little Time For Books for tagging EVERYONE and giving me a chance to do a blog tag!