Saturday, 27 February 2016

I heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

Ok, so now I'm reading Lindsey Kelk's "I heart..." series and learning how a marketable series of books works.

I'm never just reading - I'm always researching my craft too!

I mean, I LOVED NYC so this book was right up my street. Another chick lit, another sassy protagonist with a great supporting cast. Seriously, Kelk makes this "writing a series and marketing the series" malarkey look so effortless. Even if you don't like chick lit, you can learn a lot from the production supporting the "I heart..." books.

Now to the story itself - another reinvention of a classic tale - boy cheats on girl, girl takes drastic measures, learns to stand on her own two feet with plenty of bumps along the way. Even if you've never experienced Life quite like Kelk storytells, believe it or not, funny, surprising, totally unbelievable crazy stuff does happen when you least expect it and when you're at your most vulnerable. I can testify to this! Which is why, I guess, this story rings true to me. If you are used to living by the seat of your pants, in a kind of whirlwind not of your own making or definitely of your own making, then expect the unexpected because that's actually what happens. Life is unpredictable at the best of times. Even if you live the most mundane existence, Life will catch you out, make you stand up and realise, or simply slap you around the face - at some point. And that's pretty much all you can be sure about!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

The Single Girl's To-Do List by Lindsey Kelk

A light hearted chick lit read introducing me to Lindsey Kelk. Classic story - boy dumps girl, girl goes crazy, girl's lovely friends help her transition into single, confident woman. They create The List - 10 things she has to do to help her get over what she thought was the love of her life. It's a fun book. I never get tired of new twists on old themes, after all, plot lines are there to be revived, recreated and rehashed in an author's very own particular style. It's the same with films.

What I like about the recent chick lit books I've read - and coming at this wearing my Writer's hat - is that they all have a marketing hook; something to use to promote the book and the author and get the readers involved. The List is a great little attraction for social media, blog and website promotion! 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer


It is so great being able to read so much all of a sudden! Makes the commuting almost bearable!

This was in a pile of books my sister gave me and I was surprised I'd never come across it before. It seems to have made quite a splash about 5 years ago.

The story is about a love affair conducted entirely by email and every time they attempt to meet up, something happens to stop them.

Spoiler alert: the book ends on a complete cliffhanger and I can't wait to read the next one.

I read this in three days, but what it's done to me is quite interesting. I've lost all desire to email people! The correspondence between these two shows just how much of a message can be misinterpreted, misread, ignored and abandoned - and just how much innocent words can be taken completely out of context. The insecurity resulting from a harmless email is both insanely comical and unbelievable, as well as being heart breaking for the person who puts themselves regularly through all of that. Yes, we've all been there! I'm beginning to think emails should be used for quick and efficient office communication only!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy

So with all the commuting I'm doing now, I'm reading like crazy and averaging about a book a week! Which is great because I always did want to read more...

I'm a massive fan of MB and this was another excellent story coming from lots of different perspectives, but then she brings it altogether as the book progresses. I love the way the characters are all part of each others lives before we even know it. MB does storytelling so well and the plot unfolds effortlessly.

This particular story piqued my interest because it was about a group of people all learning Italian together and the reasons why such an odd bunch came to the same class in the first place. I have an idea for a story along these lines and reading Evening Class was the perfect homework to see how to make it work and develop the different themes of people's lives, to the point they are all drawing strength from one another and working towards a common goal.

If you love studying human nature and effortless storytelling, you will love this book. Another wonderful, heartwarming, gossipy read from MB.