Saturday, 31 August 2013

150/111 - The Lie by Chad Kultgen

The reason I bought this book is that was bored at work one day. When I go out for breaks and go for lunch, I always have my iPhone with me, even if I don't always have a book with me. I had downloaded a few samples of books onto my iPhone in the last few months, and when I was out one day on a break and I was bored, I decided to start reading one of the book samples on my iPhone. I chose this book because I felt fairly confident that it would be funny, as I have read one of his books before.

I started out by reading the sample on my iPhone and then thinking, I would like to read the rest of this. However after having a look on the Waterstones website and Amazon and finding out that it would take several days to arrive I decided to purchase it on my iPhone right then and there and give it a go. I asked a couple of people at work whether they though it would be a good idea for me to try and read a book on my iPhone and the answer was pretty much a 'no' from everyone. But as it turned out, I didn't find the experience to be all that bad. It was great for nipping out for a quick break, I could just slip my phone out of my handbag and give it a quick read, although the temptation to spend longer on my breaks was pretty string, especially if I was at a good bit, however I liked the fact that it kept me able to read in any given minute I might have available.

Overall, it was a pretty good experience, and I think I would do it again, however I still think that I would have chosen the paper copy of the book had it been available to me on the day.

I really enjoyed the book itself, and I was debating over whether to go for The Lie or Men, Women and Children, which I'm probably going to read next, but I did enjoy this. It follows the story of Kyle, Heather and Brett who are three students about to go to university. Kyle and Brett are best friends, with Kyle being the nerd and Brett being incredibly rich. Heather is the girl that Kyle falls in love with and who Brett despises (as he does with all women) and the book is broadly about the ideas of truth and love and the paths we have set out for our lives.

I really enjoyed the various voices of the characters, and Heather's was especially funny, although she is a horrible person. She is so utterly wrapped up in what people think of her, looking good to all her sorority sisters, making sure that she doesn't show any real emotion or feeling, and she is incredibly materialistic. I wasn't quite sure what to make of Brett's voice in that obviously he is incredibly misogynistic, and the way in which he views and uses women is pretty disturbing, and the voice felt quite similar to the narrator in Average American Male.

The ending of the book was a little bleak, which I'm fine with as that sort of wrapped it up really nicely, and I guess my only criticism of the reading experience is that when reading it on a device, I obviously could see my page number county getting towards the end, but I didn't really feel like I was reaching the end in the same way I would if I was reading a paper book, which I didn't really like as much.

149/111 - Lolito by Ben Brooks

I bought this recently as an impulse because I read and loved Grow Up by the same author, and I had had no idea that he had another book coming out! So I bought it and started reading it the next day.

The story is about a British teenager called Etgar who is sort of lonely and isolated and be discovers that his girlfriend Alice has been unfaithful to him. He starts using online chat rooms and he gets to talking to an older woman named Macy, and they start a sort of online romance. The rest of the book covers Etgar getting drunk and high in various ways, and generally being very heartbroken over Alice and nervous about the prospect of meeting Macy.

I quite liked this overall, but I'm not sure I liked it as much as Grow Up. I felt it was a bit more difficult to get close to and like Etgar, although I definitely felt sorry for him, sure. Part of it was that there were a lot of references to certain areas of pop culture, like TV shows and films and YouTube that I didn't really connect with - not that I didn't understand what they were, just that they didn't really speak to anything for me in a particular way.

I lent my copy of Grow Up to my youngest brother recently, and as coincidence goes, he texted me to ask if I had anything similar the day after I bought Lolito, which is a happy coincidence, so I told him that I would be able to lend him this once I was finished with it.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

148/111 - Write by Guardian Books

I bought this book recently along with a notebook for some writing and I thought this might be a good starting point.

It has a bunch of different essays by different writers and is all about their journeys and how they got started with writing. I particularly enjoyed the essays by Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland, Neil Gaiman and Hilary Mantel. Actually Hilary Mantel's were my favourite however I've never read any of her books as I'm not a fan of historical fiction and their size also intimidates me a lot.

I really enjoyed her essay around loving your stationery and how she could spend all day browsing through stationery catalogues. Very funny.

I'm not going to go into too much detail on the rest of this as it's late and m very tired, however I'll definitely get back to writing proper things again soon.

147/111 - Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished by Rocky Wood

I was in a meeting after work a little while ago and sort of voted and decided that I fancied reading a quick something by Stephen King. I was idly scrolling through iBooks on my iPhone and I discovered what I thought was an unpublished collection of Stephen King's stories!

I paid for it and downloaded it immediately with the intention of getting started when I got home from work, and started reading through the introduction that night. I could see that the page punt was well over 1000 pages, which was pretty exciting to me. But alas, it wasn't to be.

It turned out that what I had purchased was actually a book about Stephen King's uncollected and unpublished works. Not a collection of these works, but a book about these works. I was really gutted.

Don't get me wrong, the book is impressive in its scope and research, and the author really really knows his stuff, however I obviously misunderstood what the book was actually about, so I didn't finish it. I may end up finishing one day when I'm in the mood for something more academic, but at the time I was looking for some story.