May 2019 Roundup

It’s been a good month for my reading this time, read some wonderful books across a lot of different genres and only DNFed one book! There were a few more but these listed below were all my four- or five-star reads.

How To Be Right
How To Be Right
How To Be Right by James O’Brien.

I’ve always found James to be a bit marmite, sometimes I really like him and at others…

This book though is a wonderful examination of where we are in political and personal debate right now, there seems to be no shades and no rigorous in the taking of positions and when challenged people often just turn to attacking rather than discussing.

An easy but interesting read.


The Last Spell Breather
The Last Spell Breather
The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike

This is a stunning book, I was originally drawn to it because it has a wonderful cover (I’m so shallow), but just wait until you get into the words!

It’s full of great characters, has a very original and imaginative magic system, cracking adventure, lots of peril throughout but especially so in the last few chapters, and what a twist at the end

This is my book of the year so far, and it’s got some great competition out there.


Dandelions by Yasunari Kawabata

I’m often wary of Japanese literature written after the end of WWII as it can often show a very toxic side to Japanese culture.

This though read as a dream, a jumbled dialogue which wove through time and thought, stream of consciousness hiding depths of emotion and thought.

A stunning look at a culture in flux through the medium of two generations discussing a single common point.


Beatrix the Bold and the Curse of the Wobblers
Beatrix the Bold and the Curse of the Wobblers
Beatrix the Bold and the Curse of the Wobblers by Simon Mockler

Hidden away in a huge castle which is the extent of Beatrix’s world there are huge secrets that she will eventually find out. Though she is constantly getting hints here and there to suspect something isn’t right with her world.

Wonderful world building, fun adventures, gross monsters, and knife throwing. Beatrix is a wonderful central character, love the bumbling evil doers, and the great supporting characters.

So glad when I got to the end of this book to see that there was going to be more!


The Paninis of Pompeii
The Paninis of Pompeii
The Paninis of Pompeii by Andy Stanton

My nephew and I agree that Mr. Gum is one of the best children’s book characters ever so we were both looking forward to this a lot!

Neither of us were disappointed at all, silliness abounds, lots of Stanton Dictionary words and a continued playfulness with characters and their worlds keeps you on your toes.

My nephew though thought that the idea of a fart merchant was genius because there were so many of them around someone should make some money from them…


The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

It was only after reading Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm that I realised I actually hadn’t read so many of the children’s classics that were around when I was growing up (I’ve written a wee something about that). So I’ve been trying to remedy that.

I’ve been a bit disappointed with some, but Alan Garner not at all. This is the second of his I’ve read (Owl Service being the first) and the world building is wonderful, taking as it does from older myth-cycles and weaving his own fantasy into it.

Though I do now believe every 60s books main characters are called Colin and Susan now.


Tokyo Ueno Station
Tokyo Ueno Station
Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri

Continuing my theme of reading from translation this work from Tilted Axis press captures that idea of different cultures perfectly.

It was hauntingly beautiful with a deep melancholy and a yearning emptiness (these are words I wrote in my notes for the book as I was reading it). The internal voice of the main character wove a story that was compelling throughout.

This really is another must read for everyone.


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