Toothache

I wanted to write a blog about the many ways that writers identify themselves as writers, but alas, I have toothache. It started through the night last night, swollen gums and an ache that won’t go away. I’m almost 49 years old and I can’t recall ever having toothache before, and I would have remembered this pain. So, I sulked quietly today. I even cracked open a can of lager in the hopes of dulling the ache, but it’s given me a sore tummy instead. So I’m miserable.

On the plus side, I have managed to read a chapter of my book and write 1100 words of my novel. I’ve now written 64,947 words. That’s 29 chapters. I can almost see the finish line and I reckon I’ll have a first draft by mid February, (providing my head hasn’t exploded with the toothache first). But I wanted to check in and say hello, and thank everyone who stops by my blog and gives me a wee like or interacts with a comment. It means a lot.

Onwards.

I’ve been waiting on this book for a long time

I didn’t need to read the spectacular reviews for Luckenbooth before I ordered it. I didn’t need to. I bought it based on the fantastic writing in Jenni Fagan’s last two novels, The Panopticon and, Sunlight Pilgrims. My plans tonight are to have finish the 65 pages of Duck Feet, (review to follow), and then dive in head first.

Do you ever read a book based on an author’s previous work?

Do you have a favourite author, who is it and why?

Do you ever pre-order a book and wait for the delivery to arrive for the whole day? As I said to my partner last night, I haven’t been this excited since Wham brought out a new single.

My Year in Books 2020

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

This year has been such a mixed bag of reading. I’ve enjoyed straying a little from my usual go-to books, mostly for research reasons, but found a couple of gems. So here they are.

Fallow by Daniel Shand I really enjoyed this book and would also recommend his other novel, Crocodile.

The Growing Season by Helen Sedgwick It took me ages to read this book and throughout I wasn’t really sure if I liked it, but i think I was comparing it to Helen’s first novel, The Comet Seekers, which is an outstanding piece of work, and this book was a completely different genre, Overall though, it was worth a read, she’s an excellent writer.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher A strange wee book, beautifully written in parts, but not riveting. Worth a read.

Before You Say I DO by Clare Lydon This is a lesbian romance novel and was an okay read but predictable. I would try her other books but wouldn’t put them at the top of my list.

No Strings Attached by Harper Bliss Another Lesbian Romance but I quite liked this one. I‘ve heard of Harper Bliss and I would read more of her books but again, not in a hurry. Nicely written though.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng This was my book of the year. Beautifully written, brilliant twist and plot, fantastic characters and it made me cry. What else can you ask for. Read this book if you can, it is incredble.

Not My Type by Michele L. Rivera This was the last of the lesbian romances and I cringed all the way through it. Maybe I’m getting old, but this wasn’t for me.

The Familiars by Stacey Halls I stepped out of my comfort zone with this book and I’m glad I did. This was nice read and was wrapped up nicely. I would recommend.

Poverty Safari by Darren McGarvey This is an important novel that everyone should be aware off. Heart breaking and honest. Memoir.

Marram by Leonie Charlton This is another book I really wanted to enjoy but found slow and dull. There are parts that are beautiful but also parts that seem repetitive. I enjoyed the back story. Memoir.

Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng Another beauty. I can’t wait for more books by this author. Very well written, exciting, fast paced and tragic. I watched the T.V series afterwards, the book is better.

The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis Another beautifully written book with plenty of tension and a lovely plot. Loved the characters, the setting was also well written, a bit disappointed with the end.

Boy Parts by Eliza Clark This is a book that’ll make you gasp. I loved it. It is risky, honest, funny and just brilliant. The characters will blow you away. Second best book of the year.

Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney I am pretty sure I enjoyed this book but I don’t remember much about it.

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn Informative. Non-fiction.

A Change of Climate by Hilary Mantel I have been wanting to read a book by Hilary Mantel for the longest time, but I think I chose the wrong one. The movement of time wasn’t easy to keep up with and at times, the book was slow. I almost gave up on it, but persisted. The first page is brilliant.

Dear Life: A Doctor’s Story by Rachel Clarke I loved this. I’ve never read a book with so much death in it, but written so honestly and beautifully. I definitely have a different perspective now. I cried a lot. Highly recommended. Memoir.

Jonathan Pie: Off The Record by Jonathan Pie I do like Jonathan Pie, although I don’t always agree with his point of view. And just like the man says himself, you don’t have to agree, but it’s good to see different perspectives. Recommend. Non-fiction. I listened to the audio book version.

Love In Lockdown by Chloe James I bought this book purely for research purposes as I am writing a lock down novel myself. Cheesy, heterosexual, young love. It was okay, mostly annoying, but fit the purpose of what I imagine will be a new pandemic genre, I just feel the author could have blended some of the pandemic tropes into the story, as opposed to listing them. It is unrealistic in many ways, but the characters are nice.

Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie It’s about time I read something from this author seeing as she was my dissertation mentor- twice. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Kathleen once told me that she isn’t a nature writer, she is simply a writer, I kept that in mind when I read this book and I now understand what she meant. Kathleen is an observer, a thinker, someone who stands still long enough to experience the world. She has a good mind and a viewpoint unlike most. I highly recommend. Essays.

I would love to here what your favourite books have been in 2020, and I love a recommendation, but for now, I would like to wish everyone a happy Hogmanay and warm wishes for the new year.