August update

Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country

This month has been a good month for reading including actually enjoying audiobooks for the first time, it’s also been a good month for my blogging in general.

At the start of the month I decided to do some blog consolidation and have now ended up with just four blogs:

Then to complete the social media line up, I’ve now got a Tumblr and Pinterest (though this was suspended in less that 24 hours as I was populating one of the boards and they considered this spam…), just other places for people to connect and see content in the way that they would prefer.

There’s been a lot of work going on in the background on the various blogs. On Indie Bookshops the bookshop listings have been separated into regional pages based on continental areas, it has been one of the most requested features of the website, this will also eventually be converted into an ebook/book with photographs and book tour routes. This is all in place to help Andy and Jack get to know. the blog better.

On this blog I made sure I’ve added all the reviews to various sites around the Internet, I’ve also added links to the To Review list to the actual reviews.

Here’s a quick rundown of the books I’ve read (or listened to) this month:

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Just finished a whole book! Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff had heard mixed reviews of this book, but I really enjoyed it’s twist on the Lovecraftian mythos, low on cosmic horror, high on thrills ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Promise Witch by Celine Kiernan

Wow, bloody hell, what a brilliant finale to The Wild Magic trilogy by Celine Kiernan.

The Promise Witch pulls all the threads from the other books together in a wonderful adventure with Mup and Crow facing frightening enemies and the ending was just beautiful. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood

Just finished my first audiobook ever Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood, a brilliant urban fantasy set in the London of dead souls, Mr October and The Enemy – a war between good and evil and Ben Harvester is in the middle of it – really enjoyed it ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tips from a Publisher by Scott Pack

A brilliantly informative and fun read about how to go about getting your book published – loads of tips and help from Scott Pack. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Holiday Heart by Margarita Garcia Robayo

Translated by Charlotte Coombe.

A couple apart, exploring both their lives. Raw, funny, incisive – Margarita gets to the core of a complicated domestic drama.

Charco Press do it again, I *don’t* read this genre ever but I finished this in a day and wanted more. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

A quick paced, punchy thriller with great characters, really wasn’t the ending I was expecting either.

The audiobook really brought the characters to life in a way I found really satisfying. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Sad Part Was by Prabda Yoon

Translated by Mui Poopoksakul.

A joyfully playful collection of stories with such a wide range and not a weak one amongst them, magical, mystical, mythical, magnificent – personal favourite was Shallow/Deep, Thick/Thin ⭐⭐⭐⭐

SLOOT by Ian Macpherson

Complex, yet compelling, funny and dark at the same time, some great characters inhabit this murder mystery, twists and red herrings, maybe some whopping red whales. Loved the playfulness of it all. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Book of Sheffield edited by Catherine Taylor

An interesting collection of short stories based around the shared experience of living in Sheffield, I really enjoyed the eclectic choices, but I think my favourite by far was How To Love What Dies by Gregory Norminton, really sad. ⭐⭐⭐⭐


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Amazing Women of the Middle East

Wafa Tarnowska. Pikku Publishing. (112p) ISBN 9781999639853
Amazing Women of the Middle East

Amazing Women of the Middle East

I was given this to preview by the publishers to include in the www.indiebookshops.com monthly newsletter as well as review on here, so watch out for the newsletter to see what extra terms are being offered for Independent Bookshops on the release of this book.

I’ve always loved these small biographies when I read them, simple enough to have you consume each section quickly but with enough information to inform but also tease you to want more, and Amazing Women of the Middle East is no different.

Wafa Tarnowska writes very intriguing little biographies for each of the women, turning historical people into personalities whilst laying the groundwork for you wanting to learn more about each woman, small but compelling, including a women I thought was fictional, Zenobia, which was one of. the most fascinating parts for me.

Covering a broad time span from Cleopatra VII up to the current period, each small biography is accompanied with illustrations by Hoda Hadadi, Christelle Halal, Esteli Meza, Sahar Haghgoo, and Margarida Estevez which complement the biographies well.

Publication date is the 20th of September 2020.

 


 

If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Holiday Heart

Margarita Garcia Robayo. Charco Press. (160p) ISBN 9781999368449
Holiday Heart

Holiday Heart

I had previously read Fish Soup by Margarita Garcia Robayo and thought it was absolutely stunning so was really looking forward to reading this and wasn’t disappointed at all. This sounds simple, and in a way it is but Margarita takes this simplicity and shines it to perfection.

An exploration of a couple, Lucia and Pablo, and their relationship before and after the incident of the Holiday Heart.

The pace of the writing and the development of the characters throughout the unfolding story are excellent, keeping you wanting more and delivering on that throughout the book.

This is a considered development, not a word out of place, characters introduced at the right moment to develop the plot, the environment is used to great effect throughout to really ground you in the place of this story.

There is an underlying ache throughout the whole book, both cultural and personal which impacts on everything the characters do, especially in gender expectations. Though this ache is lightened in place by some humour it is bittersweet.

Another wonderful book by Margarita Garcia Robayo, translated by Charlotte Combe and published by the ever brilliant Charco Press.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

In the Beginning… Was the Command Line

Neal Stephenson. William Morrow Paperbacks. (151p) ISBN 9780380815937
In the Beginning... Was the Command Line

In the Beginning… Was the Command Line

It’s been quite a while since I read this and I remember it being a book that helped me navigate the social phenomenon of the Internet and how it has developed.

Mainly humorous, definitely tongue-in-cheek, this book still makes points that are worth exploring today even though it is almost 20 years old.

Developing the idea of the interface between people mediated by computers it was very prescient, and like all Neal Stephenson’s writing accessible.

Most of the actual technology that he talks about is out of date now though, but still worth a read for the philosophy behind his thoughts.

An updated version to see what Neal thinks now would be appreciated.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.