Urban Arboreal

Michael Jordan. Aurum Press. (160p) ISBN 9781781317419

Urban Arboreal

Urban Arboreal

I absolutely love books about nature, especially about trees, and when the opportunity arose that I could get a review copy of this book I jumped at it.

Last year I had read ‘Around the World in 80 Trees’ and this is a similar concept, though only looking at trees that share our urban environment.

Each tree surveyed in Urban Arboreal has a couple of pages, one for some text and the other for beautiful illustrations. These illustrations aren’t scientific and give a feeling of the tree rather than a pure visual index and are all the better for it.

The text, though brief due to the format, is interesting and informative. Letting you know the history of the tree and whereabout in the city is the best place to still find striking examples of the species.

Overall a lovely little book which has found it’s place onto my shelves with my other nature books.


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August TBR pile

August TBR

August TBR

It’s been a really difficult time for me with reading. I’ve not been able to concentrate on anything fiction for a couple of month, really only able to read books related to my tabletop gaming; Warhammer, Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu…

This has caused me some anxiety as I feel I really should be reading as most of my life revolves around the world of the book and there are so many books in my TBR room that I’m desperate to read, I’ve also got about 10 on NetGalley still to read and everything feels as though it’s piled up and is looming over me, looking at me with slightly judging spines.

Also to take my mind off everything that’s happening I’ve thrown myself into working on Indie Bookshops and my art/photography at Ephemeral.

Yesterday I’ve realised all this and decided to set myself some reading targets for August to encourage me to set aside time to rediscover my love of books, the targets are at least six books and twenty reviews for this blog, to catch up with the massive backlog that I’ve developed on those as well.

At the moment I’m finishing off Lovecraft Country and really enjoying it so far, saw clips of the upcoming TV show and that looked fun as well.

The Promise Witch

The conclusion of Celine Kiernan’s ‘The Wild Magic’ trilogy, this is the book I’ve been looking forward to the most. I want to find out what happens to Mup, Crow, and the people of Witches Borough. A brilliant trilogy that has lots of laughs and adventure.

The Promise Witch 9781406373936 is published by Walker Books

Life & Times of Michael K

I’ve got several Coetzee books in the house, none of which I’ve ever read, always have great intentions to start one. So I asked a couple of people which one I should start with and several suggested this one. It seems a bit serious for this period in time but this may be just what I need.

Life & Times of Michael K 9780099479154 is published by Vintage Books

Here in the Real World

I loved Pax, I cried several times whilst reading Pax. So I’m really looking forward to starting this book from Sara Pennypacker. Sara has a wonderful way of writing relationships, deep but so accessible for children, also the cover by Jon Klassen is brilliant!

Here in the Real World 9780008371692 is published by Harper Collins

SLOOT

SLOOT is another book I’ve heard and seen a lot about, thankfully it is published by Bluemoose Books and I felt no qualms at buying it as I’m collecting their full catalogue, experimental and challenging are always good when combined with great writing and Bluemoose usually get this right.

SLOOT 9781910422533 is published by Bluemoose Books

Holiday Heart

Charco Press is another publisher that has done no wrong in my view and I now almost have their full back catalogue and am going to join their subscription service in 2021 so that I get their books as they come out with no thinking on my part. I have already read Fish Soup by Margarita Garcia Robayo which is a brilliant book and have been looking forward to this for a while now.

Holiday Heart 978199936849 is published by Charco Press

The Sad Part Was

I picked up this book earlier in the year as I was really enjoying reading a lot of small press translated fiction, these presses were taking a lot of chances and producing some of the best writing I’ve read in a long, long time. I had read Tokyo Ueno Station, also published by Tilted Axis Press and was impressed and willing to give other authors from their catalogue a try and this sounded fascinating.

The Sad Part Was 9781911284062 is published by Tilted Axis Press


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The Diary of a Bookseller

Shaun Bythell. Profile Books. (320p) ISBN 9781781258637

The Diary of a Bookseller

The Diary of a Bookseller

This was another book I bought as part of me really getting into the bookseller lark and reading a lot to do with other booksellers through the years, this though was by far the funniest and the closest to home.

The cast of recurring characters really added a depth and life to the world of The Bookshops, along with Shaun Bythell’s dry humour make this one of the must read books about bookshops and booksellers I’ve read so far.

The diary format also makes it the perfect book to pick up and read in small bites (though I did read it in one fell swoop the first time).

Behind the humour and characters though is a story of how much hard work goes into running a bookshop, the financial tightrope, the constant seeking of new ways to get people in and once in buy books.

Really looking for the next instalment of The Diary of a Bookseller which is due out at the end of August 2019.


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Books v. cigarettes

George Orwell. Penguin. (144p) ISBN 9780141036618

Books v. cigarettes

Books v. cigarettes

Totally bought this because of the multiple essays on books, bookselling and book reviewing – some of my main pleasures in life.

The title essay is still as apt now as it ever was, comparing the price of a book with another common leisure purchase which today we usually use a coffee as a comparison rather than cigarettes. Well written and structured and putting forward arguments I’ve used.

The other book related essays are great examples of Orwell’s writing and thought processes, and still seem as relevant today as when he wrote them in the early 20th century.

The other essays in Books v. cigarettes are about seemingly unrelated subjects, but are all linked with a view on society in his time that of class and the growing thoughts on socialism and how unjust uk society was if you had no money. The essays on boarding school, poverty, and patriotism are all well reasoned and explained.

A great little read, especially if you’ve read any other Orwell non-fiction and appreciate his thoughts and writing style.


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.

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