Latest review

Book Review – Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Random House UK, Cornerstone for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

This is another book I actually read late last year, but am only now getting a chance to write a review on… as life got a little insane back then for a bit. But I have been thinking over it ever since I read it… definitely one of those books that gives you a book hangover and stays with you for sometime.

For some reason, I had been expecting this to be one of those kooky, supernatural cosy crime stories. I have NO IDEA where I took that from… and so the beginning of the book threw me a bit as I went “wow! This is a very serious thriller!” but not in a tone that meant I was put off, in a tone that can be translated into “go away, I am reading something amazing!” 😉

Now, I don’t want to do ‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ any injustice by saying it was a thriller and then have people tell me it’s nothing like one. To me, it was! Maybe I just don’t read enough thrillers? Meh. People who read my reviews will by now have noticed I mainly read cookbooks or cosy crimes… or cosy crimes that include cooking!

But I did find it indeed a thriller read. Suspenseful, intriguing and that red raw real life type of crime that Ruth Rendell used to write (and I am a huge fan of her books). The characters were modern and relatable, as well as being isolated and diverse from the norm due to their connected past.

The book is sort of told in two time – the past and the present. But it entwines together and leads the to reader to discover how it is all connected in such a sad, thrilling, bemusing and… well, emotional way. Gee, I really do feel like I am underselling ‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ rather than promoting it here. Can I just say – I loved it, a riveting read and you all just believe me?

Midnight at the bright ideas bookstore

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. If you are a fan of the broad spectrum of crime fiction, this is a brilliant read and I would be surprised if you didn’t get a book hangover once done. If you are a more selective crime fiction reader and only read certain sub-genres, if you’re into thrillers, mysteries, modern day crime and the like – you will enjoy this. As said, it has that gritty realism that I enjoy in books by people like Ruth Rendell, Ann Cleeves, Elizabeth Haynes and so on.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I would. Any book that gives me a book hangover I still feel touches of months later is a book worth owning. I would happily add it to my eBook shelves and can see myself reading it again every now and then.

In summary: Lovers of the True Crime sub-genre into gritty realism, this book is for you. Highly enjoyable.

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review – How to Speak Chicken (Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say ) by Melissa Caughey.

4 out of 5 stars

 I would like to thank Storey Publishing for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Hello everyone, I’m back! Well, I hope to be back and to be back I need to start with my backlog… so I do apologise if this review is a little sketchy in places as I read ‘How to speak chicken’ back in September/October and since then my electronic copy has expired. So I just need to try and work from memory about it all.

Firstly, I found it a highly enjoyable read. I am a chook lady, I had chickens as a child, convinced my husband a few years ago to let us get chickens for our kids… and currently have ten. Three Isa Brown, three Australorps, three French Wheaten Marans and a Wyandotte. The last four listed were newly acquired while reading this book. Possible coincidence? 😉

And we do indeed love talking to them and know they talk back in different tones and voices and we use different chicken noises and motions depending on which chicken we are addressing. So, yeah, perhaps I am one of those “crazy chicken ladies”… and Proud!

So it was a delight to read Ms Caughey’s book. A lady after my own heart with similar loves and understandings of our feather babies.

Yes there are other “how to raise” chicken books out there. I’ve even read, reviewed and enjoyed a couple. But what puts ‘How to speak Chicken’ apart from them is the lyrical, loving tone used by its author. This isn’t see looking after chooks from a “its a pet that gives us eggs and poops a lot” point of view. It is from the same point of view I see chickens “its one of my little girlies who clucks and carries on, needs cuddles, friends, toys… and lays eggs and poops a lot”. So… it is a book on looking after chickens to your best ability, but told from the view point of someone who sees them as more than just some dumb bird. As a chicken being a dumb bird is as accurate a description as me being a twenty something skinny supermodel. Yeah, not that accurate. 😉

The basic chicken care is all there, but just in a lovely whimsical manner that I really did love.

For the technical side of things – the formatting, layout and pictures were of the usual exceptional standard I have come to expect from Storey Publishing.

how to speak chicken

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would… but they would have to be quirky souls like myself able to cope with a DIY book on raising chickens that comes in a whimsical manner. Some people might need a more serious book than this, but they would be missing out. 😉

Would I buy this book for myself?

Maybe… Yes I loved it, and yes I own chickens… but did I really learn a LOT of stuff I didn’t already know? Not really. It would all come down to missing reading it and wanting to own it again and then seeing if I could buy a copy here in Australia. I really did enjoy reading my electronic version, but feel it would be much nicer to have in paper. It’s just one of those things… sitting out on the banana lounge in the middle of the lawn, stack of books and herd of chickens. Perfect book for a reading day like that.

Until next time,

Janis.