I love to read, in fact it is one of my favourite things to do. Nothing makes me happier than a new book. A book, to me, is not just a collection of letters and pages. It is a portal to other dimensions and worlds, it’s a time machine, an emotional rollercoaster, a mirror. I could happily spend hours each day curled up with a good book. Alas, life has other plans. With a full time job, a house to clean and tidy, a seven month old baby, two dogs and a husband, I find I have less and less time for my favourite hobby. But, when something is really important to you, you find a way to make time.
That is the very reason why I set up this blog. I love to write even more than I love to read, but too often I found myself saying I would write tomorrow, and I quickly learned that if you put these things off, tomorrow never comes. By setting up this blog, I am making writing a priority, I am carving the time into my life. By the same token, with so many books being bought but left sitting on shelves, unread and unloved, I formed a book club with some friends. Each month, we pick a book. Sometimes they are dark and disturbing, sometimes they are lighthearted and funny, but they are always read and enjoyed. I try to read as often as I can, but if life does get on top of me, as it so often does with us all, at least I will always read that one book.
And so, fellow book worms, I am inviting you to join our little book club, to carve that time out of your month, and journey with us through the pages (get it? A journey through the pages?). What do you say?
Each month, I will let you know what we are reading, so you can buy it and read along with us. After a few weeks, I will post a review of the book we just read, letting you know what I thought of it, and if you want to, you can leave me a comment with your own rating.
I don’t have April’s title yet, but I thought I could review March’s book for you! If you have read it, let me know your own thoughts in the comment section below! Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook (the links are on my home page) so you can keep up to date with my blog and I!
This month’s book was ‘Fragile Things’ by Neil Gaiman. So what was it about? Well it was a collection of short stories, so it was about many things, but instead of doing a half-assed job of describing it to you, I shall just use the author’s own words:
Let me tell you stories of the months of the year, of ghosts and heartbreak, of dread and desire. Of after-hours drinking and unanswered phones, of good deeds and bad days, of trusting wolves and how to talk to girls.
There are stories within stories, whispered in the quiet of the night, shouted above the roar of the day, and played out between lovers and enemies, strangers and friends. But all, all are fragile things made of just 26 letters arranged and rearranged to form takes and imaginings which will dazzle your senses, haunt your imagination and move you to the very depths of your soul.
As blurbs go, it’s very enticing, and the book certainly lives up to the expectations it creates. If you have already read Neil Gaiman’s work, you will know that he has an amazing way of completely sucking you into his fantastical adventures. I find sometimes, particularly with fantasy and science fiction writers, they struggle to create that same feeling with a short story. Gaiman however lived up to all of my expectations, and created worlds within worlds with the same ease and vividness as he does with his novels. Each story is a great read as a stand alone piece of course, but he has also painstakingly arranged them in an order which makes it fun and easy to move from one story to the next. He even provides his inspiration behind and origin of each of the tales within the introduction, and explains why he chose them. A few members of my book club skipped this part, finding it dull, but as an aspiring writer, I really enjoyed the insight into Gaiman’s world and thought processes. In fact, I found myself re-reading the relevant passages of the introduction again, once I had read each story.
Of particular note amongst the many tales, are ‘A study in Emerald’, which Gaiman describes as ‘Sherlock Holmes meets H.P.Lovecraft.’ Need I say more? And ‘Other People’, Gaiman’s version of Hell. I adored both of these, and a little bit of me wishes he would write full novels of them, rather than just these short stories, but then I can be rather greedy.
Full disclosure: as a huge Neil Gaiman fan, it’s difficult for him to do wrong in my eyes. But even if I had never read any of his other work, I would rate this book highly. It’s an entertaining, easy read, and a great place to start if you are a newcomer to Gaiman’s work.
If you have read this title, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, this is my first book review, so let me know what you think of it! Happy reading!