The Raven’s Head by Karen Maitland

The Raven's Head by Karen MaitlandRating: DNF
Format: Paperback
Published: 12th March 2015
Book Depository | Goodreads

Vincent is an apprentice librarian who stumbles upon a secret powerful enough to destroy his master. With the foolish arrogance of youth, he attempts blackmail but the attempt fails and Vincent finds himself on the run and in possession of an intricately carved silver raven’s head.

Any attempt to sell the head fails … until Vincent tries to palm it off on the intimidating Lord Sylvain – unbeknown to Vincent, a powerful Alchemist with an all-consuming quest. Once more Vincent’s life is in danger because Sylvain and his neighbours, the menacing White Canons, consider him a predestined sacrifice in their shocking experiment.

This book wasn’t bad. I just found it extremely boring. Normally I enjoy a good historical fiction and I did find parts of this to be really interesting. But it was way too long. I actually think I has this same problem with Karen Maitland’s other book The Vanishing Witch. It took forever for anything to happen, large parts of it seemed totally unnecessary to the plot. If you enjoy historical fiction maybe give this a try, parts of it were very good. But overall I didn’t like it.

Buy The Raven’s Head on Book Depository

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*I received a copy of this book from Headline in exchange for an honest review.



I would like to argue that organizing books by colour is the best way to organise books. We humans are very visual (I’m totally graphic designing out my ass here (yes I did just make up a word)). When we look at a book the first thing we notice is the colour and design of the cover. Don’t give me that shit about “I don’t judge a book by its cover”, yes you do. We all do. The cover is the most important part of the book.

Anyway, organising books by colour is the best way, you can see instantly that it is organised in a logical way, even before you have to look closely to see the names of the books. I argue that organising books alphabetically may fulfill some OCD like desire for everything to be in order but when you actually look at a bookshelf sorted in alphabetical order it (usually) looks like a total mess.

But the only problem with sorting by colour, is that the publishers and the people who designed the cover make it so difficult. First we have brown and pink books, brown and pink isn’t even in the colour spectrum, what am I supposed to do with them? Make a little shelf just for brown and pink books? Nope. Actually I worked out that I was more likely to donate a book if it was brown or pink just because it doesn’t fit into the rainbow.

And then we have the blue books. Blue books are seriously a nightmare to organise. You have the greenish blue books, the purpley blue books and then you have the books where you can’t tell if they are actually blue or if you’re a bit colour blind. I mean really My Heart and Other Black Holes? Its almost like the designer couldn’t decide between blue or white, now we have this weirdly coloured book that doesn’t quite fit into the rainbow and yet sticks out like a sore thumb with the white books.

And honestly I’m not even going to get into those nightmare books where half the spine is red and half the spine is blue. Have you ever tried to sort the Harry Potter series into rainbow order? Its better if you don’t try.

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A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar

A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie TidharRating: 3 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 23rd October 2014
Book Depository | Goodreads

Deep in the heart of history’s most infamous concentration camp, a man lies dreaming. His name is Shomer, and before the war he was a pulp fiction author. Now, to escape the brutal reality of life in Auschwitz, Shomer spends his nights imagining another world – a world where a disgraced former dictator now known only as Wolf ekes out a miserable existence as a low-rent PI in London’s grimiest streets.

This is a really interesting holocaust story. I liked how it was about this guy Shomer who is trying to escape the harsh reality of living in a concentration camp by conjuring up this imaginary London and a down-on-his-luck detective. I really enjoyed the reveal where we find out who the detective – Wolf – really is. Looking back through the book there are rather big hints that someone smarter than me could have picked up on. But it was really interesting how the author (or Shomer) imagined how World War 2 could have been different if just a few things were changed.

However I did only give this book 3 stars. I found it was quite difficult to read about the holocaust, even though it was done very well. And honestly I was a bit surprised by the amount of sexual content in it.

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*I received a copy of this book from Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.



So there is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. And I just want to ask you guys what you think about it. I’ve been thinking about signing up to Patreon, now Patreon is a website where fans of a thing eg this blog, can pledge money every month to help support that thing. Kind of like how you used to get patrons who supported artists and stuff. I’m not explaining this very well.

The thing is I have so many ideas for blog posts and stuff I want to do, I want to start making youtube videos again, I want to do a big series to help people getting started with blogging, I have a bunch of ideas about fanfiction type posts. I have this massive series planned about stuff to do in Scotland. And so many more ideas, seriously you would drown in post-it notes if you saw them all. But all this costs money, and I don’t have much money.

I really hate bringing my illness into this but its the truth. I can’t work because of the CFS. Everything would be so much easier if I could just go out and get a job, but I can’t, I have problems getting a blog post out every day, I can’t go work a 9 to 5 job. As much as I would like to.

So I thought instead I could sign up to Patreon and ask that if anyone enjoys this blog and wants to see it grow, maybe they could help by paying a few dollars a month. But I know that this is controversial and it annoys people and I’m not even going to get into the whole ‘should bloggers be paid to blog’ stuff. But I thought I should ask you guys and see what you think of this, considering you know, it would be you guys that I ask for help.

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My All Time Favourite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. This week we are looking at my top ten all time favourite authors.

My All Time Favourite Authors |

1. Garth Nix. Garth Nix has been one of my favourite authors for as long as I can remember. I think I first read his books when I was in primary school, so over 15 years ago. I still remember finishing Sabriel for the first time and being terrified because of the ending. I used to love his Keys to the Kingdom series too. But I never finished it. I’ve always wanted to go read that series again.

2. NK Jemisin. I think NK Jemisin is one of my newest favourite authors. I read her books at the very end of 2014 and immediately decided that she was going to be my favourite author of 2015. She writes brilliant fantasy novels and I love them.

3. JK Rowling. Do I really need to explain why I love her?

4. Stephen King. I first learned about Stephen King in an R.E. class in high school (RE = religious education). We were learning about capital punishment and for some reason the teacher made us watch the electric chair scenes from The Green Mile. That resulted in me going to watch the rest of the movie and discovering Stephen King’s books. One thing I must say, as much as I love Stephen King’s books, I hate the scary ones. So basically most of them.

5. Ernest Cline. He wrote Ready Player One, do I need to say more? Also his next book Armada is coming out in 3 months!!!!

6. JRR Tolkien. Do I need to explain why I love him too?

7. Max Brooks. He writes about proper zombies. Not these silly things you find in movies that can think and run really fast and fall in love (I’m talking about Warm Bodies here).

8. David Mitchell. I’ve only read one of David Mitchell’s books (technically one and a half). And I enjoy them even though it seems like he reuses the same ideas in every book. But maybe thats just me.

9. Caitlin Moran.  Caitlin Moran is a strange one. I didn’t really enjoy her books that much, but I find her really funny and I’m ever feeling down I will watch videos of her on YouTube. I think she has the same problem as David Mitchell in that she just reuses the same jokes, most of which seem to be about her childhood.

10, Eoin Colfer. Eoin Colfer is one of those authors who I loved as a child and that love has just continued as I got older. Some of the later Artemis Fowl books were not that great but they never got so terrible that I hated them,

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