Am I A Book Snob?

the restorer

I have to admit I have been somewhat spoilt in the world of books. Since I was a child my sister, Sarah, assessed my tastes and preferences for storytelling. Unlike most people I never had to sift through piles of books, studying blurbs and flicking through the pages, reading numerous duds on the hunt for my next favourite novel. I was pretty lucky, she read the duds for me and every book she handed to me was perfectly matched to my needs. My own personal book shopper. I have to take a moment to say a giant THANK YOU to her, her influence in those early days has played a huge part in the life I now live.

Now I’m all grown up, I’m out there on my own—just like everyone else—scanning the libraries, looking for the next story to keep me reading past midnight. Goodreads has been a great tool, if you love books I would strongly encourage you to join. It is basically an online book club but you can choose how much you want to participate. If you want a more personal experience you can add friends and join reading groups, if that doesn’t take your fancy you can just use it to check out ratings and read reviews. Goodreads has directed me to a lot of great books and when my personal book shopper made a recommendation that also rated highly on Goodreads I thought I couldn’t go too far wrong.

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens has been on my reading pile for a long time. I finally downloaded it on my Kindle and to my horror it said, ‘Thank you for purchasing Mills and Boon.’ I had never read a Mills and Boon book before and I didn’t plan to start now. In protest I downloaded another book and proceeded to tell everyone how I was tricked into buying Mills and Boon. Then someone said to me, ‘You know what, you’re being a book snob. What if it’s really good?’

So I’m 80% through The Restorer and I have to say it’s the best book I’ve read in a long time! Before you laugh at me you must know, there hasn’t been any romance thus far. Mills and Boon you shock me! I did a bit of research trying to figure out exactly how this book came to be published by M & B but so far I haven’t found any answers. Maybe they’ve decided to branch out and publish in different genres or perhaps they’ve realised a lot of people want more than a cheesy romance, they want a compelling plot.

If you don’t like ghost stories The Restorer probably isn’t for you. It’s about a graveyard restorer who can see ghosts and I have to say it’s pretty creepy. For me that’s perfect, I enjoy getting scared in books and the vividly described hauntings in this story are absolutely spine tingling. I found myself tucked under the blanket with the light left on all night. To me that’s a good sign, the author reached me, she freaked me out—her writing skills and intriguing plot far exceeded my expectations of a M & B novel.

It turns out I was a book snob—so you should never judge a book by its publisher.

For All The Non-Readers, This One Is For You

Cover of "Haunted : A Novel of Stories"

Cover of Haunted : A Novel of Stories

 

I would like to preface this blog by saying it is not for the faint-hearted  it contains a story with explicit content, it’s horrifying, hilarious and stomach-churning—read it at your own risk!

 

 

 

Sometimes I get caught up in the excitement of a book and can’t help telling absolutely everyone I meet to read it. I have friends who refuse to read and yet I still tell them the plot line, sometimes giving more detail than they’re interested in hearing. Usually they listen politely but I can see they’re really thinking they can’t imagine anything worse than reading it. Some people just don’t get the appeal, I’ve blogged about this before but it’s something that continues to bother me so for all those non-readers, this one is for you.

 

The most frequent thing I hear is that movies provide a much better source of entertainment because you can see them. I think a lot of people don’t realise how much you can see in your mind when you’re reading, it can be as vivid as any movie, if you disagree I have a challenge for you. Keep reading, if at the end of this blog you can honestly tell me you didn’t see every scene of the coming story then I will never hassle you about reading again! The fact is I know no one will.

 

Before we go any further I want to make sure you are all sufficiently warned, the story I’m about to direct you to cannot be unread so before you get started there’s something you should know.

 

This is a short story called Guts, it’s published in a book called Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. When the author went on tour to promote the book release, Guts is the story he chose to read. In total 73 people fainted when they heard it. When I found out about that I saw it as a personal challenge. So I read it. Despite the warning of the lovely gentleman who put me onto this book and the detailed account of what happened at the readings I figured it couldn’t be as bad as everyone had made out. Wrong. Seriously, it’s pretty bad. I didn’t faint but I was alone in my room where I could take breaks when it became too much, I don’t know how I would have fared in a warm and crowded room. If you think you can handle it, or your morbid curiosity is too engaged to go back, click the link below and read the story for yourself.

 

http://chuckpalahniuk.net/features/shorts/guts

 

Now I dare you to tell me books aren’t as vivid as movies.