Daughters of Doubt and Eyerolling

Category: Adventurer’s Guide

May Buddy Read: If it Bleeds

If it Bleeds by Stephen King was the Sceptre May buddy read. Fetching the envelope with the yet secret book from the mailbox, I remember thinking, ‘Well, it can’t be a King, it’s too slim’. I laughed so hard when I opened the brown paper envelope a few minutes later.

Not having read a Stephen King book for ages, only partly Mr King’s fault (I wasn’t a big fan of The Dark Tower), I was a bit hesitant to start these novellas. Only a few pages into the first story I was hooked though. There was something about the writing, it felt like coming home to a favourite book. (Why did I put Mr King off for so long?) And the plots reminded me of The X-Files; a bit creepy, but nothing too scary.

There’s “Mr Hannigan’s Phone”, a story about a young boy who still gets messages from his former employer’s phone long after Mr Hannigan and his phone were buried. There’s “The Life of Chuck”, a story told in reverse chronology, from Chuck on his deathbed to Chuck’s childhood. Then the story about a writer with writer’s block who strikes a deal with the dev… “Rat” which allows him to finish his novel, but at what costs? And, of course, the title story, “If It Bleeds”. It’s basically a sequel to The Outsider starring Holly Gibney, who sees beyond some facial hair and smells a rat.

My favourite story? Can’t say exactly. I liked all of them for different reasons. “If It Bleeds” put Mr Mercedes and The Outsider on my reading list. “The Life of Chuck” was interesting because of the unusual timeline. “Mr Hannigan’s Phone” made me wonder who I might be able to reach with that ancient iPhone I keep in one of my drawers. “Rat” spoke to me, because I’ve had to battle writer’s block before, worst was staring at the blank page when I tried to write my MA thesis. Though that was not the main reason, it reminded me of one of my favourite childhood books, Jules Ratte. A story about a girl who finds a very intelligent, speaking rat and keeps it as a pet. She’s taking it to school too, so the rat can help her cheat on her tests.

Since I tend to read everything a book has to offer, yes truly everything from the copyright page to the acknowledgements, I must say that the best part of the book was the Author’s Note. That’s just be though, you might like a different part of the book best.

4/5 Goodreads stars

TheLadyDuckOfDoom’s Books of June

I have no idea if this will be the last book in the series, but Maker’s Curse by Trudi Canavan will arrive this week. I really liked The Black Magician’s Guild as a teen, and I enjoyed the previous novels in this series, too. I have to admit that I don’t remember much of the story except for magic created through creativity, worldhopping, angels not being angels, and some kind of magic and or clockwork toy. I hope the story will come back to me when I start reading. I think I can read probably anything by Adrian Tchaikovsky, so Firewalker will drop this week, too. The cover reminded me of Fahrenheit 451, but I don’t know much more.

American Demon will release this month, I will have to wait until it arrives, I guess at the start of July. I have hoped that Kim Harrison would return to The Hollows. I’m still trying to finish my own paperback collection of all previous novels, but I have read them all, and I really look forward to jumping back in. I’ve devoured the books since I was 13, when my mom put them into my shelf telling me it’s far better than Twilight. It is. Rachel, Jenks, Ivy and everyone else kick ass. If I were not suffering from a TBR explosion, I would start a re-read, but I would never finish in time.

I am still waiting for Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I did not like Aurora Rising as much as the Illuminae files, but it was enjoyable enough the order the second book as paperback. I have some thoughts on the predictability of the plot twists, and a hunch about what will be going on.

And then there is the mystery Buddyread which will be revealed later.

Currently, I am reading Bone Silence by Alistair Reynolds, the third book im his Revenger series. It has been waiting on my shelf since release, and I *finally* started it. I have a loose buddyread for The Ten Thousand Doors of January going on, but I only finished chapter one, so I don’t know if I will finish in time. On top of that, I have another buddyread with my boyfriend for Tchaikovsky’s Children of Ruin. He listens to the audiobook while driving, and I am trying to keep up. I think this weekend will finally be the time when I catch up to him!

Unfinished Business

Ever since Covid-19 hit our neck of the woods, my reading has been all over the place – it’s time to straighten some things out.

Back in March, working from home felt like an introvert’s dream come true. With around 90 unread books waiting for me on my shelves, it seemed like I’ve been preparing for a season of social distancing for all my life. I was highly motivated. It was finally time to tackle those daunting doorstoppers I’ve been putting off for some time. Ironically, my brain decided that Stephen King’s The Stand was an obvious choice. Or at least a really ironical choice, if we look at it like that. The writing is brilliant – well, it is a King novel – but it’s huuuuuuuuuge. I’m about halfway through, and I really need to make some headway on that. 

Non-fiction is something I’m more and more drawn to. But most of the time it’s not something you can sink into for hours on end. Right now I’m slowly making my way through Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, which should probably be considered required reading. Those essays really give you something to chew on. I’m reading one or two a day, and they will keep me occupied until the end of the month. 

I’ve started rereading V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic – Kell and Lila’s adventures are perfect as a comfort read. I’ve finished the first two books so far and I guess I’ll just keep going with the third one. 

Next up for my postal book club is Nationalstraße by Jaroslav Rudiš. I’m not familiar at all with Czech literature, but broadening my horizon is exactly what this book club is for. 

Last but not least – our monthly Sceptre Mystery New Release Remote Buddy Read (well, we probably need a shorter name for that). Who knows what our favorite bookshop chose this time, their last pick (Stephen King’s If It Bleeds) was excellent. 

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