So You Want to Read… (Robert Shearman)

Posted 25 October, 2017 by Lianne in Lists / 0 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! πŸ™‚

Happy October! For this edition of So You Want to Read…, I decided to feature Robert Shearman (see author tag). Seemed fitting as Hallowe’en is around the corner and his short stories can be pretty strange and eerie, just perfect for the season. Think Neil Gaiman but even more out there. But at the same time his stories really touch on some deeper human conditions and reactions to situations. I’m always excited when I learn that there’s a new collection of short stories out there by him because I know I’m in for a treat.

First time reading Robert Shearman’s works? Here’s my recommendations on where to start:

  • Remember Why You Fear Me (review) — This was the first book I read by him, it still remains a favourite by him and the first I’d recommend. Perhaps especially perfect for the Hallowe’en season as some of the scenarios sound especially macabre, the collection is quite solid and thematically it’s quite rich.
  • They Do The Same Things Different There (review) — I described this collection as quite eclectic in that I found myself wondering a lot of the times what’s so different about the setting of the story or what’s the odd feature about this story and that. There’s still the eerie/creepy factor to them but again they’re thought-provoking and quite clever.
  • Tiny Deaths (review) — This collection was pretty interesting in that the overarching theme of death and its various manifestations and impact really bound the stories together (well, except one, IMO; might’ve missed the linking detail there). Sure, some of the stories were familiar as they reappeared in the above two volumes, but nonetheless it’s a great collection on the whole.



And that’s my list! If you’ve read Robert Shearman’s books, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! πŸ™‚

Review: the sun and her flowers

Posted 24 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

the sun and her flowers
By: Rupi Kaur
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

rom Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

At long last, Rupi Kaur’s second poetry collection is out! Firstly, I have to say, I’m impressed how the book cover is similar to the first book…I also love the currogated texture of the book cover, much better than the first collection where the material left fingerprints and everything everywhere O_o Yes, these are all things that I notice O_O

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Review: The Secret Lives of People in Love

Posted 23 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Secret Lives of People in Love
By: Simon Van Booy
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Since the publication of his critically acclaimed debut collection The Secret Lives of People in Love, Simon Van Booy has been hailed as one of the most exciting and talented short-story writers in Anglo-American fiction. This magnificent collection brings together twenty-four stories by a writer of unparalleled lyricism, generosity and emotional power. Set in a range of locations, from Cornwall, Wales, and New York to Paris and Rome, these stark and beautiful stories are a perfect synthesis of intensity and atmosphere. Love, loss, isolation and the power of memory are Van Booy’s themes, and in spare, economical prose he writes about the difficult choices we make in order to retain our humanity, and about the redemptive power of love in a violent world.

The two books I’ve read to date by Simon van Booy had been wonderful. He has a way with words that’s very poetic and that touches on those feelings that are difficult to express or to put into words. Some time ago I decided to pick up the remaining books by him that I haven’t read. Aside from full-length novels, he’s also written short stories, which I thought was interesting. This was the first of the two short story collections that I’ve decided to read.

Once again the author’s prose captures much of feelings, fleeting or otherwise, that are often difficult to express–of love and loss, of the sadness and triumph of memory, of resilience and failure. He captures them quite evocatively in those quiet moments when the character isn’t doing much or is in the middle of transition–the moment you wake up, the quiet travel from one location to another. It’s beautiful and quiet and heartbreaking all in its own little way. Some stories were more haunting than others; “Love Begins in Winter” definitely stood out in my mind, not only because it’s a novella compared to the other stories that followed, but just because of the story itself. The only reason this book wasn’t rated any higher was just because some stories didn’t interest me as much or I personally found it boring, my mind wandering.

Nonetheless I’m glad to have read The Secret Lives of People in Love as it once again showcases Simon van Booy’s prose and ability to capture those melancholic emotions and thoughts that are otherwise difficult to describe or express in writing. Definitely worth checking out too if you’re looking to read through his entire bibliography πŸ˜€

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Visit the author’s official website || Order this book from The Book Depository

Review: Something Rotten

Posted 20 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Something Rotten (Thursday Next #4)
By: Jasper Fforde
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Literary detective Thursday Next is on a mission – and it’s not just a mission to save the planet. If only life were that simple…

Unemployed following an international cheese-smuggling scandal, our favourite cultural crime-fighter is faced with a world of problems: Hamlet’s not attending his conflict resolution classes, President George Formby is facing a coup led by dastardly Yorrick Kaine and, what’s more, the evil Goliath Corportation are refusing to un-eradicate Thursday’s husband, Landen.

Will she ever see Landen again? Is shopping the new religion? Can Thursday prevent Armageddon? And who will babysit her son while she does it?

Join Thursday on her toughest assignment yet, and enter a world where fiction is always much stranger than the truth…

Good thing I had books 3 and 4 sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, makes it easier to just keep following Thursday Next’s adventures πŸ™‚ Just in case, may contain some mild spoilers to the series to date!

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Review: The Well of Lost Plots

Posted 19 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 5 Comments

The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3)
By: Jasper Fforde
Format/Source: Paperback; was a Christmas gift

Leaving Swindon behind her, to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots — the place where all fiction is created — Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent family, ponders her next move from inside an unpublished novel of dubious merit entitled Caversham Heights. Her husband, Landen, exists only in her memories and with Goliath and the Chronoguard on her tail in the real world, the safest place for her to be is inside the covers of a book.

But changes are afoot within the world of fiction. The much-awaited upgrade to the centuries-old book system — in which grammasites will be exterminated, punctuation standardised and the number of possible plots increased from eight to an astonishing thirty-two — is only weeks away. But if this is the beginning of a golden age in fictional narrative, then why are Jurisfiction agents mysteriously dying? Perkins is eaten by the minotaur, Snell succumbs to the Mispeling Vyrus and Godot is missing.

As the date of the upgrade looms closer and the bookworld prepares for the 923rd Annual Fiction Awards, Thursday must unmask the villain responsible for the murders, establish just what exactly the upgrade entails — and do battle with an old enemy intent on playing havoc with her memories.

Hmm, apparently it’s been a while since I’ve read a Thursday Next novel. Granted, it took me a while to locate this edition of The Well of Lost Plots (wanting to match it with the other books in the series that I have on my shelf), but I was waiting to be in the right mood to read this book. And I needed zany at te time I read this so here we are πŸ™‚ Some spoilers if you haven’t read the series to date!

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