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Seriously Bookish

Having recently finished reading, 'The Midnight Library' by Matt Haig, I wanted to share my thoughts on this incredible narrative. Already being a fan of Matt's non-fiction writing, this was my first experience of his stories and it really resonated with me strongly.

A Simple Concept

The premise was this... Nora Seed was at the end of her tether and wanted to end her life. Instead of just dying outright, she found herself locked in an in-between zone, known as the Midnight Library, which was actually run by her old secondary school librarian. Realising she had this opportunity to explore alternative pathways, Nora picked different books which acted as  gateways to other lives. 

Adventures included spending time as a scientist researching the melting of glaciers in the Arctic and coming eye-to-eye with a huge polar bear. She also got to find out what life might have turned like if she had stuck with her brother's band and experienced fame and fortune.

Struggling with mental health, Nora took this chance to really consider the positives and negatives of being herself. Would she learn from this experience or simply harness regrets?

I can't say any more without giving the game away.

So without a doubt, this novel deserves its platform because it has so much to say about society and mental health. 

Try the first chapter and I guarantee you will soon be hooked. Short chapters and a strong voice make this book superb.

Absolutely 5 stars. *****

The Gospel of Loki

By Joanne Harris

A Trickster God Epic Adventure Book

Most people have heard of Thor and Loki because they have appeared in plenty of high profile movies recently. These Norse gods who helm from the powerful city of Asgard are known for fierce battles, playfulness and a certain amount of 'chaos.'

Travelling between the world of the living and one of the dead, the predictably cheeky Loki is widely known as the trickster god.

Joanne Harris decided to focus on him and write from his perspective about his frantic life and the awkward predicaments that he finds himself in her well written novel, 'The Gospel of Loki.'

As Asgard faces destruction and the one-eyed Odin is setting him difficult challenges, Loki goes from one awkward situation to another, with only his charm and ability to deceive as weapons.

With unusual offspring and a series of affairs behind him, Loki seems to find ways to make new friendships, entice new love interests and dig himself further into spiralling holes of despair.

Check out this clever, witty and unrelenting tale of his exploits, woven knowingly by Harris with her typically insightful first person narrative.

When you've finished you'll be wanting more. Don't worry, a sequel awaits.

***** A fully entertaining read.

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas

By Adam Kay

Being a doctor isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

Adam has kept a diary of his work as a junior doctor, repeatedly getting stuck with having to work long shifts over the Christmas holidays. Joking about how he couldn't ever wriggle out of it, he reflects on some of the intriguing patients that he came across and their often bizarre injuries resulting from quirky and weird mishaps.

This book is really funny, cleverly insightful and written in a warm style with regular anecdotes which are often fascinating, usually gory and sometimes down-right ridiculous. From a child dismantling his mum's novelty earring and getting a green LED stuck up his nose to a Ward registrar commenting about how popular a patient is when accosted by a room full of 'Get Well' cards. He soon realised the cards were due to the poor patient's wife having only just died.

The weird relationship that senior doctors and junior ones seem to have is often hinted at in TV medical dramas but Adam hits the nail on the head with constant real-life references to this peculiar subject matter. He clearly loved his job but it took up most of his time and impacted heavily on his personal relationships and family life. Working every Christmas can't have helped much.

At 78 pages on kindle, this book is short, sharp and witty as hell. Take a look and you will soon be wanting to read more by Adam Kay.



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