Archive - 2017

1
12 Unfortunate Book Titles
2
7 More Books I Wouldn’t Be Seen Dead Reading In Public
3
Authors As Desserts V
4
7 Books I Wouldn’t Be Seen Dead Reading In Public
5
13 Unfortunate Book Titles
6
5 Recommended Novellas
7
10 Ridiculous Religious Books
8
8 Macabre Books
9
7 Books for 7 Moods
10
15 Author Quotes about Ebooks

12 Unfortunate Book Titles

This week sees the second and final instalment in my ‘unfortunate book titles’ series. Here are 12 more books with titles that many would consider to be unfortunate.

 

Scouts In Bondage

 

The Art Of Taking A Wife

 

Oozing For My Lord

 

A Practical Guide To Racism

 

Helping The Retarded To Know God

 

The Loneliest Ho in the World

 

Beat Your Way to the Top: Masturbation as a technique for business success

 

Are Women Human?

 

Innards And Other Variety Meats

 

The Humanure Handbook

 

Cooking with Poo

 

Bitch Are You Retarded

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7 More Books I Wouldn’t Be Seen Dead Reading In Public

This week sees the second instalment in my series — books that I would not be seen dead reading in public.

 

Dancing with Cats 

When in public drawing concern to the fragile state of one’s mental health is ill-advised.

 

The Doomsday Conspiracy

I read the backs of cartons, chocolate bar wrappers and the writing contained on packets of crisps, but I do not read Sidney Sheldon let alone in public.

 

Small Game Taxidermy

If your aim is to free up the seats on either side of you on the bus/tube/subway then great, but if not then keep this title stowed away on your bedside table.

 

Justin Bieber First Step 2 Forever: My Story

If I was a teenage girl then I might well not want to be seen in public without this book, but I am not…

 

The Joy of Solo Sex

I am already familiar with the subject matter, so I wouldn’t be tempted to read this in public, or anywhere in fact. Might I suggest that anyone who wants to discover more about ‘the joy’ read this in private.

 

The Wedding

Reading Danielle Steel in private is a traumatic experience, but in public…

 

The Sex Addiction Workbook

This book may be brimming with ‘proven strategies to help you regain control of your life’, but they are best consumed in private.

 

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Authors As Desserts V

It has been quite some time since I dedicated a post to the topic of authors and the desserts that in my opinion they/their writing corresponds to. Here are 8 authors and their corresponding desserts.

 

Karl Marx

Corresponding dessert: Guriev Porridge

Rationale: It is widely believed that this frugal Russian dessert was invented by a serf chef.

 

Ambrose Bierce

Corresponding dessert: Lemon sorbet

Rationale: Few desserts are more acerbic.

 

Barbara Cartland

Corresponding dessert: Valentine’s Cookies

Rationale: These pink, heart-shaped morsels all taste the same.

 

James Joyce

Corresponding dessert: Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Cake 

Rationale: This decadent, multi-layered cake is made from Guinness, Irish Cream and bittersweet chocolate.

 

Franz Kafka 

Corresponding dessert: Sourdough Cake

Rationale: This dessert offering might not taste sweet, but it does taste good.

 

Sophie Kinsella

Corresponding dessert: Pink Waffle

Rationale: Pretty, pink desserts containing little more than air are not for everyone.

 

Jane Austen

Corresponding dessert: Lemon Drizzle Cake

Rationale: This traditional English offering is bitter yet appetising.

 

Jilly Cooper

Corresponding dessert: Jam Roly Poly

Rationale: This warm, sticky dessert is a staple of the English upper classes.

 

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A Black Comedy of True Distinction

 

7 Books I Wouldn’t Be Seen Dead Reading In Public

This week’s post is dedicated to seven books that I would not be seen dead reading in public.

 

Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin

Celebrity autobiographies are anathema to me. This one looks particularly offensive.

 

The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese

I am sure that I am not alone in steering clear of book titles containing the word ‘voyeur’ when in public. Click here to read my review of The Voyeur’s Motel.

 

Riders by Jilly Cooper

There is a time and place for prurient filth. The public domain is not it.

 

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

No doubt Hitler would be furious if he discovered that his seminal work was being listed alongside tripe by Jilly Cooper & co. Its inclusion is because Hitler/Nazis tend to arouse strong reactions in people. If one is curious as to Mein Kampf’s contents, it is probably best exploring it in the privacy of one’s home.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey

‘A person who reads 50 Shades of Grey has no advantage over one who cannot read.’ Guy Portman

 

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

One would gain more respect clasping faecal matter in public than clasping a copy of this.

 

How To Meet Women On The Subway

Being seen reading this book on the subway/tube is one sure way of not meeting women on the subway/tube.

 

Which books would you not be seen dead reading in public?

 

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13 Unfortunate Book Titles

I hope you are in the mood for some unfortunate book titles. Here are 13 book titles that I consider to be unfortunate.

 

Fellow Fags

 

How To Raise Your IQ By Eating Gifted Children

 

How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men

 

The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

 

How To Succeed In Business Without A Penis

 

Games You Can Play With Your Pussy

 

Castration: The Advantages and the Disadvantages 

 

Street Sword: Practical Use of the Long Blade for Self Defense

 

Jesus And The ‘G’ Spot

 

Natural Harvest: A collection of semen-based recipes

semen

 

A Parent’s Guide To Preventing Homosexuality

 

The Pocket Book of Boners

 

A Passion For Donkeys

 

There will be a further instalment at some point.

 

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5 Recommended Novellas

In recent years I have read numerous novellas. This week’s post is dedicated to 5 of the more memorable ones. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (1958)

Truman Capote’s masterful ability to develop character is on full display in this compelling and at times humorous tale about an independent young society figure with a past shrouded in secrecy.

My Review: Holly Golighty is a young woman living in 1940s New York. The story follows Holly’s ambiguous relationship with a nameless narrator, whom we are told almost nothing...(more)

 

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1962)

Whilst the morose subject matter (Gulags) will not appeal to everyone, this reader, an avid Solzhenitsyn fan, is of the opinion that One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is one of the best books ever written.

My Review: Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is a former POW serving a 10 year term in a Gulag on the Kazakh steppe for being a spy. He is innocent. The book chronicles a single day of his existence…(more)

 

The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth (1939)

This compact and compassionate novella has an alcoholic tramp protagonist. Its author, Joseph Roth, succumbed to a premature alcohol related death shortly after finishing this allegorical tale.

My Review:  The Legend of the Holy Drinker is a short novella written by the iconic Austrian-Jewish author and journalist Joseph Roth. Set in Paris between the wars the story is…(more)

 

Queer by William S. Burroughs (1985)

Autobiographical in nature, the book is an account of Burroughs’s life in Mexico, during a troubled time in his life. The author adeptly portrays a deep sense of longing and loss. 

My Review: Queer is an unreciprocated love story, in which the protagonist craves love and attention from a young American by the name of Eugene Allerton. Set in the American ex-pat…(more)

 

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)

Heart of Darkness is a disturbing, multi-layered story about what can occur when man exists outside of civilisation’s constraints. Readers are challenged to question the existence of being.

My Review: A steamship sailing up a river through the jungles of The Congo, in search of Mr Kurtz, a mysterious ivory trader, who has reportedly turned native…(more)

 

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10 Ridiculous Religious Books

This week sees the fourth and final instalment in my religious books series. Here are 10 religious-themed books. I have added pithy/fictitious comments below each.

 

Experiencing Bible Science

‘Bible Science’ — That’s an oxymoron.

 

Scruples How to Avoid Them

Extreme supplication from the looks of things.

 

Saving Marriage by Applying Biblical Wisdom

That clenched fist is ominous.

 

The Christian Life is Exciting

The front cover fails to give that impression.

 

Can I Be a Christian Without Being Weird?

Yes, it is just about possible. But not if you are a Jehovah’s Witness.

 

Are Your Children Playing With Lucifer’s Testicles?

This is presumably a satire. I base this on its Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours (if Jesus wants it to).

 

If The Devil Made You Do It You Blew It

What if the Devil didn’t make you do it, and you did it of your own volition?

 

Why Confess Your Sins To A Priest

Why indeed?

 

Precious Princess Bible

Brimming with illustrations and captions, this pink abomination informs every little girl that she is ‘God’s precious princess’.

 

The Monsters Are Coming…

And the winner of worst front cover in the religious genre is…

 

8 Macabre Books

This week’s post is dedicated to 8 macabre books. I have added pithy comments/fictitious commentary below each.

 

Peculiar Children

Yes, that child is levitating.

 

Still Life: Adventures In Taxidermy

If you are seeking a ‘fascinating romp through the world of stuffed animals’ then look no further.

 

They Thirst

What a terrifying creature!

 

Dissection

This book is best tackled on an empty stomach.

 

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

I wonder what Jane Austen would make of this.

 

Rest In Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses

Intriguing: I am adding this to my reading list.

 

Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy

Yuck!

 

Do-It-Yourself Coffins

Yet another DIY coffin title! Erotica better watch out, there’s a new genre in town.

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I am the author of 3 novels. My next, Sepultura, is due for release in January 2018. It is the sequel to the satirical, black comedy, Necropolis.

A Black Comedy of True Distinction

Dyson Devereux works in the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council… 

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7 Books for 7 Moods

This week sees the fifth instalment in my series of posts devoted to books for different moods. Here are more 7 books for 7 moods/states of mind. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

In the mood for a Transgressive classic? (Perhaps you have seen the film but not read the book)

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange is a ground-breaking and controversial work set in a dystopian near future. It leaves many questions to ponder concerning behaviourism, free will and the purpose of punishment. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Interesting

 

Are you in the mood for something psychological, but don’t have much time. If so you might like:

Chess by Stefan Zweig

Chess offers the prospect of salvation, but also the threat of dissolution in this short psychological novella, which explores the delicate divide that separates genius from obsession and madness. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Mildly intriguing

 

Tired of the joys of summer? Then how about:

Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Whilst the drab setting, morose subject matter, distressing scenes, and length (nearly 600 pages) will not appeal to everyone, this reader was captivated by the book’s diverse characters and poignant prose. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Superb characterisation

 

Feel like reading an iconic humour book?

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner is less concerned with plot than focusing on absurd situations, designed to elicit a humorous response. The book boasts an obnoxious protagonist called Ignatius. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Overrated

 

If you are in the mood for something dark and poignant then I would recommend:

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The Pearl is a novella about a destitute Mexican pearl diver who finds a very valuable pearl. It is a parable about the darker side of human nature that illustrates how riches can be illusory. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Good

 

If you are in the mood for a post-apocalyptic classic then look no further:

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

On the Beach is a cautionary and timeless post-apocalyptic novel whose central theme is an exploration of how people confront imminent death. This reader was impressed by the author’s adept characterisation. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Memorable & Melancholic.

 

If you are in the mood for some contemporary non-Fiction then this might appeal:

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Composed of short, engaging chapters, Dreamland is a meticulously researched, multi-faceted work about addiction, entrepreneurship and the perils posed by unrestrained corporate greed. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Compelling

 

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15 Author Quotes about Ebooks

It was not so long ago that some were predicting that the end was nigh for printed books. However, in the UK at least, it is being reported that ebook sales are now declining whilst sales of printed books are on the rise.

The other day I came across this excellent quote by Stephen Fry (see below) about Kindle. This got me thinking about what my fellow authors think about ebooks/ebook readers. On conducting some research I discovered these perceptive and amusing author quotes on the subject. Here are 15 author quotes about ebooks/ebook readers:

Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators. — Stephen Fry 

Lovers of print are simply confusing the plate for the food. — Douglas Adams

It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd. — Penelope Lively 

Life without a Kindle is like life without a library nearby. — Franz S. McLaren, Home Lost

Growing up in the digital age, I’m expected to embrace all forms of modern technology with blissful ignorance. Books were always one of few escapes from this, because reading a book means not having to look at another damned glowing screen… — Rebecca McNutt

F@@k them is what I say. I hate those ebooks. They can not be the future. They may well be. I will be dead. I won’t give a s@@t. — Maurice Sendak

I guess you can call me “old fashioned”. I prefer the book with the pages that you can actually turn. Sure, I may have to lick the tip of my fingers so that the pages don’t stick together… Felicia Johnson

Have they all bought Kindles? I have one, and I use it most nights. I always imagine the books staring and whispering, Traitor! – but come on, I have a lot of free first chapters to get through. — Robin Sloan  

Stock complaints about the inherent pleasure of ye olde format are bandied about whenever some new upstart invention comes along. Each moan is nothing more than a little foetus of nostalgia jerking in your gut. — Charlie Brooker

If e-book readers were invented before print books, (petty things such as) the smell of ink would have been some people’s only reason for not abandoning e-books. — Mokokoma Mokhonoana 

They’ll get my Kindle when they pry it from my cold dead hands, if my corpse will release it. — Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who like to read on the subway, or who do not want other people to see how they are amusing themselves, or who have storage and clutter issues, but they are useless for people who are engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books… — Joe Queenan, One for the Books

If you drop a book into the toilet, you can fish it out, dry it off and read that book. But if you drop your Kindle in the toilet, you’re pretty well done. — Stephen King

You don’t see people getting pulled over by the police for reading ebooks on their smartphones. — Jason Merkoski 

How do you press a wildflower into the pages of an e-book? — Lewis Buzbee, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History 

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