Friday Finds (5) – 24 October 2014


Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading which encourages you to share the books you have discovered over the past 7 days with your fellow bloggers. Whether you found them in a bookshop, online, in the library or just heard about them from a friend, Friday Finds is a great way to spread the love with other readers. All books are linked to their Goodreads pages so you can discover them too.

I surprised myself with my finds this week, as the first two on the list are not normally the kinds of books I would read. Not because I don’t think they’re worth my time, but simply because they’re not my taste. I believe in broadening my horizons, however, especially when it comes to literature, so I’m happy to have them on my TBR list. I would be delighted if I enjoy them as that would encourage me to explore these genres further.

The first is a crime novel and the second is a psychological thriller: two very popular and perfectly respectable genres, but ones I rarely, if ever, choose to read. I’ll try to explain why. For whatever reason, I have always been VERY sensitive to depictions of graphic violence and torture (both physical and psychological). I understand why these things can be important elements of storytelling, but my vivid imagination runs wild and these images take root in my mind and remain there for years. There is a scene I once read in a Karin Slaughter novel that my friend left lying around 10 years ago which STILL makes me nauseous. Don’t even get me started on things like the Saw film franchise, which I once forced myself to watch the first of in a misguided attempt to immunise myself against the horror (needless to say, it didn’t work AT ALL). So, basically, I’m a giant wuss, but I’m trying to address that (again) with my first two finds this week.

1) Quite Ugly One Morning (Jack Parlabane #1) by Christopher Brookmyre: This is a crime novel and there were a few elements in the synopsis which made me want to set aside my aversion to this genre and click the “Want to Read” button. Firstly, it’s set in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, which is only about an hour north of where I live. Secondly, it won the First Blood Award for the best debut crime novel in the UK, so it’s obviously a good quality example of crime fiction for me to start with. Thirdly, and this is what really swayed me, it’s described as being “laced with acerbic wit and cracking dialogue” with a protagonist “who is not afraid to bend the laws of the land (or even the laws of gravity) to get to the truth.” The laws of gravity part has me curious, and the promised humour should (hopefully) take the edge off any gruesome descriptions. Fingers crossed!

2) Shift by Em Bailey: The words “chilling psychological thriller” in a synopsis would usually be enough to make me move on to a different book, however this one sounds really interesting and I want to give it a shot. Olive has a troubled past and only wants to take her meds, lay low at school, and try to forget about “the incident”. When manipulative new girl Miranda arrives and gets her “parasitic” claws into queen bee Katie, she causes Olive to question her own sanity and wonder if she’s right about Miranda … or just plain crazy. I’m pretty sure that this is on the tame end of the psychological thriller spectrum, but that’s probably a good thing for me!

3) Being Here by Barry Jonsberg: Now this book is more my style! “Sixteen-year-old Carly is interviewing Leah Cartwright for her local history project. But Leah resists, determined instead to tell her own story: that of a lonely child on an isolated farm, a girl whose only escape is into the world of books. And when Adam appears in the orchard Leah discovers a friend … an unlikely boy who changes everything.” Like a lot of us, I can definitely relate to a protagonist who escapes her real life by delving into books, and I’m interested to learn more about Leah’s story which weaves together her past, her present – and her secrets.

4) Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories by Alisa Krasnostein: “What do a disabled superhero, a time-traveling Chinese-American figure skater, and a transgendered animal shifter have in common?” I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out! As the title suggests, this is a collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories (my favourite genres) geared towards YA readers, and it sounds awesome. I don’t read a lot of short stories, but these sound really interesting and I look forward to delving into a collection of “fun, edgy, meditative, and hopeful” stories.

So what books have you discovered this week? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Friday Finds (5) – 24 October 2014

  1. I haven’t read that Christopher Brookmyre book, but his writing is definitely witty. I think this is a good choice for you to start with. He’s really funny, in person (I met him and saw a talk by him at Bloody Scotland) and in writing. 🙂

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