Honeycomb – A Book to Cherish

AFF – These is a link to the Amazon version of this book. I would get a small kickback if you bought a copy, at no expense to yourself. This is an honest review of a book I purchased myself.

This year Joanne Harris brought out a compendium book of short stories called ‘Honeycomb’. Originally this collection stemmed from a series of short Twitter stories that Joanne had written over the past few years. As a lover of these intriguing fairy tales, I got myself a copy straight away.

This is the beautiful hardback version.

Anyone who follows Joanne (@joannechocolat) on Twitter, will know that she likes to tell a story as a twitter thread, piece by piece. Usually each story commences with, ‘There is a story the bees used to tell…’ I seem to have a thing about bees lately, as ‘Writers and Lovers’ (recently reviewed here) also had a fascination with them.

In A Nutshell…

A Lacewing King travels the worlds and comes across a variety of odd and sometimes dark characters. For instance he meets the Spider Queen and the deadly Harlequinn. He acquires a coat of bees which often protects him from dangerous forces but his common sense frequently lets him down and he is drawn to hazardous situations.

These exquisite stories range from two to ten pages each and are easy to pick up and put down. When I have a spare five minutes I read another one and can guarantee it will give me something to ponder afterwards. Each tale presents a warning, a message or a clue that builds towards an overarching tapestry of stories. This work of fiction is gripping, imaginative and thought-provoking.

If you haven’t tried one of Joanne’s books before, start here. These bite size narratives are thrilling and fun. As soon as you have tried one of her stories, you will be keen to explore more of her work. She also writes YA books about Loki and the Norse Gods and is famous for writing ‘Chocolat’ which was turned into a movie with Judi Dench and Juliette Binoche.

Hopefully this review was useful and perhaps you want to read more of my book and TV related articles in future. If so, please follow my blog and help me grow a little.

Writers and Lovers – A Book Review

AFF – There is a link to buy this book below, for which I would get a small kickback at no extra cost to yourself. My opinions of this book are my own.

Love of writing and romantic love are different. One is instinctive, the other is confusing.

This is a book that I just finished reading. I read it in bite size portions due to my recently hectic schedule and every time I came back to it I was totally enthralled by the story.

The main character, Casey, was an in-debt waitress who longed to be a writer. Having just lost her mum and with a father who humiliated her during her teenage years by being sacked for something inappropriate (not with her), she was feeling a bit lost. Her spare time was spent refining a novel, which not only confused her but also drove her dreams.

Dating two guys, Silas and Oscar, she just could not decide what she really wanted. Torn between two guys who were also passionate about books, she was really confused. One was a published writer with a family of his own and a dead wife. The other was a fly-by-night romantic who was difficult to pin down. Ironically she met Oscar because of attending a book signing, taken to by Silas.

Review

Lily King is a new writer who has made a massive impact on the book market with this gorgeous debut novel. Her skilful narrative, written in the first person, from the viewpoint of Casey, has relatively short chapters but these are not numbered nor named, simply indicated by indentations.

I absolutely love the insights into Casey’s character. Her inner monologue is modern, clever and dabbles in mental health as she discusses the bees coming for her when she is stressed. Her constant sadness over her mother’s passing is an important backbone to the story but it is her love of writing that drives everything forward.

When she sends off her manuscript to multiple literary agents and it comes to crunch time for deciding who to properly date, what will she eventually decide?

I hope that you enjoyed my review. This book is a definite 5 star read, with bells on. If you want to read more reviews click here. Please consider following my newish blog and helping me grow.

US Amazon Link

UK Amazon Link

Books I Am In The Middle Of

As many of you probably know, I often have multiple books on the go at a time. It’s the way I always like it. There will be some paperbacks with book marks in and a few ebooks that I dip into at different times. Some get read more than others and certain books are saved for when I am in a particular mood.

For instance, at night time I often like to open up a drama, usually something contemporary and thought-provoking. During the day, if I am out and about I might read something lighter or more humorous, probably in the YA category. Then there are times when I feel nostalgic and want to delve into a famous person’s life by reading a fascinating autobiography.

Here are two books that I am in the middle of now. Let me know what you think of them or if you have read anything else by the same authors.

The Girl in the Blue Coat (by Monica Hesse)

This book is classed as a YA novel but it feels quite grown up to me. Set in historic Amsterdam during the German occupation, this narrative is especially interesting. Hanneke, a young adult whose boyfriend died in the war recently, finds herself trading in goods that are forbidden during a period of rationing.

In pursuit of little luxuries such as tea and cheese, Hanneke sneaks around between her dealer and the customers, passing on treasures that cheer people up. During one home visit she discovers an elderly lady who harbours a distressing secret. From that moment on, the lead character is consumed by a mission to find a missing Jewish girl.

A story of love and deception, this book is very well written with a brilliantly detailed plot. The setting is war time and there are so many well researched facts about the resistance, black market and sad events that underpinned that moment in history.

Masterfully told by Monica Hesse, this book is a must-read. I picked it randomly because the title intrigued me and I am so glad that I did. I shall give it another review when I have finished it but right now it is 5 stars, with bells on.

Fahrenheit 451 (By Ray Bradbury)

I am told this one is an American Classic. It certainly is peculiar in that it discusses a world in which books have been banned. The fire service goes around burning books when they are discovered, rather than putting out house fires. Being half way through, I am totally stuck in the middle of the drama, but it doesn’t excite me as much as other books that I’ve read recently.

Maybe I will warm to it more as it goes along but I honestly find some of the language sloppy and a bit unusual. There were parts when I wondered if the writer had actually spell-checked their work before publishing.

The context, though, is a great one. Obviously it explores freedom of speech by examining the importance of being heard through stories. Authors voices have been silenced and so people are beginning to memorise books and pass stories on that way instead.

Right now it would be a 3 star book but perhaps it will make me more interested by the end. It is definitely the lazy use of English that slows it down for me.

For other books that I really liked click here. If you happened to enjoy my blog then perhaps consider following it. That would make my day.