Should you judge a book by its size? AKA: Does size really matter?

A Kindle and a pile of books

So, I have started reading and am really enjoying Dominion by CJ Sansom, but there is one thing that I am struggling with. See, for a while now I have been resorting to “Old School” reading aka, buying paper instead of electronic, but I am really wishing that I had gone the electronic route with the book. It’s a whopper! So much so that it barely fits into my handbag in the morning, and it adds a load of weight to one shoulder (picture a 40-something woman sloped to one side while walking to get the bus, and that’s just about right, lol). It’s 717 pages in length & measures: 19 x 13 x 5 cm – 5cm thick!!

Then there’s the problem with holding it to read. I don’t have overly small hands, but I find it difficult to hold this book to read. It’s the kind of book that needs to be sat on a desk to read, which in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a) I don’t have a desk, except at work & I suspect that my boss would frown upon me sitting at said desk to read while I am actually meant to be working, and b) I usually read, as previously mentioned in another post, whilst sitting on the bus for 30-40 minutes on the journey to and from work. So, since I am finding this book hard to hold it has meant that on several occasions I have chosen to stare out the window, or cat nap rather than read. Not good! Also, I sometimes suffer from a pinched nerve in my left wrist, which I have self diagnosed as a repetitive strain injury, and reading/holding Dominion has aggravated this as

So, when does a paperback book become too big? Is there such a thing as too big? Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that this particular book is exactly as long as it needs to be, but maybe there was another way of doing this? How do the publishers decide on what format a paperback is going to be in? I realise that this last sentence doesn’t make much sense to anyone but me, but what I am trying to say is, couldn’t they have gone with one of those paperbacks that are larger than a standard paperback? Like this: (apologies, this was the best example I could find)Different size

The larger size book would have meant more words per page, therefore less pages needed, therefore thinner book. To all you authors out there, have you ever seen one of your books and thought “oh boy, that’s sorta big.”

…Surely I cannot be the only one who finds chunky books hard to read?






by | February 16, 2014 · 10:56 pm

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great GatsbyI love the clothing of the 20’s & while I appreciate that it wasn’t necessarily a great time in American history, with the Stock Market crash, Prohibition, Gangsters etc, but you have to admit that the clothes were great! I had wanted to go see The Great Gatsby at the cinema, but my other half wouldn’t go see it with me unless I read the book first. I should have realised it was a trick! He knows I am not a great lover of the “Classics” – I really cannot say I have picked up a “Classic” to read & have walked away after finishing thinking “I am so glad I read that book!”. More like “Oh lord, that was painful!”. They bore me. Sadly, Gatsby didn’t break the pattern.

The Great Gatsby takes place during the summer of 1922, in Long Island, New York. The story is narrated by an apprentice bond trader named Nick Carraway, who is Gatsby’s neighbour, & he takes us through the summer by narrating the interactions between his cousin, Daisy, her husband Tom Buchanan, Gatsby & himself. It’s a summer filled with parties, weird interactions with millionaires, petrol station owners, actors, actresses and small-time gangsters. It’s a story full of love triangles, deceit, parties, well, and not much else.

I really don’t understand what makes this book a classic. It is meant to be one of the best examples of American literature….Well, I found the characters annoying, didn’t like Fitzgerald’s writing style & had to force myself to finish it. I was bored with the whole thing & was quite glad when it was finished. And I never did see the film, lol!

2 Stars

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by | February 2, 2014 · 4:58 pm

Thursday at Noon by William F. Brown

Thursday at Noon by William F. Brown

Amazon Product Description

A Mideast thriller novel set in Cairo in 1962. Richard Thomson was already having a very bad day when someone left a corpse lying on the rear steps of his hotel. Its head had been lopped off like a ripe melon and had been posed so it could look back down at its own body. A message? In this mystery thriller, there’s no doubt about it. Thomson is a burned-out CIA Agent and the body belongs to Mahmoud Yussuf, a fat petty thief and some-time spy who is selling photographs of a long-abandoned RAF base in the Egyptian desert. What the photos have to do with a dead Israeli Mossad agent, Nazi rocket scientists, the fanatical Moslem Brotherhood, and two missing Egyptian tank regiments could start the next Arab-Israeli War or stop it. Alone and on the run, no one believes Thomson’s story — not the CIA, the US Ambassador, and most assuredly not Captain Hassan Saleh, Chief of the Homicide Bureau of the Cairo Police, who wants to hang Thomson for murder. Like Night of the Generals, this is a murder mystery wrapped inside a CIA spy thriller and historic fiction. The slums of Cairo are a tinder box of discontent and the first faint whiffs of a military coup against the shaky, new government of Abdel Gamal Nasser are in the air. Tick Toc, Tick Toc! In this CIA action adventure and suspense thriller, if he doesn’t solve the mystery, something is about to blow up in Thomson’s face at Noon on Thursday.

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by | January 26, 2014 · 10:50 pm

Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

ImageI read & absolutely loved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet so was quite excited when I saw that Jamie Ford had a new book coming out. At Christmas I added it onto my wishlist & hoped that it would be one of the books my OH would choose to buy for me. He did & I was so excited when I opened it on Christmas day & knew that of the 7 books that I had received, this would be the first that I would read.

Songs of Willow Frost is the story of William Eng, a Chinese-American orphan living in a Seattle orphanage in the 1930’s, during the depression. The sisters in charge of the orphanage take all of the boys to the cinema for their collective birthday celebrations, where William believes that the advertisements for an upcoming show features his mother, whom he had always assumed is dead.

William becomes obsessed with the idea that his ah ma is still alive, that she is Willow Frost. He decides that he must see her, to find out why, if she is still alive has she not come to the orphanage to claim him? William sets out to find the answers from Willow who is currently in Seattle on tour, with is best friend, Charlotte. If William does find his mother, is he ready to hear what her answers to his questions are?

Songs of Willow Frost, I am sad to say did not captivate my like Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet. I couldn’t put down Hotel, and I struggled to make myself continue to read Songs. It just didn’t grab me didn’t make me fall in love with the characters & basically didn’t make me care. I wanted so much to love this story, but instead I found myself bored and skipping ahead, skimming the book to see if it was going to get better. It didn’t. At least not for me. I found a lot of the story unbelievable, but they were things that I can’t really get into without giving away too much of the story. Basically, I guess it just boils down to Songs of Willow Frost just not working for me.

3 Stars

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Filed under Relaxing reading

Hi! Remember me?

It has been 248 days since I last wrote a post here on this blog. Wow, really? 248 days? Holy crap. Where has the time gone?

Well, the time certainly hasn’t been spent avoiding books, quite the opposite, really. I’ve read (at a quick estimate) 20+ books in that time, but for some reason I just could not face taking the time to sit here at my computer & write about it. It wasn’t a case of writer’s block, not really. I just couldn’t be bothered. There, I’ve said it! For some reason writing this blog became an act of drudgery, something I dreaded on a weekly basis. I didn’t want to stop writing, but for a while I kept comparing what I was doing to all the other successful book blogs out there & that made me start to wonder why I was bothering, which then became the drudgery.

So, unintentionally (or maybe not?) I started staying away. The reading continued, but the writing stopped. I made excuses to myself, told myself that I needed to expand my reader base by getting someone else to write posts, someone who reads different things that I do – maybe YA would do the trick? So, I enlisted the help of my nephew, but it’s hard to encourage someone else who’s new to blogging when you really aren’t that enthusiastic yourself. So, 248 days has passed & I keep thinking about this place & about the reasons I started this in the first place. It was for me. As a record of the books I was reading, as a way of keeping a journal of the thoughts & feelings that by books were invoking. Somewhere along the way that all got lost. Lost in the competition to get noticed, to have people find (and like) my little piece of the bloggosphere.

Now, I won’t lie & say that I don’t still want people to find this blog, think it’s a nice little place to come to see some interesting books & see what I thought about them, cause I do. Only, now it matters a lot less than before. Before I go to the point that I was more concerned with the stats than the real reason I was blogging. So, now its back to the beginning. Back to writing (and reading) for me, and if people find me, then great. If they don’t, then I’m ok with that too. I’ll still be doing reviews of books from authors, but they will be few & far between.

So, Happy New Year & here’s to a book-filled year!

Ceinwenn xx




by | January 1, 2014 · 3:06 am