CTG’s Bookish Confessions #amreading


About ten days ago @bloke_book challenged me and a few others to confess our darkest bookish secrets. Having procrastinated for a little while, I’ve bitten the bullet, and am fessing up to my crimes against books …

Have you ever damaged a book?
Define “damaged”. If cracking a book’s spine before you start reading it is damage, then yes. I can’t help myself. Also turning corners down to mark my place. I do this as standard – there’s no point me having a book mark, I always lose it and then I lose my place! I’m also prone to dropping books in the bath (my favourite place to read). Some books escape with a tide mark around the bottom, others fall victim of a full drowning and have to be hung up to dry out! A book is there to be read, and it’s going to get bruised and dirtied up in the process – that’s my view anyway!

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?
I try hard not to. If it belongs to someone else I’m extra especially careful with it (I don’t read it in the bath). BUT I cannot guarantee not to turn the corners of the pages down – it’s a habit, I just can’t stop!

How long does it take you to read a book?
It depends on the book. Some – like an action thriller – might be a couple of days, others might be longer. It also depends why I’m reading it – if I’m on a deadline for review it has to be fast, whereas if it’s for me, for fun, then I can take my time.

Books you haven’t finished?
Loads! I’m easily bored, so if a book isn’t doing it for me I stop reading immediately.

Hyped/Popular books you didn’t like?
Yes, but I’m not telling! What I will say is that spoilers can be a nightmare with books hyped from a long way before publication. I didn’t read GONE GIRL when it came out because someone had already told me the twist! (I think it’s a great story though, the book and the film).

Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?
I’m happy to tell about any book I’m reading (unless talking about the book is embargoed until a certain date by the author or their PR).

Are you a fast/slow reader?

Both. Depends on the book and my mood.

Do you like to buddy read?
I’m not sure what this is. I like talking about books with my blogger friends and getting recommendations though.

Do you read better in your head/out loud?
If I’m reading someone else’s book I read it in my head. If I’m reading my own while editing, I read it out loud.

If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

One book!! *gasps* I really don’t know, but it would be a close run thing between Michael Crichton’s A STATE OF FEAR and Lee Child’s KILLING FLOOR. Or maybe a Jilly Cooper book – either RIDERS or POLO! Simply because with all these books I’d be happy to re-read them over and over and over again.

Now it’s my turn to tag some people so I pick: Susi Holliday, Liz Barnsley, Alex Caan, Rod Reynolds and Mark Hill.

And while they’re putting together their confessions, be sure to check out what others in the chain – @Bloke_book @andymartinink and @KarinaMSzczurek have already confessed to …




EDEN by Dean Crawford

EDEN cover image

EDEN cover image

What the blurb says: “If the world feel apart overnight, what would you do to protect your family? When a horrific natural disaster causes the collapse of civilisation and strands Cody Ryan deep inside the Arctic Circle, he is forced to embark upon an impossible journey. Thousands of miles from home in a brutal new world where only the strongest will survive, Cody and his companions must conquer seemingly insurmountable odds in  a search for their loved ones, the limits of their own humanity and the rumoured last refuge of mankind … Eden.”

Be warned. This isn’t a book for the faint-hearted.

Cody Ryan, a family man with a dark secret, takes a last minute job to fill in for an injured team member on a scheduled research expedition to the Arctic Circle. What he doesn’t know is that the team have been put together not only for the advertised research into the Arctic environment, but also to ensure a clash of personalities for a secondary covert research mission investigating the effect of isolated environments on teams as preparation for future landings on Mars.

In the first part of the book the team struggle to acclimatise in the remote and unforgiving Arctic conditions. When the team leader suspects that the secret Cody is trying to keep hidden involves a murder, tension comes to a head between the two.  This, combined with the team fracturing into two groups and the rising distrust, and dislike, amongst team members adds to the conflict.

But when all personnel on the Army base nearby evacuate their posts without warning, the story takes an even more dramatic turn. Following a solar storm, the team are left with no means of communication, dwindling supplies and injured team members. With little choice they decide to battle the elements to get out of the Arctic and reunite with their families. It’s only when they make contact with a ship that they realise the full impact of the situation, and at this point the story turns into a true post-apocalyptic thriller.

As the story takes on a global scale, each of the characters is forced to consider just how far they are willing to abandon their values, and their humanity, in order to get home. With echos of the social disintegration issues explored in The Road, LOST and The Walking Dead, the answer certainly isn’t always pleasant, but it does make for some gripping reading.

Personally, and as someone who hasn’t read a great deal of post-apocalyptic thrillers, I found it a little difficult to suspend disbelief at times (I won’t say why, no spoilers here!) but I still wanted to keep reading. The epic nature of the story reminded me of films like The Day After Tomorrow and the fabulous techno-thrillers of the late Michael Crichton.

A vivid, thought provoking and page-turner of a read.


[with thanks to Dean Crawford for my Kindle copy of EDEN]

Classic Favorite: State of Fear by Michael Crichton

cover image

cover image

State of Fear by Michael Crichton has to be one of my favorite books.

It’s one of those books that, if I want the guarantee of a great read, I’ll pull down from my book shelves and re-read.

Filled with Crichton’s trademark blend of science and action, its subject is global warming and, more specifically, how it can be used as a weapon. Fast-paced, with intrigue, great characters and a plot that twists and turns across the globe, I’ll fly through the 675 pages in just a few hours.

I’m a real Crichton fan, but this one is definitely my favorite.