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Early Riser – Jasper Fforde

early riser

Every Winter, the human population hibernates.

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The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts


The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts
Published in: 2018
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.


The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.

One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.

Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.

And The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…

Book Worm’s Thoughts: This is another case of it’s me not the book, this is actually a well written interesting psychological thriller the problem for me is the story is just too close to home. The events echo what happened to James Bulger in 1993 and while the characters and events are different enough that this is not a retelling of that horrific murder they are still too close for me to feel comfortable reading this as entertainment.

The author does raise some interesting points regarding the legal system with regard to how children are treated compared with adults for the same crime, it questions whether an 18 year old who has spent almost half their life in prison is the same person as the 10 year old convicted of the crime. It also considers how can someone reintegrate into society if they were never actually a functioning member of it to begin with.

Other issues examined are the idea of forgiveness and moving on no matter what horrors you have suffered. The protection of the families of the criminals while the victims family have no protection as the worst has already happened to them. The idea of nature vs nurture and is it possible that some people are just born evil with no redeeming features and should be locked away forever.

Who would like this: Trigger Warnings for child torture and murder (although this is not graphically portrayed) personally I can’t recommend this to anyone old enough to remember the James Bulger case maybe younger readers would be able to read this with no issue.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

Read Around the World: Haiti


Facts about Haiti borrowed from this website:

  • The official name of Haiti is the ‘Republic of Haiti’
  • The capital of Haiti is Port-au-Prince.
  • The official languages of Haiti include French and Haitian Creole.
  • Majority of the people in Haiti are Roman Catholics, followed by Protestants and Voodoo followers.
  • The currency of Haiti is Gourde.
  • Around 95 percent of the population of Haiti comprises of Blacks, while Multiracial, Arabs and Europeans make up the rest 5 percent.
  • Haiti was the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world.
  • Haiti is the only nation in the world whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion.
  • Haiti was the first nation in Latin America to gain its sovereignty
  • Haiti is the only independent Francophone nation in Latin America. All the other French-speaking Latin American nations are overseas departments of France.
  • Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.
  • Hispaniola, along with Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, is a part of an island chain known as the Greater Antilles.
  • Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The term ‘Haiti’ is derived from ‘Ayti’, a Taino word that means ‘mountainous land’.
  • Did you know? Haiti is not considered a third world country. The infrastructure is so weak in this country that it is actually considered a fifth-world country, and a first in its league.
  • French rule was established in Haiti in 1790s, when the uprising by slaves brought an end to slavery.
  • Haiti gained independence from France on 1st January 1804, when it was declared a Republic.
  • Haiti annexed Santo Domingo between 1822 and 1844.
  • Jean-Bertrand Aristide became the first democratically elected president of Haiti, in 1990.
  • The main industries of Haiti are sugar refining, flour milling, textiles and cement.
  • Decades of violence and instability in Haiti has made it the poorest country in the Americas.

Some Haitian Authors:

  • Josaphat-Robert Large
  • Jacques Roumain
  • Félix Morisseau-Leroy
  • Frankétienne
  • Jean Price-Mars
  • Louis-Philippe Dalembert
  • Marie-Célie Agnant
  • Ida Faubert
  • Edwidge Danticat

My book for Haiti:

The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier (1001 Book)

This was a 3 star read for me but that is not the books fault it is entirely my fault. This book requires the reader to have some knowledge of the history of Haiti and how the slave revolution lead to the first black led nation in the world and what then happened to that first leader.

The book itself was a quick read I then spent a couple of hours using wiki to find out what it was I had just read.

This is the first example of “Marvellous Reality” as opposed to “Magical Realism” and the distinction lies in the fact that both the marvellous and the real version of events live along side of each other and depend entirely on the beliefs and view of those who describe them. The black natives see the “Marvellous” in events while the colonial whites only see the mundane “Reality”

What books did you read for Haiti?

Do we have any readers in Haiti? and if we do what books would you recommend we read?

Next Destination: Macedonia what books will you be reading? What books would you recommend we read?



Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen


Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen
Published in: 2019
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★★]

This ARC was provided by Orion Publishing Group (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: If you could look at one life in two different ways, what would you see?

Louis and Louise are separated by a single moment in time, a strike of chance that decided their future. The day they were born is when their story began.

In one, Louis David Alder is born a male.
In the other, Louise Dawn Alder is born a female.

Louis and Louise are the same in many ways – they have the same best friends, the same parents, the same dream of being a writer and leaving their hometown in Maine as soon as they can. But because of their gender, everything looks different. Certain things will happen in their lives to shape them, hurt them, build them back up again. But what will bring them back home?

Book Worm’s Thoughts: I love the premise of this book and I love the execution there were several moments when I felt myself tearing up and that ending what more could a reader want?

The book is told from 3 different viewpoints we have the non gender specific view of “Lou” who is both Louis and Louise at the moments in there lives where gender doesn’t matter but important events still occur like the moment of birth (very important that). Then you have the view of the male Louis and the female Louise.

Born on the same day to the same parents in the same papermill town in Maine Louis and Louise really do share one life. They have the same friends and the same dates will be significant to both of them but in different ways and in the end it is the same reason that will bring them both back home to Maine to revisit the past, to learn from their mistakes and to give and seek forgiveness.

The book tackles important issues about perception, about money, about entitlement, about small town life, about what it takes to make a family and most importantly the influence of gender on your whole life.

As well as having great characters the setting of small town Maine is really brought to life and is the butt of several affectionate jokes.

“That’s another way you can tell you’re in main: 70 per cent of radio stations, when you land on them, are playing either the Eagles of Bob Seger”

“Or Stephen King! He makes loads of money. And you’re from Maine, you’re halfway there right?”

“Maine front doors are for company, for salesmen and out-of-town guests. They have doorbells and knockers for strangers to announce their presence. The back door is for everyday coming and going, for family”

Then we have the touching side of the story:

“She smiles, and she’s the girl he’s known all his life, the girl who borrowed his favourite book and took care not to break the spine or crease the pages.”

“That’s the point of funerals, she supposes, much like the point of all the casseroles that have been turning up. They’re excuses for the offering of kindness. They’re meant to make the living feel less alone.”

Who would like this? I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good family story, anyone who enjoys a quirky storyline and anyone who likes stories about small town America and the class difference.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 


The Binding by Bridget Collins


The Binding by Bridget Collins
Published in: 2019
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★★]

This ARC was provided by Harper Collins UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

Book Worm’s Thoughts: First how gorgeous is that cover? The book is split into three sections and each section beginning has another gorgeous illustration, while the images may be beautiful the words inside are much darker. One of the central themes of this book is the moral ambiguity created when you can forget everything that hurts you or that you have done to hurt others. Used in the right way binding could be a force for good in society but in the wrong hands there is no end to the damage that can be caused.

At its heart this is a beautifully told love story about star crossed lovers. I enjoyed the way the relationship developed slowly out of initial mistrust and suspicion. The romance felt real as did the need for secrecy and the conflict that drives the lovers apart. While the central characters may have found happiness at the end of the story I think the door has been left open for a sequel one in which the morality of binding can be explored further along with the trade in memories for money, what drives people to give up part of their lives and how do they live with the blanks.

As a book addict I found it intriguing to visit a world where books are bad, and where all books are non fiction. This is not a world I want to live in but a 448 page visit was pure escapism from the worries of the real world.

Who would like this? First a warning this book does involve sexual abuse and manipulation. Warnings out of the way if you like books with a fairy tale feel I would say check this out. Without spoilers the central romance is well worth reading.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 


1001 Book Review: London Fields by Martin Amis


Murder mystery where the victim manipulates the murderer…

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1001 Book Review: Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe


My first 1001 read of the year…

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The Chosen Ones by Howard Linskey


First book of 2019 Done!

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