The stories so far

Prior to starting this blog, I had my nose in quite a few other books. Here is a rundown of the novels, music biographies and sports stories that I read in early 2013:

UNKNOWN PLEASURES by PETER HOOK – In my opinion ‘Hooky’ is the greatest bass player in rock andhooky roll. This memoir of his early years in Joy Division and New Order is pacey, funny, tragic and written in a really accessible no nonsense, no boring bits style. What every music biog should be. SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING: 8/10

PEACHES FOR MONSIEUR LE CURE by JOANNE HARRIS – Third story in the Chocolat trilogy and it’s great to have Vianne and co back. Expect Harris’ usual sensuous descriptions and evocative writing. A fabulous, rich tale.  SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 8/10yellow jumper

HOW I WON THE YELLOW JUMPER by NED BOULTING – A Tour de France memoir written by the sports presenter and writer. Really funny and interesting anecdotes on the perils of reporting on cycling’s biggest extravaganza. SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 8/10

TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F.SCOTT FITZGERALD – After watching an episode of the wonderful Richard E. Grant’s Hotel Secrets about the French Riviera’s classy establishments, I one booked a holiday to Nice and two bought this book. The programme darted around several hotspots that FSF frequented and that also feature in this classic tale of 1920s upper class escapades in the South of France. Fine writing and great characters in the most exotic of locations.  SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 7/10

STILL STANDING by PAUL O’GRADY – The latest in the series of autobiographies by the Scouse comic aka Lily Savage. Set during the most tragic period of his life (losing many friends to AIDS in the 1980s) this wasn’t him at his most hilarious but then it wouldn’t be given the time. Still suitably raucous in places.  SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 7/10

sick of shadowsIAM HALF SICK OF SHADOWS by ALAN BRADLEY – The latest in the Flavia De Luce Mysteries, my favourite series!  Flavia is an 11 year old sleuth, would be chemist and poisons obsessive.  In this, her fourth murder mystery, she becomes embroiled in a Christmas murder at Buckshaw when a film company use the old house for a shooting location. The best writing around for me with its quick, funny, twisting plot with huge characters. SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 10/10

DAVID BOWIE IS…by V&A – hardback exhibition book from the hugely successful Bowie retrospective at the V&Aziggy. Beautiful design and images. SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 9/10

ZIGGYOLOGY by SIMON GODDARD – Another Bowie book, this time by the author who created my much treasured Mozipedia: The Encyclopaedia of Morrissey and the Smiths. Ziggyology is a really well researched book, detailing how Ziggy Stardust came to be and everything that followed. It’s an unusual but interesting way of charting the life of Bowie’s most famous creation, slightly hard going at times due to background behind the background! Looks fabulous on the shelf! SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 7/10

LIAR LIAR (PANTS ON FIRE DETECTIVE AGENCY) by K.J LARSEN – The Pants on Fire Detective Agency is run by Cat DeLuca who specializes in avenging women who have been cheated upon. I picked this up at the airport hoping it was something interesting and quirky but I knew within the first couple of chapters that it wasn’t! It’s a book rife with clichés and is really way too light and fluffy for me. SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 3/10

GOING TO SEA IN A SIEVE by DANNY BAKER…The first in a series of planned memoirs from the brash Cockney broadcaster and writer. Hilarious from the first page. An actual “laugh out loud” book that took me a while to get through due to re-reading the funny bits over and over. The real star of the book isn’t Danny but his docker Dad, Spud. Great anecdotes of encounters with rock royalty too, from Marc Bolan to Queen. Brilliant stuff, does fade a little towards the end. SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 7.5/10gatsby

THE GREAT GATSBY by F. SCOTT FITZGERALD – I chose to delve into this book as my interest in the jazz age develops and also because this classic story gets another big screen make over this year. Like a lot of classics that you stumble upon years after you were meant to, it is of its time. Superb language and colourful writing but for me it is not as good a read as Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING 6/10

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