Handy, helpful and humorous!

The Pocket Book of Proofreading: A guide to freelance proofreading & copy-editing - William Critchley


As a proofreader I found this extremely useful with lots of tips and tricks even I didn't know about! 
William Critchley provides a light-hearted and often humorous look into the world of proofreading and copy-editing. 
There are plenty of examples and step-by-step instructions and some useful exercises towards the end for you to practice. 
I have given the book four stars - as opposed to full marks - for two reasons:
A. I found some of his symbols very outdated compared to today's marks and at times this was a bit confusing.
B. The constant reference to a bear called Archie and Eva Longoria was both tedious and unnecessary. I am not sure why he kept mentioning them and am still unsure of who Archie is. Although some explanation is given at the end. Even so it got very tiresome! 
Overall though, I would recommend this to beginners and experienced proofreaders looking to maybe refresh or rekindle old-style memories.

Running Out of Steam

Raising Steam - Terry Pratchett


I like eating treacle. Sometimes, when I fancy something sweet to eat I'll toast some bread and then add a spoonful of treacle. Delicious! 
What I don't like doing with treacle is swimming through it. This book felt as if I was doing exactly that. Swimming through treacle.
A book of equal length (375 pages, give or take), will usually take me a week to ten days to finish. If I finish a book in that time it means that I enjoyed the book. If it takes me less then I REALLY enjoyed it. You may have some idea of how much I enjoyed this book then, when I tell you it took me a MONTH to finish. Yes, a whole MONTH!
And it is frustrating because the two things I love in books - and come to think about it, in general - are fantasy and comedy. So, when an author who specialises in both fantasy and comedy writing, comes along, you'd think I'd be in 7th heaven. Nope. I'm sorry. This was more like Hell for me. The writing was disjointed, confusing and more importantly, boring. Being a book entitled 'Raising Steam', I expected it to have something to do with trains, you don't need to be Stephen Fry to work that one out. What I didn't expect it to be about was JUST trains. And branch lines. And footplates. And chuff knows what else. It was just too monotonous. OK, there was a bit of comedy in there and I did find myself snorting out loud on occasion but sadly, not enough. And on the fantasy side, um...Where was it? There were no wizards, no spells cast, just nothing fantastical at all.
I have tried tried to like Terry Pratchett's works. I have, after all, read six of his books (and heard one too, 'Dodger', on audiobook) but once again I have been disappointed and I will not be buying anymore of his work. And I am genuinely sorry to say that.
This felt more like a chore than an enjoyment and books aren't meant to be that way - not to me anyway.
Sorry but only 3 out of 10 for this.

We now have a podcast!

Hi Guys!


Yes. It's true! We now have a podcast! YAY!


The podcast will be in conjunction with my blogs here.


So just to let you know a little about the podcast. It will be mainly a book review podcast but will also be about my journey from amateur writer to world renowned bestseller :-).


It will be on iTunes within a day or two but if you can't wait to hear it, go here and listen to it now! It's free!


Hope you are all having an amazing day.



Reading progress update: I've read 127 out of 375 pages.

Raising Steam - Terry Pratchett

Well I' m about a third of the way through this and to be honest I'm struggling. Now, don't get me wrong, I am going to finish it, but I feel like I've fell into a river of treacle and land is 100 miles away!


The thing is, I love fantasy, and I love humour, so both together is heaven for me; except this seems a bit like Limbo. I feel like I'm stuck halfway between Heaven and Hell. The problem for me is the language Pratchett uses; it annoys me. Its almost like reading a 21st century version of the bible. The Terry Pratchett version. Lots of "But he said" and "For what purpose am I King. I will tell you..." I'm half expecting a "Verily I say unto thee..." soon. It just seems a bit disjointed.


I'm still a bit confused about the storyline too. There seems to be two or three sub plots but I'm damned if I know how they connect. Maybe I will find out later in the book. The only thing that makes sense to me at the minute is the main storyline and after 120 or so pages it is getting a bit more interesting, so I'll keep plugging away and see where it leads me. Hopefully not to Hell.


A - Z Challenge - D



Do The Birds Still Sing in Hell?


Rating: 5/5


I can't stop raving about this book. It is simply the best book I have ever read (so far).


It tells the story of Horace 'Jim' Greasley who joins the war effort in 1939 and is captured by the Nazis and sent to a POW camp for the remainder of the war. Nothing exciting about that you may be saying to yourself; except for this, Horace Greasley escapes no fewer than 200 times to be with Rosa, a Silesian girl whom he meets whilst incarcerated.


This isn't just another war story. It is a love story, a story of comradeship, a story of loyalty and a story of sadness. Your emotions will be trampolined from joy to laughter to outright anger and to tears. You will not want to put this book down!


Some of the language used is quite coarse and so readers of a sensitive nature need to be aware. Personally, I didn't mind too much but even I was a little taken aback in parts. This, however, was wartime and was to be expected, and I thought it tied in very well with the story. Milder language, in my opinion, would have seemed out of place.


And I'm going to stick my neck out a little here (but I feel it is a safe bet). This book WILL be made into a film. Watch this space!


If you only read one book this year, make it this one. Few of you will be disappointed.



A - Z Challenge

OK, so it's a little bit late (but not too much. It is only the first week in January, after all) but I have set myself a challenge for this year and that is to read a book whose title begins with each letter of the alphabet. As I read them I will cross them off my list and so, by December time I - hopefully - should be around the Y/Z mark (It should be interesting).


I will also give an out of 5 mark for each book along with a review.


Wish me luck!