The Collected Works of A.J Fikry

 This is a late blog post that I drafted back on 15th May 2014 but never got round to publishing until 6th September 2014. So here it is, when my romance with A.J Fikry began …

 

THURSDAY 15th MAY 2014

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As I sit in my kitchen in my pj’s, the door propped open by an awful green chair, and the dregs of the day’s sun tickling my skin – I realise it’s the happiest I’ve felt in a while.

A few contributors to this are the lovely spell of sunny weather combined with a south-facing garden, and a kitchen I can sunbathe in while still wearing pyjamas.

The main contributor is the book.

The Collected Works of A.J Fikry.

It’s the one book I’ve read since The Hunger Games that has made an impression. It’s opened up a side of me I thought I’d lost. It’s wonderfully clever, thought-provoking and a must read for an avid reader and budding writer.

The flame’s always been there – from picture books to the likes of Peter Rabbit, Caterpillar and other children’s books – particularly a book about a cat and Egypt. The name of that book escapes me as it was so long ago (which later inspired The Ruby of Egypt.)

I’m so content reading this book. It stirs in me that passion for reading and writing that’s been burning since childhood; ignited by Enid Blyton’s Famous Five.

I’m a believer in things happen for a reason and, at a time in my life where I’m feeling lost, A.J Fikry has found me. Although I’m not a mother, my own mother’s intuition (a possible reaction to a recent pitiful/sorrowful blog post) handed me a copy of Psychologies magazine. The timing couldn’t have been better.

The self-help and uplifting mantra articles aside, it also recommends books. The first copy I read recommended A.J. So I downloaded it. I spent all night shift week reading it in between catnaps and sunbathing.

I’ve learnt so much in this book, not only about myself, but about how to write. I’ve also come across a few other books to read among the narrative itself.

I relate to Maya – my back story differs from her – quite the opposite in fact – but nose in books and a love of reading and writing.

It’s struck deep and you always remember a book that affected you and made you think.

I will always remember A.J.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Book A Day Challenge UK: Day 19 – Still Can’t Stop Talking About It – The Hunger Games

THURSDAY 19th JUNE 2014

Today’s #BookADayUK is one that I still can’t stop talking about.

The Hunger Games.

Image from Amazon, click here to get your copy ...

Image from Amazon, click here to get your copy …

I told you it would feature again. I’m not even sorry.

Recommended to me back in February 2012 by my lovely friend Andy Wright (who kindly let me borrow the book) I inhaled the whole story in a couple of days. You can even catch the urgent blog post I so desperately needed to write the morning after here.

Image from Amazon - click to grab your copy

Image from Amazon – click to grab your copy

The story has remnants of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ – which I read in August 2011 (catch my post here). Again, another Andy Wright read.

Both stories are tales of ‘What if’s?’

What if you don’t read these books?

I’ll tell you my fellow book lover – you are truly missing out.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Fifty Shades Trilogy – E L James

TUESDAY 17th JULY 2012

 

Yes, I too succumbed to the hype and joined the Fifty Shades Bandwagon; partly after a couple of friends were banging (excuse the pun) on about it on our girly trip to Ibiza and partly out of a need to satisfy my curiosity from a writer’s point of view – what has driven so many women wild about this book, causing a mass media frenzy and a sell out in supermarkets?

As an aspiring Indie Author, I like to know what makes readers tick; where the market is and if anything I write remotely slots into that area. After all, I love writing and there’s no greater pleasure than others enjoying your work.

Exactly three weeks since that trip to Ibiza, I finished reading the third book, Fifty Shades Freed, early this morning.

I have mixed thoughts on the books.

Credit has to be given for the storyline – it did have me intrigued and the author very cleverly leaves it on a cliffhanger at the end of Book Two, Fifty Shades Darker, which, with my insatiable inquisitive appetite, had me parting with a couple more English pounds to download the third.

However, I did find the dialogue very repetitive, to a point of annoyance where I was wishing the author had used a thesaurus more on these words; impassive and unreadable. Also, the phrases ‘lips parted to take a breath’ ‘turned on their heels’ (which I think appeared three times in one chapter in book three) were over used and I found myself getting irritated when I read them.

Saying that, I did enjoy the way the author created a comparison between Anastasia’s inner goddess and subconscious throughout the book, I thought that was a clever little insight into Anastasia’s personality and represented the constant battle of emotions she experienced.

The Author builds up the sexual tension in the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey, to an explosive Chapter Eight, which i think was really well done, keeping the reader in almost as much suspense as Anastasia.

Plus, I really enjoyed the snippet at the end of Book Three from Christian’s point of view when he first met Anastasia, reliving the experience through his eyes. This was a wonderful idea by the Author, particularly as it opens the gate of opportunity to release a book written entirely from Christian Grey’s point of view. This I would find interesting as he is such an angry, arrogant character it would be fabulous to see how his mind works.

I think back to when I tried to read the Twilight books, I had varied feelings about them (which I am still only halfway through reading) Again, this was to establish what all the fuss was about and I do think that those books could have been written a little bit better.

I compare them in a way to The Hunger Games, having read the first book in just over a day – something I had never done before. That addiction to the story and the writing lurks in my mind. Another fabulous writer is Rosamund Lupton, with her poetic dialogue making her books a beautiful read.

I think that the Fifty Shades trilogy, although it is not badly written, also proves that if you have the right target audience, you can be hugely successful, and that the best publicity is the oldest form; word of mouth.

Talking about it at work, in the hairdressers, nodding knowingly at the lady on the Metro who is reading the same book as you as another passenger looks on intrigued, harping on at your friends whilst on holiday with them, pouring your enthusiasm into your Facebook and Twitter statuses – women are excellent promoters of products without consciously realising it.

This is something to wake up and take note of.

I have dug myself a grave here, opening myself up to future criticism – I am going to have to practice what I preach now and ensure anything I write does not become repetitive.

Despite my criticism, I did actually enjoy the books and they pleasantly surprised me – as I envisaged with all the hysteria that it wouldn’t be all it was cracked up to be (as I am finding with the Twilight Saga although I am hoping I will be proved wrong when I eventually get into Book Three).

There is a love story in there that is carried along by a mystery that does keep you reeled in. I couldn’t put the books down so that is a good sign; grammar and dialogue can be corrected but if the story ain’t there – you are a bit screwed.

And I do think every woman (and possibly man!) should read it, to experience the Fifty Shades Revolution. (Purchase here)

Take a peek at the Author’s website here.

You can also follow her on Twitter @E_L_James

I think I am with millions of you ladies here when I say that every woman would love a bit of Christian in her life.

Love Missuswolf xxx

The Hunger Games – The World Will Be Watching (well, I will be, in less than 12 hours)

FRIDAY 23rd MARCH 2012

MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOUR 

Picture from IMDB

The day is finally here!

After immersing myself in the literary world of Panem and it’s Districts over the past couple of weeks, I am now ready to be transported there and have my imagination transferred into a visual tonight and I can not contain my excitement!

So much so that I am doing this blog before I go to work as I will have by no means any time to do this afterwards – I am now heading off for a ten hour shift which is followed by a quick change of clothing then I am whizzing off to the good old Cinema Complex.

LET THE HUNGER GAMES BEGIN!

Love Missuswolf

Twilight Saga – New Moon – Stephanie Meyer

SUNDAY 18th MARCH  2012

Evening Ladies and Gents, I hope you have all had a lovely day on this Mothering Sunday.

I wanted to update my blog with where I am at with my reading.

As of Friday – I had three books on the go; Wild Child 2 – Lilath which I am reading on My Beloved Kindle following winning a comp on Twitter playing fastest finger first to tweet to Author, Mike Wells, a name of one of his novels; The Hunger Games – Catching Fire in the form of na ordinary book and, feeling a bit neglected on My Beloved Kindle, New Moon.

Missuswolf New Moon CoverI managed to complete New Moon during sporadic moments of peace during the wee small hours on night-shift on Friday.

I must admit I have had this book on the go for the past couple of months and it has taken a back seat following my discovery of the amazing The Hunger Games trilogy.

Now, I am probably being controversial and going against popular belief – and I do apologise and I hope I don’t offend; but basically, I haven’t been that enthralled by the Twilight books. Admittedly, I felt left out not getting sucked into the Twilight phenomena and that is why I have decided to read the books this year.

The storyline is good, just not really my cup of tea and I find myself now comparing these books to The Hunger Games, which basically had me at hello and I have been obsessed with ever since (cinema tickets already booked for the film – out on Friday 23rd March folks) and I now know and appreciate what makes a good book.

Sadly, I have yet to feel this compulsion for any of the Twilight books. I will read the other two books but I am afraid to say I am not a massive fan  (a huge sorry to my Twilight loving friends.)

Love Missuswolf xxx

The Hunger Games – Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

TUESDAY 13th MARCH 2012

I have just this moment put down the  second book  in Suzanne Collins’s trilogy The Hunger Games and I had to dive straight onto my Laptop so I could harp on about how much I am LOVING these books!

What makes a good book is when you are so absorbed in it that you don’t realise time fleeting passed you (I went to have an ‘early night’ at 10pm, only to realise I was so engrossed I hadn’t realised two hours had gone by – with me having to be up for Early shift at 5.30am! zzzz) Never mind – it was worth every page.

So this afternoon I have curled up on my settee after having an early finish (woohoo!) from work, and devoured this masterpiece.

Suzanne Collin’s has the ability to suck you into a fast paced, action packed adventure where you can fully immerse yourself amongst the story and believe that you are right there – in the thick of it – with our heroine Katniss Everdeen. She has a way of building up your anticipation by pulling you through the emotions; lulling you into a sense of security at times throughout the book, only for this to be shattered in a matter of words and leave you wondering, ‘What the hell is going to happen now?’, ‘How are they going to deal with this one’ and the most important part of story telling ‘I want to read on and know more! Know where it is going!’

I love the idea behind these books, so unique and well thought-out, as well as how they ignite your imagination and you can get lost in them.

I now have the third (and final – sob!) book to start on Mockingjay.

I can’t WAIT for the films! (First one out March 23 2012 – view trailer here)

Love Missuswolf xxx

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

TUESDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 2012

 

I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  on the recommendation of a very good friend who kindly let meMissuswolf The Hunger Games book borrow their book. Like myself, he loves his books and his writing and I finally got round to reading The Stand by Stephen King last year – again which he let me borrow (and I still have ooops! I will return all these I promise Andy!)

Actually, this book reminds me ofThe Standin a way as it is all about the fight for survival.

The Hunger Games is set in the future in Panem; where there is a Capitol and twelve Districts. Each year, there is a reaping in which twelve boys and twelve girls aged 12-18 are chosen by a system of names in glass bowl that are drawn at random. They then have to compete in The Hunger Games – a fight to the death – as there can only be one winner.

The scene in which the draw takes place reminded me of a short piece of writing I studied in my Creative Writing Class last year – Shirley Jackson ‘The Lottery’.

I have had this book a few weeks just lying patiently by my bed, waiting for me to finish New Moon on my Kindle (which I still haven’t – 90% of the way there though.)

So, last night, I thought hummm…I will just read a couple of pages ofThe Hunger Gamesbefore I go to bed.

Three hours later and about 150 or so pages in I was still lying curled up at 1am this morning unable to put it down.

Even once I dragged myself away from it and made the painful decision to turn the bedside lamp off, I lay there thinking about it for most of the night, eventually drifting to sleep. In hindsight, I should have stayed up and devoured the whole novel

So, first thing this morning – pot of coffee on and snuggled on the settee, all plans of housework abolished as I settled in to read another hundred or so pages.

I eventually prised myself off the settee, had a shower and did some writing on my own novel (another 2,000 or so words on my Novel Project 2012 – reading really does help you write.) After that I went to the gym, but not before fitting in a few more pages.

I have then sat this evening and consumed every last word in this book, including the Author Interview at the end.

I had  to. There was no other choice; I so desperately wanted to know what happened.

The storyline itself is very thought-provoking and had a similar effect on me as to what The Stand did; although it is highly unlikely to happen – but what if?  Panem – The Capitol and the Districts have risen out of disasters that destroyed North America, not too dissimilar to what happens in The Stand. Things like this really dig deep with me and burrow in, that one day a disaster could strike and it is left to the survival of the fittest (which I fear I may not be one!)

It was these thoughts in that respect that kept me wide awake, as well as the suspense that is present from beginning to end; what is happening next? Where can this lead? How on earth is it going to end?

It is told from the perspective of Katniss Everdeen and you really do experience the turbulent turmoil of emotions she goes through. At times I felt my heart beating fast and I was on edge with suspense, my mind working overtime and what could possibly happen.

It’s not hard to see why this has been made a film, which is actually out on March 23 2012.

And this is only the first book in a trilogy!  I may need to cross out two days in my diary as ‘duvet days’ and dedicate them both to the next two!

As soon as I completed the book I fired up the laptop to record my thoughts on here – for anyone who will listen but more to remind me what I thought and felt about the story.

A must, must must read!

Love Missuswolf xxx