Its December! My ban on all Christmas talk (TBTB Santa excepted of course) has been lifted!
When you’ve done 15 years in retail you can become somewhat anaesthetised to the joy of Christmas spirit. Listening to the same novelty tie beep out renditions of Jingle Bells and repeatedly folding up flashing Christmas jumpers since the day after Halloween can take its toll. A long time ago I managed the process team in a supermarket- I have seen the elderly inflict some impressive damage on each other in their fight for a sale-priced Turkey let me tell you. Cementing a smile on your face and accepting the blame for every Christmas you’ve personally ruined by not having the right wrapping paper in stock, selling out of pigs in blankets or telling employees you cannot close up any earlier.
NOT ANYMORE FRIENDS!
Continue reading “Taking Back Christmas!”
Happily ever after? What do I look for in an ending and which book finales did I love/hate most?
The most important parts of a fiction book for me are the opening chapter and the last quarter.
I like to be thrown into action or posed a question for the initial hook. I will read a book without these elements, I consider myself a slightly varied reader, but I do prefer them to be there.
For me however, an impactful(!?) ending is non negotiable. I need the pacing to accelerate, big reveals or shocking twists. In my opinion the best books are the ones with plots that are unpredictable but still feasible.
I like to challenge my brain. Untangling a maze of misleads and consequences can tether me to a book for hours on end, just don’t throw in a wild card with no previous ties to characters or story line- that infuriates me, it feels lazy.
A brilliant ending can turn the tide of my favour for any book. I’ll forget all about any moments I spent drifting off or dragging my eyes across the page. An initially bad book can become a decent slow-burner if the pay off at the end feels worth the time invested in earlier details.
I can sacrifice action if the character development is intricate but there still has to be some sort of BANG towards the end. Nothing worse than a book that fizzles out leaving you wondering why you cared. Even predictable but well written reveals or events are preferable to me than none at all.
Here are just a few books with (spoiler free) endings I’ve loved or hated:
The Ritual – Adam Nevill
The Virgin Suicides- Jeffery Euginides
We Were Liars- E. Lockhart
YOU- Caroline Kepnes
The Roanoke Girls- Amy Engle
The Hunger- Alma Katsu
Bird Box- Josh Malerman
Loved – Intense
The Children’s Home – Charles Lambert
Hated– Unfathomable change of direction.
Do you feel differently about my choices?
Which story endings do you love/hate most?
For a very brief spell in my life I found myself living alone in a three bedroom terraced house on a quiet side road. I was in my late twenties and had never lived by myself before. For some of us this can be quite daunting, here are a few lessons I learned during that time… Continue reading “5 Tips For Living Alone”