I've Been Reading - The Confusion of Karen Carpenter by Jonathan Harvey


This is one of the many books recommended to me by my mum, who has perfect taste in books, so I knew it was going to be a good one.

The story centres around Karen Carpenter (no not the 70s pop star, as she mentions multiple times throughout) but a thirty-something teacher from Liverpool, living in London. It transpired at the begining of the book that her long-term boyfriend Michael left her just before Christmas. And, not only did he leave her, but he did it via post-it note in true SATC Jack Burger style.

We meet Karen's mum, loud, interfering and convinced there's rats in the attic and Karen's best friend Wendy. There's also various teacher associates including Meredith, P.E teacher, housemate and according to Karen's mum a 'lebian' and head of department and serial swinger Mungo.

There's the occasional flashback to Karen and Michael's past, but the lingering question is 'Why did Michael leave?' Karen wants answers, yet won't even return the phone calls from Michael's mother.

I'd definitely say give this book a whirl if you're up for a good humorous read. Also check out Jonathan Harvey's debut novel, All She Wants. I read it in the space of two days a couple of years back, when sad and alone and uni and it really cheered me up.

I've Been Reading: Bed by David Whitehouse

I've been spending a good 5 hours a week on trains, meaning I've suddenly got a lot more time to read again. Not that I didn't have time before, but being without internet connection for a few hours really has its bonuses. I've got so many books on my 'must read' list, and now I'm slowly managing to work my way through them. Therefore, just incase any of you need a little book inspiration, I thought I'd do some quick fire reviews of what I've been reading.
"Every family has a story. Mal was ours."

I got given Bed by David Whitehouse for my birthday back in May last year, and had absolutely no idea what it was about upon starting it. 

Without giving too much away, it centres around the lives of two brothers. Mal, who weighs at least 100 stone, has not left his bed in over fifteen years. As a child he liked to take his clothes off in public. His younger brother, the narrator of the story, goes unnamed throughout the whole book and has spent his life living in Mal's shadow.

The story flicks between the present day and the brother's childhood. I'd say that it was quite refreshing picking up a book and knowing nothing about it. I really enjoy stories about childhood, and I really enjoyed seeing Mal and his brother grow up throughout the book. The constant changing between past and present definitely left me longing to know exactly how Mal ended up in bed.

It focuses on how Mal's decision has affected the family. His mother spends all her time caring and tending to Mal. His father spends all his time in the attic. His brother is hopelessly in love with Mal's girlfriend.

The chapters in this book are pretty short. Telling myself 'just one more chapter' really led to me reading four or five more chapters, before eventually putting the book down.

I managed to finish this book over the space of two train journeys, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd definitely recommend as it's quite an easy read, but interesting and well written.




This Week's Loves #13


Bristol
This week saw the start of my internship. It also saw the start of me getting to spend lots more time with my best friend in one of my favourite cities in the UK. I'm hoping that by the end of it I'll have got to know Bristol a little better.

The Rosie Project
Spending a lot of time on trains over the coming months, means I'm going to have a lot of time for reading. This week I finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I originally saw Bee post about it and, as I always trust the opinion of a book lover, I decided to download it for my travels. I was pleasantly surprised. Not a hard read but entertaining and a little different to your average 'boy meets girl' romance.

My Bed
It is no secret that I love my bed, but spending a couple of nights a week on a sofa has really made me appreciate it. This past week has flown by and I don't think I'm quite ready to give up my super cosy bed again for two nights. Goodbye Bournemouth.