Cover Wars: Instructions For A Heatwave

I think it’s safe to say I never would have read Instructions For a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell (review) if it weren’t for moving to Edinburgh. Previously I had never heard of her, but here she is immensely popular. And the UK cover to her book is just so much better. Or at least I think so. What do you think?

Instructions For a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell

instructions-heatwaveMaggie O’Farrell resides in Edinburgh, so it’s no surprise that I have heard a lot about Instructions For A Heatwave since the day it was published way back in early 2013. She is one of those British authors who I knew I should read, but never got around to. And she truly is a British author – born in Northern Ireland, raised in Wales, educated at Cambridge and now living in Edinburgh. Continue reading

Cover Wars: No Country

As you know I recently read, and reviewed No Country by Kaylan Ray. One of the many things that struck me about the novel was the different covers chosen by American and British publishers. Let’s take a look, shall we?

I love the cover of the North American edition. The colors and mosaic pattern draw me in immediately. It is a book I want to pick up.

The Indian and British edition, however, suits the story a little better to me. It communicates that No Country is a historical tale. The birds also give it a seafaring feel. While I don’t like the cover as much, I think it does a much better job at representing the story.

What do you think? Have you read No Country? Which cover appeals to you? And have you seen any other covers for No Country?


No Country by Kalyan Ray

no-countryBe patient with me people!! I’ve been so busy lately that almost no reading is getting done. It’s tragic, not least of all because this is supposed to be my Free Range Reading time.

Officially, No Country by Kalyan Ray is my second book for Free Range Reading, and yes, I agree, that is pathetic seeing as Free Range Reading started at the beginning of November. That being said, No Country is a behemoth of a book and not at all what I expected. Continue reading

The Psychopath Inside by James Fallon (audio)

the-psychopath-insideI was debating about whether or not to review The Psychopath Inside here because instead of reading it, I listened to it. This is a bit of a new experience for me, to start and FINISH an audio book, but finish it I did. I’ve been toying around with audio books for almost a year, but haven’t found my groove until now.

James Fallon is a neuroscientist at the University of California. While flipping through a pile of brain scans he came across one that he recognized to be very psychopath-like. After further investigation, it turned out to be his. The Psychopath Inside recounts Fallon’s search for meaning in this discovery. It lead him to change his mind regarding his attitude to the nature vs. nurture debate and come to face some pretty horrifying facts regarding his own personality.

So basically, the book is fascinating. The audio version was particularly gripping due to the dispassionate voice of the narrator. Just like a a psychopath, he reveals very little emotion throughout reading when I would be freaking out. It is all very level headed and truly startling.

At times, I must admit, the book drifted into some fairly difficult jargon. Fortunately I was able to let that wash over me with limited comprehension and it did not effect my over all enjoyment of the book.

Who would like this book? I am fascinated by the brain and how little we actually understand about it. Throw that together with a little psychopathy and you’ve got a recipe for a book that will enthrall me. Like The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (review), The Psychopath Inside shows how little understand about psychopathy. Not all psychopaths are killers or even predators. Some are brilliant leaders, business people and regular Joes. This books looks at how different factors like environment and genetics come together to make us who we are, psychopathic or not.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

the-weird-sistersThe Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown was my first official read for Free Range Reading. It has been sitting on my shelf for years and finally the mood struck me to read it. I wanted something that was light, a little like watching a movie and nothing that would be mentally taxing at all. The Weird Sisters fit the bill. Continue reading

A Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman

savage-harvestI read A Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman several weeks ago and have waited until now to review it. That is never a good idea. One thing I can say, however, is that I loved this book. It just might be my favorite non-fiction read of the 2014. It scratched so many of my itches – exploration, anthropology, mystery, famous families – the list goes on. Continue reading

Never Mind the Bullocks by Vanessa Able

nevermind-the-bullocksMy love of India, and the colorful cover, drove me to pick up Never Mind the Bullocks (also published as The Nanologues) by Vanessa Able. In this book, Able sets herself up with the challenge to drive around India in a Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car. And perhaps I should have stopped right there. I seemed to have forgotten that I hate car trips; Able, on the other hand, seems to live for them. Continue reading

Free-Range Reading is here!!


Yes, it is time for the event you’ve all been waiting for … Free-Range Reading!!

The concept is quite simple: November 1 – December 15, 2014 you aim to read without a plan, without a road map, without direction. There are no deadlines. You just read and see where it takes you. But most of all, you read for the pure joy of it.

And in the spirit of Free-Range Reading, I am proposing that you participate in whatever way best suits you. For me I’m going to go to the library and grab whatever suits me, browse my bookshelves to see what forgotten gems are lurking there and who know, I may even hit up a few book shops. And of course, I’m going to include at least a few non-fiction picks for Non-Fiction November.

Below is a linky so that you can share your plans (or lack there of) for Free-Range Reading, announce you participation or reviews of the hidden gems you’ve unearthed.  Enjoy and keep reading!