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My favourite author: David Mitchell

The weekly geek task this week is to talk about our favourite author and why we love them. 

My favourite author is David Mitchell – he is the only author where I have read and loved every single one of his books. Jose Saramago and Rohinton Mistry have the potential to knock him off the top spot, but as I haven’t read their entire back-catalogue yet I’m afraid they’ll have to languish in second and third place! 


My love for David Mitchell’s books began when I read Cloud Atlas as part of the Richard and Judy book club. I fell in love with his amazing ability to create several unique writing styles within the same book. By the time I read the section where the man becomes trapped in an old people’s home I was hooked by his ingenuity too. 

His writing is beautiful, but never complicated and packed with wonderful quotes:

A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.

My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops? 



I went on to read Ghostwritten and Number9Dream; they weren’t quite as good as Cloud Atlas, although Ghostwritten got close, but as these were his first books I’ll forgive him. Both of these contain elements of Japanese literature that I love. David Mitchell lived in Japan for a number of years and the influence of their culture is especially strong in these two novels. I love the way he has incorporated their folklore and unpredictability into his novels.


Black Swan Green was a big departure in style and theme. It is set in a small English village and describes the life of a young boy growing up in the 1980s. I think the fact that I was a child of the 80s gave this book a special appeal to me. I loved reminiscing about the sweets, music and clothes described in the book and the fact that I was gripped throughout, despite the gentle plot, shows the author’s talent. 


After waiting for 4 years I was very excited to hear that David Mitchell had a new book out later in the year. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet is released in the UK on 13th May. Yesterday I received a proof copy of it through the post. I was so happy! I think it is the highlight of my blogging career. I have already read the first few chapters and am loving it as much as I hoped I would.  I really hope that it wins the Booker Prize this year as I feel that he is one of the most talented authors alive today. He has been short listed twice before, but a win would give him a lasting place in literary history. I haven’t read anything else good enough this year, so I’ve got my fingers crossed!

Have you read any books by David Mitchell?

Which is your favourite?

Other Weekly Geeks

Does sex in literature kill the romance?

I’m not a prude. I have no objection to reading about sex, but for some reason any description of sex in literature kills the romance for me. In fact the most romantic books are those in which the couple aren’t even together, but separated by a war or other uncontrollable event. That feeling of longing is so romantic and beats most occasions when the couple is actually together. There are also couples who don’t miss each other for a very long time apart, but get creative like using sex toys for men and Women’s Vibrators sex toy when finally making love. Dealers оf sex toys rake іn billions оf dollars еvеrу year. Thеіr products аrе ѕо diversified аnd today аrе available іn еvеrу раrt оf thе world. Nоw, іt looks like thіѕ business оf melbourne male strippers satisfying sexual desires іѕ іn vogue. Thе single, married, old, young today patronize sex toy shops аnd thе manufactures, wisely tоо, аrе steadily churning оut mоrе alluring аnd sophisticated ones. It ѕееmѕ like thеrе wіll bе nо end tо thеіr innovative ingenuity tо inventing thеѕе new instruments оf sexual pleasure. The slimline design of 50 Shades Greedy Girl  is comfortable for first-time rabbit users. Today ѕоmе оf thеѕе toys act аnd behave exactly like opposite sex partners іn thе act. True. But hеrе, wе want tо look аt thе origin, intentions аnd effects оf thеѕе toys оn thе users, especially thе spiritual аnd psychological implications.  Sex toys аrе nоt new. Thеу hаvе a lоng history thаt started wіth thе uѕе оf carved objects thаt represented thе penis. Thе ancient Roman, Greek, Chinese, Asian, Indian hаd thеѕе objects carved оut оf stones, iron, gold, wood аnd оthеr materials thаt wеrе used tо drive masturbation. Sоmе оf thеm (like thе Greek) аlѕо hаd worship оf sex gods аnd goddesses wеrе thеѕе objects wеrе displayed, used аnd оthеr sexual immoral acts wеrе extensively promoted, including sex wіth demons аnd spirits. Sо, wе саn rightly say thаt thе foundation оf sex toys wаѕ thаt оf thе desire fоr ‘unlimited’ pleasure аnd thе worship оf demonic gods. Thіѕ invention metamorphosed іntо оthеr objects аnd іn thе 20th century wе saw thе fіrѕt electric vibrator invented. Sіnсе thеn, іt hаѕ bееn a deluge оf thеѕе manual аnd later sophisticated instruments оf sexual pleasure. Sоmе оf thеm winking аnd talking! Wow!

The most romantic book I’ve ever read is The Time Traveler’s Wife the couple’s love for each other heightened by Henry’s continual time travelling. There is so much truth in the old saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

I think the best sex scenes are those in which the bedroom door is firmly closed to us. Knowing what our favourite characters get up to ruins their magic for me – I’d much prefer to leave all the sex scenes up to the imagination. Sex isn’t a subject that we normally discuss, so what one couple finds normal, another will find very strange. I don’t want to feel weird because I know too much about a couple, however fictional. I want to feel their love through knowing glances and a shared happiness.

Edited to add:

I’ve just been reading a beautifully romantic scene in the otherwise wonderful Cutting for Stone and thought it was an excellent example of sex ruining everything:

Without removing myself from within her, I rolled onto my back, holding her, flipping her, and setting her on top of me, her breasts hovering over me.
“You need to pee? Go ahead,” I said, my breath coming quick.
“You’ve done that before, too.”
I grabbed her shoulders and pulled her  to me hard. I smelled her fever, and the scent of blood and sex and urine. I came again.

Do you think that sex in literature kills the romance?

Which is the most romantic book you’ve read?

Visit the weekly geeks for more discussions on romance, sex and love.

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Some interesting things about José Saramago

This week’s Weekly Geek task is to find out some interesting facts about your favourite author. I wasn’t sure whether I’d participate, but once I started looking up José Saramago I couldn’t stop – he is such an interesting man!


Portuguese author José Saramago was born in 1922 into a family of landless peasants. Their surname was De Sousa, but an error in registering his birth meant that his father’s nickname ‘Saramago’ was accidentally added to his birth certificate. The drunken registrar also wrote his birth date wrong on the form  – meaning his official birth date is two days after his real one!

Saramago is proud of his impoverished background:

“If my grandfather had been a rich landowner and not an illiterate pig breeder, I wouldn’t be the man I am today,”

At the age of 2 Saramago’s family moved from their small village to the city of Lisbon where his father became a policeman. This failed to improve their financial situation and the family had to pawn their warm blankets to have enough money to survive.

At 13, Saramago started at a vocational school, where he trained to be a car mechanic. He didn’t own any books, but his love of reading meant that he often went to the library after studying.

In 1947 his first book The Land of Sin was published, but it wasn’t until 1982 that he finally acheived critical acclaim for his book Baltasar and Blimunda.

Saramago is a member of the communist party and a proclaimed atheist. His views have caused controversy in the strongly Catholic country of Portugal and on the publication of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ in 1991 he was forced to move to the Canary Islands.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, but described winning as not being very important.

He is often described as being cold,” “arrogant,” and “unsympathetic.” but when questioned about his attitude Saramago replied:

“I am not a bad person,”  “I hurt only with my tongue!”

I love Saramago’s writing. If you haven’t read any of his books then I highly recommend you try Blindness.

Do you love Saramago’s books?

Other Weekly Geeks

Weekly Geeks: Why Haven’t I Read This Yet?

My TBR pile is currently standing at around 500 books, so there are a lot which I would love to read. There are a few which stand out as being long overdue though.

Here are the ones I am most looking forward to reading:

The Wind – Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami

I love Murakami, but for some strange reason I haven’t read his most famous book yet. I plan to read it in the next few months (but I have been saying that for about a year now!)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

I have had a copy sitting on my shelves for about 6 months now – I really want to read it – especially when I see everyone has now moved on to the rest of the trilogy.

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

I have no idea how this book avoided my radar for so long. It only entered my TBR pile a few months ago, but the main question should be why it failed to get there sooner.

Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
I don’t think I’ll love this book, but I hate being the only one who hasn’t read it. I’ve somehow ended up owning three copies – I should really make the time to read it soon!

The Virgin Suicides – Jeffery Eugenides

This book has been on my shelves for years. I loved Middlesex, so I really should have got round to this ages ago. I think I’ll save it until 2010 though – it is always good to have a favourite waiting to be read – I’d hate to have nothing to look forward to!

Have you read all these books?
Which was your favourite?

Have a look what the other weekly geeks haven’t got round to reading yet.

Short Story Weekly Geeks

Mr Icky from ‘Tales of the Jazz Age’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This review has been specially written for this week’s weekly geek task. It is written using randomly generated key words and phrases.

Some of the weekly geeks are writing reviews for real stories, others imagined. 

 Do you think this review is for a real story?


F. Scott Fitzgerald is most famous for writing The Tale of Benjamin Button, which can be found in in his collection of short stories Tales of the Jazz Age. In the same collection is the strangely titled short story Mr Icky.

Mr Icky is described as the quintessence of quaintness in one act.

Mr Icky is an old man, dressed in the costume of an Elizabethan peasant. He has a conversation with a young boy called Peter. They discuss the planets, the bible and many seemingly random aspects of life.

Some of the language is a bit strange:

How ghastly! Science is the bunk.

The story isn’t all garble though – the jazz lusts throughout the pot of this story. It is a tale full of promise and happiness. I don’t think it will win a prize for being the best short story ever, but it does contain a few memorable quotes.

I care not who hoes the lettuce of my country if I can eat the salad!

Overall I found it to be a pretty average short story and I recommend it only to people who have an interest in studying short stories of this time period.



Do you think this review is for a real short story?

Which are the randomly generated words I had to use?

Visit the other Weekly Geeks to play along!


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Weekly Geeks: 2009-22, Catching Up On Reviews

This week’s task is to catch up on reviews for books you’ve completed, but not yet reviewed. I’m all up to date with my reviews, as I like to complete them before starting on the next book.

So I thought I’d use this week’s task as an oppurtunity to review one of my favourite books from my pre-blogging days:

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

The Clan of the Cave Bear is the start of Jean M Auel’s epic Earth’s Children series. The story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, and  follows Ayla, a young cro-magnon girl adopted by a neanderthal clan after she is orphaned. 

I have also read the sequel: Plains of Passage

I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, as I didn’t want to start reviewing books mid-series in my early blogging days, but once I’ve reviewed these two books I will hopefully be able to start reading the rest of the series soon.

The idea of this week’s task is to get you to ask questions about these books, and the I will compile the answers to form a review.

So, what would you like to know about these books?
Have you read them?

Please ask any questions you can think of, and I will do my best to answer them.