book swap, creative writing, love, novel, Uncategorized

Book Swap: Watch Me

Life has been getting in the way over the last few months and so whilst the book swap has been continuing, my ability to write about the books has not! However, December’s book swap was such a good read that I’ve forced myself to find time to talk about it.

Watch Me by Angela Clarke is possibly the quickest I have ever read a book, and probably the most vocal I have ever been when reading one too (there were a lot of ‘oh my gods’ and gasps throughout).

watch methumbnail_FullSizeRender

The book is set in the present day and the basic premise is a focus on a young woman (Nasreen Cudmore) early in her career with the Metropolitan Police and having to deal with the disappearance of a young girl… and find her within a 24 hour time limit. Where this book differs from a regular thriller, is the key role that social media, and particularly Snapchat and Instagram, have to the disappearance and ‘suicide’ of a first girl, and the subsequent disappearance of this second one. What makes the book so disturbing and at the same time so fascinating, is the sheer accuracy and plausibility it has for the events within the story to actually happen in real life. It highlights the vulnerabilities so many of us could face with the volume of personal information we post online. It is not only a brilliant novel, but involves life lessons for many readers.

On top of that, Angela Clarke manages to cleverly intertwine Nasreen’s life events, including a range of questionable decisions she has made, into the core of the story. What I think appealed to me reading this novel was that the main character is a similar age to me, and I was able to engage with her on a number of levels throughout the novel including her career, proving her worth, friendships and relationships.

I could not put this book down (hence only two afternoons to read it – and I’m a slow reader!) and could never have predicted each of the twists and turns which occurred. There is nothing more satisfying than when a book surprises you and catches you out, or introduces something you would not have anticipated.

Overall, the book is clever, shocking, a disturbing accuracy of the possibilities of the modern day, and a thrilling read for anybody. I think I have no choice but to buy the other two books in her Social Media Murder series.

livingthroughlines 2018.

book swap, creative writing, novel, prose

Living through lines: of books

Up until now I have kept this blog focused on poems, but this week I have had a change of heart after finishing an incredible book which all I want to do is talk about.

This also comes at the perfect time as myself and some friends from University a couple of years ago, whom now live several hours away from me, have decided to start a Book Swap Project to encourage us all to read more. Today I received my first book in the post and so from hereon I will also be sharing my thoughts on the books I will be reading.

First stop is last week’s novel (which I am now sending on as my first book swap!) which has left me deep in thought for quite some time…

family, grandad, grandparents, love, poetry, rhyme

The House that Grandad Built. 

You are everywhere, 

But nowhere in sight.

Teak wood glory,

A nod to your trade.

I had never noticed,

The gleam of the gold mirror’s frame

On your living room wall,

Yet now it’s vintage presence

Has pride of place in mine.

And what of the music

That you spun her around to

At just 16 years of age?

I will dance all the same

Underneath our slanted ceilings

As he takes my hand.

All four of the rooms

Contain a token of you,

Of memories before my time

That your love can no longer

Quite remember to recall.

Each day I sit upon your chair

But no longer on your knee,

I sit beside a new man,

With whom you would be pleased.

Your home and your history

That you had to leave behind,

Now sit upon the table tops

And fill the walls of mine.


©livingthroughlines 2017.


alzheimers, poetry

Alzheimer’s Part 2: December 2014

You spoke words I could rely on,
You were a hand that helped me through,
You were a mind full of wisdom;
A crucial part of how I grew.

But as the seasons change too fast
’94 became 2015.
Your mind is changing, rearranging
Whilst you lose a sense of me.

Fragile autumn leaves
Don’t drift away from me.
Setting winter sun,
Your light won’t be undone.
Fading memories, dying mind
I will never leave you behind.

I beg you to remember,
As you fumble through your thoughts,
All you’ve said and done for me
Not all, at all is lost.

For the fifth time since sunrise
I will listen to your same tale
And to humour your soul once more,
I’ll pretend I don’t know it well.

Fragile autumn leaves
Don’t drift away from me.
Setting winter sun,
Your light won’t be undone.
Fading memories, dying mind
I will never leave you behind.