Currently I'm reading: Jenseits vom Tatort by Horst Brandt

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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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Peggy Farooqi is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

25 February 2014


First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro is hosted by bibliophilebythesea.

This is how it works: Write down either the first paragraph of a book your are currently reading / intending to read or read in the past and share with us. I do like a good opening!




The book I have chosen today is Loving Heather by Alex Carlisle. 



It is a YA book which I got from Amazon for 99p (still this price today!). Greg's life is changing forever -  he is leaving home to go to University, moving into a shared student house in the Uni district of Cardiff. Three things are occupying his mind: girls, girls, girls. Will he find 'the special one' and settle into Uni life? The book also has a second POV - a girl who is not all what it seems. An easy and enjoyable read, but it is not comedy-style a la 'American Pie', but more of a thriller-romance set in First Year in Uni. 
My full review will be up later this week. 

Here is the opening chapter:

It was Greg's last night at home. In the morning there would be nothing more to do other than get dressed and go. The things he needed were already in the back of his car waiting for his new life to begin. His old friends the laptop and iPod, and his new stuff like his new clothes and new razors and new deodorant were all packed. He even had some new tunes - safety songs in case he got the urge. Yes in his new life, Greg, starting from tomorrow, was going to be a man of action. 








Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should be reading. 

These are the rules  (taken directly from MizB's blog:)


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


From Loving Heather by Alex Carlisle:

I thought she had come to see me in a fit of rage hurt and anger because of what Greg did. Instead I got the first assault of her words, "I know what you did.'


I could see it all in her eyes, her beautiful big eyes. Even when she shouted at me there was a music to it. 

----

Now money was running out. Greg's overdraft was pretty close to being maxed out. He had pretty much pissed away his first student loan instalment. 



So, would you give this book a try? 


24 February 2014


This review is written by my 15-year old daughter Ruby Farooqi. Thanks Ruby. 

Title
Guitar: A complete guide for absolute beginners
Author
Ben Parker
Publisher
Severest Inks
Publication Date
24 August 2013
Pages
Genre
Music guide



I'm taking music as a GCSE option in school, and almost everyone can play an instrument, but me! I know a lot about music already, and how to tune a guitar, and how to play a few songs, but I didn't know enough to actually play the guitar… Every module, we have to perform a solo, and I usually sing or play piano, but I don't actually get lessons on either, so I don't excel in either. And I always wanted to learn guitar, and have one to practice at home, but I could never get lessons, but because of the post 16 music students and the awesome guitar teacher, I learnt quite a bit, and my mum surprised me and got me an acoustic guitar for christmas and this book! Everyone I spoke to advised me to learn 3 or 4 chords, and then learn to switch between them quickly, to a strumming beat, and eventually you'll pick it up.

What I found very useful is at the back of the books there are 3 pages that have the major, minor and seventh chords! So I've mostly been looking at the chords and tried them on my guitar, then tried switching between them. I haven't really read the start of the book because it tells you how to tune the guitar, how to hold it, how to hold a pick/plectrum and use it, and well because of my knowledge, I already knew this stuff, but if you don't I recommend getting this book! Because it does start with the very basics, and gives you a few short music lessons and simple string exercises. After the book covers the basics, it goes on to show you how to put your knowledge to use, and it has the sheet music for simple sings like Twinkle Twinkle little star, and Mary had a little lamb :) These songs are obviously easy, but it gets you used to the fret board, and practises you to move your fingers quicker!


23 February 2014
The Sunday Post


This is is Meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer and here are the rules.

It is your chance to re-cap your bookish week, what did your review last week, any new purchases, what will be coming up in your blog next week or generally anything you feel you would like to share with the blogging community.




So, What did I do last week?


February is almost over, can you believe it? This week, the children were on half-term holiday here, but luckily my children are now old enough so they don't need a childminder. Only my daughter still goes to senior school, my middle son is in college (he wants to become a civil engineer), and the eldest son is  working in retail at the moment. He has applied to join the Royal Air Force and we are currently awaiting his interview. 

I'm still, as ever, very busy at work. Oh, how I wish I had more time for my books. I did not get any books this week because I really wish to get ahead with some of the books, especially the review ones which I received from Twitter and via the blog. I don't apply for ARC yet, and didn't even look for free books… But I keep looking lovingly at my books from the book club, taking them out one by one and putting them back in the box. :) 

My Blog last week:


I finished reading: 


Loving Heather by Alex Carlisle (a YA book about the trials of teenagers first going to Uni and finding love) 
(purchased)



I started reading: 

How To Knock A Bravebird From Her Perch by D.Bryant Simmons (a novel about  domestic abuse and a woman's bravery)
(received for review from the author) 




This is what I'm planning for my blog next week: 

Monday

Review: How to play guitar: A complete guide for absolute Beginners Level 1 by Pen Parker

This review will be written by my daughter Ruby Farooqi



Tuesday

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea And Tuesday Teaser hosted by Should Be Reading: my choice of book is Loving Heather by Alex Carlisle

Wednesday

Review: 11.22.63 by Stephen King


Thursday

Review: The Beach by Alex Garland



Friday

Book Blooger Hop hosted by Coffee addicted writer
The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's voice 


Saturday

This will mark my 2-months blogiversary - and I would like to look back on the past 2 months: my favourite posts, how do I get along now, is it as I expected, what did I learn, anything surprising and what are my plans for the future and has this changes since the beginning.


Have a great week everyone and Happy Reading! 


22 February 2014


Title
Red
Author
Khalid Patel
Publisher
Severest Inks
Publication Date
24 August 2013
Pages
24
Genre
short story




A short story which engages your literary brain, a dark satire on corporate America (though I think it could be certainly applied to any city in the 'Western' world).

The author takes a well known fairy tale and turns it on its head. Red, a young girl, clutching her books, walks home from the library and has to get to her grandmother's house quickly. She has to cross the notorious Forest (geddit?)  Heights district of the city with winos, drug pushers and prostitutes on every street corner. She has to move fast to outrun her father's nemesis, The Wolf. 

I liked the surprising ending of the story, but the most beautiful part for me was the wonderful use of language in this story. Rich words and great prose descriptions of this sordid city and its residents. Read every single word and every single sentence and let it sink in. This only works for a short story, and it works beautifully here. Why say "There where homeless alcoholics in the door way" when you can say (quote): "The discarded of the city sat suckling their gloom through a bottle, a reprieve from misery." 

I'm not a teacher, but I think this story would be great for English students to read and analyse. It would also be a great addition in a compilation book of short stories. 


Here are some more quotes from the story:


"The homeless were pleading the junkies for spare change for desperately needed sustenance. The junkies were pleading the homeless spare change for desperately needed fresh highs. The homeless junkies were pleading the ethereal figures dwelling their broken psyches for desperately needed hope."

"Her lips had become parchment, dry and crackling like desert twigs. Her heart had become calcified fire, burring in scorched beats against her chest. She drank a deep swathe of breath, feeling the airs slither down the rusted vulcano that had become her throat, feeling the almost liquid air run down and bathe her thirsty gullet."

"I agree, ma'am. Hey… And they like to blame video games. When we all know rap music's really to blame…"

"They dyin' so ugly the coroner won't know how to fill the forms out."

(ok, on a personal note, anything which mentions the Coroner - I'm a Coroner's Officer - deserves my mention!)




About the author:

(from Amazon)

Biography:
Khalid Patel is the British writer of cult, underground literature. His works are known for their subversive, unconventional qualities. Challenging narratives, unusual dialogue& beautifully offbeat prose are a staple of his writings. His words, also frequently laced with scalding social commentary & sneaky dark humour, wrenches readers out of their comfort zone for an unforgettable, jolting experience.

An English Literature graduate & culture junkie, Khalid breathes movies (particularly South Korean cinema), comic-books & videogames…passions which frequently seep into his works. He also copiously digs New York, pasta and wearing black shirts.

Khalid Patel advocates activism & the questioning of the status quo. He has supported greater rights for Burma (the birth country of his mother) long before the mass media began highlighting the brutalities & human right atrocities perpetrated by its military junta government. He is also a fierce critic of far-right, fascist outfits such as the English Defence League (EDL); he has attended anti-racism & anti-hate protests where he has engaged in running street battles with Neo-Nazis.

Khalid's stories are often laced with searing socio-political asides, quietly making his readers mull deeper issues whilst they're being entertained. With his writings, Khalid also seeks to disintegrate media-reinforced stereotypes of Muslims & people of brown colour. He is keen to raise the literacy rates of British South Asians, especially males, & hopes his stories more shall catch an interest in literature.


"This kid breaks some rules & he breaks them across people's faces… Khalid Patel represents a new age in fiction. He examines traditional fiction and turns it on its head with technology & innovation." Eryk Pruitt, author of Dirtbag. 






21 February 2014

Book Blogger Hop



The Book Blogger Hop is hosted Coffee Addicted Writer. 
Every week a different question is posted for you to answer. Come in and join us.


This is how it works:

1. Answer the question on your blog

2. Go to Coffee Addicted Writer and put your link to your post on the Linky list.

3. Now have a look at the other blogs who have posted their links. Maybe comment on their answers (on their blogs), spend some time on their blogs and maybe join / become a member.

Perfect way really to get to know other bloggers :) I love this meme because it is so simple.

Here is today's question:
This annoys me, what about you? When I click on a blogger's name and it goes to their profile and I see more than one blog listed, how do you know which one to visit? I usually don't visit.


And my answer:



Ah, that is very interesting for me as I'm quite a new blogger (since beginning of this year). I'm technically not that good and often are not aware of these things. Yes, I know what you mean and have encountered it before. I will still visit and click on the link which sounds most 'bookish'. I know that I have other blogs and hope that my book blog has a relevant bookish name. I've now also learned how to insert direct links into a comment :) 

Happy reading everyone! 
20 February 2014

Title
American Psycho
Author
Bret Easton Ellis
Publisher
Vintage Books New York
Publication Date
1991
Pages
481
Genre
novel, transgressional fiction
From Goodreads:
In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.

A dark satire on 1980's Yuppie Culture. Meet Patrick Bateman. The book doesn't tell us much about him in regards of background and what he actually does, but that he is a Yuppie, associating with his Yuppie friends and only defines himself via consumer goods:  expensive clothing, watches, pens etc. The book spends a lot of pages where Bateman explains to us the brands and how important it is to him. 

Bateman is also a serial killer and kills and mutilates particularly women. Simple as that. No one seems to notice amongst his friends or business associates.Nothing else much happens and no explanation is every given for the killings, in fact, it is left up to your imagination whether the killings are actually real or even just exist in Bateman's imagination? Warning: Scenes of extreme violence, rape, detailed descriptions of killings and mutilations. Not an easy read and as a woman reader, I did find it hard to read it sometimes, especially as the violence is neither condemned nor explained, but is just simple there. 

One of the few books where I thought that the film is as good or even better than the book, maybe because of the excellent Christian Bale in the title role. Unusually, here I had seen the movie first before reading the book, and the whole time when reading, of course, I saw Bale. Not necessarily a bad thing. 

About the author (from Amazon)

Biography

Bret Easton Ellis is the author of Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, The Informers, Glamorama, and Lunar Park. His new novel, Imperial Bedrooms, will be published in 2010. His work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He lives in Los Angeles.



19 February 2014



Title
Christine
Author
Stephen King
Publisher
Viking
Publication Date
1983
Pages
772
Genre
horror, suspense

Are you that kind of person who names their car?

Arnie Cunningham is a geeky teenager and it is fair to say he is not one of the popular kids in school. Whilst walking home with his friend one day he spots on old and beaten car (a 1953 Plymouth Fury ) in the driveway of a grumpy old man's house who is wearing a back brace, Roland LeBay. Arnie is strangely drawn to the car and wants to ask the owner if the can buy it. His friend thinks he is mad as the car is old and rusty and if at all drivable, will probably need lots of work and investment. But Arnie wants this car - named Christine - and buys it off LeBay. Arnie hardly gets the car home, its that old and beaten. He eventually gets Christine the car into a local dodgy garage where the owner allows him to put the car in a corner and to work on it as long as he keeps quiet.

Arnie starts to work on the car to repair it, but something is not quite right. Friends and people in the garage notice that the repairs on the car appear somewhat random and sometimes the car seemed to have improved overnight without anyone working on it. It's almost as if the car is reversing to it's glory days. But it's not only the car. Arnie's friends also start to notice a change in him. The previously shy and geeky teenager is becoming initially more confident and cocky but than more and more strange. He also seems to be taken on physical characteristics of LeBay. Than he manages to go out with the popular pretty girl in school. And Christine is not happy, in fact, Christine is not happy with anyone who is involved with Arnie. 


---------
This was the first Stephen King book I read and it sparked a deep love affair. Let me tell you the story how I first 'met' Stephen King.

I grew up in East Germany and I'm not sure whether Stephen King books were 'forbidden' in East Germany. There was obviously a lot of censorship for literature, but I can't think of any reason why King's work would be censored… there are a lot of words I could use to describe his writings, but political propaganda is hardly one of them. In any event, maybe it was just by chance, but I certainly never saw any of King's books in East Germany. I might research this one day, but back to my first King book.

The wall came down in 1989. In 1993, I was 25 and had finally saved enough money to travel to England. I had always wanted to see England, had been my dreams for many years even when the Berlin wall was still up and me on the wrong side of the wall. Air Travel was still very expensive, so a booked a coach for that trip. I knew that the coach trip would take approx 24 hrs, but I didn't mind at all. In fact, as I hardly had left East Germany before and had never seen any of Europe, I couldn't wait for that coach trip, couldn't wait to soak in the strange landscapes and cities I was about to travel through. 

A few days before I travelled, I went to a local department store to get some bits for the journey. I though it might be best to get myself a book, just in case it will get boring on the coach. I didn't think I would even take the book out, as I was looking forward to the journey so much. So, the department store had a few books arranged on a display on the ground floor. I picked up a few and than picked up 'Christine'. Oh, the blurb sounded interesting, so I bought it and it went in my suitcase. 

We left Berlin at 4am on an icy cold February morning en route to London. I took Christine out of my suitcase to start the journey off. What shall I say… I never actually saw any of Europe and was just completely sucked into the story, I didn't look up and by the time we reached London, I had almost finished the book and read the last few lines in my hotel room. Yes, that was my first meeting with Stephen King. A girl who had been living in East Germany for 25 years and her first chance to see Europe, and she abandoned it all for a King book. 

That trip to London, by the way, changed my life completely, as I met the guy who was to become my husband. I met him in February 1993 and I moved to England permanently in April that year and we married on 29th of April 1993. But that is a different story…. 



18 February 2014


First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro is hosted by bibliophilebythesea.

This is how it works: Write down either the first paragraph of a book your are currently reading / intending to read or read in the past and share with us. I do like a good opening!


I have chosen a short story I received thanks to Severest Inks.
From their website: Severest Inks is an independent publishing house based in the UK that seeks to support artists with an unique voice, focusing primarily upon literature that challenges and subverts convention. Though still a very young, emerging outfit within the publishing world, Severest Inks is gaining an ever-growing, dedicated cult following.

Red by Khalid Patel 

This story takes a well known fairly tale and turns it on its head (with the title of the story being 'Red', which fairy tale could it be??) Short stories obviously have different 'rules' than novels and need to convey their message in less than 30 pages. Here, I loves especially the wonderful use of language - rich and beautiful, reminding me of poetry.



A leaf, crisped by the touch of Autumn, rustled in the darks. Another leaf whispered. Soon after, one more. Some, fresh and clean. Some, old and the colour of jaundice. Some, well-known and soaked in thumbprints. Some, obscure and creaseless.
These leaves bore knowledge of distant landscapes, of worlds where clouds bled flames and oceans rolled a murderous black. Where robots ate frozen tears and cows were garbed in human leather.
These leaves uttered of punk gunslingers, three-armed merchants. Of sewer-dwelling aliens, mutant infants. Of burning loves, blazing hatreds. These leaves were turning, ever-turning. 
The turning leaves of a book.


I will post my full review of the story later this week. 





Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should be reading. 

These are the rules  (taken directly from MizB's blog:)


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Red by Khalid Patel - for brief description of book see above.

I have highlighted quite a few sentences in this story.



The doorway sleepers sat feeding their despair through a needle, a respite from woe. The discarded of the city sat suckling their gloom through a bottle, a reprieve from misery.  

----

Homeless men stared up at suited men who stared down. Opulent offices overlooking slum streets. Corporate America overlooking utter poverty. 

----

Fate was her father's nickname back when he was a legendary drug-runner in the city. However, Fate was not careful. After unwittingly selling narcotics to an undercover officer, Fate was caged for fifty birthdays. 


So, are you tempted to pick up this short story? 


17 February 2014

Title
Blogging for Beginners: Complete Guide to getting started with your Blog 
Author
Susan Beth
Publisher
Amazon for Kindle
Publication Date

Pages
28
Genre
blogging, non-fiction, computer guides


I have been blogging on/off for a number of years. I kind of always liked the original idea of an 'online log' to show stuff related to my hobbies (books and needle crafts) to family, friends and whoever wanted to listen to me. Mainly it was initially for myself, especially with the books, to keep a log of the books I read and share my thoughts on them. Over the holidays at the end of 2013 I decided to concentrate with my blog on books. I did some research and quickly discovered that there is a huge world of book bloggers out there. And I realised that technically, I will need some help with the blogging. Yes, I know, it is very simple now even for someone who has never heard of HTML to set up a blog on the common blogging platforms. But I'm that sort of person that, if I want to do something… I want to read up on it (be it travelling to a country, dieting... or blogging)

The book Blogging for Beginners: Complete Guide to getting started with your Blog by Susan Beth
was free when I downloaded it for Kindle from Amazon UK in December 2013, and I believe now it is £1.88. It is not very long (28 pages) and can be read in one sitting. It is about blogging in general and not just book blogging.

The book is divided into following chapters:


  • introduction
  • what's your goal
  • blogging efforts
  • ways to make money
  • reasons why blogs fail
  • helpful plugins
  • helpful tools
  • conclusion.
The book is a great starting point for anyone thinking about blogging but not sure how to get about it. All blogging platforms are covered. No in-depth or very technical details, in fact I think for some of the more advanced users (or anyone who has been blogging for a while) this may all be information they picked up a long time ago. There were a few very useful things for me though i.e. links and plugins. Also, the section on 'reasons why blogs fail' is very good. One thing I did take to heart is the authors take on poorly written headlines that don't attract attention.

This guide book's point of view is taken from the author's ultimate aim with a blog (and presumed aim of others setting up a blog ) to have a successful blog i.e. grow constantly in followers and site traffic. The author states that if a blog is not growing continuously and has about 300 followers by the 6 months mark, you may consider stopping that blog and set up something else,a different blog. I have to disagree here, as for me, I would continue talking about books on my blog even if no-one is following me :) but that is, of course,my very personal point of view and it depends on what you want with your blog. 



Extract: 

Reasons why blogs fail
The internet is filled with abandoned blogs. Some of them are mine. I want to hit on some of the reasons blogs fail and when you should let them fail and move on. 
Be realistic with timeline. Most blogs (all of mine) took almost a year before they produced what I wanted them to produce. the Internet hates new sites. The ranking system is balanced to produce relevant results. Those results are popular and get frequent traffic. 


16 February 2014
The Sunday Post

This is is Meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer and here are the rules.

It is your chance to re-cap your bookish week, what did your review last week, any new purchases, what will be coming up in your blog next week or generally anything you feel you would like to share with the blogging community.




So, What did I do last week?


Lot of bad weather, storms and flooding in the UK at the moment, but luckily we didn't have a problem at all here as our house is on higher grounds. Though I do get wet every morning walking to the train station. Hope all of you in the snow in certain parts of the US are all safe. I'm 'on call' this weekend and it's already very busy. Normally I would get between 4-5 call-outs over the whole of a weekend and I've already got 7 and it's only Saturday evening. 

My blog last week


Books I received last week: 


Journey into the mystic by Jesse Giles Christiansen

I have previously reviewed for this author, so it will be like 'meeting an old friend' which is nice.









Unlock your daughters by Gill Donnell

A non-fiction book









Under the dragon's claw by Alex George

Dragons and fantasy adventures












What I'm planning next week here on The Pegster Reads:

Monday
Review: 



Blogging for Beginners: Complete guide to getting started with your blog by Susan Beth (non-fiction)
was free on Kindle for Amazon at the time of downloading







Tuesday

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro, Tuesday Teaser: 




Red by Khalid Patel
(received for review, thanks to Severest Ink)








Wednesday

Review: 



Christine by Stephen King 
I'm continuing my regular Stephen King feature, but his book as very special to me, as it was the first SK I read which set the spark alight for me.








Thursday

Review:



American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis



Friday

Book Blogger Hop


Saturday 



My review of the latest Newbooks Magazine which arrived with me this week. 



                         Have a great week everyone!