Lionel Shriver

All posts tagged Lionel Shriver

Book Tag – Shelfie By Shelfie #1

Published September 26, 2017 by bibliobeth

Image edited from: <a href=””>Frame image created by Jannoon028 –</a>

Hi everyone and welcome to a brand new tag – Shelfie by Shelfie that I was inspired to create late one night when I couldn’t sleep. If you want to join in, you share a picture (or “shelfie”) of one of your shelves i.e. favourites, TBR, however you like to organise them, and then answer ten questions that are based around that particular shelf. I have quite a large collection and am going to do every single bookshelf which comprises both my huge TBR and the books I’ve read and kept but please, don’t feel obliged to do every shelf yourself if you fancy doing this tag. I’d love to see anything and just a snapshot of your collection would be terrific and I’m sure, really interesting for other people to see!

Anyway – on with the tag, here is the top shelf of my first bookshelf:

And here are the questions!:

1.) Is there any reason for this shelf being organised the way it is or is it purely random?

Okay, so you might find when I eventually show you all of my “shelfies,” that sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to the way I organise books. Sometimes there is method in my madness and I have a few special shelves where things are organised a lot more logically but generally, it’s a bit of a mess that I will sort out one day. I will. I will! On this top shelf, I like to keep a few hardbacks and larger books that take up a lot of room, like the beast that is James Herbert’s Ash up there and a couple of Faery/Fearie Tale short story collections that I’m really looking forward to getting to. The paperbacks up there, including the Liane Moriarty and the Lionel Shriver are up there simply because I ran out of room on my shelves. Eek!

2.) Tell us a story about one of the books on this shelf that is special to you i.e. how you got it/ a memory associated with it etc.

There are a few books I could pick here but I’m going to go with The Puppy by Sevenoaks Press. I’m a bit of a dog nut and my boyfriend bought me this book many years ago to try and curb my cravings for a puppy. We just can’t have one at the moment and that makes me sad! However, when I look at this book, which is filled with close up “strange ratio” photographs of 190 different breeds of dogs, it never fails to cheer me up. For example:


3.) Which book from this shelf would you ditch if you were forced to and why?

Tough, tough, tough as the majority of these books I still have to read! I’m going to go with the book on the left hand side, second from the top which is Julie Orringer’s short story collection How To Breathe Underwater. The reason I would ditch it? Easy! I’ve already read it and while it’s an absolutely brilliant short story collection, I’m not sure if I would read it again in the near future.

4.) Which book from this shelf would you save in an emergency and why?

It would be The Notable Brain Of Maximilian Ponder by John Ironmonger which I read in my pre-blogging days. This is a wonderful novel that I thoroughly enjoyed about a twenty one year old man who decides to shut himself away and catalogues his entire brain with no outside influences at all save from his reluctant friend Adam. Definitely due a re-read of this!

5.) Which book has been on this shelf for the longest time?

That would be Ash by James Herbert. I used to be a huge Herbert fan, my favourite reads being The Rats series, Moon and The Shrine but I haven’t read (or re-read) anything by him for ages. It’s always the case of too many other books to read, too little time!

6.) Which book is the newest addition to this shelf?

There are a couple of new additions (paperbacks) but the newest one would be The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver. I saw this in Waterstones recently as part of their 3 for 2 offer and thought I would give it a go after loving We Need To Talk About Kevin and The Post Birthday World by the same author.

7.) Which book from this shelf are you most excited to read (or re-read if this is a favourites shelf?)

The Maker Of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell. I’ve heard so many great things about it, the synopsis sounds amazing and the cover is gorgeous!

8.) If there is an object on this shelf apart from books, tell us the story behind it.

Yes, there is an object and it is my book clock right on the top in the middle there. I got this for Christmas a few years back from my mum and although I often forget to replace the batteries, I just love the way it looks on my shelves. It’s a clock that is also a stack of books – what could be better?!

9.) What does this shelf tell us about you as a reader?

I think it says that I read a wide variety of books? We’ve got short stories up there, fantasy, non-fiction, literary fiction, horror….and a random book with weird pictures of dogs! I have quite an eclectic taste in books and I think it shows.

10.) Choose other bloggers to tag or choose a free question you make up yourself.

As this is my first “shelfie,” I’d like to tag some of my favourite bloggers but please don’t feel obliged or under any pressure to do this tag, I rarely participate in tags myself and will not be offended! I’d love it if you link back to my post too so I can check out your “shelfie” in all its glory.

Chrissi Reads, Cleopatra Loves Books, Snazzy Books, Always Trust In Books, Stephanie’s Novel Fiction.

COMING SOON on bibliobeth : Shelfie by Shelfie #2




The Post-Birthday World – Lionel Shriver

Published August 9, 2013 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

Using a playful parallel-universe structure, The Post-Birthday World follows one woman’s future as it unfolds under the influence of two drastically different men.

Children’s book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid. Until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton. The decision to give in to temptation will have consequences for her career, her relationships with family and friends, and perhaps most importantly the texture of her daily life.

What did I think?:

After loving Lionel Shriver’s amazing novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, I knew it was time to try another book by her. The Post-Birthday World is nothing like “Kevin,” but I really enjoyed it nevertheless. It has a Sliding Doors (film with Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah) similarity, with our main character Irina caught in a moment where she has to choose a fork in the road that is her life. This all hangs upon whether she kisses one man who is a famous snooker player, or remains in her current, safe but often stale relationship with Lawrence by not kissing Ramsey, the exciting alternative.  Each chapter is then told from the two different decisions that she has available – sounds slightly complicated, but I loved the jumping between the two parallel worlds, to see how her life would have turned out in each case.

Okay, I’ve definitely found my new favourite author! Lionel Shriver’s writing style and attention to every minute detail is fantastic, and although at points, the characters were not particularly likeable, this added to both the uniqueness and authenticity of the story. A different event happens in each telling that makes Irina question the decision that she has made, and I feel that this gives the reader an opportunity to consider what decision they might have made in the same situation. Shriver is also insinuating that “real life” is not perfect and we all have to make difficult choices at some point, which is a gripping means to end the novel with whilst still leaving the reader with their own thoughts and questions, appealing to the “what-if” in everyone.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):