Book Review: The Bone Clocks

The Bone ClocksThe Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Let’s start with the outside of this book — the cover is enticing and the title is subtle and wonderfully descriptive. The whole package makes you wonder what is inside. The book is written in five sections spanning several decades from the late twentieth century to the mid-twenty-first century. Each section is written from the point of view of different characters.  The story begins with teenaged Holly Sykes, the protagonist of the novel, finding her boyfriend in bed with her best friend.  Holly makes an appearance in each section in the middle of the book with the last section also told from her point of view.

David Mitchell is a superb storyteller and can take the reader to the scene like no other writer. This is especially exciting and interesting for the reader when Mitchell invents a post-apocalytic world as in the final section of The Bone Clocks or in Cloud Atlas or when Mitchell invents a place that exists only in his imagination and then takes the reader there. His descriptions are vivid and detailed.

The Bone Clocks is not my favorite Mitchell novel. That position is still held by Cloud Atlas. Although The Bone Clocks is probably the best book I’ve read thus far in 2014, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and The Bone Clocks are tied for second place in my personal ranking of David Mitchell novels.

My only gripe about The Bone Clocks is Mitchell’s propensity for sharing his personal viewpoints through his novel. (Note: Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2007.)  For example, the reader can surely glean his feelings about religion from the last section.  Or can they?  Does Holly consider the horologists gods when she says a prayer asking for salvation for her two charges?  Is her prayer answered?  You can decide when you read The Bone Clocks.  It is worth your time and your effort at over 600 pages.

Book Details:  Published by Random House (September 4, 2014), 640 pages.

Goodreads Giveaways and Krissie’s Bookshelf

I joined GoodReads in March 2008 and have been VERY active on the Website since that time.  I love GoodReads and spend way to much time on their site.  Having said that I still have an one issue with GoodReads —the first reads giveaways!

Since March 2008, I have entered giveaways for approximately 330 books and have won books for four of those giveaways.  I enjoyed those books and was very happy to have gotten them.  I read at least three books that I probably would not have otherwise.  Krissie, another goodreads.com member, that frequently enters the same giveaways that I do has won 72 books since joining in March 2008.  Recent additions to Krissie’s first-reads bookshelf include:

I Curse the River of Time: A Novel by Per Petersen
Horns by Joe Hill
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Translyvania, and Other States That Never Made It by Michael J. Trinklein
The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo

I entered for each of these books and didn’t win any of them.  Krissie has great luck!  The GoodReads Giveaways page says that “Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway” and I received a recent e-mail from ENC Press after a recent giveaway that advises that “GoodReads does the random picking,” however, I am beginning to wonder…

I did read 100% of the books that I won and rated all four of them.  I actually reviewed two of them or 50%.  I noted that Krissie has rated only 16.7% of the books that she has won from the GoodReads giveaways, but shows a review for 100% of the 72 books on her First Reads bookshelf.  Her typical review is as follows:

“First it has to arrive in the mail, and then I have to find the time and motivation to read the Others, and then I can read this one. I have a new plan for the Others. I’m not sure it’ll work out very well, though.”

Can someone explain what is going on with GoodReads giveaways?  How do so many First Reads end up on Krissie’s bookshelf?  Are the books given away randomly or is some other method used to give away the First Reads books?

One last thought, I sure hope that Krissie doesn’t enter for Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James, because I really want to win a copy of that book!