The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

Currently reading: eleventy-million books

on April 29, 2017

I’m not usually one of those people who reads multiple books at the same time: I’m more of a one book kinda gal. However, recently, as I’ve been feeling reading-slumpy, I’ve decided that the solution to beating said slump is to read a silly number of books at one time (okay, five, whatever…), and keep switching every time I find myself getting a little bit book-fatigued. Here are all of the books I’ve got on the go at the mo:

Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle


In my last post I mentioned that I fell in love with Vendetta (the first book in the Blood for Blood trilogy, which is a YA mafia romance, and is a lot less trashy than it sounds.) Mafiosa is the third and final book in the series and is undoubtedly the book I’m enjoying most at the moment. I love all of the characters in this series, and although I don’t know any gangsters personally, the ones in these books feel pretty realistic to me. This book feels so much darker, and more dangerous, than the first, but it’s still full of feels, and I am swooning hard over Luca, the underboss of the Falcone mafia family, who I believe, deep down, just wants to be good.

*fans self*

*falls on floor*

*rip jess*

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski


This is definitely the most challenging book I’m reading at the moment, and because it is so ginormous, and majoratively written in the style of an academic text, I think it’s going to take me at least a month or two to finish it. This novel is about a man who finds an academic paper about a mysterious documentary that doesn’t exist. The documentary is supposedly about a house which is bigger on the inside than the outside (in a creepy, rather than cool, Tardis-like, way). This book is strange and scary, although it’s difficult to describe exactly WHY it’s so scary. The writing is unsettling and when I’m reading this I feel like I completely zone out of reality.

Parts of this book are hard to follow, because the writer of the paper likes to go off on nonsensical, rambling tangents about loosely related academic concepts, which jars the narrative on so many levels. But I love how unique this book is – every page looks different, there are footnotes all over the place, parts of the text are upside down or on their sides, the word ‘house’ is written in blue ink every time it appears, and there are all sorts of other weird and wonderful things like this throughout the book. I guess it’s a bit pretentious, being so “experimental”, and I’m still not quite sure what it all means, but I’m enjoying trying to wrap my awed mind around all the craziness.

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman


This is a collection of short stories and poems by Neil Gaiman, and so far it’s quite a mixed bag. I’ve read two Neil Gaiman novels previously (Coraline and The Ocean at the End of the Lane,) and was left a little bit underwhelmed by both of them. I liked them, but I didn’t love them. So far I’m not really loving this collection either. Don’t get me wrong, Gaiman is a GOOD writer, and his prose is beautiful, but the endings of most of the stories I’ve read so far have felt like anti-climaxes, and with some of those endings, I wasn’t really clear as to what had actually happened (which is frustrating, because I like to think of myself as a semi-intelligent human).

My favourite story in the collection so far has been one about a man searching for a cave on a mysterious island know as ‘The Misty Isle’. I love me a mysterious island, I really enjoyed the writing, and I felt like it had a powerful conclusion. But all of the other stories have been somewhat meh. I’m partially considering DNFing this book, but I don’t like doing that, so maybe I’ll press on and see if it becomes more my cup of tea in the second half.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King


I’ve been wanting to pick up this short story collection for a while, as I really enjoyed King’s novella collection – Four Past Midnight. Like with Trigger Warning, this collection is a mixed bag so far, although I would say I am enjoying it more than the Neil Gaiman book. The first story in the collection, about a car that eats people, sounds like it would be ridiculous, but was actually very enjoyable. Some of the subsequent stories have been pretty entertaining too, and King is certainly the master of the creepy ending, as well as being one hell of a good storyteller in general. The stories I have enjoyed less have been ones I wouldn’t really describe as horror. They weren’t bad stories, but I guess they just didn’t fit with my expectations of what King usually writes. I’m not very far through this book, so I can’t wait to get creeped out by some of the more traditional horror type stories King does so well, in later pages.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero


I got this book in my monthly ‘Buddy Box’ from The Blurt Foundation. The Buddy Box is a subscription box full of self-care goodies for people who suffer from depression, which you can take out a personal subscription to, or gift to somebody you know who is struggling. It’s such a lovely thing to receive every month, as the contents are always a surprise. This self-help book was a wonderful addition this month, and I am really enjoying reading this, because the author writes in a humorous, down-to-earth way which just makes me feel like she *gets* me, y’know?

I have to admit that some of the ideas are a little wishy-washy to me (there are mentions of ‘higher selves’ and ‘vibrations’ and ‘manifesting your desires’: concepts I encountered in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway aka the worst book I read in 2016, and which I personally don’t buy), but there are also plenty of chapters with useful, practical advice about boosting your self-esteem, forgiving other people, and forgiving yourself, which I’m finding very helpful. Every chapter ends with a list of things you can do to put the advice into practice, which for me makes it so easy to digest and remember. There is also a resounding message that ‘self-love’ is the most important thing of all, and that’s something I can’t help but dig. ❤

So that’s all of the books I’m currently reading! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read and loved/read and hated any of these books, and if you have any recommendations for similar books I might enjoy. Lots of love to you all, and hope you have a lovely weekend!


7 responses to “Currently reading: eleventy-million books

  1. haha I’ve done the whole “read multiple books at once” thing when I’ve been caught in a reading slump too 😉 Mafiosa sounds fun and I really want to give Trigger Warning a go at some point!!

    • mudandstars says:

      haha, it seemed to work quite well, surprisingly! Yesss Mafiosa was so much fun, and the 2nd and 3rd books were even better. Definitely recommend them! Trigger Warning I actually gave up on in the end, but I think it’s more because I wasn’t in the mood to read it, rather than that it wasn’t good. I liked some of the stories, but got confused by some of the others. I’ll probably give it another go at some point 🙂

  2. I chuckled at ‘eleventy-million books’ 😅 great post!

  3. Ahhh, I really need to read House of Leaves!!! I love horror, but the size is kinda really intimidating 😂

    • mudandstars says:

      I know, it is SO intimidating! I actually haven’t read any more of it since I wrote this blog post! It’s a difficult book to read, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

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