Monday, 29 December 2014

Year in Books Project December update

Well Christmas is over again for another year
another year is almost upon us.

I thought I would take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for


Over the last month I have continued working my way through the books piled up next to my bed.

When I last posted I had started reading Broken Harbour by Tana French. It is a crime thriller set in Ireland. I thought this one would be quite promising.  A young family are attacked in their home leaving the husband and two children dead and the wife badly injured.  Right from the beginning you are left trying to decide whether it was the husband who attacked his wife and children, a spurned lover or indeed the wife.  Unfortunately it was quite predictable in places and seemed to go on forever, I think the book could of been half the amount of pages if I'm honest and would probably have held my attention much better.

I then moved on to The Rosie Project  by Graeme Simison, so many of you had read this one and from your recommendations it sounded just my kind of read.  I have to tell you, you didn't let me down. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I loved Don's character he so reminded me of some of the Consultants I work with and could have been modeled on my D.  Although it is never said that he is Aspergers I think by the end of the book you can pretty much take it as read that he is.  In order to really understand this book you have to know or indeed live with someone on that colourful spectrum of ASD/Aspergers to really understand Don.  I am so glad there is a sequel to this book and I will definitely be continuing the lives of Don and Rosie in the Rosie Effect sometime soon.

A List of my Dersires  was a  bit of bridge between books for me but it certainly made me think about what my list of desires may be if I were to win the Lottery.  I have to thank Jo Through the Keyhole for sending me this one. 

Lesley Pearse's  Stolen & Till we meet again were my book swaps with my bookswap buddy at work.  She had forwarned me that I might find them a little predictable.  Stolen was about a young girl found on a beach who upon examination would appear to of recently given birth. She had no recollection of how she had come to be washed up on a beach and no recollection of having had a baby.  Till we meet again was a story of revenge for the death of a child and what lead a mild homely women to take such action.  I thought both these books were very good and not as predictable as I had lead to believe.  Certainly I hadn't guessed the twist in Till we meet again. 

Christmas for One  by Amanda Prowse was my Christmas read and as per usual Amanda did not let me down. I have been a follower of the work of Amanda Prowse right from her first novel Poppy Day.  In this her latest novel she takes up the story of Megan who featured in her novel A Little Love released in February this year.

One Night Only tells the story of fading soap star Helen Redford from her humble beginnings to her attempt to make a come back to stage and screen.  A very entertaining read but not one that gripped me, more a holiday read.

Lastly was my last remaining return to school read.  Throughout 2014 I have been re-reading some of those books we were made to read at school.  Some I have loved and others I have loathed.

Decembers read was Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Unfortunately this turned out to be in the loathed category.  I didn't remember anything about it from school until I started reading it again and I soon remembered it as not being one that I particularly enjoyed at school.  Uncle Tom's cabin was about slavery in the American South and how they were treated at this time.  

As usual I like to pick on as my book of the month and for December I think I have to agree with so many of you in picking 

The Rosie Project  by Graeme Simison

I have loved taking part in The Year in Books Project run by Laura at Circle of Pine Trees. I am so pleased she has decided to continue with the project in 2015.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing which books come up next year.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Year in Books -December

As you can see there are a few books residing on my bedside cabinet.
These are the start of my Winter read selection. 
With two weeks off over the festive season and the plan being not to do very much, apart from reading and crafting the pile may just increase a little, especially if Santa brings me a few more off my Christmas list. 

So to begin with I have 

The Rosie Project  so many of you have talked about this book that I decided I just had to have it. 
Well half of blogland can't be wrong about this one can they.

Y bought this one a while ago and it has been sitting on my bookshelf along with Ten things I've learnt about love,  The Supremes at Earls all you can eat.Prescious Thing & One Night Only So I thought it was about time they got promoted from the bookshelf to the bedside cabinet in readiness for reading at some point over the Winter months. 

Back in the summer I lent a book to Jo at Through the Keyhole and when she returned it she included A List of my Dersires as she thought I would like it.  So that is a definite read this month.

I then have two book swaps both by Lesley Pearse Stolen & Till we meet again. I've not read any Lesley Pearse before so it will be interesting to see what I make of them. I swap with my bookswap buddy in the office and we love having our own little review of the books we've read over a nice cup of tea.  It's always nice I think to get someone else's perspective on a book that I've read, especially if their take is so completely different to yours. 

and of course 

Anyone who has been following my blog for any length of time will know I am a huge Amanda Prowse fan and therefore I just had to get Christmas for One  which was released at the end of November, but I am being very good and keeping it until next week when I have finished for the holidays. I usually totally immerse myself in her books and don't surface again until the last page has been turned, so next weekend should do it. 

Of course there will be one or two selections from my Kindle as these days there are just as many books residing on my cloud as there are on the bookshelf.  
I think my family thinks I need to join some sort of group for therapy for Book addiction as I just don't seem to be able to stop myself.  I don't think they realise how many there are on sitting on my little kindle cloud..... 

What about you are you very good and only pick a book as you are coming to the end of another one or is it a once a month trip to the library or do you have to avoid passing a Waterstone store at all costs?

I do try and have a book budget and limit myself to how many new books I can have but when Amazon do a 99p book sale it is a little hard to say no don't you find?

So to kick off the month of December I have picked a book that has been sitting on the book shelf for a while now.  Broken Harbour by Tana French is set in Ireland.  I'm not normally one for Crime Thrillers especially where you have to wait till half way through the book for a crime to actually be committed, but in Broken Harbour the crime takes place right at the beginning of the book and from then on you have to decide was it the husband who did it, a spurned lover or indeed the wife. 

And of course being December I have my last return to school read.  I struggled to make up my mind what my last return to school read should be. As I couldn't make up my mind I put the remaining names of books in a tea cup and pulled out a name.  
My December return to school read is therefore going to be 

I hope you all enjoy your December read's and I look forward to seeing what you all have chosen, no doubt you will give me yet more books to look out for. 


Sunday, 30 November 2014

November Reads Update

November has been a busy month all round at The Willows with visitors to the cottage and a flying visit down to Cornwall for a 50th Birthday. 

So here we are at the end of Autumn and Winter is about to begin.  I know we've had some very autumnal weather but mixed in with that we have been spoiled with some quite mild weather for the time of year.  It's not often you can say that you were on the beach in Cornwall in your jeans and T'shirt on the 1st November is it. 

So to my November reads. 
This months reads were a mixture of Kindle and book.  
As much as I like the convenience of a Kindle I still like the feel of a book.
With it being the month of remembrance I decided I would go for books that to remember those who have been involved in the WW1 and WW2 and those who are still involved with conflict today.

It's All About Treo - written by Dave Heyhoe about his time as a dog handler in the armed forces and his bond with his dog Treo, who always came first. This was a good book for me to read now as my son chose not to tell me too much about what he did in Afghanistan in order for me not to worry, but sometimes that made it harder.  I have now gleaned a lot about what he would of been doing out there and I am now glad he didn't elaborate too much.  Dave Heyhoe has now left the armed forces and Treo retired from active service. He now lives with his fiance and at the time of writing the book they were expecting a baby and of course Treo is with them. 

Soldier Wives - Fiona Field is ex armed forces and now a full time novelist. I had high hopes for Soldier Wives and although it was a good read it certainly didn't have me gripped and in places it was a little too towiesk with Jenna's character. 
It may have been more suited to someone a little younger than my 51 years, I was left a little disappointed. 

The Poppy Factory - Liz Trenow's fictional story of a young army medic struggling to come to terms  with what she witnessed whilst in Afghanistan was brilliant. When Jess returns home and finds she cannot cope she turns to her mother.  Her mother gives her, her great grandmothers journals to read.  The journals contain her everyday thoughts on coping with a husband returning from the first world war.
 At times you forgot that this was fiction and definitely worth reading. 

The Military Wives Wherever You Are - contains 25  true accounts by military wives and at times you will require the tissues to be within easy reach. These are the same military wives who with the help from Gareth Malone went on to form The Military Wives Choir.

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas - is John Boynes fictionional story of Bruno a nine year old boy who befriends a young jewish boy.  Bruno's father is a high ranking officer in the German army and is in charge of one of the concentration camps. Bruno being a little boy doesn't fully understand what it is his father does or what a concentration camp is he thinks it is some sort of farm. The two boys come up with a plan for them to be able to play together and this plan will change Bruno's  family forever.

Lest We Forget -    I had bought this book for D a few years ago, but I can't say that I ever remember him reading it. Somehow it ended up on my bookshelf and I decided to make it one of my November reads.   I am so glad I did. it is a collection of memoirs from those who lived through and survived the first and second world wars.
I chose to read a number of pages each day and with every story it made you appreciate just how much we take for granted now.  If you know anyone who has an interest in the first and second world wars it would definitely of interest to them. 

The Book Thief - Fiction - this one turned out to be completely different to what I had expected.  Lisel is a young girl  growing up in Nazi Germany. I had thought the story was to be how she rescued books for the Jewish people which were going to be burnt. I knew there would be more to the story than that but as the story unfolded it was almost like a Grimms Fairy Story that is the only way I can think of to describe it.  It was brilliantly written and I really enjoyed it.  I have since seen the film but thought the book was much better.  

My return to school read for November was 

Carrie's WarCarries War - Nina Bawden Fiction
The story begins with Carrie and her children on a train to Wales where Carrie will be returning for the first time in 30 years. Carrie and Nick Willow are evacuated out of London during the second World War. They are placed with Mr Evans and his sister Louisa. Their friend Albert is staying at Druids bottom with Hepzibah Green and Mr Johnny and Mrs Gotabed the sister of Mr Evans and Louisa. This is the story of their adventures during their time in Wales and is a lovely children's story. 
If you never read this one as a child or you have a child age around 9 or 10 it would be a  story for you to share. 

As always I like to pick a book of the month from my reads and November has to be 

The Poppy Factory - Liz Trenow

I look forward to seeing what you are reading next month as part of The year in Books project.

Happy reading one & all