Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Year in Books November

I am yet again late with my post. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

Octobers reads were a mixture of books and kindle reads and of course their was my return to my favourite childhood read.

Larkswood written by Val Mendes, mother to the famous Sam Mendes, is the story of the troubled Hamilton family. Shrouded by secrets and lies this is a family pulled a part. That is until Louisa Hamilton grand daughter to Edward comes to stay at Larkswood to recuperate following glandular fever. Louisa soon falls under the spell of Larkswood and is determined to find out the truth.
Very well written but not sure the content would suit everybody.

Josephine Cox's Whilstledown Women....  I had looked forward to reading this one.  Sometimes it can be the cover of the book that draws me to it and this one certainly had me full of intrigue.  This is the story of a obsessed husband who does not believe his wife's unborn child to be his. On the evening of her birth the baby is given to a gypsy women and told to take her away to raise.   She has no idea she is from aristocracy  and it is some years later that the truth of her birth is revealed but in doing so puts the young girl in danger.
Very good read and really and enjoyed all the intrigue.

Missing by Susan Lewis was my charity shop find.  I have read a couple of Susan Lewis novels and for me they are my Marmite I either love them or I hate them.  This one I loved.  A family struggle to cope when their baby son is taken from the backseat of his mother's car.  They never discover what happened to Sam and 16 years later his mother still grieves for her son.  This has lead to her not being able to build a relationship with her daughter afraid that she too will be taken.  It has destroyed her marriage leading to two people living separate lives under one roof.
Very good book and one to read.

My return to childhood read was Pollyanna.  The story of a little orphan girl who goes to live with her aunt. She teaches everyone around her that even in your darkest of times you should still have something to be glad about.  Great story and one of my favourites from my childhood and one I shared with my own daughter when she was a little girl.

This month I read three novels on my Kindle. Helen Bryan's War Brides starts in 1995 when a group of women who have not seen each other in 50 years arrange a reunion.  They know one of their number will not be at the reunion. From here you are taken back to 1939 when the war breaks out and their story begins. This one had been sitting patiently on my kindle for a while but I am glad I finally got a round to reading it. Great story and one I would recommend.

Kathryn Hughes The Letter. The story begins with a child asking her grandmother how did you meet granddad?  From here you are transported back to the 1970's and a young wife who volunteers in a charity shop on a Saturday, who discovers a letter in an old suit pocket.  It has an old stamp on but no postmark so therefore it evidently was never posted. Tina Craig is intrigued as to why the letter was never posted and takes it upon herself to try and locate the letter intended recipient.  In doing so a story unfolds of a young girl who finds herself in the family way and who believes her boyfriend has abandoned her. In truth her controlling father is behind everything that follows.
What can I say this is a book you will not be able to put down. You will need a large pot of tea definitely some chocolate and most importantly a vast quantity of tissues. Beautifully written.  If you loved Philomena you will love this story even more and I cannot recommend it enough.  It is now the most read book of my office and yet again I think my colleague's husband will find her in tears this morning when he takes her a cup of tea in bed and finds her reading this one.

Lastly is Tom Rob Smith's The Farm, another very well written novel.  I have never read any of his novels before but when this one was one of Simon Mayo's book club sometime ago I had to add it to my collection.  It starts with a young man receiving a phone call from his father to say his mother is sick and he should come, but before he gets there his mother has arrived from their home in Sweden convinced that her husband is trying to convince anyone who will listen that she is mentally ill. Not normally my type of read but very well written and one I would recommend.

So that was my October reads and now I will tell you about those I have selected for November.  I think I have some thirty books between my kindle and the bookshelf and I am determined to have reduced this number by Christmas in order to buy more books obviously.  They are quite an eclectic mix and I do find that I pick books dependent on my mood.  My return to childhood read for November is The Borrowers. Those little people that live under your floor boards and in your walls, who borrow everyday items to make their homes leaving you convinced you have simply mislaid them.

Life After You is Lucie Brown's true story of life following the early death of her husband at just 37. Get the feeling I am going to need to Kleenex again.

Then I am going for three more off my kindle. Brooke Powley's Letting go of Emma, Douglas Johnstone's Gone Again and Natalie Martin's Together Apart and if there is still time before the end of the month I may even sneak in Jodi Picoult's The Pact.

All that said just leaves me to tell you which of my October reads was my book of the month.  I don't think you will be surprised when I tell you that it is Kathryn Hughes The Letter.

Happy reading one & all


Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Year in Books September

I don't quite know where September went. I think I must have blinked and missed it. One moment we were on the first of September and everyone was getting ready for the new school year or taking their offspring to University and the next I was writing a post on my Lazy Days and Sunday's blog saying goodbye to September and welcoming October.

I've not had time to write up about all the books I've ready this month so will give you a quick run down here.

I started September with Susan Lewis's The Truth About You.  Lainey Hollingsworth had always had a strained relationship with her late mother and never knew why.  After her mothers death she decides to return to Italy to find out why her mother had left her home country when Lainey was 3 months old never to return and what was the secret her mother had hidden from her for all her life,  Lainey is married to the love of her life with children of her own and if trying to discover what if anything had happened to her mother wasn't enough, her husband too she was to find out had his own secret. A secret that could if she let it change her life forever.

I had only read one other Susan Lewis Behind Closed Doors.  This one was much more to my liking, not gripping but I would recommend it as a good holiday read. 

My second read was Stephen Fry's More Fool Me.  I had previously read Moab is my washpot and The Fry Chronicles and had looked forward to reading this the third installment of Stephen Fry's memoirs. I did enjoy this one but felt it was a little repetitive in parts and not as good as the first two.
Northanger Abbey is Val McDermid's modernisation of a Jane Austen classic.  I had never read the Jane Austen original to know how in keeping Ms McDermids adaptation is but overall thought it was a good interpretation.  I'm not sure some of the language used by today's teens would be that of Ms McDermids choosing but I think it would be quite a challenge to get that right. 

Three and Half Heartbeats by Amanda Prowse was a new purchase for September on my kindle. The Penderfords are a happy couple with a young daughter.  They are left devastated after their daughter dies from Sepsis following a routine operation. All the proceeds for this ebook are going to the Sepsis Trust. I do hope that this one will eventually be released as a paperback, not only as it will raise more money for such a good cause but will also reach a wider audience in making people aware of the signs of Sepsis. I am an a long standing fan of Ms Prowse's work but would urge you to read this one even if you have never read her novels before or likely to read any of her other novels. 
At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to return to some of my favourite childhood reads. My selection for September was Kenneth Grahames Wind in the Willows.  It was lovely revisiting rattie and mole and not forgetting the formidable Badger and the encourageable Toad

So there we are a bit of whistle stop tour of my September reads.

As per usual I like to pick a book of the month and I think it will be no surprise that I have selected Amanda Prowse's Three and half Heartbeats.

I have started October with a Helen Bryan novel War Brides. It begins in 1995 when a reunion of the war brides is about to take place in a little village in Sussex some fifty years since they had last all been together. From here you are taken back to the 1940's in order to be told the story of how these women came together and the bond that has kept them in touch over all these years.
My return to childhood read for October is Pollyanna.  I am sure many of you will have memories of reading this one as child. And if you did do you always have something you can be glad about?

Happy reading one and all


Thursday, 10 September 2015

The truth About you - Susan Lewis

Lainey Hollingsworth has spent her whole life on the outside of a secret. Her mother would never discuss the reasons she abandoned Italy when Lainey was a baby, and has lost touch with the family she left behind.

But just as Lainey is free to find out about her roots, her husband hits her with a bombshell that shatters the very foundations of their marriage. Another secret.

Shaken, but more determined than ever to find out who she really is, Lainey takes her children to Umbria in search of answers. 

What she ginds in the sleepy, sun-baked village of her birth turns her world inside out.


I had only read one other Susan Lewis before 'Behind Closed Doors' and yes it was good but in places a little predictable.  The Truth About you , on the other hand was much better and had my full attention.  I certainly didn't see the first twist in the tale coming although I knew there was a secret to be told.   You learn the truth quite early on and from then on it is more around Lainey trying to decide what will happen going forward, will she still have a marriage.  Then there is her daughter who seems to be taking completely the wrong path in order to be popular with one particular friend who may not be much of a friend at all.  And lastly there is the crux to the whole thing what was it that Lainey's mother ran away from in Italy and why was it she would never return.  

All in all a very good read and one I would recommend. 


I am a little behind my time with blogging again at the moment.  I finished this one just over a week ago so you may find there will be another post very shortly as I am coming to the end of my next book already which is 

Happy reading one & all 


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Autumn reads

I don't know about anyone else but there is a definite nip in the air this morning, the sun may be shining but it feels pretty chilly to me. I think Autumn is most definitely making it's presence felt over the last few days and therefore it must be time to sort out the Autumn reads.  

There hasn't been much movement on the bookshelf this summer with a total of 8 books being read off the bookshelf and  8 from my kindle. 

As you can see from the above picture there are still quite a number on the bookshelf and fare number on the Kindle at quick count I think there is around 30 in all.

August was a very slow month of reading for me with four books being read. 

His Other Life by Beth Thomas, Distant Hours by Kate Morton, Missing You by Louise Douglas and my return to childhood read Heidi.

I had really looked forward to reading His Other Life but have to say I was left a little disappointed and I don't think it would be one to recommend particularly.  I had (stupidly) looked at reviews of Kate Morton's Distant Hours, which were not that favourable.  I have enjoyed all the previous Kate Morton's I've read and had therefore been looking forward to reading this one.  I'm glad I put the other reviews to the back of my mind as I really enjoyed Distant Hours even more so than The Riverton House which had rave reviews and if you've not read this one I would recommend you do,
Missing You by Louise Douglas was a lovely romantic summer read and one I would recommend.
That just left my return to my childhood read which for the month of August was Heidi and I enjoyed it just as much now as I did forty years ago. If you have a young daughter and are looking for something from your childhood for them to read, I would recommend Heidi.

I am again late with this post so I have already started my Autumn reads, first off the bookshelf was Susan Lewis's The Truth About You, this came as a two book set for Christmas and has been patiently waiting it's turn.  I first read Behind Closed Doors from the set of two and although it was a good read I didn't think it was as good as The Truth About You and out of the two it would be this one I would recommend for reading.

I am now working my way through Stephen Fry's Memoir 'More Fool Me'.  This is his third memoir following on from where the Fry Chronicles left off. I had enjoyed the first two and I was in no doubt that I would enjoy this one too and so far I have not been left disappointed.

As per usual I like to pick a book of the month and my choice for August is

Well that's me done.

I am taking part in Laura's Year in Books Project 2015 if you like take part just click on the link.


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Missing You - Louise Douglas

Fen works in a bookshop and is devoted to her young son, Connor, but she keeps herself to herself. Haunted by guilt and a terrible secret. Fen lives a compromised life, isolated from her family, far from home and too afraid of the past to risk becoming close to anyone.She is constantly looking over her shoulder, knowing that one day the truth will catch up with her.

Sean on the other hand, is enjoying a seemingly perfect life. He has a successful career, lives in his dream home and adores his beautiful wife, Belle and their six year old daughter, Amy, That is until the day Belle announces she has found someone else and wants Sean to move out.

Circumstances throws Fen  and Sean together. Slowly their quiet friendship turns into something much deeper and the joy they find in one another eventually gives them the confidence to trust and love again. But will the past tear them apart just as they find happiness?


If you are looking for a holiday read I would recommend this one to you. 
It's approximately 376 pages and is set out across 53 short chapters making it an easy pick up put down whilst you're on your hols.
I can't really add anything to the blurb above as that basically is the story in a nutshell and if I tell you anymore there won't be anypoint in you reading the book.


Moving on and sticking with my kindle reads I have started my childhood returned read this morning and for the month of August it is................

Happy reading one & all


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Distant Hours - Kate Morton

Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother's emotional distance masks an old secret.

Evacuated from London as a thirteen year old girl, Edie's mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe, and taken to live at Milderhurst Castle with the Blythe family,

Fifty years later, Edie too is drawn to Milderhurst and the eccentric Sister Blythe. Old ladies now, the three still live together, the twins nursing Juniper, whose abandonment by her fiance in 1941 plunged her into madness.

Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother's past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst Castle, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in the distant hours has been waiting a longtime for someone to find it.


This is he second novel by Kate Morton and the fourth one I have read.
When I read reviews for Distant Hours they weren't as favourable as those for The Riverton House and The Forgotten Garden, but actually I thought this one to be better than The Riverton House.

You are lead to believe that either Edie's mother has something do with the fact that Juniper's fiance abandons her, but this couldn't be further from the truth.
You are then lead to believe that Juniper herself may have caused his abandoning her on the evening she was to meet her sisters, but actually it all stems back to the story of The Mud Man a family tale their father wrote many years before.

I would recommend that if you are a Kate Morton fan but not gotten around to this one yet that you should go a head and give it ago before her fifth novel The Lake House comes out in the Autumn.


Moving on I am sticking with my kindle reads as it's so much easier on trains and I have picked

I'm around 100 pages in and so far it's pretty good.

Happy reading one and all


Thursday, 13 August 2015

His Other Life - Beth Thomas

Grace's new husband Adam seems like the perfect package. Good looking, great job, completely charming - almost too good to be true. So when Adam suddenly disappears from Grace's  life, she is left bewildered and heartbroken. And with a lot of unanswered questions. Ash she tries desperately to find him, Grace opens a Pandora's box of secrets and lies - and starts to learn that Adam wasn't so perfect after all. 

What shameful secrets was her husband hiding? Is Grace in danger? And can she survive the truth? However terrible it may be....


I am a little behind in posting about this one I finished it last week but heyho sometimes life just gets in the way of things doesn't it.

So His Other Life is essentially about Grace and her husband Adam.  You soon get to learn that Adam is a bit of a control freak but one night he returns home from work asks Grace what takeaway she would like, leaves the house and never returns. 

She reports his disappearance to the police who find his car in a car park in Yorkshire, in a place that neither of them to her knowledge have ever visited before. 

Grace then receives phone calls from a man named Leon who she has never spoken to before but seems to know an awful lot about her. 

She is left wondering what secrets has her husband been keeping from her and has he left of his own accord or is someone or something stopping him returning to her.


When I first started reading this one I thought it was going to be a real page turner but as time went on it seemed to be a lot of the same thing and I had almost worked out how it was going to end by the time I got to the middle of the book.

It left me a little disappointed if I'm honest but as a holiday read that you can pick up as and when it would hold your attention and you wouldn't loose the plot (if you know what I mean).

So from the disappointed I have now moved on to a novel on my kindle.

I had read all of Kate Morton's novels apart from this one and with her knew book being released in the Autumn felt I definitely had to get through this last one.

Therefore my latest read is Kate Morton's Distant Hours. 
I like the way she weaves through the novels between the present and the past.
It's not everyone's favourite Kate Morton novel but I am about half way through and I am enjoying it as much as I have her previous ones. 
I'll let you know when I have finished it. 

Happy reading one & all


Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Year in Books July

It's been feeling a little like the Mad Hatters Tea Party around here.

I can't believe we are already approaching the second week in August and I have not yet posted about my books from July.

It has been a busy time around here and most of the time I still feel a bit like the white rabbit that I am going to be late for a very important date.
I managed five books through the month of July.

Perfect Daughter is the latest offering from Amanda Prowse.  I lovely this ladies work, everything from the covers of her novels to the characters she creates.  Perfect daughter is about Jacks Morgan, a wife, mother and carer for her elderly mother.  She covers all the everyday goings on that happen in normal family life for some of us, but in her usual sensitive way of writing. 

Take Me Home is the second novel of Daniela Sacerdoti that I have read.  It is set back in Glen Avich and is a story of love, loss and rediscovery. Inary Monteith is at a crossroads. Still trying to put her life back together after a broken romance from three years ago.  Inary Monteith returns to Glen Avich to say goodbye to her sister who is coming to the end of a long illness, but whilst there gets the chance to find out things about herself she had long forgotten.
 Still Alice is the second Lisa Genova novel I have read.  Alice is a successful Professor at a University, travelling all over the country giving lectures.  She has everything she could have wanted and yet this is all about to be taken away from her as she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers at the age of 50.  As I am a lady of a similar age to the character of this book you can imagine how many times I have compared myself to Alice's character whenever I forget things or can't place a word.  


Like so many I had eagerly awaited the release of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman. To Kill A Mocking Bird is one of my all time favourite books.  Go Set A Watchman is set twenty years later and Jean Louise is now a young woman.  She has returned home to visit her elderly father but she is about to realise the man she idolized as a child may not be quite as perfect as she had always thought. I read this one in a matter of days not able to put it down.  I did enjoy it but if I had to pick I think To Kill A Mocking Bird is still my favourite.

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge, was my return to childhood read for July.  I read all the What Katy Did books as a girl and went on to share them with my own daughter.  What I hadn't realised is that Jacqueline Wilson,also a lover of these books, has written a modern take on this classic novel. It will be interesting to see how she interprets Katy in the modern day. 

And so it is decision time which of these will I choose as my book of the month?

It's funny I can more or less have an idea of which one it will be before I have finished reading them all but actually this month it's turned out not to be the one I thought it would be.

My book of the month for July is 

I am continuing to take part in Laura's Year in Books Project 2015 if you want to take part just click on the link.

Happy reading one and all


Sunday, 26 July 2015

What Katy Did - Susan Coolidge

Katy Carr is untidy, tall and gangling and lives with her brothers and sisters planning for the day when she will be 'beautiful and beloved, and as amiable as an angel'. An accidental fall from a swing seems to threaten her hopes for the future but, Katy struggles to overcome her difficulties with pluck, vitality and good humour.

How many of you read the 'What Katy Did' series of books?  This was another one that I went on to read to my daughter when she was a little girl. I wonder if this is one she remembers will have to check. For anyone who doesn't know Katy Carr is the eldest of five children and who lives with her father who is a doctor and her aunt Izzie. Sadly her mother died and Aunt Izzie came to live with them to help her father look after the children. Katy is a bit of a Tom boy and gets herself in all sorts of scrapes.  Unfortunately Katy chooses not to listen to her aunt when she is told not to use the new swing and has an accident which finds her confined to her bed unable to walk and with the possibility that she may not walk again and so the story goes on to deal with how Katy will cope with her new situation.  The strangest part of reading this book again was that whilst travelling home from work I was as usual listening to Simon Mayo and he was interviewing Jacqueline Wilson about her new book. What I hadn't realised is that she has now written a modern version of this story called 'Katy'.  My friends daughter is a huge JW fan and is eagerly awaiting the release of her new book.  It will be interesting to see how she has interpreted Katy's story.

Moving on it is back to the bookshelf and and the book I have selected next is

His Other Life
Beth Thomas

Happy reading one & all


Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee

Every man's island, Jean Louise, 
every man's watchman, 
is his conscience.'

Maycomb Alabama, twenty-six year old Jean Louise Finch - 'Scout' returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt.


So how have you spent the last week of the school year. I have spent mine reading the new Harper Lee novel 'Go Set A Watchman'. For anyone who doesn't know 'Go Set A Watchman' is set twenty years after 'To Kill A Mockingbird' and Scout (Jean Louise) is now a young woman.  You will remember that as a child she idolized her father Atticus as a lot if little girls do and sometimes in reality they are not quite the most perfect human beings that we think they are and this is the realsation that Scout has to come to terms with. I really enjoyed it I know it's had a lot of mixed reviews and yes I do still prefer 'To Kill A Mockingbird' but then that was part of my growing up too and was always one of my favourites so this one would of had to have gone someway in order to beat it.


Moving on I have selected this months return to my childhood read and for the month of July it is going to be


Friday, 17 July 2015

Still Alice - Lisa Genova

Alice is just fifty when she finds herself in a downward spiral, increasingly disorientated and forgetful. A university professor, wife and mother of three, she has books to write, places to see, grandchildren to meet. But now a tragic diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer;s disease is set to change her life - and her relationship with her family and the world - forever.

Losing her yesterdays, living for each day, her short-term memory is hanging by a frayed thread. But she is still Alice.


I have read one or two Lisa Genova novels before and they were brilliant. She writes about very emotive subjects all of which has the potential to affect anyone of us.

The story of Alice is about a fifty year old University Professor who starts to realise she is having problems with her memory and forgetting the silliest of things.  She visits her doctor expecting her to say this is a result of the menopause. Her doctor refers Alice for more tests the results of which reveal that she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This was not what Alice was expecting at all.  Alice's world crashes around her. She soon realises that she will have to give up her post at Harvard, but hasn't quite realised the impact having this disease is going to have on her and her family. She is terrified that before too long she won't recognise her husband or her own children. 

I found this novel to be equally as brilliant as the other Lisa Genova novels I have read and at times it even made me question myself when I couldn't remember the simplest of things. We all have that getting to the top of the stairs not able to remember why we went up there in the first place moments don't we? 

Still Alice has also been made into a film, when I saw the trailers I didn't  associate the film to the book as it had been residing on my bookshelf for a while. I haven't seen the film so I don't know how true it has stayed to the book but now I have read it I may just have to watch the DVD especially as I am a fan of Julianne Moore.


Tuesday was a very exciting day.  WHY? I hear you ask. Well if you have spent the whole week down a well then you may not have realised that on Tuesday 14th July was the release date of the long awaited sequel to 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' by Harper Lee.  I say sequel but I'm not quite sure this is right.  My understanding is that some 50+ years ago Harper Lee wrote 'Go Set A Watchman' in which she tells the story of Jean Louise (Scout) as an adult returning to see her father Atticus. My understanding was she wasn't happy with it at the time and subsequently it went in a draw until it was rediscovered but went on to release 'To Kill A Mocking Bird'. So you can understand my confusion can't you?

Needless to say when I arrived home on Tuesday evening there was my copy of Go Set A Watchman, delivered as promised on the day of release by Amazon. 

I have been very good and finished Still Alice first but I'm afraid that 'Go Set A Watchman' has definitely queue jumped a head of those novels still residing on the bookshelf , but I still have at least 7 weeks before the kids go back to school and Autumn Term begins so plenty of time to continue working through my Summer reads right?

Happy reading one and all


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Take Me Home - Daniela Sacerdoti

Inary Monteith'a life is at a crossroads. After a stolen night with her close friend Alex, she's just broken his heart by telling him it was all a terrible mistake. Then she has to rush home from London to the Scottish Highlands when her little sister's illness suddenly worsens - and in returning she must confront the painful memories she has been trying so hard to escape. 

Back home, things become more complicated than she could ever have imagined. There's her sister's illness, her hostile brother, a smug ex she never wants to see again and her conflicted feelings about Alex in London and a handsome American she meets in Glen Avich. On top of that, she mysteriously loses her voice but regains a strange gift from her childhood - a sixth sense that runs in her family. And when a voice from the past keeps repeating, 'Take me home',  she discovers a mystery that she knows she must unlock to set herself free. 


I read Daniela Sacerdoti's first novel Watch Over Me earlier in the year and thought it was a great début novel.  In Take Me Home we are taken back to the village of Glen Avich in the Scottish Highlands. This time it is Inary's story who is the cousin of Eilidh who was the main character in Watch Over Me, you also find some of the other character's such as Aunt Mhairi and her little village shop. 

Inary's story is around mending a broken heart, learning to love again and how to deal with the loss of her beloved sister and the memories it evokes of the loss of her parents in a car accident when she was 16 years old. 
Inary also has a secret one that she has shared with very few people but a secret none the less that will draw her back to the loch. She hasn't been near the loch since that day when her father took her out on his boat when she 13 when she saw something that nobody else saw. Difference being that this time she knows she has to do something about it in order to bring peace not only to herself but to others too. 

I loved this book and by the time I got to the last 50 pages I just had to finish it to see whether Inary would face her demons and would she make things right between her and Alex or would she go against her own better judgement and return to her ex. 

As we are now in the holiday season it would be a great one to take away and if you have a kindle or the kindle app it is still on offer at 89p through Amazon.

Moving on I am back to selecting a book from the rather large pile that is still residing next to my bed.  A number of colleagues have mentioned my next book and as it had been sitting on to be read pile for a while I decided it was time.

My next read is 

I have previously read a couple of Lisa Genova novels and loved them.  I am already half way through this one and I am loving this one too.  It is a very emotive subject and it even makes you question yourself when you find you have trouble remembering the simplest of things. 

Happy reading one & all 


Sunday, 12 July 2015

And the winners are........................

Firstly thank you to everyone who took part in this years giveaways. 
I really do enjoy thinking about and gathering the items to go in them 

OK imaginary drum roll please.......

The winner of the Tea & Biscuits and A Good Book giveaway is.............

Congratulations Penny

2nd imaginary drum roll please...............

The winner of the Lazy Days & Sundays giveaway is......................

Congratulations Jo.

If you lovely ladies could email me your addresses at


and I will arrange to get your parcels off to you.

Happy Sunday one & all


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Perfect Daughter - Amanda Prowse

Once upon a time, Jacks Morgan had dreams.

She was going to have a successful career and travel the world. She would own a house on the beach, and spend long nights with her boyfriend strolling under the stars.

But life had other ideas. First Martha came along, then Jonty. Then Jacks' elderly mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had to move in. Now their little terrace in Weston-Super-Mare is bursting at the seams. 

Jacks' dreams were put on hold long ago. But if she can save up enough to give her teenage daughter a bright future, then all her sacrifice will be worth something... won't it?


Anyone who has been following my blog for any amount of time will know that I love Amanda Prowse books and I wait eagerly as the release dates draw near and do a little happy dance when the postman pops my copy through the letter box. 

Perfect Daughter  is the eighth novel in the No Greater Love series of books written by Amanda.  Each of her novels touches on every day life and real things that happen to real people.   She writes in such a way that each of her novels have a tenuous link to the one before or one to come.  It may be as subtle as a name of a person or the name of a shop, but sooner or later it will pop up in a future book giving you the link from one to another. 

In Perfect Daughter we meet Jacks Morgan who had aspirations of moving away from Weston of having a career and building a new life for herself .  Unfortunately life had other ideas and all of Jacks dreams had to be put on hold.  When we first meet Jacks she is a thirty something wife and mother who as well as looking after her family is also carer to her elderly mother.  Throughout her novel Amanda writes a chapter in the present day but will then take you back some 19 years to when Jacks was a teenager with all her hopes and dreams. 

Jacks loves her family and wouldn't change them for the world but like we all do from time to time she occasionally wonders how her life would have been if her life had taken a different path. 

I definitely recommend you read this and the other Amanda Prowse novels.


Moving on I have picked a Kindle read next.

I read Daniela Sacerdoti's novel Watch Over Me earlier in the year. As a début novel I found it an easy read so when I saw her next novel Take Me Home in the kindle sale I immediately downloaded a copy and it has been sat patiently waiting it's turn ever since. I have to confess probably some 6 months. I have now read the first two chapters and really enjoying what I have read so far so may be it was worth the wait.  I am definitely someone who picks a book according to my mood so I must be in the need for a bit of will they won't they get together by the end of this book time and as it is a relatively small book at 293 pages I will be back before you know to tell you whether I would recommend you find a copy for yourself. For those of you with a kindle it is currently at 89p which is a bit of bargain don't you think. 

Happy reading one & all.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Summer reads continued

Is it just me or are the years going quicker the older I get.  I cannot believe we are into July already. Before we know it the children will have broken up for the summer, fraught parents will be trying to keep them entertained as the familiar tune of I'm bored rings out across the country and then before we know it the dash to purchase new school uniforms will begin in readiness for the new school year and Christmas decorations will be in the shops.

Thursday D and I had a rare day off together and whilst our youngest was in school decided to have an even rarer day out just the two of us.  Nothing grand you understand, but when you have a son with autism it is nice to do something that is outside of his latest obsession which at the moment is his iPad, Burger King and train spotting. 

We chose to visit the ancestral home of Sir Isaac Newton, Woolthorpe Manor. It was a lovely sunny day but not as hot as it had been on Wednesday. Don't get me wrong I would rather it were sunny than raining but Wednesday was a little overbearing especially as I was shut up in a stuffy office. We had a lovely visit and the staff were very knowledgeable and I think we both learnt a few things apart from the fact that it was here that Isaac Newton discovered gravity when an apple fell from this very tree.

We enjoyed a nice lunch of Gloucester Old Spot Pulled Pork at the Chomeley Arms in Burton Le Coggles. So full were we that we didn't even have room for a desert. To which anyone who knows me well would know this to be unheard of.  The staff were very accommodating as we hadn't booked but still managed to find us a table none the less. The Cholmeley Arms sits within the Eason Estate which has an old walled garden open to visitors. We didn't visit this trip but maybe when we find a day to escape again we can make it our next trip out which also means we could return to the Cholmeley Arms for lunch and maybe leave just enough room for a desert next time.

My July reads have started with The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. I was drawn in by the title alone having been a knitter of some 40+, goodness that makes me feel old.  Essentially the story is around loss. Mary has recently lost her five year old daughter to meningitis. She cannot see the way out of her grief when her mother suggests she visits Alice at the Sit and Knit and join the Knitting Circle.  Reluctantly Mary decides to give it a try, not in good grace, how is learning to knit going to help her cope with the loss of her beloved Stella her mothers reply, it may just save your life.  Having felt that I had lost my way with reading over the last month The Knitting Circle has definitely rectified that. It was a lovely book to read and I would recommend it to all even if you have never picked up a pair of knitting needles in your life, who knows it may even encourage you to give it ago. At the moment it is still just 99p to any of you who have a Kindle or use the Kindle App.

Having had such a lovely day out on Thursday it was nice to round the day off with another surprise. The release of the latest Amanda Prowse novel. It was sat waiting for me on our return delivered as promised on it's release date.  I am a big fan of Amanda Prowse novels and have read everything she has published. Perfect Daughter is her eighth novel in her No Greater Love Series.  Perfect daughter is Jacks story. She is a wife, mother and carer to her elderly mother with Alzheimer's. She was going to be a successful career women, with the freedom to travel the world. Only life seem to have other ideas and her dreams were put on hold long ago. Of course with it's arrival it meant a queue jumper as there was no way I could leave it sitting on the bookshelf until I had worked my way through all those residing there before it arrived. So far I am 100 pages in and not disappointed. Just the ironing to conquer this morning before I get the opportunity to sit in the garden to continue reading about Jacks life story.

So that has been my first week in July and plenty more reading to be had.

But before I go I will just remind you all that one week today I will pick the winner for my anniversary giveaway so if you haven't already done so and wish to take part you can do so by leaving me a comment here, even if you don't normally comment but just like to visit don't be shy.

Happy reading one & all


Taking part in  Laura's The Year in Books Project 2015