Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Year in Books - January

Well it's been somewhat of a kindlefest here this month, with 6 out of the 9 books read have been on my Kindle or the iPad using the kindle app.

Just before Christmas I started Broken Angels by Graham Masterson only to realise within the first few pages that this was book two of four.  So I stopped and immediately downloaded White Bones. Come Christmas morning I then discovered I had been given a further eight books one of which was The Great Christmas Knit Off. Well with it being Christmas I felt this one needed to be read immediately so ended up with two books on the go at the same time.  Now normally I don't do that as I would normally confuse the stories and in turn would confuse myself (which doesn't always take a lot let me tell you).  But as they were so completely polls a part I didn't think I would get the two story lines mixed up.

The Great Christmas Knit Off.was a great little read very much a chick flick sorted of book and a little a long the lines of Bridgett Jone's diary.  If it were ever to be made into a film and I had to pick the actress to play Sybil I think it would have to be Joanna Page (of Gavin & Stacey fame).

Then it was back to the Graham Masterson Katie Maguire series of books in earnest.  I was totally immersed in White Bones & Broken Angels they were brilliant reads and the twists in the stories were fantastic.  I was definitely left needing to know more about Katie Maguire and what was going to happen in her life next.  The third in the series Red Light was good but not as good as the first two. Lastly I read Taken for Dead which in my humble opinion let the series down and was certainly less believable and more predictable in places.  There is a fifth book due out in Autumn of this year but until I see the synopsis I'm not sure that it will be a must have download.

This year I set myself challenges, as I do every year, I can't do resolutions as I know inside of three weeks I will have given up where as challenges seem to work for me.  This years book challenge is to re read some of those books I enjoyed reading in my child hood and that of my children.  January kicked off with The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett. This was always one of my favourites every since I was at primary school and my then teacher Mrs Rose read it to us. From then I was hooked and when my daughter came along many years later it was one of the books we shared whilst she was growing up.  In fact since telling her about my challenge and which book I had picked as my January read she has now unearthed her own copy and is re-reading it again.  Who knows one day she may a daughter of her own to share it with.

The Winter Ghost - Kate Mosse was another dowload to my Kindle, I have always liked ghost stories and was looking forward to reading this one.  I was not to be disappointed. I was what I would call an easy read in as much as I could pick it up at varying times and not loose the thread of the story. I had sort of guessed the twist in the story but you were left not knowing for sure until the end which is just how I like my ghost stories to be.  I was given Misteltoe Bride for Christmas which is now in the queue for reading.

As I have already said,  and probably posted, I was given eight books this Christmas and I'm now going to tell you about another two. I think most of us thought it very sad when Lynda Bellingham lost her fight against cancer towards the end of last year. In her book  There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You she talks openly about her diagnosis and the impact it had on her and her family but in her usual light hearted manor without a bleak moment with in it and I'm sure it was her humor that got her through to the end.  The book stops at the point she makes her decision to stop any further treatment.

Now as you know from the selection of books that I read each month I like to pick a book of the month and my book for January 2015 is Kristin Hannah's Winter GardenIt tells the story of two sisters and their elderly parents. One sister was a stay local to mum and dad, married mum of two daughters and works in the family orchard business, the other is a high flying photojournalist, who travels all over the world.  Their mother has never really shown them love and affection and now as adults they struggle to show her any love and affection  back.  Throughout their childhood their mother used to tell them a fairy-tale of the  Black Knight, the Prince and the Peasant girl. The girls loved this story so much that they decide one Christmas to do the story as a pantomime. Their mother becomes very distressed and never repeats the story, what the girls hadn't realised was that the fairy-tale was actually the story of their mother before she had married their father.  When their elderly father becomes ill he tells his wife now is the time that she must finish telling their girls the story.  This takes the three women on a journey of discovery and for their mother to finally discover the truth.

This was a truly un-put-downable book and wherever I was you would find the book in my hand.

And there we are fast approaching the end of the first month of 2015, I wonder what other great reads we will discover this year.

Don't forget if you haven't already had a chance to check out Laura's Circle of Pine Trees Blog where she is hosting The Year in Books Project 2015. It's not too late to join in the fun of sharing your the books you read and you may find some great recommendations there too. 


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A good start to 2015/ The Year in Books January reads

Having returned to work on Monday after the Christmas holidays I have spent the last two days in bed poorly. 
As there isn't much you can do in between sleeps I thought I would do my first post of the year and have a look back over 2014.

During 2014 I read some 70 books (much to the amazement of my son who tells me he read 4).
I read many fantastic books but I always like to pick one per month that has stood out more than the others
and these are the books that I picked over the last twelve months.

At the end of the year I like to pick a book from these tweleve for my book of the year.

My book of the year for 2014 is

For anyone who has read books by Amanda Prowse before will know, she writes about everyday circumstances that can affect us all.  All her books of the No Greater Love series are some how linked to one another.  In Will You Remember Me Amanda brings back Poppy Day, the young hairdresser married to her childhood sweetheart Martyn Crickett. Here we find Poppy fighting the biggest battle of her life when she discovers a lump in her breast.  I'm sure there will be those of you out in blogland who will have experienced this yourself or know of some one who has.  In my case  a close friend has been going through treatment herself in 2014 and we are all hoping that she will beat her disease. 

In 2014 I also challenged myself to re-read some of those books we were made to read whilst at school,

The twelve books I re-read were

1. To Kill A Mockingbird
2. The Waterbabies
3. Lord of the Flies
4. Of Mice & Men
5. Animal Farm
6. Cider with Rosie
7. The Color Purple
8. To Sir With Love
9.Educating Rita
10. Carries War
11. The Diary of Anne Frank
12. Uncle Tom's Cabin

There were those that I loved, those I hadn't really changed my opinion of in 35+ years and those I loathed.

I have to say that my favourite is still 

Did you have a favourite school read?

So to 2015 

I received a further eight books as Christmas gifts which put together with those still on my bookshelf 

and those residing on my kindle means I probably have enough books to see me through 2015 without buying anymore.  Of course we know that won't happen don't we.  As much as I try not to buy anymore books I know there will be those that find there way into the shopping basket or downloaded to my kindle so I will jut have to read quicker won't I.

So to my January reads.

Alexandra Browns The Great Christmas Knit Off was a gift from my books swap buddy Lou. She said she didn't know whether I was going to like it but the fact it included knitting she thought I may.  
I started it just after Christmas and continued to read it through to the beginning of January and therefore I have included in my January reads list.  
It is a lovely light hearted book about a young lady who isn't having the best of times and decides to visit her close friend who runs a country pub.  What Sybil didn't know when she arrived is that her life was about to change forever.
Definitely a romcom type book and reminded me a little of Bridget Jone's diary in it's composition. 

Sometime ago I downloaded Graham Masterson's Broken Angels only to realise that it is part of a series of books all of which are written about his main character Katie Maguire who is the Chief Superintendent of the Cork Garda..  For sometime I had lost my interest in Crime Thrillers but this series of books seems to have reignited my interest. I have now completed the first in the series White Bones. The books are written in such away that you get to know not only about the crime committed but about the life of Katie Maguire outside of her work. So far Broken Angels is continuing to be just as well written.  
The third and fourth in the series Red Light and Taken for Dead are patiently waiting to be read on my Kindle.

Following on from last years challenge of revisiting some of the books I read at school, this year I have set myself the challenge of re-reading some of my favourite books from childhood and those that I enjoyed reading with my own children. For January I have picked The Secret Garden this was not only one of my favourites from my childhood but also that of my daughters and maybe one day she too will have a daughter of her own to share this lovely book with.

I am delighted to say that Laura from Circle of Pine Trees is continuing with her Year in books project in 2015. I joined her project back in October and I am so glad I did. Not only have I been able to share the books that I have read but also found lots of great recommendations of books to read.

The Year In Books

It's quite simple to take part and if you click here you will find out more.

Meanwhile I'm off to take some more meds and possibly even another little dose before teatime.

Happy reading one & all