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

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Knitting Circle - Ann Hood

Come on in and join the knitting circle - it might just save your life.
Spinning yarns, weaving tales, mending lives.
Every Wednesday a group of women gathers at Alice's Sit and Knit. Little do they know that they will learn so much more than patterns.
Grieving Mary needs to full the empty days after the death of her only child.
Glamorous Scarlet is the life and soul of any party. But beneath her trademark red hair and beaming smile lurks heartache.
Sculptor Lulu seems too cool to live the suburbs. Why has she fled New York's bright lights?
Model housewife Beth never has a hair out of place. But her perfect world is about to fall apart,
Irish-born Ellen wears the weight of the world on her shoulders but not her heart on her sleeve. What is she hiding?
As the weeks go by, under mysterious Alice's watchful eye, an unlikely friendship forms. Secrets are revealed and pacts made. Then tragedy strikes, and each women must learn to face her own past in order to move on.


The story is around the main character Mary who has recently lost her daughter to Meningitis and her mother is worried about her shutting herself away in the house and suggests she go to Alice's Sit and Knit. Mary is a little reticent at first but eventually decides to take her mothers advice and so the story unfolds from there.

I don't need to  write any further blurb to describe this book as the above tells you all you need to know.
As you can imagine being a knitter the title alone drew me in from the start and the storyline is just my cup of tea and  at the moment it is on the kindle for just 99p - Bonus.

Whether you are a fellow knitter or not you will still enjoy Ann Hood's novel and I would definitely recommend as a summer read.

Moving on.....  Upon arrival home after a lovely day out with D, sat waiting patiently in amongst the post was my next read.

It most definitely has queue jumped but I can't resist an Amanda Prowse novel.

Perfect Daughter  is novel number 8 from Amanda's No Greater Love series. I am already up to Chapter 3 and I can already see my weekend being spent book in hand.

Have a lovely weekend one & all




Don't forget if you've not already entered my anniversary giveaway and would like your name putting in the hat then all you have to do is leave me a comment here and I will pick the winner
on Sunday 12th July