Cerebral Palsy: A Story by Ilana Estelle | @ZooloosBT @RedDoorBooks @TheCPDiary #CerebralPalsy #ZooloosBookTours

About the Book

Living with cerebral palsy is enormously difficult. But what if you never knew you had it?

This is the incredible story of Ilana Estelle.

Born the second of premature twins, an hour apart, from a young age Ilana knew she was different, but for all the wrong reasons. A child of the 60s, Ilana experienced first-hand the way that disability was, at the time, so often brushed under the carpet, not spoken about. Her constant physical and mental struggles made her feel isolated, alone, frustrated, and misunderstood. It took 46 years for her to find out why.

Part memoir, part motivational guide, Cerebral Palsy: My story is Ilana’s open and honest journey from an angry, confused child, knowing something was wrong, not knowing what was wrong, what her disability was, or that there was a diagnosis – to the ‘real’ her – a courageous woman using her experiences and lessons to create inspiring messages about mental and physical health, resilience and change.

My Thoughts

Cerebral Palsy by Ilana Estelle is an incredible story to read. Ilana was born in the 60s and was the second of premature twins to be born – an hour after her sibling. Ilana was always aware that she was different to her siblings, that she struggled more with learning and with mobility but no one ever gave her a diagnosis. It took until she was 46 years old for her to discover that she had Cerebral Palsy and Scoliosis. This led her to start her blog – The CP Diary where she worked through her feelings and her discoveries about her own medical history. She was also later to be diagnosed with Autism.

This book was such a fascinating read and I’m so glad that I picked it up. I’m drawn to books about people finding their way through a disability as that is also my path in life now. Ilana is very honest about her struggles which I appreciated because it’s not easy but she also offers guidance and advice based on what she has learnt though the last few years.

My disability is something that happened to me as an adult but I can’t imagine what it’s like to have a disability for your whole life and yet never be told about what it is, never to have a discussion about whether anything can be done to help you cope and adapt.

I love Ilana’s attitude to life; she seems similar to me in that you have to try and find the positives and you have to keep going. It was inspiring to read her story of her late diagnosis and to find out all the things she has achieved since then in spite of everything that has happened to her.

Cerebral Palsy is such an interesting, inspiring and thought-provoking book and I would urge everyone to pick up a copy and read it. I definitely recommend it!

About the Author

Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when through her medical notes she discovered she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2. 

That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life experiences differently. On her late diagnosis, Ilana set up her website The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating resilience and change. 

Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and wellbeing. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing to tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside. 

Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.

Follow her at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecpdiary

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/TheCPDiary/_saved/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheCPDiary

Website: https://thecpdiary.tumblr.com/

WWW Wednesdays (29 Jun ’22)! What are you reading at the moment?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I started reading The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki this week and I’m really engrossed in it. It’s going to take a little hwile too read just because it’s a big hardback and hard for my hands to hold but I am very much enjoying it.

I’m also reading Is This Love? by C. E. Riley from my NetGalley shelf which is a tough read at times because of the subject matter but it’s one I can’t stop thinking about when I’m not reading it. It’s about a married couple – one is female and the other never has their gender mentioned and it’s a toxic relationship told from one perspective with the other person’s point of view told via legal letters. It’s fascinating and very prescient.

Recent Reads

I read Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard this week and really enjoyed it. It’s a thriller set during the filming of a small horror film and it’s really gripping.

I also read After You by Jojo Moyes and Still Me by Jojo Moyes (which is the first print book that I’ve finished from my 20 Books of Summer list) and I loved both. I thought Me Before You was perfect without any sequel so it’s taken me a long while to get to these two books but I’m so glad I read them.

What I Might Read Next

I’ve not been in much of a reading mood the last few days as I’m exhausted at the moment from my new physio plan but the books I hope to read are Sun Damage by Sabine Durrant, The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh and The Herd by Emily Henry.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (22 Jun ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I started listening to After You by Jojo Moyes and am really enjoying it. The follow-up book Still Me is on my 20 Books of Summer list to I’m glad I’m loving this one as I have the next one to go straight on to.

I’ve been engrossed in When the Dust Settles by Lucy Easthope this week. It’s a fascinating look at disaster planning and I’ve learnt so much that I didn’t know.

Recent Reads

I loved reading The Museum of Ordinary People by Mike Gayle over the last few days and now I wish the museum was a real place! Like the main character I struggled with what to do with the things I couldn’t keep when my mum died and I would have loved to discover a place like this. I recommend this one.

I finished reading Raceless by Georgina Lawton this week and I highly recommend this one. It’s the author’s own story of being a mixed race child in a white family who insisted that she was also white. She also looks at wider race issues such as black hair care and othering, and what it’s like to pass as one race over another.

I borrowed the audiobook of We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange and listened to it in two sittings. I very much enjoyed this one and keep finding myself wondering how the characters are now as if they are real people!

I also borrowed the audiobook of The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana this week and really enjoyed it.

I finished reading All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage and found this one really engrossing. It felt a little long in places but on the whole I loved this one. It reminded me a bit of Joyce Carol Oates so I recommend it for anyone who loves her work.

I part-read and part-listened to The Coward by Jarred McGinnis this week and this was a definitely a five star read for me. The disability representation was so well done and the wider family story was very readable.

What I Might Read Next

I don’t know what I’ll read next but the two NetGalley books that are calling to me from my Kindle are More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez and One Last Secret by Adele Parks. I’d also like to finally make a start on my 20 Books of Summer TBR so am hoping to get to Still Me by Jojo Moyes.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (15 Jun ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I started reading The Trial by S. R. Masters this week and it’s an okay read. I’m finding it a bit long-winded at the moment but I’m hoping it picks up a bit as I get further into it as I’m currently about a third of the way through it.

I haven’t read anymore of Raceless by Georgia Lawton this week as I’ve not been in the mood for nonfiction but I was really enjoying this one and will get back to it very soon.

Recent Reads

I listened to the audiobook of The Wedding Party by Tammy Cohen and really enjoyed it. It was a fun mystery thriller about a wedding party in Greece where there are lots of secrets, lies and resentments about to be uncovered with deadly results. I recommend it.

I also listened to The Imposter by Anna Wharton found it really hard to put down. I was gripped all the way through this one and definitely recommend it.

I read The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager in just a couple of sittings this week and I just had to know what was going on. You definitely need to suspend disbelief as this book goes on but it’s still such an intriguing, addictive and twisty novel!

I also finished reading Blue Hour by Sarah Schmidt and I think this might be my favourite book of the year so far. I was engrossed in this from start to finish and I still keep finding myself thinking of the characters. It was a devastating read and one that really stays with you. I highly recommend it.

What I Might Read Next

I recently bought When the Dust Settles by Lucy Easthope and am so keen to read it as soon as my brain is back in gear for reading non-fiction.

I also bought All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage on Kindle but have found the audio on my library app so have downloaded it and will definitely be getting to this one in the next couple of days.

Next up from my NetGalley shelf is These Streets by Luan Goldie and I’m really looking forward to this one. I loved both of her previous novels so have high hopes for this one.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (8 Jun ’22)! What Are You Reading This Week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I started reading Blue Hour by Sarah Schmidt yesterday and I’m engrossed! I loved Sarah’s previous novel See What You Have Done and this one is every bit as good! It follows a mother and daughter in past and present and their struggles: Kitty in the time around WW2 and Eleanor, her daughter. There is an unnerving feeling to this novel and a sense of it building to something but you don’t know what or why. I can’t wait to find out where it’s going!

I’m also still reading Raceless by Georgina Lawton and am really enjoying this one. It’s giving me a lot to think about as Georgina talks about growing up as a mixed race child in a white family where her race is denied. I’m keen to read more of this one soon.

Recent Reads

I haven’t picked up anything from my 20 Books of Summer TBR as yet but I have read a print book in How to be Safe by Tom McAllister and it was a really good read. It follows Anna, a former teacher, in the wake of a school shooting where she is wrongly implicated. It’s not about the shooting but about the affects of gun violence and also toxic masculinity. I found this book hard to put down!

I finished Murder Before Evensong by Richard Coles this week and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting and I felt it was a bit too long but I enjoyed it enough to want to read the next in the series whenever it comes out.

I picked up A Half Baked Idea by Olivia Potts and it is now one of my favourite books of this year so far. I’ve never read a book that so captures what it is to lose your mum when you’re in your 20s. It’s a book that made me cry but it also felt like comfort to know I aren’t the only person who has felt like this. It also follows Olivia as she changes her life completely by learning to cook at Corden Bleu, which is fascinating!

I read a second print book that wasn’t on my TBR this week too – Tilly and the Lost Fairytales by Anna James and loved it. I do love this series, it’s so magical and I wish it was published when I was a child.

I also listened to the audiobook of The Woman Who Fooled the World by Beau Donnelly and this was a shocking read. It’s about Belle Gibson who faked cancer to gain fame and fortune, and it’s about how her con was uncovered. This was an eye-opening read but so well put together and I found it hard to put down.

What I Might Read Next

This week is a busy week as my husband is on holiday from work so we’re aiming to be out and about as much as we can. Reading will take a bit of a backseat so I’m hoping to read some kindle books and the ones that are calling to me at the moment are all on my NetGalley shelf: The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager, The Trial by S. R. Masters and Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

20 Books of Summer 2022

As I’m writing this it’s 2nd June and the 20 Books of Summer challenge (organised by the lovely Cathy at 746 Books) started yesterday! I wasn’t going to take part this year but I keep seeing posts about it and I feel like I’m missing out on a challenge that I love taking part in. This year I’m on a mission to read all of my unread physical books as they’re becoming more of a struggle to read and I don’t want them unread forever! Right now I think I have around seventy unread books (just don’t ask me about my Kindle or audiobooks as there are way more of them!) so I’ve picked the 20 that are calling to me the most for my summer reading challenge.

So without further ado, here are my 20 Books of Summer…

I’ve picked ten non-fiction books, which are:

Renegades by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen was a Christmas gift from my lovely mum-in-law last Christmas and I’m really keen to get to this one soon. I think it’s a book based on a podcast or series of interviews they’ve done together and should be a good read.

I’d forgotten I had A Stitch of Time by Lauren Marks on my bookcase but it’s definitely one I want to read now I’ve been reminded of it. It’s the memoir of Lauren who had an aneurysm and details her long and difficult recovery.

I also want to read No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox, which is the next part of his memoir series and is one I’ve been wanting to read for a while now.

Just Ignore Him by Alan Davies was a surprise gift from my husband when it was published and I’m annoyed with myself that I haven’t read this memoir before now.

I’ve had Women and Power by Mary Beard on my TBR for far tooo long and I’m still so interested in reading it so am determined to get to it this summer. It’s a small book too so should be easy to hold.

I’m a huge fan of Philip Larkin’s poetry so was thrilled to get Somewhere Becoming Rain by Clive James as a birthday gift a couple of years ago. I think this will be such a good read so am determined to get to it.

More Than Just Coincidence by Julie Wassmer is a book about an adopted child seeking out her past as an adult. I’ve picked this up a few times and never actually read it so I’m looking forward to finally reading it in the coming weeks.

I’ve been putting off reading Walls Come Tumbling Down by Daniel Rachel as it’s quite a chunky book but I’m so keen to read more about Rock Against Racism, Red Wedge and 2 Tone.

I’ve been obsessed with space travel ever since I was a child so it’s not right that Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean has been languishing unread for so long. This is about the final days o f the shuttle missions so I think it will be a sad read but an interesting one.

I’d like to finally get to The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which I’ve been wanting to read for ages and somehow still haven’t managed to.

Then I picked ten fiction books, which are mainly novels but there are a couple of short story collections and a play in there.

My husband bought me The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki for my birthday this year and I’m so excited to read it.

I’ve had the play script of Angels in America by Tony Kushner on my TBR for ages and after recently reading another book about the AIDS crisis I would like to finally read this one too.

The Time it Takes to Fall by Margaret Lazarus Dean is a novel about space travel set around the tmime of the Challenger disaster so I’m really keen to read this one.

I believe The Dream Life of Astronauts by Patrick Ryan is a short story collection about space travel so I’m also excited to read this one.

I’m so sad that I haven’t read Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell as yet. She is my favourite author but I just couldn’t read this, for various reasons, before now but as she has a new novel coming out later this year I would like to have got to this one first and I’m sure I’ll love it.

Assembly by Natasha Brown is the most recent addition to my print TBR and was a surprise gift from the wonderful Litalist website.

Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan is the book that has been on my TBR the longest – it was the first book I added on Goodreads 12 years ago and I know I’ve owned it longer than that! It’s a short book but the font in small and that is my only reason for not reading it before now. I’m sure I’m going to enjoy it.

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin has been on my TBR for as long as the above book and I’m ashamed about that as I love Baldwin’s writing and am so looking forward to reading it.

I won a signed proof of Still Me by Jojo Moyes before publication and I shamefully still haven’t read it. I did enjoy Me Before You so it would be lovely to finish the trilogy and see how it all ends.

And last but not least a short story collection called The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell. I don’t read many short story collections but this one intrigues me so I’m looking forward to it.

So there we have it, my 20 books of summer! I’m feeling fairly confident that I can read 20 print books over the next three months but I can’t be sure that they’ll be these books as I’m very much a mood reader these days.

WWW Wednesdays (1 Jun ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I started reading Murder Before Evensong by Richard Coles this week and I’m really enjoying it. It did take me a few chapters to get into it but now I’m loving it.

I also started reading Raceless by Georgina Lawton. I’ve only read they first couple of chapters but I can tell this is going to be a fascinating and emotional memoir about growing up mixed race in a white family that didn’t acknowledge her race.

Recent Reads

I read and adored Nonfiction by Julie Myerson this week. Myerson wrote one of my favourite books aand this one lives up to that. It’s thought-provoking, emotional and is a book that feels like it’s really going to stay with me.

I finally read A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton, which had been on my TBR since 2014! I’m keen to read the new Lacey Flint so wanted to read this one first. This one wasn’t my favourite in the series but I still really enjoyed it and can’t wait to be able to read for new one soon!

I borrowed the audiobook of Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott from the library and enjoyed listening to it. It kept me engrossed over a couple of days when I wasn’t feeling well.

Before that I sat and read my paperback copy of The Gifts of the Body by Rebecca Brown and loved it. This is such an emotional novel following a woman who is a home help for AIDS patients in the 1980s. It covers a whole range of subjects relating to terminal illness and death and I thought it was a brilliant novel. It’s one that I know will stay with me.

I also finished reading The Push by Ashley Audrain and loved it! I thought this was such a brilliant novel about motherhood and the harms that can be done from one generation to the next.

What I Might Read Next

I don’t know what I’ll read next but Blue Hour by Sarah Schmidt and Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel are calling to me from my NetGalley Shelf, and the print book I hope to read next is Assembly by Natasha Brown.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (25 May ’22)! What are you reading at the moment?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I got approved Nonfiction by Julie Myerson on NetGalley this week and immediately started reading it as I’m a huge fan of the author. It’s a really engrossing, unnerving read so far and I’m really enjoying it.

I also started reading A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton and I’m loving being back in Lacey Flint’s world again. I can’t believe that this one as been on my TBR for so long but I’m glad I’m finally reading it.

I read and loved the first few chapters of The Push by Ashley Audrain this week but I’m struggling with reading print books at the moment so didn’t get as far into this one as I hoped. I’m planning on reading more asap though.

Recent Reads

I bought The Unreality of Memory by Elisa Gabbert and started reading it straight away. This book was fascinating and I loved every single essay in the collection. I wanted to read it for the essays on pain and insomnia but everything in here was brilliant. I loved the first section on disasters, it was written pre-pandemic but it gave me so much to think about in relation to that.

I borrowed the audiobook of Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler from the library and listened to it this week but unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it all that much. It just didn’t live up to what the blurb made out it was going to be.

I read Everyone Versus Racism by Patrick Hutchinson, which was very good. Patrick is the man who lifted a white counter-protester out of the crowd to safety during a Black Lives Matter Protest two years ago. This book is the story of his life addressed in the form of a letter to his children and grandchildren. I recommend it.

I’ve been wanting to read Burn by Herman Pontzer for a while and I’m glad I finally picked it up. It’s a scientific look at the way we burn calories, and the way we lose and gain weight. I found all the science really interesting and the book also reinforced what I thought was right about losing weight and keeping it off. I recommend this one if you’re interested in how the body burns calories.

I finished reading Young Women by Jessica Moor and really enjoyed it. It’s a good read that gives you a lot to think about in terms of abuse of power, and toxic female friendships.

I also finished reading Thrown by Sara Cox and very much enjoyed this one. It had more depth than I was expecting and it kept me engaged all the way through.

What I Might Read Next

I requested Sun Damage by Sabine Durrant from NetGalley this week and got approved soon after. I love this author’s books and am delighted to have another one to read. I hope to get to it this week.

I didn’t manage to start Murder Before Evensong by Richard Coles last week so it’s top of the pile for reading this week, I’m so keen to read this one!

The next print book I’d like to read is The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki. I got this one for my birthday back in January and it’s calling to me from the bookcase!

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

#BookReview: Only May by Carol Lovekin | @carollovekin @honno @RandomTTours

About the Book

I give you fair warning, if you’re planning on lying to me, don’t look me in the eye.

It’s May’s 17th birthday – making the air tingle with a tension she doesn’t fully understand. But she knows her mother and her aunt are being evasive; secrets are being kept.

Like her grandmother before her, May has her own magic: the bees whisper to her as they hover in the garden … the ghosts chatter in the graveyard. And she can’t be fooled by a lie.

She becomes determined to find out what is being kept from her. But when May starts to uncover her own story, she threatens to bring her mother and aunt’s carefully constructed family to the edge of destruction….

My Thoughts

I have read and loved all of Carol Lovekin’s previous novels so when I saw this new novel I had to get my hands on it as soon as I possibly could and I’m so happy to say that I completely and utterly adored it. In fact, it might even be my new favourite of hers!

Only May follows May, a seventeen year old, who is able to tell when anyone is telling a lie. She is a great character; she’s hard-working and very honest but she really struggles as she starts to question what is being kept from her. This makes her confused and at times frustrated and a little angry but I just felt so sad for her and was willing her on to make her peace with the things she learns about those she loves. I felt an affinity with May as I’ve always been able to spot a liar very quickly, I don’t always let on that I know someone is lying but I can almost always tell. And it’s hard when you realise you know something but you don’t know who to turn to with that knowledge, especially when it can bring pain to others. May is so young to discover the lies she does and to have to process what it all means. I wanted to reach in through the pages of the novel and give her a hug. I did love her friendship with Gwen, who encourages May to have fun but also is sensitive to the fact that May’s life is different to her own.

I really felt for Esme, May’s mum, throughout the novel. She made a promise to wait for Billy as he went off to war, not having any idea that he would come back physically and mentally injured and scarred, and she stood by him. She supports him and cares for him, and she works so hard for her family. And then there’s Ffion, May’s eccentric aunt, who believes in magic and the power of nature. I understand why Esme and her often clashed as they are very different to each other and sisters often struggle with these dynamics but you can see that there is a bond between them and a lot of love.

The portrayal of Billy, May’s dad, is so real and heartbreaking. He went away to war and came back so different – he lost a leg so is now disabled but he’s also suffering with shell shock. I adored the way that you can feel the love he has for his wife and daughter, and the bond with May was so beautiful. The description of May’s perception of his pain made me feel so choked up.

Most of the time, Dad sits in his wheelchair, close to the window watching the birds, miles away, a haunted look on his face. I think miles away must be a truly terrible place.

The ways that May talks to the dead in this novel was so moving, and really touched me. I love that she sits in the graveyard for peace and quiet but can often hear her late Grandmother there. There is a passage in the novel that really made me want to cry as it’s so perfect:

I’m not sure people go to graveyards to remember the detail of their dead. Real memories – good ones and sad – linger in the physical things people leave behind, entwined in the mementoes of their lives: photographs, keepsakes, the notes of a favourite song. Names carved into slabs of stone are little more than a nod at remembrance.

As always in Carol’s novels there is a real sense of magic, and the ethereal swirling throughout this novel. There is a real connection to nature, in particular to bees, which I found gorgeous and really quite moving. Carol is such an incredible author, one that brings her readers into the world she creates and makes you feel like you’ve lived inside the story.

I’ve never been stung in my life, not by a bee at any rate.

Only May is a novel about finding out who you are, it’s about the connection to family and to nature. It’s a novel about friendship but mostly it’s about love. It’s such a beautiful, evocative and moving novel. It’s one that slowly weaves a spell around you and you find yourself unable to put the book down. You find you want to be with May and the bees, you want to go to the woods and pick bluebells and you just want to stay enthralled in this world. I adored this novel, and it sits now with Carol’s Ghostbird as one of my absolute favourite novels (in fact they have a lot in common and when I think of it it’s almost as if the two novels are in something of a conversation with each other). I highly recommend this one!

About the Author

Carol Lovekin has Irish blood and a Welsh heart. She was born in Warwickshire and has lived in mid Wales since 1979. A feminist, she finds fiction the perfect vehicle for telling women’s collective stories. Her books reflect her love of the landscape and mythology of her adopted home.

You can follow the rest of this fabulous tour at the following blogs:

WWW Wednesdays (18 May ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

It seems like ages since I wrote a WWW Wednesdays post but I’m trying to get back in the swing of blogging so hopefully I can start and do these regularly again. My plan at the moment is to focus on reading all my print books as I’ve been diagnosed with arthritis in my hands and that combined with my existing hand problems, not to mention my eyesight means I feel I need to read these books while I still can. I’m also trying to catch up on my NetGalley/review books so I’m reading those too.

Current Reads

I got sent a surprise print review copy of The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott at the start of the first lockdown so I’m very late getting to it. Better late than never though as I’m enjoying this thriller and am keen to get back to it!

I’m also reading Young Women by Jessica Moor from my NetGalley shelf and am gripped by this one. I loved the author’s previous novel and so far this oen absolutely lives up to it.

Then I’m reading Thrown by Sara Cox, which is a lovely novel set around a pottery class at a community centre and I’m really enjoying it.

Recent Reads

In order to get through my print books without causing myself more pain I’m borrowing the audiobooks from the library where I can and Bloody Brilliant Women by Cathy Newman is one of those books. I devoured this book, it was so interesting and so readable. I’m kicking myself for not picking it up sooner and now I want to go and read more about some of the amazing women in this book that I’d not heard of before.

My husband gave me Me by Elton John for Christmas so this is a recent addition to my bookcase but I was very keen to read it and it didn’t disappoint. I loved reading this one.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama was a gift and I part read and part listened to this one (mainly because the hardback is like a doorstop!). I enjoyed having more of an insight into Obama’s presidency and am glad I read it.

I got Out of the Corner by Jennifer Grey with an Audible credit and I listened to it pretty much in just two sittings. I enjoyed this one so much, and I recommend the audio as Jennifer reads it herself, which I always appreciate with memoirs.

What I Might Read Next

In my plan to read all the unread print books on my bookcase I’ve been getting rid of quite a few books. An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma is one I thought I might unhaul but then I read the first few pages and knew it was one I had to keep and read so I hope to start it this week.

The Push by Audrey Audrain was a birthday gift from my husband last year and I still want to read it as much as I did on the day I got it so I hope to also read this one this week.

Murder Before Evensong by Richard Coles is the next book that will be published from my NetGalley shelf so I would like to read it before (or at least close to) publication day so that I can review it in a timely fashion. Also I’ve been eagerly anticipation this one as I’m such a fan of Richard Coles!

A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton has been on my TBR since it first came out and now the next book in the series is about to be released! I have the new one on my NetGalley shelf so I’d like to read this one as soon as I can so that I can read and review the next book in the series.

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler is an audiobook that has been on reserve from my library for so long that I’d forgotten I’d requested it until it appeared on my phone this week. I know I was really keen to read it so I plan to make it my next listen.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

Mini Book Reviews: A Tidy Ending | Idol | Companion Piece | Murder in the Neighborhood

A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon

I’ve read and adored all of Joanna Cannon’s previous novels so this new one was on my highly anticipated list for this year and I’m so pleased to say that I loved it! It follows Linda who is a bit socially awkward and who tries a bit too hard to be liked. She’s married to Terry who doesn’t show much respect for their home when he tracks dirt through the house after work, or respect for Linda when he spends his time picking his teeth in front of the TV. Linda becomes obsessed with finding out about Rebecca, the woman who lived in the house before them. She imagines what Rebecca’s life is like based on the catalogues that still arrive for her. This is all in the wake of a series of murders that have happened close to Linda and Terry’s street and seems to be a way of distracting Linda from the reality of what is going on. This novel is so good, it’s full of heart but also darkness. It’s funny and sad in equal measures but it’s such a page-turner. I had my suspicions of what was going on and it was brilliant reading to see if I was right and how it would all play out. This book is so good and I highly recommend it.

Idol by Louise O’Neill

Idol is a prescient novel that follows Samantha, a guru who has millions of teenage fans hanging on her every word and social media post. She’s open and frank about her life so one day when she shares an essay about her sexual awakening as a teenager the post goes viral. But then Lisa gets in touch to say she doesn’t remember that night the same way and Samantha’s life begins to unravel. This novel looks at how we create online personas and come to believe what we say on social media. It looks at the way different people can remember the same event completely differently. It also makes us question who has the right to tell a story and who owns what happens. I found this book so difficult to put down. It’s a compulsive novel that keeps you turning the pages whilst at the same time making you stop and pause for thought too. It’s a novel that has really stayed with me since I finished reading it and I highly recommend it.

Companion Piece by Ali Smith

I read and loved Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet so was delighted to discover Companion Piece, which sits alongside those novels. In this one it follows Sandy during the current pandemic when she is contacted, out of the blue, but a woman she hasn’t spoken to since her college days. Martina tells a story that has a conundrum around curfews and curlews. This leads to Sandy’s lockdown being interrupted by first Martina’s daughters, and later Martina herself. At the same time Sandy is coping with the fact that her father is in hospital, not covid-related, but still she can only speak to him via an ipad when the staff have time to help him. The novel captures the current times we’re living through. It looks at politics, gender, climate change; it’s about people and place, love and loneliness (and at times the wish to be alone). I really enjoyed this novel and I recommend it.

Murder in the Neighborhood by Ellen J. Green

I listened to the audiobook of this via NetGalley and I found it fascinating. It’s the story of Howard Unruh who in September 1949 shot thirteen people in twelve minutes on the block where he lived. The book is mainly told through the eyes of Raymond Havens, who was just twelve at the time and who witnessed the murders but who had also previously being something of a friend to Raymond. We also get passages from Howard’s diary, which give us a sense of who he was. I felt like the author gave a lot of information as to why Howard may have done what he did, and it felt like I was being pushed to have sympathy for him. I did feel like I understood more of who he was by the end but I didn’t feel any sympathy because what he did was horrific and there is no justification for that. I did feel for others whose points of view were spread throughout the book though. We hear testimony from the victim’s families, and from Howard’s mother. I found this book really interesting and if you like true crime then I would recommend it.

Mini Book Reviews: Hidden Depths | The Cove | After Dark | Wrong Place Wrong Time

Hidden Depths by Araminta Hall

I can never resist books set on the Titanic so was thrilled to get my hands on this one! Hidden Depths follows Lily who is pregnant and increasingly unwell. She doesn’t trust her husband but because of feeling so awful and now being trapped on a ship she is limited in what she can do. On board Titanic she meets Lawrence, who is grieving the loss of his wife, and the two start talking. I loved that Lawrence’s late wife had been part of the suffragette movement and that he had eventually learnt the importance of listening to women and understanding their plight. The novel is increasingly tense as we know what is going to happen to the Titanic but we don’t know if Lily will be able to figure out what is happening within her marriage, or who will survive. I found some parts of this book really gripping but other parts I found quite slow; on the whole though I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

The Cove by Alice Clark-Platts

The Cove follows two families who have recently become friendly and decided to have a weekend away together on a remote island resort. We know from the start that something goes wrong during the weekend and so the tension is there from the start. A lot of the characters were either unlikeable or suspicious, and one is clearly mentally unwell following the recent birth of her second baby, so this meant I was never quite sure who, if anyone, could be trusted. The setting becomes claustrophobic very quickly, with the heat and the sense of being cut off from the mainland so I enjoyed that element. At times it made me feel like I was trapped, which compelled me to keep reading so see what happened to this group of people. I did find that some of what happens in this novel predictable and it definitely requires suspension of disbelief but I still really enjoyed this one. It would make a great holiday read.

After Dark by Jane Cowie

After Dark is something different in the mystery/thriller genre and I loved it. It’s set in a dystopian now but there is a curfew and all men are tagged and have to stay at home from 7PM until morning in order to keep women safe. Then one day there a woman is found murdered and the police are sure it can’t have been a male as they’re all tagged, aren’t they? I found this novel so gripping. We follow different characters – a woman, Sarah, who works at a tagging centre and lives in a home for women with her daughter Cass, who we also follow. Sarah had her husband arrested and jailed a little while previously and she’s anxious on hearing of his release from prison. We also follow the police investigation and gradually learn about what has happened to lead to this murder and how it happened. This is a fast-paced thriller but it’s also a book that makes you think. I highly recommend it.

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

This book is brilliant, I found it near impossible to put down once I started it. One night Jen and her husband are waiting for their teenage son to get home but something happens outside their home and their son is charged with murder. Jen is reeling and doesn’t know what to do. When she wakes up the following day for her, it’s actually the previous day. And so the novel begins where every day Jen is further and further back in time and has to work out why, and how she can use this to stop her son committing murder in the future. I thought this book might be confusing to follow but it’s not at all, you just get so invested in Jen’s story and the plot that it all flows perfectly. I was riveted all the way through and was so keen to see how it was all going to end. I loved this book, it’s so clever and different. I definitely recommend it!

Mini Book Reviews: Into the Dark | Local Gone Missing | It Ends at Midnight | The Patient

Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins

I’ve read and enjoyed all of Fiona Cummins’ previous novels but this one is definitely her best yet, I loved it! It follows what happens when a local family is discovered to have disappeared one morning with no clue as to why or where they’ve gone. The only thing to be seen is a message on the teenage daughter’s mirror saying ‘make them stop’! This novel goes back and forth in time as we find out what led up to the family’s disappearance and what has happened to them. We also follow the police as they investigate the missing family. This novel is so dark, with lots of twists and turns that genuinely caught me off guard over and over again. I loved that I didn’t know what was going on and I couldn’t figure out how it would end. This is a brilliant read and I highly recommend it!

Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton

Local Gone Missing is a slow-paced mystery novel that follows Detective Elise King as she gets ready to return to work following illness. She lives in a small town and when two teenagers become ill at a festival she is curious to dig around into what is going on. She’s not yet back at work but she starts to investigate the people in this small town and she uncovers connections she hadn’t known existed between some of the residents and before she knows it she’s fully investigating again. This novel becomes darker as it goes along and whilst the pace is slower it’s none-the-less gripping and I found it hard to put down. I read it in just two sittings because I simply had to know what was going on and who was involved. I recommend this one.

It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce

I read and loved Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce when it came out so I was very keen to get my hands on this book and I’m so pleased to say that I loved it. It opens with a dramatic scene where someone is seriously injured and then we slowly find out who it is and what led up to this moment. The novel follows Sylvie and Tess who were best friends at school but have drifted apart as their lives moved in different directions. Then one day Tess calls Sylvie with awful news and the two meet up again. Sylvie slowly starts to lose control on her life as Tess becomes a bigger part of it and we slowly get to see how these women are friends and what keeps them connected. There are secrets and lies and a very toxic friendship, with history to be uncovered! The novel is building to a big finale and I couldn’t read it quick enough to find out how it was all going to end. I read this whole novel in one sitting because I just didn’t want to put it down. I loved it and I highly recommend it!

The Patient by Jane Shemilt

I devoured this novel in just a couple of sittings! The Patient follows Rachel, a GP, who one day has a new patient, Luc, who is very depressed and needs a refill of his medication. Rachel gives it to him and goes on with her evening but she can’t stop thinking about him, and what she doesn’t know is that not everything is as it seemed to her. There is an attraction there and when she later meets him at a house party the infatuation grows. Then a colleague of hers is found murdered and life begins to unravel for Rachel. This is a novel that went places I wasn’t expecting it to but I was absolutely hooked and so keen to find out what was going to happen next and how Rachel was going to get out of the situations she found herself in. I really enjoyed this novel and definitely recommend it.

Mini Book Reviews: One Italian Summer | Six Days | How To Live Without You | The Love of My Life

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

One Italian Summer really appealed to me as I loved Rebecca Serle’s previous novel and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed it. The novel follows Katy who is lost following the death of her beloved mum Carol. She can’t connect with her fiance and doesn’t know what she wants in life anymore. So when she finds the tickets to Positano, Italy – a trip she and her mum planned together she decides to go on her own. While there she meets her mum, but her mum at thirty years younger when she was Katy’s age! I loved seeing Katy discover what her mum was like as a young woman and it made me long to have that kind of magic in my own life. I could really identify with Katy’s pain, having lost my own mum when I was in my late 20s, and could empathise with how her grief made her sometimes selfish and sometimes lost. I also loved the descriptions of Positano, it really comes alive in this novel and I could visualise it so clearly. I want to go there one day! I recommend this one!

Six Days by Dani Atkins

I always enjoy Dani Atkins’ books so was excited to get a copy of her new one. This book follows Gemma who is in love with her fiance but he seemingly jilts her on their wedding day. Gemma simply cannot believe that Finn would do this to her and is convinced that something has happened to him but there is no evidence. He appears to have disappeared. The novel goes back and forth in time as we learn how they met and we find out more about Finn and his life. I have to say that I didn’t particularly like Finn or how he behaved at times and that made it a bit difficult to care what happened. Having said that I did like Gemma and was really hoping that things would work out for her. I enjoyed this book, not quite as much as the author’s previous novels, but it was still a good read.

How To Live Without You by Sarah Everett

This novel follows seventeen year old Emmy whose sister Rose has disappeared, and Emmy feels like a part of her is also now gone. Rose had lived with their dad and Emmy lives with their mum across the country so Emmy decides to go to stay with her dad and is determined that she will find her sister herself. The novel follows Emmy over the course of the summer as she starts to find clues and unravel the mystery. Along the way she learns that not everything is as she remembered it, and she reconnects with an old friend. I found this a really engrossing novel and one that really made me emotional at times. It made me think of people I’ve lost along the way, and made me feel nostalgic for the summers of my teenage years. I recommend this one.

The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh

I read and loved Rosie Walsh’s previous novel so was keen to get my hands on this one and I really enjoyed it. This book follows Emma who loves and adores her husband Leo and their daughter but everything she has ever told them is a lie. It also follows Leo, an obituary writer, who when Emma is taken seriously ill he starts looking at her life just in case he has to write hers, and this leads him to learn some things about his wife. I found this book engrossing and was so keen to keep turning the pages to find out who Emma really is and why she lied for all those years. I also wanted to know if Leo was going to find everything out and if their marriage would survive. This is a really good read with lots of twists and turns to keep you gripped. I recommend it!

Mini Book Reviews: The Christie Affair | Take Your Breath Away | Insomnia | Reputation

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

I was really looking forward to this book and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. This is a fictionalised account of what happened during the days when Agatha Christie disappeared. It follows Agatha, but mainly Nan – the woman having an affair with Agatha’s husband Archie. There is also another mystery element in the novel and I loved seeing how it all played out. I was expecting the novel to be more about Agatha but it was actually really interesting following Nan for the main part and seeing how she came to be in the situation she finds herself in. I found this such an engrossing novel and one that I was thinking about during the times when I wasn’t reading it. I definitely recommend it.

Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay

This book has such an intriguing premise – a woman has been missing for six years and then one day she is spotted outside the home she used to live in but she quickly disappears again! We then follow her husband and members of her family as they try to figure out what is going on, and discover that nothing is quite as it seems! This book definitely requires suspension of disbelief but that doesn’t stop it being incredibly readable and hard to put down. I kept thinking I had it all figured out and then the rug would be pulled from under me again, which I loved. I enjoyed this one.

Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough

I love Sarah Pinborough’s novels so was highly anticipating this one and am so pleased to say that I loved it! It follows Emma whose mother ‘went mad’ soon after turning 40 and now Emma is around that age and she can’t sleep. Insomnia is plaguing her and no matter what she tries sleep just won’t come. I found this book so unnerving because I suffered with insomnia for years and I know how it makes you feel like you don’t even know which way is up anymore. Emma’s case is extreme but even so it’s creepy. On the surface she was a perfect life but she’s hiding things from her husband and that means she doesn’t have the support that she so badly needs. There are twists and turns in this novel, which I loved and it kept me hooked all the way to the very end. I highly recommend it!

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan

This novel was so good! It follows Emma who is an MP and a mother but she’s also a liar who is accused of killing a tabloid journalist. On the surface all is good in Emma’s life – she’s making a name for herself as an MP with her campaign against revenge porn but then her home life starts to unravel when her daughter is accused of the unthinkable. This leads Emma to want to protect her family no matter the cost and things begin to spiral. I found this novel to be so gripping, I didn’t want to put it down once I started it and I resented real life when it got in the way of my reading time! It’s a very ‘now’ novel with the revenge porn storyline but also the online abuse that Emma suffers purely because she’s a female MP. I wasn’t sure how things were going to turn out in this novel and loved that it kept me guessing until the end. I definitely recommend this one!

Mini Book Reviews: Impossible | The Curfew | The Couple at the Table | Plain Bad Heroines

Today I’m sharing some more mini reviews of books that I’ve read and enjoyed recently!

Impossible by Sarah Lotz

This book was brilliant, I loved it! It follows Nick and Bee who connect online when one day Nick sends an angry email to a client and it ends up in Bee’s inbox. The two strike up a friendship via email and I loved seeing their bond grow. I met my husband online and so books like this are irresistible to me! They share their lives and then one day decide to meet in real life but things don’t go quite as planned. I don’t want to say anymore and risk spoiling this book but I will say that it takes an unexpected direction and I was gripped! I read this book every spare second I had as I just wanted to know how it was all going to end. I definitely recommend this one!

The Couple at the Table by Sophie Hannah

I love Sophie Hannah’s novels so was very keen to get my hands on this one and I’m really pleased to say that it did not disappoint! The premise of this novel is there are several people staying at a luxury resort and one night one of them is murdered. The person found with the victim is definitely not the murderer and everyone else in the resort were all dining together at the time of the murder. No one else was on the property! There was a note warning to beware of the table nearest yours but all the tables are exactly the same distance apart. I loved this novel, it was near impossible to work out what had happened but I had so many theories. It was so much fun trying to work it out and to follow the police investigation as well as the holiday makers as they also tried to solve the murder. I recommend this one!

The Curfew by T.M. Logan

I’m a fan of T.M. Logan’s novels so was keen to read this one and I really enjoyed it. It follows the aftermath of a teenage party in the woods and what happens when one of them didn’t arrive home in time for curfew and another failed to return home at all. This novel has so many twists and turns and is often the case in this author’s books I think I have it all worked out but end up being wrong (which I love!). This is a fast-paced novel that has you reading just one more chapter until you find you’ve turned the last page and it feels like no time has gone by. I recommend it!

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

This is a doorstop of a book and one I found quite hard to get into but once I did I couldn’t put it down! It is a story told through multiple timelines and perspectives – all connected by the yellow jacket wasps! In 1902 two teenage girls were killed and now in the present day a film is about to be made about the deaths. There is so much more in between though – the creepy school that is now a private house, Spite Tower and all the scary wasp stories. There is something really hypnotic about the way this book is written, it really gets a grip on the reader which mirrors the effect the story has on the present day characters in the book. It made for an intense reading experience and I’m so glad I picked this book up. I really enjoyed this one and am keen to now go back and read the author’s previous novel.

Mini Book Reviews: The Maid | The Twyford Code | Other Parents | The Truth About Her

Today on my blog I’m sharing some mini reviews of books that I’ve read and enjoyed recently. I’m struggling with blogging at the moment as my dictation software is no longer compatible with my macbook and I’m currently unable to use my right hand for much of anything. Typing one handed with my non-dominant hand isn’t the easiest so I apologise for the shortness of these reviews and hope I can be back to full speed before too long!

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

I loved this book! It follows Steven as he becomes quite obsessed with a mystery stemming back to his childhood when his teacher disappeared on a school trip and it’s all linked to a book she was reading to them. The novel is told in transcribed audio files that Steven has recorded as he sets out to find out where Miss Isles is and what happened to her. This book grabbed me from the very beginning and it didn’t let go of me – I even had a dream about it during the period of time I was reading it! I loved how the mystery is slowly uncovered – there are clues left for the reader but I only pieced it together right before all was revealed and I adored how it kept me on my toes. I very much enjoyed The Appeal by this author but I think The Twyford Code was even better and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Other Parents by Sarah Stovell

I love Sarah Stovell’s writing and this book was so good! It follows a group of parents and all the politics that go along with PTA meetings and different viewpoints. Jo is the headmistress and tries to keep the peace; her good friend Rachel has left her husband and is now in a relationship with Erin; and Laura is very against same sex relationships and doesn’t want her child being taught about homosexuality at school. Everyone in this book has secrets and slowly the pressure builds leading to increasing tensions and an inevitable fall out. I love reading about groups of people in small villages and tight-knit environments so this book was perfect for me and I really enjoyed it. I recommend it!

The Maid by Nita Prose

I have heard so much hype about this book that I knew I had to read it and see what all the fuss was about – I’m really happy to say that I loved it and it definitely lived up to my high expectations. Molly is a maid at a posh hotel and she really cares about doing her job properly and well. One day she finds one of the guests dead in bed and somehow the finger of suspicion starts to be pointed at her. Molly isn’t great at reading people so the reader definitely sees more of what is going on around Molly than she is aware of which led to me being anxious about how much trouble she might unwittingly end up in. She’s a great character though and I was rooting for her the whole way through the novel. I still think about her and wonder how she’s doing now! I recommend this one!

The Truth About Her by Jacqueline Maley

I picked this book up on a whim and I’m glad I did. It follows journalist Suzy in the aftermath of a nightmare – a wellness blogger that she did a big expose of has been found dead of apparent suicide and now Suzy has to deal with the fallout. Suzy is a single mum and her life seems to consist of her constantly trying to get her life on track but never quite managing it. She can’t commit to a relationship but wants to, and she’s striving for something more but doesn’t exactly know what that might look like. I found this book less of a thriller than I was expecting but it was a really absorbing read and I’m so pleased that I picked it up.

WWW Wednesdays (23 Feb ’21)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I’ve just started reading Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton and am intrigued by it so far. I’m keen to see where this one is going.

Recent Reads

I finished reading Impossible by Sarah Lotz this week and I adored this book. It was something different and was so gripping.

I also devoured It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce and loved it, I think this might be my new favourite book by this author!

I read and really enjoyed Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough in just a couple of sittings this week.

Then I read Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins and this book was impossible to put down. I started reading it at bedtime and I literally turned the last page at around 4am! This is such a twisty book; it’s brilliant!

This week I hope to read Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister and One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke – both on my NetGalley shelf and both books I’ve been eagerly anticipating.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (16 Feb ’21)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I’ve not been in much of a reading mood this week so I’m sticking to one book at a time. I’m in the middle of Impossible by Sarah Lotz and am really enjoying this one. It’s different to what I was expecting and it’s definitely got me hooked. I’m keen to see how it’s all going to end so hope I can read some more of this soon.

Recent Reads

I started listening to the audio book of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid yesterday and I finished it the same day. This book is the most perfect escapism and I completely and utterly adored it!

I also finished reading The Clydach Murders by John Morris this week and I found this to be such a compelling and eye-opening book.

I part-read and part-listened to Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson this week too and I really enjoyed it. I now have the third book on hold at the library and can’t wait to read it.

I’ve DNF’d Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment this week, I was just really struggling to get into it. I do love her writing though so I may go back to it at some point.

I don’t know what I might want to read next but the book that keeps catching my eye on my NetGalley shelf is It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce and on my Kindle it’s The Perfect Escape by Leah Konen so hopefully I can get to at least one of these books in the coming days.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (9 Feb ’21)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

We watched the new documentary about the Clydach murders this week and I wanted to know more so I bought and started reading The Clydach Murders by John Morris.

I’m also reading The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with it, I think if it doesn’t grab me in a few more chapters I might have to admit defeat with this one.

Recent Reads

This week I listened to Empress and Aniya by Candice Carty-Williams which is a novella that is currently free to borrow for Audible members. I really enjoyed it and recommend it.

I also listened to Breathtaking by Rachel Clarke, which is a very moving account of the early days of the pandemic from a hospital doctor’s perspective. It’s harrowing at times but very well put together as a reflection of that time.

I then listened to The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter, which was a good read. I think I finished it in a couple of sittings as I was keen to see where it was going.

I finished reading When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole and very much enjoyed this one. It gave me a lot to think about as well as being a good thriller.

Then I read The Maid by Nita Prose and I loved this one. It was exactly the book I needed when I picked it up and I’m so glad I read it.

This week might be a tough one so I’m not sure how much reading I’m going to get done. Usually at these times I either escape into books and read a lot or I find it very hard to read so get through hardly any books. The books that are calling to me the most right now are Impossible by Sarah Lotz, Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay and Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (2 Feb ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I picked When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole back up this week and I am engrossed in this one. It’s very current and very intriguing and I’m keen to see where it’s going.

Recent Reads

The first book I’ve finished since my last WWW post was Idol by Louise O’Neill and I really enjoyed this novel. It’s about the stories we tell on social media and the blurry lines between truth and lies, and how we perhaps don’t always see ourselves as we really are. I recommend it!

I also read Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller and found it okay. I didn’t enjoy it as much as other novels that I’ve read by her but it was a good read.

I absolutely loved A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon, who is now one of my favourite writers. This novel had me gripped all the way through. I saw some of what happened coming but that didn’t matter because I love the way Cannon writes and the way her characters are so real. I loved this book!

The last book I finished was The Curfew by T.M. Logan and I think this might just be my new favourite novel by him. I was engrossed all the way through this thriller and it kept me on my toes right the way through.

I don’t know what I’ll read next but the books on my NetGalley shelf that are really calling to me at the time of writing this are The Maid by Nita Prose, Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough and Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth!

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (26 Jan ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I started Idol by Louise O’Neill yesterday afternoon and have been struggling to put it down ever since. It grabbed me from the first chapter and I really want to know where the story is going to go!

I also started reading When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole and am intrigued by this one. I’m enjoying all the dynamics between the neighbours and am keen to see what is happening.

Recent Reads

The first book I finished since my last WWW post was The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett and I absolutely loved it. I found it gripping and intriguing and even when I thought I had it figured out there was still more surprises in store!

I also finished listening to Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey. I found parts of this book fascinating and parts of it a bit self-indulgent at times. It was a 3 star read for me.

I started and finished the audiobook of My Mess is a Bit of a Life by Georgia Pritchett and I adored this one. It really shows what it is like to live with anxiety and I connected with quite a lot of it.

I read Tall Bones by Anna Bailey and also loved this one. It was very atmospheric and brutal at times but the writing is beautiful.

Yesterday I read Reputation by Sarah Vaughan all in one sitting – it had me hooked from start to finish and it feels like a book that will stay with me. I recommend it!

I’m reading my way through my NetGalley shelf at the moment so the next three from there that are calling to me are A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon, The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley and The Curfew by TM Logan.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (19 Jan ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I only started reading The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett last night so am only a short way into it but I’m definitely intrigued and am keen to read more.

I’m really gripped by Tall Bones by Anna Bailey, a book I’ve been anticipating for a while so I’m glad it’s as good as I’d hoped.

I’m also part-reading and part-listening to Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey and I’m not sure what I make of this one so far but I’m going to continue reading it for a bit longer to see where it goes.

Recent Reads

The first book I finished this week was my audiobook of The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama and I found it an okay book. I didn’t enjoy it as much as his first book but it was engaging enough and I’m keen to move on to his new memoir soon.

I also finished reading And Away by Bob Mortimer and I completely and utterly adored this one! It was such a brilliant read and I can see me reading it again in the future.

I then read a thriller – The Weekend Away by Sarah Alderson and found it so engrossing, I read it all in pretty much one sitting!

I’ve had The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace on my TBR for nearly six years and I’m kicking myself for leaving it so long because I loved this novel. It’s beautiful and heartwarming and I already want to read it again!

I also finished reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and I loved this one too. I was hooked all the way through and all the unexpected twists and turns kept me on my toes.

The last book I read this week was a NetGalley Arc – The Truth About Her by Jacqueline Maley and I quite enjoyed it. It was different to what I was expecting it to be but still a good read.

I don’t know what I’ll be reading next but the books I’m most in the mood to read at the moment are When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole and The Other Black Girl by Zaklya Dalila Harris from my TBR. And also Reputation by Sarah Vaughan from my NetGalley shelf.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (12 Jan ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I started reading And Away by Bob Mortimer yesterday and I am loving it every bit as much as I thought I was going to.

I also started reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters a couple of days ago on my Kindle. I’ve had this book on my TBR for about six years but I was saving it for the right time. Anyway, I’m trying this year to read the books I know I’m going to love now instead of saving them so I’m happy to finally be reading this one.

My current audiobook The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama and I’m finding this one really interesting so far. This has also been on my TBR for a long time but I wanted to get to it as I got his new memoir for my birthday almost a year ago and I really want to get to that one soon.

Recent Reads

I finished reading The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse and really enjoyed this one. Some of it was predictable but I didn’t mind because I loved the atmospheric, creepy setting. I can’t wait to read the author’s forthcoming second book now!

I also read Skin Deep by Liz Nugent this week and enjoyed this one too. I part listened on audio and part read it and found it such an engaging read that kept me on my toes throughout!

I loved reading The Couple at the Table by Sophie Hannah, it was such a gripping novel and my brain was working away trying to work out whodunnit and how. The ending was satisfying and I’m so glad I read this one.

I also finished reading I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke and I very much enjoyed this one. I’m so happy that my husband got me this for Christmas and it was definitely a successful surprise gift!

I listened to I Know What You’ve Done by Dorothy Koomson on Audible and thought it was so good! I found it really hard to stop listening to this one and was always keen to get back to it.

I also listened to The Secret Midwife by Katy Weitz and Philippa George and found it such an interesting book. It made me angry and it made me sad but it was also a lovely read too.

I’m very much mood reading at the moment and so want to continue to do that so the books that are jumping out to me the most from my TBR stack are The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett and The Truth About Her by Jacqueline Maley from my NetGalley shelf, and Tall Bones by Anna Bailey, which I bought recently and am keen to get to.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

My 12 in 12 for 2021!

I read and enjoyed Nicki from Secret Library Book Blog’s 12 in 12 post and decided to have a go at it myself! It seems like such a fun way to look at some of the books I read and enjoyed in 2021!

Twelve Authors New To You

Twelve Authors You’ve Read Before

Twelve Books From Authors I know Will Never Let Me down

Twelve Audio Books I’ve Enjoyed

Twelve Books That Surprised Me… In A Good Way

Twelve Books That Took Me By The Hand And Led Me Into The Past

Twelve Books That Took Me Into A World of Crime and Psychological Suspense

Twelve Books I Bought For Myself

Twelve Feel-Good Novels

Twelve Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading and Reviewing in 2022

That was a harder post to put together than I thought it would be, it’s really made me think back over my reading in 2021. I enjoyed it though and it was fun to look through my books again.

WWW Wednesdays (5 Jan ’22)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I started reading I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke, which I got for Christmas and I love it. It’s such a pleasure to read and I feel like I can hear Clarke’s voice as I’m reading it.

I also started reading The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse on my Kindle and am engrossed in it. I love how atmospheric it is, and creepy at times.

Recent Reads

I always seem to hit my reading groove at the start of a new year and 2022 has been no different. I’ve finished off some books that I was almost at the end of in my last post, and then I’ve been in a real reading mood the last few days so have been getting through my books.

My plan to read my backlog books in 2022 is going well – my most recently finished book was How You See Me by S. E. Craythorne which had been on my TBR for 6.5 years. I ended up reading it all in one sitting and it was such an engrossing and brilliant read.

I also read Other Parents by Sarah Stovell from my NetGalley shelf, which is from last year too. I enjoyed this one.

Another book from my TBR backlog was Animal by Sara Pascoe and I very much enjoyed it. It had more depth than I was expecting and made me think. I recommend it.

I only had a couple of chapters left of A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg and so finished that this week. It was a sentimental, old-fashioned novel but it was perfect for the time of year and I really liked it.

I also only had a few more pages of The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater to read so decided to finish it so that I can put it away with the Christmas decorations this week. I love re-reading this each festive period, it’s such a beautiful book.

Happy Fat by Sofie Hagen was also on my TBR backlog and I’m sorry to say I didn’t really enjoy this one. It’s strange because I bought it when I was a lot heavier and I wonder if I’d have felt differently if I’d read it then, I suspect that I would have done. But now I see how much better life can be when you stop medicating emotional pain with food and so this book just annoyed me for the most part.

My first read of 2022 was The Storyteller by Dave Grohl and I adored it! I love Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters so this was a perfect read and I loved every second that I spent reading it.

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont and The Couple at the Table by Sophie Hannah are both on my NetGalley shelf and as they’re due to be published this month I’d like to read and review them soon so hope to read them this week. I’d also like to get to Significance by Jo Mazelis as this keeps catching my eye and has been on my Kindle for years now.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

My 2021 Reading Stats!

Happy New Year! Over the last few days I’ve shared my favourite novels read in 2021, my favourite non-fiction read in 2021, and my Reading Bingo posts so today it’s time for my reading statistics post! I love going through my Goodreads, Storygraph and my spreadsheet to see the patterns in my reading and I hope you enjoy reading this post.

2021 was a much better reading year for me than 2021 and I found that my books gave me the escapism and solace that I needed from them.

I’m really happy that I read 265 books in 2021. I feel like this is a normal pace of reading for me so it was good to have something that felt normal in a world that still feels upside down.

The longest book I read in 2021 was The Romanovs at 784 pages and it was such a fascinating read, I’m so glad that I finally picked it up. My shortest read was my annual re-read of The Night Before Christmas with just 32 pages.

This chart is the breakdown of genres that I’ve read in 2021. It doesn’t surprise me that general fiction and thrillers make up the biggest chunks on the chart as I mostly read for escapism and I am happy that I found books that provided me with that when reality has been so stressful at times. I’m sad that, like last year, I didn’t read as much non-fiction as I usually do. When you add non-fiction, memoir and true crime together they make up around a quarter of my reading, which isn’t bad but I would have liked it to have been more like a third or even half. I hope to rectify this in 2022 but I’m not going to pressure myself as just reading at all is the important thing for me.

I don’t ever choose books by the gender of the author but every year I read more books by women than men, and the percentage always seems to fall around three quarters. I’m happy with this stat.

This chart is no real surprise to me as I pick my Kindle up way more than a print book these days. I have problems with my vision in one eye so being able to change the size of the font and the colour of the screen is vital to me. Also being disabled a Kindle is so much easier to hold than a book. I am surprised that the percentage of audio books isn’t higher as I feel like I listen to a lot of audio books but I think I maybe listen to longer books on audio and so they take longer to get through.

This chart shows how I acquired the books I actually read this year. I’m really pleased that my ARC number is as high as it is as I’ve been really focused on reading my way through my NetGalley shelf. I did really well but right before Christmas I requested more books so now have fifteen to read and review but that feels like a manageable number. I’m also very happy that I read nearly as many books that I either bought myself or was given as a gift as I really wanted to make more effort to read books I own and to balance that with books for review.

To balance the previous chart this one shows how I’ve been acquiring books over 2021 and I’m very pleased that the biggest section by a long way is purchased. I love getting advanced copies of books to read and review but it’s so important to support authors by buying their books too and I’m pleased that I’ve been doing this.

I debated whether to share this chart because I’m a little bit ashamed but I want to hold myself accountable so here it is. The blue bars are the number of books I read every month in 2021 and the red bars are the number of books I bought in 2021. As is very glaringly apparent the numbers aren’t even close to balancing! Ooops! Towards the end of the year I decided to have a huge clear out of my print books, Kindle books and Audio books though and I literally halved my book collection so overall that’s a win in terms of the size of my TBR. In 2022 I really want to read more of the books that I owned before this year so that’s my aim. I’ll still be buying books and requesting on NetGalley but I want to make sure that now I’ve sorted my books down to only the ones I still want to read that I actually do make a start on reading them.

So to hold myself accountable… the total number of books I own is 2192! 145 are print books, 312 are audio books and the other 1735 are Kindle books. Obviously I own way more books than I can read in a year but I’d like to make a decent dent in the number I own before the end of 2022.

So that’s 2021 in statistics and some plans for 2022! I love seeing how my reading breaks down over a year and spotting patterns, it helps me see what I want to aim for in the coming year. Do you like looking back on your reading?

Happy New Year!

Reading Bingo 2021!

Today I’m playing reading bingo on my blog to see if I got a full house for my reading in 2021! I never look at the card through the year so its always interesting putting this post together and seeing if I can cross off all of the squares!

A book with more than 500 pages

The Romanovs: 1618-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

A forgotten classic

Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

A book that became a movie

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

A book that was published this year

Safe at Home by Lauren North

A book with a number in the title

When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

A book written by someone under 30

A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll

A book with non-human characters

How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith

A funny book

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

A book by a female author

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

A book with a mystery

Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah

A book with a one-word title

Consent by Vanessa Springora

A book of short stories

Where Snow Angels Go by Maggie O’Farrell

Free square

Homecoming by Luan Goldie

A book set on a different continent

The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer by Joel Dicker

A book of non-fiction

Illness as a Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors by Susan Sontag

The first book by a favourite author

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

A book you heard about online

The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana

A best-selling book

No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

A book based on a true story

Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie

A book at the bottom of your to be read pile

Just Me by Sheila Hancock

A book your friend loves

The Pact by Sharon Bolton

A book that scares you

This Little Family by Ines Bayard

A book that is more than 10 years old

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

The second book in a series

Tuesdays Gone by Nicci French

A book with a blue cover

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

So as you’ll be able to tell I didn’t really complete Reading Bingo this year as I didn’t read a collection of short stories – the book I put for that was just a single story. I also didn’t really read a forgotten classic as Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin is well known (although it was kind of forgotten to me as it had languished unread on my TBR for years before I finally picked it up so maybe it should count). I’m happy with what I did manage to check off on my bingo card though and it’s a nice chance to show off some more great books!

My Favourite Non-Fiction Read in 2021!

Yesterday I shared my favourite novels that I read in 2021 and today it’s time for my favourite non-fiction books. I read fewer non-fiction books than I usually do but it still made up around a quarter of my reading and I enjoyed so much of what I read.

Here are my favourite non-fiction books from 2021…

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Really Saying Something by Sara Dallin & Keren Woodward

Hungry by Grace Dent

This Party’s Dead by Erika Buist

How To Be Broken by Emma Kavanagh

Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

All The Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks

Unwell Women by Emma Cleghorn

Sitting Pretty by Rebecca Taussig

Finding Suzy by David Videcette

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

The Romanovs: 1618-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Kitty Genovese by Catherine Polenero

What are your favourite non-fiction books from last year? I hope you read some great books. Happy New Year! 🙂

My Favourite Novels Read in 2021!

Today I’m sharing my most favourite novels that I read in 2021! At the time of writing this I’ve read 265 books in total so it was very hard to pick the top reads but these are the books that have stayed with me the most. I highly recommend all of them!

So, in no particular order here are my favourite novels read in 2021!

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Twenty Seven Club by Lucy Nichol

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle

The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer by Joel Dicker

Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Mountain Road, Late At Night by Alan Rossi

Perfect Tunes by Emily Gould

Home Stretch by Graham Norton

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

One Last Time by Helga Flatland

The Outsiders by James Corbett

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

This Is How We Are Human by Louise Beech

Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Heights by Louise Candlish

All My Mothers by Joanna Glen

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1983 by Cho Nam-Joo

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

Nothing Can Hurt You by Nicola Maye Goldberg

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

What are your favourite books that you read in 2021? I’d love to know, and if you’ve written a blog post please feel free to leave your link below and I will make sure to read your post.

I will soon share my favourite non-fiction books so please look out for that post!

Christmas Book Haul!

Today I’m sharing my Christmas book (and book-related). I had hoped to share this sooner but I’ve been ill this week and today’s the first day I’ve felt somewhat human again. Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that you got some fab new books to read. I was very spoilt this year and am over the moon with all my gifts.

My husband gave me a huge stack of presents and all were book related! So first up the books…

In fiction he gave me Carol Ann Duffy’s Christmas Poems, Emma Donoghue’s The Lotterys More or Less, and Richard Osman’s The Man Who Died Twice. I’ve now read Christmas Poems and The Man Who Died Twice and I recommend them both.

In Non-Fiction he outdid himself! He gave me Elton John’s Me, Dave Grohl’s The Storyteller, and Bob Mortimer’s And Away – all were top of my wishlist but I didn’t actually ask for them. I was thrilled that he knew me well enough to get them for me.

And then there were two books that not only have I not already read but I had never even heard of, despite them being by people I like. First up is Stevie Van Zandt’s Unrequited Infatuations, which sounds so interesting. I love Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and I adored The Sopranos earlier this year so I can’t wait to read this one. Then I opened I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke, which I am over the moon with. I love seeing him on TV and hearing him read his brilliant poetry and this book sounds like one I will completely and utterly adore so I can’t wait to read it. It’s very rare for me to be bought books that I’ve never even heard of but are exactly my taste so these two gifts made my Christmas!

He also gave me a new Kindle Oasis, which I’m delighted about. My Oasis broke a few weeks ago and I’ve been lost without it so I’m very happy to have a new one.

Then in book-related gifts he surprised me with these bookish pyjamas, which I love! Aren’t they perfect pyjamas for a book lover?! I think I’m going to wear them for the New Year as it’s good to get dressed up to stay home watching darts followed by Jools Holland’s Hootenanny! Ha!

I got a bit teary with this last gift (apologies for the photo – I don’t have one of me wearing it as yet so it’s just a pic of it folded up). It’s a Joanie Clothing book dress. I first saw this dress on their website a couple of years ago and I wanted it but it didn’t go up to my size. I said to myself that if I ever lost weight this would be the dress that I treated myself to (never believing that I would ever lose weight). Anyway my husband bought me the dress in a UK size 12 and it fits me! I’ve lost almost six and a half stone since September 2020 and this feels like such a perfect reward for sticking with it.

My lovely Mum-in-Law also spoilt us both and one of our gifts was a book to share called Renegades by Barak Obama and Bruce Springsteen. This is another book that I’d not heard of before but I’m really keen to read it, it looks like it’ll be an excellent read.

Now I need to make space on my bookcase for my new books… I do enjoy having a sort through my books though so I’ll look forward to doing that in the new year!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and that the new year is kind to you all.

WWW Wednesdays (29 Dec ’21)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that you got some new books to read. I was very spoilt with books and book-related gifts so will be doing a book haul post soon. At the moment I’m ill so haven’t had the energy to do much of anything the last couple of days. My Covid test is negative (at the moment) but I have all the symptoms so I’m keeping away from people until I’m feeling better. Unfortunately my concentration has left me so all the books I’ve read this week were read before Christmas day and I’ve not read anything since then.

Current Reads

I started reading A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg on Christmas Eve and am really enjoying it so I hope to be able to finish it before New Year.

My Christmas audio book is Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris, which is a re-read but I would still like to finish it this week if I can.

I’m also still reading The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater on the relevant days but I usually read through the last entries before New Year so that I can put the book away with my Christmas decorations so I hope to finish this one this week too.

Recent Reads

I love Carol Ann Duffy’s individually published Christmas poem books so it was a lovely surprise to receive the collected The Christmas Poems by Carol Ann Duffy as a gift. I read this one in one go and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a beautiful book.

I re-read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens on Christmas Eve, which is a long-standing tradition of mine.

I finished reading The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle, which was a sweet Christmas read.

I treated myself to Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan and read it all in one day, I loved this one and it feels like a book that will really stay with me.

I also read Hide by Nell Pattison and enjoyed it so hope to read more by her in 2022.

I finished In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware and very much enjoyed it, it was great escapism and kept me gripped all the way through.

I don’t know what I’ll read next as it depends on my mood and if I’m feeling better but the two books that are appealing to me the most at the moment are Other Parents by Sarah Stovell from my NetGalley shelf. And Storyteller by Dave Grohl, which I got for Christmas and am so keen to read!

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (22 Dec ’21)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I spotted In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware on my Kindle and was just in the mood for a read like this and I’m really enjoying it.

I’m also really enjoying The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle as my next festive read. It’s a lovely middle grade book and making me feel very Christmassy.

I’m still loving my re-read of The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater.

Recent Reads

I very much enjoyed reading Stay Another Day by Juno Dawson over the last few days. It’s Christmassy and chaotic and has lots of great representation throughout.

I also loved Where Snow Angels Go by Maggie O’Farrell last week. This is a beautiful book and one I will re-read in the future.

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz was such a gripping read, I found this near impossible to put down and would recommend it.

It’s now so close to Christmas that I think I might have time for only one more Christmas novel and I think it’s going to be In A Holidaze by Christina Laurens!

I have a copy of The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont and it feels like a book to be read over the Christmas period so I hope to get to this one this week.

I’m really enjoying thrillers at the moment and Hide by Nell Pattison looks very wintery and gripping so seems apt for this week.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂 And I hope you all have a lovely Christmas time filled with books! x

WWW Wednesdays (15 Dec ’21)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I’ve only just started reading The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz but I think I’m going to really enjoy it. I seem to be needing easy reads that are also engrossing at the moment and this seems to fit the bill.

I’ve only read the opening chapters of Stay Another Day by Juno Dawson as well but I’m enjoying reading a modern Christmas novel.

I’m still enjoying my re-read of The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater. I can’t remember when his diary ends but I’m reading each section on the corresponding day so I’ll be reading this one until it finishes (although I might read ahead once Christmas is over).

Recent Reads

I have an ebook of Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan but I spotted the audio on my library app so I borrowed it and have part listened and part read this one. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be but I did enjoy it.

Fat Cow, Fat Chance by Jenni Murray was a book of two halves for me. The first part I was engrossed in and could identify with a lot of the author’s struggles with weight but then it felt like it descends into excuses and finding a way for it to not be her fault at all. I was disappointed with her attitude (and I write as someone who has lost over six stone because I dealt with my issues around food and learnt about portion control) to weight loss and found this quite a negative book by the end.

I finally read Carol by Patricia Highsmith this week! It’s been on my TBR for ages so I’m kicking myself for not picking it up sooner as I found it such an intense and engrossing read.

I also read Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and it’s Private Consequences by Catherine Polenero and am still processing this one. I had heard of this case before but to read such a detailed account of the witnesses is chilling. This was well-researched and I’m glad I read it.

I finished reading The Murder of Mr Moonlight by Catherine Fegan this week as well. This is such a sad case but also unnerving seeing how the killer kept his tracks hidden for as long as he did.

I love reading children’s books as it gets close to Christmas so I’m really looking forward to reading The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller this week. This is a new one for me so I can’t wait!

I pre-ordered Hide by Nell Pattison and then forgot all about it so it was a lovely surprise when it appeared on my Kindle the other day. I’m keen to get to this one in the coming days.

I really enjoyed The Appeal so was delighted when I was approved to read The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett this week via NetGalley. I have high hopes for this one.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (8 Dec ’21)! What are you reading this week?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

I can’t remember when I bought The Murder of Mr Moonlight by Catherine Fegan but it was on my Kindle and I decided to read it this week.

I’m also still reading the relevant sections of The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater on the relevant days and am very much enjoying it.

Recent Reads

I seem to have read a lot of Christmas books this week and I’ve enjoyed them all but to varying degrees. Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar was good and I adored the setting but it wasn’t as festive as I was hoping. Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson on the other hand was everything I wanted in a Christmas read this week and I very much enjoyed it. I also really enjoyed reading The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict, which is a take on a locked room Christmas mystery and I found myself completely engrossed in it. My other Christmas read was I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Milly Johnson, which I listened to on audio and it was another one that I found really festive and lovely.

The only non-Christmas book that I read this week was Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson and I enjoyed this one. I’ve already reviewed it here if you’ve like to know more.

I don’t know what I’ll be reading next but I just treated myself to Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford and am really keen to read it so I think I may pick it up. I also bought The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox on Kindle and would like to get to it before Christmas so hopefully I get to it this week. Aside from Christmas reads the book that caught my eye as I was writing this post was The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz so maybe I’ll read this one next.

What are you reading at the moment? I’d love to know 🙂

Mini Book Reviews: Wish You Were Here | Real Men Knit | Woke Up This Morning | How to Be a Rock Star

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

I’ve read most of Jodi Picoult’s novels and enjoyed them but have found her latest books a bit hit and miss. Even so I was excited to read Wish You Were Here and I’m so pleased to say that I loved it, it’s her best book in a while! Wish You Were Here follows Diana who is busy at work in an art gallery and is about to embark on a holiday of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands with her boyfriend. But then Covid hits and he has to stay behind as he’s a doctor. She goes on her own and as she gets there the island is locking down so she is trapped there. I loved the descriptions of the island and the relationships Diana forms while there. I don’t want to say much more because I’m anxious to avoid any spoilers but this novel takes the reader on an unexpected journey through isolation and longing and I loved it. There is so much I want to say but I can’t… just trust me and read this one, it’s so good!

Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson

I was keen to read Real Men Knit after reading some recommendations by bloggers that I trust so I was delighted to get a copy from NetGalley. I finally picked it up recently and really enjoyed it. It’s set in a wool shop in the aftermath of the owner’s death. Her four adopted sons are deciding what to do and one of them wants a chance to run the shop and make it a success along with the help of Kerry, who worked there alongside his Mama. I enjoyed the family dynamics in this novel, and I really liked Kerry. I wasn’t so keen on all the will they won’t they romance plot, it felt very over the top at times, but on the whole this was a really cosy, lovely read and I’m glad I picked it up.

Woke Up This Morning by Michael Imperioli & Steve Schirripa

I have to admit that I somehow only watched The Sopranos for the first time earlier this year (I don’t know how it took me so long but it did!) but when I finally got to it I adored it, it jumped right to the top of my favourite TV shows ever list! So when I spotted this book all about the making of The Sopranos with interviews with the cast and behind the scenes info I knew I had to read it. I really enjoyed this book. I believe it’s based on a podcast which I haven’t listened to so I’m not sure how much of the story in the book is new. I loved finding out more about the making of certain episodes and how the show was cast. It’s a definite must read for fans of the show!

How to Be A Rock Star by Shaun Ryder

I’m a big Shaun Ryder fan so when I spotted this audio book on NetGalley I immediately requested it. Shaun narrates it himself which made the book for me, I could listen to him tell his stories all day long! I enjoyed this one but given it’s a how to book I did find it a bit repetitive, with some elements from earlier sections being referred to again later on. I also already knew most of his stories from having read his autobiography a few years ago. I did still enjoy this one though so I would recommend it if you’re a Happy Mondays fan and want to know more about how to get into the world of rock and roll!

WWW Wednesdays (1 Dec ’21)! What are you reading?

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading!

Current Reads

My latest festive read is The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict and I’m really enjoying this one. It’s set in an old house and a family who don’t get on are competing with each other to inherit the house.

I’ve also started my annual re-read of The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater. I very much enjoy reading each day of this book every year, Nigel Slater really captures the build up to the festive season so beautifully.

I’m also reading Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson, which is the