Christmas novel recommendations!

merry christmas

Today I’m posting a round-up of Christmas books that I’ve read and reviewed this festive period in case you’re looking for a last minute Christmas read or Christmas book gift!

merry mistletoe

I’ve read some wonderful and magical Christmas books this year so it’s near impossible to pick my favourites. I do have a real soft spot for Emma Davies’ Merry Mistletoe as it was different to any Christmas book I’ve read in a long time, not just this year, and I loved all the comforting imagery around feathers and robins. This is a short novel and I highly recommend it, especially to anyone looking for a comforting read this Christmas.

The Boy Under the Mistletoe by Katey Lovell

I also adored Katey Lovell’s latest Meet Cute short story The Boy Under the Mistletoe. It’s a delicious five-minute read that will warm your heart and will instantly having you feeling more festive!

One Wish in Manhattan

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot became an instant favourite of mine and I know it’s a novel that I will come back to for many Christmases to come. It’s a gorgeous novel set entirely in the build up to Christmas, it has elements of A Christmas Carol running through it and won’t fail to make anyone feel festive.

the mince pie mix up

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce was brilliant! It’s perfect for anyone who loves films like Freaky Friday – I love body-swap books where characters become someone else and literally have to walk in their shoes for a period of time and setting this over the festive period just made it even better. It’s a fab read!

The Winter Wedding

Abby Clements’ latest novel The Winter Wedding is more of a winter themed book than a Christmas one and yet it made me feel so festive. I think it’s the build up to a winter wedding – snow combined with romance is such a magical mix!

Holly Martin released two Christmas novels this year, both set in White Cliff Bay (Christmas at Lilac Cottage and Snowflakes on Silver Cove) but featuring different characters (although if you read both you may spot some familiar characters popping up). I adored both of these novels – Holly just writes with a perfect mix of humour, romance, and festivity!

winter's fairytale (1)

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey is such a perfect Christmas romance. The whole novel is set in the couple of weeks before Christmas so it’s as festive as can be!

What Happens at Christmas_FINAL

T. A. Williams Christmas novel What Happens at Christmas is a lovely Christmas novel. It’s set in a beautiful village, with Chocolate box cottages and friendly locals. I loved it.

how to stuff up christmas

I adored How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake. It’s a perfect mix of being hilariously funny and incredibly heart-warming!

Christmas wishes and mistletoe kisses

I read Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale as part of Bookouture Christmas and am so glad I got the chance to read this novel. It’s a really sweet story about what is really important at Christmas and how spending time with other people can really help us be better versions of ourselves.

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

I just read The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson this week and I loved it. It’s all how opening yourself up to new experiences can lead to unexpected and wonderful things happening.

Snowed in for her Wedding

Snowed in the for her Wedding by Emma Bennet is a short novella, but it’s a lovely story. I loved how a whole community pulled together at Christmas to help their local girl Gwen have her Christmas Eve wedding despite the heavy snow.

christmas at cranberry cottage

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland is a lovely novella. I most enjoyed the nostalgia in this story, as the main character tries to save her Gran’s cottage and reminisces about growing up there and all the Christmases spent in that lovely home.


 

**Amendment 23 December 2015**

every time a bell rings

Last night I finished reading Every Time A Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington and it simply has to be added to this list, it’s such a gorgeous and utterly perfect Christmas read! It’s inspired by It’s A Wonderful Life and is just magical, go read it! It’s up there with my all-time favourite Christmas reads!


 

I hope this helps you find the perfect Christmas read for over the next week or so. You really can’t go wrong with any of the above books, they’re all wonderful.

Wishing you all a very happy and book-filled Christmas!

 

My November Wrap-Up Post!

Monthly Wrap-Up

I can’t believe I’m writing my November wrap-up post already, I don’t know where this month has gone! I’m loving blogging more and more as the weeks go by and it’s become such a massive part of my life now, I can’t imagine not being a blogger. It’s absolutely second nature to me now to make notes as I’m reading and to write a review as soon as I’ve finished a book. I’m slowly getting to grips with WordPress too.

This month I added a new section to my blog… a shelf were I can add all my favourite books. Please check that out here. I’ve posted a list on there for now but plan to gradually add mini reviews of all my favourite books that I’ve read previously. This month I added two books to this shelf – the only new additions this year. It takes a lot to be added to my favourites, only the most special of books make it there. I’ve revealed the two books at the end of this post!

My blog has now had over 6000 page views and over 2500 visitors. It amazes me every time I check my stats to find that people are reading my posts, it really has made such a difference in my life to have found blogging and the support from everyone just increases it tenfold!

Thanks to all of you who have read a post on my blog, or liked or commented or shared. Thanks to all of you who have followed my blog, or on social media.


 

In November I read 20 books and managed to review all of them. If I didn’t keep a record of the books I read I wouldn’t have believed I’d read that many, I think blogging has got me reading even more than I was before! Please click on the links below the images to read my reviews.

Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan

How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake

The Boy in the Bookshop by Katey Lovell

The Boy at the Beach by Katey Lovell

What Rosie Found Next by Helen J. Rolfe

Wendy Darling by Colleen Hoover

What Happens at Christmas by T. A. Williams

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

The Single Feather by R. F. Hunt

Sky Lantern by Matt Mikalatos

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

Search for the Truth by Kathryn Freeman


 

This month I have received books for review from authors I’d not read before but I now want to go back and read all of their previous books. I love this part of blogging, it’s got me reading more widely and as a result I’ve found so many books that I might otherwise have missed.

The best thing about this month though is that for the first time this year I’ve added two new books to my favourite books collection.

9781782641759

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith is just such a delightful mystery novel, with a brilliant protagonist in Poppy and I already can’t wait to read the next book! I’m planning on buying copies of this book for friends who I’m sure will also enjoy it.

 

out of the darkness

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan is one of those books that arrived in my life in the most serendipitous of ways and I just fell in love with it. It’s a novel that made me sob my heart out, it made me think about things in my own life, but by the end I felt better. I felt like the novel helped me make sense of things and it made me feel comforted. I was so lucky that Katy very kindly sent me a signed copy to keep and I will treasure it. It literally takes centre stage on my favourites bookcase and it’s a book I know I will read again and again. I’ve already bought couple of copies to give to friends who I know will get as much out of it as I did, and I’m sure I’ll be buying more copies in the future. I just want everyone to read this book!

Weekly Wrap Up and Stacking the Shelves (21 November)

It’s weekly wrap up time again!

As I’m sure a lot of you will know from my previous weekly wrap up posts, my blog means an awful lot to me. So this week I couldn’t help but be excited when I spotted that my blog has now had over 5000 page views and over 2000 unique visitors. I’ve only been blogging for under three months so I’m over the moon with how many people have taken the time to read my posts. Thank you so much to you all!

Posts on my blog this week:

I confessed to all of my reading habits in the Reader Habits Book Tag. Please feel free to join in with this tag, and link back to me in your blog post so that I can see your answers.

I also wrote my regular posts as part of the memes I join in with each week. Here are my WWW Wednesday and my Book Beginnings posts.


My week in books:

I’ve read four books this week and have reviewed all of them. (Please click on the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews)

the single feather ruth hunt  Sky Lantern  The Winter Wedding  IMG_3242

The Single Feather by Ruth F. Hunt  

Sky Lantern by Matt Mikalatos

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

 


 

stacking-the-shelves

I’m also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews), which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I’ve bought this week: 

a boy called christmas  The Silent Room by Mari Hannah  The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett  The Dead Dog Day by Jackie Kabler  Getting the Picture by Sarah Salway   From Paris with Love by Jules Wake   State of Wonder by Ann Pratchett   Christmas at Carol's by Nicola Yeager

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

The Silent Room by Mari Hannah

The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett

The Dead Dog Day by Jackie Kabler

Getting the Picture by Sarah Salway

From Paris with Love by Jules Wake

State of Wonder by Ann Pratchett

Christmas at Carol’s by Nicola Yeager

 


 

ARCS I’ve received this week:

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman  As Good as Dead by Elizabeth Evans  The Accidental Guest by Tilly Tennant  A Christmas Romance by Lynda Renham  Alchemy by Jade Kennedy

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

As Good as Dead by Elizabeth Evans

The Accidental Guest by Tilly Tennant

A Christmas Romance by Amy Perfect (Lynda Renham)

Alchemy by Jade Kennedy

I’m very excited about all of my new books so it’s hard to pick the one I’m most excited to read! I think Girls on Fire has to get a mention as I’ve been hearing quite a bit about it on social media and was thrilled to be approved for it on Net Galley. It has such a great cover too, doesn’t it? I can’t wait to read Matt Haig’s Christmas book. I know it’s a children’s book but Matt Haig is such a wonderful author and I have a feeling that there will be a lot in this book that will resonate with adults too. I’d completely missed that a new Mari Hannah book was out this week so I was super excited when I spotted it and had to buy it immediately. Regular readers of my blog will know how much I love a Christmas book so it probably goes without saying how excited I am to read Tilly Tennant and Amy Perfect’s new Christmas books too!


 

How bookish has your week been? Have you added any books on to your TBR pile? Have you bought a book that you’re particularly excited to read? Let me know in the comments and feel free to link back to your own blog.

 

 

Review: The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements

The Winter Wedding

 

I’m a huge fan of Abby Clements and always look forward to a new novel from her. I especially loved her Christmas novel, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, so when I was offered a chance to read this novel, I jumped at the chance.

Hazel feels lost when her sister moves out of the flat they share. She struggles with the idea of a new flat mate and she’s not getting the chances she deserves at work. Her life seems to be standing still while those around her are moving on at great pace. Lila asks Hazel to help plan her wedding and a sideline job is born for Hazel as guests at Lila’s wedding ask her to help plan their big day. She enjoys helping these couples out but her heart is really in the miniature sets she’s been creating in secret.

Hazel’s love life is at something of a standstill too ever since she made a pass at her best friend Sam the previous Christmas. With terrible timing she begins to realise she has fluttery feelings for her work colleague Josh just at the time he asks her to plan his wedding to Sarah.

I loved Hazel and was willing her on to find happiness throughout this novel. She was such a likeable character who I warmed to straight away, she is such a well-rounded character that she felt like someone I actually knew. I loved seeing her friendship with Amber grow.

I enjoyed how the novel kept taking me in different directions with regards to not only who Hazel might end up with but also if she’d end up with someone at all. I so wanted her to find her Mr Right and didn’t want her to either settle for steady or to be responsible for breaking up someone else’s relationship. I felt all warm and fuzzy when the right man saw Hazel’s miniature set designs and encouraged her to follow her dreams.

I loved the descriptions of the miniature sets that Hazel created, I could picture them so vividly. I wish these sets really existed, I’d love to see them and be able to buy them as gifts. How lovely it would be to have a miniature set of your wedding day!

This book is a warm and cosy read, perfect for curling up with on a cold winter night. It’s not a festive read but it still has a sense of the festive because it is mainly set in the winter and in the run up to a Christmas wedding.

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5.

I received this book from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

The Winter Wedding is out now and available from Amazon.

The Winter Wedding my pic

The gorgeous copy that I was lucky enough to receive for review.

WWW Wednesdays (18th November)

WWW pic

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! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading now:

the jazz files

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith

(Out now! My review will be up on Monday 23rd November as part of the blog tour)
I’m thoroughly enjoying reading this novel, I haven’t read anything like it for such a long time and it feels like a real treat.

Blurb:

“It stands for Jazz Files,” said Rollo. “It’s what we call any story that has a whiff of high society scandal but can’t yet be proven… you never know when a skeleton in the closet might prove useful.” Set in 1920, The Jazz Files introduces aspiring journalist Poppy Denby, who arrives in London to look after her ailing Aunt Dot, an infamous suffragette. Dot encourages Poppy to apply for a job at The Daily Globe, but on her first day a senior reporter is killed and Poppy is tasked with finishing his story. It involves the mysterious death of a suffragette seven years earlier, about which some powerful people would prefer that nothing be said…Through her friend Delilah Marconi, Poppy is introduced to the giddy world of London in the Roaring Twenties, with its flappers, jazz clubs, and romance. Will she make it as an investigative journalist, in this fast-paced new city? And will she be able to unearth the truth before more people die?

 

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

(Due to be published 3rd December)

This book is so good and near impossible to put down but is utterly terrifying at the same time. I’m over half way through and am suspicious of  just about everyone in this novel!

Blurb:

LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?

Time’s running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM …

 

the silent dead

The Silent Dead by Claire McGowan

(Due to be published on 19th November)

I started reading this last night and it’s brilliant! It’s so good to be catching up with Paula Maguire again. This is one of my favourite book series!

Blurb:

Victim: Male. Mid-thirties. 5’7″.

Cause of death: Hanging. Initial impression – murder.

ID: Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.

The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is.
Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.
The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it’s clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.
Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock – both personally and professionally.
With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will be Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice, don’t they?

 

bossypants

Bossypants by Tina Fey

(Out now!)

I’m listening to the audiobook of this and am really enjoying it. 

Blurb:

Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.

Before 30 Rock, Mean Girls, and ‘Sarah Palin’, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

 

I’m also still reading from last week: 

A Notable Woman   winter's fairytale   hello goodbye and everything in between

A Notable Woman ed. by Simon Garfield (Kindle Book)

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey (Kindle Book)

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith (Kindle Book)

What I recently finished reading: 

(Click the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews and to find out more about the books)

IMG_3165  What Happens at Christmas_FINAL  the single feather ruth hunt  The Winter Wedding   Sky Lantern

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

What Happens at Christmas by T. A. Williams

The Single Feather by R. F. Hunt

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements (review to follow soon)

Sky Lantern by Matt Mikalatos

What I plan on reading next:

the secret by the lake

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas

(Due to be published on 19th November. My review will be up on 26th November as part of the blog tour)

Blurb:

A FAMILY TRAGEDY
Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now.
A SISTER’S SECRET
But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen.
A WEB OF LIES
Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves?

 

Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin (1)

Sugar and Snails by Anna Goodwin

(Out now!)

The past lingers on, etched beneath our skin …
At fifteen, Diana Dodsworth took the opportunity to radically alter the trajectory of her life, and escape the constraints of her small-town existence. Thirty years on, she can’t help scratching at her teenage decision like a scabbed wound.
To safeguard her secret, she’s kept other people at a distance… until Simon Jenkins sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, and he expects Di to fly out for a visit. She daren’t return to the city that changed her life; nor can she tell Simon the reason why.
Sugar and Snails takes the reader on a poignant journey from Diana’s misfit childhood, through tortured adolescence to a triumphant mid-life coming-of-age that challenges preconceptions about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

 

the mince pie mix up

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce

(Out now!)

‘I wish I could live your life. I’d happily swap lives with you.’

’Tis the season to be jolly but for Calvin and Judy the usual festive bickering has already begun! Judy’s convinced that her husband has it easy – no glittery wrapping paper, no playground gossip and absolutely no Christmas baking.

Calvin wishes he could trade in his obnoxious boss and dull nine-to-five job to spend more time kicking back with his kids – how hard can Judy’s life really be?

But after a magical mince pie mix-up, one thing’s for certain – by Christmas Day, life for Judy and Calvin will never be the same again. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener after all…

 

the drowning lesson

The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

(Out now!)

The press conference, one year ago
Our home is a crime scene now.
I am in yesterday’s clothes. The clothes in which I kissed Sam goodbye. Then he’d belonged only to us. Now his image will be shared with the world.
We should be grateful.
‘Our son . . . Sam . . .’ My eyes fill with tears, the writing on the paper blurs. ‘Someone took him. Please help us . . .’
I back away from the microphone, the paper falls from my hands.

The anniversary
The Jordan family thought they would return from their gap year abroad enriched, better people, a closer family.
Not minus one child.
A year on, Emma remains haunted by the image of that empty cot, thousands of miles away, the chasm between her and the rest of the family growing with each day that Sam remains missing. Is her son still out there? Will the mystery about what happened that night ever be unravelled?

 

How To Get Ahead in Television by Sophie Cousens (1)

How To Get Ahead in Television by Sophie Cousens

(Out now!)

Poppy Penfold desperately wants a career in television. After months of dead-end applications, she gets her big break with a temporary job as a runner for RealiTV. But to land a permanent role, Poppy will need to go head-to-head with fellow runner Rhidian: arrogant, highly competitive – and ridiculously good looking.

Poppy goes all out to impress, but somehow things don’t go to plan. Whether failing to prevent a washed-up soap star from becoming roaring drunk during Scottish game show Last Clan Standing, or managing to scare the horses during the filming of Strictly Come Prancing, Poppy gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. With highly strung presenters and distractingly handsome producers in the mix, it’s Poppy’s determination that will see her win or lose her dream job, and maybe her dream man too…


 

What are you reading today? What have you finished reading this week? What are you hoping to read over the next week? Have you read any of these books? Please share your answers in the comments below.

 

WWW Wednesday (11 November)

WWW pic

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! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading now:

what happens at christmas

What Happens at Christmas by T. A. Williams

I started reading this book last night and it’s so good, I can’t wait to have the time to sit and read more!

Blurb:

For the perfect Christmas…

When career-girl Holly Brice learns that her estranged father has died, she decides to take a trip down memory lane and find out about the man she never knew.

Arriving in the sleepy little Dartmoor village, she’s shocked to discover that she’s inherited the cosy little cottage she remembers so fondly, a whole load of money – and her father’s adorable dog, too!

Head to snow-covered Devon! And as the first snowflakes begin to fall and Holly bumps into her gorgeous neighbour, Jack Nelson, life gets even more complicated! Men have always been off the cards for high-flying Holly, but there’s something about mysterious writer Jack that has her re-thinking her three-date rule…

hello goodbye and everything in between

Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Blurb:

One night. A life-changing decision. And a list…

Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That’s just how she is.

But tonight is Clare and Aidan’s last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart.

It takes them on a rollercoaster ride through their past – from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium – all the way up to tonight.

A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye.

But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?

winter's fairytale

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

I’m really enjoying this book, it’s such a lovely Christmassy book that’s perfect for this cold, wintery weather.

Blurb:

A few weeks before Christmas and a sudden blanketing of snow has closed the roads and brought public transport grinding to a halt, stranding Izzy miles from home and in desperate need of rescuing.

That doesn’t mean she’s looking to bump into Rob and spend a cosy weekend holed up in his swanky flat watching London become a winter wonderland! Because Izzy and Rob have history…

Six months ago, they were standing in the vestry of a beautiful country church, while best man Rob delivered the news that every bride dreads on their big day.

But at the time of year when anything is possible, can Rob and Izzy let go of the past and let Christmas work its magic? Or will this be one holiday wish that Izzy lets walk right out of her life…

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

This book is brilliant, it’s one of those books that’s really hard to put down once you start reading.

Blurb:

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.

The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

A Notable Woman

A Notable Woman ed. by Simon Garfield

I keep dipping in and out of this book as I just want it to last as long as possible, it’s wonderful.

Blurb:

In April 1925, Jean Lucey Pratt started a journal that she would keep for the rest of her life, producing over a million words in 45 exercise books. For sixty years, no one had an inkling of her diaries’ existence, and they have remained unpublished until now.
Jean wrote about anything that amused, inspired or troubled her, laying bare her life with aching honesty, infectious humour, indelicate gossip and heartrending hopefulness. She recorded her yearnings and disappointments in love. She documented the loss of a tennis match, her unpredictable driving, catty friends, devoted cats and difficult guests. With Jean we live through the tumult of the Second World War and the fears of a nation. We see Britain hurtling through a period of unbridled transformation and the shifting landscape for women in society. A unique slice of living, breathing British history, Jean’s diaries are a revealing chronicle of life in the twentieth century.


What I recently finished reading: 

(Click the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews and to find out more about the books)

how to stuff up christmas   The Boy in the Bookshop   the boy at the beach   What Rosie Found Next   wendy darling

How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake

The Boy in the Bookshop: Short Story (Meet Cute series) by Katey Lovell

The Boy at the Beach: Short Story (Meet Cute series) by Katey Lovell 

What Rosie Found Next by Helen J. Rolfe

Wendy Darling by Colleen Oakes


What I plan on reading next:

the silent dead

The Silent Dead by Claire McGowan (Due to be published 19th November)

I can barely wait to start this one, I absolutely love this series and can’t wait to see what’s happening with Paula Maguire!

Blurb:

Victim: Male. Mid-thirties. 5’7″.

Cause of death: Hanging. Initial impression – murder.

ID: Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.

The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is.
Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.
The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it’s clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.
Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock – both personally and professionally.
With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will be Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice, don’t they?

the secret by the lake

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas (Due to be published 19th November)

I’m on the blog tour for this book so my review won’t be up until a week after publication day but I can’t wait any longer to start reading this book. It sounds so good and very intriguing!

Blurb:

A FAMILY TRAGEDY
Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now.
A SISTER’S SECRET
But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen.
A WEB OF LIES
Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves?

sky lantern matt mikalatos

Sky Lantern by Matt Mikalatos (Due to be published 17th November)

The cover of this book is stunning. I’m sure this will be an emotional read but ultimately an uplifting one. I’m looking forward to starting it very soon.

Blurb:

Matt Mikalatos offers a poignant and compassionate look at a father’s relationship with his children, the healing power of a small act of kindness, and the certainty that even death can’t stop love in a deeply moving memoir inspired by a sky lantern with a scribbled note and the journey to find the child who wrote it.
Love you, Daddy. Miss you so much. Steph.
Steph scribbled those words on a sky lantern before sending it off to her father in heaven who had passed away from cancer. Halfway across the country, Steph’s lantern landed in Matt Mikalatos’s yard.
As a father of three daughters, Matt could not let Steph’s note go unanswered, so he posted an open letter to her on his blog. Matt never could have expected the viral response to his letter that led him on a journey to find Steph—and to bring healing to thousands of others in desperate need of the loving words of a father.
Filled with paternal wisdom and reflections on the relationship between a father­ and their child, Sky Lantern shows how the miraculous events that followed Matt finding the sky lantern in his yard—and the widespread and lasting impact his letter had—prove that the bond between a parent and their child is everlasting.

The Winter Wedding my pic

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements (This book is out now!)

I’m a huge fan of Abby Clements, and I especially loved her last Christmas book so I’m beyond excited to read this one. I’m going to be starting it this week, and I just know that I’m in for a treat!

Blurb:

Hazel never set out to be a wedding planner. She was just helping her stressed sister Lila with cakes and décor for her big day. But when Lila and Ollie’s summer ceremony is a runaway success, with guests raving about the food and styling at the pretty venue, word about Hazel’s expertise soon spreads.

But Hazel’s clients expect the very best – she’s promised lawyers Gemma and Eliot a snow-covered castle in the Scottish Highlands, and laidback couple Josh and Sarah a bohemian beach wedding in a Caribbean paradise. But as weather, in-laws and wilful brides conspire against her, can Hazel get two very different couples to walk up two very different aisles to say ‘I do’? And will she find her own happy ending if she does?


What are you reading this Wednesday? What are you planning on reading next? Please share your links below if you’ve joined in with this meme on your blog. If you’re not a blogger then please share your answers in the comments below. 

Happy Reading! 

Weekly Wrap-Up and Stacking the Shelves (7 November)

This week has flown by! I’ve had a lot going on in real life this week and so haven’t read quite as much as I would have liked to but I still have lots of bookish things to share with you today.

I started my blog on 19th August this year but didn’t post my first review until 9th September so I’m almost at my two month anniversary of my first book review on here. It was lovely to notice that this week I actually posted my 40th review! I do review every book I read but I hadn’t realised that I’d already reviewed so many. It’s given me a much-needed boost after a week of not-so great news in real life.

I decided this week to add a new page link to the menu at the top of my blog. It is a list of my all-time favourite books. Even before I was a blogger I had a favourites shelf on my Goodreads account and a real-life favourite bookshelf in my home, and I realised when I read an incredible book this week that I really wanted to make a feature out of those books that are in another league of special. The books that rate 10 out of 10 and have that extra magical something that makes you want to treasure that book forever and ever, and you want to shout from the rooftops that everyone should read it! I haven’t yet got the skills to make this part of my blog look super fancy so it’s a work in progress but at least it’s there and every author that makes that section of my blog is very highly honoured. Here’s a link to the page: My Favourite Books of All-TIme! I also have a sideshow in my side-bar showing a loop of covers of the all-time favourite books!

This led me on to the realisation that as I’m a newbie blogger I’ve so far only reviewed one book that is on my favourites book shelf. So, for now I’m adding a list of my favourite books and ideally I’d like to re-read them all and do proper reviews. I don’t have time to do that as well as keep up with new books so I’m thinking i might start a mini reviews section on my blog where I share the blurb of a book and a few words about what it meant to me. This would just be for books on my favourites shelf so that you can all start to see why I love these books so much.


Also on my blog this week:

I currently have a fabulous giveaway (UK only) running for a gorgeous prize courtesy of Katy Hogan.

KATY HOGAN PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Katy Hogan has very kindly offered me this fabulous prize package so that I can run a giveaway. The giveaway is UK only this time. The prize is for one paperback copy of Out of the Darkness, a gorgeous Yankee Candle and a box of chocolates from Hotel Chocolat. 

Please click here to read my review of this incredible book and to find the link to enter the giveaway. Good luck!



This week I have read four books and have posted reviews on all of them. (Click on the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews)

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Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan (This book is the first book I’ve read since I started reviewing that has made it on to my all-time favourites shelf, it’s an incredible novel and I can’t recommend it highly enough)

The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell

How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake


stacking-the-shelves

I’m also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews), which is all about sharing all the books you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I’ve bought this week: 

the marble collector   katherine carlyle   night owlsabout sisterland   The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet   Indecent Acts by Nick Brooks   The Storytellers by Laurisa White Reyes  Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn  The Prodigal by Nicky Black

The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern

Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

About Sisterland by Martina Devlin

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Indecent Acts by Nick Brooks

The Storytellers by Laurisa White Reyes

Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

The Prodigal by Nicky Black

ARCS I’ve received this week:

The Winter Wedding   look at me sarah duguid  Dead Pretty by David Mark  The Stylist by Rosie Nixon   The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas  The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce   Follow Me by Angela Clarke   Don't Jump by Vicki Abelson

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements (Paperback)

Look At Me Sarah Duguid (Paperback)

Dead Pretty by David Mark (ebook)

The Stylist by Rosie Nixon (ebook)

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas (ebook)

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce (ebook)

Follow Me by Angela Clarke (ebook)

Don’t Jump by Vicki Abelson (ebook)

Also, I won this lovely signed book in a giveaway this week. It’s How to be Brave by Louise Beech and I can’t wait to read it.

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