Right now I'm reading...

Right now I'm reading... Taylor Swift: The Whole Story by Chas Newkey-Burden.

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend.

Years ago I read 'The Queen And I' and I loved it so I was looking forward to another funny read from Sue Townsend.

The book did make me laugh out loud at times but on the whole I was a bit underwhelmed.  The story was far too over the top, which combined with characters who were unbelieveable made for a very unrealistic story.  I couldn't relate to any of the characters and didn't even feel much sympathy for the main character, Eva, finding her quite selfish as I don't think enough was done to explain why she took to bed for a year.

As far as books go, this one is an easy read, and would be great if you wanted a very light hearted, funny read.

Title: The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year.
Author: Sue Townsend.

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern.

I saw this film a long time ago and although I really enjoyed it, I did spend near enough the entire film crying - each time she received a letter I had tears streaming down my face.  Because of this I have never got around the reading the book, I guess I thought it would be a bit depressing.

So I finally picked up the book and was a little disappointed.  So many people have raved about it, and I loved the film so had big expectations for the book. It wasn't anything like I thought it would be; the letters were so short and did nothing to make me sad, the story was too much like every other chick-lit style book.

It's probably not the book's fault, it's been so long since I watched the film that I couldn't really remember the story, I would probably have really enjoyed the book if I wasn't comparing it so much to the film.

Film aside, if you're looking for a good chick-lit read, this book has everything you could want.

Title: P.S. I Love You
Author: Cecelia Ahern

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

This was a very interesting book.  It's written from the perspective of a teenage boy.  It takes a few pages to get used to the style of writing but much like when I read 'Room' by Emma Donaghue, you quickly get used to it.  There are a lot of 'he said', 'she said' sentences but these add to the chatty style of the book.

It's only a short book, written in a series of letters.  To be honest I never understood who these were too (maybe that's just me) but it didn't stop me enjoying it.  The style of the book was quite refreshing and it was a page-turner.

I knew that there has been a film made of this book, and although I haven't watched it, I knew which actors played the characters and could easily visualise them in the book.  I would love to watch the film now, I'm really interested to see how the story is interpreted.

Title: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky

Sunday, 9 December 2012

It Started With A Kiss by Miranda Dickinson.

Despite looking like a Christmas book this isn't a 'full-on' Christmassy tale like other Christmas stories.  The story starts at Christmas and then takes place throughout the following year.  Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that the story isn't magical; it's a lovely story with very like-able characters.

I would definitely read more of Miranda's books in the future.  They have everything you could want in a feel-good read; friendship, romance, a big chunk of optimism and a little bit of magic. 

I must admit that the fact that each page is edged in red I absolutely loved, and it added to that Christmassy feel and makes the book stand out from others on the shelf.

Title: It Started With A Kiss
Author: Miranda Dickinson.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley.

As another of the Christmas books that I've read this year, I loved the fact that the entire story took place over Christmas, the twelve days in fact (unsurprisingly) and involved every aspect that I think you'd look for in a Christmas story.  As an added bonus it even included some very interesting snippets of cookery information/recipe ideas.

Much as with the other Trisha Ashley book I have read (Wedding Tiers) I enjoyed this book, but don't feel the need to rave to other people about it.  It was enjoyable but not fantastic.  It just missed that bit of mystery pulling you through the book, I guessed the ending and the story and the 'secret' that would be uncovered.  But the characters were likeable so it's well worth adding to your festive book list.

Title: Twelve Days of Christmas
Author: Trisha Ashley

Saturday, 1 December 2012

With Love At Christmas by Carole Matthews.

...a book about family and friendship, I absolutely adored it.

In the past I have read one book by an author, enjoyed it, gone on to read more and been disappointed   So when I read 'The Only Way Is Up' by Carole Matthews earlier this year and loved it, I went out and bought a few more of her books but never got round to reading them.  I picked this one up hoping that I would enjoy it just as much; and I did, this is a wonderful book.  In fact it's now up there as one of my two favourite books of the year.

The story is a wonderful Christmas tale, but it's more than just a fluffy Christmas book; you'll read about life, death, births, marriages, illness but mostly it's a book about family and friendship; I absolutely adored it.

Carole's writing is beautifully detailed, she pulls you straight into the story and I felt just like I was there with the Joyce family sharing their Christmas.  I found myself unable to put the book down, but the more I read, the more I worried that I was just getting nearer the end... and I didn't want the pleasure of reading this book to stop.

I really would recommend this book, it's the perfect Christmas read and will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions.  On one page I was having to read the words through tears of sadness, before the next page literally had my laughing out loud.

I never read books more than once but this may become the exception to the rule, I can imagine snuggling up with this book every Christmas, a brilliant way to start the season.

Title: With Love At Christmas
Author: Carole Matthews

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Winter Flame by Milly Johnson.

I was really looking forward to reading this book and I wasn't disappointed at all.  It's a lovely, light-hearted book and fabulous to read at Christmas time as the story is based in a Winter Wonderland theme park.  It's magical, trust me!

As always with Milly's books the characters are very relate-able  funny and you route for them the whole way through the story.  Some of the characters crossover from Milly's last book, White Wedding - but if you haven't read that one, don't worry, you could read this book independently and it would all make sense.

The only problem with this book is that it has left me desperate to visit Winterworld - it seems like such a magical place; and I could definitely get married in the wedding chapel there.  If only it were real...

Title: A Winter Flame
Author: Milly Johnson

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Heart Of The Matter by Emily Giffin.

As a fan of Emily Giffin books I was hoping this one would be as good as my favourite, Something Borrowed' and I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed.

This is a story of three people and how their lives intertwine.  In essence quite a simple book, there are no big elaborate plots to keep track of and no long list of characters to keep up with, but I loved the detail, and finding out how one simple act can affect people in very different ways.

I felt for each of the characters, and could identify in part with the perspective offered by each one.

This was a page turner of a book, and I couldn't put it down. I cried my way through the ending but enjoyed the book immensely.

Title: Heart Of The Matter
Author: Emily Giffin

Friday, 16 November 2012

Things I Want My Daughters To Know By Elizabeth Noble.

I thought this book might be a bit of tear-jearker, but I actually found it an uplifting and inspiring read.

The four daughters in the book are each very different, but all very likeable.  I especially enjoyed reading Hannah and Amanda's stories.

The letters from 'Mum' were lovely to read and the strongest thing I took from this book was a sense of 'live for today - you never know what will happen tomorrow'.

At times I couldn't put this book down, and had a few to many late nights as a result of this.

All in all I would recommend this as a good book for my friends to read.  A lovely example of grown-up chick-lit.

Title: Things I Want My Daughters To Know
Author: Elizabeth Noble

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

It might be a bit cliche to call a book about a circus 'magical' but it really was.  I loved this book.  It was totally different to anything I've read before, taking you into a world where magic exists, but not in a cheesy way; there are no witches on broomsticks and wizards in big hats; this books takes you into a wonderfully described wonderland of a circus, a place you could only ever dream of being.

I have never read a book I have been so desperate to see made into a film.  The magnificent detail of the circus would be amazing to see in film.  I imagine it being a 'Tim Burton type film' a little bit whacky and full of life. The contrasts of the black and white circus would be amazing brought to life in a film, and I would love to meet the characters on film.

This is ultimately a love story, but I was so intrigued in 'the challenge' that the love story just felt like a little extra.

I got a little bit confused by the dates on each chapter, but I always get muddled by numbers and dates so that's just me!

If the circus were real I would most certainly be a reveur and follow it around wherever it went, possibly becoming a little obsessed with it.

Would recommend this book to anyone, and if you're from Hollywood - please hurry up and make it into a film.

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Here Come The Girls by Milly Johnson.

I took this book away with me to read on holiday and it was the perfect holiday read.  The four girls in the book go away together on a cruise so it was great to read about them enjoying the sunshine whilst I was doing the same.

The book is set on a cruise, which brought back good memories for me as I went on a cruise years ago, and I'm also sure it would be interesting to read about life on a cruise ship if you've never been on one.

It was a really pleasant read.  It wasn't a page turner, and wasn't my favourite of Milly Johnson's books; but that doesn't mean it isn't worth a read; I'm a big fan of Milly's writing.  All the characters are fun and easy to relate to. 

I'm really glad I took this book away with me; a brilliant holiday read.

Title: Here Come The Girls
Author: Milly Johnson

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Wedding Tiers by Trisha Ashley.

This was a nice enough book even if it wasn't the best I have read.

If I was to criticise it I would say that it's quite 'ordinary' chick lit: it was pleasant enough to enjoy reading it, but it definitely wasn't a page turner and the characters weren't ones which would stay with me.

There isn't really much else to say about it really, if you want an easy pleasant read then this will do, but I could probably recommend plenty of other more interesting storylines with stronger characters.

Title: Wedding Tiers
Author: Trisha Ashley

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes.

Having loved  reading Me Before You I was quick to go out and buy another Jojo Moyes book.

I found this one quite hard to get into initially, chapters flick between different time periods without any explanation and I did lose the plot in places, but by about half way through I had got my head around the storyline, and towards the end I didn't want to put it down.

I didn't find it as romantic as I thought it was trying to be, but I believed in the two main characters and wanted to see them have a happy ending.

I have to say that it has put an end to my craving for more Jojo Moyes books, but trying to top Me Before You was always going to be difficult, and you can't deny this book it well written.

I wouldn't tell someone not to read this one; I'd just point them in the direction of Me Before You first.

Title: The Last Letter From Your Lover
Author: Jojo Moyes

Friday, 21 September 2012

Happy Ever After by Patricia Scanlan.

I enjoyed this book.  It wasn't one of my favourites but it was an easy read. There were a lot of characters involved in the story but I liked the way each character was introduced, and each point of view clearly explained (although I did have to have a think about how characters were related to each other at times).

There are so many characters, each in different situations I think that everyone would be able to relate to at least one personality in this book.

It's a good example of light-hearted chick-lit which covers some quite strong topics without getting too serious.  A bit like, but not as good as, Marian Keyes.

Title: Happy Ever After?
Author: Patricia Scanlan

A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowden.

An honest, inspiring book that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy...

I love cats so I was always going to love this book, having seen Bob's appearance on ITV's This Morning I already knew he really was quite a Dude!

What I loved about this book was that it wasn't just another book about a cat; it was a story of friendship, told by a homeless, recovering drug addict.  I have learnt things I never knew about cats reading this book, but also I've learnt about how society treats the homeless and it's made me much more aware of issues I never really knew much about. 

This book has definitely made me change my opinion of Big Issue sellers.  I've bought the magazine before, but have never enjoyed it, however I have to admit that I used to pretty much ignore the sellers - seeing as I knew I didn't want a magazine I just walked on.  But now having some understanding of their situation I'll make sure I change that in the future and not be another rude passer-by.

But back to Bob - hes an amazing little cat.  All cat owners know their cats have their own personalities and little eccentricities, but Bob sounds like a  very cool cat indeed!

So right now I'm off to knit my own cat a blue scarf and waistcoat set...

Good look to you James and Bob - you deserve  to enjoy every last bit of this book's success x

Title: A Street Cat Named Bob
Author: James Bowen

Thursday, 13 September 2012

I did it! 35 books in a year...

At the beginning of this year, and having read a couple of good books I realised I should start to make time for reading again, and so I set myself a challenge of reading 35 books in 2012.
I finished this goal on September 8th.  I wasn't sure if I would read that many in a year, let alone in nine months, but I have to admit I have become a bit of a bookworm.  It's been interested to read different styles of book and have enjoyed sharing books with other people, getting and giving recommendations, and love it when I read a good book that I can pass onto a friend.

I always used to think that reading was a lonely hobby, but over the course of this challenge I have realised how wrong I was.  I have shared a love of reading with friends, swapping books and recommendations.  Once I mention my reading challenge people are quick to list all the books I 'must' read.  I've enjoying sharing good books on Twitter and Goodreads, have started visiting the library again.  The charity shops in my local town must have seen their takings go up quite a bit because I now have a slight obsession with buying books, and cannot pass a charity shop without popping in to check out the bookshelf!

One of my favourites, White Wedding
I have piles of books at home, some borrowed from friends, some of my favourites that I want to keep, and most waiting to be read.  I really like finishing one book and getting to choose which book to read next!

Over the course of my challenge I've read some great books, my favourites of the year so far are Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, which I could happily read over and over again; and White Wedding by Milly Johnson which is lovely funny book.

Another favourite, Me Before You
There are some I wish I hadn't read (The Big Year by Mark Obmascik) comes to mind, but most of all I've enjoyed the books I've read and now have a list of authors whose books I seem to be collecting and they sit grouped together on my bookshelves... Emily Giffin, Milly Johnson, Jojo Moyes, Marian Keyes, Cecila Ahern and Carole Matthews to name a few!

I've joined in with the Shades of Grey phenomena and couldn't quite believe how many people were all reading and talking about the same books.

So after a lot of hours reading, I can see my new hobby continuing to grow bigger and bigger as I read more books, and come to love more authors.  And I've also loved sharing my books on here, so thank you for reading my little snippets and sharing your books with me too xxx

Sunday, 9 September 2012

I Choose To Live by Sabine Dardenne.

I read this book in a day.  It's a very easy style of writing to read and it's only a couple of hundred pages long.

The story was very interesting (if you like true crime books) and didn't include too many gruesome details which the author didn't want to include in the book.

If I were to criticise the book, I would say it was a little repetitive in parts, but other than that it was an interested read.

Title: I Choose to Live
Author: Sabine Dardenne

Before The Poison by Peter Robinson.

I had been looking forward to reading this book for quite a while and once I finally got my hands on a copy I was excited to read it straight away.

I was disappointed.

Having heard good things about the DCI Banks books, and enjoying the T.V. programme I was hoping this book, although not in the DCI Banks series, would be just as good.  

Unfortunately I found there to be no real mystery keeping me interested in the story.  It was simply the story of a man looking back at an old crime, and not a very exciting one at that.  I was expected a lot of drama, twists and turns and probably a dead body - given that the cover shows a dead girl (there is not a hint of a dead girl in this book by the way so I've no idea why it's there!).  All in all, I wouldn't recommend this one, as quite frankly, not a lot happened.

Title: Before The Poison
Author: Peter Robinson

Friday, 31 August 2012

One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner.

The review on the cover of this book says that this book is a "real page turner, you'll want to inhale it in one breath".  This is totally true.  I loved this book, and didn't want to put it down.

I hadn't even read the description of this book before I started reading.  It would probably sound like quite a depressing book if you knew the subject matter beforehand, but the way it was written, although being sad was really heartwarming and quite inspirational.

The story of friendship is lovely, and all three main characters are very believable.

Definitely one I would recommend.

Title: One Moment, One Morning
Author: Sarah Rayner

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.

As much as I enjoyed first Millennium book, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I found it quite hard to read due to it being quite graphically violent, and also there were so many characters introduced so quickly that I struggled to keep up!

This book I found much easier to read, it was much more focused on The Girl, Lisbeth, and I knew some of the characters already, therefore not as much to get confused about.  It was only nearer to the end of the book that I started to get a bit muddled with the number of police officers, journalists and criminals involved.

The mystery in the book was exciting and kept me interested all the way through.  You learnt a lot more about Lisbeth in this book which I found interesting, and you can finally put all the pieces of 'her' puzzle together.

Title: The Girl Who Played With Fire
Author: Stieg Larsson
Millennium Trilogy #2

Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James

I thought this book took a while to get going, the first hundred or so pages seemed to be much of the same with little plot to keep me interested, but once the storyline kicked it, like the other books, I just couldn't put it down.

There's a lot of action (not just in the bedroom), twists and turns and even more developments in their whirlwind relationship.

I have to admit I was a bit sad when I finished the books, much like the Twilight Saga books, I've spent so much time over a short period getting engrossed in the story, I was sad to have it end.

I would definitely recommend these books.  They're like nothing I've read before and are addictive from the start.

Title: Fifty Shades Freed
Author: E. L. James
Fifty Shades Trilogy #3

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

I liked this book much more than the first one.  Compared to the first book, where there isn't much action other than in the bedroom, this second book in the trilogy has a much better storyline and lots of twists and turns.

I can see this book being made into a film a lot easier than I can imagine the first becoming a film.

By the time you get onto the second book you're used to reading all the sex scenes, and they start to get a bit samey, but as soon as I'd finished this book I had to run out and buy the next so it can't be that bad.

Title: Fifty Shades Darker
Author: E.L.James
Fifty Trilogy #2

To read my review of Fifty Shades of Grey click here...

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Girl On The Run by Jane Costello

I really enjoyed this book.  It was another great example of an easy to follow, fun filled chick-lit read.

The main character was a girl who like myself had never run anywhere in her life, and would much prefer to be sat on the sofa with a bag of crisps; until she decides to join a running group.

There are lots of good characters in this book, and it covers quite a range of topics from running your own business to dealing with serious illness, and ups and downs in friendships and relationships.

Despite enjoying the book (and the equally enjoyable Mum On the Run by Fiona Gibson) I still can't run for more than a minute without feeling like I might collapse!!  But if you're in need of a fun chick-lit read I would recommend this one.

Title: Girl On The Run
Author: Jane Costello

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Love The One You're With by Emily Giffin.

I'm a big Emily Giffin fan, having loved her first three books (Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof).  This, Emily's fourth book, isn't up there with the others I don't think, but as ever it was a lovely read.

I love the way the story deals with issues such as infidelity and marriage in a way which everyone can relate to even if you haven't been there yourself.  I can totally understand the decisions made by characters and I was looking forward to finding out how the story ended.

The characters were very easy to like, and there was even an overlap with some characters from previous books.

Next, Heart of the Matter...

Title: Love The One You're With
Author: Emily Giffin

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Despite the hype surrounding this book, I knew little of it (other than it might possibly be a bit raunchy!) but just the fact that it was totally sold out in every shop I went in made me intrigued and I had to find out what was so good about it.

Yes, this book contains a lot of sex and at first it was a little strange reading the sex scenes as it's not something I would normally read, but after a while I no longer really noticed the sex scenes as I was so involved in the story line.

I loved the characters and was intrigued to see how the story ended.  If I were to criticise the book I would say that I felt there was quite as lot of repetition throughout the writing, but I did still enjoy it.

I hope that when they make the film they don't make one film per book, as I can't see how someone could make a film out of the first book alone, as not that much really happens!  That said, I will be the first in line at the cinema when it comes out!

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E. L. James

Friday, 13 July 2012

The Big Year by Mark Obmascik

For the first time, I have started reading a book and stopped it half way through.

I found this book really difficult to get into and to be honest, quite boring.  I realised that having read half the book, I couldn't really tell you much about any of the characters, and there was no plot drawing me in and keeping me interested.

I may have judged this book by its cover, thinking that as it has three of my favourite comedy actors on the cover that it would be a funny read; unfortunately it wasn't.

This isn't a book I would suggest to anyone - not even birdwatchers!

Title: The Big Year
Author: Mark Obmascik

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

This is a book that I would never have read if I had known what it was about beforehand, as I don't think it would have appealed to my happy-ending-chick-lit tastes, but it was recommended to me so without even reading the back cover I started it... and loved it!

It was different to anything I've read before and an interesting read as I learnt about a subjects I haven't really any knowledge of.

I loved the characters and despite covering some difficult topics including spinal injuries and assisted suicide, this book is a warm, feel good read.
I couldn't put it down, and even now I actually wish I was still reading it!

Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Yorkshire Pudding Club by Milly Johnson.

This was Milly Johnson's first book and the second I have read of hers. I thought it was another brilliant book, with three main characters, all in different situations, I think everyone would be able to relate to at least one of them. 

The characters are loveable, and the storyline has lots of twists and turns but remains really easy to read.  I loved the pregnancy theme, as someone who hasn't got any children, the details in the book were really interesting - if not a bit scary!

The book made me laugh despite covering some uncomfortable topics at times, and had such a lovely ending I came over all emotional!

Would definitely recommend this one.

Title: The Yorkshire Pudding Club
Author: Milly Johnson

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

I really enjoyed this book.   To begin with I found it quite hard to warm to the main character, but after a while I was engrossed in the story and  was intrigued to see how the tale unfolded.

As my first of Cecelia's books, I can now understand why I've heard her stories have a magical quality.

All in all, I think this one is a lovely easy read with a good storyline and strong characters.  I've already bought another of hers to add to my 'to read' list!

Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecelia Ahern

Monday, 18 June 2012

White Wedding by Milly Johnson

I loved this book.  Each of the three main characters has their own wedding story to tell, each of which were funny, uplifting and touching.

I thought the characters were easy to relate to and I found myself wishing they were my friends.

This book has it all; romance, weddings, friendship, family, relationships and a fabulous act of revenge! You really couldn't wish for more from a good chick-lit read.

This is the latest book from Milly Johnson, and the first of hers that I've read.   It certainly won't be my last Milly Johnson, I can't wait to read Spring Fling, which I've heard lots of good things about!

Title: White Wedding
Author: Milly Johnson

This one is up there on my list of favourite books - I'm so glad I read it :o)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

I loved the concept of this story line but was quite disappointed by the book itself.

It began well but then I found that there was no real story pulling you through the book.  The brother's situation I found very confusing to read, and had to re-read some parts to try and make sense of it, which I don't think is a good thing.

It has actually left me a little unsure why it was a Richard and Judy Book-club read, and I won't be passing it on to friends.

Title: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Author: Aimee Bender

One Day by David Nicholls

I had watched the film before reading this book and having now read it, I do prefer the film.

The book was easy to read and interesting, and I found Emma to be a very likeable character.  Less so with Dexter, and if I hadn't have watched the film then I don't think I would have liked him at all.

I found that the ending was much more moving in the film, not being so powerful when read.

I'm glad I've read this one though as I know a lot of people who have and it's had a lot of good reviews.

Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Brown Owl's Guide to Life by Kate Harrison

There are two reasons I read this book.  One, I've read another of Kate Harrison's book, The Secret Shopper's Revenge, which wasn't brilliant but was quite a pleasant read; and two, because I'm a Brownie Leader, and therefore an Owl myself!

This was what I'm now beginning to think is typical Kate Harrison, not a gripping page-turner of a book, but perfect if you just want a quick, easy, nice read.

An obvious plus for me was the reference to Brownies, but as someone who was once I Brownie myself I didn't really believe the story - I can't imagine my Six deciding to meet up over twenty years later - but maybe I was just in a bad pack!

I'm beginning to judge how much I like a book by whether or not I decide that everyone else I know needs to read it, and this one I haven't passed onto anyone, not even the other Brownie Leaders I know.  Make of that what you will!

Title: Brown Owl's Guide to Life
Author: Kate Harrison

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell

Every now and again I like a good crime book but unfortunately this wasn't one of the good ones.

I found it quite hard to follow in places, which I don't think was helped by the fact that most of the main characters had similar names, all beginning with 'B'.  Confusing to say the least.

I found that as the book went on it wasn't really compelling me to want to find out what happened at the end, but I persevered and got through it!

Back to the Chit Lit for me I think...

Title: The Scarpetta Factor
Author: Patricia Cornwell

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Only Way Is Up by Carole Matthews

This book is a really easy read, it's light hearted storyline reminded me of Sue Townsend's 'The Queen and I'.  I thought the characters where interesting and it's another one I didn't want to put down.

I'd love to try some more of Carole Matthews books now, because if they're all like this then I have a feeling I will enjoy them!

Title: The Only Way Is Up
Author: Carole Matthews

Saturday, 21 April 2012

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran

I loved this book. Period.
If I'm honest I didn't realise it was a feminist book when I bought it, thinking it was just going to be a funny read.  But I'm glad it was written by a femininst because reading it has changed my understanding of feminism - it really isn't all about lesbian hating men! Who knew!

If you want a laugh-out-loud read then this is the book for you.  I was constantly laughing reading this book.  At one point it had me in a hysterical giggling fit, with tears streaming down my face, unable to explain to my bewildered boyfriend why it was so funny, because until I'd calmed down, I couldn't form any words!

The author covers some interesting, and sometimes contraversial topics (abortion for instance).  I think every woman would be able to relate to at least some parts of this book, and would even go as far as to suggest that men would find it a good read (bits of it would probably shock them, but it would be an enlightening read for sure!)

Title: How To Be A Woman
Author: Caitlin Moran

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

I really enjoyed this book.  It was much better than the film (which I found a bit disappointing).   I liked the way this story was told and it was interested to note the differences between the book and the film.

I didn't think it was scary but it was certainly an interesting story, and the author did an excellent job at conveying Arthur's fear and uneasiness during his experiences in the old house.

At only 200 pages, it would be great for anyone wanting a quick read.

Title: The Woman in Black
Author: Susan Hill

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

I heard a lot of good things about this book but it wasn't as good as I expected it would be.

I felt it took a while to get going and probably the first half of the book was a bit slow.  The last half of the book was better though and I was interested to see how the book ended.

The style of writing is incredibly descriptive and the author paints some very vivid pictures as you read the book.

Not one of my favourites but an enjoyable read non-the-less. 

Title: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Author: Kim Edwards

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Mum on the Run by Fiona Gibson

I read this book in just three days because I loved it.  It was easy to read and really funny (another one that had me laughing at loud during a very quiet lunch break in the office!)  

It even made me think of trying to take up running again, although last time I did I thought my chest was going to explode through the pain of breathing so it might not be a great idea!

This is a fun chick-lit book and would be a great holiday read.

Title: Mum on the Run
Author: Fiona Gibson

Friday, 6 April 2012

Room by Emma Donoghue

I loved this book.  It's written from the perspective of the five year old character which I thought might be difficult to read, but it wasn't at all.

The story was really interesting and was definitely a page turner - I couldn't wait to find out how it ended.

It was really refreshing to read something so different and I would thoroughly recommend it.

Title: Room
Author: Emma Donoghue

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Cleo by Helen Brown

As a cat lover I knew I would like this book before I even started it as I love reading about any animals, especially cats.
Having two cats myself I could relate to a lot of Cleo's antics and despite making me cry it was a good read.

It took a little while for me to get used to the style of writing, but I soon got into the story and the characters.  However I did find that the writer seemed to hop between talking about the cat and then suddenly she'd be back on the family again which was quite distracting.  I also would have liked more photos inside the book of lovely little Cleo and the family.

This book has been dubbed the next Marley & Me which I wouldn't agree with, but I do think that anyone who loves cats would enjoy this book.

Title: Cleo
Author: Helen Brown

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Trafficked by Sophie Hayes

This book tells Sophie's awful story of being forced into prostitution against her will.  I felt she explained herself really well; I can understand how easy it was for such a thing to happen, how she felt so trapped she couldn't escape and I can really understand how it can happen to anyone.

As well as being a shocking read, this book is also really informative and sheds light on a world normally hidden from public view.

Sadly I didn't feel there was a happy ending to this story, but it was good to read and only took me a few days to get through as I couldn't put it down.

Visit The Sophie Hayes Foundation Website for more information and support on trafficking.

Title: Trafficked
Author: Sophie Hayes

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I felt this book took a little bit to get going, but after a few chapters I began to really enjoy it, and couldn't put it down as I got towards the end.

I love the style of writing used in Millie and Abileen's chapters; you could really hear their voices whilst you read.

It was also very interesting to learn a little about society at the time and the class/race divide.

Definitely worth a read.
Another book-turned-into-a-film to add to my to-watch list!

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett

Sunday, 11 March 2012

This Charming Man

This is the third Marian Keyes book I've read and as much as I love Marian Keyes (really, I do) this one just wasn't as good as the others I've read.  I felt it took a long time to get going, and with 884 pages, it certainly wasn't a quick read.  But I really liked the way each of the characters told their own story in their own style.

As always the amazing Ms Keyes mixes humour with some quite dark topics and so despite the story being slow to start once it kicked in you just had to find out what happened to all the characters and 'This Charming Man'.

Title: This Charming Man
Author: Marian Keyes

Saturday, 10 March 2012

My social reading experience

So here's me thinking that reading a book was a very anti-social activity - given that I used to do most of my reading sat in bed - but ever since I've started this blog, and my 2012 Challenge of reading 35 books in a year I've never had so many conversations about reading.  From sharing recommendations of good books, and swapping books, to people asking about my challenge progress. 

I've realised there are people working for the same organisation as myself who have published books, and people who share my love of reading on Twitter.  I've found myself checking my weekly 02 priority offers to see which books are half price that week and then running out to buy them, and spending ages and ages scanning the bookshelves of Charity shops, not to mention that I've found that the local Library sells it's old books for 10p (10p!!).  My bookshelf has literally never been so full.

I love the Goodreads website for checking out book recommendations, keeping track of what I've read, and of course what I've added to my 'to read' list.  Book Crossing is a website with a brilliant idea of encouraging people to leave their used books in public places for someone else to pick up and enjoy, I can't wait to set my first one free and track it's progress through the reading world.  My favourite magazine 'Company' has even started a #ReaditandTweet feature to share recommendations on books written by women.

Apparently there's quite a few of us book worms out there, and I'm enjoying every minute of my social reading experience!

Find me on Twitter (#flutterbybooks), Book Crossing and Goodreads

Wednesday, 29 February 2012


A beautiful book written by a beautiful person.  A book I totally recommend.

I thought I knew this story as I saw the TV programme Katie made a couple of years ago.  I was very wrong.  Her story is far more harrowing than I ever thought.  This book is shocking to read but Katie's story is amazing.

I couldn't stop reading and was totally gripped by Katie's story.  Having read it I can now say she is amazing and a total inspiration to people who are working through difficult times and to each and every other person out there.

Title:  Beautiful
Author: Katie Piper

Have a peek at Katie's charity, The Katie Piper Foundation http://www.katiepiperfoundation.org.uk/

Sunday, 26 February 2012


Eat Pray Love is my favourite book so I was keen to read another book written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  This one follows on from Eat Pray Love examining the concept of marriage as Elizabeth prepares to re-marry.

This book was really interesting.  It was great to learn so much about the history of marriage and how it has changed in years gone by.  Although I have to admit that for a single girl who hopes to get married at some point in the future, I found that this book sometimes made the idea of marriage sound quite scary!  In many ways it made marriage seem like such a fragile concept that it would be a miracle if anyone ever got married for love, and stayed happily married for love, going on to enjoy the happy ever after we girls dream of.

But if you enjoy learning a little history and a bit of social science then this might be a book for you.  And of course a must for an Elizabeth Gilbert fan.
Title:  Committed.
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert.

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Secret Shopper's Revenge

'When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping'.

The fact that this book has sparkles on the cover gave it Brownie points before I'd even started reading it! Plus I've done a bit of mystery shopping myself in the past so this book interested me...

Having read it, I didn't find that there was a strong storyline pulling me through to the end of the book but it was enjoyable getting to know to the three main characters and has a nice fluffy ending.  It also includes some fun facts about the psychology of shopping.

All in all it's a safe, sweet chick-lit read, but I doubt the story line will be the most dramatic you'll ever read.

Title: The Secret Shopper's Revenge
Author: Kate Harrison

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Watermelon by Marian Keyes

I totally loved this book; it had me laughing out loud from the start.  It's nice to know that there's someone else as neurotic as me out there, and Clare is definitely that girl!

The only negative thing about this book is that it's incredibly hard to read in public...  There I am sitting at my desk on my lunch in a very quiet office fighting back tears of laughter; and I've realised that sitting on a bus giggling to myself makes me look like quite a fool!

I'm highly recommending this book for when you're in need of a feel-good read.  Lovely book.  Chick-lit at it's finest.

Bring on the next Marian Keyes...

Title:  Watermelon
Author: Marian Keyes

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

There's been a lot of hype about this book but until I saw the film trailer I had no idea what it was about and to be honest I didn't think it would be my type of book.  But then my boyfriend, Andy, bought it me for Christmas so off I went reading it.

It took a while to get into the plot and where the story was going, given that the two main characters don't even meet until half way through the book but the plot is full of twists and turns and makes a good read.

Definitely not tears of laughter with this one, but there is some very satisfying revenge - you'll want to 'whoop' out loud, trust me!

Not sure I'll be running out to buy the next two books (The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest) but I will be watching this film adaptation of this one.

Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Author: Stieg Larsson.
Book 1 of the Millennium Trilogy.