Right now I'm reading...

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

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson.

This book is quite different from the two before it.  It's heavily based on preparation for the criminal trial of Salander, who rather than running around like the action heroine we know her as, does little more than sit in a hospital bed, cell or courtroom chair.  However, she's still busy hacking computers like normal and the other characters provide plenty of action amongst themselves.  There are stalkers, murderers plus plenty of surveillance to fuel the conspiracy theories discussed in the book, so it's full of action and intrigue.

Like all the other books I have to criticise the sheer number of characters, between all the regulars, criminals and police I always find myself getting a little bit confused who is who.  But apart from that it was an enjoyable read.
All our favourite characters return as well as new doctors and police officers and Milton Security staff.  

There are plenty of tense moments throughout the story and mysteries that keep you reading until the end.

In some ways this was my favourite of the three, because we see a different side of Salander.  If you feel it's a bit long, do keep reading until the trial and the cross examination of the psychiatrist... it's very satisfying seeing all the preparation finally pay off!

The back page blurb:
Salander is plotting her revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and against the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. But it is not going to be a straightforward campaign. After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in Intensive Care, and is set to face trial for three murders and one attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must not only prove her innocence, but identify and denounce the corrupt politicians that have allowed the vulnerable to become victims of abuse and violence. Once a victim herself, Salander is now ready to fight back.

Title: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest
Author: Stieg Larsson
The Millennium Trilogy #3

Friday, 24 January 2014

Things Get Better by Katie Piper.

Having read Katie's first book 'Beautiful' I knew I would like her second just as much.  And I did.  Things Get Better is a self help book, but don't let that put you off.  I'm very lucky to be in a 'good place' at the moment, but I still really enjoyed reading the book and have taken so much away from it.  Not only does Katie detail her methods of coping with what she was going through so that you can use these yourself, she also describes her own feelings as she was experiencing different stages of her recovery so it's a very interesting book to read.

We all go through difficult times in life, varying from the really dark to just having a rubbish day, and I think anyone could read this book and find that some of Katie's coping strategies, hints and tips would really help them.

I have definitely taken coping strategies away from this book that I am already using in everyday life to try and feel more positive.  It's so easy to fall into worrying about the negative things, however small they may be, but Katie's recommendations on how to think positively and feel grateful everyday are something I can practically use every day, and already have.

It was an incredibly positive experience reading this book, and couldn't stop talking to people about the situations and methods Katie described.  I would say everyone could take something away from reading this very insightful book.

The back page blurb:
To look and listen to the extraordinary Katie Piper, it is difficult to comprehend the severe trauma she suffered from a brutal rape and acid attack which left her with deep physical and emotional scars. These terrible events would have crushed most people, but through her positive outlook and sheer determination, Katie has become inspirational to millions and living proof that no matter what life throws at you, if you work hard and believe - things will get better.
Katie now begins to answer the question that everyone wants to know - 'Where did you find the courage?' She shares the key steps and support that led to her emotional recovery and acknowledges the pain we have all felt at times, whether suffering a breakup, life change or more serious trauma. Drawing on her own experiences and letters from other survivors, Katie shows with spectacular compassion that we can all find the strength within to carry on.

Title: Things Get Better
Author: Katie Piper

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bonkers by Jennifer Saunders.

I don't read many autobiographies so when I do you know that it's written by someone I really like. I'm a French & Saunders fan, having seen them live a couple of times and I love Ab Fab so I was off to a good start.

As far as autobiographies go this one had everything you could want.  It was packed full of funny stories about Jennifer and her celebrity friends.  I loved reading about her relationship with Ade, her childhood, and how her career has lead to her to where she is now.  

Don't assume it's all funny though, there are some very touching parts where Jennifer writes of her battle with cancer.  But stick with it until the end and you'll be laughing out loud to Jennifer's thoughts on modern day yoghurt advertising!

A very easy to read book, with short chatty chapters which will keep you whizzing through the pages whilst you giggle along with the stories.

(There are some fantastic photos throughout the book too and a brilliant inside cover.)

The back page blurb:
Jennifer Saunders' comic creations have brought joy to millions. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia, her characters are household names.
But it's Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, moving and frankly bonkers memoir, filled with laughter, friends and occasional heartache - but never misery.
BONKERS is full of riotous adventures: accidentally enrolling on a teacher training course with a young Dawn French, bluffing her way to each BBC series, shooting Lulu, trading wild faxes with Joanna Lumley, touring India with Ruby Wax and Goldie Hawn.
There's cancer, too, when she becomes 'Brave Jen'. But her biggest battle is with the bane of her life: the Laws of Procrastination. As she admits, 'There has never been a Plan. Everything has been fairly random, happened by accident or just fallen into place. I'm off now, to do some sweeping...'
Prepare to chuckle, whoop, and go BONKERS.

Title: Bonkers
Author: Jennifer Saunders

Wish Upon A Star by Trisha Ashley.

In this book we meet Cally and her young daughter Stella. Cally makes the decision to change her life by relocating to Sticklepond in order to save the money she needs to fly her daughter to America to have a life-saving operation.

Unlike other Christmas books I've read by Trisha Ashley, this book was less Christmassy, but packed full of community spirit with the whole village rallying together to raise the funds Cally needs.  There is a strong theme of friendship and a great big dollop of romance.  And as with all Trisha's books, you will read of characters that you've met in earlier books, and all her leading characters seem to have a wonderful relationship with food and bake non-stop which is lovely to read about if not really frustrating for someone on a diet!

There are also some recipes at the back of the book if reading all about Stella's stars and croqembouche has made your mouth water.

The back page blurb:
The perfect gift isn’t always under the tree…

Single mum Cally’s life is all about her little girl Stella. She’s resigned to the fact that the only romance she’s going to get is from the rom-coms she watches, and with her busy job and her daughter, she doesn’t have time to even think about love.

But life gets very tough when Stella gets sick. Balancing her job as a recipe writer and looking after Stella is all consuming, so when Cally meets handsome baker Jago the last thing she wants to do is fall in love, especially when she’s been badly burned by a Prince Charming from her past.
Can laid-back, charming Jago unlock Cally’s frozen heart and help her find true love and magic under the mistletoe?

Title: Wish Upon A Star
Author: Trisha Ashley