Category Archives: Books I’m reading

No more counting hours

The first two weeks of the year have flown by and as I approach my 52nd birthday, I would like to make this year (and all future years too) another memorable year. My aims that I have started this year are to make sure I do achieve this. I’m also on a mission to make my Me You diary an exciting read; one that Dawn French would be proud of. I’m not going to be jumping out of planes or do any bungee jumping but I would like to make sure that each day counts.

I do have a few exciting things to look forward to. I will be going to London to see The Lion King in April. Kathryn wanted to see this so we bought 2 tickets for Christmas presents. Lucky old me gets to go with her on this outing. We are also going to go to The Ritz for tea in May. This had been one of Kathryn’s challenges set for my 50th birthday but when she did set it, she hadn’t realised that poor students could not afford this luxury, so, with reluctance, we changed the challenge. Imagine my surprise when I unwrapped a box from Kathryn at Christmas time to find a voucher for tea at The Ritz. They are certainly two experiences that I am looking forward to sharing with you.

The Ritz London

Looking at my list of aims for January, I can confirm that I should be collecting  quite a few ticks this month. Here is my progress:

Finish Puddles of Love

I actually finished all of the cross stitch on Sunday. Just have backstitch, some French knots and beading to do so it will be a very good tick.

Puddles of Love cross stitch completed

Book 3 classes at leisure centre per week

In November, I took out a membership at our local leisure centre. I have attended the gym a few times but much prefer the classes. To make the membership pay, I need to go at least 2 times a week. My initial cost was £99 for 3 months which was a bargain. I like value for money and have made sure that I have stuck to going. I have been going to the same zumba class for other 5 years now and I always go with somebody else. Going on my own was a little out of my comfort zone. I decided I would try a selection of classes and find what I liked. I have found everyone so friendly; even the receptionist calls me by my first name without looking at my card now! Last week I did 5 different classes. This week I have 4 booked:

Aquafitthis was another challenge for my 50th Birthday. Amazing that I love this class now.
Fat Blaster – my stomach ached a lot when I did this last week but I had done a Legs, Bums and Tums class the night before.
Zumba – as I have other plans for Friday, I have to do this class straight after fat blaster. I love this zumba class.
Body Jam – this is a mad dance class. Absolutely no idea what I’m doing but it is fun and worth getting up for on a Sunday morning..

I do recommend trying classes and finding what you actually like to do. So far, there has only been one class that I haven’t been keen on and that was totally to do with me; not the class itself. There are still a few more I plan to try so I think I will be making my membership pay.

Read an author from my favourite author list

My old faithful kindle with hundreds of books still to read was replaced at Christmas by a Kindle paperwhite. I can now read in the middle of the night if I can’t sleep in my bed!! Haven’t had to yet though. I am always downloading books and thought that I would make sure that I downloaded new books this year from my favourite authors. I intended to make a list of 12 authors but came up with 14!

January’s favourite author read

My author this month was Jodi Picoult. I read Small Great Things, a book about what happens when a new born baby suddenly dies. I have always loved reading books by Jodi Picoult; I love her style of writing and learning about the subjects she writes about. I have to admit that I felt uncomfortable reading this book at the beginning. It involves racism in a very violent way. There are a lot of other prejudices in the book apart from the racism and it  made me think about my own prejudices; I couldn’t find any sympathy with the character who was racist at all. I actually don’t think that the author wanted us to anyway but it did make me realise how easily it can to be judgmental. I have read other readers’ reviews on this book and there are some who believe the author is not qualified to write on some of the subjects. Whilst it can be an uncomfortable read, it is a powerful one. I look forward to her next new release.

Aim for a relaxed and on time morning start

This aim might seem a little mad but I always tend to cram far too much into the time before I leave for work. This one will always be a work in progress but I am actually leaving for work on time at the moment. I just can’t be held responsible for traffic though!!

Buy a mascara and learn to apply

Another mad one but I will explain. I have never been big on make up and always find I look like a panda when applying mascara. I had started having my eyelashes tinted but I’ve decided that it is an expense I could do without. After reading reviews, I purchased an Eyeco waterproof mascara from Marks and Spencers. I decided to go for a travel size one as there wasn’t a lot of difference in the price and I wanted to check it was right for me. I have only had it a few days and have yet to check it out for a full working day or whether it lasts in the swimming pool.

eyeko mascara – no more panda eyes

So this week I am hoping to start my running again, plan out the food better and maybe try to get 10,000 steps a few more times!

Enjoy the third week of January – lighter evenings are coming!

A Winner Never Quits (Don’t Give Up)

Tomorrow is the final day that I have to complete the challenges. Today I have 6 left to get a tick against. They are:

Challenge 4 – Revisit learning French – I got this changed to Spanish. If I am very honest, this isn’t going too well. I did sign up for a course on Future Learn. First part of course needed me to type answers with the correct accents over. I work from a laptop and the process of downloading the keyboard was so complicated – very foreign to me. Next I tried a website Kathryn told me to use – Saysomethingin. I have to say it was very good but I have so far only managed one lesson. I need a compromise here.

Challenge 18 – Learn 7 – 10 (new) German words a week. Another foreign language one that I haven’t mastered. There is a pattern here – I am only just mastering English!

Challenge 19 –  Spa day with your daughter. Partly achieved whereby we did go swimming yesterday completing another of my challenges; no 48  – take up swimming on some level. I had been trying to pluck up the courage to do this for sometime. I can swim but I have a confidence issue. I had found a small private pool and evantually booked to go yesterday. It was great having the pool to ourselves and we managed 100 lengths (I did say a small pool!). It was enjoyable but I am slightly deaf now due to water in my ear! I do think I might try aqua-size in my local pool now as I do think I would get a lot of benefits from exercising in water. To complete this challenge, we are aiming to get our nails done on Tuesday. I think a proper spa day might be on the cards later in the year.

Challenge 28 – Take a dance class with your daughter. We are completing tonight. Going to do Shbam. I have no idea either but should be interesting!!

Challenge 49 – Make blog! I think I can have that one although I will share with you tomorrow more on how I will continue.

Challenge 50 – On 6th June on your blog, write about how you found being 50. That can’t be done until tomorrow!

Apart from the first two challenges which I am going to have to strike a deal with Kathryn so I get a rollover challenge, I will get this completed.

The challenge I did complete yesterday which I enjoyed more than I thought I would was reading Kathryn’s 10 favourite books in “proper” book format. She does have more so I plan to read a few more. The books, in no particular order, were:

Dream a little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Looking for Alaska by John Green
I am Malala by Malala Yousasafzai and Patricia McCormick
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson
The Truth about Forever by Sarah Desen
Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Writing the list, I realise I can not count (which is very bad news for the clients!) and have actually read 11. How did I not notice this?!!

I was a little negative at first about reading a “proper” book but I did enjoy reading them all. I know that Kathryn would like to know what my favourite was and that is a very hard question. They all had something about them that I loved and a lot of different issues were tackled in each. I am Malala and Reasons to Stay Alive are non-fiction and were telling you about problems faced by both authors. I think that my favourite has to be The Truth about Forever. The book is about Macy, who at 17 years old is still coming to terms with her father’s death by trying to be perfect whilst her mother and sister cope with it in different ways. Macy starts working for a catering firm and becomes friends with an interesting group of people and finally allows herself to open up. I loved the characters in the book and whilst it is written for teens, it was a book I couldn’t put down.

See you tomorrow for the final chapter of my challenges. I will not quit!

If You Judge A Book By Its Cover

I think I can put another tick against challenge no 5 – read a book every month of a genre you don’t/don’t often read. I say think as Kathryn suggested my May book and I have only got half way through and decided that I can’t waste anymore of my life on that particular book. I will explain later my reasons.

Here are the books I did read:

June – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Kathryn’s choice)
July – Cut – One Woman’s fight against FGM in Britain Today by Hibo Wardere
August – The Sand Men by Christopher Fowler (Jordan’s choice)
September – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
October – Carrie by Stephen King
November – Our Life on Ice by Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
December – Mr Stink by David Walliams
January – 50 New Year’s Resolutions -How To Make Them, How To Keep Them by Fiona Steinkemp
February – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
March – Edinburgh Visitor Guide 2016/2107 by David Wheater
April – Animal Farm by George Orwell
May – How To Be A Woman by Caitlan Moran

I have enjoyed most of the books and I will be reading a lot more of Agatha Christie. Some of them have been hard going; classics in particular. However, I do plan to dedicate September to reading one of this genre. Self help books have not been one of my things but as well as my January read, I have also enjoyed Challenge Yourself, I Dare You so I will be making this type a regular read.

So now I must share with you why I can not read anymore of How To Be A Woman. My relationship might never be the same with Kathryn again.

Should you judge a book by its cover?

The description of the book doesn’t tell you too much but the last paragraph probably explains why I didn’t enjoy it:

“Part memoir, part rant. Caitlin answers the questions that every modern woman is asking”

The book has 313 pages; not a huge book. Why, after 10 days of reading am I only half way through and basically feel like what is the point. One of the points is to realise I am and should be proud of being a feminist. I do think that Caitlin has made a few good points but my problem is I do not enjoy her memoirs at all. Maybe this is because I am a stick in the mud and the thought of my children (one male and one female) behaving in the way she has, is not what I want to know. Don’t get me wrong; they will always be doing something I don’t know about and that’s the way I like it! 160 pages along and it appears that Caitlin is an absolute star; she appears to have landed a job at the age of 16 in a music journal office in London and has her own place to live with her boyfriend at the age of 18. Maybe if I allow myself to be tortured for another 10 days, I will get to find out how to be a woman. Personally, at 50 (okay closer to 51), I am quite happy with the way I have lived my life, know how I want to dress and enjoy the activities I want to. At 18 years old, I experienced the “club scene”, knew it wasn’t for me and found what I wanted. In my mind, making my own choices is being a feminist.

So sorry Kathryn (and Caitlin), I might be being narrow minded, but the book is going into the heading in my kindle of “books I am not enjoying”.

Crazy Mummas, See What They’ve Done

Crazy, that’s what Kathryn said I was. That was a statement she made when I said I was continuing with my 30 day challenge of getting up at 5.30 a.m. every morning (well week days anyway). I am into my 4th week and as the weeks progress, it is a habit I am enjoying.

Reading the book, Challenge Yourself, I Dare You, has certainly inspired me to get on with my challenges and today I have 25 days left to finish. I also added another to the completed list; I have finally finished my Sweet Tea cross stitch. I actually started this challenge in August so it has taken me 9 months to complete.


This challenge, no 29 – start and complete a new sewing project has to be on the top 10 of my favourite challenges. It has made me restart a hobby that I enjoyed and made me a bit more disciplined. Apart from this week when I have devoted all spare time into doing my back stitch, I have tried to put aside time during the week whereby I can stitch. I am hoping to continue and carry on with my next project that Jordan bought me for Mother’s day (well with a bit of a hint from me!).

Start and complete a new sewing project

Here are a few things I learned from this challenge:

  1. Joining a cross stitch group encourages you to complete your project!
  2. Whilst enjoying the other stitcher’s achievements, don’t compare their timings. I am a plodder when it comes to most things so I tried not to get disappointed when someone else did the same project in 3 months!
  3. Find your own methods that work for you. I always start in the centre of a design as instructed and I always save the backstitch to the end. Other than those rules, I work my own way.
  4. When you make a mistake, if it’s too late to unpick, work round it. Don’t let it put you off. I did make a bit of an error and it did hold me up, but then I decided to stitch in another place and work it out at the end. I did just that and I don’t think it makes a difference. Just makes it unique.
  5. Don’t think you hate a stitch and allow it to put you off. I had a dread of back stitch. It took me five days to complete it but I really enjoyed it. I will not dread it so much in the future as it made me so happy when I saw the picture coming to life (even the drunk rabbit, Kathryn!). I was so overjoyed with my french knot (even if it is out a fraction. I can live with it!).
  6. Don’t open new project until one you are working on is finished. I am going to open it at the weekend.

Gorjuss Puddles of Love – next project

So I have now completed 30 challenges – just 20 to go! Maybe I need to get up at 5 a.m.!

I Know, I’ve Come So Far and It’s Not That Far To Go

34 days to complete the challenges. Can it be done?

29 completed
10 ongoing/planned
4 changes
7 still to do

There still looks an awful lot to be completed but I am confident that it can be achieved. A few are frightening me; languages to name one…or two in the case of German as well as French. Keep putting it off because of the cross stitching project.

Talking of the cross stitching project, I did want to have that finished at the weekend but still not achieved. I have picked something I am capable of but perhaps a little too big for me. I am nearly there but have a lot of stitching in the same colour to finish off. Oh and then there is the back stitch. I will keep going and it will be a big fat tick.

Sweet Tea Latest

I am slowly getting through Kathryn’s 10 favourite books and thoroughly enjoying them. I even read one whilst eating lunch (I think Kathryn might have done the same with that one). On Friday, Kathryn was not impressed that I hadn’t actually read a lot of that particular book but I was determined to finish it and it was a great read. I will also be downloading my last book of a different genre in the next week so that will be another big tick.

Kathryn’s Favourites

This week I am hoping to finish my upcycle/DIY something from a charity shop. I did start this a few weeks ago so I will put the finishing touches together and hopefully another tick done.

Challenge 43 – A start

There are 4 challenges that I am confident that I can complete in the next 35 days. I shall concentrate on the other 17 now!

Got To Be Starting Something

It is seven weeks until D-Day and I have got:

25 completed
11 ongoing/planned
4 changes 
10 still to do 

I can say half of my challenges are done. 49 days are left to complete the other challenges; it is possible.

Two of my ongoing challenges are reading books, and one of them will be easy to complete. Not sure about reading Kathryn’s books but I will keep on and who knows.

I did actually turn to a book to help me with my challenges on Friday. I had originally visited Amazon’s website to look for a book to help me with my write a story challenge. Reluctant to part with any money, and also to keep with my “let’s try and read the books I have already purchased challenge set by myself!”, I decided to check out my kindle library. I will explain that at a later date, I promise. I came across a book I purchased in September 2014 (actually it was a freebie) called Challenge Yourself, I Dare You: A Better You In 30 Days! by Stuart Ralph. I thought it would be a good and quick read; good reviews and only 43 pages.

I read it and it did inspire me.  On Friday, I did a 30 minute run, unloaded the shopping, walked to the bottle bank, did the ironing, had a 30 minute visit from my sister, walked to shops to buy some forgotten items for the cake, made a lovely dinner, emailed the author of the book, baked attempt one of the showstopper challenge, walked 22,211 steps and made a very good start on my story. Most of those things would have been done on Friday. Starting my story was due to reading the book.

The actual message is simple; take 30 days to give up or start something. I wish that I had read it before I started the challenge but better late than never. I felt the author was my friend and that he believed in my challenge. He encouraged me to believe I could do whatever I wanted. I am actually lucky as I am surrounded by people who do believe in what I am doing; my family. However, I don’t think they appreciated the fact that I now believe I can sing. Whilst making my three course meal challenge on Sunday, I did a brilliant duet with George Michael singing Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

This morning I started on my 30 day challenge – I decided to get up earlier every morning to get myself organised so I could leave the house for a leisurely walk and not the run I normally do! Well first day and I started this blog post, did an exercise DVD, tidied the kitchen and arrived at work two minutes early. Good start but feeling very tired now. Hopefully I will adjust and get those challenges completed!

Read Them and Weep

My book reading has certainly changed over the last year. I don’t have time to read so much with the challenges plus trying to read a proper book (really can’t be done when eating breakfast) is hard work. March actually saw me doing something I try to avoid; I had two books on the go. Whilst they were different books, they did have something in common and it did become a bit confusing until I realised why something seemed familiar.

Challenge 6 – Read your daughter’s favourite books

At the beginning of March, I started reading one of Kathryn’s favourite top ten books; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Don’t be put off by the description:




The book makes you laugh and cry, makes you think and question things and also made me fall in love with all main characters in the book; the book thief, Liesel, her foster parents, Max, the Jewish fist fighter and not forgetting Rudy, the Jesse Owen fan. I even loved Death, although I did wonder if he/she was giving too much information away and ruining the end of the book!! After all, for Death, as said, there is only one ending.

I have read books before; Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller, which stays in my mind, about the Jews during the war and they always leave me cold thinking that humans could be so awful to other humans. Whilst I know that it wasn’t every German who would treat the Jews in this way and it was the dictator, this book allowed me to appreciate how the German people would have faced the war and what punishments they faced if they didn’t follow the rules.

The book took me a month to read. It is one of Kathryn’s bigger books; over 500 pages. Most chapters are short so reading one before sleep wasn’t the problem and the story was fascinating. I think that I am so busy with my other challenges that I just don’t find that extra 5 minutes in the day to read and it was an actual physical book which I now find hard to read whilst eating!

Looking forward to watching the film now.

As I had a 3 hour train journey to Cardiff in March, I did start a new book on the kindle as I didn’t want to carry a book around with me. Two days before my trip, one of my top 5 favourite authors, Dani Atkins released her new book, This Love. I was warned by the author that tissues might be needed. A good book for me is when I can get straight into the story and I can’t put it down. Dani’s books are always like this for me. I always feel I am at the scene and I love Dani’s use of words.

Whilst I had a bit of feeling of what was going to happen, the prologue certainly threw with me. Trying to pinpoint where it happened in the main character, Sophie’s life was a teaser for me. Sophie doesn’t allow herself to get close to many people and lives a very cocooned life. After losing everything in a fire and being rescued by the gorgeous Ben, she has to face many of her issues.

I did get to one point in the book and thought am I going to be disappointed because I know what is going to happen. Did I want to like the book just because it is written by Dani Atkins? She is not one of my favourite authors for no reason though; a twist or two in the story certainly changed the dynamics.

This book was unusual for me because I didn’t actually stay in bed for an extra ten minutes to complete the last chapter. I saved it to the end of the day to enjoy (if that is the right word) as I didn’t actually want it to end. The ending was everything that I expected, and whilst it did need the tissues, it was beautiful and sensitive.

The similarity between the two books were that both of the main characters had lost brothers and both brothers remained in their conscience and helped guide them in their lives.  They also both taught you that sometimes secrets are best kept that way.

I certainly feel I get a lot from the books I read.  They help me escape from life but also I learn so much too.

Happy reading.





I Am Who I Am

Whilst I thought I would love the two reading challenges, I did find them very hard work at the beginning. I have got over the negativity now and have actually found it has changed my reading habits for the better. I now only buy the books I want to read by the authors I love to read. February found me buying one of my favourites, Mike Gayle. That man is amazing; as well as having great male characters, his female characters are brilliant. He gets our species!

The book I bought was The Hope Family Calendar. It was on a daily special so I sent the link over to Chris as Mike Gayle is one of his favourite authors too. It actually didn’t take me long to read and if I had had time, I would have read it one sitting! It was actually great being able to discuss a book with Chris even if one of the items was about something I felt was an error. Think I might need to read a few parts again before I question the author! Still loved the book though.

I had completed another two books in February before reading this. It might have been a short month and lots of birthdays too but I certainly enjoyed my reading.

First book was I am Malala, one of Kathryn’s top 10 books for me to read. I am still finding physical books hard to read but not moaning so much about it.

Like most people, I first knew Malala as the girl who had been shot by the Taliban because she wanted to go to school. As a “white British girl”, I have taken it for granted all that I have. I am not just a female expected to clean the house and bring up a family. I have the choice to be educated to a high standard and have a successful career. Malala was born in Pakistan whereby females are treated differently. Malala was lucky though: her father ran a school and treated her as an equal to her brothers, and encouraged her education.

Her father was very outspoken about the Taliban especially about the restriction they were putting on education, particularly female education. Inspired by her father, Malala started writing a column under a pseudonym for the BBC Urdu service about fears of her school being attacked and education rights. Both father and daughter received death threats but continued to speak out.

I’m not sure if I would have read this book if I had not been given this challenge: having said that, I feel much more educated for having read it. Malala describes herself as being just an ordinary girl who fights with her brothers and since coming to England, liking cheesy wotsits. I actually believe she is a brave girl who I respect and admire. I will enjoy following her story.

My choice for my February read for a different genre was an Agatha Christie read. I had never read any of her books although I had sometimes seen a Miss Marple or a Poirot TV programme whilst visiting my mum. Jordan had read Murder on the Orient Express at Christmas so I thought that was where I should start. Not the first of the Poirot mysterious but perhaps one of the famous, Hercule Poirot is on the Orient Express when it comes to a complete stop because of a snowstorm. At this time, a dead body is discovered. His fellow passenger has been murdered and Poirot is called upon to investigate.

I chose this particular book because I love the romance of the Orient Express and it was February. I have fallen in love with mystery of this type of book and do plan to read the collection from book 1. I was actually relieved to discover that my plan to have a pen and paper ready so I could hopefully solve the crimes was shared by Jordan. Perhaps we are both mad!

A very enjoyable February reading month. Now I must go and read my March choices.

Keep on moving, don’t stop blogging

March has come and panic has set in. Just under 3 months to complete my challenges; can I do it?

I have actually used the first week of March to get on top of some of the ongoing challenges: I have read, I have stitched, I have been running and I have been preparing some of the challenges. I hopefully won’t let Kathryn down. I have neglected my blog but I plan to change this.

Challenge 29 – Complete a sewing project
Challenge 6 – Read your daughter’s favourite books


First thing I have done is update my 50 challenge list:

  1. Purple is for completed
  2. Orange is for ongoing/planned
  3. Pink is for a change (which hopefully Kathryn has been approved)

First of all, I can confirm I have:

  1. 16 ticks for completed challenges✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓
  2. 10 items are ongoing/planned
  3. 3 changes and, (takes a huge gulp) 21 to start getting on with

In the next couple of weeks, I will share any completed challenges I haven’t written about before and the items that have been planned and will hopefully be turning to completed soon. Now let’s talk about the 3 changes:

Challenge no 2 – Visit the Ritz – paid for by your fabulous daughter

The Ritz was a wonderful idea (thinking about it, we could still visit and look but not have an afternoon tea!). Kathryn is a poor student; as well as that, she is in her final year so leading up to my (I can’t believe I am saying this) 51st birthday, she is extremely busy. However, she still needs a break and Kathryn and I were given a fabulous present from Jordan of a cookery course in London. We have booked ourselves on the Afternoon Tea course which sounds wonderful. We will make dainty sandwiches, pastries, a British cake and of course, scones – yummy! Hopefully this will incorporate challenge no 20 – try some sort of course with your daughter. Both of these I do plan to continue with Kathryn once she has finished her degree and will be earning money. Hoping to put a regular mother and daughter afternoon tea plus if we enjoy, take more cookery courses together in the future.

Challenge no 8 – Host a MacMillan Tea Party

I love baking so this shouldn’t be a problem but I have had a problem setting a date. I was planning to change it to a Comic Relief Tea Party but that hasn’t worked out either! So, I have actually signed up for our local radio station’s 1,000 faces to raise a £100 for their charity, Cash for Kids. I am going to raise money by inviting my friends for morning coffee, afternoon tea or supper instead of going out. Hopefully will plan a tea party to complete this challenge.

Over the weekend, I plan to get some of the 21 challenges moved to completed or planned. Wish me luck.

Paperback Writers

One of my challenges is to read Kathryn’s 10 favourite paperbacks in that formula. As my kindle is one of my favourite things, I do find it very hard to read a “proper ” book now. Jordan also decided that he would give me a challenge and bought me two paperbacks for Christmas; the two books written by Harper Lee.  I have read To Kill A Mockingbird on the kindle but it was the free download. I had read a review that something was missing from it so I am going to read it again. Also plan to watch the film as part of my classics too.

I was somewhat bemused at the weekend to discover that despite putting my best efforts in this month to read the paperbacks, I had only read four books from Kathryn’s favourites.

In January, I read I Was Here by Gayle Forman and Looking for Alaska by John Green.  Both books are classed as young adult reads, I have read other books by the same authors before on Kathryn’s recommendations. I found both books very deep and I would like to think that at Kathryn’s age I was reading these sort of books but I wasn’t.  I was reading Shirley Conran’s Lace and Danielle Steele’s books although I did fall in love with Little Woman at this age!

I Was Here is about Cody and Meg who should have been best friends for life except Meg has chosen to take her own life.  Cody is left with many unanswered questions which she needs to find answers  to help her understand the loss she feels by her friend’s tragic death.

The book is beautifully written and I found the author’s notes for her inspiration to write this book both sad and eye opening.

 What can I say about Looking for Alaska?  I have to think about my post about good and bad points of reading a “proper” book.  The back cover of a book outlines what you need to know and although you can find this information out on a kindle, it is a lot easier on an actual book.  On the back of Looking for Alaska it says that the book is “poignant, funny and heartbreaking, this novel will stay with you forever”.  I agree with that statement and thinking about the novel staying with me forever, all the good books that I have read have certainly stayed with me.

The book is about Miles Halter, whose life changes when he goes to boarding school and meets Alaska Young.  My memories of boarding school stories were St Clare’s and Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton.  This is definitely a different type of boarding school story and one that I had to read with my teenage mind rather than my 50 year old  mother’s mind.  The first part of the book is called “Before” and the first chapter is named “One Hundred and Thirty-six Days Before”.  The chapters names follow along the same lines so I was looking forward to getting to one day before.  You reach the next section called “After” and it is very sad.

John Green is a brilliant author.  I had enjoyed reading The Fault in our Stars previously and I did enjoy reading Looking for Alaska very much.

One bad point to add about reading “proper” books compared to my kindle is when I am not sure of the meaning of the word (happens a lot with my reading!), I can click on the word on the kindle and have a definition of the word.  I can’t do that so easily with a book although I can “google” the word on my phone and don’t need a physical dictionary now!

My next paperback is going to be I am Malala, the true story of a girl shot in her own country and was not expected to survive.  Kathryn assures me that it will be quick read which I need if I am going to read her favourite books by June!