Category Archives: Books I’m reading

Lessons in Life – Could be Better

One of my favourite things to do is read. The challenge to read something of a different genre each month has certainly been difficult. I did think that I might find it hard to find something different to read but I do still have lots of ideas.

I have to admit that I did choose a very easy read for December. I did get Kathryn’s approval though. I read David Walliams’ Mr Stink.

It is a children’s book so it is different for me. I used to be able to indulge with them when bedtime came around for my children. I had watched Mr Stink on the T.V. 4 years ago and I fell in love with the story. I had planned to read it on Boxing Day but other events took over and I hadn’t finished a book I was reading. In the end I started it on the 28th and finished it in a day.

The description of the book begins with:

“Mr Stink stank. He also stunk. And if it was correct English to say he stinked, then he stinked as well…”

The book is about when Chloe makes friends with Mr Stink, the local tramp. As well as being a funny read with the most wonderful illustrations by Quentin Blake, it does have lots of valuable lessons; the main one being that you can’t always judge the book by the cover or, in this case, just because Mr Stink is a tramp, he is also a real person with a background too.

Reading this book, I couldn’t help but read it with David Walliams’ voice. If I was still reading bedtime stories to my children, as well as the favourites from Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis, I would have to include David’s books too.

On my kindle, I have lots of “self help” books. I download them, read them and always intend to use the plans. I decided that due to the fact that January is the month that we make resolutions, only to break them in February, I would download a new book as part of my challenge and actually try to put a plan in action. I downloaded a book called 50 New Year’s Resolutions – How to Make Them, How do Keep Them.

One of the things I believe in is that you don’t need to start a resolution at the beginning of the year and I have certainly never believed you need to start a “diet” on a Monday.  This author does say this in her introduction and she also makes a point to say that the book doesn’t guarantee success but will show you how to increase your chances of keeping your resolutions. There are three main steps to take and this is how the book is broken down:

* The Five Rules of resolve – these should be followed to be able to keep the resolutions
* Ten Wishes waiting to be Resolutions – these are wishes we want to make resolutions. The author then suggests resolutions from these wishes
* The 50 resolutions – suggested resolutions to fulfil your wishes

At the end of the book, the author gives you a checklist of 6 questions which you should answer yes to:
  1. Have you chosen just one resolution?
  2. Do you know when you will do it?
  3. Are you feeling enthusiastic?
  4. Does it fit in with your lifestyle?
  5. Have you told others about it?
  6. Have you allowed for off days?
I couldn’t answer question 1 straight away so I had to ask myself what I wanted to achieve.  One of my objectives this year is to complete my challenges (by June 6th!!).  A lot of my challenges actually fit into the resolutions but one of the reasons I don’t allow myself to get on with the challenges is because of housework – something I don’t find exciting but it will hold me back from doing something I want to do.  During the Christmas period, I finally tidied my larder.  I have a lovely larder and it was so messy.  I so love the finished result and it makes my life so easy.  I have a lot of places like that so decided I would do resolution 48 – clear clutter so I can now answer yes to all of the above.  So here is the plan:

 

1. Resolution 48 – clear the clutter
2. Saturday mornings – two hours
3. Feeling very enthusiastic
4. It will; and it will make it better
5. I have written it in a blog post so yes
6. If it can’t be done on a Saturday due to other plans, I will do it on a Friday

So now I have made this, I will begin as soon as possible and share my progress. I will also be referring to this book a lot so hopefully a very successful read.

 

All by Myself (and loving it)

Challenge No 38 – Have a Pamper Night

* Use Lush bath bomb
* Light a newly bought candle
* Use a face mask

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A week before Christmas found me with a night to myself. This was going to be perfect for my pamper night. As well as enjoying my bath, it also meant I had the TVs controls. What a bonus.

A few weeks previously I had braved the lush shop (is that place ever quiet) and bought myself a bath bomb. I went for the sex bomb purely for the colour and smell. As I run the bath, the scent was lovely with a pretty pink colour.

Pretty pink bath water!
Pretty pink bath water!

I had bought some beautiful candle holders from Next intending to give them out for presents but I fell in love so kept them for myself. Using festive spice tealights, I lit the candle and “jumped” into the bath.

The bath was certainly a luxury. I normally hop into the shower. Once in, I noticed petal shapes in the water which felt lovely. I didn’t stay in too long as I had a date with Strictly. It was the final and although I hadn’t watched much of the series, I was excited to watch the final without any interruptions! I used a face mask I had but wasn’t over impressed with it and then dressed in my pjs. I settled down to enjoy my show with a ready made meal and a glass of water. I had appreciated that Danny was a favourite and had been from the first show. However I always loved Louise’s smile but when I saw Ore dance, I was convinced he would win.

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Strictly Come Dancing has always been a favourite of mine and Kathryn’s but neither of us had watched a complete show this series. I was looking forward to it when I had found out Will Young was going to be one of the contestants but he pulled out of the show.

It was great to watch and enjoy the final on my own and I felt for all finalists because they were all great. I was overjoyed when Ore was crowned the champion.

With the TV controls in my hands, I now needed to find out how to use it! I don’t normally get possession of them. It didn’t take long to work out and I found the film I wanted to watch, Still Alice. A few weeks before I read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is about Alice, a cognitive psychology professor, is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 50.

The book is a real tearjerker as the family and Alice come to terms with the diagnosis. It was the first book written by Lisa Genova and a fantastic read. I was looking forward to watching the film. Julianne Moore played a fantastic Alice. I had my reservations when I realised Kristen Stewart was playing the daughter. She isn’t my particular favourite actress and I never find her happy which wasn’t the character I had in my mind for Alice’s daughter. I did however warm to her as her acting was brilliant. Whilst I enjoyed the film, I did think that watching the film so soon as reading the book is not a good idea. I noticed all the differences between the book and the film. Normally I wouldn’t see a film until a few years after I have read the book but I was a little late in reading this one.

I did enjoy this challenge and will treat myself to this routine regularly. Might have to pay everyone to have another night out so I get the house to myself again!

 

Dancing on the Ice

Well I didn’t actually finish my book I started in October for my challenge of reading a different genre each month until November although I did manage to read three other books in the month. I am also ashamed to say that I added 4 more books to my growing kindle library. I think I did get some bargains though!

The first book I read in October was one of Kathryn’s proper physical book. I decided to read Stolen by Lucy Christopher. It is a book about 16 year old Gemma who is kidnapped from Bangkok airport by Ty, a young, fit and gorgeous man who starts talking to her in the airport cafe.

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The book is written in the form of a letter to Ty from Lucy. The storytelling is beautiful, and what is strange is I found myself liking Ty, who I really shouldn’t like. The descriptions of the scenery and events were so amazing that you could believe you were in the actual place and be living the experiences especially one of the first scenes with the camel!

There are some books which do not have the ending which is right for the story you have been told. This had exactly the right ending and I am so glad I read it.

For my different genre, I decided to read a bit of a horror story as it was October so I thought before I read that I would have a bit of a chick lit weekend. At this stage I was busy at work, busy preparing for my running challenge and had a cold so I looked through the books I had purchased last October. I had a book by Holly Martin there who is an author I do love. There is always romance there with a little bit of fairy tale which I do like. The book I read and managed to read in a day was The Guestbook.

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One thing that always makes me talk about a book is when it is written in a different way. This book was different because it was about Willow House, a house rented out by Annie Butterworth. She leaves a guest book for all that stay to write in. The story is written by each guest so you share their experiences as well as Annie’s. Whilst I could never imagine anyone would write all their thoughts in a guest book, reading is an escapism and for a day I enjoyed putting my feet up and reading this.

My next choice was a book called Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh. When I buy a book, I read the description and a few reviews. I had bought the book in October 2015 so there must have been something that attracted me to it. The title was something that I would have liked. I can’t say that I hated the book but I found I couldn’t warm to the characters. A book should make you fall in love with the characters and also dislike them. I did not understand why I didn’t like one of the characters who clearly should have been a sweet likeable person. There was also quite a few flaws too. I don’t often abandon books so did read to the end thinking that one of the main topics of the book would be cleared up.  This did not happen.

My final part of reading of a book is to read some of the reviews again. I was delighted that the first review had all my concerns too. It was the first book by the author but as I have read many first books by different authors, I do not think it excuses the major flaws. I don’t think I will be rushing out to buy any of her future books.

It was now on to my challenge book for October. I went for another first book by an author – this time Stephen King’s Carrie. I had glimpsed the film recently and hadn’t watched it all the way through. Also I had never read a book by Stephen King and thought this would be great to read for Halloween. In the book there was a preface by the author which made me want to read the book straight away.

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The book actually took me ages to read but in a weird way, I did enjoy it. I liked the way it was written, there were characters you liked and characters you didn’t and I could see the characters had been written as Stephen King had said in his preface. It is a horror story and not the usual type of book that I would read. However, I think I would read another by the same author.

As I did not finish the book to midway through November, I thought I would choose my next book for the challenge. I decided to go for an autobiography. I used to read a lot of these but hadn’t for some time. I had heard Damon Hill’s book being discussed on the radio and being a fan of F1, I thought I might read that one but decided to check out on some of the others first. I was attracted to Our Life on Ice by Torvill and Dean so bought that.

I always loved watching them skate and was very keen to read their story. I remember also watching a documentary where it seemed to highlight Christopher Dean as a bit of a tyrant, It was great to actually read about their achievements in their words and find out the truth. Whilst they shared their personal life with you, it was in a way which could have been anyone’s life – I had certainly been through some of their experiences with children too.

My favourite parts were how they explained how they got together the routines with the music and I was so fascinated with how the first part of Bolero was put together to accommodate the music length. This book was a great read and made me like them even more.

I will buy the Damon Hill because I would love to read that too.

December next and I must have a few Christmas books to read.

When the going get’s tough, the tough get reading

I have a confession, I am (or was) a spend-on-bookaholic. I would get the e-mail from Amazon with the daily deals and I would put all sorts in for 99p. Why do I have that 1 click on Amazon! I could get through 4 books a month so I did read a few of them. Well since this challenge, I can say that I am nearly cured.

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In September I read just 2 books. I decided for my different genre challenge that I would read a classic. Most classics are free so I have downloaded quite a few intending to read them but never doing that. Last September I did read To Kill a Mocking Bird. It was a bit of a tougher read but I enjoyed it. I decided to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

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I was very ignorant about what I was reading – just remember the Kate Bush song which seemed to be at the top of the chart forever. I started it eagerly. It was a slow start and I didn’t get into until Ellen Dean (Nelly) starts telling the story. Even then I found the story tough – I think it was not liking the main characters, Heathcliff and Catherine. I don’t think I have ever hated the main characters so much. It took me three weeks to read the book and I curled up on the sofa after my day out in Brighton, determined to finish it. In the end, I was so glad I made it through and the ending was everything I wanted. Maybe I will read another classic next September!

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The second book I read is the reason I made my bold statement at the beginning. It was the only book I purchased in September and that was because it was on my wish list and had gone down in price. It was a book called From Italy With Love by Jules Wake. I had previously read From Paris with Love and hadn’t realised that it was the second book in a series. It can be read separately but there are a few spoilers for the first book. That said, it didn’t spoil it too much and I really enjoyed it. Pleased to say I loved all the characters in it. The main character, Laurie, is left a vintage Ferrari by her eccentric Uncle Miles. In his will, he sets her a task of driving it to Italy with a co-driver, the rather tasty Cameron.

It is a great trip from England to Italy and I enjoyed experiencing the places visited. Also the transformation of Laurie; she has a quiet life with a steady job and reliable boyfriend but on the trip finds the fun loving  zest for life that she had as a child.

Having read the second book I did know the ending but it was so enjoyable getting there. Great to see the meet the main characters of the second book in this one. There is a third book coming out, From Rome With Love, which is out in January. I have pre-ordered it so maybe I am not cured after all!

On the third month of the challenge

 I have

8 ticks ✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓

for completed challenges and

6 ongoing/planning

I am 3 months through the challenge (that means I have only 9 months to go before I reach 51!) and I thought I would write a quick update on what I have achieved. My 50 things to do in my 50th year page has been updated – I have highlighted all that is done – in my favourite colour – purple and all that I have started or are ongoing are highlighted in orange.

Challenges Completed

Challenge No 1 –  Learn how to skip – harder than I remember!  I was allowed a tick when I managed 5 skips.  2 weeks after this I did 10 but by July I managed 19.  Skipping is very good for you so I will try to continue this.

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Challenge No 23 – Day trip with your daughter this summer – a lovely day out to the Isle of Wight.

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Challenge No 25 – Change your running route one day – a lovely run to the beach and beyond.  I love running to the beach now.  It does give a bit of purpose to the run.  I realised by doing this that my usual run of running “round the block” of the estate I live in is like my security blanket.  I knew that home wasn’t far away and that is why I stuck to it.  Since I completed, I have changed my run a few times to include some hills in too!

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Challenge No 27 – Buy yourself some flowers.  A very pretty challenge and one I have continued and even managed to bribe my son into buying me some by picking him up so he didn’t have to pay out for a taxi! Even got him to wash the car so not bad at all.
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Challenge No 37 – Buy a new lipstick – loved this challenge and even wearing it into work now.
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Challenge No 40 – On a perfect summer’s day, make a picnic and eat it down the beach with your daughter.  This was so enjoyable.  I loved making the food and even made jaffa cakes – which I hadn’t realised were the Great British Bake Off’s challenge.  That in turn has lead me to try some of the other challenges.  Will share later.

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Challenge No 46 – In Lanzarote, buy a “Lanzarote” frame and at home print and put picture of you, your son and your daughter in it – I can look at this and remember our lovely holiday.
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Challenge No 47 – Buy and use a nail varnish colour you wouldn’t normally – bright orange it was!

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Ongoing/Planning

Challenge No 5 – Read a book every month of a genre you don’t/don’t often read – I have read three different books so far.  Looking forward to choosing 9 different reads.

Challenge No 6 – Read your daughter’s 10 favourite books – in paperback.  Why don’t the young get down with it and get a kindle!! Nice to read my daughter’s favourite books though. One down, 9 more to read.

Challenge No 8 – Host a MacMillan Tea Party – always wanted to do this and it will be great to hold it for charity. Have signed up for the coffee morning – just got to arrange and bake.

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Challenge No 10 – Sign up and run the Great South Run.  Well, I am signed up but having a problem with the training especially when my alarm doesn’t go off!  It is in just under 7 weeks away so hopefully going to buy myself some new trainers and lose some weight.  I am not sure if I can run the 10 miles but the advert says you can walk if you want.  Hopefully I can do it.

Challenge No 29 – Start and complete a new sewing project – I am sew enjoying this!  I am hoping to have this finished long before my challenge comes to an end. I think that there are certain people who are doubtful I will – I will show them.

Stitching achieved in less than a month
Stitching achieved in less than a month

Challenge No 49 – Make blog – well this is something I am enjoying so much.  I am hoping that as time goes on, I will get better at my blog posts but I am having fun learning!

So at the end of 3 months, I think I am on target.  As the evenings get darker, I will hopefully start to do some of the language challenges and lots of the cooking challenges.

I am loving doing these challenges – not reading so much but finding so much to do that time just whizzes by. It is also helping me be a bit more organised.  I really don’t have time to work though!

Dream A Little Dream

Since I accepted my 50 challenges, my reading has been a lot slower than normal. That said, I am enjoying taking on the challenges and finding so much I enjoy. I will update in a few days on how I am doing.

Normally I read a book a week but in August I only read two books. The first book I read was for this challenge:

Read your daughter’s 10 favourite books …. in paperback!

As I always read on my kindle, this was like going back to basics. There are some good points as well as bad points though:

Good points
1. The cover – I have an older kindle so I don’t get to see the cover. I haven’t got used to reading from my phone yet but when I do go in to the kindle app, I can see the book covers. I know you shouldn’t judge the book by the cover but a pretty book cover is great.
2. Chapter layout – I did find it easier to see when the chapter was going to end.
3. Page numbers – I do like to know how many pages I have got to read. Sometimes the books on kindle have the page numbers but when they don’t, it is done in percentages. I happen to like percentages though so not too negative for the kindle.
4. Bookmark (this is a double entry though as it will appear in the bad list too) – See the pretty bookmark I received from Kathryn. Makes reading the book worthwhile.

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5. Sharing books – You can easily pass on a book to a friend to read. There is a facility to share on kindle but not so easy.

Bad points
1. The size – Proper books are not so good for carrying in your bag. My kindle fits in most of my bags and is light. I am also carrying hundreds of books too.
2. Ease of reading – Reading in bed in the morning whilst trying to drink a cup of tea is very hard with a paperback!
3. Storage – Takes up more space to store your books once read unless you do share or give away your books when you have finished
4. Bookmark – Kathryn would not allow me to turn over the corner of a page in a book so a bookmark was needed or you lose the last page you read. The kindle, (if working correctly!) once turned on opens at the last page read.
5. Waiting for the book – I know that this can be a positive thing too but as long as I have internet connection, I can download a book in a few seconds which is so much quicker than buying a physical book. Okay, so not so good for the bank balance!!

I am enjoying the novelty of reading a “proper” book though and looking forward to reading Kathryn’s 10 favourite books.

As previously mentioned, I choose Giovanna Fletcher’s Dream A Little Dream for my first read of August. Giovanna is the wife of Tom Fletcher – member of McFly, mother of two and a talented writer. I have enjoyed previous books by the author. My favourite book is Billy and Me.

Dream A Little Dream is about Sarah who is single (having to endure a closer than normal relationship with her ex to keep her friends happy) and in a job that she is not entirely fulfilling but she is kind of happy! Sarah starts having dreams about a mutual acquaintance from her student days. What does she do when dreams turn into reality?

Although I can’t say this was my favourite book by the author, I did enjoy reading it. I loved the concept of the dreams because I do believe that are dreams have a message. There is a toilet incident in one of the dreams which I know I have a similar dream to.  I don’t know what that message is though- must be an insecurity!

I did like the way certain topics were dealt with and how the sensitivity around the subjects were handled. The book was able to make me laugh and cry in all the right places. Wasn’t so keen on the bad language as I did find it a bit unnecessary but I did also think that even that was explained too by Sarah herself. The reference to Mark Owen from Take That in the book was brilliant – something most of us felt!

The ending of the book was just as I wanted and I will probably borrow Kathryn’s Dream a Little Christmas Dream in December to catch up with Sarah.

My second read was also one of my challenges – to read a different genre I wouldn’t normally read. Jordan was choosing a book for me this month and I did think that I would get a book about the war to read or his childhood favourite, Biggles. He actually chose one that he was reading – The Sand Men by Christopher Fowler – a thriller writer.

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I bought the book for the kindle then read the description.

Lea, Roy and their daughter had moved to a gated community reserved for foreign workers in Dubai where Roy has been hired to deal with teething problems at Dream World, a futuristic beach complex.

The description seemed to be something I would enjoy and I was looking forward to reading about Dubai. I did get into the book quickly and whilst it appears that everyone is happy, it does seem that there is something that is being hidden.

I did find that for the last half of the book, it jumped a lot. I was convinced that my kindle hadn’t downloaded the book properly but Jordan confirmed that his paperback was the same. I didn’t actually enjoy the ending as I had found it unbelievable and perhaps rushed. Jordan finished the book whilst I was reading it and did think the same as me. Perhaps thrillers aren’t my thing.

I will choose my own book this month. I always download the classics but never read them so I will choose one of them.

Read All About It

Since my post of Amazing, I have now finished reading Summer of 76 and read a further 2 books. Not read as much this month due to a busy work load. Hopefully I will make up for that in August.

Summer of 76 carried on to be a slow pace read but enjoyable too. It never visited Brighton where Luke was going to be going to Brighton Polytechnic. I particularly love the fact they were polytechnics then and do remember them being that. Now of course, they are universities.  As I was only 10, I think I was disappointed when the rain fell after the heatwave of 1976 which is still talked about now. I wonder if I would feel like that now if I had to work in that heat. There was a slight twist in the plot which I had worked out in the middle of the book.

Once finished, I was able to start on After You by Jojo Moyes, the follow up to Me Before You.

Daughter's copy - she read at the same time as me
Daughter’s copy – she read at the same time as me

I was looking forward to catching up with Lou and was so hoping she wasn’t going to let me down. It had been 18 months since we left Lou and we are brought up with what happened in that time in the first few chapters. Considering the subject, I was still surprised with how Lou had been treated by family and friends and that is probably because my opinion is quite open on the subject raised in Me Before You.

The Lou I had loved so much had changed but I was very optimistic she was still there. When a young girl seeks questions from Lou, the question Lou needs to find out is she really who she claims she is. Can she answer all the stranger’s questions and can she start living again.

Reading it brought many tears but also laughter too. This time I found that I was reading the book in the voice of all the characters Me Before You film!

My next book was to continue with challenge number 5 – read a book each month of a different genre that you don’t often read. I had downloaded a few books ready for this but then there was a book on Amazon’s daily deal that caught my eye. It was on a subject I had heard about in the news but I must confess that I was very ignorant about – Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The book is written by Hibo Wardere and tells her story about the procedure forced on her when she was 6 years old whilst she lived in Somalia. Hibo was left bitter towards her mother and didn’t learn the truth about it until a civil war in her country forced her to become a refugee in our Country.

Despite the horrific procedure, Hibo has gone on to have 7 children. She had told her husband that she would not allow her daughters to have this procedure and although they both faced opposition from their families, they made sure their children were kept safe from this.

Hibo was finally able to open up to what she had gone through after being asked to attend a meeting, at the school where she had started working, between parents of one of the students, whereby the headteacher suspected the student was going to be taken out of school and flown to their homeland to be cut. Hibo decided to share her story as part of an assignment for her job and also with her three eldest children. This actually lead to Hibo becoming a FGM campaigner to help prevent girls being taken out of this country for this treatment and also to make people aware of this being a British problem.

I would never have chosen to read this book if I had not been given this challenge and would have remained very ignorant about this barbaric procedure. I can not understand why anybody would put their daughters through this.

I also greatly admire Hibo and also the wonderful people that she talked about who are trying to prevent young girls having to go through this. This book is a must read.

I decided that I needed some lighter reading so thought I would start to  tackle challenge 6 – read 10 of your daughter’s favourite books in paperback.

This is quite frightening as first of all I have to try to keep the book in the same condition as my daughter keeps them – pristine. This means they won’t come out with me in my bag! Also, how do you drink a cup of tea whilst trying to turn the pages of a book. I have the kindle down to a fine art with that. Before the kindle, I read proper books so I’m sure I can do it again.

I have chosen to read a book by Giovanni Fletcher – Dream a Little Dream. I will update how I get on with this task later.

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For the month of August, it is the turn of my son to choose a book for me. I am hoping he doesn’t get me to read his current read.

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War and Peace – Jordan’s light reading

As you can see from the picture, he has trouble travelling on the tube and keeping it pristine. I can’t understand why my children don’t get a kindle!

Amazing

 

Well I finished my reading challenge for June on 30 June and have been trying to write a review.  That has been challenging in itself.  Once happy with it, I will share.

I love the excitement of choosing the next book to read.  I had bought the follow up to Me Before You written by Jojo Moyes, After You, but did not want to read that before I had seen the film so I chose to read a book I had bought when it was on special last year, Summer of ’76 by Isabel Ashdown.

This appealed to me for so many reasons

  1. Everyone talks about the hot summer of 76 (well us who have experienced it).  I was only 10 at the time but I do remember not being sent home from school whilst the students from the local senior school where only too happy to taunt us because it had been too hot for them and they were allowed home early.
  2. It is based in the Isle of Wight –  just across the water from me – and a place I would have spent some of my summer holidays.
  3. The main character, Luke, is due to go to Brighton Polytechnic after the summer holidays.  Again, Brighton was another childhood favourite of mine and somewhere I have really enjoyed going with my children  and where I was going on an adventure with my friend Karen.

I have been reading the book for a week and just like my holidays in the Isle of Wight, the book is following a slow pace.  Each chapter starts with the temperature in Fahrenheit.  I wasn’t impressed with the May temperatures at all but now I am in June and it is 91° and I want that now!  There is also a secret that is waiting to be told which is likely to increase temperatures again.

I am enjoying reading about the food and music from the era.  Luke’s mum is trying to make her own wine which brings back memories of my dad brewing his own beer.   Luke is also working on a holiday camp which is somewhere I would have stayed at during my visits to Isle of Wight.

Once finished, I can finally start After You because I finally went to see Me Before You last night.  Me Before You was the first book I read by Jojo Moyes.

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To say I enjoyed it seems so wrong as the subject isn’t something you would talk about openly.   Whilst tissues are needed for the book, there is certainly a great deal of real life and humour.  Lou, one of the main characters, is just so fun and loving.  I knew I would not be disappointed with the film because when I saw interviews with the lovely Emilia Clarke, I was so impressed with how she was the perfect Lou that I had read about.  I loved so much about Lou but especially her shoe collection.  Wouldn’t it be great to have those lovely shoes and to have the nerve to wear them – mind you, I do wear bright pink skechers.  I also remember my daughter wearing woolly tights and wellington boots on a summer’s day so hearing Lou describe her favourite things with her stripey tights at top of her list did put a smile on my face.

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Sometimes when I watch a film after reading a book, I can be disappointed.  This film was everything I imagined and the cast were fantastic.  It is an extremely sad story and there will be always be strong opinions around the subject.  I could never express an opinion on the subject but I do think the story allowed me to see sides to everybody involved in the decision making.  I am looking forward to reading After You even more now.

I do love my kindle but challenge number 6 is to read my daughter’s 10 favourite books in paperback.  I have been given the collection and will also be choosing something from that very soon.

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My Secret Love

As mentioned in my about page, one of my favourite things   is my Kindle.  That is no secret but here are my reasons for loving it:

  1. It fits into my bag and can easily be brought out to read if I am hanging around waiting.
  2. Nobody knows what I am reading.
  3. It doesn’t take up much room when I am travelling so not adding to luggage allowance when I am flying.
  4. It is so easy to download books.
  5. I said it was easy to download – nobody but me knows how many books I have.  Let’s say that if I get stranded somewhere, it will be many years before I run out of reading material!

There are a few things I miss about having a physical book.  Opening the first page of a book is such an enjoyable experience.  Going into a bookshop and buying a book (yes I sometimes feel guilty about contributing to the closure of small bookshops.  You’ve Got Mail is one of my favourite films).  I do sometimes wander in to look at the books.  One of the things I miss most is not having books as presents. I do get vouchers to buy but sometimes someone buying you an unexpected book is just an enjoyable experience.

That said, my daughter is a very keen reader, (at 20 years old, she only reads proper books.  She has to carry her books in her own hand luggage!) and she often gives me the money with strict instructions on what book I have to buy with it.

Challenge 5 is to read a book every month of a genre you don’t/ don’t often read with June’s book chosen by her and August by her brother.

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Challenge 6 is to read her 10 favourite books in paperback.

The June book chosen by her is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and is a book for teenagers.  I started reading it a week ago and was given a quick brief about the book by my daughter.  The main character of the book is Cath who is an identical twin, horribly shy and writes fan fiction.  Not really understanding fan fiction, I did have to put it into the search engine.  From what I understand it is where fans of books write there own stories of  characters or scenes.  I think that if it had been around when I was a young girl, I would have enjoyed writing stories about the characters of Mallory Towers although it would not have taken the same route as Cath’s characters.

In Kindle terms, I am 62% through the book and I would have liked nothing more than to finish the book today but unfortunately I have other things I have to do (guiltily watching ELO at the moment).  I will certainly finish it by the end of the month though.  I am enjoying the book and I do like most of the characters.  There are a few characters that I haven’t got to like or meet yet.  Maybe my opinion will change.  I will hopefully review it later.