Top Ten Tuesday – Books I could re-read forever!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is Books I Could Re-Read Forever.  What a topic!!!!  I don’t tend to re-read a lot anymore – the overwhelming TBR mountain might have something to do with that! – but there are many books that are always there for me on my shelves that I can happily go back to when the dreaded reading slump strikes. as I often find that going back to an old favourite is the perfect remedy – so prepare for a list of old favourites that never grow old!!

MALLORY TOWERS by ENID BLYTON

My childhood!!! The whole series was wonderful to me and I desperately wanted to go to boarding school so I could have the same kind of adventures as Darrell and her friends!

THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE aged 13 3/4 by SUE TOWNSEND

Adored this when  it came out as it felt so different to anything else I’d read and I still love to go back and see how awkward Adrian was!

 

NARNIA SERIES by C.S.LEWIS

The whole series had me captivated and I have our old local GP to thank, as he used to have a little lending library and he let me borrow these from that!

HARRY POTTER series by J.K. ROWLING

More escapism reading that I always seem to discover something new from everytime I pick it up to relive the magic!

REBECCA by DAPHNE  DU MAURIER

This was a fairly recent discovery for me, but it has taken a special place in my heart!

TWILIGHT by STEPHENIE MEYER

The initial book in this series had such an impact on me as a reader that I can always go back to it to get all the vampire feels!

BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY by HELEN FIELDING

Because!!! 😉

THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. TOLKIEN

I love all of Middle Earth so can happily read any of these time and time again!

THE BOOK THIEF by MARKUS ZUSAK

One of the first books I think that made me cry and it has done everytime I’ve read it since!!

ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND & THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by LEWIS CARROLL

No list of re-reads can be complete without this world! Still discovering  new things from the stories everytime I read them and they are just as wonderful now as they were back in my childhood!

💗💗💗💗💗

Loved this topic today!  Had so much fun going back to some of my favourite books! Hope you’ve enjoyed it too! Any of these on your lists?!

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw #bookreview

THE BLURB

With elements of The Wizard of Oz, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Lovely Bones, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead shows how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, and how sometimes we can get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home.

Out now!

Published by Accent Press

Author on Twitter;  @claidlawauthor

Author website;  https://www.charlielaidlawauthor.com/

BUYING LINKS

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Book Depository

🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀

MY REVIEW

I always like it when I don’t know what to expect from a book and it surprises me in a positive way, and that is exactly how  feel now after reading this one and am amazed how such an unassuming story really connected with me so much!

Lorna Love is training to be a lawyer, but her life plan suffers a major setback when she is hit by a car and finds herself in hospital but this  is no ordinary hospital and soon she is being introduced to the facility known as HVN!  This facility though is also a spaceship where you can choose to look like whoever you choose – there are many famous faces she meets throughout – and the captain is God who is not like how you think he should be!

Lorna is then faced then with her memories slowly returning and through these flashbacks  you see how her life has progressed from childhood through to adulthood, and some of it made for unpleasant viewing from her perspective, but as a reader it was fascinating to see how her choices had shaped the person she became.  She needs to figure out the reason why she is there in HVN as God tells her that everyone is at this facility for a reason.

She is left questioning all that she knew and seeing things differently from the benefit of hindsight, and it was such a touching look back at a life especially when looking at her family time from holidays to losing people close to her. It delves into her self doubt, career choices, friendships and how your place in the world can disappear so quickly.

I found this to be quite deep in places, alongside being a fun, quirky read and some of the twists along the way had me reeling which just proved to me of how powerful and insightful the story had become and how involved I became with Lorna and her journey.  

Highly recommended!!

My thanks to the author for the copy in return for a fair and honest review.

                                                                            🚀🚀🚀🚀

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 8 2018

Hello!!!! How are we all?! Well I hope! Had a couple of dodgy days here on the health front but feeling brighter today despite all of 3 hours sleep last night! Why does Insomnia strike when you’re the most tired??!!  

Been another fabulous bookish week, especially as it was Cosy Reading Night on Wednesday night which I loved taking part in and the box of After Eight Mints were a very handy snack to have by my side!!  And with TV still not being top quality that has meant extra reading time of an evening for me, so this week I managed to get another 5 books read and off  the reading pile!! Not that seems to have made much of an impact as I sit looking at the TBR mountain, but it’s a start at least!!

And I’ve been very well behaved on the acquiring new books front and restricted my ‘searching’ options, and even the postman has given our house a wide berth until today with 2 books popping through the letterbox!

Here’s a look then at what I’ve read this week, the new books I’ve acquired and those that I’m currently reading!

BOOKS FINISHED

Where’s My F**king Unicorn? by Michele Gordon – 4 stars

Funny and practical self help book that doesn’t take itself too seriously!

THE LAST WILDERNESS by NEIL ANSELL  –  5 stars

stunning non fiction book as Neil Ansell discovers the remote Scottish Highlands and reflects on losing his hearing

 

 

FINDING THE SNOWDON LILY by HEATHER PARDOE –  4 stars

This was an enjoyable and quick read on my Kindle, set in the stunning scenery of Wales and at the heart of the story is 17 year old Catrin.

ONLY CHILD by RHIANNON  NAVIN  –  5 stars

Stunning, heartbreaking and extremely poignant read considering the awful recent school shootings in America.  Told from the POV of a 6 year old boy as he witnesses such a tragedy, this had me in tears!

MEAL OF FORTUNE by PHILIP BRADY – 4 stars

Read this ahead of a Blog Tour in March, and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure! Thrilling, funny, mad and sweary – my kind of book!!

BOOK POST

Just the two through the letterbox this week but they both look fab!

THE INDUSTRY OF HUMAN HAPPINESS by JAMES HALL

published by Lightning Books    Publication Date May 2018

A tale of love, murder and obsession in the early days of the gramophone

Set in the murky backstage world of late Victorian theatreland, The Industry of Human Happiness is about the obsessive characters who dreamed of bringing recorded music to the masses.

Max and his younger cousin Rusty have a vision of launching the gramophone industry from a Covent Garden basement. But a renowned opera singer is brutally murdered in his hotel bed and they are thrust into the underworld of opium dens, brothels and extortion.

Ghosts from the past and a contested inheritance turn the cousins against each other, and they go head-to-head to launch rival ‘talking machines’. With Max’s sweetheart, the ambitious singer Delilah Green, caught in the middle, the pair battle rival manufacturers, London theatre owners and, ultimately, each other, for their very futures.

This is a story of obsession, the pursuit of love and the enduring magic of music.

♯♯♯

And then this months offering from the Random Book Club is this book that I have to confess knowing nothing about but the blurb has me intrigued!

‍Set in 1968 in the Parisian suburbs, No Telling is narrated by twelve-year-old Gilles as he approaches his Solemn Communion, puberty, and some sense of the chaos around him. His home is deeply dysfunctional: a dithering mother, a hard-drinking, womanising uncle who becomes his stepfather, and an older sister, Carole – an unbalanced revolutionary who hasn’t danced her ballet steps since the death of their real father. Gilles is blithely unaware that any of this is out of the ordinary, as he and his friend Christophe try and piece together a world from fragments of rumour and hushed adult conversation. There is a deeper trauma here, however, far more shocking than anything Gilles could have dreamt of – a mystery it will take the events of the novel and eight years to resolve.

😃😃😃

CURRENTLY READING

Jane Austen At Home by Lucy Worsley

Started reading this on Cosy Reading Night and am loving finding out so much about the woman behind the classic books!

THE THINGS WE LEARN WHEN WE’RE DEAD by CHARLIE LAIDLAW

Looking to read something a little different this weekend and this one appeals – and the cover is rather cool!

With elements of The Wizard of Oz, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Lovely Bones, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead shows how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, and how sometimes we can get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home.

So that is my week all wrapped up! How has yours looked? Any new reads I should look out for.. or avoid?!

HAPPY READING!!

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin #bookreview

THE BLURB

For readers of Room and The Girls, a dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children, narrated by a seven-year-old boy who reminds us that sometimes the littlest bodies hold the biggest hearts and the quietest voices speak the loudest.

Squeezed into a coat closet with his classmates and teacher, first grader Zach Taylor can hear gunshots ringing through the halls of his school. A gunman has entered the building, taking nineteen lives and irrevocably changing the very fabric of this close-knit community. While Zach’s mother pursues a quest for justice against the shooter’s parents, holding them responsible for their son’s actions, Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and art. Armed with his newfound understanding, and with the optimism and stubbornness only a child could have, Zach sets out on a captivating journey towards healing and forgiveness, determined to help the adults in his life rediscover the universal truths of love and compassion needed to pull them through their darkest hours.

Paperback, 292 pages

Published 2018 by Mantle

BUYING LINKS

Amazon UK

If you don’t want to jump into this book after reading it and hug the narrator, 6 year old Zach, then you must have a heart of stone!  This debut novel is such a powerful, and extremely poignant story considering the news events of recent weeks, that it made my heart break constantly and struggling to read through the tears!

The child narrator is an extremely touching way to tell this story.  He and his classmates are hiding in a closet in their classroom as we first meet them, as a school shooting is under way.  The book has immediate impact on you reading, and the story that follows is how does he, his family and the community at large deal with such a tragedy and try and move on.  In many ways, they can’t move on and as a child he notices the smallest of details and really brings home the enormity of change that surrounds him.

The impact the shooting has on Zachs’ family is extremely heartbreaking as they go through the joy of finding Zach alive, but then the heartbreak of hearing that his older brother Andy was one of the victims.  You could sense his mum and dad struggling with those emotions throughout and how they’d turn on each other in their different ways of dealing with grief and it would often seem like they’d forgotten about poor Zach at times.

Zach is a brilliant character to narrate – his mind wanders as he struggles to process what he’s been through and what is happening to him and his family, the nightmares that follow are heartbreaking and I just found it an absorbing way of seeing such a tragic event through his eyes.

A stunning story.  A must read!

Where’s My F**king Unicorn? by Michele Gordon #bookreview #selfhelp

THE BLURB

Are your bookshelves filled with self-help books, and yet your life feels empty? Do you keep following paths to enlightenment that lead to the same dead ends? Have your mythical, magical hopes and dreams remained in sight but out of reach? You’ve read the books, attended the seminars, and done the chanting, but you’re still waiting for your f**king unicorn to come along! This is a guide to life, creativity, and happiness that offers a very different way forward. Michelle Gordon explains why, in spite of all your best efforts, your life still doesn’t live up to your vision of what it should be, and tells you exactly what you can do about it. In refreshingly down-to-earth language, she shows you how to harness all the self-knowledge you have gained from all those self-help books you’ve read, and actually start putting it to practical use. Beautifully illustrated and delightfully different, Where’s My F**king Unicorn takes a light-hearted approach to a serious subject: YOU! It will help you to choose those routines and rituals that, while they might not work for everyone, might just work for you. Who knows, with some tough love and a full moon, it might inspire you to find your f**king unicorn for yourself.

BUYING LINKS

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Book Depository

MY REVIEW

Drawn to this because of the cover – and the swearing! yes I am that childish!! – I’m not a big fan of the self help book but was interested in seeing how this book approached the topic.

We’ve all seen the rows and rows of self help books that preach and promise us the world as readers – this is NOT one of those books! Instead I found it have a fresh approach to the whole ‘better you’ outlook and it didn’t take itself too seriously and that is why I think I enjoyed it so much!

I found it to be really funny, sweary, down to earth, realistic and breaks down the ideas in small chunks which are easy to take on board, and gives you pointers as to other books to read for more information, or videos on YouTube to watch for further inspiration! It also explains that what works for one person isn’t going to work for everyone, and that plain kind of speaking was easier to take on board! There’s practical advice of things you can do to find your ‘unicorn’ – do what makes YOU happy and don’t go along with the crowd and you’ll find life is immediately brighter!

I chuckled throughout reading this, and it’s also got some rather gorgeous unicorn illustrations so what’s not to love! It also encourages you to go out and buy stickers and coloured pens for ‘to do lists’ and any book that gives me an excuse to buy more stationery is going to get a good review!!

If you are looking for a quick, easy to read, funny and helpful book then I’d highly recommend picking this up for yourself or anyone else looking to find their unicorn!!

✭✭✭✭✭

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris #BlogTour #BookReview

THE BLURB

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again. 

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

Publication Date;  8th March 2018

Publisher;  HQ

Pre-order Links

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Book Depository

 

baparis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.

 

MY REVIEW

B.A. Paris has done it again!!! Having devoured her previous books I was unsure whether another book could make me stay on the sofa reading from start to finish – this one did exactly that!! And what a ride of a read it is! It had me swearing at characters, shocked, disturbed and the next time I see a russian doll I’m going to feel a little unnerved!!

The book starts with a flashback to 12 years ago and the disappearance of Layla while away with her partner Finn in France. He left the car at a service station and she was gone when he got back. But the story he told the police wasn’t the entire truth and we begin to find out what really happened that night as the story unfolds.

His life now is settled – he’s doing well in business and is engaged to be married to Ellen, Layla’s sister! But the past is about to make an unwelcome return to his present life and what follows is a pulsating page turner as cracks begin to appear in his controlling persona and the truth of what happened that night Layla went missing becomes clearer.

This book was so cleverly written as I had my mind changed a number of times as to where it was going, who to trust and just what the frig was going on! I love the fact that the unlikeable characters – namely Finn! – were made to feel threatened and scared by what was unfolding around him. His whole outlook on life was to be in control and you see that when he loses that he doesn’t know how to act.

Having the story told by Finn and Layla, in the past and the present was also a massive help in building the tension and intrigue and made for a truly addictive reading experience!! It looks back on how they met and the impact that had on one another in the short time they were together before that trip.

The phrase ‘just one more chapter’ never seems to work for a B.A. Paris book!! Once you start you just can’t stop reading!! Highly recommended!

Thank you to the publishers for the advance copy in return for a fair and honest review.

 

blogtourbring

Femmeuary Cosy Reading Night TBR

Tonight is the night!  It’s time for another COSY READING NIGHT! If you have no idea what these are, then they are special nights created by the lovely Lauren of Lauren and the books YouTube or over on Twitter @laurenthebooks  – and it is just the perfect excuse every couple of months to sit yourself on the sofa, armchair, bed or wherever you prefer, eat some yummy snacks, cuddle up with a blanket, and read some lovely books for 3 hours from 7 – 10pm.  February  21st 2018 is the night and I’m always excited to take part and this year to celebrate FEMMEUARY – all things women! – my TBR pile for the evening is as follows;

Hoping to read each book for an hour each, although if I get wrapped up in one then that plan may go out of the window!  Here’s a closer look at each book I’ve chosen to spend my cosy reading night with!

REJECTED PRINCESSES by JASON PORATH

Blending the iconoclastic feminism of The Notorious RBG and the confident irreverence of Go the F**ck to Sleep, a brazen and empowering illustrated collection that celebrates inspirational badass women throughout history, based on the popular Tumblr blog.

Well-behaved women seldom make history. Good thing these women are far from well behaved . . .

Illustrated in a contemporary animation style, Rejected Princessesturns the ubiquitous “pretty pink princess” stereotype portrayed in movies, and on endless toys, books, and tutus on its head, paying homage instead to an awesome collection of strong, fierce, and yes, sometimes weird, women: warrior queens, soldiers, villains, spies, revolutionaries, and more who refused to behave and meekly accept their place.

An entertaining mix of biography, imagery, and humor written in a fresh, young, and riotous voice, this thoroughly researched exploration salutes these awesome women drawn from both historical and fantastical realms, including real life, literature, mythology, and folklore. Each profile features an eye-catching image of both heroic and villainous women in command from across history and around the world, from a princess-cum-pirate in fifth century Denmark, to a rebel preacher in 1630s Boston, to a bloodthirsty Hungarian countess, and a former prostitute who commanded a fleet of more than 70,000 men on China’s seas

 JANE AUSTEN AT HOME by  LUCY WORSLEY

On the eve of the two hundredth anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, take a trip back to her world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen’s childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses – both grand and small – of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a ‘life without incident’. Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but – in the end a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy. Illustrated with two sections of color plates, Lucy Worsley’s At Home with Jane Austen is a richly entertaining and illuminating new book about one of the world s favorite novelists and one of the subjects she returned to over and over in her unforgettable novels: home.”

 

WHERE’S MY F**KING UNICORN? by MICHELLE GORDON

Are your bookshelves filled with self-help books, and yet your life feels empty? Do you keep following paths to enlightenment that lead to the same dead ends? Have your mythical, magical hopes and dreams remained in sight but out of reach? You’ve read the books, attended the seminars, and done the chanting, but you’re still waiting for your f**king unicorn to come along! This is a guide to life, creativity, and happiness that offers a very different way forward. Michelle Gordon explains why, in spite of all your best efforts, your life still doesn’t live up to your vision of what it should be, and tells you exactly what you can do about it. In refreshingly down-to-earth language, she shows you how to harness all the self-knowledge you have gained from all those self-help books you’ve read, and actually start putting it to practical use. Beautifully illustrated and delightfully different, Where’s My F**king Unicorn takes a light-hearted approach to a serious subject: YOU! It will help you to choose those routines and rituals that, while they might not work for everyone, might just work for you. Who knows, with some tough love and a full moon, it might inspire you to find your f**king unicorn for yourself.

♀♀♀♀♀♀♀

Have you read any of these?! Will you be taking part in Cosy Reading Night? I hope so! Looking forward to scoffing a fair bit of chocolate and listening to some cool tunes as well!!