From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Last Act of Love.

‘Reading has saved my life, again and again, and has held my hand through every difficult time’

For as long as she can remember, Cathy Rentzenbrink has lost and found herself in stories. Growing up she was rarely seen without her nose in a book and read in secret long after lights out. When tragedy struck, books kept her afloat. Eventually they lit the way to a new path, first as a bookseller and then as a writer. No matter what the future holds, reading will always help.

Dear Reader is a moving, funny and joyous exploration of how books can change the course of your life, packed with recommendations from one reader to another.






A brilliant little book that perfectly sums up our love affair with books! It’s an ode to books and reading, and the memories they evoke when we look back at various points in our life, and how they begin to mean so much more to us as we grow older!

I loved her approach to her books and how packing them up for a new move made her sit down and reminisce about her childhood and then working with books as an adult and becoming a writer. I really enjoyed the behind the scenes look at working in various bookshops – living the bookish dream!

I also really enjoyed seeing the recommendations that accompany each chapter and I’ve made a note of many of them as they sound wonderful reads! It was fun in recognising those moments that connect us all as readers -the comfort and the excitement that picking up a book can evoke and she captures it all perfectly!

She also sums up how books helped save her through good and bad times that she has faced, and how she got the biggest buzz from talking to customers and recommending books for them! A lovely bookish book!!



#BookReview The Tragic Daughters of Charles I by Sarah-Beth Watkins #nonfiction


Mary, Elizabeth and Henrietta Anne, the daughters of King Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria, would be brought up against the background of the English Civil War. Mary would marry William, Prince of Orange, and be sent to live in the Netherlands. Elizabeth would remain in England under Parliamentary control. Henrietta Anne would escape to France and be the darling of the French Court. Yet none of the Stuart princesses would live to reach thirty. The Tragic Daughters of Charles I is their story.

Chronos Books presents the latest in a series of historical royal biographies by Sarah-Beth Watkins, author of Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VIII

Published by John Hunt Publishing – Chronos Books


Amazon UK



An enthralling and fascinating look at a tumultuous period of history, and I loved learning so much about the family of Charles I – it’s books like these that make me wish I’d ‘got’ history at a much younger age as I used to think it was all just very boring and a list of dates! This book is far from that and it is a real life royal soap opera with all the goings on over the years!

Not only does it feature Charles I and all that he was facing, but it looks behind him to his young family and what happened to them when everything was kicking off between the royalists and the parliamentarians. It strips away the pomp and ceremony that normally surrounds a royal family, and you get to see the struggles and the squabbles that enveloped this family as they were torn apart and had to face a very uncertain future.

I loved the added depth to the story that the royal letters between various members of the family added and it was surprising how much the siblings shared in letters between one another – they were very open and honest especially not knowing if they’d ever see one another again as they were all living apart and in different countries. 

With many scandals rocking England and France at the time it was just fascinating to have it all set out in chapters covering the various years, and seeing how the young girls grew up and what was expected of them in marriage, and in dealing with ill health made their stories so touching and often tragic and this book has helped me connect with these young women and I’m glad their stories are being shared in this way.


My thanks to the author, publisher and netgalley for the copy for review.

#BookReview Under The Wig by William Clegg QC #memoir #nonfiction

About the book

How do you chat to someone accused of a savage murder? Or prepare a court case? Or sway a jury?

Step into the shoes of criminal barrister William Clegg as he meets clients in prison, works out weaknesses in the other side s case, and confronts witnesses at tense trials.

In a revealing memoir, he revisits fourteen of his most intriguing briefs, from the murder charge facing Colin Stagg to the shooting of Jill Dando, to the first prosecution under the Nazi war crimes act and the burglar jailed for life by an earprint.

All the while he lays bare the secrets of his profession, from the rivalry among barristers to the moments before a verdict comes back and how system of justice risks jailing you wrongly.

Under the Wig is for anyone who wants to know the reality of fighting a murder trial. Switch off the TV drama and plunge into the criminal law in action.

Published by Canbury Press

Publication Date – 4th October 2018

Pre-order links



Canbury Press


We’ve all seen the TV shows about law and wondered what goes on in the world of ‘real’ lawyers, and this book is a truly fascinating look behind the scenes thanks to one of London’s top murder case lawyers as he looks back at a remarkable career and shares his stories of all he has seen over the years. And when you’ve been involved in as many high profile cases as William Clegg has, then there’s lots to share!

From how he started in the world of law, to going behind the scenes at some of the most infamous trials he was involved in, I found this to be such an interesting read. He shares a number of outspoken opinions on cases he’s been involved in as well as his thoughts on the system as it is and the many changes he’s seen take place over the years – not all for the best! – as well as how technology has changed working on each cases. No such thing as the internet when he first started out!

From war criminals, murderers, the wrongly accused, and fraud cases, this is a book that covers a wide range of dealings inside the world of law and the grim reality of brutal cases which show it isn’t like it is on TV.

The way the book plays out works so well as it spotlights high profile cases he was involved in, alongside his humble beginnings and how he worked his way up. There are flashes of humour that lighten the tone of the book and helped make it a really engrossing read.

My thanks to the author, publisher and publicist Emma Finnigan for an advanced readers copy in return for a fair and honest review.


#BlogTour Ladders To Heaven by Mike Shanahan #BookReview #LaddersToHeaven


‘Surprising, engrossing, disturbing, and promising… combines masterful storytelling and spellbinding silence.’  

Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus 

A great delight to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for LADDERS TO HEAVEN by MIKE SHANAHAN. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all! Before we get to my thoughts on the book, here’s a little more information about the book and author!

About the book

6th September 2018 | £8.99

Published by Unbound

A stunning survey of the extraordinary and surprising ways that fig trees have shaped human civilisation – and could enrich our future.

Fig trees have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways: they are wish fulfillers, rainforest royalty, more precious than gold. In Ladders to Heaven tells their incredible story, beautifully peppered with original hand-drawn illustrations

They fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played a key role in the birth of civilisation. More recently, they helped restore life after Krakatoa’s catastrophic eruption and proved instrumental in Kenya’s struggle for independence.

Figs now sustain more species of bird and mammal than any other fruit – in a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, they offer hope. Theirs is a story about humanity’s relationship with nature, as relevant to our past as it is to our future.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK


Book Depository

About Mike Shanahan: 


Mike Shanahan is a freelance writer and illustrator with a doctorate in rainforest ecology. He has lived in a national park in Borneo, bred endangered penguins, investigated illegal bear farms and produced award-winning journalism. His writing includes work published by The Economist, Nature, New Scientist, BBC Earth, Scientific American and Newsweek.


I’m always looking to read more non-fiction books, and if they were all written like this one with so much detail and an engaging style of writing then I don’t think I’d pick up another fiction book again!

Who knew Fig trees could be so interesting?! I didn’t for sure and was surprised by how much I found myself involved in the story of how a simple tree could affect so much over the years. The author has grouped information together in a really accessible way and gives a real insight into so many aspects of the importance that the simple Fig tree has played in our history as humans and the role it has played in various times in history.

The author uses a lot of his own experiences through travel to bring a real enthusiasm to the subject and puts things into context that is easy to understand and relate to. Many periods of history are covered, alongside the role of figs in various religions and bringing it up to date with the role of climate change and how that, alongside the behaviour of humans, is affecting the Fig population now. He also looks at how the trees can help us in the future and how they’ve been here a lot longer to us and are much more important than we think a humble tree can be with the amount of life they help sustain. It also looked into the men who have studied figs over the years and how it became an obsession for them, to the point that their families suffered.

I was so ignorant to the story of Figs and I loved how this book has set me straight and taught me so much! I’m a tree hugger by nature but have learnt so much through this book that I’m even now trying to work out where I could put a Fig tree in the garden! The book also contains a number of illustrations which adds another dimension to the book, and it’s another reason as to why the Unbound publishing creation is such an important one so that books like these can be created and shared.

A wonderfully informative read!!


Thank you for stopping by today! Please check out the other stops on the Blog Tour so you can learn even more about this fabulous book!