#BookReview ODD BIRD by LEE FARNSWORTH @farragobooks

ABOUT THE BOOK

Simon Selwood is an academic expert on the monogamous sexual behaviour of birds, but hopeless at finding human love. Then he meets Kim, and at last something is more important to him than ornithology.Kim doesn’t give a hoot about birds. And at first she isn’t very interested in Simon either. Relying on what he has gleaned from observing the opportunistic pied flycatcher and other species, plus the unorthodox advice of old friend Phil, Simon sets out on a mission to discover love for himself.But will he make the right choice?Odd Bird takes a light-hearted look at the battle of the sexes, drawing on the surprising parallels between the courtship behaviours of humans and birds

PUBLISHED BY  FARRAGO

MY REVIEW


It’s always fun to have a rom com told from the point of view of the male character, and when they are as quirky as Simon Selwood, then you know you’re in for a treat of a read!  That’s what made this so fun for me!! The way he looked at life, at birds (both of the female and feathered varieties!!) and seeing how he could maybe use his birding knowledge to get the woman of his dreams made for an exciting and refreshing story!

Simon is an expert on the mating habits of birds! But his own love life is a disaster as he finds the female species a little difficult to understand! But he’s determined to find love and once he starts to spend time with someone he likes, you’ll find yourself willing things to work out for him, despite the warning signs that he often seems to miss!

What is a real strength of this book is his friendship with Phil! He’s not the easiest person to like but he’s clearly always looking out for his friend and I loved the banter between the pair of them! He doesn’t beat about the bush, and the straight talking is sometimes what Simon needs to hear, whether he likes the actual content of the conversation! We all need THAT friend to steer us in the right direction!

As things take off for Simon workwise, he begins to find himself a little more in demand and it’s fascinating to see how the attitudes of others change towards him, especially from women.  I found myself shouting at Simon at times for missing the obvious!! Blinded by love comes to mind!!

Overall this was a really enjoyable, uplifting and fun read!

★★★★

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#MusicMonday MEMORIES FADE by TEARS FOR FEARS

Happy Monday!! They’ve been made so much more bearable by Music Monday, hosted by Drew over at THE TATTOOED BOOK GEEK , and it’s a weekly chance to share a favourite song or video!!

Back to Tears for Fears for me today, and one song I’ve been repeat listening to recently is Memories Fade!

There’s only need
I love your need
So much I’m losing me
I cannot see the reason for the Pain
With hungry joy
I’ll be your toy
Just hoping you will play
Without hope my body starts to fail

Memories fade but the scars still linger
Goodbye my friend
Will I ever love again
Memories fade but the scars still linger

I cannot grow
I cannot move
I cannot fell my age
The vice like grip of tension holds me fast
Engulfed by you
What can I do
When History’s my cage
Look foward to a future in the past

The more I talk
The more I say
The less you seem to hear
I’m speechless in a most peculiar way
Your mind is weak
Your need is great
And nothing is too dear
For you to use to take the Pain away
Memories Fade
No don’t pretend you can justify the end
Memories fade but the scars still linger

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Roland Orzabal

Memories Fade lyrics © BMG Rights Management

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 17th October 2020

hello all! This meerkat is my spirit animal this week! I know exactly how he feels! My get up and go has been gone all week so that has impacted on how bookish I’ve felt! I just haven’t been able to settle to reading much this week so I don’t think my wrap up is going to take very long this week!!!
Just the one book finished this week (and that was last Sunday!) so I definitely need a rocket up my bum this week to get back on the reading groove!! At least I have stayed away from Netgalley, so no new additions there BUT I may have had to treat myself to some books in The Works! ooh and I was lucky enough to win an early proof!! 
So here’s my look back..


BOOKS FINISHED


WHEN I COME HOME AGAIN by CAROLINE SCOTT – 5 STARS



BOOKHAUL


Was lucky to win an early proof of this one from Twitter….


GIRL A by ABIGAIL DEAN

PUBLICATION – JANUARY 2021


‘Girl A,’ she said. ‘The girl who escaped. If anyone was going to make it, it was going to be you.’

Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared



And then I treated myself on a little shopping trip!! I’m going full on witch with Halloween approaching!




THE GREEN WITCH by ARIN MURPHY-HISCOCK

Discover the power of natural magic and healing through herbs, flowers, and essential oils in this new guide to green witchcraft.

At her core, the green witch is a naturalist, an herbalist, a wise woman, and a healer. She embraces the power of nature; she draws energy from the Earth and the Universe; she relies on natural objects like stones and gems to commune with the land she lives off of; she uses plants, flowers, oils, and herbs for healing; she calls on nature for guidance; and she respects every living being no matter how small.

In The Green Witch, you will learn the way of the green witch, from how to use herbs, plants, and flowers to make potions and oils for everyday healing as well as how crystals, gems, stones, and even twigs can help you find balance within. You’ll discover how to find harmony in Earth’s great elements and connect your soul to every living creature. This guide also contains directions for herbal blends and potions, ritual suggestions, recipes for sacred foods, and information on how to listen to and commune with nature. Embrace the world of the green witch and discover what the power of nature has in store for you.


WICCA by HARMONY NICE


Witchcraft and Wicca for a modern world, from YouTube vlogger and Instagram sensation Harmony Nice
Welcome to Generation “Hex”–an era where young Americans know that witchcraft isn’t about devil worship and spooky curses, and instead are openly embracing meaningful Wiccan rituals that can enrich our lives in real-world ways. In Wicca, 21-year-old Harmony Nice–a YouTube and Instagram star with 700,000 followers–offers modern readers a guide to overcoming obstacles and maximizing happiness. She offers practical guidance on:

using crystals, wands, tarot cards, and magical tools
setting up an altar
introductory spells for health and protection
finding your own witchy path–solitary or with a coven
With beautiful illustrations throughout, Wicca offers readers spiritual authenticity, a hint of glamour, and a perfect guide to infusing their lives with spiritual purpose, confidence, and resilience.


THE WITCH’S BOOK OF SELF CARE by ARIN MURPHY-HISCOCK


“From Wiccan author Arin Murphy-Hiscock comes this fantastic guide to spiritual self-care with a witchy bent. The Witch’s Guide to Self-Care contains recipes for products and spells for self-restoration.” —Bustle

Worship yourself the witchy way—learn how to nourish your body and spirit with herbal remedies, spells, and rituals inspired by witchcraft in this unique, enchanted guide to self-care!

Self-care is a necessity for any modern woman, and this book helps you prioritize #1 with a little help from the magic of witchcraft. The Witch’s Book of Self-Care has advice for pampering your body, mind, and spirit with spells, meditations, mantras, and powerful activities to help you to keep healthy, soothe stress, relinquish sadness, channel joy, and embrace your strength. This book features such magical self-care remedies:

A Ritual to Release Guilt: Learn to burn whatever causes you pain and process painful memories or work through heavy emotions in this therapeutic ritual.

Green Space Meditation: Learn how to reconnect with the healing energies of nature, even in the middle of a bustling city, as part of a series of meditations based on the elements and your senses.

DIY Body Butter: Create your own custom soothing and smoothing body butter, powered by crystal and essential oils suited to your intention, and sanctified by a ritual.

And much more! The Witch’s Book of Self-Care shows you how easy it is to connect to the earth, harness your personal power, and add a little magic to your everyday life for a better you!


CURRENTLY READING


THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by RICHARD OSMAN
Hopefully this can snap me out of my slump!!


#BookReview THE GIRL WHO READS ON THE METRO by Christine Feret-Fleury

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the vein of Amelie and The Little Paris Bookshop, a modern fairytale about a French woman whose life is turned upside down when she meets a reclusive bookseller and his young daughter.

Juliette leads a perfectly ordinary life in Paris, working a slow office job, dating a string of not-quite-right men, and fighting off melancholy. The only bright spots in her day are her metro rides across the city and the stories she dreams up about the strangers reading books across from her: the old lady, the math student, the amateur ornithologist, the woman in love, the girl who always tears up at page 247.

One morning, avoiding the office for as long as she can, Juliette finds herself on a new block, in front of a rusty gate wedged open with a book. Unable to resist, Juliette walks through, into the bizarre and enchanting lives of Soliman and his young daughter, Zaide. Before she realizes entirely what is happening, Juliette agrees to become a passeur, Soliman’s name for the booksellers he hires to take stacks of used books out of his store and into the world, using their imagination and intuition to match books with readers. Suddenly, Juliette’s daydreaming becomes her reality, and when Soliman asks her to move in to their store to take care of Zaide while he goes away, she has to decide if she is ready to throw herself headfirst into this new life.

Big-hearted, funny, and gloriously zany, The Girl Who Reads on the Metro is a delayed coming-of-age story about a young woman who dares to change her life, and a celebration of the power of books to unite us all.


PUBLISHED BY FLATIRON BOOKS


MY REVIEW

As a bookworm, I was instantly drawn to this book as I knew I’d be able to relate to the main character, Juliette, and I wasn’t wrong! This was the perfect escape read on a dreary afternoon and just reinforced my love of books and the power of good they can do for all!

She is a girl after my own heart! She reads to escape the world!! And she is also a people watcher so spends her commutes on the metro reading, and watching those around her. Noticing their different quirks and habits and creating back stories to who she thinks they are!

When she discovers a little bookshop in the neighbourhood she is immediately intrigued, especially by the little girl Zaide who invites her in. She lives there with her father, Soliman, who is an absent minded professor kind of character! He just loves books and wants to share them with people far and wide!

So he recruits Juliette to help him with his mission of finding the right people for different books and what follows is a story of hope and finding your own happy. The character of Zaide is also wonderful as she is never afraid to challenge Juliette out of her comfort zone and sets her on the way to a completely new life after some devastating news puts things into perspective.

A really enjoyable and uplifting story!


★★★★

#MusicMonday GOO GOO DOLLS – AUTUMN LEAVES

Hello and Happy Monday! Time for music to get the week off to a good start! This is a weekly tag hosted by Drew over at THE TATTOOED BOOK GEEK giving us a chance to share some songs and videos.

And my choice this week is topical with the changing seasons! Autumn Leaves by Goo Goo Dolls!! Such a lovely video too!

In the trees
The autumn breeze
The winter’s cold
But summer’s soul is underneath

The sun is low
The heavy sky
I sometimes watch it
‘Till it sinks below the tide

So I wait
So I wait

The sun is low
The heavy sky
I sometimes watch it
‘Till it sinks below the tide

Life is change
We move on
And where you go
I hope the summer goes along

So I wait
And I wait

And in the trees
The autumn breeze
The winter’s cold
But summer’s soul is underneath

The sun is low
The heavy sky
I sometimes watch it
‘Till it sinks below the tide

Life is change
We move on
And where you go
I hope the summer goes along

So I wait
And I wait, yeah

Life is change
We move on
And where you go
I hope the summer goes along

Source: Musixmatch]

Songwriters: Andrew William Pearson / John T Rzeznik

Autumn Leaves lyrics © Spirit One Music, Arcade Artists Publishing, Bugtunes Music, Drew Pearson Pub Desgnee

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 10th October 2020

Greetings fellow bookish folk! I hope the week has treated you well! It hasn’t treated me well as it’s given me a cold!! So I’m stocking up on Vitamin C and echinacea (and extra chocolate supplies!) to help thwart those evil germs!!

So only 3 books have been read this week as I’ve been struggling to keep my eyes open during ‘reading’ time, but I have been restrained over at Netgalley so that’s a plus!!!

Here’s my quick look back…

BOOKS FINISHED

THE BOOK CLUB by C.J.COOPER – 3 STARS

HOLLY’S CHRISTMAS SECRET by KIRSTY FERRY – 5 STARS

WILD by KRISTIN HANNAH – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Just the one from Netgalley..

THE SILK HOUSE by KAYTE NUNN

publication date – January 2021

Weaving. Healing. Haunting. The spellbinding story of a mysterious boarding school sheltering a centuries-old secret by the bestselling author of THE BOTANIST’S DAUGHTER.

Australian history teacher Thea Rust arrives at an exclusive boarding school in the British countryside only to find that she is to look after the first intake of girls in its 150-year history. She is to stay with them in Silk House, a building with a long and troubled past, where the shadows hide more mysteries than she could ever imagine.

In the late 1700s, Rowan Caswell leaves her village to work in the home of an English silk merchant. She is thrust into a new and dangerous world where her talent for herbs and healing soon attracts attention.

In London, Mary-Louise Stephenson lives amid the clatter of the weaving trade and dreams of becoming a silk designer, a job that is the domain of men. Arriving in the market town of Oxleigh, she brings with her a length of fabric woven with a pattern of deadly plants that will have far-reaching consequences for all who dwell in the silk house.

Intoxicating, haunting and inspired by the author’s background, THE SILK HOUSE is the exceptional new gothic mystery by Kayte Nunn

And my subscriber copy arrived from Peirene Press…. 


THE PEAR FIELD by NANA EKVTIMISHVILI

publication date – 30 October 2020


In post-soviet Georgia, on the outskirts of Tbilisi, on the corner of Kerch St., is an orphanage. Its teachers offer pupils lessons in violence, abuse and neglect. Lela is old enough to leave but has nowhere else to go. She stays and plans for the children’s escape, for the future she hopes to give to Irakli, a young boy in the home. When an American couple visits, offering the prospect of a new life, Lela decides she must do everything she can to give Irakli this chance.

CURRENTLY READING

WHEN I COME HOME AGAIN by CAROLINE SCOTT

HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview #Readalong ALL THE WORDS UNSPOKEN by SERENA KAUR @RedDoorBooks

Delighted to be taking part in this readalong via the blog and instagram today, so my thanks to Lizzie at RedDoor Press for letting me be part of it all and to share my thoughts on ALL THE WORDS UNSPOKEN by SERENA KAUR!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Things are not going well for Maansi Cavale.

Her depression is worsening, she barely passes her university exams and she winds up stuck at home, full of regret and unable to find a job. She’d do anything for a way out.

Though Maansi previously considered arranged marriage an outdated tradition (only to be agreed to if you’re in your mid-forties and unable to bag anybody yourself), a chance meeting at an Indian wedding party changes everything. Desperate to escape the shackles of monotony and unemployment, she agrees to marry the handsome and wealthy Aryan Alekar. She convinces herself a new lifestyle and wealth will lift her out of the pit. She secures the marriage, but not before serving up a few lies about herself…

As they settle into married life, Aryan remains a mystery to Maansi: some days warm and loving, others cold and distant. Maansi can’t help but wonder… who is Aryan Alekar really? And why did he choose to marry so young? While living with Aryan, Maansi realises she could never be satisfied playing housewife. After all, she once had goals and dreams.

While searching for the ambitious Maansi she has buried, Maansi starts to realise that the man she has married is even further from what he seems… Can she salvage their union or will they set each other free?

All the Words Unspoken is a fresh, new voice from debut British-Asian author, Serena Kaur. It is a love story that challenges our preconceptions of relationships and shows us that the choices we make have implications and ramifications far beyond the horizon we can see.

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

Amazon

Blackwell’s

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

Welcome to the world of Maansi! And what a fascinating story she has to share!  She’s a young woman living in Britain but expected to ‘conform’ by her parents to the world of arranged marriages so can her mind be changed when she meets Aryan, a very wealthy and handsome suitor! It all seems a bit too fairytale and easy to begin with for Maansi as she settles into a new married life, but soon the cracks begin to appear and she’s left to wonder if she was right all along and should have stuck to her way of living life!

She’s also dealing with depression, something her family do little to understand, and I found it fascinating to see her dealing with these issues as I think it will connect with most women reading this.  It’s a book that centres around female issues, that will connect with women of any religion or race, and I really enjoyed seeing how Maansi tried to deal with everything life throws at her.  And it throws a multitude of issues her way in this story!!  From her past, to her marriage and to trying to forge her own path in the world doing things she loves – working in publishing! – it was a great mix of issues that she has to deal with.

I think this book shows up brilliantly of how living your life to suit other people just isn’t a good thing for you! While she comes to terms with the way that Aryan blows hot and cold and picks up on things about his family, life carries on around them and you just wish things would go smoothly for her for once at least!  You want her to find her ‘happy’!

This was an emotional and thought provoking read and gives a great insight into life as a young asian woman.

★★★★

#BlogTour LOG FIRES AND TOFFEE APPLE CAKE AT THE LITTLE DUCK POND CAFE by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources

A delight as always to be on the blog tour for the latest in the Little Duck Pond Series! My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!!

Log Fires & Toffee Apple Cake at the Little Duck Pond Café

Get set for a wonderful celebration of autumn with all your favourite characters at the Little Duck Pond Cafe!

An autumn fair is coming to Sunnybrook, much to the delight of the villagers. But for Madison, whose personal life seems to be spinning out of control, a roller-coaster is the last thing she needs – especially when it’s her emotions at stake.

Can she convince the delectable Jack that their relationship is worth another shot? Or has their romance ground to a permanent halt like a faulty big wheel? Will she solve the mystery of the missing name on her birth certificate? Or will her discoveries take her on a journey even bumpier than the dodgem cars? One thing’s for sure. Madison is going to need more than a fairground fortune teller to find the answers to her questions, if she’s going to ‘waltz-er’ into the happiest of sunsets…

Purchase Link –  https://amzn.to/38v98Fz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Her series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘Lucy’s Great Escape’, is out now.

Rosie will be revisiting the Little Duck Pond Café with a beautiful story of love and friendship at Christmas time, entitled A Kiss in the Snow, out in October 2020.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988


MY REVIEW


This is the 12th novella in the series… and I never want it to end!!! I have adored every part of this series, and this is one is no exception! It’s like catching up with old friends and this time there’s an awful lot going on to remind us that reconnecting with the past doesn’t always go as smoothly as we hope!

The story centres mainly around Madison and the dilemma she finds herself facing.  She’s at a crossroads in her life wanting to move forward, but there’s unresolved issues from the past that are causing her to rebel a little!  She’s always felt a little out of place in the family with her decision to follow a career in baking and not law, but she soon discovers some news that rock everything she ever knew and doesn’t know how to cope with it.

There’s also excitement amongst the ladies as Jaz is soon to give birth so everyone is on high alert and tensions often run high with all that is going on! Sometimes friendly advice isn’t as well accepted when hormones are in the mix!!

As always, I just really enjoyed spending time in the company of these women. In Madison, we meet a character who has shown real growth over the past couple of books and has mellowed out a bit – but she still has a tendency to rush things and act before she speaks or thinks and we get to see the consequences of that play out in this storyline.  Just another wonderful addition to the series and I’m already counting down the days until the next installment!!!


★★★★★

#MusicMonday GRAVITY by SARA BAREILLES

Happy Monday and Happy Music Monday!! Time to share another favourite song courtesy of this tag hosted by Drew over at the tattooed book geek – so come join the fun and share some of your favourite songs!

I’ve gone for Gravity by Sara Bareilles this week! Such an amazing voice and an amazing live performance!!

Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long
No matter what I say or do
I’ll still feel you here ’till the moment I’m gone

You hold me without touch
You keep me without chains
I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love
And not feel your reign

Set me free, leave me be
I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am, and I stand
So tall, just the way I’m supposed to be
But you’re on to me and all over me

Oh, you loved me ’cause I’m fragile
When I thought that I was strong
But you touch me for a little while
And all my fragile strength is gone

Set me free, leave me be
I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am, and I stand
So tall, just the way I’m supposed to be
But you’re on to me and all over me

I live here on my knees as I try to make you see
That you’re everything I think I need here on the ground
But you’re neither friend nor foe though I can’t seem to let you go
The one thing that I still know is that you’re keeping me down
You’re keeping me down, eh ooh
You’re on to me, on to me, and all over

Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Sara Bareilles

Gravity lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

#BookReview DEAR READER by CATHY RENTZENBRINK #nonfiction

ABOUT THE BOOK


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.


PUBLISHED BY PICADOR


PURCHASE LINKS

hive.co.uk
Blackwell’s

Waterstones


MY REVIEW

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!!


★★★★