Saturday, 2 April 2016

The year in Books March 2016

March has been another busy month of reading with six books.

So what I have I been reading and what did I think of them.

Jenny Blackhurst - How I lost you - I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don't you? 

Three years ago Emma Cartwright used to be known as Susan Webster. Susan Webster was accused and convicted of killing her 12 week old son. She was sent to a Psychiatric Institute and has just been released. With her new identity and a new address she has a chance to rebuild her life, that is until she receives an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside the envelope is a photograph of a young boy, on the back is written Dylan January 2013.  Susan has never remembered what happened the day that her son was found dead and now she is left not knowing for sure that he is dead.  This is Susan's journey to find out what did happen to her son and if there is the slightest chance that he is still alive then she is determined to find him.  

Very good read and would recommend.

Caitlin Moran - How to build a girl - My name is Johanna Morrigan. I'm fourteen and I've just decided to kill myself. I don't really want to die, of course! I just need to kill the old me., and build a new girl. Dolly Wilde will be everything I want to be, and more! But as with all the best coming of age stories, it doesn't exactly go to plan.

Johanna Morrigan isn't happy with her lot. She decides that she needs to reinvent herself in order to have the life she craves.  Meet Dolly Wilde the alter ego of Johanna Morrigan.  I struggled with this book it has to be said.  It was not unlike reading the script of shameless but possibly worse and with a lot of foul language to boot.   As it was a Radio 2 book club recommendation I thought it would be a really good book and had the potential to be but sadly not for me and not one I would necessarily recommend. 

Terry Pratchett - Equal Rites - They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. 

In reality he didn't check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there is not such thing as a female wizard. But now it's gone and happened, there's nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin.  I have really enjoyed getting to know Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.  This one is total girl power and I loved it.  I can certainly see why his books have such a following. 

Judy Finnigan - I do not sleep - Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am not there. I do not sleep. There is nothing more powerful than a mother's love. Five years ago, Molly Gabriel lost her twenty year old son, Joey, to a terrible sailing accident. His empty boat was washed ashore on the rocks, but his body was never found. Now Molly has returned to the sands of Cornwall haunted by his disappearance, unable to to accept he is gone. Joey was an experienced sailor and died on a calm sea - things just don't add up and Molly cannot let go. 

I had read Judy Finnigan's first novel Eloise a while ago. I then heard an interview by Graham Norton and loved the sound of this her second novel.  It was by far a big improvement on her first novel.  I did enjoy reading it and it was far more believable than Eloise.  It would make a good holiday read a novel you can pick up as and when you have time rather than gripping. 

David Nicholls - Us - Douglas and Connie; Scientist and artist, and for more than twenty years, husband and wife - until suddenly, their marriage seems over.  But Douglas is going to win back the love of his wife and the respect of Albie, their teenage son, by organising the holiday of of a lifetime. 

I loved this book, it had me laughing out loud, and let me tell you, you get some very strange looks when you laugh out loud on public transport.  Douglas tries everything he can to make this a holiday of a life time and I am not going to spoil the outcome and would recommend that you read it for yourself to find out.  

Brooke Powley - The Other Wife - Elizabeth Jones has been placed under arrest for killing Rose Boston. The same Rose Boston that her husband, Rob once had an affair with. To the outside world it seems like a clear cut case. But Rose Boston had been suffering from a long, terminal illness - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). In her darkest hour she asked Libby for help. As the lines between what is right and wrong become blurred we are left wondering. If your friend asked you to help her to die ... what would you do? 

I have read this authors two previous novels, the first one I loved, the second I liked and this her third was excellent.  You get to know each of the characters really well including that of Rose Boston and get a good understanding of her struggle with a terminal illness.  You get to know Libby's incredible character. Not sure I would except my husband having an affair especially as a result of that affair there was a child. Then to take on that child as if it were your own and look after his terminally ill mother.  Each chapter gives you an insight to each of the characters within the family and those of close family friends.  Very well written and definitely my favourite read of March.  Would definitely recommend.

Well that's my reads for March and I have already started my first novel for April with Jonathan Harvey's The Secret's We Keep.  I am 75 pages in a little unsure so far but with another 300+ pages to go it certainly has time to pick up.

Happy reading one & all


Friday, 1 April 2016

Goodbye March Hello April

It's so nice that Spring is finally here, whether you go by the meteorological date of the 1st March or by the Spring Equinox of the 20th.  Personally I go by the meteorological date just because it's here earlier and easier for me to remember. During the dark winter months I always feel like a mole due to the fact that I leave for work in the dark and return home in yes you guessed it in the dark. 

March has been yet another busy month what with Mothers Day and Easter.
I did however have lunch cooked for me on Mother's Day and treated to lunch out the following weekend by my daughter as she  had been at work on Mother's Day so nicely spoiled. 

I have kept up with my Terry Pratchett's reading with the third in the discworld series, Equal Rites, the story of a young female Wizard and of course we all know that girls can't be wizards don't we.  Well this one was about girl power and very good it was too. 
My favourite book this month has been on my kindle. The third novel by Brooke Powley called The Other Wife.  I will tell you more when I post my March reads. Needless to say I have read all three novels by this author I loved the first one, liked the second but knew this one was going to be good  when I hadn't even got to the end of the first page and I was hooked. 

I was let loose in the kitchen again and decided to go all creative with yet another cake this time covering the top with mini eggs.  This cake is a Lorraine Pascale recipe aptly named The I can't believe you made that cake and you can find the recipe here.  I had been a little poorly over Easter with a head cold and each time I looked at the cake I was sure there were less eggs than before.  I thought my son had been snitching eggs from the top of the cake only to discover it was D.  

Having had a few days off over Easter I managed to spend some quality time on my cross stitching projects.  I am now at the half way point on The Earth Goddess and once finish she will will complete the trilogy of ladies I have been working on over the last 12 months. I have also started a new project not something I would normally do when I have a project on the go, it's too tempting to just keeping starting new projects and never completing any of them.  My new project is The Quiltmaker, which is a Lavender and Lace chart. It's my first Lavender and Lace project and is part of the Told in the garden series.  She will eventually be a gift for a very dear friend later in the year who will be having a big birthday so I wanted to get a head start on her to make sure she will be finished hopefully way before she needed. I will keep you informed of her progress but I am hoping that by the end of April she will be half way as she is not too far short of the first quarter being complete. 

In between times I am still working on granny squares for baby blanket as the baby boom continues with colleagues at the hospital.  I suppose it's the natural way of things when you work with so many young ladies but there certainly has been quite a few due in the first half of this year and it is always lovely to receive a little thank you card or photograph when the stork has come a calling. 

The rest of my time has been spent with my furry boys, joining me for cuddles in the morning whilst I have a cup of tea in bed and read my book, going out for walks and playing out in the sunshine (when there's been sunshine that is), this is Mr B having a rest after a busy nights sleeping it's a hard life being a dog don't you know.

For those of you who are on your Easter break enjoy and for the rest don't work too hard.