Saturday, 29 December 2018

Gazelle in the shadows...What a fantastic book

Title: Gazelle in the Shadows
Author: Michelle Peach
ISBN: 978-0-692-11276-2
Rating: 8/10
Genre: Crime, Travel, Thriller
Type: Paperback

"Oh, I'm a student. I'm studying at Durham University. This year is the year all the students get sent to the Middle East to learn the language more fluently.'
'Are there more of you?' he smiled.
'No just me.' I giggled.
'So, you are travelling alone?' He raised his thick eyebrows."

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Pros and Cons of Physical book v digital book Jan

There has been a number of debates about what people prefer, a physical book or an electronic book? A traditional paper book or a Kindle? A hardback or reading your Ipad? It has been such a difficult decision since electronic readers became a thing. There has been a huge influx in people buying e-readers.

I do own a Kindle Paperwhite and I love it. I enjoy the ease of being able to travel with it. I love how simple it is to use and how I can just carry it from place to place without thinking. I am able to go anywhere and take a huge library of books with me. I can read an array of books in a short space of time because I can use the books I have already downloaded and just get lost in a world wherever I am.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

A book ban...Did it work?

At the beginning of this year, I put myself on a book buying ban. It was pointed out to me numerous times by my boyfriend that there is such a thing as "too many books". I still don't believe him but there was a time when I had to call a stop to book buying for a little while. This was the time. January 1st 2018 was when I had to put a stop to buying books.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The Only Way...I love a local book!

Title: The Only Way
Author: Victor W. Watton
ISBN: 978-1-98-334447-3
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Murder, Crime, Thriller, Religion
Type: Paperback

"After more chat and signing away a fair bit of money on the credit card (none of these firms seemed to like cash), we loaded the van and I set off for Redcar with Pete following in the car. The A66 goes through what is still, despite media moans that we no longer make anything, an industrial heartland. A haze of pollution, fuelled by vast columns of smoke and steam from what is left of the steelworks, covered the horizon making the clear blue sky grey and forbidding as we headed eastwards to the coast. As grey as my spirits, and as forbidding as the task ahead of us."

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Frank Skinner...Completely changed my perspective

Title: Frank Skinner
Author: Frank Skinner
ISBN: 978-0-09-942687-5
Rating: 6/10
Genre: Autobiography, Non-fiction, True, Fact, Comedy, Humour
Type: Paperback

"Sunday. 13th May 2001. I arrive at the Hawthorne with Phil. He's producing and directing a documentary about Japanese and Korean football which is my next work-project after this book. Outside the ground, a middle-aged woman is selling Baggies Bonanza tickets. There's a draw at halftime and you can win a grand or so on a good week. She tries to sell me one. 'I don't need the money,' I explain. It's a slightly dodgy response, I know, but she takes it in the spirit it's intended and smiles. We get inside the ground and I bump into another mate, Lee, who's an Albion fanatic. His friend is explaining how his little boy came home in a Manchester United shirt and wanted to go and play football in it. In the end, Lee's mate had to pull the shirt off the kid, who then headed for the football in tears. Lee's mate said he felt like a heel. I told him he was a hero. He hesitated, then agreed...I won't bore you with a match report. We are two goals up with ten minutes to go. The crowd are loud and joyous. It's like old days when we were a top club. No one can stop us now. Final score: 2-2...'Congratulations,' she blurts out excitedly. I'm stunned. We've obviously won the BAFTA. 'What for?' I say, trying to remain calm. 'Two-nil,' she says. Women have no concept of the phrase 'Latest Score."

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Glitz...Money isn't everything

Title: Glitz
Author: Louise Bagshawe
ISBN: 978-0-7531-3993-6
Rating: 8/10
Genre: Money, Rich, Glamour, Chick Lit
Type: Audiobook

It is a long time since I last listen to an audiobook. I have been to my local library looking for a new audiobook and found I feel there isn't a lot of choices, hence why it has been a little while since I last listened to an audiobook, however, I thought I would give it another chance and found Glitz by Louise Bagshawe.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Stockton Library Fright Night and Bryony Pearce

For the second year in a row, I went to the Fright Night at Stockton Library. This year we were lucky again! We visit to celebrate everything spooky and we were visited by fantastic young adult author Bryony Pearce. Bryony had visited the school I work at earlier that day and I had the pleasure of meeting her. For a horror writer, she is a lovely lady! By her own admission, "After meeting me people are often surprised about how dark my work is, I am deceptively happy." The kids loved her! Her outfit, her boots, her amazing outlook on life. There was definitely a buzz around the school coming from the Year 7s and 8s after they had met her. I was then invited to the Fright Night at Stockton Library and was able to meet Bryony again and buy her books for myself.

Monday, 8 October 2018

In the Name of Love...Just retelling her story

Title: In the Name of Love
Author: Katie Price
ISBN: 978-1-846-05961-2
Rating: 4/10
Genre: Adolescent, Romance, Love, Holiday, Teenager
Type: Hardback

"Charlie didn't have a chance to pursue this conversation as the doorbell rang then. It was Aidan, who had called round in a taxi to collect her. Zoe answered the door while Charlie grabbed her bag - a red satin clutch to match her dress - and a black feather bolero. Charlie grimaced as she draped the feathers round her shoulders. It was barely above freezing outside and there was no way this flimsy bolero was going to keep her warm. She'd have to smuggle her black leather jacket out of the flat, away from Zoe, aka the Style Police. But just as she was walking out of the flat, Zoe caught her redhanded and confiscated the jacket."

Saturday, 29 September 2018

365 Days of Happiness...Such a pick me up

Title: 365 Days of Happiness
Author: Jacqueline Pirtle
ISBN: 9781732085107
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Happiness, lessons, quotes, self-help
Type: Paperback

"Day 111
You are a shiner! Shiners are people that shine their light bright no matter what is happening for them! I can spot them easily, because they are always striving to be and live as a happier being. They always share their bright light with everyone and everything around them. They light up the world!"

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Blood Moon...The first in the series

Title: Blood Moon Part 1
Author: S Yurvati
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Thriller, mystery, sex, murder, fantasy  adult
Type: Paperback
"Many hours of his day are spent working in the lower regions of this grand home built by his love for me, He seems much pleased with his progress, though he never shares what that progress is and tells me it will be a most delightful surprise set forth for my pleasure. I hear sounds of sawing and hammering and cannot imagine what he is crafting for me.
Still, it is good to see him smile and at least be pleased with his daytime endeavours.
The heat is most uncomfortable today and I asked if he would take leisure for us to stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the southerly breeze. He faltered as though I had asked him to walk through Hell's fire. Vehemently he said to never ask such a thing again, as a riverfront is not a safe place for a female of worth."

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Killer's Forest...Not like any book I have read before

Title: Killer's Forest
Author: Ellington Norris
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Thriller, Murder, Crime
Book: Kindle

"How is Al?' He asked in a hushed tone. Johnny stared and could not conjure an answer. 'Has he said anything to you? Anything about Smith, or the woods, or," Will paused to think, "Or anything strange?" Johnny had his chance - he could reveal Al's plan, his depravity, let Will know Al had tipped from daydreams to a course of action, but the words caught in Johnny's throat. Johnny could not risk losing his only true friend.
Johnny's mind and mouth stuttered a response to Will after a long pause. 'I believe he is fine.' Johnny sealed his fate. Will eyed Johnny but bid him a safe evening, noting he would return to the store after sunrise. Johnny nodded and watched Will walk in the dark towards his home. Before Johnny could shake the guilt from lying to Will, Al returned,
'Yes, tomorrow.'
'Before sunrise?'
Yes. Before sunrise."

Thursday, 9 August 2018

The Girl on the Train...Really mixed reviews

Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
ISBN: 978-0-552-77977-7
Rating: 8/10
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Adult
Book: Paperback

"Tuesday 9th July 2013
The pile of clothes from last week is still there, and it looks dustier and more forlorn than it did a few days ago. I read somewhere that a train can rip the clothes right off you when it hits you. It's not that unusual, death by train. Two to three hundred a year, they say, so at least one every couple of days. I'm not sure how many of those are accidental. I look carefully, as the train rolls slowly past, for blood on the clothes, but I can't see any.
The train stops at the signal as usual. I can see Jess standing on the patio in front of the French doors. She's wearing a bright print dress, her feet are bare. She's looking over her shoulder, back into the house; she's probably talking to Jason, who'll be making breakfast. I keep my eyes fixed on Jess, on her home, as the train starts to inch forward. I don't want to see the other houses; I particularly don't want to see the one four doors down, the one which used to be mine."

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Hooked on the Game...Easy read but not worth reading again

Title: Hooked on the Game - Book 1 of The Sterling Shore Series
Author: C. M. Owens
ISBN: 978-1-502-80085-5
Rating: 3/10
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Book: Kindle

"In my opinion, no saint goes without sinning, and no sinner goes without having some saintly qualities. You can judge one for their mistakes, or you can love them for the flaws they try to correct. I choose to love my father. That might make me stupid, but I'd prefer to be called stupid instead of cold. You only live once.
'I had a house once, with my father. It was nice. We were happy. But we lost it later on.'
'Did he leave you and your mom?'
I wish I could just tell him.
'Yes and no. He left because he had to; not because he wanted to. It's a long story I don't want to delve into tonight."

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Tattooist of Auschwitz...We need to know about this

Title: The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Author: Heather Morris
ISBN: 978-1-785-76364-9
Rating: 7/10
Genre: WWII, Nazi, Jewish, War, Thriller, Fact, True Story
Book: Kindle

"As the girls enter the women's camp, Dana and Ivana rush to Gita. 'Are you all right? Where did they take you? Why did they take you?' Dana demands, fear and relief on her face.
'I'm okay. They took me to work in the administration office.'
'How...?' Ivana asks.
'Lale. I think he somehow arranged it.'
'But you're alright. They didn't hurt you?'
'I'm fine. This is Cilka. I'm working with her.'
Dana and Ivana greet Cilka with a hug. Gita smiles, happy that he friends are so immediately accepting of another girl in their midst. All afternoon she had worried how they would react to her now working in relative comfort, without having to deal with the cold or any physical effort. She could hardly blame them if they were jealous of her new role and felt she was no longer one of them.
'I'd better go to my block,' says Cilka. 'I'll see you tomorrow, Gita.'
Cilka walks off and Ivana watches her go. 'Gosh, she's pretty. Even dressed in rags she's beautiful.
'Yes, she is. She's been throwing me little smiles all day, just enough to reassure me. Her beauty goes beyond the surface.'
Cilka turns back and smiles at the three of them. Then, with one hand, she removes the scarf from her head and waves it to them, revealing long dark hair cascading down her back. She moves with the grace of a swan, a young woman unaware of her own beauty and seemingly untouched by the horror around her.
'You must ask her how she has kept her hair,' Ivana says, scratching absently at her own headscarf.
Gita pulls her own scarf from her head and runs her hand over her short spiky stubble, knowing all too well that it will soon be removed again, shaved back to her scalp. Her smile disappears briefly. Then she replaces her scarf, links arms with Dana and Ivana and they walk towards the meal cart."

Friday, 6 July 2018

Wonder...A tear jerker

Title: Wonder
Author: R. J. Palacio
ISBN: 978-0-552-57695-6
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Adolescent, Disability, Young Adult
Book: Paperback 

"Mom knocked on my door after dinner. She looked drained, and I realized that between me and Auggie, today had been a tough day for her, too.
'So you want to tell me what's up?' she asked nicely, soft.
'Not now, okay?' I answered. I was reading. I was tired. Maybe later I'd be up to telling her about Miranda, but not now.
'I'll check in before you go to bed,' she said, and then she came over and kissed me on the top of my head.
'Can Daisy sleep with me tonight?'
'Sure, I'll bring her in later.'
'Don't forget to come back,' I said as she left.
'I promise.'
But she didn't come back that night. Dad did. He told me Auggie had had a bad first day and Mom was helping him through it."

Friday, 15 June 2018

The Hunger Games Catching Fire...The next instalment

Title: The Hunger Games Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
ISBN: 978-1-407109-36-7
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Thriller, Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Drama
Book: Paperback

"Well, then this is your lucky day,' I say, dropping my game bag on the floor. People are starving all over the district and we still have more than enough. So I've been spreading things around a little. I have my own priorities: Gale's family, Greasy Sae, some of the other Hob traders who were shut down. My mother has other people, patients mostly, who she wants to help. This morning I purposely overstuffed my game bag with food, knowing my mother would see the depleted pantry and assume I was making my rounds to the hungry. I was actually buying time to go to the lake without her worrying. I intended to deliver the food this evening on my return, but now I can see that won't be happening."

Monday, 7 May 2018

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...We must remember

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Author: John Boyne
ISBN: 9780552773805
Rating: 8/10
Genre: WWII, war, jews, holocaust
Book: Paperback

"It was quite extraordinary. If it wasn't for the fact that Bruno was nowhere near as skinny as the boys on his side of the fence, and not quite so pale either, it would have been difficult to tell them apart. It was almost (Shmuel thought) as if they were all exactly the same really."

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Secrets of the Tides...All families have a secret

Title: Secrets of the Tides
Author: Hannah Richell
ISBN: 978-1-4450-2200-0
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Family
Book: Audiobook

"Every family has its secrets. Some are small, like telling a white lie or snooping through a private drawer. Others are more serious, like infidelity and betrayal. And some secrets are so terrible they must be hidden away in a deep, dark place, for if they ever came to light, they would surely tear a family apart...
The Tides are a family full of secrets. Returning to Clifftops, the rambling family house high on the Dorset coastline, youngest daughter Dora hopes for a fresh start, for herself and the new life she carries. But can long-held secrets ever really be forgiven? And then if you can forgive, can you ever really learn to love again?"

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Apples...This is how some people do live

Title: Apples
Author: Richard Milward
ISBN: 978-0-571232-83-3
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Teenage, Drugs, Sex, Fiction
Book: Paperback

"It felt like someone dropped a cartoon ton-weight on me. I must've been thinking about Majorca pretty hard - I wasn't sure how long I'd been asleep, but my belly was still churning and my eyelashes were glued. I wiped my mouth then rolled about in the bed - I didn't have a clue where I was, but I figured it was Rachel's room and slowly the memories of the party started to jigsaw themselves together. My skull was absolutely exploding. It was hard to look through the dark, and I got the shock of my life seeing Adam's head by the bedside. Where did he come from? I couldn't remember him being at the party, and I couldn't even speak when he shifted his weight and asked, You okay?"

Friday, 30 March 2018

Goosebumps...Still get my heart going

For the past month, I have been reading the Goosebumps book series by R.L. Stine. I have read and finished two books, Night of the Living Dummy and Stay out of the Basement. These are both books which as a child I was terrified to read. I remember my brother owning a selection of them and trying to read them and having to hide them under the pillow or just giving up before I had finished the first couple of chapters just due to the anxiety and fear they produced. My partner decided he wanted to buy a collection of them as he loved them as a child and was interested in re-reading them. I thought I am a grown up! I am 26 years old with my own house and a respectable job, I can read Goosebumps...I am starting to doubt myself again.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Cogheart...Definitely a teenage read

Title: Cogheart
Author: Peter Bunzl
ISBN 978-1-4749-1500-7
Rating: 7/10 (for me) 8/10 (as a teenager)
Genre: Victorian, Fiction, Teenage Fiction, Adolescent
Book: Paperback

"'This' he hissed, 'is all because of you. Look after number one: that's what you're about.' 'No,' she spluttered, 'it's not true.' But maybe it was? She had brought the box here, and Malkin had come. She'd decided it was safe to stay with them, despite all she now knew. That thought made her queasy. She tried to think of something else to say, something comforting, but the words dried in her throat. So instead, she took off his da's coat and draped it over Robert's shoulders. 'There,' she said. She felt the cold now, in only her thin jacket, yet she knew Robert needed the coat much more than she did."

Saturday, 3 March 2018

All the Light We Cannot See...WWII from a different perspective

Title: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
ISBN: 978-0-00813830-1
Rating: 7/10
Genre: WWII, Fiction, Nazi, France, Germany
Book: Paperback

"If there are fireflies this summer, they do not come down the rue Vauborel. Now it seems there are only shadows and silence. Silence is the fruit of the occupation; it hangs in branches, seeps from gutters. Madame Guiboux, the mother of the shoemaker, has left town. As has old Madame Blanchard. So many windows are dark. It's as if the city has become a library of books in an unknown language, the houses great shelves of illegible volumes, the lamps all extinguished. But there is a machine in the attic at work again. A spark in the night.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The Saturday Supper Club...A really good read

Title: The Saturday Supper Club
Author: Amy Bratley
ISBN: 987-0330519687
Rating: 8/10
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Fiction
Book: Audiobook

This is an audiobook which I have actually enjoyed. It has been a little while since I have enjoyed an audiobook which I have received from the library for a while. I was in two minds about whether to read it because I had not enjoyed the last couple of books I had as an audiobook.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Three Years and 2018's Bucket List

Happy New Year Everyone!

How did you spend your new year? What did you decide to do? We spent the evening with family playing games, eating lots of food and laughing. However, the start of 2018 has brought some change in our house. We have both decided a number of things. We have decided that we ate far too much over Christmas and needed to be healthier in the new year, we wanted to be more active and go for long walks in our local countryside and we want to go on more city breaks this year. So in order to see what we have achieved over the year and what we could do to achieve these things, I created a bucket list for the year. 

Monday, 1 January 2018

The Runaway...An Irish Tale

Title: The Runaway
Author: Katie Flynn
ISBN: 978-1-4079-2021-4
Rating: 5/10
Genre: Fiction, Irish, Women's Fiction
Book: Audiobook

Once again I am apologising for the length of time it has taken me to write about this book. I have finished the book on 30th November and have had such a rush with Christmas and everything going on. But, I am back and I am ready to write more reviews. I am going to make a New Years Resolution to write more on my blog. I feel I have slowed down on my writing and that is not how I want this blog to go.