Archive of ‘Reading’ category

The year in books – October 2016

I promised more blogging, so I’m back today with an update on what I’ve been reading over the last month. Reading is one of those subjects I could talk all day about; everyone has a recommendation or two, everyone has an opinion and we all have our different styles. I’ve noticed recently how much I love travelling on the tube in London, purely to see the books being advertised or to see what people are reading on the tube. I also (finally) joined our local library and I’m thinking about doubling reading goal, from 12 to 24 books in 2017. Too early to think about the new year? Probably! Onto what I’ve read recently…


The year in books - October 2016


October’s book choice

At the end of September I’d had a go at reading Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather, but it just didn’t grab me. I hate it when that happens and thought about sticking with it. Putting it out there on Instagram, I was encouraged to drop it in favour of something I would enjoy. And it was the right thing to do; I scroll through my GoodReads profile on a regular basis and swoon over all I want to read… the idea of not reading them in favour of something I wasn’t enjoying didn’t work for me.

So now I’m onto Us by David Nicholls. Nicholls also wrote One Day, one of my favourites of the last few years, so I’ve been excited about this read for a while. Us, so far, tells the story of a married couple and their son, off on an adventure, with family heartache at the forefront of the story. I’ve been distracted by other things recently but really want to get stuck into this soon.

Onto what else I’ve read recently…

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

OK this is good, Child 44 exceeded any expectations I had of it. When it started with the murder of a cat (promise that doesn’t give anything away) I was sure this wasn’t the story for me, but as it evolved I got hooked on the crime nature of the story and all the twists and turns it takes. It’s a dark thriller; addictive, chilling and leaves you wondering what’ll happen next.

I also had a few books on Audible to listen to, so read(?) these – mainly while painting the fence or on trains to client meetings!

Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

How to be a Woman is up there on my favourites list and there’s something about Caitlin Moran that means I find her totally addictive. Moranthology is a different read, but one that kept me company while I was painting our fence last month. Essentially she gets chatty about subjects she cares about. Guaranteed to make you laugh, I’m ready and waiting to read her next book… though I reckon she’s made for audiobooks, just love her words, her observations on pop culture that I totally take for granted and the passion that comes across when she talks.

Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson

Nope, this was not for me. I thought Losing my Virginity would give me a great insight into the world of Virgin and Richard Branson, but quite frankly I was bored. I found him dull and unrelatable and was quite thankful when the whole thing was finished with.

The Two of Us by Sheila Hancock

There was something about John Thaw I always loved; perhaps his performance in Goodnight Mister Tom, a TV book adaption I read as a child, or the fact we shared the same birthday. Either way, I remember feeling sad when he died and when I saw his wife, Sheila Hancock ‘The Two of Us‘, pop up as a recommendation on Audible I thought I’d give it a whirl. It made me laugh and it certainly made me cry, but I felt I learnt something about who John Thaw was and I couldn’t have asked for me. Sheila’s strength and feisty nature also made me love her a bit too.

Have you read anything you loved recently? Don’t forget to catch the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram for regular book recommendations.

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

The year in books – a summer update

As I get back into the swing of blogging I thought now was as good a time as any to update you on my challenge to read at least one book a month this year – joining in with Circle of Pine Tree’s the year in books. For regular readers I’d previously mentioned having a lull in my reading, but over the summer the book worm in me woke up and I’ve loved reading. I’d imagine this might be down to book choices; there’s nothing better than getting engrossed in a book and then only being able to think of the story in those moments where you can’t read.

Over the summer I also hit 15 books read this year so far, so I’m really chuffed I’ve been able to meet my goal. It hasn’t felt like a tough goal, but more a prompt to encourage me to read. The funny thing is when I talk to other people about reading the general message that comes through is how much they’d like to read more. And how they loved reading as a child. Isn’t it funny? So many of us want to read, but yet making time for it doesn’t seem to happen.

So I’ll use this post to recap on what I’ve read over the summer. It’s become a bit of a lengthy post, so if you prefer to just go with the headlines I’ve read the following over the summer. Oh, and I read my first Bill Bryson book and now I think I’m hooked!

  • Better than Before – Gretchen Rubin
  • The Versions of Us – Laura Barnett
  • Mary Poppins Opens the Door – P.L. Travers
  • Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson
  • The BFG – Roald Dahl
  • At Home – Bill Bryson

Below is also my book choice for September – though I’d imagine I’ll finish it in the coming days!


The year in books - a summer update. This Little Space of Mine


September’s book choice

This month I’m reading Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. Recommended to me by family, I was dubious about whether this was my kind of read. A feeling reinforced when the first chapter talks about the murder of a cat (don’t worry, that’s not giving anything away). Fast forwarded a few chapters and I’m hooked on this crime thriller. A real page turner, I’m looking forward to watching the film of it once finished. Have you read Child 44?

Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I so wanted to enjoy this; I loved The Happiness Project and the Happier podcast is a regular listen, but this pained me to read. I couldn’t wait to finish it. While it definitely had some interesting points that I know I’ve already started putting into practice, I felt irritated at times and finished the book feeling like it could’ve been half the size and still added the same value. The Happiness Project had a magic and a structure to it, something I can relate to, that Better than Before was missing. Having said that, I’m not sure I’m going to absorb Gretchen’s words in book form and I’m pretty sure the Happier podcast is a better medium to reach me.

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

Described as “One Day meets Sliding Doors” I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Versions of Us tells three different versions of a couple who met in the 50’s and, while sometimes it got a bit tricky flicking from one version to the next, I enjoyed the sentiment and finished the book thinking about moments in my own life and which path they could’ve led me down. I’d say this is an easy read; there are moments when it perhaps drags a little, but I loved the characters and learning their story, so certainly didn’t bother me. A fab read I’d recommend to others.

Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P.L. Travers

I haven’t continued with the Mary Poppins collection since March, so thought I’d squeeze in the third story before our holiday. I’ve got to say that I’m still in two minds as to how I feel about the stories; one minute it feels cold with the chapters a collection of short stories instead of one flowing story, and the next there’s a warmth and I smile at the words and the sentiment behind them. In terms of children’s books, I was all about Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton so this is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone. I’ll continue on with books 4, 5 and 6 soon and let you know how I feel! Have you read them? Would love to know your opinion.

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

I’ll never forget a family holiday where my Dad read one of Bill Bryson’s books and laughed his way through it; I knew it must have been good but it’s only now that I’ve finally started reading his books. Notes from a Small Island is his story of a tour around Britain one final time before he and his family moved back to the US. It was written in 1995, so it’s safe to say a lot has changed! I found the book fascinating and couldn’t put it down; I was only 9 when it was written and boy oh boy did the Briton feel like a different place to what it is today. I kept thinking how much I’d love it if he did a follow up… turns out The Road to Little Dribbling was published earlier this year. It’s high on my reading list now.

The BFG by Roald Dahl

Knowing we’d see the film soon, I packed this in my suitcase and devoured it in a day. Absolutely loved every single minute of it, I re-read it The BFG with a smile on my face and remembered just why I loved Roald Dahl so much as a kid. We’ve since seen the film and it didn’t disappoint. I’d heard mixed reviews, but ignore them. The film was beautiful to watch and true to the story and I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m thinking of reading George’s Marvellous Medicine for my next Roald Dahl re-read.

At Home by Bill Bryson

Described as “A short history of private life” I was a bit worried that this wasn’t my kind of read; it’s essentially a history book – would it hold my attention? A thousand times yes. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this and all the nuggets of information Bill Bryson gave us. Kudos for how At Home is structured, each dedicated to a room in the home, and for all the elements included – from food, to education, to our relationships and even bugs and animals, this book covers all those every day items we all take for granted. Loved it!

Have you read anything you loved recently? I hope my monthly posts on what I’m reading are inspiring you to read more. Don’t forget to catch the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

The year in books – July 2016

As we approach the end of June I thought I’d reflect on what I’ve read this month. Back at the end of 2015 I set myself a goal to read at least one book a month – joining in with Circle of Pine Tree’s the year in books. I love reading and loved it growing up, but as an adult I so rarely make the time for it in my life that it deserves. I figured that if I was accountable to others, or able to join in with people on social media, it might encourage me to shoot for one read a month. A book a month wouldn’t be a lot to some, but to me to get into that regular routine is so important.

My reading has slowed a bit since the winter months, but I’m still reaching my one a month target. I do find that as my reading time is mainly just before I go to sleep, I do benefit from having a read on a Saturday/Sunday morning to help me get stuck into a book – otherwise it’s a bit disconnected and I’ll read no more than about five pages before I’m asleep! When do you find is the best time to read?


The year in books - July 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


So before I talk about Better than Before, here’s how I got on with June’s read.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I steamed through The Happiness Project in the space of a week, which is always testament to how much I enjoyed it. Yes, I’d re-read it, but this time I feel like I took so much more from it and will keep with me some of the guiding points. When I read it in 2012 I’d put post-it notes throughout and most of these were around friendship and buying happiness, yet this time round what grabbed me more was about enjoying passions, relationships and handling day to day tasks. Four years on and I’m now a homeowner in a long standing relationship, so it’s good that I can still relate and take something from this read. It’s written in an easy-read kind of way which makes it accessible to all and I like the little honest snippets into her life and family. I liked it so much I ordered her newest book, Better than Before

July’s book choice

I’ve already made a start on this, but July’s read is going to be Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before. This book is all about forming habits to have a better life and I’m hoping it’ll help me eat better and plan my meals more successfully. I’m so much more likely to eat better if I plan ahead and get myself organised, but I’ve tried and failed on many occasions to do it. Hoping Gretchen will save the day!

Have you read anything you loved recently? I hope my monthly posts on what I’m reading are inspiring you to read more. Don’t forget to catch the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram! I’ll be taking the month out in August, but plan to be back in blog land in September with a review and update of what I’ve been reading. No doubt I’ll be sharing on Instagram too!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Snapshots 007

Hello! How are you? I’m heading off to a top secret location today for my best friend’s hen do – super exciting! Before I head off I thought I’d share my 7th snapshots post. The idea with snapshots is to share things going on in my life or things that I’m excited about at the moment.

As always I’ve been noting down things on my phone that have caught my interest and today I’m sharing with you four of them. If you fancy catching a previous Snapshot here are the links to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.


Snapshots 006 - This Little Space of Mine


  1. Ever wondered what you look like after one, two or three glasses of wine? I laughed a lot at this post and collection of photos.
  2. I know this was a couple of weeks ago, but already I’m so excited for Beauty and The Beast. It’s a long wait, but catch the trailer here if you haven’t already.
  3. Eeee the new Erin Condren planner is now on sale! Are you a planner girl? Have you ordered? I’ve used my Erin Condren for the last year and it’s really helped me keep organised. There’s also a new sticker shop coming to town soon. 😉
  4. Sometimes I come across Instagram accounts that regularly catch my eye as I’m scrolling past. Do you follow any accounts like this? One that always grabs my attention is Sarah Benning‘s. Sarah sells contemporary embroidery patterns over on her Etsy shop and to say they’re beautiful would be a complete and utter understatement. I’d love to make one myself one day.

Anything caught your eye recently?

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

The year in books – June 2016

Hello, I hope you had a good bank holiday weekend! Today marks the last day of May, so I thought I’d catch up on what I’ve been reading this month and what I plan to read next, all part of my 2016 goal to read at least one book a month, as part of Circle of Pine Tree’s the year in books.

I’m about the enter the sixth month of the challenge and I’ve noticed that my reading has slowed down in recent months. Probably because I’ve been reading ‘bigger’ books that take a little longer, but perhaps it’s also a seasonal change? Do you read more/less in the summer? It certainly makes sense that I’d read more in the cold months; though I’m looking forward to Greece in August – I always love reading lots when I’m on holiday and can fully relax.


The year in books - July 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


Before I talk about The Happiness Project, my choice for June, here’s how I got on with May’s read.

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

Another read I thoroughly enjoyed. The Year of Living Danishly, had my laugh, learn and stop for a moment to think about what’s important. The insight into Danish life is detailed and well-researched and I felt like I really learned something; there were several moments where I’d say to Stu “Did you know Danes…” to which he’d usually respond with you “you and that book”. While I’m not about to jump ship to live in Denmark, it’s certainly made me more hungry to visit there and I loved Helen Russell’s approach and raw honesty about the changes she and her husband were making in their life. There’s a quote on the back page which referenced the story being poignant and I certainly agree; those last couple of chapters are thought provoking and very sweet. Highly recommend this book.

June’s book choice

Having loved The Year of Living Danishly, as well as listening to the Happier podcast with Gretchen Ruben and Elizabeth Craft this past month, I’ve decided to re-read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin in June.

I first read The Happiness Project in 2012 when, looking back I’d suggest I was quite unhappy. Fast forward four years and, with the exception of recent events, I feel happy and content in my life and with the people in it. I thought it would therefore make for an interesting contrast – perhaps it’ll change my opinion on the book? All I know is that I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time round and took a lot from it – probably more than I realise – so definitely nothing to lose by re-reading. When I picked it up again the other day I noticed a lot of post it notes I stuck in it; clearly there were some bits and pieces I wanted to hold onto, so I’m curious to see what they were.

Have you read anything you loved recently? I hope my monthly posts on what I’m reading are inspiring you to read more. Don’t forget to catch the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Snapshots 006

Hello! I’m back with my 6th snapshots post, the idea with snapshots being to share things going on in my life or things that I’m excited about, in this particular moment of time.

As always I’ve been noting down things on my phone that have caught my interest and today I’m sharing with you four of them. If you fancy catching a previous Snapshot here are the links to 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.


Snapshots 006 - This Little Space of Mine


  1. We finished House of Cards series 4 next week. Woah, what a series. Definitely the best. Have you seen it? So so good.
  2. I knew this day would come… I’ve now listened to all of Elise Joy’s podcasts. I need something new to listen to, any recommendations? I’m currently catching up on Adam Buxton.
  3. Did you see the pictures released for Princess Charlotte’s first birthday? So cute. I love the Royal Family and I love how they occasionally share family moments with us.
  4. The latest Pomcast talked about Gwen Mathewman, was an English Guinness World Record holder in knitting between 1980 and 2005. She was able to knit over 100 stitches a minute. A minute. How incredible. I found this BBC clip about her, just love how her husband references wool being everywhere.

What’s caught your eye recently?

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

The year in books – May 2016

Hello, how has your week been? It’s time to catch up on what I’ve been reading this month and what I plan to read in May, all part of my 2016 goal to read at least one book a month, as part of Circle of Pine Tree’s the year in books.


The year in books - May 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


Before I talk about The Year of Living Danishly, my choice for May, here’s how I got on with April’s read.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes there is a book that touches you way after you’ve finished the last page. All The Light We Cannot See did that, before that it was Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Both Second World War stories, but very different and unique in their own right. I finished All The Light We Cannot See last weekend and had a tear in my eye as I read the last page, staring at it long after I’d read the last sentence. A deeply moving story that’s written so beautifully; the story focuses on two key characters and the different ends of the spectrum of the war and the families it affected. I honestly don’t think I could write the words to do justice to this story, so I’ll just say it’s one I’ll read again in time and one I would recommend to anyone.

May’s book choice

So how do I go from reading an book like that? I figured going for something completely different, and probably light hearted, was my best bet. For May I’m going to read The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell. I’ve got to say that I’m quite curious about this book and whether it’s going to ‘change my life’ or just give me insight into how the Danish live; either way I think it’s going to be a good read and I think I’ll learn something. I’ll report back and let you know!

What are you reading at the moment? Keep the recommendations coming and hopefully we can all inspire each other to read more in 2016.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to catch the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Snapshots 005

Hello! I’m back with my 5th snapshots post, the idea with snapshots being to share things going on in my life or things that I’m excited about, in this particular moment of time.

As always I’ve been noting down things on my phone that have caught my interest and today I’m sharing with you four of them. If you fancy catching a previous Snapshot here are the links to 1, 2 and 3 and 4.


Snapshots 005 - This Little Space of Mine


  1. In case you missed it, how good does the trailer for The BFG look? I loved this book as a child (and the film, for that matter) so I’m excited to see this when it comes out this summer.
  2. Planner girls, I found a new Etsy shop recently that I just love. Chocho and Mimi has the cutest range of stickers. Definitely worth checking out, I was so happy with my order.
  3. Listening to Elise Joy’s podcast recently I came across the topic of introverts, something I most definitely am! The episode was with the creators of the Charge Up Introverts eBook, which looks really interesting. Talking to a friend about this, she pointed me in the direction of Susan Cain’s TED talk – well worth a listen. So, introvert or extrovert? I’d love to know.
  4. I just love that Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are a couple. I loved them in Game of Thrones and they looked so sweet together when they stepped out on the red carpet a couple of weeks back.

What’s caught your eye recently?

Wishing you a good weekend! It’s my sister’s birthday today so we’re out tonight to celebrate. Happy birthday Ali!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

The year in books – April 2016

Hello, how are you? As we’re almost in April (how?!) today I’m sharing the books I read in March and what I plan to read in April. This is all part of my 2016 goal to read at least one book a month, as part of Circle of Pine Tree’s the year in books.


The year in books - in March 2016 I read The Rosie Project and The Children Act. This month I plan to read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Post from This Little Space of Mine


So before I talk about All The Light We Cannot See, my choice for April, here’s how I got on with The Rosie Project and The Children Act. Two very different reads!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. I read it in the space of a week and couldn’t put it down. I especially loved curling up with this book on a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of tea and Freds by my side. The book felt like a ‘will they, won’t they’ kind of story, but so much smarter. I loved the characters almost instantly and thought the story was told well. The only thing I would say is that I wasn’t quite sure what the ending was, so I had to Google it. I won’t say more than that as I don’t want to ruin it, but I’ve heard it’s ‘a thing’ and I’m not alone. Highly recommend The Rosie Project.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

After reading Antonement, I was curious about another Ian McEwan story and spotted this book on my Dad’s bookshelf. The Children Act is an easy enough read and the story has all the makings of being compelling, but for me the spark was missing. I was waiting for a turning point or a twist or more depth about the court case or relationship Fiona has with her husband Jack, but it never came. It felt like it fizzled out to a weak ending, which was such a shame. That being said, the morning after I finished reading it I did think a lot about the characters on my drive to work – so I guess it stayed with me a bit.

April’s book choice

For April I’m going to read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It’s a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while; I came across it while having a lunchtime mooch around Waterstones and my Mum gave it to me at Christmas. Sometimes there is nothing better than spending time in a bookshop, I find it’s a great way of escaping the day to day and inspires me to read more.

What are you reading at the moment? Keep the recommendations coming and hopefully we can all inspire each other to read more in 2016.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to catch the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Snapshots 004

Hello! I’m back with my first Snapshots post of the year;  the idea with snapshots is to share things going on in my life or things that I’m excited about, in this particular moment of time. I’ve been noting down things on my phone that have caught my interest and today I’m sharing with you four of them. If you fancy catching a previous Snapshot here are the links to 1, 2 and 3. I also plan to get into a regular routine with this post going forward so watch this space.


Snapshots 004 - This Little Space of Mine


  1. I’ve set myself the mammoth goal this year to print all my photos from 2009 up ’til 2015 and while some are going into albums, the rest will be in photo books. I’ve been also looking at ways to print my 4 year photo-a-day project and I think Blurb might be the answer I’ve been looking for. Have you heard of Blurb? Their products look great and their online editor for creating a photo book seems really straightforward. You can also order a sample pack to help decide on paper quality, which should be arriving with me soon. Definitely worth checking out.
  2. Colouring book fans, Katie Abbey has announced she’s releasing one with all of her quirky illustrations. Yay! You may have seen me reference Katie Abbey in my Valentine’s post and I’ve loved her work since I was given her ‘Cup of Courage’ mug for Christmas. Catch a sneak peak of the colouring book over here.
  3. Are you a fan of The Walking Dead? I recently started watching it again and I’m almost up to date – wowee, what a series. I think series 6 has been the best. It’s dark and scary but so addictive. Are you watching anything good on TV at the moment? We’re almost finished with Buffy too, then it’s on to House of Cards.
  4. The team at 91 Magazine have been hard at work and I’m really excited to see the new-look magazine, which goes to print in May. You can pre-order a copy now and the first 200 orders will get a free notepad from Lollipop Designs. I’ve ordered mine!

What’s caught your eye recently?

You may have spotted this post coming to you on a Thursday; my normal post schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Friday but as it’s Easter weekend coming up I thought I’d get this out before the bank holiday weekend starts. I’ll be back Tuesday talking all about the journals and planners I use to keep organised (and happy!).

Wishing you a great bank holiday weekend!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Photo credit: Blurb, Katie Abbey, 91 Magazine

1 2 3