Posts Tagged ‘tom rob smith’

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

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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

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