I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh – Book Review

To Love To Read, Uncategorized

Oh my gosh!  What a page turner.  I actually can’t believe how addictive this book is.  I was up hours past my bedtime  because I just… couldn’t… stop!

Sometimes I don’t like ‘twist’ books because you feel the whole book is just building for the twist and misses substance in the mean time.  This was NOTHING like that.  The parts in-between the incredible twists were just as wonderful, with heartfelt and moving story lines threading through the narrative.  Mackintosh’s insights into the human spirit and what makes people do the things they do are thought-provoking and insightful.

Part two of the novel is not for the fainthearted but the pace of the book builds in the most incredible way – hence me still being up reading just hours before my kids woke up!

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An amazing read, completely recommended.

Happy reading x

Landfill by Helen Gordon – Book Review

To Love To Read

I read this book after doing a fabulous workshop with the author.  I know Landfill by Helen Gordon has received mixed reviews but I loved this book.  It is one of those books that get’s under your skin and you think about when you aren’t reading.

My favourite thing about this book is the language.  It is so beautifully written, with words and sentences that catch the heart.  Which is fitting as this really is a book about the heart.  It’s not non-stop action or about resolving issues as book these days so often are but about going through an emotional change within.

A thoroughly enjoyable novel, with language you can just get lost in, perfect for me.  I would certainly recommend Landfill.

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Happy World Book Day!

To Love To Read

Today is World Book Day.  An awesome day when we get to celebrate all things book related!  You may have seen this week I have been asking people to let me know which book they would recommend and a sentence on why, so here it is a fantastic list put together by my fantastic reader’s.

I hope you will find something inspirational to read…..

6a010536b33b69970b017ee82ff5e6970dRebecca by daphne du Maurier

The first book I remember staying up all night to finish and being utterly hooked until the very end.

Katherine

41vD2CTb7RLShantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Because it’s got everything.  Love, crime, passion, violence, everything.

Tom

Gatsby_1925_jacketThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Because “I love her and that is the beginning and end of everything” … Beautifully depicts what lengths someone would go to for the incurable feeling of love. No matter how much time you spend with your family, the heart breaks, marriages, kids and happiness; Love is the centre of everything and the two worlds shown in the novel depict what society today is made up of.

Riah

71h2sjik5al-_sl1380_The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Moving and different and wonderful.

Karen

LittleprinceThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A timeless lesson on life, which you can read from childhood to adulthood , complemented by beautiful drawings from the author.

Mathilde

CrimeandpunishmentcoverCrime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Was a game-changer for me. Hard hitting knowledge of human nature hits socio-economic differences in Russia. Brilliant!

Louise

bookcover2Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

One of the first great classics I read, its tale of friendship has stayed with me.

Jessica

 

BridgetJonesDiaryBridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding

“I like you very much. Just as you are”. Empowering and says what thousands us are thinking. Never got bored.

Elly

TheOutsider_001The Outsider by Albert Camus

I love this text because it taught me an existential view on life which can be very helpful at times.

Jake

200px-WallyLamb_IKnowThisMuchIsTrueI Know This Much is True

Little did I know when I read this book that I would go on to have twins! This story of love, loss, redemption and facing your demons was very poignant to me in my twenties.

Jessica

9780312282592The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye

Sweeping epic spanning the final days of the Raj in India.  The description of the geography of India at the time is so real it’s almost as if you could step into it.  Fantastic story of struggling with identity and different kinds of love.

Louise

The Things They CarriedThe Things They Carried by Tim O’Brian

I am not a fan of military stories but this is so much more than that.  Set in Vietnam, the practicalities and emotional duress of war as well as the camaraderie and a real human story.  It’s only a short story, very easily readable.

Me!

51OtEsflERL._SL500_ 2Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

These books were and remain true loves of mine and reignited a love of reading in me after teachers had done their best to kick it out of me at school.  Pure magic and escapism.

Me

If you have a book you would like to add, please leave a comment below or message on me on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy Reading x

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World Book Day is Coming!

To Love To Read

For World Book Day on 5th March I want to give a fantastic list of books you would recommend and why on my blog, I only need a sentence, so let me know…

Which book would you recommend and why?

Either leave a comment below, on my Facebook or Twitter.

I look forward to hearing from you and letting you know what everyone thinks on the 5th March!

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Holy Island by LJ Ross – Book Review

To Love To Read

I am just going to put it out there right now that LJ Ross is a friend of mine but when it comes to book reviews this could be a double-edged sword!  When purchasing her debut novel Holy Island I was suddenly faced with an awkward realisation – what if I hate it?  Or (possibly even worse) what if it’s just all terribly average and I have absolutely nothing to say about it?

Oh my gosh. I loved it!

It was the perfect blend of mystery, characters and emotions.  I loved the language, Ross had a Unknownbrilliant way of using a select few words to convey something immeasurably powerful.  Generally I am not a fan of descriptive scenery but just as Lucy Clarke does in her novels, Ross brings the Holy Island landscape to life, making the Island itself integral to the story and one of the lead characters in the book.  I am now desperate to visit Holy Island!  The characters were all so strong with different facets of their personalities coming through as the story unfolds.

In hindsight I don’t know what I was worried.  I know that someone as awesome as LJ Ross was only going to write something awesome.  I happen to know that she is working on her 2nd book at the moment, I am definitely going to be trying to steal a peek to see what’s coming next!!

5 out of 5 – a must read of 2015.

Holy Island is available exclusively through Amazon

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My Top 6 Books of 2014

To Love To Read

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

1. WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES BY KAREN JOY FOWLER

I have a no-reading during the University year rule but it was quite rightfully broken for this novel. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t talk about the plot and just say this – this novel is thought-provoking, clever, character-driven, wonderfulness. My best book of the year and an awesome way to finish off reading in 2014!

 

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

2. PRECIOUS THING BY COLETTE McBETH

A complete surprise for me, this book left me hungry for more and gripped all the way through. Are our own memories the truth? Read this book! I believe the author has another coming out soon – can’t wait!

 

Diary of an Interesting Year

3. DIARY OF AN INTERESTING YEAR BY HELEN SIMPSON

I read this short story that featured in ‘The New Yorker’ as part of my degree and thought it was amazingly clever on many levels. A revealing look at how our planet may crumble around us in the future but remains totally character driven by looking at it on a personal and humbling level. Here’s a link to the story… 

 

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer4. THE SHOCK OF THE FALL BY NATHAN FILER

I’m sure you have heard of the wonderfulness that is this book already, given all the well deserved awards. I found it captivating, moving and slightly heartbreaking and giving an incredible insight into things I haven’t experienced. A book to fall in love with.

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Betrayal by Harold Pinter5. BETRAYAL BY HAROLD PINTER

This is actually a script, which again I had to read for university, but it is so beautifully written and the stage directions are so fabulous that it is just as clear as if reading a novel. Full of lies and deceit between the people closest to you. I can’t wait to see it on stage!

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Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom6. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE BY MITCH ALBOM

I think we could all do with a Morrie in our lives. Published sometime ago this book was recommended to me and gives the most wonderful insight into life choices. A good one for the new year!

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Did you have any books you particularly loved reading in 2014?  If so please let me know, I would love to add them to my ever-growing list!  Stick a comment in the box at the bottom of the page.  Thanks.

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Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse – Book Review

To Love To Read

I haven’t posted a book review for a while.  The reason being, I have struggled to get into a book.  That was until Me Before You by Lucie Whitehouse.  This book moves at a quick pace (which I love), keeping you turning the pages as rapidly as you can.

before we met

Although it is building up to something, I was still taken by surprise by what the twist was and although I suspected the ending, its delivery was still surprising and not quite what I thought.  The narrative moves between the past and present and at some points I thought it could have been a little clearer when jumping between the two.

All in all a fantastic book that I would highly recommend – as long as you don’t mind being kept up late because you just need to read one more chapter!! 🙂

Happy reading x

Hot Days Summer Reading

To Love To Read

Laying on a sunlonger, feeling the heat, none of the day-to-day stuff to worry about, absorbed in a fantastic book – heaven!  It’s not quite that simple now I have children but still a little more time that normal.

A few lovely people have been asking me what I would recommend for them to read on holiday.  You can look at my ‘To Love To Read’ section and see the books I have read recently and loved and from there my favourites would be The Fault in Our Stars, The Shock of the Fall, A Single Breath and Precious Thing, but  here are a few others you might want to consider, plus what I will be taking with me on holiday.

My Recommendations

  • The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke – This was Lucy’s debut novel and also a Richard & Judy must read.  Set at gorgeous locations all over the world and with a twisting story to unfold, I think its a beach must have.
  • The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty – I devoured this book.  Makes you think, what secrets would you keep to protect the ones you love.
  • The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – If you really want to get stuck into a long book, set in a different time and different continent but deeply emotional and heartfelt then I would recommend this old classic.

My Hot Summer Reads

  • Curious: True Stories and Loose Connections by Rebecca Front – I know Rebecca as an actress but it turns out she is also written some of my favourite comedy shows.  This is a book of witty tales from her life and I do love a good laugh, especially when reading on holiday so I am seriously looking forward to this book.
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – This has been on my book shelf for a while and given the size I just haven’t started it, holiday will be the perfect time to read this Man Booker Prize winning novel.
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert – The author of memoirs Eat Pray Love and Committed has written her first novel which I am looking forward to reading.

What are you Hot Summer must have reads?  I am happy to be over optimistic about the amount of reading time so want to add a few more to the pile.  Let me know in the comments section…

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Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – Book Review

To Love To Read

Just before I started reading this book, I had a conversation with a friend about the romantic notion of letters.  Letters of any sort have an enchantment that you just don’t get from emails or twitter. The thought of reading letters that were never intended to be read by the living amplifies that feeling even more.  It was that thought that made this book a must read for me and on that account it didn’t disappoint.

Love Letters to the Dead is a coming of age book that puts you right back into teen moments of uncertainty, regret and trying to figure out where you fit in the world.  As a teenager when you have no one you feel you can talk to, who better to speak to than the dead.  I didn’t realise that it was a ‘Young Adult’ book when I bought it, but I think many of the topics in the novel are still relatable.

 

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A pet-hate I have when reading is the narrator saying something along the lines of ‘if only I knew what was about to come’.  I love foreshadowing, but not when its just a statement which does happen a couple of times in Love Letters to the Dead.

I thought this book was a captivating read and would be especially enjoyed by young adults and as I mentioned, I loved the format of making the book a collection of letters.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 x

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – Book Review

To Love To Read

Oh my, where to start.  When I first started reading this book I nearly stopped when I realised immediately that the story revolves around cancer.  Only 18 months after going to war with cancer myself, not my idea of happy reading, no matter how good the story is.  But I was captivated, from the very beginning, even with a topic I actively avoid in books and films, I couldn’t put it down.

The-Fault-in-Our-Stars

 

Even in a book which seems so predictable, it surprises you.  Although cancer is the thread that holds it all together it is a book about love, family and optimism in the face of tragedy.  It is also very funny and gives a fantastic insight into the dark-humour side and dare I say ‘perks’ of cancer and into the mind of someone with cancer.  John Green captures it so well.

There is a line in the novel, “it would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you” and that sums up the book for me.  It is a privilege to cry over this book because its wrapped up in some much wonderfulness, warmth and love.

In short, I highly recommend you read this book!

4.5 out of 5