Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2014

Day 27 - Want to be one of the Characters'

I knew immediately who I would be when Book a Day turned to ‘Want to be one of the characters’.

I would be someone from the Rutshire Chronicles by Jilly Cooper. You know, Polo, Riders, Jump and so on. Why? Well they all live glamorous lives reeking of champagne, expensive perfume and designer dresses, but most importantly the bad guy always loses, the underdog always gets their day and they always always get a happy ending. Its fairy tales for adults and I love it!

Before We Met Lucie Whitehouse

We immediately found ourselves comparing this book to other ones in a similar vein - Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, both of which we have recently read for Book Club

The Silent Wife in particular had a similar female lead - isolated, didn’t have a job (or played at having a job), supposedly intelligent but very naive in other respects. Neither of which I warmed to. There were also similar male leads – alpha males, rich, expecting to get things their way. A popular trait at the moment seems to be books that centralise pretty exclusively on a husband and wife which this one did(and yep you guessed - Gone Girl, The Silent Wife and Before I go to Sleep also did). As well as those similarities I also thought there was echos of Kiss Me First where internet/technology was key – Hannah would possibly never have found about Nick if it weren’t for the internet.

I find this happens with books. One book on a seemingly new concept is written, The Da Vinci code for example and then a surge of simlar…

Should have sold more copies

Book a day today is 'should have sold more copies'

I have no idea how many copies the following books have sold. I’m sure in at least some cases they have sold millions and have been read by many more. However I think everyone should have awareness of the horrors that happened not so long ago and the individual acts of bravery that accompanied them. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose, Schindlers List/Ark by Thomas Keneally. There are many more I could list. They are based on trues stories, based on real people and if you stop to think about it, it’s mind blowing what they went through, suffered, sacrificed.

The ONLY book I haven't finished

Book a day today is ‘Never Finished it’.

Now you all know me. There’s not a one yet I haven’t finished. So I suppose I will have to nominate the one I am reading at the moment as technically I haven’t finished it yet. But I will! Current Book – Angelas Ashes by Frank McCourt.

Hooked me into reading

I’ve always read.

When I was younger it was Famous Five, Charlottes Webb, Narnia, Matilda or The Witches. I still want to visit Kirrin Island and search for treasure! As a young teenager it was the Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew or Sweet Valley High. As a middle aged teenager (14-15? I'm making things up as I usually do!) it was Maeve Binchy and I think Evening Class was the first ‘adult book’ I ever read. But the one I am going to choose as my book a day today is Lace by Shirley Conran.

From the first line ‘which one of you bitches is my mother’ I was hooked. It was the first slightly racy book I had ever read. Girls who drank ginger beer and had clean all American boyfriends that they simply held hands with were long forgotten in this book. Lace opened my eyes to the numerous other books that were out there. I suddenly stopped looking at the ‘B’ section of the library/second hand book shop and realised there were 25 who other letters that I could consider. You can tell with ‘C’ …

A brief appearance by William Shakespeare

Once upon a time my year 9 English class was visited by a Detective. He had with him a mat and when he unrolled it the outline of two bodies were revealed like those you would find at a murder scene. Yes two bodies had been found the Detective said and it was our job to work out how they died. Our only clues were a small dagger and a small empty glass vial. Cue much ridiculous guessing

‘They were shot’ No bullet holes
‘They were stabbed to death by gang members’ only one stab wound
‘They killed each other in a fight to the death’ They did not kill each other.

The Detective tried to give us a clue but in reality just asked more questions than answered*
‘Do we have a man and a woman, 2 men, 2 women?’
‘Who died first?’
‘If A died first why is their hand over the top of B?’

We guessed for ages not really getting anywhere until the Detective enlightened us with the big reveal. ‘These two are called Romeo and Juliet and you lucky people are now going to read exactly how they died. When…

The Husbands Secret - yes you are seeing right I am posting about this again it's my favourite cover

So for two days running I am banging on about The Husbands Secret. I apologise to those of you who have either read it and didn’t like it or who haven’t read it and have no intention to but todays book a day UK is ‘favourite cover’ and the immediate one that sprung to mind was this one.

Now if you have come here from Twitter (I’ve tweeted everyday this month you really should be coming here by now!) You have already clicked on one link to get here so if I were to turn around and say ‘I’ve already talked about this go to the previous blog’ I think I would be a little annoyed and give up. So to make it easy peasy for you here is what I said last time around about the cover;

They say you should never judge a book by its cover but let us do just that in this case.

The cover is quite simple - a glass jar (not a box) holding a butterfly, a beautiful butterfly.

But oh how that simple jar and butterfly speak volumes (queue the media studies A grade A level student going into hyper drive)…

Still can't stop talking about it!

Book a day UK for 19th is ‘Still can’t stop talking about it’ and mine is The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty. Boy did I love that book!

I want to try to say something different from my last blog about it (November 2013) but my blog was so long I’m struggling to think of a new angle.

It’s about secrets and choices, the many layers of love, and how it can cripple us if we don’t let go but equally if we don’t hold on.

It did take a little bit to get going but I loved everything about Celia. It was funny, heart breaking, full of suspense and had one of the best epilogues I have ever come across. I read some cracking books last year Tigers in Red Weather, Me Before You but this one just about tops the lot.


Book a day UK today is 'bought on a recommendation'. Mine is Wideacre by Philippa Gregory

I read this book about 3 years ago now and it wasn’t a book club choice so before writing I did a little search to refresh my memory. I came up with these two quotes

“The heroine is despicable in every possible way, yet the author clearly expects you to root for her à la Scarlett O'Hara. She commits multiple acts of murder, participates in very creepy incest, and betrays people who love her. She was horrid and I couldn’t stand her or the book.”

“Beatrice Lacey is by far the most horrible, hateful, despicable narrator I've ever read, but I found myself rooting for her throughout all her scandalous deeds- the conspired murder, the attempted murder, the committed murder, the incest, the hidden pregnancies, and on and on the list goes. I even found myself disliking sweet little Celia, as wonderful a woman as she was, simply because she was Beatrice's enemy. That, I think, is the …

It just screams future classic!

Book a day choice today is Future Classic and Cramlington Bookclubs choice for this is Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

This was a book club choice in November 2013 but it’s one that has stayed with me despite over 6 months passing since.

It’s not topical, so it won’t date (there is no mention of Facebook taking over identities, or reality TV encouraging us all to want to be famous). It’s not trendy, so it won’t date (such as trilogies of soft porn are at the moment, tales of Irish poverty were around 15 years ago and secret Jesus codes were somewhere in between) and it’s not plot driven, so you don’t feel like you are reading it just to find out who did it only to never need to read it again as now you know who it was. You can totally read it again and get more out of it, then discuss it with a friend and see it from a totally different point of view (“yes but Ed is in love with Daisy that’s why he did that”)

The book has so much depth/so much to analyse. I can honestly see…

Can't believe more people haven't read

At the time of reading this book I thought without doubt it is the best book I have ever read. I cried bucket loads which for me is always a massive plus in a book (strange person I know). I bought it on a whim in JFK on my way back from New York. I hadn’t brought anything to read with me, I had just turned 21 (literally that day) and fancied treating myself to something to read for the plane journey. It was a hardback, not too big, not too long, not too expensive so to the till I popped.

I have never re-read it since, I always have so many other books to read that I never seem to have time to re-read ones but if I’m honest I’m a little bit scared to in case I have put on rose tinted spectacles over time and it’s not as good as I remember. I truly truly loved it when I read it though and can’t believe on my return to England no one had heard of it. Still to this day if I mention it I get a vague look. So unsurprisingly I say to you now, get out your pens and make a note of this one, …

Book a day weekend

So Saturday and Sundays topics were ‘An Old Favourite’ and ‘Favourite Fictional Father’

One did jump out immediately as an old favourite but I’m saving it for one of the ones later in the month. I have therefore decided to go for The Last Juror by John Grisham.

Grisham was a real change in direction of my reading. Up until then my back catalogue would have fit very comfortably in a retirement home given that they were all gentile Binchy type choices. My mum at the time was a member of one of those book clubs where they send you a catalogue every month you order say 6 books over 12 months then get a free one. The free one in this case was John Grisham – The Brethren. It was about law, something that I was developing an interest in at the time so I thought I would give it a go.

BAM I have never looked back.

I loved the fast paced world of the American legal system and quickly devoured everything he had ever written. Like Binchy, he too became quiet formulaic after a time (young rooki…

Books I pretend to read and that make me laugh #bookadayuk

Ok so blog was lost to me yesterday due to work commitments but I’ve managed to steal 5 minutes today to write about yesterday’s bookaday and todays.

Yesterday was a book ‘I pretend to have read’. Now regular readers of this blog will know I always finish a book once I start it so there isn’t an obvious candidate as if I waived about War and Peace on the bus but accidently started to read the first page then I would simply have to read until the end, which I did.

I’m not a snobby reader, well I tend not to like classic chick lit genre but I certainly love a good Jilly Collins, jumped on board with the Hunger Games and read all of the Shades of Gray series (really not worth it). So, whilst I would like some day to have read Ulysses, Paradise Lost, The Complete Works of Shakespeare and Les Mis. backwards twice. I have no desire to pretend that yes I have read them and weren’t they very good!

So what can my nomination be? Like a light bulb switching on inspiration hit. I have not one b…

Tweet Tweet

So Cramlington book club has now joined twitter @crambookclub and upon joining I noticed something trending under the hashtag ‘bookadayuk’ interesting I thought what’s that? It turns out it’s this;

And for those who can’t be bothered to click on the link (or just wanted to keep on reading this exciting post), for every day in June there is a different category of book. You then tweet your favourite of that particular category every day. Ever had a burning desire to know which book with a blue cover is the most popular? Can’t get to sleep at night without telling the world your favourite fictional father? Well panic no more #bookadayuk remedies that.

Todays category (11th June) is secondhand bookshop gem. Living up in Northumberland we are obviously honoured to have Barter Books on our doorstep – a very large secondhand bookshop in a converted railway station in Alnwick however my favourite bookshop h…

Kiss me First - Lottie Moggach. A strange one.

I genuinely had no idea how this book would pan out. I was about 2/3rd of the way through and still couldn’t tell what was going to happen. What made Leila go to Spain? How were the police involved? Was Tess really dead? How would the story with Adrian pan out? It’s not very often I read a book and have no idea where it is going to take me. I may not be able to guess the killer straight away but I know that the book will conclude with the killer being revealed. Here I didn’t know if I was going to read about Tess turning up alive and well, Connor and Leila falling in love or Leila being charged with murder and I really liked that about the book. I was curious and in a way it really built suspense.

It was a strange one though as I don’t think I ever reached the ‘can’t put it down stage’ which I thought I would given that I had such little idea as to the ending. As I missed the meeting I didn’t finish the book during the scheduled month so it took me ages to read including one week wh…