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Books read in May 2017

  
This month I neglected my pile of non-fiction books and read five novels instead. Two were books that I’ve been meaning to read for years – The Secret Life of Bees and When God Was A Rabbit, which I read along with thriller I Found You, the YA story The One Memory of Flora Banks and the black comedy serial killer book Sweetpea so a diverse mix for sure! 

I love reading a mix of genres but I do have a big soft spot for coming-of-age stories so I knew that I’d enjoy The Secret Life Of Bees but my favourite read this month was this one:

  
When God Was A Rabbit is a quirky, moving and almost fairy-tale like coming-of-age novel about a brother and sister growing up in 70’s England. The first part is their childhood then we jump into their twenties and follow their story as adults. The book is both funny and sad and the voice of Elly pulled me in from the first page. I just loved this quirky family and their ups and downs and could have read about them until they were eighty. I will definitely pick up the author’s other books now. Definitely one for my top books list. 

What did you love reading this month?

Victoria

xoxo 

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Books read in March 2017

  
I can’t believe March is over already and Spring is here. I turned 34 this month and I can’t believe that either. Sometimes time is a scary thing. It definitely scares me when I look at my pile of books to be read and how little time I have to get through them all! 

But here are the ones I managed to get through this month: 

  
I really enjoyed all the books I picked up this month. I continued trying to read more non-fiction with Lauren Graham’s book as I love The Gilmore Girls and her novel was really enjoyable. This book was pretty short and easy to get through. It was light hearted and she definitely comes across as someone you’d love to hang out with. I’m hoping she’s working on another novel.

With the fiction, I read my first Liane Moriarty novel. I know I’m behind on getting on that train! And as a massive fan of her Sookie novels, I picked up the first in another series by Charlaine Harris. Both are authors I’d read more from again in the future. 

  
Behind Her Eyes has had a lot of hype online particularly because of its ending so I was intrigued to read it. It was a page turner for sure and kept me guessing right up to the end where the twist gives you a lot to talk about to others who’ve read it! I don’t give anything away don’t worry but let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought.

My favourite of the pile this month was this book:

  
I’ve followed Holly online for ages now and this has sat on my self for an embarrassingly long time. It’s a brilliant YA novel about friendship and feminism and at its heart a girl who’s struggling to get to grips with OCD. It’s very honest and I loved the three girls at the heart of it. There are two more books in the series which I’m looking forward to reading.

I probably don’t read as much YA now as I think I overdosed on it, particularly on the fantasy side, but I’m really happy I picked this one up finally!

What books have you enjoyed this month?

Victoria

xoxo 

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Books read in February 2017

First of all – happy World Book Day everyone! A perfect day to look back on the books I read in February I think.

  

It wasn’t a bumper book month for me. I was concentrating on editing my own book but I managed to read three novels and one non-fiction – a humorous self-help guide. 
  
My favourite of the books I read is this little gem. It’s not released until May but a proof arrived at work and I’m so happy it did!

  

I don’t want to talk too much about it as it’s one of those books that you should just read and fall in love with but essentially it’s about a woman called Eleanor who lives a lonely life in Scotland and how she comes to terms with her past and opens up her heart finally. It’s almost a coming of age novel although she’s grown up. 

It’s funny in places and so moving in others and I had tears in my eyes at the end. It’s really original especially Eleanor’s voice and I hope it finds lots of readers when it’s published.

What book did you love this month?

Victoria 

xoxo 

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Books read January – June 2016

Last year I listed all the books I read each month and picked my favourite but this year I’ve failed miserably to keep track on here what I’ve read! So, instead I’m going to look back at the books I’ve read in the first half of the year and will do the same in December so I’ll still have a list of my favourite twelve books by the end of the year.

Here are the books I’ve read from January to June …

   
    
    
   

 And here are the six that stood out to me the most: 

    
I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic last year so thought it was about time I read this one! I really enjoyed it, her style is accessible and the story is inspiring and she is definitely one of my favourite non-fiction writers.

    
This is a short and unusual novel told from Lucy’s point of view as she ends up in hospital and attempts to heal her relationship with her mother. It drew me in and I think it’s one I’d revisit as there’s so much to think about.

    
This is a gorgeous hardback and an absorbing Victorian novel that is rich in detail and brilliantly written. 

    
I really loved The Muse – set across two timelines London in the 1960’s and Spain during The Civil War it follows two women and is really compelling with wonderfully drawn characters and lots of twists and turns.

    
I have been meaning to read this for a long time – it’s a modern classic about three women in the works of celebrity. It’s almost like reading a long gossip column, a delicious guilty pleasure. 

    
I had to pick a YA book as well. I love Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series and this first book on her new series is an interesting mix of Elizabethian and frontier worlds and as the author wheats does, the world is flipped on its head by the leading lady. Lots of fun.

What books have you loved so far this year? Hit us with your recommendations in the comments!!

Victoria

xoxo 

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2015 – a year in books

For the first time in 2015 I decided to list all the books I read each month and pick my favourite one. It was really interesting keeping track of what I was reading and has provided me a list of my twelve favourite books of the year.

  
Looking at the twelve confirms that I enjoy a wide range of books and this has definitely become more the case since working at Waterstones as I choose books I never would have picked up before. 

  
My favourite books are ones that I enjoyed but also ones that inspired me or ones I had a strong emotional reaction too. Some were easy to pick but some months I loved all the books I read so it was a harder task.

I enjoyed the challenge though and it’s really interesting to see look back at the twelve books that made the biggest impact on me in 2015.

  
I don’t tend to read a lot of non-fiction but I loved both WILD and BIG MAGIC this year so I will definitely be looking out for more in 2016.

In terms of fiction I think the two books that I’m still thinking about the most are A LITTLE LIFE and STATION ELEVEN. 

So now I need to decide whether to write about the books I’m reading each month in 2016. What do you guys think? And what books stood out for you in 2015?

Victoria

xoxo 

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Books read in December 2015

Books read in the last month of 2015 were:

  
Nancy Mitford  – The Pursuit Of Love

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Oh, the tedium of waiting to grow up! Longing for love, obsessed with weddings and sex, Linda and her sisters and cousin Fanny are on the lookout for the perfect lover.

But finding Mr Right is much harder than any of the sisters had thought. Linda must suffer marriage first to a stuffy Tory MP and then to a handsome and humourless communist, before finding real love in war-torn Paris. . .

Rebecca Raisin – A Gingerbread Cafe Christmas 

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Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café was made for and Lil has every recipe down, from gingerbread men to cinnamon muffins. So when gorgeous outsider Damon opens a shop opposite The Gingerbread Café in the lead up to Christmas, Lil refuses to let him steal her customers without a fight – no matter how much he makes her heart flutter.

When it comes to love, Lil’s never quite got the method right! But as the snow begins to fall, it looks like this time deviating from the recipe might just lead Lil to the magic ingredient she’s been missing all along…

Victoria Aveyard – Glass Sword

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If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different. Mare’s blood is Red – the colour of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Book of the month:

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Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process – and showing us all just how easy it can be.

By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.

Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.

Big Magic is a must read for anyone wanting to live a creative life – I think it would be useful whatever stage of the creative process you’re at. I found it really inspiring and it confirmed a lot of things I thought about writing and I found myself nodding along with Ms Gilbert. Let’s face it we all suffer with self doubt and this book is really helpful with how to deal with it and shake it off. I think it’s a book I will return to whenever I feel unsure about my writing (which will likely be a lot!)

What did you enjoy reading in December?

Victoria

xoxo

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Books read in November 2015

  

Jill Mansell – Three Amazing Things About You

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Hallie has a secret. She’s in love. He’s perfect for her in every way, but he’s seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren’t going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn’t have long to live. Time is running out…

Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won’t be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends – let alone anything more.

Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she’s afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.

THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she’s about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Colleen Hoover – November 9

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Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon – and simultaneously his novel – be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Anne Tyler – A Spool Of Blue Thread

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‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer’s day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century – four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home…

Huntley Fitzpatrick – My Life Next Door

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The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them…until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase’s family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Book of the month:

Jessica Knoll – The Luckiest Girl Alive

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Ani FaNelli is the woman who has it all: the glamorous job, the designer wardrobe, the handsome and rich fiancé. But behind her sharp edges and meticulously crafted facade lies the darkest of pasts . . .

When a documentary producer invites Ani to tell her side of the chilling and violent incident that took place when she was a teenager at the prestigious Bradley school, she hopes it will be an opportunity to prove how far she’s turned her life around since then. She’ll even let the production company film her lavish wedding, the final step in her transformation.

But as the wedding and filming converge, Ani’s past threatens to come back and haunt her. And as her immaculate veneer starts to crack, she is forced to question: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for – or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

This book has a unique voice – Ani’s first person commentary is vivid and draws you in from the first page but there will be points where you really dislike her, points where you think ‘uh-oh I think like that too’ and as her past unravels, moments where you will realise why she is the way she is and have great sympathy for her. Ani’s past is a dark and tragic one and there are a fair few shocking moments as the story unfolds.

The novel has been pitched as a thriller but I found it to be more of a dark and compelling coming-of-age story. It was a page turner definitely and a complex character study. PREP meets GONE GIRL. It’s due to be made into a film by Reese Wetherspoon and I hope it keeps it’s bite when it transitions from book to movie.

What was your favourite read this month?

Victoria

xoxo