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Tuesday, 31 December 2019

My Favourite Books of 2019!! #bookblogger #favouritereads


The time has come!! Time to look back at the amazing books that have made me laugh and cry in equal measures over 2019. And there has been a lot!!! Making this list never gets any easier!!

GoodReads informs me - I'd be so lost without it! - that I've managed to read 248 books this year! GoodReads 2019 Reading List  So that hasn't helped me in narrowing my list down as so many books have made an impact on me this year, for various reasons!  But I've spent the last few days going through reviews and have come up with this list, of which I think there are 25 titles, of the books that have stayed with me the most. I could have easily done a Top 50 or 75! There's been that many good books this year that I'm glad to have read!

So thank you to the authors and publishers of all the books on my 'read' pile this year as it's been another unforgettable reading year and I'm already itching to start on those 2020 books!!

So, in no particular order, these are the books that have stood out the most for me in 2019 and been my favourite reads, all with 5 star ratings.... click on the book titles to take you to the GoodReads page....




























































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So there we have it! Any of your faves appear on this list?! Hope I've alerted you to a few different titles as well, as I always love looking through other bloggers lists to find books I've not heard much about!  And then hopefully I can add some of those to my faves for 2020.........

































Monday, 30 December 2019

#MUSICMONDAY CUDDLY TOY by ROACHFORD


Time for some tunes!!  Music Monday is a weekly 'thang' hosted by the fab Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek where you get to post a favourite video/song for no other reason other than you just can!!

Back to the 1980's for me! I'd happily pick an '80's song everytime!! And this is Cuddly Toy by Roachford! I love his voice and I just love this song!! And there's double denim!! What's not to love!!



LYRICS

I know you've heard so many people say
I've got a different girl in every town
But there must be somebody telling lies
And spreading rumours, spreading rumours all around
Because my only joy, is a cuddly toy
Waiting for me when I get home
And what I need is a girl like you
To call my very own
(chorus)
So you've got to feel for me baby
So you've got to feel for me baby
So you've got to feel for me baby
And give me some love
Well I don't pour out my heart like this, to everyone
And anyone that I meet
And I know it ain't the wine 'cause I feel just fine,
Can't you see baby, I'm still on my feet
(bridge)
A cuddly toy is my only joy
Waiting for me when I get home
And what I need is a girl like you
To call my very own
(repeat chorus, bridge and chorus)
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Harry Nilsson

























Saturday, 28 December 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 28th December 2019


Hello!! Happy 'it's not Christmas' anymore!  Didn't it fly by quickly?! I'm even tempted now to take down the tree as it's sitting there looking sad with no pressies underneath it anymore!

On the bookish front it's been a very good week for bookhaul - My Christmas Bookhaul - and, despite the madness, it's been quite good on the reading front with 4 books finished so I'm still pushing up my GoodReads total for the year!

BOOKS FINISHED










BOOKPOST


I've stayed away from Netgalley!!!! It's a Christmas miracle!!


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And in the post today I received a beautiful finished and signed copy of THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE LOST by CAROLINE SCOTT which was a lovely surprise. I worked on the Blog Tour earlier in the year and couldn't stop raving about this book - it's in my favourite reads of the year post (coming soon!) - and it was just lovely to be thanked in this way!






CURRENTLY READING

THE FOUNDLING by STACEY HALLS
reading/listening to this via the Pigeonhole app


London, 1754.

Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London's Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst - that Clara has died in care - the last thing she expects to hear is that her daughter has already been reclaimed - by her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl - and why. Less than a mile from Bess' lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend - an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital - persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

From the bestselling author of The Familiars, and set against the vibrant backdrop of Georgian London, The Foundling explores families, secrets, class, equality, power and the meaning of motherhood.

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by SHIRLEY JACKSON
Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn't leaving the Blackwoods alone. And when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect the remaining family. This Penguin edition includes an afterword by the acclaimed novelist Joyce Carol Oates.


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HAPPY READING!






Friday, 27 December 2019

#BookReview ESTUARY: OUT FROM LONDON TO THE SEA by RACHEL LICHTENSTEIN #LibraryLoveChallenge #NonFiction


ABOUT THE BOOK


The Thames Estuary is one of the world's great deltas, providing passage in and out of London for millennia. It is silted up with the memories and artefacts of past voyages. It is the habitat for an astonishing range of wildlife. And for the people who live and work on the estuary, it is a way of life unlike any other - one most would not trade for anything, despites its dangers.

Rachel Lichtenstein has travelled the length and breadth of the estuary many times and in many vessels, from hardy tug boats to stately pleasure cruisers to an inflatable dinghy. And during these crossing she has gathered an extraordinary chorus of voices: mudlarkers and fishermen, radio pirates and champion racers, the men who risk their lives out on the water and the women who wait on the shore.

From the acclaimed author of Brick Lane and Rodinsky's Room, Estuary is a thoughtful and intimate portrait of a profoundly British place. With a clear eye and a sharp ear, Rachel Lichtenstein captures the essence of a community and an environment, examining how each has shaped and continues to shape the other.

PUBLISHED BY HAMISH HAMILTON

PURCHASE LINKS





MY REVIEW

Having lived next to the Estuary all my life, I found this to be a fascinating, illuminating and detailed look at the evolution of the Thames Estuary and all those who live by it or work on it. The folklore, the role it has played in history, the way that outsiders see Essex and how that differs from those who live there and just how much it has changed over the years.

Being a local I found it so easy to feel connected to the stories told by the author, and the places she visited as she travelled along the Estuary. She stopped off in numerous places to meet people who have lived or worked on the Thames and it was so interesting to hear them share their stories. She travelled on boats and walked alongside the estuary and that really helped her give you a real flavour of estuary life. The use of black and white photos was also really clever as it didn't make the estuary out to be a glossy, colourful place as most of the time it isn't!

There are more shipwrecks on the floor of the estuary per square foot than anywhere else along the UK coastline and I loved hearing the stories of those, especially of the London and the Montgomery and those who have dived down to see them. Having recently visited an exhibition of items from the London at the local museum I found these chapters to be most enlightening.

It's a book I've learned so much from about the local area and found it to be brilliantly written and so absorbing to read.

★★★★★


Thursday, 26 December 2019

#BookReview ONE CHRISTMAS STAR by MANDY BAGGOT

ABOUT THE BOOK

Emily Parker is set to have the worst Christmas ever!
Her flatmate's moved out, she's closed her heart to love and she's been put in charge of the school original Christmas show – with zero musical ability.
Disgraced superstar, Ray Stone is in desperate need of a quick PR turnaround. Waking up from a drunken stupor to a class of ten-year-olds snapping pics and Emily looking at him was not what he had in mind.
Ray needs Emily's help to delete the photos, and she needs his with the show. As they learn to work together they may just open their hearts to more than a second chance..

PURCHASE LINK


MY REVIEW

This was a lovely read for Christmas!! Full of heart, humour and a hedgehog or two! It's the story of Emily and Ray - two people brought together near Christmas and finding that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Emily is a primary school teacher and has a real affection for all the children in her classroom and she's always going beyond the call of duty to help them, especially those who don't have the best of home lives. She's still nursing a broken heart after losing her beloved Simon a couple of years ago, and just seem stuck and unable to move on both personally and professionally.

Ray is a singer who is going through a downturn in his career! His name is being dragged through the mud in the papers and he's finding it easier to drink his way through life than to face up to the problems he's facing.

They're brought together when he's found asleep in a school shed with an injured hedgehog and becomes a source of fascination for the children! They're absolutely hilarious and some of the scenes reminded me of the film Nativity! Such innocence but no idea of boundaries when it comes to asking questions of grown ups! As Emily spends more time with him, she sees behind the image of the man in the media and sparks really fly when he helps her with the school performance!

I really enjoyed this story as it just felt so well paced and the antics of the children added a great sweetness and fun element to balance out the romance side!

★★★★

My Christmas 2019 Bookhaul #bookstack



Hello!!! Just thought I would share a little post abut my Christmas Book Haul as I've been very lucky to have been spoilt by Santa, family and friends this year! And I know how much I enjoy looking at what other people got for Christmas! Nosey lot aren't we!! Ooh got a cute Puffin cushion too so he wanted in on the photo!!

Click on the link to take you to the GoodReads blurb page!





















Anyone read any of these?! A number of them have been on my wishlist for a while so it's nice to finally have my grubby little mitts on them!

There was also a couple of other bookish related gifts I received including a day to day calendar - 1,000 books to read before you die! -  which should add a few more books to my TBR pile and also a BOOK BUCKET LIST notebook which is nicely sectioned with places to write reviews, book shopping lists, favourite quotes etc!





So did you get any bookish  gifts this Christmas!?  I've also been lucky enough to receive some book tokens so I'm already having fun putting together a list of what I'm planning on spending those on! Watch this space for the arrival of more books coming soon!!

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Monday, 23 December 2019

#BookReview THE CASTLE OF INSIDE OUT by DAVID HENRY WILSON


ABOUT THE BOOK

Lorina, a young schoolgirl, is led by a black rabbit through a wood to a magical land. There she finds a race of green people, who are all overworked, starving and suffering from the toxic fumes billowing out of a nearby castle. She decides to gain access to the castle for the poor green people, and within its walls she meets the "insiders", selfish creatures who hoard all the resources and treat the outsiders as slaves. Her quest leads her to encounter the bureaurat, the superviper, the farmadillo and, eventually, the awful Piggident himself.Will she be able to save the green people from the cruelty of these "insiders"?

PUBLISHED BY  Alma Classics


MY REVIEW


Anything that has a nod to Alice In Wonderland is fine by me, and what this book does is cross that with a bit of Animal Farm so has a little bit of everything for readers of all ages to enjoy and was a really enjoyable and quick read.

There's lots for younger readers to enjoy in a story about a young girl standing up for the rights of others while older readers will appreciate the links to AIW and AF, and just to enjoy the fantastical world created by the writer, and all brilliantly illustrated by the wonderful Chris Riddell.

Lorina is aghast at the world she comes across when a black rabbit leads her through the woods to a magical world of green people who are starving and dealing with toxic fumes from a castle.. She finds out about the pigs living in the castle who only care about themselves and as she tries to reason with them, she is faced with their greed and self centred behaviour but she keeps fighting for what she knows is right. It's a story told with heart, and often in rhyme which really adds another layer of enjoyment.

It's super sweet and fantastically funny and it's a book I thoroughly enjoyed

★★★★