More than just a book!

It’s that time of year again when the sun is shining (when it isn’t raining) and there are barbecues planned for bank holiday weekends. I’m tentatively thinking about wearing shorts as the forecast says it’ll be 25 degrees by the weekend (but some fake tan is in order because these legs haven’t seen daylight for a long time!) And I’m dreaming about which book I will read as I’m sipping a gin and tonic in the garden. I have a four year old son so this last bit is most definitely a dream. Someone told me recently that when you buy a book what you’re buying is the time to read it. The hope of that time. Never has anything felt truer. I have a stack of time by my bed just ready and waiting! But, as the evenings get longer and holidays are on the horizon, those spare moments to read feel suddenly within grasp. My problem is that instead of reading what I already own, I’ll celebrate by slipping a paperback in with my Sainsbury’s shop or nipping into Waterstones for a book-sized treat. After all, you can never have too much time.

Here’s what’s on my bedside table at the mo… What’s on yours?

(And if you’re looking for a book to escape with then The Summerhouse by the Sea is only 99p at the moment on Amazon. In those pages, I promise, the sun is shining and the
waves are lapping and you’ll feel like you’ve got all the time in the world… )

Woo hoo, it’s a blog tour!

To celebrate publication week, I’m jetting off to a host of other fantabulous blogs. Here’s the schedule, pop by and have a read… (It’ll be MUCH more interesting than scrolling timelines and online shopping, I promise!)

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Enjoy x

This month I have been mostly reading and watching…

The first part of this year has involved a lot of reading and film watching! The desire for escapism is at its peak at the moment.

So here are my highlights…

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LIE WITH ME – Sabine Durrant.

Brilliant. Addictive. Clever and witty and sharp, like I was watching in real life. Not a word on the page wasted.

THE ESSEX SERPENT – Sarah Perry

I was given this to read. It wouldn’t have been my first choice because I’d have assumed it would take too long and I have very little time. But I was surprised by the pace and the quirks. You can actually whip through it and then go back and linger on the clever, beautiful bits. A bundle of unique characters all vividly still with you long after the book is finished.

20170213_122546THE NAKANO THRIFT SHOP – Hiromi Kawakami

I LOVED this! It was a present and I’ve never read any Japanese translated fiction before but I will now. I realised while reading this that there are some books you want to race through to the end and others that you just want to live inside. You go to bed half an hour early to be in the pages. This for me was that. I just adored being in the gentle, clever, sweet, interesting, intriguing world. A lovely book.

20170213_121258LA LA LAND

I’ve already written a whole piece about this. But I would say, it’s the only film I’ve been to the cinema to see twice. And the only film I’ve been to the cinema to see on my own! Shock horror. But the seal has been broken, I’m going to go solo way more often. It’s very mellow (once you’ve moved away from the people chatting over popcorn through all the emotional bits).

WESTWORLD (TV version)

This was a roller coaster for me. Brilliant at the beginning. Bit slow in the middle and a bit too focused on the violence. Excellent at the end.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Completely not what I expected! I sat down thinking it would be all Wes Anderson kooky and then suddenly everyone is running around half-naked killing deer. But it’s really good! And Viggo’s great.

BRIDGET JONES’S BABY

So nice to be back in Bridget’s world. Fall-off-the-sofa funny at times. Best choice at the end but worried that Bridget would still be lonely once credits rolled.

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And, in case you’re interested, in the Under 3s world I have enjoyed:

TOPSY AND TIM – massive nostalgia, so strong I can almost taste it.

TOR FREEMAN – Brilliant illustrator.

More SHIRLEY HUGHES – can’t get enough of Alfie and Lucy & Tom

TOY STORY 1, 2 & 3 – just get better every time you watch them (I may live to regret that statement).

 

 

Not a bad start to the year, as far as excellent escapism goes.

J x

Feeling the reading fear and doing it anyway!

The new year is well under way. I can’t hide from it any longer pretending it’s still justifiably Christmas. I’m back at work, scribbling messily in a new notebook imagining a time when I’ll look back on these scribbles and laugh at who I naively thought these characters were going to be! But you’ve got to start somewhere (I remind myself every book.)

I also have a teetering pile of new books on my shelf. I kicked off the year with Samantha King’s THE CHOICE – a completely gripping psychological suspense that had me glued to the pages and rushing through to the end. It’s a bum on the edge of your seat kind of read that you can’t put down until it’s done.

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Up next has got to be Maria Semple’s TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT. I loved WHERE D’YOU GO, BERNADETTE? so this is a real treat that I’ve been saving for just the right time – like storing up all your chocolate as a kid or, as I’m currently doing, building up to buying a bag I REALLY want because the anticipation makes it all the better (re the bag however, I’ve been putting it off for a year now – going into the shop and picking it up then putting it down again – and I’m not sure I’m ever going to take the plunge, it’s been so long!)

For Christmas I got FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY by Susan Jeffers and I’m intending for it to have a huge impact on my life. I will soon be fearless. I will buy aforementioned bag.

My fingers are also itching to start THE BREAKDOWN by BA Paris but I can’t read two suspense back to back – I need a breather from all the stress and fear. (Although maybe that’s about to change!)

Then there’s THE RIVIERA SET by Mary S Lovell… it’s a signed copy! Woo hoo. I want to read that immediately too. And Dawn O’Porter’s THE COWS…

So many books. So little time. I’ve actually got the slight reading fear, but I’m going to do it anyway!

And for anyone who wants to try something new this year, The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe is only 99p at the moment. It’s the start of the Cherry Pie Island series and a novella so completely undaunting and speedily devourable! There’s absolutely nothing to fear! http://amzn.to/2ieBUSr

The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe