I recently picked up a Sophie Kinsella novel which I was super excited to read: My Not So Perfect Life.
Last year, Sophie Kinsella became one of my favourite authors and I’m steadily making my way through all of her books. I loved the sound of this book from the blurb alone and knew that I would enjoy it. Happily, my instincts were correct.
“Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle–from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.
Then, just as she’s finding her feet–not to mention a possible new romance–the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away–until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.”
This book was one of my most anticipated reads on my TBR and I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint!
I liked the main character, Katie, although some of her decisions frustrated me. I won’t elaborate on those particular decisions so as to avoid spoilers. I also really liked her father and step-mother, but I wasn’t a big fan of the love-interest, Alex for around three quarters of the book.
Once Katie had left London and was helping her family to set up their glamping business, I was hooked by the story. This book has made me really want to give glamping a go!
I warmed to Katie’s boss/ex boss, Demeter as the book went on and I liked the underlying message of not everyone’s lives are as perfect as they seem.
Overall, this was a fun, fairly lighthearted read; perfect summer reading material!
I’ve always loved history and I had a lot of fun joining in with this tag!
The Stone Age: One of the first books you remember reading.
As a child, I loved the Topsy and Tim book series by Jean and Gareth Adamson. One of the first books that I remember reading is from this series: Topsy and Tim have a birthday party.
Ancient Greece: Your favourite myth-inspired book (doesn’t have to be Greek mythology) or retelling.
The only myth-inspired book that I’ve read that I can think of is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. I definitely need to check out more myth-inspired books!
The Roman Empire: A book featuring an impressive empire or kingdom.
The kingdom of Narnia from C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia is one of the first which springs to mind!
The Middle Ages (or Dark Ages): A book that is an absolute bummer.
The book which immediately sprang to mind when I read this prompt was Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. While I did ultimately enjoy reading this, it made me incredibly sad everytime I picked it up.
The Renaissance: A book that you’ve learned a lot from or that made you think.
Earlier in the year, I read My Kind of Happy by Cathy Bramley and it really got me thinking about what truly makes.me happy in life.
The Industrial Revolution: A book featuring an invention or concept that you would love to have in your own life.
I would love to have a stele and the ability to use runes! From the Shadowhunter series by Cassandra Clare.
World War I & II: Your favourite historical fiction book about the World Wars (or, if you don’t have one, your favourite historical fiction book in general).
Last year, I finally read the Flambards series by K. M. Peyton. The second book in the series, The Edge of the Cloud is set around the First World War and is one of my favourite historical fiction books to date.
Present Day: A book everybody should read in present day according to you.
I’ve already mentioned this in a previous prompt, but My Kind of Happy by Cathy Bramley is one of my favourite reads of 2021 to date. I’d recommend it everyone as it really made me think hard about my own life choices.
I’m not going to tag anyone specific to complete this tag, but if you read this post and like the sound of it, please consider yourself tagged!
The topic for today is books I read in one sitting (or would have if I had the time) and I have chosen the first ten books which sprang to mind which I either read in one sitting or almost did, has life not gotten in the way.
1. Queen Bee by Jane Fallon
2. The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson
3. The List by Carys Jones
4. Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella
5. The Holiday by T. M. Logan
6. My Kind Of Happy by Cathy Bramley
7. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Milly Johnson
8. The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger
9. The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
10. The Places I’ve Cried In Public by Holly Bourne
At the weekend, I read my first book of July; almost in one sitting. I think it’s safe to say that I really enjoyed it!
One week ago, I uploaded a Goodreads Monday post featuring this book and why I was excited to read it. I’ve been stuck in a huge reading slump since April and I was looking forward to reading this book as I knew it would be a fun and easy read. As usual with Jane Fallon’s books, Queen Bee did not let me down.
The book follows newly divorced Laura as she rents a studio flat in The Close, a private street of mansions. She soon learns that her neighbours Stella and Al are at the top of the social hierarchy and what they say goes.
Stella has an instant dislike of Laura and through a series of events, suspects that she is trying to lure away her fiancé, Al.
Desperate to prove her own innocence and win back the favour of the rest of her neighbours, Laura begins to dig around but gets more than she bargained for when she uncovers Al’s secret…
First of all, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It was a relatively fast-paced, fun read and I couldn’t put it down.
I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters and I particularly liked the main character, Laura and her daughter Betsy.
The plot really kept me guessing; everytime I thought that I knew where the story was going, it took a new turn. Overall, I was happy with how the book ended, but I wish it had been a bit longer!
I love a good quiz, although my general knowledge always lets me down. One area which I do usually do pretty well in is the literary or book-themed questions.
When I’m hosting a quiz, I always seem to end up spending hours scrolling through page after page of questions, trying to find some that aren’t just history, geography, sport or politics based.
After almost a year of holding virtual quiz nights with family and friends, I now have quite a stock of book-themed questions to hand and thought it would be fun to share some of them in a post for others to use!
I’ve included a variety of questions in terms of difficulty and subject so there should be questions for all ages!
I take no credit for the creation of any of these questions; I have compiled them from various online sources, books and trivia cards.
1. The Ents are a race of tree-like beings from whose novels?
2. What is the surname of the Little Women in the book of the same name by Louisa M. Alcott?
3. Miss Marple is a fictional character and amateur detective created by Agatha Christie. What is her first name?
4. Which British novelist wrote the children’s stories ‘The BFG‘, ‘Fantastic Mr Fox‘ and ‘James andthe Giant Peach‘?
5. In Shakespeare’s play, who dies first, Romeo or Juliet?
6. Who wrote the Magic Faraway Tree books?
7. Where in London would you find Poet’s Corner?
8. Which famous Russian writer died of pneumonia at a railway station in 1910?
9. In which book franchise would you find Bella Swan?
10. Which poem by Rudyard Kipling begins: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…”?
11. Which novel by Charles Dickens features Bill Sykes and Fagin?
12. Holden Caulfield is the protagonist of which novel by J. D. Salinger?
13. Which two cities are the focus of the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities?
14. Who is the author of The Hunger Games trilogy?
15. How many lines are there in a sonnet?
16. Which Jane Austen novel features the Bennet family?
17. In the Hans Christian Anderson fairy story, what does the ugly duckling turn into?
18. Who was the author of the poem The Lady of Shallot?
19. Which well-known horror story was written by Mary Shelley?
20. Which port and resort in North Yorkshire, England, has associations with Bram Stoker’s Dracula?
It’s almost Friday! Today I want to share my version of the ‘Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag’. I haven’t been tagged to complete this, but I’ve seen so many other bloggers completing it and I wanted to give it a go!
So far this year, I’ve read a total of 31 books; some which I have absolutely loved, some less so. I’m looking forward to doing a mini review of all the books I have read so far in 2021 for this post!
Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2021
This is such a difficult choice to make! I think I’ll have to go with My Kind Of Happy by Cathy Bramley. This was a total impulse buy but I absolutely adored the story!
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2021
This one is definitely Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare! This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did not disappoint; I absolutely loved this book!
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
The Yearbook by Holly Bourne was one of my most anticipated book releases of the year. It came out in May, but I’m yet to read it. I’m super excited to start this book as Holly Bourne is one of my favourite authors.
Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year
I recently saw a blog tour post by Melanie Reads for the book Her White Lie by Jackie Walsh. I’ve never read any books by this author before, but I really like the sound of this one! I believe this book was actually published last week but as that was still in July, I’m counting that as being released in the second half of the year.
I have enjoyed the majority of the books which I’ve read this year, but there have been one or two which have left me feeling a bit disappointed. One of these was A Bad Bride’s Tale by Polly Williams. I had had this book on my TBR for a year or two but when I finally read it in February, I was left feeling somewhat disappointed; the book wasn’t what I expected and I found that I disliked a lot of the characters.
This one was another difficult prompt to answer as there have been several. I don’t want to repeat books which I have already mentioned, so I have chosen We Just Clicked by Anna Bell for this one. This was another impulse buy and one which I did not expect to love as much as I did!
Newest Fictional Crush
I don’t seem to have one this year; maybe I haven’t read enough!
Newest Favourite Character
After thinking about this one, I’ve settled on Cordelia Carstairs from Cassandra Clare’s Chain of Iron. I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked her in the first book, but after reading the second, she has become a firm favourite character.
Book That Made You Cry
I said that I wasn’t going to repeat books in this tag, but the only book that springs to mind for this prompt is My Kind Of Happy by Cathy Bramley; I both laughed and cried my way through this book.
Book That Made You Happy
I could name the majority of books that I read in the first half of 2021 for this prompt, but I’ll stick to only naming one: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella.
Favourite Book To Film Adaption That You Saw This Year
Upon reading this prompt, I proceeded to forget every single book to film adaption that I’ve seen this year. Therefore, I’m going to say Poldark; over the past several months I’ve been watching the BBC adaption staring Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson and I absolutely love it.
Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year
I haven’t written many reviews this year, mainly only my mini reviews at the end of each month. I did write a review of Sophie Kinsella’s Love Your Life back in March; I enjoyed gushing about how much I loved this book in one dedicated post!
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought (Or Received) So Far This Year
I think this has to be my copy of The Yearbook by Holly Bourne with it’s beautiful sprayed edges!
What Books Do You Need To Read By The End Of The Year?
SO MANY! At present, I think I’ll be quite happy if I manage to read Queen Bee by Jane Fallon and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie by the end of the year!
I’m not going to tag anyone in particular to complete this tag, but if you see this post and want to give it a go, consider yourself tagged!
I’m currently in the middle of several books (and making progress with none of them):
The Book of Unexplained Mysteries by Will Pearson. I’m almost at the end of this book and I’ve found it a pretty interesting read. My favourite ‘unexplained mystery’ which I’ve read about so far is the disappearance of the Mary Celeste.
12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson: This book comes highly recommended to me by a number of people and I do like the sound of it. However, the print inside my copy is incredibly small, which puts me off…so I’ve been avoiding reading it.
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories Collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve been ‘reading’ this book since December 2020 but in truth, I’ve barely picked it up. I have enjoyed the short stories that I have read so far but the book itself is huge and very daunting and I don’t seem to be making much progress with it.
What did you recently finish reading?
The last book which I read was the manga version of Cassandra Clare’s The Clockwork Angel.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I think that my next read will be Queen Bee by Jane Fallon. If any of you saw my Goodreads Monday post earlier in the week, you will know that I’m really looking forward to reading this!