Top Ten Books I’ve Read For The ‘Talking About’ Feature With My Sister, Bibliobeth!

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books that we’ve been recommended by others. I decided to feature some books that my sister and fellow blogger Beth, have discussed in our ‘Talking About’ feature. You can see our reviews if you click on the title of the book!

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

Dear Thing- Julie Cohen

Dear Thing

I really enjoyed this heart-warming read. It was a struggle to read at times but that was due to subject matter, not because it was a bad book.

Before We Met- Lucie Whitehouse

Before We Met

This book was the perfect example of why sometimes you should give a book another go. I enjoyed this book the second time around. It wasn’t the most amazing read, but I did enjoy reading it.

The Memory Book- Rowan Coleman

The Memory Book

This is another story that warmed my heart. I thought it was a stunning, emotional read.

The Book Of You- Claire Kendal

The Book of You

Ooh this was a good one. I adore a psychological thriller and this book was right up my street!

I Let You Go- Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go

Another wonderful book. This book has turned up on so many of my Top Ten lists since reading it in 2015. I adored it.

A Song For Issy Bradley- Carys Bray

A Song for Issy Bradley

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. However, I thought it was a beautiful read!

The Ice Twins- S.K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins

This book is incredibly compelling!

Life After You- Lucie Brownlee

Life After You

Another sad one, but so beautifully written and heartfelt.

The Girls- Lisa Jewell

The Girls

I had heard a lot about Lisa Jewell, so was excited to pick up this book. It didn’t take me long to devour at all.

The Last Act of Love- Cathy Rentzenbrink

The Last Act Of Love

A stunning memoir. Another book that I devoured!

What are your favourite books that you’ve been recommended? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten quotes from books we’ve read in the past year or so!

Here are my quotes! (Book title goes to Goodreads!)

“It’s amazing how much one person can change the world, even if they don’t know they’re doing it.”- Jenn Marie Thorne from The Wrong Side Of Right

“Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”- Colleen Hoover from Ugly Love.

“The best things aren’t perfectly constructed. They aren’t illusions. they aren’t larger than life. They are life.”- Nina LaCour from Everything Leads To You.

“Promise was like a precious stone, she told me: hypnotising, but after a while the weight of it could sink you.”- Meg Haston from Paperweight.

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”

“Books were safer than other people anyway.”

“Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”- Neil Gaiman from The Ocean At The End Of The Lane.

“Sing your way home at the close of the day. Sing your way home; drive the shadows away. Smile every mile, for whenever you roam it will brighten your road, It will lighten your load If you sing your way home.”- Carys Bray from A Song For Issy Bradley.

“Knowing the truth is not always a kindness.”- Rosamund Hodge from Cruel Beauty.

“Being single is not a death sentence.”- Philip Siegel from The Break Up Artist.

Feel free to leave me a link to your Top Ten posts and I’ll stop by!

Talking About A Song For Issy Bradley with Bibliobeth

A Song for Issy Bradley

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

Ian used to think that his life had been disappointingly easy, compared to the pioneers. He had a happy marriage, four children, a satisfactory job and, for just over a year, he has served the church in his role as Bishop of the local congregation, an enormous responsibility.

And then Issy died.

Now his wife, Claire, won’t get out of their dead daughter’s bottom bunk and she won’t speak. Claire doesn’t want a blessing or a sympathy card and she’s got nothing to say to the Lord. She just wants to be left alone to be sad.
Ian doesn’t know what to do to make things better. Zippy and Alma are trying to combine living with grieving and being Mormons with being teenagers. Only seven-year-old Jacob has a plan. He knows that his faith is bigger than a mustard seed; it’s at least as big as a toffee bonbon, maybe bigger. It’s clear that if he wants Issy back, it’s up to him to perform a resurrection miracle.

Incredibly moving, unexpectedly funny and so sharply observed it will make you feel as if you could pick the woodchip off the bedroom wall, A Song for Issy Bradley is about doubt and faith. But most of all it’s about a family trying to work out how to carry on when their world has been blown apart.

CHRISSI: Did you have any preconceptions of the Mormon faith before reading this book? Did they change at all?

BETH: I didn’t really. I haven’t read much about the Mormon faith apart from one Sherlock Holmes story and am sadly lacking in general knowledge about it. It was nice to read a contemporary novel that explored being a Mormon in today’s world especially in their interactions with non-believers and the children of the family especially one of the older adolescents Al, who is beginning to question his faith. Compared with Zippy who desperately wants to be a “good” Mormon and the youngest child Jacob who believes he can resurrect his sister it was interesting to see how the faith manifested and changed throughout the family.

BETH: Did you have any expectations going into this novel and were they met?

CHRISSI: I didn’t have any expectations at all. To be honest, I went into this novel without knowing what it was about. I just picked it up and started to read it. It was only when there was a strong religious tone to the novel that I went and looked up the synopsis to see what I was letting myself in for. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book even though it frustrated me greatly at many points.

CHRISSI: Examine the treatment of grief in the novel. How is it expressed through the different members of the family?

BETH: When I first started this book it had lots of lovely jokes in it which really amused me and I thought – “Okay, so it’s going to be a funny-sad novel, great!” And then Issy dies. And it’s horrible. Each member of the family deals with their heart break in their own ways – Ian tries to assimilate all of the Mormon teachings and tries to get on with things, Al seems to be repressing a lot of his emotions, Zippy leans on her faith to get her through and sweet little Jacob doesn’t seem to realise that Issy really isn’t coming back (despite his best attempts!). Poor Claire is the worse affected, it is a struggle for her to put one foot in front of another and it was quite emotional to read about how she became a virtual recluse as the result of the loss of her daughter.

BETH: Who was your favourite character and why?

CHRISSI: My favourite character was the ever so sweet Jacob. I loved reading about him as he struggled to come to terms with the loss of his sister. He really needed his mum and she wasn’t able to be there for him as she drowned in her own grief. I wanted to reach into the book and give him a cuddle. When he was trying to ‘resurrect’ his sister it absolutely broke my heart. I just thought he was an incredibly lovable character.

CHRISSI: What did you think of Ian as a character?

BETH: Oh my goodness, Ian annoyed the hell out of me. I felt terrible for him as he tried to deal with his loss the best way he thought he could, by carrying on but his whole reaction to his wife’s unbearable pain seemed cold at times (although we see his real emotions towards the end). He was so devoted to his religion that it was hard for him to take on any other point of view and in some points, it almost felt like he was brain washed, married to his religion rather than to his wife, Claire.

BETH: The relationship between Claire and Ian is a key part of the novel. What do you think about the dynamics of their marriage?

CHRISSI: This is an interesting question. I really questioned Claire and Ian’s relationship. I felt like Ian was definitely the dominant partner. Claire had taken on being Mormon to be with Ian even though it completely changed her life, so she must have really loved him. I found his dedication to his religion incredibly intense and at times, it felt like his faith was more important to him than his family. His lack of warmth for his wife’s awful experience with grief was frustrating. I felt like he was trying to hide her grief away from members of the church as if it was something to be ashamed of. Ooh, he frustrated me. I’m fine with people having religious beliefs, but it certainly seemed like Ian’s religion was more important to him. I wanted him to see how much his family needed him not his faith. I think be begins to redeem himself towards the end, but it was too little too late for me!

CHRISSI: Without spoilers, were you satisfied with the ending of this novel?

BETH: Unfortunately, I wasn’t. It was such a shame as I was completely engrossed in the story right up until the end and without giving anything away, it felt slightly abrupt and that things were left a bit unfinished. Saying this though, we do see a slight glimmer of hope for the future so I managed to put my tissues away!

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: Yes! I thought it was an enjoyable read, sad but funny in parts. I thought the writing style was good too!

Would we recommend it?
BETH: Of course!
CHRISSI: Of course!

This Week In Books #16

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

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NOW Making PrettyCorey Ann Haydu-I’m over halfway through my first read of Corey Ann Haydu’s writing. I’m finding this book to be particularly gripping and grittier than the average YA. I have no idea where it’s going…

THENA Song For Issy BradleyCarys Bray– I finished this book which is Beth and I’s next ‘Talking About…’ This book is going to be so interesting to discuss. It’s heavily religious (about Mormons) and covers grief.

NEXTEvery Last PromiseKristin Halbrook– It seems this is the week of tough topics! This book is about a girl who witnesses sexual assault.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a comment or a link to similar posts! I love having a nosey at what others are reading.