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!

The Happy Home For Broken Hearts

The Happy Home for Broken Hearts

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Random House UK/Ebury Publishing

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Memory Book
We Are All Made Of Stars

Synopsis:

Ellen Woods spends her days immersed in the escapist pages of the romantic novels she lovingly edits. But her reality is somewhat less rose-tinted. Once upon a time, Ellen had her ‘happily ever after’ moment when she married her beloved Nick, but fifteen years later her husband’s tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son, faced with a mountain of debt, and on the verge of losing the family home.

On the brink of bankruptcy, Ellen finally succumbs to her sister’s well-meant bullying and decides to rent out some rooms. And all too soon the indomitable Allegra with her love for all things lavender, Sabine on secondment from Berlin and estranged from her two-timing husband, and unreconstructed lads’ mag aficionado Matt enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. And Ellen finds herself forced to step out of the pages of the romantic novels she hides behind, and learn to live – and love – again.

Maybe a new chapter is about to begin for them all…

Thoughts:

I really enjoy Rowan Coleman’s writing style, so when I saw a book from her back catalogue available, I just had to request it. I thought The Happy Home For Broken Hearts was a good read, if a little predictable in places.

The Happy Home For Broken Hearts centres around Ellen and her son Charlie. Ellen’s husband Nick, died in a car crash and her world has been turned upside down. Ellen is trying to move forward with her life, but with debt looming over her, she finally accepts her sister’s help and decides to take in lodgers to help her out with her money situation. Ellen takes in three lodgers, all very different. There’s Sabine, a woman that’s dealing with her husband’s affair, Allegra- an older lady who writes steamy romances and Matt, who writes a column for a lad’s magazine. Each lodger has their own fair share of problems. Ellen finds herself making friends and moving on. She doesn’t expect them to support her as much as they do, as secrets from the past are revealed.

Ellen is the main protagonist and very easy to warm to. She is dealing with grief, yet trying to sort things out financially for her family. Ellen has completely lost who she is, she hasn’t left the house since her husband’s funeral. We see Ellen trying to make life normal for her son, but at the same time, she can’t leave the house and panics when her son is out of the house. Ellen’s son, Charlie is such a sweet character. It’s hard not to feel sorry for him. He can clearly see his mum is having trouble with her grief, and as well as grieving for his dad, he’s desperately wishing his mum could be happy once more. I adored the lodgers as they definitely had more to them than met the eye.

This book was hard to put down. It was so easy to read and although I could predict what was going to happen, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story. This book isn’t the happiest of reads, but there are moments of hope and humour and that’s exactly what I enjoy in books like this.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars.

A decent read from Rowan Coleman. Perfect for fans of women’s fiction!

Top Ten Author Duos I’d Love To See Write A Book

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is the Top Ten author duos that we’d love to see write a book together. This list was really hard to put together but I’m pleased with who I came up with!

Click on the author’s name to learn more about them.

  1. James Dawson and Non Pratt– this would be hilarious!
  2. James Dawson and Louise O’Neill- a book by these two would be disturbing…
  3. Jane Elson and Emma Carroll– a book by these two would be adorable, that’s for sure.
  4. Giovanna Fletcher and Cecelia Ahern- a magical combination!
  5. Emery Lord and Kasie West–  the perfect contemporary?
  6. Patrick Ness and Andrew Kaufman– well written and weird!
  7. Louise O’Neill and Tanya Byrne– a disturbing book would be produced…
  8. Carmen Reid and Elizabeth Wein- an intriguing historical fiction!
  9. Rowan Coleman and Jojo Moyes– this would be heartbreaking.
  10. Holly Smale and Jenny McLachlan– a fun piece of teenage fiction!

Which duos would you love to see write a book? Feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

We Are All Made Of Stars

How did I get it?:
NetGalley thanks to Random House UK/Ebury Publishing

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Memory Book

Synopsis:

What if you had just one chance, one letter you could leave behind for the person you love? What would you write?

Stella Carey has good reason to only work nights at the hospice where she is a nurse. Married to a war veteran who has returned from Afghanistan brutally injured, Stella leaves the house each night as Vincent locks himself away, unable to sleep due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

During her nights at the hospice, Stella writes letters for her patients, detailing their final wishes, thoughts and feelings – from how to use a washing machine, to advice on how to be a good parent – and posts them after their death.

That is until Stella writes one letter that she feels compelled to deliver in time, to give her patient one final chance of redemption…

Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the previous book I read by Rowan Coleman which was the incredibly touching The Memory Book. Therefore, when I saw it on NetGalley, I just had to snap it up to read right away. Rowan Coleman is a terrific writer and I can’t wait to catch up on more of her books! We Are All Made Of Stars is a touching story which deals with some very heavy issues in a sensitive, thoughtful manner.

The story itself involves a range of characters, who are linked together by Stella, who works at a hospice and writes letters to loved ones of her dying patients. Now, this sounds really morbid, but trust me, it’s beautiful. All of the characters end up being linked in one way or another, it’s seamless.

I have to admit, I didn’t identify with all of the characters as much as I wanted to. Stella and Hope were by far, my favourite storylines to explore. Hope suffers from cystic fibrosis. A condition that I have much experience with after caring for a child with the condition several years ago. I’m still in touch with her family, and I’m happy to say she’s doing well right now. I always like to see cystic fibrosis represented in literature, especially when it’s written as well as Rowan Coleman has done!

What makes this book not as bleak as it seems is that humour is injected every now and then. I really appreciate that in books like this. It’s always a welcome relief from being swept away by your emotions.

We Are All Made Of Stars makes you appreciate the life you have and be grateful for what you do have.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Another gem from Rowan Coleman. I can’t wait to read more of her work!

This Week In Books #4

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!

Click on the book tile below to take you to Goodreads!

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NOWNever Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid- Urgh. I have been in such a reading slump. I was trying to read A Court Of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas, but I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know if it’s just me being so busy, or whether I’m just not in a fantasy mood. However, I have managed to get halfway through Never Always Sometimes and I’m pretty confident that I’ll finish it today. It’s an easy to read contemporary book!

THEN- Flour Babies by Anne Fine- I read this book for Beth and I’s kid lit feature, the review will be published tomorrow!

NEXTWe Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman- I am looking forward to reading this book after very much enjoying The Memory Book by the same author.

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below or leave a link to your post or WWW Wednesday posts!

Top Ten Books I’d Encourage My (imaginary) Book Club To Read!

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club.

Books are in no particular order with book images going to the Goodreads page!

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The Memory Book Rowan Coleman- I have read this book recently and was, I admit, very hesitant to start it because it was compared to Me Before You. Me Before You (regular readers of my blog, you may fall asleep now…) is one of my favourite books of all time. I need not have worried though as I thought it was brilliant!

Lies We Tell OurselvesRobin Talley- Ooh, I loved this book. More people need to read it, so I’d definitely suggest it as a book club read!

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 Golden BoyAbigail Tarttelin– This book will appear on many more of my Top Ten lists. I can’t resist putting it on them. It’s an amazing, emotional read.

The MadnessAlison Rattle– Another book that I rave about whenever given chance. I love Alison Rattle’s writing. This book is so atmospheric and a stunning read!

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TroubleNon Pratt– This book was a stand out debut for me in 2014. I like Non’s incredibly sharp writing style!

Dear KillerKatherine Ewell– This book is the lowest rated book to appear on the list, but it’s such a thought provoking interesting read that I’d be intrigued to discuss it with others. I may not have liked this book as much as the others it shares the list with, but months on I’m still thinking about it.

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Something RealHeather Demetrios– I’m pretty sure my pupils change into love hearts when I think of this book. I’d have to share it with others to see if their feelings are mutual about it!

The Snow ChildEowyn Ivey– A charming book which I’d love more readers to discover!

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Me Before YouJojo Moyes– If I was publishing this list in order than this one would definitely be top. You’d HAVE to read it to be part of my book club! Ha! 😉

The HelpKathryn Stockett– A gorgeous book, beautifully written and so powerful. I LOVE IT!

I think my book club would be incredibly intense but an interesting, thought-provoking book club! What books would you like to discover with your book club? (imaginary book club or real!) Let me know! Please feel free to leave a link to your posts and I’ll stop by!

British Books Challenge 2014: The round up!

The British Book Challenge was set up to show support for British Authors. By signing up I promised to read at least 12 books by British Authors. That’s equal to one book a month.

It’s safe to say that I exceeded this challenge this year.