Archive | March, 2012

One Child – Torey Hayden

29 Mar


Started – 14/3/12

Finished – 27/3/12

Format – paperback book


Synopsis – This beautiful and deeply moving tale recounts educational psychologist Torey Hayden’s battle to unlock the emotions of a troubled and sexually abused child who, with the help of Hayden, was finally able to overcome her dark past and realise her full potential.

Six-year-old Sheila was abandoned by her mother on a highway when she was four. A survivor of horrific abuse, she never spoke, never cried, and was placed in a class for severely retarded children after committing an atrocious act of violence against another child. Everyone thought Sheila was beyond salvation – except her teacher, Torey Hayden. With patience, skill, and abiding love, she fought long and hard to release a haunted little girl from her secret nightmare – and nurture the spark of genius she recognised trapped within Sheila’s silence. This is the remarkable story of their journey together – an odyssey of hope, courage, and inspiring devotion that opened the heart and mind of one lost child to a new world of discovery and joy.


My Thoughts – This isnt my normal type of book that i choose to read, but it was recommended to me by a local bookshop owner and i thought i might as well give it a go. I am glad i did read this book. It has opened my eyes up to the genre and i think i will read more books like this.


This is a real life book. I think that is what made it so shocking for me in the end. This story is about Torey a teacher, who looks after children with severe mental and physical conditions. Now this would be a challenge for most people, but then she has to take on another child, Sheila. Now Sheila has not had the best start in life, abandoned by her mother on a highway, living with a father that doesnt know how to care for her and unfortunately she has committed an awful crime. As she is only 6, she cannot understand why the world is such a horrible place for her.


Now the child that arrives in Toreys class in unresponsive, wont talk, badly behaved and hurts other people and animals. It is up to Torey to teach her right from wrong. I liked the progress in Sheila and how she slowly becomes part of the class.


Now one event in the book did actually upset me. Sheilas uncle did something truly and disgusting and disturbing to the poor little girl. I found this part so upsetting and it actually made me feel physically sick. This was because it was a real life book and this actually happened to her.


I really got into this book and the authors style of writing. She made it feel real and kept my interest in the book all the way through. It read well and followed the story well as i have found some memoirs dont always do that.


The author has written at least one more book that i know of, if not more and i think i’ll keep a look out for it. I liked this book, but it should come with a warning, it is very shocking.


Rating – 4/5


Booking Through Thursday – Relating

29 Mar

A while ago, I interviewed my readers for a change, and my final question was, “What question have I NOT asked at BTT that you’d love me to ask?” I got some great responses and will be picking out some of the questions from time to time to ask the rest of you. Like now.

Ted and Sarah both asked similar questions about relating to characters:

Ted asks:

Are there any fictional characters whom you have emulated (or tried to)? Who and why?

Bookish Sarah asks an interesting assortment of questions:

What literary character do you feel is most like you personality-wise (explain)?

I wouldnt say that I’ve tried to emulate any characters knowingly, but i would love to be like Hermione from the Harry Potter series. I love how study orientated she is, and how much of a bookworm she is. In the final book where she takes a whole library with her on the travels. i would just love to be like her in that way. I suppose i am like that actually, my kindle goes everywhere with me and i have a lot of books on that.

Now, which characters would i say i am most like? Now i would say i am a mixture. I am a little like Becky from the shopaholic series. I am not as stupid as she is, but i do like to shop a lot. I am also like Anne from the Famous Five series. I like to be involved in things and try to keep up with others, but at the same time i do get scared quite easily, and i do give the game away too alot!

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom by Tamara Hancock

28 Mar

Started – 23/3/12

Finished – 24/3/12

Format – Kindle e-book


Synopsis – I have five children and a full-time work at home job. When most people hear this, they stand with their eyes wide open and their jaws on the floor.
Being a Stay At Home Mom is work, whether you have a “job” in addition to the title of “Mom” or not. We all find ourselves in places of overwhelming frustration from time to time, feeling very inadequate for the “job”. This feeling of inadequacy and fear of failure is only compounded when you run into other moms who seem so fully put together and “perfect” you can’t possibly measure up.
The secret to success is knowing that there are others out there, just like you, and they aren’t perfect either. These Confessions are to put into perspective the things we do from day to day, and to help other Stay At Home Moms see that no-body’s perfect, we just manage things differently.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as it was free for the day over on Amazon. I did think by the title and synopsis that this would be a memoir and it would be about a parent working full time and being a full time parent too. unfortunately this was not the case. It is a book about a full time working mum who goes into how to manage time and your life.


Now i am not a parent, yet!, and this just didnt seem like it was aimed at me at all. It was all based on to do lists and schedules. Now i do like these things, but to live your whole life by them? Now this is a bit too much even by my standards.


Maybe i would have enjoyed this more if i was a parent, trying to work and bring up children. But at the minute I’m not. Maybe it will be one for me to revisit in a few years time when it might be more relevant. I did carry on reading hoping it would go a bit more like a memoir, but unfortunately it didnt. This wasnt a book for me.


Rating – 2/5

WWW Wednesdays (28th March)

28 Mar

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme held over on Should Be Reading. To play along just answer the following questions.

What are you currently reading?

In book form I’m currently reading Strike Back by Chris Ryan. I do enjoy the modern war type books having taking a dip into my boyfriends books. This is my first by this author and I’m hoping that its going to be good. Its started well though.

On my kindle I’m reading The Firestone Crystal by Linda M. David. This book is very good. Young adult, a sulky child gets the adventure of a lifetime when she goes to summer school in outer space, but there are some other issues and foul play too. I’m really enjoying this book.

What did you recently finish reading?

Over the past week I finished 4 books! I was off work for a few days and my reading really picked up!

The first book i read wasNothing But the Truth by John Barnes. This was a memoir about the life of a police officer in britain. What made it good was he was just an ordinary guy, which added to the brilliance of the book. This one is very highly recommended.

The next book i read was Grimms Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm. Now while i was familiar with some of these tales, i wasnt familiar with them all. I could really imagine  myself reading these stories to a child. a fantastic book. I do wish it had all the stories in though, I’m going to keep a look out for even more of them now.

The next book i read was Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom by Tamara Hancock. I was so disappointed with this book, i thought it was going to be a memoir, but instead it was a how to run your life with kid’s guide. I’m really not a fan of how to books, so for me this was not a book i enjoyed.

The final book i read was One Child by Torey Hayden. This was one of those real life books about troubled children. I enjoyed this book, but it was so upsetting and the treatment of the child in question was horrific. All i wanted to do was cuddle the poor little girl.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next up off my huge TBR pile is The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. I absolutely adore her books and am trying to read all of her books. This is one of the books that i havent yet read, i cant wait to get around to it!

Grimm’s Fairy Stories – Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

27 Mar

Started – 21/3/12

Finished – 23/3/12

Format – Kindle e-book


Challenges – Rory Gilmore Challenge (Rapunzel, Snow White and Red Rose)

1001 Childrens Books You Must Read)

501 Must Read Books


Synopsis – The Brothers Grimm rediscovered a host of fairy tales. Together with their well-known tales of “Rapunzel”, “The Goose Girl”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Hansel and Gretel” there are darker tales which deserve to be better known. This is a collection of their tales.

My Thoughts – This was one of the many kindle books that i downloaded on the first day of me having my kindle. Its one of those classic books that has always been on my list of books that i want to read but have never got around to reading them all.


I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Although i read most of them in one sitting, it is definitely a book that could be dipped in and out of. I could actually see myself reading these stories aloud at bedtime to my younger cousins.


Some of these stories i was familiar with and some i wasnt. Stories like Snow White and Cinderella i was familiar with, due to watching the Disney films when i was a lot younger. However there were some new to me stories like Bearskin and The Three Brothers. I was hoping that all of the stories were contained in the edition, but unfortunately not. I will be keeping my eyes open for more of the stories.


Now, although i enjoyed the book i did find some of the stories a little disturbing for a younger child to read nowadays, as all fairy stories at this time all seem to have happy ending and live happily ever after. For example, Little Red Riding Hood. Where at the end she is gobbled up and dies in this story, maybe nowadays that would be upsetting for a child.


I did find some themes reoccurring throughout the stories. The handsome prince, the poor princess, the wicked stepmother, the ugly step sisters, the youngest sibling is always the good one etc. Now i liked all these and thought that these were good parts of the fairy stories.


I also thought that these books were very easy to read considering they were written over 200 years ago. I know that i didnt read these in the original language, German, and that they had been made to be easier to read, but i still had concerns that i wouldnt be able to read them very well.


This book is really good, well worth a read if you havent already read this.  Plus i would say good for bedtime stories for older children


Rating – 4.5/5

Its Monday! What are you Reading? (26th March)

26 Mar

Its Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly bookish meme held over on Book Journey. Its a great place for book lovers to discuss there week in reading.

Books Read

I had a great reading week for reading on my kindle, i read four books! The first one was The Rise of April by Tarrin P. Lupo (Pirates of the Savannah book #3) Now while this book was good, like the others in the trilogy, i just didnt like the character of April, so for me this book didnt interest me as much as the others. Its still a good round off to the series.

The next book i read was Nothing But the Truth by John Barnes. This was a memoir about the life of a police officer in britain. What made it good was he was just an ordinary guy, which added to the brilliance of the book.

The next book i read was Grimms Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm. Now while i was familiar with some of these tales, i wasnt familiar with them all. I could really imagine  myself reading these stories to a child. a fantastic book.

The final book i read was Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom by Tamara Hancock. I was so disappointed with this book, i thought it was going to be a memoir, but instead it was a how to run your life with kids guide. I’m really not a fan of how to books, so for me this was not a book i enjoyed.







Reading Now

In book form I’m still reading One Child by Torey Hayden. This is one of those real life books that tells the story of a teacher in a unit for children with very serious difficulties. I think this book is going to be more upsetting as it goes on. I’m still plowing on through this but i seem to be picking my kindle up a lot more at the minute than actual books.

On my kindle I’m reading The Firestone Crystal by Linda M. David. This book is very good. Young adult, a sulky child gets the adventure of a lifetime when she goes to summer school in outer space.








Reading Next

Next of my huge TBR pile, (Same as last week!) is Strike Back by Chris Ryan. I do enjoy books of this genre, but this author is new to me. I cant wait to get started on it.

Synopsis –

Two Soldiers. Sir Peregrine Collinson. Britain’s most decorated military hero. A best-selling author. And the Prime Minister’s personal envoy. And John Porter – seventeen years ago, he was one of the SAS’s most promising young soldiers. Now he’s a broken man: a drunken tramp living rough on the streets of London.

 In Beirut, a brilliant young Sky TV reporter Katie Dartmouth has been captured by a ruthless gang of Hezbollah terrorists. She is to be executed live on television unless British troops are withdrawn from Iraq. A nation holds its breath and the Government is tottering on the edge of collapse. Both men believe they can save her. But only one of them can reach her.

 Their paths last crossed seventeen years earlier. Now they are about to face each other again. And the strike back is about to begin







Books Brought

I didnt actually buy this book, i got send this by the publisher – Apocalypse Cow – Michael Logan.

SynopsisWhen scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash an experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain’s animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation.


Abattoir worker Terry Borders’ love life is crippled by the stench of death that clings to his skin from his days spent slaughtering cows; teenage vegan Geldof ‘Scabby’ Peters alternates between scratching furiously at his rash and baiting his overbearing New Age mother; and inept journalist Lesley McBrien struggles forlornly in the shadow of her famous war correspondent father and the star journalist at the Glasgow Tribune.


When Britain begins a rapid descent into chaos and ministers cynically attempt to blame al-Qaeda, Lesley stumbles upon proof that the government is behind the outbreak. During her bumbling quest to unveil the truth, she crosses paths with Terry and Geldof, and together they set out to escape a quarantined Britain with the evidence and vital data that could unlock a cure for the virus.


Standing in the way are rampaging hordes of animals, a ruthless security agent and an army ready to shoot anybody with a case of the sniffles on the off-chance the virus has mutated.


Three losers. Overwhelming odds. A single outcome: the world is screwed.

Nothing But The Truth (A Policemans Tale) – John Bates

22 Mar

Started – 20/3/12

Finished – 21/3/12

Format – Kindle e-book


Synopsis – Originally written for the benefit of the author’s daughters and grandchildren, ‘A Policeman’s Tale’ has been extensively re-written for publication. It is really much more than an account of his time as a detective in London. It encompasses his childhood during the war, his schooldays, his RAF service and, following his police career, his time as a private investigator.

As well as describing the many crimes he investigated the book deals with some of the scrapes he got into and amusing experiences he had. It should prove to be a light-hearted but compelling read.


My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as my dad is in the police force and due to this i have quite an interest in the police. I thought that this would be a nice lighthearted read and i was right. I really enjoy reading memoirs, its one of my new favourite genres and this one was no exception.


This book was originally only written for the authors family, so he was just an ordinary person, which for me made the memoir very interesting reading. Also, he wasnt just an ordinary police constable, he got to almost the top rank within the british police force and this made very interesting reading what with all the different jobs he has done and all of the different police stations he has worked in.


I also liked the family parts of his story. This really did add a human aspect to the book and really made it seem like a proper memoir. The different stories that he told during his police life were very good, and really gave a look in, into what policing was like 30 or so years ago.


Although there was a bit of name dropping, there wasnt too much, unlike many of the memoirs that i have read, i do find the name dropping quite tiresome sometimes, but this was not the case in this book.


I only have a couple of bits that i didnt like. I did think that it was a little bit jumbled up, but this could be put down to the author not being a professional author, and it wasnt too noticeable. Also their were some names of the ‘criminals’ in the book and i didnt know if this was a little bit of personal privacy.


This is a good book, recommended to both fans of the memoir genre and others interested in the subject matter.


Rating – 4/5