Archive | November, 2018

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death – M. C. Beaton Book Review

29 Nov

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Series – Agatha Raisin #1

Format – Paperback book

Synopsis – High-flying public relations supremo Agatha Raisin has decided to take early retirement. She’s off to make a new life in a picture-perfect Cotswold village. To make friends, she enters the local quiche-making competition – and to make quite sure of first prize she secretly pays a visit to a London deli.

Alas, the competition judge succumbs after tasting her perfect Quiche, and Agatha is revealed as a cheat and potential poisoner. Definitely not the best start. So Agatha must turn amateur sleuth – she’s absolutely got to track down the real killer!

My Thoughts – I’ve been wanting to read this series for a while but I’ve never got around to buying any of the books. I recently brought the first 9 books (I think!) on eBay and I thought I would dive into them pretty much straight away.

Agatha Raisin is used to being a high-flying professional in London and once she retires to the countryside realises that it’s not as idyllic and as fun as what it is meant to be. She ends up falling foul of the locals and has to end up redeeming herself.

I thought this book was pretty fun – it’s quite short and the plot isn’t very deep but its got quite a fun plot. I didn’t really warm to Agatha in this book – I found her quite rude but I’m hoping as the series goes on that I will find her work likeable. It was quite funny in places though. I live in a small village and it was quite similar to living round here – everyone has to know everyone elses business.

I did enjoy this and am looking forward to starting the next book in the series soon.

Rating – 3/5

Book Haul – Jacqueline Wilson Books!

26 Nov

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This year I’ve made quite a decision with books that I am reading. I’ve been logging my thoughts on and off for the last ten years and reading a lot of books that I thought I should be reading – like classics, literary fiction, historical novels etc that other people have been raving about. this year I decided that I would read books that I would like to read and one particular type of books that I love is young adult and children’s books.

While I was growing up I really enjoyed Jacqueline Wilson books I read a lot of her early ones but as I grew up I missed a lot of her books as I thought I had outgrown them. One of my favourite things as an adult to do is revisit old childhood favourites and enjoy them again.

This authors books are one of the ones I’ve been wanting to revisit for a while. I saw a bundle of them on eBay, quite cheaply!, so I thought it was as good a time as any to get back into these books. Some of the books are ones I have read before, some are part of the reading challenges I’m doing and some are new to me and quite honestly I cant wait to jump into these!

Above is a picture of the books on my shelf however I’ll also list them below!

  • Dustbin Baby
  • Best Friends
  • Starring Tracy Beaker
  • The Story of Tracy Beaker
  • The Lottie Project
  • Secrets
  • Vicky Angel
  • Midnight
  • Clean Break
  • The Diamond Girls
  • Candyfloss
  • The Suitcase Kid
  • The Illustrated Mum
  • Cookie
  • The Worst Thing About My Sister
  • Queenie
  • Diamond

I’m really looking forward to reading these – what are your favourite books by this author?

Danny Champion of the World – Roald Dahl – Reading Challenge Recap

24 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Book Guide #4/672

Synopsis – Danny lives in a gipsy caravan with his father, the most marvellous and exciting father any boy ever had.
All the land around them belongs to Mr Victor Hazell, a rich snob with a great glistening beery face and tiny piggy eyes. Nobody likes him, not one-little bit.
So one day, Danny and his father concoct a daring plot that will give the old blue-faced baboon Victor Hazell the greatest shock of his life – so long as they don’t get caught …

My Thoughts – I read (or was rather read to) this book back in primary school when I was around 7 or 8. However as it was such a good story it stayed with me for a very long time. This book is about Danny and his Dad and a plot that they hatch together. It’s a fantastic story – one that really captured my imagination as a child and one that I will be reading to my children once they are older. I’m trying to re-read some of my childhood favourites and this will definitely be one that I will be reading again.

Rating – 5/5

Recomendations – The BFG – Roald Dahl (Challenge Book), Rescuing Dad – Pete Johnson (Challege Book), Result! – Neil Arksey.

Whiskey From Small Glasses -Denzil Meyrick – Book Review

23 Nov

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – DCI Jim Daley is sent from the city to investigate a murder after the body of a woman is washed up on an idyllic beach on the West Coast of Scotland. Far away from urban resources, he finds himself a stranger in a close-knit community.

Love, betrayal, fear and death stalk the small town, as Daley investigates a case that becomes more deadly than he could possibly imagine, in this compelling Scottish crime novel infused with intrigue and dark humour.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book on the 3 for 2 audible offer a few weeks back. thrillers are fast becoming one of my favourite genres of books and I’m very much enjoying listening to crime thrillers.

This book centres on DCI Jim Daley – a Scottish detective that is asked to investigate a gruesome murder in a small rural village. It also tells a lot of his personal life – in the form of his relationship with his wife Liz. I didn’t understand to start with why this was talked about in detail but as the book went on I started to grasp why.

This book was ok – i enjoyed the plot and I did work out who was the murderer fairly early on and there was a good few plot twists too. Overall a good story – I might continue the series in the future if I come across it as its book #1 of 5 in the series.

Rating – 3/5

Chocolat – Joanne Harris – Reading Challenge Recap

21 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide – #5/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – #6/782.

Series – Chocolat

  • Chocolat
  • The Lollypop Shoes
  • Peaches For Father Francis
  • The Strawberry Thief

The Link to my original review can be found here.

Synopsis – When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

My Thoughts – I read this back in 2013 – I’ve linked my original review above incase anyone wants to read it and I can remember enjoying it a lot! I did buy the next in the series The Lollypop Shoes back then aswell but for some reason I havent read it yet. Currently its in one of my boxes of books that hopefully when we move again I can unpack but I will be reading it at some point!

Rating – I rated this 4/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris, Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel, Lucas – Kevin Brooks (Challenge Book), Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – The Lollypop Shoes – Joanne Harris, Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris, Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel, Lucas – Kevin Brooks (Challenge Book), The Food of Love – Anthony Capella

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger *Reading Challenge Recap*

19 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide #4/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition #5/782.

Link to my original review can be found here.

Synopsis – It’s Christmas and Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another school. Fleeing the crooks at Pencey Prep, he pinballs around New York City seeking solace in fleeting encounters – shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels, wandering alone round Central Park, getting beaten up by pimps and cut down by erstwhile girlfriends.

The city is beautiful and terrible, in all its neon loneliness and seedy glamour, its mingled sense of possibility and emptiness. Holden passes through it like a ghost, thinking always of his kid sister Phoebe, the only person who really understands him, and his determination to escape the phonies and find a life of true meaning.

The Catcher in the Rye is an all-time classic coming-of-age story: an elegy to teenage alienation, capturing the deeply human need for connection and the bewildering sense of loss as we leave childhood behind.

My Thoughts – I read this book back in 2010 and even now it sticks in my mind as a book I really didn’t enjoy. I wont go too deep into my thoughts about it as I’ve linked my original review above. I do sometimes struggle with ‘classic’ books that everyone raves about so maybe that’s why I didnt enjoy it!

Rating – 2/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Beet Fields – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), King Dork – Frank Portman (Challenge Book) Nine Stories – J. D. Salinger (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition. The Beet Fields – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse, For Esme – with Love and Squalor – J.D. Salinger (Challenge Book), Just in Case – Meg Rosoff (Challenge Book)

Me Life Story: Sofa, So Good! – Scarlett Moffatt * Book Review *

16 Nov

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Fact: Did you know, over its lifespan, your sofa will witness roughly 293 arguments and 1,369 cuddles? Hiya, my name’s Scarlett Moffatt and I love random facts. Almost as much as I love sitting on me sofa. You might know me best from my most famous and celebrated sit thus far on the I’m A Celebrity throne. You might also know me from all sorts of other seats, most especially my Gogglebox sofa. Well this book is my attempt at telling me life story through a whole series of them! So I’d like you right now to stop what you’re doing and take a seat, whether it be in the comfort of your own home, on the top deck of the bus, on the tube (so you don’t have to make eye contact with anybody) or on the throne of the house (a.k.a. the toilet). I want you to get comfortable and get ready to laugh, cry and maybe even learn a bit, as I chat to you about some of the highs and lows of me life. So grab a brew, settle down and let’s start from the very beginning …

My Thoughts – I downloaded this as it was on audible 3 for 2 and I enjoyed Scarlett when she was on I’m a celebrity get me out of Here! so I thought that this book would be quite interesting.

I didn’t actually realise until I was almost through the whole book that this was her second book but I enjoyed it all the same.

This book has different chapters about her life – all starting with a few facts about something in the book and then ending with a life lesson or moral – which I really enjoyed.

This book really changed my opinion of Scarlett – for example, I didn’t realise that she was badly bullied at school and having come all through tha it makes her the person that she is today. I totally get that as I was bullied horribly at secondary school – to the point that I developed anxiety and refused to go. I think that this should be a must read for anyone going through that as there is light at the end of the tunnel and it really does get better.

I also didn’t realise that she was really into books – something that obviously I also enjoy. I wish more people would admit there love for reading – I’m all for that!

Overall a really enjoyable read – it was funny in places, sad in places and she’s a real humble nice person. A really good book. She also narrates it which I thought was fab!

Rating – 4/5