Archive | December, 2018

Strangeways: A Prison Officers Story – Neil Samworth – Book Review

17 Dec


Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth spent 11 years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, aka Strangeways. A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, Sam had to deal with it all – gangsters and gangbangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out.

Strangeways is a shocking and at times darkly funny account of life in a high-security prison. Sam tackles cell fires and self-harmers and goes head to head with some of the most dangerous men in the country. He averts a Christmas Day riot after turkey is taken off the menu and replaced by fish curry and stands up to officers who abuse their position. He describes being attacked by prisoners and reveals the problems caused by radicalisation and the drugs flooding our prisons.

As staffing cuts saw Britain’s prison system descend into crisis, the stress of the job – the suicides, the inhumanity of the system and one assault too many – left Sam suffering from PTSD. This raw, searingly honest memoir is a testament to the men and women of the prison service and the incredibly difficult job we ask them to do.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as I enjoy reading real life non fictin but I’ve never read one that is from a Prison Officers perspective. This was a really good book – it was shocking at times the things that a Prison Officer has to go through in there jobs – somethings that they shouldnt have to deal with. He also talks about high profile prisoners that he has met – some of which I had obviously heard of – others not so much! it was a real eye opening book and really made me think about the realities of PTSD and other mental health conditions.

Rating – 4/5

The Last of the First – Ian W Sainsbury Book Review

6 Dec


Format – Audiobook

Series – Halfhero #3

Synopsis – The conclusion of the Amazon and Audible best-selling Halfhero series.

When The Deterrent comes out of hiding and kidnaps the titans, it triggers the biggest manhunt in history. On one side, the military might of the United States and Air Commodore Fiona Bardock, Britain’s most talented investigator. On the other, three halfheroes, one human and a puddle of slime.

Daniel Harbin hopes to get through this alive and track down the children he never knew existed. What no one realises is they’re about to confront the greatest danger of all.


My Thoughts – I have listened to the complete Halfhero Trilogy now this year and I have to say I’ve really enjoyed it. This is the last book – the reason for a lot of build up in the other books. This picks up pretty much where the last book ended and straight away I was hooked by it all again.

Daniel is back and along with the other halfheros has hatched a plot to save the Titans. The book is full of action and is a real jam packed book. I really enjoyed the end to the trilogy – I am pretty disappointed that it has ended though as I really enjoyed this authors work and the narrator was really good too. The author has written another series and I’m really looking forward to starting that soon!

A really good book – I’d recommend the whole series!

Rating – 5/5

December 2018 Goals

5 Dec

Last month this really helped me to achieve my goals I wanted so I thought I would do this again

Reading Goals

  • Listen to at least 3 audio books
  • Read at least 3 books
  • Update TBR on Blog
  • Update TBR book
  • Sort through books from Mums house

Blog Goals

  • Finish Reading Challenge Recaps (there is about 20 to write!)
  • Write up the genre pages in the reading challenges
  • Make blog more streamlined
  • Design Graphics for blog
  • Look into social media for blog – Pinintrest and twitter
  • Use Instgram more

Money Goals

  • Pay off at least £50 of CC1 (Remaining balance £216.81)
  • Stop using credit cards for silly purchases.
  • Contact Hughes ref iPad
  • Have 20 new listings on eBay
  • Hit the £100 mark on eBay

House Goals

  • Finish listing DS clothes on Ebay that are outgrown
  • Sort through DD clothes and list on Ebay that are outgrown
  • Organise playroom
  • Organise DS bedroom

Life Goals

  • Complete Unit 1 of accountancy
  • Book Exam for Unit 1

November 2018 Goals – Catch Up

4 Dec

For November I set myself some goals – I’m now going to go over these to see if I achieved them!

Reading Goals

  • Listen to at least 3 audio books Achieved! I managed 4!
  • Read at least 3 books I only managed two books however still pleased with this!
  • Unpack library – we have just moved and I’m itching to unpack my books. Done!
  • Sort through read books – decide what to keep and what to donate. Done!

Blog Goals

  • Finish Reading Challenge Recaps (there is about 20 to write!) I’ve still got another 10 or so to go!
  • Write up the genre pages in the reading challenges I’m not starting this until I’ve finished the recaps
  • Make blog more streamlined Still need to do this
  • Design Graphics for blog I’ve started this but need to work on it more
  • Look into social media for blog I’ve set up an Instagram but need to use it more!

Money Goals

  • Save £200 towards Christmas Achieved!
  • Pay off at least £50 of CC1 (Remaining balance £266.51) I managed £54.36 which I’m pleased with
  • Stop using credit cards for silly purchases I only used my credit card for a couple of work related things so these will be paid off this month!

House Goals

  • Finish listing DS clothes on Ebay that are outgrown Just a few left to do
  • Sort through DD clothes and list on Ebay that are outgrown Need to do this still
  • Organise playroom Need to continue this
  • Organise DS bedroom Nearly done on this
  • Organise DD bedroom Achieved!

November 2018 Reading Wrap Up

3 Dec

low angle photo of fireworks

Photo by on

November has been a fairly good reading month for me. I’ve managed to read a fair bit and also got back into my audiobooks again fully.

I read 2 physical books and listened to 4 audiobooks. While I was hoping to read 3 books I don’t think this is too bad!

I read the following this month,

31) – The Murderers Son – Joy Ellis – I really enjoyed this 2nd in the series book. I can’t wait for this book to be realised later on this month.

32) – The Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell – I also enjoyed this memoir of running a bookshop.

33) Me Life Story – Scarlett Moffatt – Another good autobiography.

34) Eve of Man – Giovanna and Tom Fletcher – a great first in a trilogy young adult book.

35) Whisky from the Small Glass – Denzil Meyrick – Crime thriller set in the Scottish Hylands

36)Agatha Raisen and the Quiche of Death – M. C. Beaton – Another good mystery – first in a long series.

37) The Child – Fiona Barton – A thriller with a big twist!

I’m happy with the amount I read this month. I’m aiming for 42 books now by the end of the year so only another 5 to go!

Currently Reading

In book form I’m currently reading Does My Bum Look Big in this? by Arabella Weir. This is for my ultimate teen book guide challenges and while I’m not very far into it its reminding me of a Bridget Jones type book.

In audiobook form I’m listening to The Last of the First by Ian W Sainsbury – the final book in the halfheroes trilogy. this is a brilliant series and I’m quite sad its ending now!

Books Brought

I brought a lot of books again this month  28 in total! The first 17 are all by Jacqueline Wilson.

  • 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
  • The Silent Corner – Dean Koontz
  • The Girl who Said no to Death – Dean Koontz
  • Close to Home – Cara Hun
  • The Seagull – Ann Cleeves
  • Give me the Child – Mel McGrath
  • The Angel – Katerina Diamond
  • After the Snow – Susannah Constantine
  • Elsewhere – Gabriella Zevin
  • The Mighty Crashman – Jerry Spinelli
  • Strangeways – Neil Samworth (A)
  • The Secret Child (A)

Other Posts

I also published the following posts;


The Child – Fiona Barton – Book Review

2 Dec


Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this on audible as it was on a 3 for 2 deal. This book is told from three different perspectives – Kate, a journalist who is trying to uncover a massive story, Emma, a woman who holds a deep secret and Jude, Emma’s mum who also holds secrets of her own.

This was really interesting in the way that the story as told from the three different perspectives and how each character reacted to each of the scenes in the book. I really warmed to Emma – it was a while before we found out what her secret was however i did work it out before I got there in the book.

A very enjoyable listen too as it was narrated by different women it was easy to follow the book and who was talking – it almost flowed like a play. I havent read more books by this author but I definitely will in the future.

Rating – 4/5