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Dracula – Bram Stoker * Reading Challenge Recap *

21 Oct


Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide – #10/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition #10/782

Synopsis – When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘master’. In the ensuing battle of wills between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries – led by the intrepid vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing – Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

My Thoughts – I read this back in 2012 on my Kindle and actually really enjoyed it. I’ve always struggled with classic books as I seem to struggle to get into them but this one was really good. My original review can be found HERE.

Rating – I rated this book 5/5.

Recommendations – Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Carmilla – Sheridan Le Fanu, dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Stevenson (Challenge Book), Twilight – Stephenie Meyer (Challenge book), Peeps – Scott Westerfield (Challenge Book), The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova (Challenge Book), Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – Carmilla – Sheridan Le Fanu, dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Stevenson (Challenge Book), Night World Series – L.J. Smith (Challenge Book), Twilight – Stephenie Mayer (Challenge Book), Interview with a Vampire – Anne Rice (Challenge Book), Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen.

The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan Book Review

13 Feb


Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Meet the Keeper of Lost Things….

Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before.

Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.

But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters….

My Thoughts – I downloaded this from audible as it was on a 2 for 1 offer but it’s also a book that I’ve wanted to read for a while. This book has two different plot lines running, the first being Anthony Peardew and Laura and the other is Bomber and Eunice. Anthony becomes ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ when his wife to be suddenly dies and many years later Laura becomes his housekeeper. When he dies we are introduced to the character of Sunshine, a young lady with Downs Syndrome, and I have to say that if everyone had Sunshine in their lives the world would be a much better place. This plot of the book was really good and had me hooked right to the end – what does happen with all the things tha are lost?

The second plot line to this book is Bomber and his assistant Eunice. This was a lovely little sub plot – woven so tightly with the other story but at the same time just not close enough to see where the two would link. It took til right at the end for it all to become apparent.

This was an amazing story – one that I would highly recommend that everyone read!

Rating – 5/5

The Last Thing She Told Me – Linda Green Book Review

11 Feb


Format – Audiobook

SynopsisEven the deepest buried secrets can find their way to the surface…

Moments before she dies, Nicola’s grandmother Betty whispers to her that there are babies at the bottom of the garden.

Nicola’s mother claims she was talking nonsense. However, when Nicola’s daughter finds a bone while playing in Betty’s garden, it’s clear that something sinister has taken place.

But will unearthing painful family secrets end up tearing Nicola’s family apart?

My Thoughts – I downloaded this on audible a little while back as it sounded like a really good thriller! This book is about 4 generations of the same family and how things that happened to one have shaped the lives of the others. It was a really fantastic book with such a good plot that I think I might go back and listen to it all again as know I know what happened I will probably enjoy it even more.

It took me a while to understand the narration in the book but once I had it figured out then I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure if I have read anything else by the author previously but I’ll definitely be reading more. It was fantastic and really had me hooked!

A great recommended read.

Rating – 4.5/5

January 2019 – Reading Wrap Up

7 Feb


Photo by Bich Tran on

January was a really good bookish month for me – for the first time in a long time I’m ahead on my goodreads challenge – 2 books in fact! I managed to read and listen to 7 books which is a really good start to the year for me!

Books read.

1)The Forth Friend – Joy Ellis – This is a continuation in the Jackman and Evans series and it was really good!

2)Does my Bum look Big in This? Arabella Weir – I didnt enjoy this book too much but its another off the reading challenge list!

3)Bring Me Back – B A Paris – A really good thriller with a good twist.7

4)3096 Days – Natascha Kampush. A really harrowing memoir.

5)The Language of Kindness – a Nurses Story – Christie Watson. A memoir of a career in nursing – so many emotions to this book.

6)The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks – A brilliant love story that I read all in one sitting.

7)The Last Thing she Told Me – Linda Green – This was fantastic! I really enjoyed this one!

Currently reading

In book form I’m currently reading Never Go Back by Robert Goddard – its a thriller that I’m not too far into just yet – its got the promise to be really good however I’m hoping that it is.

I’m currently listening to The Keeper of the Lost Things by Ruth Hogan – This is such a charming story and I’m really enjoying it!

Other Posts

I only posted on other post this month – The Da Vinci Code reading wrap up!

Books Brought

I brought 6 books this month – 3 audio and 3 tree books.

  • Cuckoo – Julia Crouch
  • The Language of Kindness – Christie Watson
  • Theres A Boy in the Girls Bathroom – Louis Sacher
  • The Borders – Alistar Moffatt
  • The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan
  • The House We Grew Up In – Lisa Jewell


The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks Book Review

29 Jan


Format – Paperback

Synopsis – How far can love endure?

Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other.

But when these distant memories begin to slide into reality, the passion that had lain still is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade.

My Thoughts – I’ve had this book on my shelf for a long time – along with other books by this author. I’m not sure why its taken me so long to get around to reading this.

I enjoyed this book alot – i read it practically in one sitting and the love that Noah had for his wife was so perfect it was untrue. There isnt too much to say about the plot of this book but it was an amazing love story!

I’m looking forward to reading more of the authors work!

Rating – 4/5

The Language of Kindness: A Nurses Story – Christie Watson

28 Jan


Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Christie Watson was a nurse for 20 years. Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astonishing account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.

We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient’s agonising heart-lung transplant and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive.

In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book from audible as it was on the Daily Deal for a day. The book is a memoir of Christie Watsons life as a nurse, the career that she has had and patients that she has treated. What makes this book really good is that she narrates it herself which for a medical audiobook can only be a good thing. You could tell with her as a narrator that she understood the medical terminology well and was able to explain it in a really easy to understand way.

This book is called ‘The Language of kindness’ and it really made me reflect on the times that I have been in hospital both myself as a patient and with my children. For example – I had my tonsils removed when I was five – over 20 year ago now and I can still remember the kind male nurse who looked after me in recovery. When my Son was born the kind nurses in the special baby care unit that care for him while I was recovering. The kind nurses that calmed me down when I had to have an emergency c-section early when my daughter was distressed and when she was readmitted to hospital at just 2 weeks old who cared for her so kindly.

I really feel that the author has captured what it meant to be a nurse. It was also quite thought-provoking in places – she was working really hard, being a mum and an author and still only just making ends meet. I honestly believe that nurses should have more funds available to them – but with the NHS the way it is at the minute I can see why this doesn’t happen.

Overall this was a really good book – one I would recommend.

Rating – 5/5

3096 Days – Natascha Kampusch Book Review

23 Jan


Format – Paperback Book

Synopsis3,096 Days is the remarkable and shocking true account of the kidnap of Natascha Kampusch in 1998, who relives her traumatic experiences in this amazing true story.

On 2 March 1998 ten-year-old Natascha Kampusch was snatched off the street by a stranger and bundled into a white van. Hours later she was lying on a cold cellar floor, rolled up in a blanket. When she emerged from captivity in 2006, having endured one of the longest abductions in recent history, her childhood had gone.

in 3,096 Days Natascha tells her amazing story for the first time: her difficult childhood, what happened exactly on that fateful morning when she was on her way to school, her long imprisonment in a five-square-metre dungeon, and the physical and mental abuse she suffered from her abductor, Wolfgang Priklopil – who committed suicide by throwing himself under a train on the day she managed to make her escape.

3,096 Days is ultimately a story about the triumph of the human spirit. It describes how, in a situation of almost unbearable hopelessness, she learned how to manipulate her captor. And how, against inconceivable odds, she managed to escape unbroken.

My Thoughts – I’ve had this book on my shelves for a while and to be honest I’ve put it off a little bit due to the fact that its a true story and I cant quite imagine how traumatic it would have been for her.

Natascha was 10 when she was abducted and held captive for 8 years. Now while this is horiffic written down you you cant imagine the pain and horror she must have gone through. I have a 10 year old cousin and I just cant imagine her going through such a thing at such a young age.  I do remember this story in the newspapers – both when she disappeared and when she was found. However I wasnt aware of the cover ups that the police had done and quite how close she was to being found a couple of times.

This book was a very harrowing read – I cant imagine how she must have felt or what she had to go through at the time. It was also very shocking that her captor used to take her out in public but she couldnt do anything to leave or brake free until one day.

A very powerful read

Rating – 3/5