What I've read lately

Goodness, I’ve just looked back at my WIRL post and was shocked that it was last October. Slightly less shocking is that i was going to start this post in exactly the same way, saying it’s been a while etc. etc. and it turns out it has been again.

In other ways though it’s not surprising as while I enjoy reading, it’s one of those all consuming hobbies. When a book’s so well written that I feel like I know the characters, and care about what happens to them, then I have a compulsive need to find out, no matter what. I read plenty in Portugal on our recent trip, and then again earlier this week when I read a real, actual proper book rather than one on my kindle.

I’m actually like to read both, I know some people much prefer to read an actual book, but I’m easy. If I’ve found time to read, I can adapt to the format, but let’s see what I’ve been reading.

Good weather, a sunlounger and a good book

1 A Place of Hope, Anna Jacobs

As you can see from the photo above this is the actual paper-based novel that I read, mostly in the shade on the sunlounger on Tuesday when it was way too hot to do the gardening we’d planned. MOH went out on a long bike ride (yes, he’s bonkers at times, but said he managed to find some breeze down by the Thames) and so I settled in reading a bit more of the book I’d started earlier in the day.

It’s the first Anna Jacobs book that I’ve read and was passed to me by mum. It’s not a lengthy book, and I actually finished it later that day, or technically early the following day. So going by my criteria above on getting engrossed with the characters, you can tell I thought this was a good book.

The main character, Emily is an early retiree whose unscrupulous nephew George tries to take advantage after a near fatal accident as he learnt of an inheritance that had come Emily’s way. It’s a story of adventure with an escape from hospital, love and embezzlement which takes a few turns along the way.

This evening I’ve learnt that it’s the first of three books, and I’m pleased about that, as I’m keen to know what happens next in this trilogy. it’s peculiar really as mum gave me this book a while back, and it’s taken me a good while to start it, but now, I’m keen for the next one. If she doesn’t have it, then I think i’ll be passing this one her way when I’m done.

2 Dancing over the hill, Cathy Hopkins

This was a bit of a different genre for me, with a more comical lighthearted style, but one that worked well for a holiday read. The main characters are Cait and Matt, in their early sixties with a long marriage that’s, shall we say tired. The main storyline - but not the only one - is when an old flame of Cait’s gets in touch on Facebook, and she contemplates a life change with a mix of help and hindrance from her best friends which is hilarious and I’m sure many of us can relate to.

There’s a touching side too which shows in her relationship with her father, her son and his boyfriend and with the living arrangements that transpire too. If you’re after a read that’s engaging, realistic and amusing but with not overly deep meaning (although it has well thought out characters), then this could be one for you.

3 Moments of Time, Gloria Cook

This story is set after the Great War and is more usual of the book I’m attracted too, and I wasn’t disappointed. It follows Emilia and her husband Alec, and is the second book in the series (the first is Touch the Silence which I haven’t read) and her life on the farm and focuses on the family relationships, their friends and children and includes tragedy, love, intrigue and more. I want to tell you more, but I’m sure I’ll give the story away if I do but I really want you to read this one for yourself - I liked it that much, and I hope there’s another one to come.

4 The Things I Know, Amanda Prowse

The dedication in this book, on reflection, gives an inkling to this book and its purpose, yes purpose, perhaps an unusual way to describe a book, but I believe it does have a purpose. The book is dedicated to “all the people like me, who throughout their life have always felt that they didn’t quite fit” something I’m sure we’ve all felt at times, and even perhaps most of the time. It continues that “it only take one person to show you the magic” and that’s true too, and that’s in a nutshell the outline of this book.

Of course, it’s more than that. There’s chance, hard work, some breaking the rules when you wouldn’t expect it, family tensions (again), bravery and love. This was a story I very much enjoyed, and one that left me with one of those book hangovers as I continued the imaginary what happened next in my head. Perhaps I’m a little bit different in that respect too, who knows?

5 Needlemouse, Jane O’Connor

This was another of those books I couldn’t put down. it describes itself as an uplifting novel perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (I’ve not read, but feel like I should). The heroine, Sylvia has a secret, she’s in love with ‘Prof’ the thing is he has no idea, and he’s her boss. Sylvia lives for work, and ‘Prof’ but also for her volunteering at the hedgehog sanctuary and while you might not warm or even like Sylvia, you can’t fail to like this book, hedgehog fan or not.

And if you’re wondering why Needlemouse, that’s the Japanese translation of the name for hedgehogs, I think I want to call them that now rather than hedgehogs…

6 The Break, Marian Keyes

This was the book that I ended my last WIRL post with, and unbelievably my first Marian Keyes read, but definitely not my last. Amy’s husband Hugh is the one taking a break, to find himself, and then he’s gone. The book questions what and if he returns, how Amy’s feeling and how she copes and then the realisation that if Hugh’s on a break, then so is she and all this set with the backdrop of keeping a complicated family life going, as of course Amy (break or no break) can’t just drop everything and head to the other side of the world, getting to London is challenging enough.

Even just writing this post I’ve been transported back into these stories, and once again I’m wondering why I don’t make more time for reading. I really should.

Now, what would you recommend for me?


Also linking up with At home a lot.