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Goodreads 2016 Book Challenge

Goodreads 2016 Reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge 2016

I started a book reading challenge on Goodreads at the start of the year and I’m 3 books ahead of schedule 🙂 I recently read The Girl On The Train. It was an enjoyable read. I’m looking forward to seeing to the movie adaptation which is coming later in the year, I believe.

I’ve enjoyed reading the Agatha Raisin series and I started another one this morning after I’d finished Lie Still by Julia Heaberlin.

My favourite book so far has to be The Cursed Child. I pre-ordered it and got very excited when it arrived! It’s the script version of the stage play and because of this, it was a quick read. I was a bit sad when I finished it.
It has made me want to see it being performed on the stage. I bet it’s brilliant.

Goodreads 2016 reading challenge

Goodreads 2016 reading challenge

Goodreads 2016 reading challenge

Favourite books

One of the books that I struggled with, at first, was The October List b Jeffrey Deaver. He’s one of my favourite authors so I had to bring The October List home when it got donated to the charity shop where I’m a volunteer. It’s a bit different in that it’s written backwards. You start with the last chapter and work your way to the start of the story.

It was a bit confusing until all of a sudden everything falls into place. I must say, I was ready to give up half way through but I’m so glad I stuck with it.

My favourite books have to be the Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris. I read them all then watched each movie. I’d added the DVDs to my Amazon wishlist and my lovely father in law bought them for me for my birthday.

I still have over a 100 books on my ‘to read’ list and I’m always spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing the next book! It doesn’t help that I work in the book department at the charity shop. I get to have first pick when the books are donated (I pay the same price as the regular customers, just in case that sounded a little unfair!). I spend far too much there every week!


Books in May #ayearinbooks

Goodreads reading challenge May 2016
books in May

I’ve not read as much this month as I did last month because we’ve been busy in the garden. I changed my reading challenge from 12 books for the year to 40.

It says I’m 1 book behind so I’d best get reading more next month!

I started a new book by A. S. Byatt on Sunday called The Children’s Book but I really couldn’t get into it so I’m reading Agatha Raisin, the walkers of Wembley.
I should have it finished before the end of the month which will be my 4th book in May.

I read The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore last week. It started off really slow and boring but I’d read some reviews and knew to expect it. I carried on reading because the same reviews said it got better by the middle and brilliant at the end.

I didn’t find it brilliant, I found it really disappointing. It felt like I’d wasted time reading this book when I could have been enjoying something else and I blame Stephen King; for years he’s been my favourite author and when I saw the quote from him on the front of the book saying it was terrifying, I believed him!

The other books I’ve read are more Agatha Raisin ones. I can’t wait for the tv series that’s starting on the 7th June.

I’m not sure what to start next, I’m on the lookout for something really scary so if you’ve got any ideas, I’d appreciate your recommendations 🙂

#TheYearInBooks – My progress


I set myself a challenge at the start of the year; I love reading but hardly read any books last year because I got into the habit of only reading a couple of pages each night before I fell asleep.

It took me months to finish one book and with a ‘to read’ pile that was getting bigger every week, thanks to working on the book section at the charity shop, I knew I had to make more of an effort to find the time to read.

Nighttime reading is how I get myself to sleep but I now bring my book downstairs with me in the mornings and read while I’m eating breakfast.
I keep it by me so that whenever I get some free time, it’s there and I can settle down and read a chapter or three.

Goodreads run a challenge every year so this year I challenged myself to read one book a month. I’m already on book number 9! I should have set my goal to 40, not 12!

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Date Started – January 2nd, 2016
Date Finished – January 29th

Lady Of Hay by Barbara Erskine

Date Started – January 29th
Date Finished – February 21st

Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Date Started – February 22nd
Date Finished – March 4th

The Mistletoe Bride & Other Stories by Kate Mosse

Date Started – March 4th
Date Finished – March 12th

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Date Started – March 12th
Date Finished – March 18th

The Ghosts Of Sleath by James Herbert

Date Started – March 18th
Date Finished – March 28th

Welcome To Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop Of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

Date Started – March 28th
Date Finished – April 7th

Little Face by Sophie Hannah

Date Started – April 8th
Date Finished – April 15th

Awakenings by S.J.Bolton

Date Started – April 15th

I’ve nearly finished Awakenings, in fact, it will be definitely be finished this morning, which will make it the fastest book I’ve read so far this year 🙂

Awakening by S. J. Bolton


Next on the list is Agatha Raisin and the quiche of death by M.C. Beaton. The first 20 books of the series were donated to the charity shop this week so I’ve bought the first one and put the others to one side. I was going to buy them all but figured it would be best to read the first one and see if I like it before spending £20 and ending up with a series I won’t carry on reading!

Edit April 25th – I finished Agatha Raisin and I love it so I’ll be buying the other 19 books 🙂

Goodreads reading challenge 2016

#TheYearInBooks – Call the midwife

Call The Midwife

Call the midwife

I should have done this post at the start of March but I totally forgot! I finished my February book, Lady of Hay early so started my March book early and finished that a couple of days ago.
I’ve now started a new book and aim to finish it before the end of March as well!
More about that at the end; for now, onto Call the Midwife….

I was looking forward to reading the box set of 3 books by Jennifer Worth. It was a gift for Christmas as I’d seen season 1 on TV and loved it.

I didn’t enjoy the book as much and didn’t want to read the other 2 books in the series after finishing the first book, Call the Midwife.

It was a well written and the TV series seems to have followed it faithfully but I think that may have been the problem; I already knew what was going to happen with each person/family and it bored me a little.

I decided not to read the next book. It’s about the workhouses and I thought it might be too upsetting.

Instead, I started a book by Kate Mosse called The Mistletoe Bride. It’s a collection of short stories and so far, I’m enjoying it 🙂

You can see my progress on Good Reads if you’re at all interested in following me!

Read 100 Books #2 – Mr Mercedes #101in1001


Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

I’ve been a big Stephen King fan ever since first watching IT on video when I was about 15. That week I went to the library and borrowed the book. I couldn’t put it down and since then I’ve read nearly all of his books.

I own quite a lot but in recent years I haven’t been as obsessed with buying every book as soon as I could so there are a few missing from my collection at the moment.

I did hint to to my S.W.H. (super wonderful husband) that I really wanted Mr Mercedes when we saw it in Asda a short while before my birthday and he remembered!

I’ve just finished reading it and have to say I really enjoyed it. It’s not the usual horror/supernatural story you expect from Stephen King and it was a welcome change.

Here’s the blurb:

A cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring a retired homicide detective who’s haunted by the few cases he left open, and by one in particular – the pre-dawn slaughter of eight people among hundreds gathered in line for the opening of a jobs fair when the economy was guttering out. Without warning, a lone driver ploughed through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes. The plot is kicked into gear when Bill Hodges receives a letter in the mail, from a man claiming to be the perpetrator. He taunts Hodges with the notion that he will strike again.

Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing that from happening. 

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. And he’s preparing to kill again. 

Only Hodges, with a couple of misfit friends, can apprehend the killer in this high-stakes race against time. Because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim hundreds, even thousands.

I read yesterday that Mr King is going to be writing more books about retired Detective Hodges and I can’t wait 🙂


Book suggestions

As part of my new #101in1001 project, I’ve challenged myself to read 100 books in 1001 days.
I don’t read as much as I used to because I’m busier now, but I do miss reading.
I used to stay awake all night if a book got me hooked! As a teenager, the Virginia Andrews books were my favourite and I binge read them every chance I got!

book suggestions

Book Suggestions

Another of my challenges is to read 5 books, each one suggested by a different person so I’d appreciate any suggestions! Feel free to leave them in the comments.


I like a wide range of genres and I’m happy to try books I wouldn’t normally choose 🙂

For more book posts, click here

Finding old books in the attic

When we moved here six months ago we had lots of boxes of old books that had been stored in the attic at our old house. We didn’t have enough space to have them on bookcases or shelves so they spent 10 years in the dark.

The majority of them were bought by Ant before we met so I’d never seen them properly.

New Bookcases

When we moved here we knew we wanted to get them all on shelves so Ant built some bookcases each side of the fireplace and we planned on putting up more shelves in the living room to accommodate them all.
Until we found the time to paint the new shelves and get them up we stacked all the books on the new shelves, double layered and packed in where ever they’d fit. You can read about that here 🙂

Old Books

I’ve finally got round to getting the new shelves painted white so while the books are piled everywhere, I’m trying to get them organised and listed on Goodreads.
I’ve done about 600 so far and I’ve only done about a quarter of them! It’s going to be a long job but one I’m really enjoying because I’ve been finding treasures I never knew we had, like this book of poems by Robert Browning that was given as a Christmas present in 1910 🙂


This book about careless talk costing lives from World War Two fascinated me. It even has a little stamp that you put on your telephone to remind you that someone else could be listening.
It has cartoons showing different scenarios of being overheard by the enemy.







Another book I found has the date 1863 in it. It has some lovely pictures.





I’ve still got the other side to empty yet and that side has the majority of the old books on it so I’m excited to see what else I’m going to find 🙂

Book review – Secrets at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown

When I started my previous Day Zero project I challenged myself to read 100 books in 1001 days. I failed miserably but I’m trying the Day Zero project, again and again, I’m challenging myself to read 100 books in 1001 days.
Kathryn Brown - Secrets at Rosehill
I’ve started with the sequel to Discovery at Rosehill by Kathryn Brown.

Secrets at Rosehill continues the story of medium, Camilla. She’s now very happily married to the former reverend, Marcus and they’re enjoying their lives at the gorgeous Scottish estate.

She’s regularly visited by the spirits of former residents of the estate as well as family members, such as her grandmother.

I like the way Kathryn reminded us of the happenings of the first story without making me feel like I was having to go through the first story again before I could get on with the new story. It was very cleverly done and I appreciated it because that’s one of the most annoying things for me when reading a series of books.

Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

Now married to Marcus Calloway, Camilla couldn’t be happier. Accepted as a medium by the local villagers, her beloved Rosehill estate is at peace. But when Marcus heads to London to help someone in need, messages from the spirit world cause Camilla to doubt her husband’s integrity. 

When her first love Ross, suddenly returns to Scotland, could her suspicions about Marcus’s infidelity drive her into his arms? 

And who is the spirit that continues to haunt Camilla, leaving her fearing for her marriage? 

I really enjoyed Secrets at Rosehill and I’m now planning to read another of Kathryn’s books, Bedknobs and Bachelors. It’s the only one of the four she’s written that I haven’t read, the third being Nightingale Woods.

Read 100 books #33 The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings

Well I didn’t make my 100 book challenge. There’s no way I’m going to read another 65 books (still got 34 and 35 to write about) before the end of my day zero challenge next month!

Read 100 books - the judas scarAnyway, here are my thoughts on The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings. I got this book through the Britmums book club and it’s the first book from the book club that I’ve really liked and actually finished.
It came with a lovely postcard, same design as the cover with a note from the author. I loved this little touch and used it as a bookmark 🙂

Will and Harmony are seemingly very happily married but as you get pulled into the story, you find out there are a few cracks showing, mainly down to the miscarriage they’re both dealing with, or so we thought.
Harmony thinks they can try again, but Will told her when they got married that he didn’t ever want children and it’s not going to be as easy for them as Harmony hopes.

You’d think this would be enough for the couple to have to deal with but we find that Will is trying to bury his past, a past that is slowly shown to involve bullying at boarding school.
It’s all brought right back to him though when his one time best friend from school, Luke, suddenly appears in his life.

Harmony, Will and Luke’s lives become intertwined by present actions and past hurts.

I wasn’t prepared for the ending, I usually see the twists coming and know what’s going on for most of the story but this one kept me in suspense and made me look forward to losing myself in the story each night.

I was surprised to start feeling sorry for the bad guy and angry at the supposedly good guy. I had to remind myself that the good guy wasn’t a guy when it all happened, he was a child, a child with his own demons to deal with, at an age where he shouldn’t have had any at all.

I was sorry to finish the book because I knew I was going to miss it!

I now have to read Sworn Secret, Amanda’s first novel and I’m looking forward to future books 🙂


Gone series by Michael Grant – Read 100 books: numbers 27-32

I haven’t updated my, ‘read 100 books’ challenge, I set myself as part of my day zero challenge recently so I figured it was about time I did, especially as I’ve got quite a few to add!

Gone Series – Book 1

Gone seriesAiden got the Gone series for his birthday last year. He read the first book and when he’d done he said I should read it. The last time he’d said that to me was after he’d finished The Hunger Games which he absolutely loved, as did I so I gave this a go.
I have to say, I wasn’t expecting great things but right from the start this book totally grabbed me and sucked me in.

Here’s a short synopsis, not written by me because I tend to waffle on and can’t really keep it short and without spoilers so this is from Amazon!

Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.
In the blink of an eye, all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. They must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers . . . It’s Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation.

It’s not for the faint of heart as some of it, and the rest of the books in the series, can be quite gruesome. I’m not going to suggest an age range for this series of books because it really does depend on the maturity levels of the individual so what I’d say is to check them out yourself before letting your young adult read them.

Gone series

Book 2 – Hunger

When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes. The clock is ticking for Sam Temple and the kids of Perdido Beach but it’s not the big one-five that they face now; it’s starvation that threatens the FAYZ. In an abandoned mineshaft a faceless animal lurks, pulling the strings, toying with human and mutant alike. And he’s hungry – hungry in the darkness.
An uneasy calm has settled over Perdido Beach. But soon, fear explodes into desperation as starvation sets in and the mob look to place blame. For the ‘normals’ the buck must stop somewhere: with the ‘freaks’. More and more kids are developing strange powers and, just as frighteningly, so are the animals in the FAYZ: talking coyotes, swimming bats and deadly worms with razor-sharp teeth are just the beginning.
For Sam Temple the strain of leadership is beginning to show and he’s got more than just dwindling rations and in-fighting to worry about – Caine is back with the psychotic whiphand, Drake, by his side. And in the background lies the greatest danger of all – and he too needs to be fed.

Book 3 – Lies

It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most – Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness . . . or so they thought.
As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.

Book 4 – Plague

The FAYZ goes from bad to worse . . . The Darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe. With a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans, power in the town hangs in the balance. In a small room of a house near the edge of town Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.

Book 5 – Fear

Night is falling in the FAYZ. Permanently. The gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and the barrier that surrounds the town of Perdido Beach is turning black. It’s Sam’s worst nightmare. With Astrid still missing and Edilio and Lana struggling to maintain order, Sam and his followers need all the courage they can get. As their world descends into darkness, only real heroes will survive.

Book 5 – Light

All eyes are on Perdido Beach. The barrier wall is now as clear as glass and life in the FAYZ is visible for the entire outside world to see. Life inside the dome remains a constant battle and the Darkness, away from watchful eyes, grows and grows . . . The society that Sam and Astrid have struggled so hard to build is about to be shattered for good. It’s the end of the FAYZ. Who will survive to see the light of day?

The rest of the books in the series all kept me hooked and I have to admit to being quite sad when I reached the end of the final book, especially when I read the note from the author. It felt like I’d lost friends with whom I’d been on a long and exhausting, epic adventure!


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