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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 Update

#TheYearInBooks Update

I’m steaming ahead with my challenge of reading a book a month; I’m now on book 3 in March and at the rate I’m going, I’ll have it finished by the start of April 🙂

The Mistletoe Bride, Kate Mosse #TheYearInBooks Update

Mistletoe Bride

I read The Mistletoe Bride by Kate Mosse after finishing Call the Midwife, which is a collection of short stories and I really enjoyed it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a collection of short stories. I especially liked The Yellow Scarf and The Mistletoe Bride.]

Thirteen Reasons Why

The next book I read was one I had for Christmas called Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher
It’s a story about a teenage girl, Hannah, who commits suicide but before she does, she records herself on tapes, talking to the people who contributed to her decision to kill herself.

The tapes are mailed to the first person on tape one. They’ve been instructed to mail them to the next person on side two of tape one when they’ve finished listening.
The book is written from the point of view of Clay. He’s one of the people mentioned on the tapes from Hannah.

The dual narration was a bit confusing for the first few pages. I soon got my head around it and ended up really enjoying the book.

This book has been made into a 13 part series on Netflix

Ghosts Of Sleath

I’m now reading a James Herbert novel called The Ghosts of Sleath.

James Herbert, The Ghosts of Sleath

It’s another book about the psychic investigator, David Ash who I first read about in the novel, Haunted.
It’s been a bit disturbing to read if I’m honest. It deals with the murder of a child, sexual abuse of another child and a nasty attack on a youth who didn’t deserve it.

Apart from that, it’s keeping me turning the pages. I’ve been reading it whenever I’ve had a spare few minutes 🙂

I’m on Goodreads if you’d like to follow my progress.

#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!

Lady of Hay – #theyearinbooks

I did it, I finished Reconstructing Amelia in a month. I really enjoyed the book and the time I spent reading. My book for February is The Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine. I’m joining in with Laura at Circle of Pines

Barbara Erskine Lady of Hay

Here’s the blurb from Amazon for Lady of Hay

Jo Clifford, a successful journalist, is all set to debunk the idea of past-life regression in her next magazine series. But when she herself submits to a simple hypnotic session, she suddenly finds herself reliving the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, the wife of a baron at the time of King John.
As she learns of Matilda’s unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare and the brutal threats of death at the hands of King John, it becomes clear that Jo’s past and present are hopelessly entwined and that, eight hundred years on, a story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to begin again…

I’m going to have to try and spend even more time reading during February. It’s probably double the size of Reconstructing Amelia and I only just managed to finish that in a month!


Snoopy and Charlie Brown – A Peanuts Movie Story Book

 Snoopy is timeless. I loved him when I was younger and my kids love him today 🙂

We received the storybook of the new movie that’s in cinemas now, Snoopy and Charlie Brown – A Peanuts Movie.
We haven’t seen it yet but I can’t wait till we do!

Book of the movie

The story is about a  new girl with red hair who moves into the neighbourhood. Charlie Brown likes her but he’s too shy to talk to her.
Lucy tries to help him by giving him some advice about girls not liking failures and she says Charlie Brown needs to become a winner.

He decides to try and win the school talent show by doing a magic act but on the day his sister ends up needing help with her act and Charlie’s doesn’t go very well.

In the end, of course, Charlie and the red headed girl become friends 🙂

It’s a lovely book with nice big pictures.

Here’s the official trailer

Please note: We were sent the book in return for an honest review

The Year in Books #theyearinbooks

I’m a big fan of reading, I just don’t seem to read as much as I’d like. I decided to join with the year in books run by Laura at Circle of Pine Trees.

Year In Books

This is my bookcase with all the books I’ve bought or had bought for me as gifts. I haven’t gotten round to reading any of these yet.
It’s a lot of books, I know that and I also know that I’ll probably never get round to reading them all! That doesn’t seem to stop me from buying more books and adding them to my wishlist on Amazon!

Books on my bookcase that I want to read
I’ve just noticed there are still 2 books from the fifty shades series on the bookcase. I’ll be taking them to the charity shop. I no longer want to read them after giving up on the first one when it bored me!

Reconstructing Amelia

I’m starting off with a book by Kimberly McCreight called Reconstructing Amelia.

Reconstructing Amelia - Year in books

Here’s the blurb from Amazon

Stressed single mother and law partner Kate is in the meeting of her career when she is interrupted by a telephone call to say that her teenaged daughter Amelia has been suspended from her exclusive Brooklyn prep school for cheating on an exam. Torn between her head and her heart, she eventually arrives at St Grace’s over an hour late, to be greeted by sirens wailing and ambulance lights blazing. Her daughter has jumped off the roof of the school, apparently in shame of being caught. A grieving Kate can’t accept that her daughter would kill herself: it was just the two of them and Amelia would never leave her alone like this. And so begins an investigation which takes her deep into Amelia’s private world, into her journals, her email account and into the mind of a troubled young girl. Then Kate receives an anonymous text saying simply: AMELIA DIDN’T JUMP. Is someone playing with her or has she been right all along?

I’ve read the first couple of chapters and it’s drawn me in. I’ve been going to bed earlier than usual just so I can read for a bit longer!

Hay on Wye – Part 2 – Books

Hay-On-Wye Part 2

Part 2 – After settling into our lovely little cottage, Ty Bachan on Sunday, we couldn’t wait to go book shopping on Monday!

I’d been looking forward to seeing the outdoor honesty bookshop at Hay Castle and I loved it 😀

Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - Honesty Bookshop


Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - honesty bookshop

We bought these old books for Kaycee and Ella

Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - The Capel Cousins book


Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - Lorna Doone book

All the bookshops are wonderful to be fair. They can be very deceptive, looking tiny on the outside, like the tents in Harry Potter, then being huge inside with different rooms and stairs that make it feel like you’re inside a maze!

In fact, the whole town feels a bit maze-like. It can be hard to get your bearings and I kept forgetting which way we needed to go for the different shops!

Addyman’s bookshop was one of my favourites. The shelves are so pretty 🙂

Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - Bookshops


Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - Bookshops


Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - Bookshops


Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - Bookshops

This is an alleyway full of books and there was a sale on, all books were £1 or less!

Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - Bookshops

We loved the Murder and Mayhem bookstore. There was a chalk outline of a dead body on the road outside and the lady who worked there said that last year they had the outline of a broken Kindle next to it to make it look like the Kindle was to blame for the person getting run over and killed!

Hay-On-Wye Part 2 - Bookshops

We spent a lot of time in bookstores but to be honest, even if we’d been there another week, I don’t think we’d have had enough time to check them all out properly!

Hay on Wye certainly lived up to my expectations with regards to the bookshops 🙂

We’ve arrived! Hay-On-Wye Part 1

Westbury Mill Water Garden – Hay-On-Wye Part 3

Delicious Food – Hay on Wye Part 4

100 books everyone should read – How many have you read?

I saw this article today that lists 100 books everyone should read and wanted to see how many I’ve read. I thought it would have been more but I’ve only read 25 from the list.
I’ve underlined the ones I’ve read.

What about you, how many have you read?

Here’s the full, ranked list:
  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  4. 1984 by George Orwell
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  6. The Lord of the Rings (1-3) by J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  9. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  11. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  13. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  14. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  15. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  16. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  17. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  18. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  19. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  20. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  22. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  23. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  24. Night by Elie Wiesel
  25. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  26. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  27. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  28. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  29. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  30. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  31. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  32. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  33. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  34. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  35. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  36. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  38. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  39. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
  40. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  41. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  42. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  43. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  44. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson
  45. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  46. The Holy Bible: King James Version
  47. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  48. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  49. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  50. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  51. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  52. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  53. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  54. The Stand by Stephen King
  55. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  56. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  57. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
  58. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  59. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  60. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  61. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  62. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  63. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  64. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  65. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (#3) by Arthur Conan Doyle
  66. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  67. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  68. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  69. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  70. Celebrating Silence: Excerpts from Five Years of Weekly Knowledge by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  71. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  72. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  73. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  74. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  75. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  76. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  77. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  78. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
  79. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  80. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
  81. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
  82. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  83. The Odyssey by Homer
  84. The Good Earth (House of Earth #1) by Pearl S. Buck
  85. Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
  86. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  87. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  88. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  89. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  90. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  91. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  92. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  93. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  94. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  95. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  96. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  97. Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
  98. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  99. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  100. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Book and bookmark - 100 books everyone should read

The Dinosaur That Pooped – Review and Giveaway

Ella loves big picture story books like these. Between them, Kaycee and Ella have lots of these kinds of books. This set of The Dinosaur That Pooped books were welcomed into their collection!

The dinosaur that pooped a planet, The dinosaur that pooped the past and the dinosaur that pooped Christmas books


The books are written by the seemingly lovely boys from McFly who have now joined together with Busted to become McBusted.

Lots Of Poo!

Now I have to say that these books do not fill me with the same sense of hilarity that they do the children! Seeing all that poo on the page is in no way funny to me!
The kids, however, think it’s hilarious. Kids just find poo funny. I don’t know why, I don’t think I’ll ever understand it, I just try and not think about it 🙂

The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas

The first book, The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas, introduces us to Danny. A greedy boy who has more toys than he could ever play with yet he still wants lots more from Santa.

Santa gives him a dinosaur egg for a present. It soon hatches and the huge dinosaur starts eating everything in sight, including poor Santa, mum, dad and granny!

The dinosaur that pooped Christmas


The dinosaur that pooped Christmas

When he eventually poos everything back out, Danny has realised that being greedy isn’t nice and he’s a changed boy 🙂

The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet

The next book, The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet, sees Danny and the dinosaur fly off into space but they forget their packed lunch that mum made for them.
The dinosaur eats everything in sight, including the whole spaceship which leaves them floating in space. He continues to everything he can find and Danny gets worried when he realises they can’t get home.

Cue more pooing, which powers them back down to earth and leaves a poo planet next to the moon!

The dinosaur that pooped a planet


The dinosaur that pooped a planet

The Dinosaur That Pooped The Past

In the new book, The Dinosaur That Pooped the Past, we see Danny and the dinosaur get on a magic swing which sends them back to the time of the dinosaurs. They meet three cute baby dinosaurs called A, B and C!

The dinosaur that pooped the past


The dinosaur that pooped the past

The dinosaur manages to get them back to the present by, you guessed it, pooing!
Our new little friends, A, B and C get sent back with them and even though I’m not into the pooing part of the stories, I’m looking forward to seeing what mischief the little babies get up to in the next book 🙂

There’s a Dinosaur the Pooped Facebook page and Twitter account.

*ENDED* If you’d like to win a set of these books, you can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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