Book Bingo Reading Challenge 2022! The Summer I Turned Pretty – Jenny Han

Morning Fellow Book Lovers!

I hope you’re all well and enjoying the sunshine. It’s definitely getting me into the summer spirit and I wanted to use that for my reading challenge this month *ignores the fact that there’s four weeks of school left…* I decided to go with Read a book that’s full of sunshine for this month. Personally, to me there’s only ever going to be one winner: Jenny Han. I absolutely adored the Lara Jean series so I knew I would love the next trilogy she’s written. Of course, I’m talking about The Summer I Turned Pretty. I hope you love it as much as I did!

What’s it all about?

The protagonist of this novel is Isabel ‘Belly’ Conklin, her brother Steven and their best friends, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher. Belly’s mother and Jeremiah and Conrad’s mother, Susannah are best friends and every summer they head to the beach house. All of these summer breaks lead to one thing: love. Belly is just realising how beautiful she is and how she is changing into a young woman. She’s only ever had eyes for Conrad but feelings for Jeremiah occur meaning that we have a love triangle between the three of them.

‘It feels like nothing else exists outside of that world, this moment. There’s just us. Everything that happened this past summer, and every summer before it, has led up to this. To now.’

The mothers, Susannah and Laurel, are best friends. Yet, despite this novel being a coming of age story about Belly, there is an ever increasing sadness and feeling that something is wrong with Susannah. She seems to be asleep more, spending more time in her room and more sadness around her. She promised Belly the summer of her life, seeing how beautiful she was, yet the sadness around her and her mother is hard to go unnoticed. Susannah is the character who seems to have all the answers, who can see things differently. Everyone turns to her and adores her. Her boys are fiercely protective of her.

‘She and my mother hugged first, fierce and long. My mother looked so happy to see her that she was teary, and my mother was never teary.’

Daughter to Laurel, Belly hasn’t really known her own beauty until now. She’s fiercely headstrong and a talent in the pool. But the boys only see her as a little sister, much to her frustration. The older of the two brothers, Conrad is a deep and intense character. There are times when he is thoroughly frustrating because he’s so difficult to understand. However, the moment came when things felt a little different between Belly and him. She’s always been interested in Conrad but he’s so closed off and emotionless that she never really knew where she stood with him. Does he even notice her?

‘The air felt different all of a sudden. It felt charged, electric, like I had been zapped by a thunderbolt.’

What about Jeremiah? He’s presented as the golden boy of the family, the younger of the two brothers and the one who is arguably the most loyal to Belly. However, he does become frustrated about living in the background. He too develops feelings for Belly and she does likewise. What does this mean for the group? To make matters more confusing, one summer they share a kiss, Belly’s first. What does this mean for them? Wasn’t it Conrad who she hoped her first kiss would be with?

‘He took. a deep breath of air and puffed up his cheeks, and then he blew it out so hard the har on his forehead fluttered. I could feel my heart start to pound – something was going to happen. He was going to say something I didn’t want to hear. He was going to go and change everything.’

Also in the mix is Cam. Another summer Belly meets Cam and he tells her how beautiful she is. They have a summer relationship, hanging out together, having fun together and sleeping in his hoodie. Does this work out? After all, he is the only one to notice all the amazing things about Belly and to tell her all of them too. Just the fact he notices her, really makes a difference to the group.

‘Things had been weird with me and Conrad and me and Jeremiah – an impossible thought crept its way into my head. Was it possible they didn’t want me with Cam? Because they, like, had feelings for me? Could that even be? I doubted it. I was like a little sister to them. Only I wasn’t’

So who gets the girl in the end? That’s for you to read and find out!


Final Thoughts

I loved this novel so much. It made me remember back to when I was younger and summer seemed to give you all the opportunities you could ever want. There’s a reason why YA is a booming genre and that’s because it’s honest and real. Jenny Han is an exceptional writer – I love her books and this one doesn’t disappoint. I cannot wait to get my hands on the other two books in this trilogy because I have to see what happens to the trio. This book gave me all I wanted and needed and more regarding summer vibes. I absolutely loved it.

It’s back to exam marking for me and admiring the summer weather from inside. I hope you all enjoy it! Until next time.

Big Love xxx

Blog Tour: The Wild Year – Jen Benson

Hi Book Lovers!

I hope you’re all well and had a restful weekend. Today I’m very excited to share with you another blog tour I’m part of. This time, the book really appeals to my restless side. Have you ever just sat back and felt that you want to change jobs or move house or make a big decision in some way? Are you a lover of the outdoors, adventure and camping? Then this book is very much for you! A huge thank you to @jenandsim, @aurumpress, @clairemaxwell and @quartobooksuk for the chance to be a part of this phenomenal book tour! I hope you love the book as much as I do!

What’s it all about?
Starting at home in Wiltshire, the novel is Jem’s voice and narrative. We hear about her husband, Sim and her children, E and H and their experiences in the great outdoors in their ‘Wild Year’ where they completely and utterly changed their lives. The pressure of mounting debt and having a family led the couple to making some drastic decisions. Surely life can be much easier than their current life? And more importantly be able to live by their own rules too. The joy that camping brought during various weeks in the year on holiday, surely that could be replicated and repeated long term? So their journey begins…

‘Camping was a basic way to live, but there was such joy in its simplicity. And such freedom in it being all ours: our warmth, our shelter and privacy, wherever we chose to pitch out tent. It was in that moment that I felt the first tinglings of a thought that made my heart race, and my mind jump at the possibility of hope…’

Having an idea is one thing, what was next needed was a plan. Thankfully, with the help from friends, family and kind strangers, various opportunities were created: book writing, a roof over their heads during bad weather, new friends along the way. The destinations were just as exciting, places like Dartmoor, Jurassic Coast, New Forest, the Cotswolds and the Lakes. They bought the biggest tent and gathered together all the items they would need for their experience. As you read the book, there are many lessons learnt all through experience. I found the honestly quite humbling and refreshing to be honest and supportive for those who wish to try something like this. The biggest barrier was always the weather. There’s nothing as unpredictable as English weather! However, this gave the couple the opportunity to regroup and start again, enabling them to come back even stronger.

‘It was hard not to feel despondent as we dragged everything out of the truck and tried to find places to hang it all out to dry. We were lucky that no rain was forecast for the next week, so we spread the tend out in the little field behind the cottage and spent hours sorting through the kit… In the end, destruction wasn’t as bad as we had feared.’

After the hiccups with the weather and potential damage to the tent, the family finally got going again and Christmas was soon around the corner. The family had a wholesome Christmas together, embracing their new lives and experiences. Despite the setting being dark and cold, it was one of the best Christmases because it was new and exciting. It meant more to them being part of the natural world rather than the commercialised one. As time rolled by, the young children also learnt more about the natural world they live in.

‘I noticed she was becoming fractionally more independent as each day passed, like a flower that starts as a tiny bud, wrapped up within itself, but in time opens its arms to embrace and engage with the world.’

After twelves months of camping, the Wild Year was coming to an end. The emotional pressure, the experiences, the growth in both Jen and Sim as well as their children E and H have been so worthwhile. I found myself gripped to this book because there is plenty that I could do to be more appreciative of the natural world. I found it remarkable and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to take part in not only reading this novel, but being the first stop of the blog tour.

‘…it was a time unlike any other in our lives. One that changed everything.’

Final Thoughts
I really loved this book for so many reasons. I always respect those who want to change their lives for the better and Jen and Sim absolutely did that. They took all the challenges they faced and turned them into learning experiences. I was surprised to learn that it took Jen five years to collate all the experiences together and write this book. I admire her as a mother, a woman and a writer. What this family achieved is nothing less than a lesson in resilience. It was a great read and one that I’ll be sharing with my friends and family.

Reading Round-Up: May

Hi Loves!

I hope you’re all well and enjoying this changeable last day of May. It’s either brilliant sunshine here or pouring with rain with a big thunder clap thrown in for good measure. I know I won’t finish the book I’m reading today so I thought I’d crack on with my round-up post for May (on time for I think the first month ever…) and share with you some of my favourite reads of this month. I’ve got a couple of reviews I need to get on with so expect those in the next few days too.

In May I managed to read a brilliant 14 books. I’m really happy with that as it’s been pretty full on at work. It’s also been helped by the release of the new ‘Quick Reads’ too which are a godsend for when you’re exhausted. Regardless, a book is a book and reading is reading. Let’s check out the shelves!

I know I say it every month but picking a top three is tough! Anyway, hopefully I’ve done this list some justice.

  1. Again Rachel – Marian Keyes. I loved Rachel’s Holiday and this next book didn’t disappoint. My only regret is that I was so late to this party. This book is all about what comes next for Rachel twenty years later. It was brilliant!
  2. Insatiable – Daisy Buchanan. This book is modern and fresh and shows the need for us to be loved. I really loved the protagonist, Violet, too. I enjoyed the writing style of Buchanan so much that I’ve also got Careering on my to be read pile.
  3. The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett. This was one of the books I bought to celebrate the Jubilee. Small yet mightily funny, this book tells the story of the Queen and her enjoyment of a travelling library.

I’ve got a couple of reviews to put up, one for a blog tour and one for my book of the month: The Manager and Honeymoon respectively, both of which I thoroughly loved. I need to get a wriggle on with those too! Have you read any of these? What takes your fancy?

See you next time!

Big Love all xxx

Blog Birthday – 7 Years!

Hey Book Lovers! 📚

I am so happy to tell you that it is now half term! Thank goodness for that. It means I will be around much more which is good. It also means I’ve got more time to read! I’ve got an ever increasing to be read pile that I am planning on getting down but first I want to celebrate with you all my blog birthday! The official date is the 25th May but that was exam day for my students so I have to admit I didn’t look at my blog until quite late. Regardless, 7 years ago I set up my blog with very low expectations. I just wanted a place to log my favourite books, bakes and places. I’m really proud that I’ve stayed true to my roots these 7 years but also had the best time with the blogging community.

Despite working, I did manage to do a couple things to celebrate my little blog’s birthday. First of all, I went to my local Waterstones. This, as I’m sure you all know, is dangerous because I always leave with a bag of books. I have absolutely no will power so I can never just buy one. Yet, this is what life is about; doing the things you love. Hopefully I’ve got some brilliant ones here so do let me know if you’ve read any and where I should begin! There’s some summery ones that I am planning to leave for my summer holiday but I’m super excited about ‘This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch‘ and ‘The Keeper of Lost Things‘ and ‘Hotel Magnifique‘ is absolutely stunning. I’m also working on making a plan for the Queen’s Jubilee. There’s a couple of books especially for the celebration in this pile too!

Staying true to the second half of my namesake: cake. I also managed to get my hands on three yumnuts from Costa. I swear these are my favourite thing right now. They’re yumyums but in the shape of doughnuts and are blissfully wonderful. I am literally obsessed with them and whenever I’ve gone to a Costa and they’ve sold out, I’ve been a little bit gutted. I urge you all to try them! Go on, do it for my blog birthday 🥳. I’m hoping for more cake this weekend too!

Lastly, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting me, following me, commenting and stopping by. It means so much that people love my blog as much as I do. Bring on the next 7 years and all the books, exploring and cakes it brings! There’s some really special people in the blogging world and I feel so privileged that I am part of it.

I’ll be back very soon with an explorations post, my book for this month and more books that I hope to get through. I can’t wait!

Big love to you all xxx

The Art of Buying Books (and reading them years later…)

Hey loves!

I hope you’re all well. I apologise that it’s been two weeks since I’ve posted anything. It’s exam season, in fact the first English paper was today, and it’s just manic. I’m feeling all kinds of things: pressure, worry, apprehension and excitement.

When the majority of my time is absorbed in work, it always means that my reading is reduced. I’ll look at the page and the words are all dancing around. I read a page and then have no idea what has happened and I also find that I tend to DNF more books when work is full on anyway. It’s not all doom and gloom though because I’ve also spotted another pattern… I’m VERY good at shopping! (To be fair, I never need an excuse to shop.) I’ve become on first name terms with the staff at my local Waterstones, I’m obsessed with the telephone box library and I’m desperate to find more and I talk about books all the time too. It’s all well and good finding these books but I’m sure like the rest of you, your to be read pile is like mine. Mine spans two book cases and I now have three piles on the floor…some of these books I’ve had for years…

So I thought I’d share more book buying posts with you! This may inspire me to read them quicker so I can legitimately buy more. I always find new books to get based on your posts so hopefully I can help you add more to yours too! Let’s kick this one off!

First of all: paperbacks. You know when your arms get tired and the hardbacks are just too heavy? Love the paperback for this reason! The books below are from a subscription box that I receive monthly – all crime and/or thriller. I’ve not heard of any of these before so I feel quite excited about them! I also love receiving post so I do love it when they arrive!

However, I do really LOVE a hardback. I think my heart is with them to be honest. There are some stunning ones at the moment too. I feel like a lot of work has gone into making and maintaining new editions so they are visually beautiful. It sounds really odd but I love how they look on the shelf. Books decorate a room I think so I’m more than happy to have them all around me. I believe I’ve got some gorgeous ones here too. Some of these are signed editions as well! I love the fact that these are much more accessible now. I remember being desperate to meet my favourite writers to get signed copies but it just isn’t always possible as they were usually based in London. Now they are readily accessible to us all which means it’s much easier to get a signed copy. I keep all my signed copies and really treasure them.

The last thing I’ve really got my eye on is books with sprayed edges. This has really taken off in the past year or so but they really do add something. I keep an eye out for these as well because they’re really pretty! Sometimes there’s a pattern but sometimes it’s just colour. Either way, I really like the attention to detail! I’ve only got a couple so do let me know if there are anymore out there at the moment! Answers on a postcard if you know what these two books are…

I can’t wait to share more book buying posts with it. I’m absolutely certain it will be a regular thing because I literally cannot stop myself buying books. Now is probably not the time to confess that it was a New Year’s Resolution to buy less so I could clear my pile. Needless to say, that didn’t last too long. Regardless, have you read any of these? What did you think? Or am I missing out on a book that I HAVE to read? Let me know!

Big Love all xxxx

Reading Round-Up: April

Hey Loves!

I hope you all have had a great start to May. I was relieved to have a bank holiday here just to adjust with going back to school! It’s always a little more intense this time of year because we are approaching exams and it’s all just a little bit much… Much love to all the educators out there! I feel you! Anyway, today I wanted to share with you my round-up for April. I’m absolutely buzzing about this because in March I was really disappointed with myself. This month, probably because of a two week holiday in reality, I am sooo happy because I felt like I was really making a dent in my to be read pile. Now, I may have also ordered more and found more in the community telephone boxes but…the point still stands.

Now, I am really thrilled to say that I managed to read 19 books in April. There were some absolute corkers in there too! I literally cannot wait to share them with you. Some I’ve blogged about already so for the interests of sharing more books with you all, I’ll not include them in my top three. Let’s check out the shelves!

So, I already reviewed The Mad Women’s Ball and The Lost Apothecary already and it was crystal clear that I absolutely loved those books. I’m still raving about them with my friends now. Likewise with Rachel’s Holiday, what an incredible book that is too and I really hope you enjoyed those posts. I’ve attached the links to the titles above just in case you missed them. Now, onto my top three which is an ever increasing difficult decision.

After some deep deliberation, I’ve decided my top three are as follows:

  1. Yinka, Where is Your Husband? – Lizzie Damilola Blackburn. I loved this for the honesty, the family and the pressures that brings, the representation of the single life and the pressure to get married. It’s also really well written and incredibly funny. I always find that honesty is the best policy and this shone within this book. Want a story with a strong female lead? Then this is for you.
  2. The Storyteller – Dave Grohl. I heard such amazing things about this book and I am thrilled to say it absolutely lived up to expectation! I found it a really engaging piece of non-fiction – so much so that I’ve added this to my curriculum! (If anyone knows how to tell Dave Grohl himself – let me know!) Lots of music stories and famous people but also really humbling. Loved it.
  3. Queenie – Candice Party-Williams. For some strange reason I missed the boat with this book. I found it by pure chance and I read it in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. Like Yinka, it was honest and reflective, meaningful and incredibly open. I am so glad I managed to finally catch up with this one and read it!

And that’s it! Don’t get me wrong, this month was really successful for reading and there’s other books on that list that I really enjoyed. I had the best break with reading and resting. It was much needed and I am really grateful for it. I’ve got myself into a bit of a reading slump following this but I’m sure it’ll come back.

Let me know what amazing books you’ve read recently and I’ll be sure to add them to my to be read pile! Continue to stay safe and well and surrounded by beautiful books.

Big Love xxx

Reading Round-Up: March

Hey Loves!

Let me be the first to wish you a very, happy April! Has anyone else noticed the rain/sunshine/sleet/hail/snow? March seemed to go in the blink of an eye for me, partly because I spent most of it ill or injured… but I have high hopes for April. To all my friends in education, if you’ve broken up for Easter enjoy! If like me you’ve got one week to go – don’t worry! We got this! (She says hopefully!)

It’s hard not to feel disappointed in myself for March really. I didn’t complete my reading challenge (I started four different books for it but I think it was more me, than them. Apart from one: Still Life which had no speech marks in. What is that even about? I spend my working week encouraging children to use punctuation so I really cannot spend my weekends reading books without it – sorry…) But I did manage to read 9 books which considering the circumstances, I think is ok. There were some great ones in that 9 thought so I can wait to present to you the shelves. Let’s check them out!

Like I said before, I’ve had a fair few books that I failed with last month but the ones I read were brilliant. My top three are as follows:

1. The Curfew – Tim Logan. Logan is one of my favourite writers so I got this book and devoured it in a day. It’s just as gripping, thrilling and terrifying like the other novels. I don’t think it’s my favourite but it’s definitely a must read.
2. The Last Supper – Rosemary Shrager. You may have heard of Shrager for her culinary endeavours as she is a popular chef in the UK but this is her first dabble at writing and I really loved it! I got myself a signed copy too because I had a good feeling about it. This book contains two of my favourite things: whodunnit and food. What’s not to love? I hope she has more planned!
3. The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside – Jessica Ryn. This book gave me all the warm feelings I needed when feeling rubbish. I found this in my local Salvation Army store as I was dropping some donations off so really fell on my feet. For the bargain price of 50p, this book has become one of my favourites.

As I said before, I’m hopeful for a better reading month in April which should lead to a better blogging month too. Thanks for sticking by me though!

Big love all xx

The Sky Above the Roof – Nathacha Appanah

Hey Loves!

How are we all? I am here to share with you today my first read of 2022 and it’s celebrating its publication day today too! How exciting. First of all, a huge thank you to MacLehose and Quercus for this early copy. Next, I can’t gush about this book enough. It’s small but, goodness, it is mighty. I hope you enjoy the review!

What’s it all about?
This novella centres around Wolf, a seventeen year old boy who steals a car in order to find his sister Paloma who left home over ten years ago. He’s unlicensed, on edge and veers onto the wrong side of the road, causing an accident. As a result, he is arrested, imprisoned and leaves his mother and sister to deal with the devastation that was caused. From this event – this one moment in time, this small novella reveals various viewpoints and voices all resulting in a novella full of poignancy and pain. In life, every action has a consequence. This novella explores that and the plethora of emotions that are caused by that.

‘She thought this name would bring him strength, luck, natural authority… there he is now, in the back of a police van, as we turn the page.’

The narrative then evolves to describe Wolf who clearly struggles and presents like a teenager who may be on the autistic spectrum. He muddles things up, mixes up time, words and actions. He sometimes listens but is usually observing the speaker to read their face. Yet the medical advice, confirms that Wolf is medically well and perfectly healthy. So why did he behave the way he did? Why steal a car and cause an accident? Why create the utter devastation for his mother and sister to resolve and live with for the rest of their lives?

For me personally, I felt the most sympathy for the mother, Phoenix. The turmoil she faces is arguably the most poignant part of the novella. She clearly is troubled and deeply vulnerable too. I’m also deeply interested in her name: will she rise from the ashes?

‘The day ends with the woman in a white nightdress waking, drenched in sweat. The image of her two children vanishing into the earth is still vivid and the distress she felt in her dream is there, in the pit of her stomach.’

Time doesn’t stop for any of us and with each narrative, time is ticking in the background. The impact on all involved differs and the consequences are also variable. However, what is clear is that everyone, literally everyone, is affected. Wolf, his life will never be the same again. Everything is internal with him – his pain, suffering, reasoning and angst. It’s questionable whether or not he will come back from this.

”Wolf makes his bed, not thinking about anything. Between the moment when he left the van and now, his heart has been closed.’

By the end of the novella though, lessons have been learnt and Wolf realises he isn’t innocent anymore and he will always have to live with the consequences of what he did. Whilst the novella starts with the literal prison, it ends with the prisons that we create around ourselves. It’s almost poetic.

Final Thoughts
This book is complex on so many levels – the time frame, the characterisation, the clear psychological struggles faced by this family. However, for me it’s been so difficult to write about because it’s so beautifully stunning that I don’t quite know where to begin. Hopefully I’ve done it justice. I can confidently say that it is nothing like what I’ve read before. I always have a soft spot for translated novels and this one is no exception. Translated by Geoffrey Strachan with his translator’s note at the start means that we get the explanation of the French title referring to a poem by Paul Verlaine. This too was sublime.

‘What have you done, who weep
Your endless tears?
What have you done, who weep
With youth’s lost years?’

As I say, this book is being published today so Happy Publication Day and enjoy reading!

See you next time for my next review.

Big Love xxxx

Reading Round-Up: December

Hi Loves!

It’s New Years Eve! I can’t believe it really. I’m fairly certain I won’t get anymore books read this evening so I wanted to share with you the final round-up for this year because I have a glass of fizz and ultimately lose the ability to type. I’m hoping being as it’s only late afternoon in the UK, that I’ve still got plenty of time to wish you all a Happy New Year too! Before all that excitement though, let’s check out what I’ve managed to read in the month of December.

Now, I must say, I am pretty proud of myself this month because I’ve managed to read a total of 19 books. This is the highest amount I’ve ever read in a month and the last time I managed to do that was in August. To be perfectly fair, I think this is down to school holidays because all I do is sleep and read with mealtimes thrown in. Out of these 19 books for this month, I’ve managed 16 during the two week break so it really is down to having that time. Long live the holidays! Anyway, before we get to my favourites, let’s check out the shelves!

I’m so chuffed because I’ve read a real range – some that have been on the shelf for a while, some that I’ve bought and read in one sitting. I’m also really pleased with the range of fiction and non-fiction. I’ve had a bit of a good run with non-fiction. I do find that I have phases with non-fiction but there seems to be some seriously good non-fiction out there at the moment which I’m desperate to read! Lastly, I’m also really pleased with the wintery / Christmassy reads I’ve got through too.

It’s no surprise that it’s been hard to pick a top three here (don’t I say this every month?) but here goes!

  1. Coming Up For Air – Tom Daley. I read this book in one sitting. I’d go as far as to say, I was incredibly rude to anyone that was near me at the time when I was reading this book because I barely came up for air myself. I was captivated, immersed and finished the book praying that I could be best friends with Tom. Whether or not you’re into sports, read this book. Every felt lost? Like you’ve let anyone down? That you want more from life? That someone has judged you? Read this book. What an inspirational young man Tom is. I am in awe.
  2. The Good Bear – Sarah Lean. This book was one I finished this morning. It was so beautifully written and reminds me (not that I need it as an animal lover anyway) how awesome animals are and how we need them in our lives. It’s a story of a bear who is misunderstood and a little girl who tries to save him. A perfect wintery tale!
  3. The Jolly Christmas Postman – Janet & Allan Ahlberg. The reason why this book has to feature is because on Christmas Eve, I read this book with my favourite tiny human. We had the absolute best time and I realised that it would be a memory that I will treasure for ever. Slowly but surely, I am passing the love of reading to children wherever I can. We even read all the letters and did the jigsaw that came in the letter to Humpty Dumpty too. What a magical time.

I’ll be back in the New Year for the launch of my reading challenge for 2022 which I hope you all join with me with and I’ll reveal just how many books I managed to read this year too. All that is left for me to say is, have a very Happy New Year. Have the BEST time and celebrate safely.

Big love all! xxx

Reading Round-Up: November

Hey Loves!
How are you all? Well, we are progressing our way through December aren’t we? Those jingly bells are definitely in my ears as I cling on desperately for the Christmas break. We just have to hang on in there! Mind you, whilst the world outside continues to turn, I’ve been trying to catch up with everything. Today, I want to share with you my round up post for November. One the one hand, November feels like a long time ago now. However, I did read some great books that month and I cannot wait to share them with you all. This month I managed to read a total of 8 books which I am quite pleased about considering it was mock season. You’ll see that the majority are children’s books. It’s not a secret that I love a children’s book, especially when I’m exhausted and marginally overwhelmed. It’s an easy way to switch off. I am also really pleased about the two non fiction books of this month too!

Without further ado, let’s check out the shelves!

My top three for this month were actually much easier to pick than previous months. Now, I can’t really explain why but I think it’s because I enjoyed all the books this month. It’s also a bit easier because I’ve reviewed two of them already! Check out Sooley here and Big Panda and Tiny Dragon here.

  1. Before & Laughter – Jimmy Carr. I know Jimmy Carr is controversial however, I learnt so much from this book. Inspired to write after becoming a father, it was amazing to see him being so unforgivingly honest. I am a fan of the show 8 Out of 10 Cats so when I spotted this I had to read it. But this book is so much more than the comedy. There’s some really insightful moments from Carr’s youth that I knew nothing about. I really enjoyed reading this and would recommend it for anyone who is into comedy, any fans of Carr and also anyone who wants to branch into more non-fiction.
  2. Drinking Custard – Diary of a Confused Mum – Lucy Beaumont. Another 8 Out of 10 Cats link here but this time focusing on motherhood. Now, I am not a parent but I found this book completely (and strangely for me) relatable. I think that if I were to become a parent, I’d be a bit like this. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found myself laughing throughout really. Love it!
  3. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens. Every year I teach this novella and every year my love for it grows. It makes me believe that we all have the ability to change and I always find myself wanting to do more after I’ve read it. For example, one of my classes are now writing letters to our local rest home for Christmas. Anyway, this is a short for punchy novella with one of the most iconic characters in the history of literature.

Overall, eight books are still a good number but I’m really pleased that I read more non fiction. I do really love non fiction but it’s never my first choice. I know that doesn’t make much sense but I do always enjoy it and then vow to read more. Yet, I end up going to my usual crime/thriller/psychological thriller novels.

I’ll see you in my next post where I’ll be writing my review of my book choice for November and December. I’ll try to get some Christmas reads in there too! See you when I break up for the holidays!

Big love all xxx