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September Blues

Well the first part of the year I was well behind my reading count of 2016. But since the summer I have started to gain on last years reading and I am now two ahead of 2016. And yes as my son says it’s daft as I am only competing with myself but I like to keep a record. By the end of September I’ve read 102 books. This is partly due to me refinding the joys of audio books. I have now become addicted to listening to audio books in the car. So of this month’s ten books four were audio books. It’s my guilty pleasure that is even better as I get them free from the library. What is not to like? And it sure beats listening to the news.

My September reading list with scores:

1. Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman. 4/5

2. Don’t close your eyes by Holly Sneddon (audio).4/5

3. Jump by Doug Johnstone (audio).3.5/5

4. Perfect Prey by Helen Fields 3/5

5. Leave me by Gayle Forman (audio) 4/5

6. Lyrebird by Celia Ahern 4/5

7. Everything you ever told me by Lucy Dawson 4/5

8. How hard can it be by Alison Pearson. 2/5

9. Who we were before by Leah Mercer 3/5

10. Things we never said by Nick Alexander.4/5
The stand out book of the month was recommended to me by my mother in law and when I bought it in Waterstones in Glasgow I was told by the assistant with great excitement that the author was fantastic and did I know that she used to work for Waterstones. This book is Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. It is set in Glasgow and is about Eleanor who has a different take on the world which is completely refreshing and what happens to her when she steps out of her comfort zone and falls in love. And how those around her start seeing her differently. It is a heartwarming and moving story. 

My great disappointment was the sequel to “I don’t know how she does it” by Alison Pearson. I’d been so looking forward to it as I’d loved that book. But it was a huge disappointment and I wished I’d never indulged myself. Really would not recommend it. One of those books that there was no need to have a sequel too. 

On a happier note if you are admiring the new Queensferry Crossing, Jump by Doug Johnstone is a crime book set as the bridge gets built. It’s not the greatest crime book in the world but I enjoyed it due to this location.  And if you like Nick Alexander I would highly recommend his new book. Or why not give one of his other books a go? One of those writers who brings characters totally to life. Though his latest one needs to be read with some hankies by you. And on that cheery note I shall finish. Other than to say check out your library service. If it’s anything like the one here in the Borders there’s a whole world of audio books waiting for you for free.

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Average August Reading


August was a mediocre month for reading despite many of the books on the list being current books that are being pro-actively marketed as must reads. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy them. I did any score above a three for me is a perfectly readable book it’s just they didn’t in my opinion merit all they hype. With two exceptions. The list for August is:

1. After I’ve Gone by Linda Green 4/5

2. Cows by Dawn Porter 4/5 (audio book)

3. Cast Iron by Peter May 3/5

4. Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown 3/5

5. Postcards from a Stranger by Imogen Clark 3/5

6. A divided spy by Charles Cumming

7. Every contact leave a trace by Elanor Dymott 3.5/5 (audio book)

8. The Betrayls by Fiona Neil 3/5

9. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan 3.5/5
The first two books were my stand out books of the month. The first is one of the said hyped books but for me was worthy of its marketing. It was one of those books you read really quickly then stare at it when you finish wishing you could start all over again. The second book was one that I listened to as an audio book. It’s both hilarious and laugh out loud while being a very accurate satire of current life both for celebrities and just us mere mortals. A satire for our time. Which had at the end a story line I didn’t see coming which was very clever. I nearly stalled the car as I took a deep breath and thought how clever. Dawn Porters book at first glance could be seen as chick lit. It’s not though it’s so much more. Very, very clever funny and thought provoking book.  My book of the month.

Two ticks for 2017 reading challenge. A book published this year. After I’ve Gone as it was very much the best of the hyped books I read in August. And male author also ticked being Peter May. He’s one of my favourite authors though not as keen on his Enzo books hence the lower score.  But I’m giving him the plaudit for he’s a great author.

Been reading through previous years August blog posts. Seems it’s always a low month for reading I think it’s the post Harris affect. And although I did try this year picking books that are promoted as must reads. It wasn’t the greatest month for reading. I think that maybe has something to do with my post holiday mood and then the back to reality with a bang. And less to do with the books. 

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A bumper reading month in July 

I was on holiday for three weeks of July in Gairloch and then Harris. And as well as enjoying the scenery and especially the beaches I also read almost a book per day.  So here is the list and scores on the doors.

1. The Potter’s House by Rosie Thomas 3/5.

2. Aphrodites Island by Hilary Green 3/5.

3. Game over by Quentin Jardine 3/5.

4. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult 3.5/5

5. The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty 3/5.

6. The Island Escape by Kerry Fisher 3/5.

7. Strictly between us by Jane Fallon 3/5

8. The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher 3/5.

9. Islands by Gwyn GB 3/5.

10. Don’t be afraid by Daniela Sacerdoti 3/5.

11. The Message from Lindisfarne by Sally Vickers 3/5.

12. The Trophy Child by Paula Daly 4/5.

13. Cragside by LJ Ross 3/5.

14. The Last Secret of the Devrills by Santa Montifore 3/5.

15. Last seen alive by Claire Douglas 3/5.

16. 183 times a year by Eva Gordon 4/5.

17. Keep me Safe by Daniela Sacerdoti 3/5.

18. Last Seen by Lucy Clarke 4/5.

19. My mother’s shadow by Nicola Scott. 4/5

20. See you in September by Charity Norman 4/5.

21. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult 4/5.

22. The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse 3/5.

23. Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks 4/5.

The majority were easy going books to read perfect for summer reading.  The stand out book of the month was without a doubt “See you in September”by Charity Norman. I love this author her books are always so thought provoking. This is about a family where one of the daughters goes  back packing supposed to be back in September. But in New Zealand got involved with a cult and their lives were changed forever. This book lived with me as with teenagers I could so relate to the story and how it would be one of your worst nightmares. On the negative side it didn’t do much for New Zealand tourism currently not on my top list of places to go. I also found my “Sisters Keeper” by Jodi Picoult very thought provoking with an ending I never saw coming and had me in floods of tears. I am relatively new to Jodi Picoult and what a great find. I also enjoyed one of the hyped books of the summer “183 times a year”. With teenagers in the house it really made me laugh. Finally read Nicholas Sparks for the first time and I enjoyed his book though see from other reviews that he has a type of story. Will try another of his books to see but I did enjoy this one.

Finally on my 2017 book challenge. The Charity Norman book had a Fiona character in it. So person with my name crossed and ticked and finally “183 times a year” has of course a number in the title. 

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