Saturday, 3 January 2015

2015 Goodread Challenge

This year I'm trying to document my reading online a little better and as I am finally getting to grips with using Goodreads I've decided to take part in their 2015 Reading Challenge.

The premise of the challenge is so simple that anyone can have a go, all you do is set yourself a target number of books to read before the end of the year and then record all of your reading so that you can track your progress. I've set myself the ambitious challenge of reading 300 books this year which, although it will be possible, is undeniably a tricky number of books to read in a year so wish me luck!

I know that many people are sceptical of the challenge because they feel pressure to keep to the target but I am primarily using it to keep myself focused on reading books which I haven't read before and as a way to allow you to see all of the books that I've been reading.

You can monitor my progress in the right hand column of my blog if you are interested in seeing how I'm getting along and you can see a full list of what I'm reading on my Goodreads page.

To find out more about the challenge click here and let me know in the comments below whether you are trying the challenge too!


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Just a quick note... say that although I'm not really into New Years Resolutions I've decided that this would be a good time to start blogging again and so am going to try and write book reviews at least once a week for the rest of this year. 

Since I stopped writing on here I've started university and am in my second year studying English Literature. Due to this I'm reading an enormous amount of books and thought that it would be a good idea to share some of the books which I'm reading with you.

Keep your eyes peeled for the first review which will be coming soon!


Saturday, 3 August 2013

Cox by Kate Lace

"She'd thought Rollo was a sensational-looking man but then Dan appeared on the scene. And while Rollo was a blonde Adonis, Dan was Heathcliff on steroids:dark, brooding, intense, tall, hunky..."

This is Kate Lace's most recent novel and after reading the blurb of this novel I decided that it was a perfect book for me to read because I LOVED the London 2012 Olympics. I think that I watched nearly every hour of the TV coverage from rowing to judo to cycling and so the opportunity to read a book which is based on Olympic rowing really appealed to me.

The plot revolves around a rowing cox called Amy who meets two very different men at a rowing regatta - one is called Rollo and the other is called Dan. She is training to be a physiotherapist whilst coxing in her spare time and manages to land the perfect job as a temporary physio at the boat club where Dan and Rollo train. Rollo is the rich, gregarious blonde who sweeps women off their feet while Dan is quiet and intense but both have strong feelings towards Amy which causes problems with them working in such close proximity.

As can be expected with a contemporary novel revolving around sport, the Olympics feature quite heavily in the storyline with that being the ultimate goal for all of the rowers. Things get pretty heated on the journey there but the climax of the novel certainly has to be race day in London which was so exciting to read.

I really enjoyed this novel and I felt that Kate Lace perfectly matched the element of sport with that of romance to produce a captivating book. My favourite character was Dan who was somewhat of a modern-day Mr Darcy and had me wishing for a Dan of my own! Aside from my love of Dan, I would definitely  not hesitate in recommending this to a friend and would reassure everyone that no knowledge of rowing is needed to grasp the plot or get caught up in the tension - don't let the rowing aspect put you off!

If you have read this please let me know in the comments below what you thought of it and whether you are as in love with Dan as I am!


Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Perfect Hero by Victoria Connelly

"Kay smiled. She'd just bought a house - a six-bedroom hours and a business venture on the seafront in Lyme Regis."

This looked like the perfect summer holiday book encapsulating romance, Jane Austen and Lyme Regis and so I was really looking forward to reading it. 

The plot follows Kay Ashton who, after the death of her mother and friend, decides to use her inheritance in order to buy a B&B on the seafront in Lyme Regis. She has barely started renovations when the unexpected happens and a film crew moves in, desperately needing lodgings.

The film crew happens to be the cast of an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, Persuasion. This happens to be one of Kay's favourite novels which excites her immensely but more importantly than that, her ultimate crush, Oli Wade Owen is playing the lead character and staying in her house! ****Kay bends over backwards to ensure that Oli notices her and thinks that things may finally be going her way when he invites her out for lunch; however, it is clear to everyone else that he really is not good enough for her.

The other main male character within the novel is Adam Craig, the screenwriter who is in love with Kay. He is thrilled at the prospect of dinner with Kay but things do not go as he had hoped though when she tries to matchmake him with one of the actresses. Adam does not give in and still harbours a hope that she will realise how unsuited she is to Oli (a man who has never read any Austen) and how perfect she would be with him instead.

Victoria Connelly - the author
Bizarrely, my favourite character within the whole novel was not a main character but a relation of Adam called Nana Craig. She is a lively old woman who loves colour which reflects her colourful personality and I think that it is this which made me warm to her so much. She obviously cares for her grandson but at the same time takes a no-nonsense approach when it comes to giving advice - honestly, I believe that everyone should have a Nana Craig in their lives!

Despite being a big fan of Nana Craig, I'm sorry to say that I didn't really enjoy this book, finding it dull, predictable and a little tedious. The plot was fairly clear from the start and seemed very cliché and even the mentions of the gorgeous Lyme Regis coastline and Jane Austen could not salvage the lack-lustre plot and character development. As a result of this, I think that it is pretty clear to see that I would not recommend this to a friend unless they were a particular fan of this type of cliché romance.

Let me know in the comments below what you thought of this book and whether it is just me that found it such a chore to read!


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Murder on the Home Front by Molly Lefebure

"Mortuaries, prying into the secrets of thousands, literally thousands, of bodies, each with a tale to tell. There are people who say corpses don't talk, but indeed they do."

This is not something which I would have typically considered for a summer-read but I was really glad to have picked it up because it was absolutely fascinating. The story follows a young journalist named Molly Lefebure who becomes secretary to Professor Keith Simpson, the Home Office Pathologist.

The chapters within the book are all different cases which means that all of the stories are relatively easy to comprehend and it is perfect for someone who wants to be able to read a little at a time. Also, the fact that it is arranged in this way allows Miss Lefebure to showcase a variety of cases, ranging from the bizarre to the thrilling. 

Something which was really nice about this book was also the addition of some pictures. Normally I am not a fan of pictures when I am reading but I found these particularly helpful because they related to certain cases, showing murder weapons and the murderers. The sweetest image enclosed had to be that of a signed picture of the public executioner which read "To Molly, Yours Sincerely Albert Pierrepoint" and helped to demonstrate the close relationships which were built and the acceptance that Miss Lefebure felt in a generally male industry.

Molly Lefebure - the author
The author, Molly Lefebure, had a lovely way of presenting the cases and it was evident that she was genuinely interested in her work which made the book so interesting. She worked for Professor Keith Simpson for just under 5 years and was affectionately known as 'Molly of the Morgue'; the relationships between Miss Lefebure and the police and the morgue workers really come to light through her writing and she sometimes even describes the characters of the policemen as much as the actual murder case! Through the novel I became quite fond of Miss Lefebure and admiring of her tenacity, especially when she was being told that it was unproper for a woman to work in a morgue, and as such I was particularly sad to read that she recently passed away at the age of 93.

This is a very different style of novel and something which I feel will appeal to many different people because of its quintessential Britishness and ability to convey the truth without too many frills and fancies. Recently some of these cases were turned into a tv drama in the UK; however I do not feel that the drama was anywhere near as good as the book therefore I would urge people who are looking for something a little different to read, to try this Lefebure book.

If you have read this or seen the tv drama then please let me know in the comments below what you thought :)