fiction

It’s Monday!

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This post was originally started on Monday 31st March however between the jigs and the reels things got a little hectic and now the action is happening today. As you can see!

Over the past couple of weeks I have been caught up listening to the PC Peter Grant stories and currently I am on Broken Homes. I have never been one for audio books but getting into these books listening has been a lot better than reading the hard copies. With work in the background and really stepping up its game taking time out to read a book has been quite difficult so having an audiobook on in the background whilst doing little things like cleaning or packing things away is just brilliant.

The lovelies at Audible have given me a bit of rope to go out and review some books so I will be letting you know what I choose for my first list and keep you updated on how I get on.

Do you use Audible?

What do you think of it?

Do you still prefer reading or are you happy to mix it up?

REVIEW: The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Little Beach St Bakery

What it’s all about:

Polly Waterford is recovering from a toxic relationship. Unable to afford their flat, she has to move miles away from everyone, to a sleepy little seaside resort in Cornwall, where she lives alone above an abandoned shop.

And so Polly takes out her frustrations on her favourite hobby: making bread. But what was previously a weekend diversion suddenly becomes far more important as she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, and each loaf becomes better and better. With nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, with local honey (courtesy of local bee keeper, Huckle), and with reserves of determination and creativity Polly never knew she had, she bakes and bakes and bakes . . . And people start to hear about it.

Sometimes, bread really is life . . . And Polly is about to reclaim hers.

My Thoughts:

Half reading and listening on the go this book was just the most delightful thing and such a nice mind relaxer. The first book that I actually wanted to read in a while and waited patiently for. On Wednesday when I woke up to get ready for my night shift there was a package and on opening I squealed a little as IT WAS HERE! Needless to say on the way to work I started to devour Colgan’s latest book and did not want to put it down.

After the first couple of chapters I have to say I was not enamoured as usually by this point of reading there is a fair idea about what is happening in the book. Currently I was lost but unwilling to give up. Powering through and swapping here and there from Audible back to Paperback the pace was increased and my love for the story and characters grew. Colgan’s descriptive writing is just fabulous as it really helps the reader get into the book and feel as though you are part of it.

Laughing and at some points on the edge of tears this book was most certainly more of an emotional read than others written. The main character Polly was the girl next door with a broken heart and home that just wanted to start again. At some point in our lives I think all of us can identify with at least 50% of that description and it really hit home. Upping sticks and starting again in a new town where ‘nobody knows your name (!)’ is what I can only imagine as one of the most difficult things you could contemplate let alone get on and do.

The ramshackle town of Mount Polbearne (In Cornwall) is described as off the beaten track (quite literally) and if the tide is up then you have no hope of getting in or out. The perfect remote location to gather your thoughts and start afresh right? Tearing away from her friends, family and the life that she thought was her forever more Polly treks to ‘the isle’ with a sad, sorry box of belongings and gives it a damn good go.

With her happy-go-lucky charm and a smile painted on with her puffin by her side Polly kneaded on and made something that was ‘just for her’. Struggling with the current owner, land lady and town spokesperson (or so it seemed!) Polly woke at the crack of dawn and went to sleep in the dead of night trying to prove the point that she really was good at what she did – Baking Bread (and other doughy treats!). Proud of her accomplishments she could finally open up her heart and begin to live again. When tragedy struck the little village that she now calls home everyone pulled together for remembrance, song, dance and just a general good time.

Wedding and baby booms aside this book really is something special and a great read to remind you that it is the little things that count. Also if you want something there is nothing but yourself standing in the way of fighting to get it. With plenty of puffin jokes this book is by far highly recommended. I could tell you that it has a sad or happy ending but I won’t as I really think you should read it for yourself. But I will leave you with this song that may make you weep into your pillow but may not until you have read the book!

I wish I was a fisherman
Tumbling on the seas
Far away from dry land
And its bitter memories
Casting out my sweet line
With abandonment and love
No ceiling bearing down on me
‘Cept the starry sky above
With light in my head
You in my arms
Woohoo!

Rating

rating5*

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I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to the lovelies at Little Browns Books UK – Sphere who sent me this book for review. It was just wonderful :D

REVIEW: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London

Back of the Book:

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May.

Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden… and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

My Thoughts:

A book that was not the sort that was hard to get into. PC Grant’s escapades kept me on the edge of my seat with the book open. Luckily I was able to get some of it on audiobook so I could finish listen to it whilst driving. Personally the audio book spoilt it for me as I started it with the paperback and when I switched lost my thread. It was great in the moment to listen to the story however after a couple of chapters and concentration being dealt out to other things threads were lost and the end of the story just tailed off. Re-reading is not my strong point but I did what had to be done!

So . . . PC Grant an unassuming police constable has come to the point where he is put forward into a special section and without giving too much away his new unit is one that isn’t quite let’s just say within the normal realm. With trepidation and much disappointment as his love interest was offered ‘Murder Squad’ PC Grant decided to go all in with gusto. Funnily enough the most exciting part of the love interests new job role was staring at a computer screen for most of the day and being a general dogs body.

From North to South this book takes us through some of the greatest and grottiest places in London. Being able to identify with many of the places mentioned in the book I was also able to make a list of some places that when I have completed the series I hope to seek out. London is one of the most fabulous cities in the world with some truly unimaginably beautifully landmarks and even more unknown hidden gems.

This book will have you howling with laughter, shouting out yes or no and possibly a few obscenities along the way. However it is a book that despite being lost in translation between the audio book and paper copy I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend to anyone that likes a bit of mystery, pure fiction and London of course.

Rating

rating4*

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(A little justification: Mostly due to being lost between the audio and paper book)

Look out for the next review when I manage to finish the book!

World Book Night 2014

Looking over the selection of books for World Book Night 2014 and I came across my beloved Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. A little swell of happiness welled up in my heart and my want to read further into the second book has increased.

Rivers of London

You are probably getting sick of seeing this book on my blog but it was a great read and the second one goes even further into the story of PC Grant. By my own admission the story is quite hard to believe but really does get you hooked in to the point that you just have to know what happens next.

There are also other books included in the WBN list which have at some point taken my interest however I am yet to read. Out of the 20 books selected my favourites are shown below:

The Humans by Matt Haig

Confessions of a GP By Dr Benjamin Daniels

Theodore Boone by John Grisham

So these are my three top choices under River’s of London, have you read any of these books and if so what did you think? I would appreciate some links to reviews if you have any :D