How To Be Happy by Eva Woods – A Review

Polly leaned over and seized a hank of Annie’s lank brown hair.
‘Cutting your hair is symbolic. Letting go of the past, freeing yourself – think Rapunzel. Delilah. Britney Spears.’
‘I’m not shaving it off ‘

I needed a light easy read to distract me through a rough patch and I needed it instantly. This being the case I popped over to Amazon (this is not a promotion of any kind) and checked out their books for Kindle. I still prefer to read i ‘book ‘ rather than digital format so I was pleased with the price of 99p and after reading some reviews and a reasonable sized sample of the book off I went.

It has been a while since I have read this genre and I don’t know if this is the reason why I hadn’t heard of Eva Woods but I’m so glad I’ve discovered her. Without giving the story away both Annie and Polly have been experiencing difficult times, the author deftly  combines empathy, humour and a few ‘oh no!’ moments as she weaves a tale through an unlikely friendship, work and human relationships. The book is written in quite short chapters around the idea that Polly is going to ensure Annie finds happiness in a 100 days. This works really well if you are someone who needs to break off from their reading regularly.  Some sad bits but overall a positive read. Like a hug in a book!

Please note that if you are in the USA this book is published as ‘Something like Happy’

Does your mood influence your reading choices? Do let me know.

Much love xxxx

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – A Review

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not just messing with that part. Unfortunately you can t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life “

 “You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not just messing with that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life.”

This book was recommended to me and I am so glad as it is not something I would have chosen of my own accord, because

  1. I would usually avoid picking up books based abroad.
  2. I am more drawn to female writers than male.
  3. The Young Adult genre wouldn’t be one I normally dip into.

However!

As soon as I turned the cover I got the same compulsion as Clay, needing to know what was on the cassette tapes that Hannah Baker had recorded and sent out before committing suicide. The way in which the author has written this with Hannah’s spoken voice from the tapes explaining why she has taken her own life followed by Clay’s thoughts and replies intertwined makes this a heart wrenching read as the two reactions/comparisons are there instantly.

It’s a book that will stay with me a long time as it has made me consider (even more than usual) the consequences of what we do or do not say to people. It has also taught me that I have ‘book biases’ and didn’t really realise it. If I had stuck in my comfort zone I would have missed an excellent read. Long may my daring continue! 

Are you biased towards or against anything book or author related? I’d love to know I’m not alone!

Much love xxxx

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie – A Review

 “Second to the right and straight on till morning”

 Rather than a hard copy, I downloaded a free Collins classic version of Peter Pan for Kindle from Amazon. I was already expecting a short read of 189 pages, however the story does end at page 160 with the rest of the pages containing ‘classic literature words and phrases adapted from the Collins English dictionary ‘. As the words were not directly related to the text this seemed surplus to requirements. The length of the book remains appropriate especially as it is a children’s classic.

My expectation compared to the reality of reading this classic work were a distance apart at times. A few characters were quite different in the book to how I had imagined. Mainly i feel, due to the characterisation/merchandising of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell by Disney, which actually shows how powerful this can be as I haven’t actually seen the film! 

My favourite characters quite unexpectedly, as I knew little about them when I began were:-

  • Wendy for her darning and motherly ways.
  • Nana the canine nanny (great placement of a dog in literature!)

Despite the slight let down due to my own imagination, i still feel there is much to be gained from Barrie’s solid story that has stood the test of time. Woven in there is the moral of the story ‘good form’ and doing the right thing. Of course it is apparent how times have changed socially in the little over a hundred years since the book was written. A reference to how much higher men were valued compared to women shows this – “Then John was born, with the extra pomp that he conceived due to the birth of a male.”  This is thought provoking for all but a good discussion point with older children.

I would recommend Peter Pan for a child of 10 or 11 years upwards or any adult who like me missed out reading it earlier.

Much love x 

P.S. Just to be clear i have no affiliation with Kindle or Amazon x

Don’t Blink Game

Don’t Blink Gamepexels-photo-289923.jpeg

Do you need a quick, easy and most importantly free game to keep the children occupied for a few precious minutes (or perhaps a boredom reliever for adults at airports etc.) Then the ‘Don’t Blink Game’ may be just the ticket.

The aim of the game is to be the person who doesn’t blink for the longest amount of time.

The beauty of the game is that it can stretch to any amount of players from one upwards. When there is only one player, do the timer challenge and keep a score chart to make it more fun. Another plus is it can be turned into an impromptu party game when running short of ideas, too much time is left towards the end (or everyone is over excited after too much cake!)

Much love xxxx

When life gives you lemons…

For the last few months I’ve been very restricted in most areas of life due to health issues. However, on Sunday it was a lovely crisp morning, my husband lit the fire pit, sorted cushions so that I would be comfy and made sure I was all wrapped up snug. I only lasted the shortest of time but it was like a mini holiday having some fresh air, smelling the wood smoke and watching the flames. Reading was out of the question but the sensory experience my husband had created outside the back door was marvellous. As Eldred Hubbard said  ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’
Much love x

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr – A Review

 “I always knew we should have brought the games compendium” said Max “Hitler’s probably playing Snakes and Ladders with it this very minute.”

 This novel is billed as a children’s book for 9-12 year olds. However I would argue that it is a book for all ages from nine upwards. The story simply told and is based on the childhood experiences of the author Judith Kerr as part a Jewish family whose famous father is wanted by Hitler in 1933. It is so beautifully written with thoughts and observations of the children. It captures so wonderfully how children find the good in situations and also how perceptive and resilient they can be. I think it’s also rather relevant with so much displacement going on in the world and may be a good chapter book to share at home or in the classroom to open up discussion regarding this or World War ll. It is funny, sad and thought provoking but especially for children it is a good  adventure story that moves along.

On a personal note I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the Out of The Hitler Time trilogy:

  • Bombs on Aunt Dainty (formerly The Other Way Round)
  • A Small Person Far Away

I hope you all have a wonderful reading year!

Much love x

Bridget Jones’s Baby The Diaries- A Review

bridget

Bridget Jones’s Baby The Diaries by Helen Fielding, Published by Jonathan Cape.

Opening a Bridget Jones novel is like catching up with old friends.  Hearing their voices, being reminded of all the things that you love about them and just maybe that one thing that could send you a little crazy. Helen Fielding has absolutely delivered again.

I don’t think I am spoiling the story for anyone to say that Bridget is still single and falls pregnant. What ensues is pregnancy Bridget style and the puzzle of who’s the father?

Whilst engrossed within the pages I have shrieked, laughed cringed and more. Even if you have seen the movie the book has that extra charm. If you haven’t yet read any of the Bridget Jones series then I urge you to start at the beginning (it’s a very good place to start!), put up a DO NOT DISTURB sign and have the time of your life!

 

Lou x