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

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

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