The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman was another recent summer read. Nina has a well-organised life: a job in a bookstore, an excellent trivia team and a cat named Phil. As the only daughter of an often absent mother, she is used to her own company. But when the father she never knew about dies and leaves her something in his will, suddenly she has a new family. She is left with half-sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews. Which means she’ll have to speak to strangers! Continue reading
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman is the sequel to Beartown. I read Beartown a few months ago and had a complicated reading relationship with it. The writing style really annoyed me at first (Backman loves using foreshadowing which I found very distracting as a reader). But by the end of the book I had gotten over this and fell in love with the story. So, I entered into reading Us Against You prepared for it to take a little while to get into the story. Luckily, it didn’t take too long as I was already acquainted with the many characters and their respective story lines. Continue reading
Set in Aspen, Colorado, A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan tells the story of a British family. The White family, consisting of parents Maggie and Nick and big sister Katie, travel to America for the Christmas wedding of younger daughter Rosie. Rosie is getting married after a short, whirlwind relationship and her family is worried about the speed, especially Katie who is very protective of her younger sibling. Continue reading
The Shining by Stephen King was my third King read in October and the scariest! Things that go bump in the night and me don’t usually get along. I don’t like scary movies so I approached this book cautiously. And while I found it all kinds of scary, it was also a damn good book and a great example of suspense in a cabin fever setting.
The Shining is about a family of three: Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy and their extraordinary five-year-old son, Danny. Jack is a man with issues. He’s a writer and was a university teacher until his drinking and violent behaviour sees him lose his job. A friend pulls some strings and gets him a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel, high in the Colorado Rockies. Jack and his family are to live in the empty hotel when it’s shut down over the winter. Empty of guests and employees, it’s just the three of them in a huge hotel that has a colourful and scary past. It’s a place where there have been many violent incidents over the years. It’s also a place that gets cut off from the world as the snow blocks all the roads allowing no one in or out.
The Green Mile by Stephen King was my fourth Stephen King read in October. It was also my favourite. Although I saw the movie long ago, I had forgotten what happened. So it was great to read the novel and rediscover the story.
The Green Mile was first released as six serial installments over 6 months in 1996 like Charles Dickens did back in the day. (You can see in the photo that my husband collected the originals). It was a huge publishing risk at the time as publishers didn’t know if readers would embrace the formats or want to keep buying the installments. Continue reading
My husband owns a huge Stephen King book collection and has been bugging me for ages to read some more King books. So, at the start of October I picked up the classic Misery to read. Misery is actually a good choice for a keen reader and writer like myself as the protagonist is a bestselling author who wakes up after a car accident to find himself with broken legs lying in the bedroom of his number one fan. This fan is Annie Wilkes, an ex-nurse who lives on a rural property and just loves author Paul Sheldon. Paul is known for his series of books about a character named Misery. Misery has made him a fortune, but in his last book he killed her off so he can move on in his writing. But Annie doesn’t like this one bit and she’s not going to let Paul leave until he writes a new book that brings Misery back to life. Continue reading
Carrie by Stephen King is one of those classic King books that everyone has heard about – or they’ve seen the movie. This month I decided to raid my husband’s Stephen King collection and try some of this author’s earlier books. Carrie was Stephen King’s very first published novel and it almost wasn’t published after Stephen threw his draft away. Luckily, his wife found it in the trash, dusted it off and urged him to keep working on it. And the rest is history. Continue reading
Regular readers of my blog will know how much I love anything written by Jojo Moyes. So I was excited to get my hands on her latest release The Giver Of Stars. I pretty much devoured this historical fiction book set in 1930s Kentucky in a day. I just couldn’t put it down!
Set in Baileyville, Kentucky, during the Depression, it tells the story of a remarkable group of women who form part of the WPA’s horseback mobile librarian programme – bringing books and reading to people living in remote mountain areas.
Though the characters in this book are fictional, they are inspired by the real life women who took part in this scheme which ran from 1935 to 1943. Jojo weaves a fascinating tale of a small community where many welcome the spread of books and reading, while others oppose the idea of women promoting literacy. Continue reading