Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier Review

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier review
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9780349006598, 272 pp

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier is my first read of 2019. I read this a long time ago, so was happy to do a re-read as I had forgotten most of the plot. I’m so glad that I read this again as it was a fantastic read which I enjoyed so much.

Frenchman’s Creek is a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure set during the Restoration period in England. Lady Dona St Columb, the mother of two small children, is fed up with the shallow life she leads at Court. She is known for being a daring woman who drinks with her husband, his friends and their mistresses and is known to engage in wild escapades. Continue reading

My 2019 Bookish Resolutions

My penguin clothbound classics

Happy New Year everyone! In 2018 I read 105 books. I enjoyed reading books across many different genres from YA to historical fiction to romance. In 2019 I want to read more books from my unread shelf. I have so many books that have been waiting patiently for my attention, many of them classics, and this is the year that I want to get stuck into them.

Last year I set myself the challenge of reading 60 books and ended up blowing that goal out of the water. But classics take me a bit more time to read than modern books. For that reason I’m going to set my goal at 70 books this year so I don’t feel too much pressure.

Books that are on my to be read pile in 2019 include:

Classics on my shelf that I want to read

  1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  2. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  4. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  7. Nineteen-Eighty Four by George Orwell (re-read)
  8. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (re-read)
  10. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (re-read)
  12. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  14. Persuasion by Jane Austen (re-read)
  15. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (re-read)
  16. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (re-read)
  17. Emma by Jane Austen (re-read)
  18. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (re-read)
  19. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  20. The Iliad by Homer (re-read)
  21. The Odyssey by Homer (re-read)
  22. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  23. The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
  24. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
  25. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
  26. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier (re-read)

Fiction & Crime fiction on my shelf that I want to read

  1. My Jojo Moyes collection

    The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

  2. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
  3. Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
  4. The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (11 books in the series!)
  5. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
  6. Night Music by Jojo Moyes
  7. The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
  8. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
  9. The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (re-read)
  10. Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
  11. The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (and the next few books if I like this one)
  12. The Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  13. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  14. The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  15. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  16. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

YA fiction on my shelf that I still need to read

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
  4. The Rift by Rachael Craw
  5. Dry by Neal Shusterman

Books from my husband’s shelf that I might read

  1. Misery by Stephen King
  2. Carrie by Stephen King
  3. The Shining by Stephen King
  4. The Outsider by Stephen King
  5. Elevation by Stephen King

There are a lot more books but I’ll see how I go! There are only so many weeks in a year!

Books I want to get (even though I already have so many books to read)

  1. The Wicked King by Holly Black (the sequel to The Cruel Prince)
  2. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (I loved The Hating Game so really want to get this when it comes out at the end of January).
  3. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks (I enjoyed The Wife Between Us so look forward to getting this book some time soon).
  4. Becoming by Michelle Obama (I’m hoping to get my hands on this biography and devour it).
  5. Mythos by Stephen Fry and Heroes by Stephen Fry (I love Greek mythology and have had my eye on these books for a while. Maybe this is the year I get them!)
  6. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (This book looks so intriguing and I’m seeing it everywhere. I’ll keep my eye out for an inexpensive copy).
  7. The Wedding Date and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (These books are all over bookstagram and look like the perfect, frothy holiday reads. I might get them ahead of my holiday in March).
  8. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (This is a New York Times #1 bestseller that I’m seeing everywhere. It looks like a powerful book so I’m hoping to grab a copy at some stage).

I’ll leave my list here for now. I’m going to try very hard to read books that I already own but I’m an impulsive reader who is easily swayed by what other booklovers are reading. So I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I buy too many new books. Still, I will give this list my best shot.

 

What about you? What are your bookish resolutions for 2019? I’d love to hear them.

My Best Reads of 2018 (September to December)

Just in the nick of time before 2018 closes, I want to share my favourite reads from September to December 2018. Simply click on the links below to read the original reviews. These books are in no particular order and all were amazing in their own unique way.

1. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng review
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Category: Fiction

This was a recent read of mine which I devoured. It’s about a Chinese American family dealing with the death of sixteen-year-old Lydia Lee and trying to find their way back to each other. I couldn’t put this down.

Read this if you want a beautifully written novel about a family in crisis.


2. The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man by Jane Harper review
The Lost Man by Jane Harper, ISBN 9781743549100, 366pp

Category: Crime/Mystery

The Lost Man is Jane Harper’s third novel and it’s her best book yet. I read this in 24 hours because I was hooked on trying to solve the mystery. I thought that The Dry was good, Force of Nature was even better, but The Lost Man is now my favourite. My husband read this as well and we both gave it 5 stars.

Verdict: A top-notch mystery that you have to read!


3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoag review
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoag, ISBN 9781786496768, 321pp

Category: Romance

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It’s a romance with lots of steamy scenes but it has enough differences to make it stand out. For starters, the female protagonist has Asperger’s and her love interest is a male Asian American gigolo. It’s a twist on the Pretty Woman story and is a lot of fun.

Verdict: Read this if you want a romance book with an unconventional plot


4. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han Review
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Category: Young Adult

After watching and loving the Netflix movie based on this book, I just had to read the whole series. It was such a fun, sweet coming-of-age novel. I don’t read a huge amount of YA books but I really enjoyed this series.

Verdict: A thoroughly enjoyable YA read.


5. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty review
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, ISBN 9781743534922, 493pp

Category: Fiction

Liane Moriarty is one of my automatic-buy authors. I loved this latest book set at a wellness retreat and told from the point-of-views of nine strangers. It explores so many different themes such as: grief and loss, love and family, loneliness and identity. It’s funny, entertaining and sad.

Verdict: Another brilliant book from one of my favourite authors.


6. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi book review
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. ISBN 9780241975237, 305pp

Category: Historical fiction

Homegoing tells the story of two branches of an African family starting from the 18th century. One family line stays in Ghana, the other deals with the hardship of America and slavery. Each chapter tells the story of a different descendant, both men and women, and keeps going from the 18th century through to the present day. I learned a lot from reading this novel.

Verdict: A beautifully written, powerful novel.

 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

If not, what great books have you read lately?

Further reading:

My Best Reads of 2018 (January to April)

My Best Reads of 2018 (May to August)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han Review

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han Review
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, ISBN 9781407149073, 368pp

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is such a sweet coming-of-age novel. I watched the Netflix film first (and loved it) before reading the book. I enjoyed all the differences between the novel and film. Both were great in their own way.

If you’re not familiar with the book it’s a story about a half Korean teenager named Lara Jean Song Covey. She is the middle child of three sisters and her OB-GYN father is raising them alone after the death of their mother.

Continue reading

Landline by Rainbow Rowell Review

Landline by Rainbow Rowell review
Landline by Rainbow Rowell, ISBN: 9781409152125, 320 pp

I devoured Landline by Rainbow Rowell over a 24 hour period but it left me with mixed feelings. Landline is about a TV writer, Georgie McCool, who is married to Neal and has two young daughters. When Georgie has to write a new pilot in the lead up to Christmas with her writing partner, her husband takes the kids to his mother’s place without her.

Georgie then can’t reach her husband on the phone. He’s not replying to any of her calls or texts. But then she manages to reach him with an old phone and landline from her childhood bedroom. The only problem is that she’s magically connected to a past version of Neal from years ago before they were married.

Continue reading

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng Review

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng review
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, ISBN 9780349134284, 320pp

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is a book I’ve been meaning to read since reading Little Fires Everywhere by the same author at the start of 2018. It took me almost a year to finally buy this book. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.

This book is about the Lees, a Chinese American family living in a small Ohio town in the 1970s. The dad, James, is a Chinese American college professor who marries Marilyn, a white girl with ambitions of becoming a doctor. Getting pregnant with their first child halts Marilyn’s ambitions. They go on to have three children: Nath, Lydia and Hannah.

Continue reading

The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier Review

The King's General by Daphne du Maurier review
The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9781844080892, 372pp

My husband bought me a whole stack of Daphne du Maurier books for my birthday. Over the years I’ve read Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier. But I wanted to read more of her books. The King’s General is set in 17th century Cornwall during the time of the English Civil War. Even though this book is called The King’s General, and he features as a character in the novel, the story is told from the point-of-view of Honor Harris.

When Honor is eighteen she is passionate, beautiful, reckless and the spoiled youngest daughter of a large family. She reminded me a bit of Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. Honor meets Sir Richard Grenville, a soldier who cares only for fighting and not about the feelings of those around him. Richard is a bit like Rhett Butler, only meaner, and he is dedicated to fighting for his king. He’s really not a likeable person but is a brilliant soldier. When Richard meets Honor something clicks. Her family is against any match between them and sends Honor home. Richard follows her and they meet in secret and eventually become engaged.

But then tragedy strikes days before their wedding and Honor sends Richard away. I won’t tell you what the tragedy is but it’s a good twist and changes Honor’s life forever. It’s rare to find a novel told from the point-of-view of a person in her situation. Continue reading

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty Review

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty review
Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty, ISBN 9780330427166, 376pp

I’ve been going through a mini Liane Moriarty reread phase. I read Three Wishes years ago but I couldn’t remember what happened. So it was nice to revisit this book again. Three Wishes is about the three Kettle sisters – Cat, Gemma and Lyn  – who also happen to be triplets. The book starts with the eyewitness accounts of bystanders who witness the triplets have a raucous dinner in a Sydney restaurant. The dinner ends with a violent argument and one sister throwing a fork at her pregnant sister, impaling her stomach. The fork thrower then passes out from the shock. Just like the bystanders, the reader has no idea what this is all about and which sister is the culprit. Continue reading