Books.

book

Now Reading: ‘Underground London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City’ by Catherine Arnold

So, I haven’t been the best at reading a lot of books this year – I honestly don’t have time! To do something about this, I took this book to Budapest with me. I read it all the way there, at any moment we sat while I was there and then all the way back. I had a couple of pages left that I have just read now and I can honestly say that I have finished it! Woop Woop!

It isn’t my usual type of book and if you read my ‘Books and Such’ reviews, you’ll know that I am a bit of a fan of anything slushy with an unrealistic romantic storyline where the first man and woman introduced in the story end up together after a lot of drama and involvement of other characters. Needless to say, I had got a bit fed up with reading these sorts of books and I wasn’t really enjoying them anymore. I decided to buy this book the week it came out (some time ago now) and put it away. This is the first book I have ever bought that has been actually bought first, all my others have been second hand or my sister’s.

I found it really interesting. It starts off with the gallows and the horrific punishments that took place for peoples’ enjoyment and amusement. Talking about torture techniques, the Tower of London and the Den of Thieves. I was hooked! I want to make it clear that I am not a strange sort of psychopathic person interested in Crime and Punishment through the ages, but I did find it almost unbelievably interesting. I continued to read through to learn about Highway robberies, The Black Parade and Scotland Yard. It has to be noted though, my absolute favourite chapters were those based around Victorian times, with Jack the Ripper, murderous maids, executions, killers and gangs! It was fascinating and I loved that I was given actual names of real people’s cases. Like, those things actually happened. Ones that stick in my mind are the one where bodies were found in the walls of a house in Notting Hill, the body buried under the kitchen floor, and the one who boiled her victims… Sooooo gross, but so good not to read.

The book then finishes with the evolution on gangs and where they originated. Among some of them, the Krays, the Italians, the Jewish and the Irish all fought against each other daily on the streets of the East End. It was not until later that ‘postcode’ gangs were actually more dangerous, with children doing the shootings and with the weapons getting more advanced.

I am actually a bit sad that I’ve finished this book because I feel like I’ve learnt so much! I feel like when it’s so detailed and so unthinkable that these things actually happened, it makes it all the more interesting and makes you all the more eager to read read on. I would give this book 10 out of 10! Purely because I’ve learnt some much, it was easy to read and because I surprised myself with how much I wanted to carry on reading, regardless of the gruesome facts and almost sickening crimes that were committed. Go and get it!!!

Peace and love, Polly May xx

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‘The Secret Life of Bees’ by Sue Monk Kidd

‘The Secret Life of bees’ by Sue Monk Kidd is probably one of the best books I have read in a while. I really enjoyed reading my Nicholas Sparks book before this, because it’s such an easy read, but I do think that they are quite predictable. I really love the sense of history and romance (shocker) that this book has and I think that it was written really well.  I had begun reading it, but then life carried on and I didn’t get a chance to go back to it, so it was on my reading challenge list to make sure that I finished it and I am so happy that I did!

The plot was so in-depth and I loved that there were so many characters with their own individual stories, rather than just focusing on the one main character. This is taken from amazon.co.uk, but explains the plot a lot better than I can: Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father’s account of the event. Now fourteen, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice and from Lily’s harsh and unyielding father, they follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother.

The story was brilliant and I loved the twists and turns and the fact that they had so much going against them, but in the end it was where Lily and Rosaleen were supposed to be. I also really liked the ending and how it had a strong, powerful message for the reader as well as the characters in the story. I was so determined to finish this book that I read 125 pages in the garden and then took it to London with me to finish the ending on the train. It was a really good read and close to my favourite book (Water for Elephants). Give me a bit of history, with a bit of romance and I’m there! Lol!

You can buy this on amazon, or, like me, pop into your local charity shop. It’ll be a fraction of the price (mine was 50p), and it can be your good deed for the day. Now that I have finished my third book (whaaaaat?!), I am left with a bit of a dilemma of what to read next. I have got a ‘Underworld London’ book, which is very gruesome and all about Crime and Punishment from the year dot, so that could be a winner. It’s something different, and fits perfectly with my ‘Better Self Challenge’!

This book was so, so good and I would highly recommend it. It was such a good read and I haven’t been like that with a book for ages, but I honestly couldn’t put it down. Three down, six to go!

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‘A Bend in the Road’ by Nicholas Sparks

So, while I was away, it was the perfect time to get going on my little reading challenge that I sent myself! I chose to take ‘A Bend in the Road’ by Nicholas Sparks. I knew I was going to like it because I have read so many of his books before (The Notebook, The Lucky One, Safe Haven, Dear John, The Best of Me). They are your typical love story books and they actually really make real life situations a little bit rubbish haha! However, it was quite nice to switch off for a little while.

It is about a twenty-something teacher called Sarah, who has moved to a new town after divorcing her successful husband. She offers to help Jonah, who is a young boy whose Mum died when he was little and because of this, he had fallen behind at school. She meets up with his Dad to discuss some extra tutoring. As time goes on, she begins dating Jonah’s Dad, Miles, and they fall in love (awww!). However, Miles is still on a mission to find out who killed his wife in a hit and run, and the ending has a bit of a twist – Don’t worry, I won’t worry it for you.

It was a good read and I literally couldn’t put it down. I am a bit of a romantic and I loved the sloshiness (judge me all you like lol), but I also like that it made you want to find out who the killer was and how everyone was linked. It had so many suspects for the hit and run part of the story and I like that I was completely wrong at the end of the story. It was surprising who he chose to be the killer, but I suppose that’s what makes a good book.

So, there you have it, two down, seven to go! I am loving this little challenge and it has kind of got me thinking. If you set yourself a little challenge, not for like a public thing, just for you, it works. So, I would love it if you set yourself a challenge and kept me posted. Whether you are going to try and eat 5 pieces of fruit a day or drink more water or read more or jog more or cut down on something – drink, smoking, whatever. It really does work if it’s something that you want to do. Think about it and set yourself a little challenge :)

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‘Love, Tanya’ by Tanya Burr

After finishing the book, I thought that it was really good! It had just enough information and advice in it about each different element of her life that you wanted to read on. It includes a little bit about her life with Jim, how she become a youtuber, some baking recipes, fashion, skincare and the future. It was great because each chapter had just the right amount of information in it. I did really enjoy the skincare chapter and this played a massive role in me (finally!) buying some decent skincare products and not just attempting to use a face wipe all of the time.

I also really enjoyed learning about her background story. Sometimes you watch these sorts of videos or clogs and you forget that these are just day-to-day people. You also tend to assume that its ‘just making videos and uploading them’, but after reading all about how she became a professional youtuber, it’s proved that there is a lot more work to it. It’s so much more creative and opens so many more doors than I ever could have imagined. It looks like such a fun type of life, but obviously there is a lot of hard work involved too!

Having made some of her chocolate chunk cookies (which were amazing by the way – I must make some more), I also enjoyed reading the other recipes that she had to offer! I really, really want to try the warm winter soup later in the year as soup is something that is so easy to make from scratch, but I’ve never attempted it. Obviously the other cookies and cupcakes also look amazing, so I’ll be making those at some point too! :)

I’ve really enjoyed this read and I can see how easy it would be to want to buy another similar type book. Marcus Butler, who is also a youtuber, has just released his book, ‘Hello Life’, which also looks really good. I, however, am on a strict ‘must read all of these books before I can buy any more!’ Lol!

If you know someone who is a little bit creative or likes the youtubers or just likes to read up on new products and items that are well recommended, I would definitely recommend this book – it has a little bit of everything in it and, although I have read it cover to cover, it’s a nice book to just sit and flick through :)

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‘Water For Elephants’ by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants is an absolutely amazing book. It seemed to completely and utterly take me back to the 1930s circus era. It was incredibly well written and I think a book that it was definitely difficult to put down. I fell asleep with it on my bed many nights as I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer to read it. Jacob Jankowski had me hooked from the start and with the talented writing of Sara Gruen, I kind of began to emphasize with him, his care for the animals and his love for Marlena. I loved it.

Rosie the elephant was the complete heroin of the book and I loved her for it. As she was introduced into the story, I wasn’t sure how it was going to pan out, especially with her frequent beating from Marlena’s evil husband, August. I actually found those parts of the story quite difficult to read, but they were needed to show how August really was before the truth about him later unravelled.

I don’t want to give too much away about this story, and I am looking forward to seeing how the film transfers the amazing story that I have just read. It was an incredibly story full of crime, history, friendships and, of course, romance. I think that anyone would enjoy this book. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it before.

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choc‘The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris’ by Jenny Colgan

So, I have finished another book. After ‘The Great Gatsby’, I needed a light and fun story that would put my faith back into books again. Jenny Colgan’s, ‘The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris’ totally did that J It was such a good read and although it took me a little bit longer than I would have liked it to, I really did enjoy it. There is a continuous will they, won’t they storyline hidden beneath a lot of drama and depth, which made it such a good read.

Anna Trent’s character was undoubtedly the main character of the story with her adventure of travelling to Paris for a ‘new start’ and a chance to get back to ‘normal’ after an accident which left her in hospital for a little while. However, in my opinion, the best character was that of her French Teacher, Claire. She told her entire life story within this book and it all slowly began to slot intot place and link to each part of the story. It was really, really well written, and I have to say that I am tempted to buy another of Colgan’s books as I didn’t realise she was such a well-known writer.

Onto the next one…

Peace and love, Polly May xx

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‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I decided to read ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald because of the films’ premiere and because I recently went to a Gatsby inspired cocktail evening. But, here’s the thing, it just wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. Parts of it were quite enjoyable and did get into some of the scenes – in particular, the driving scene and the first initial scene where Gatsby made his appearance in the book, however overall I found it really hard to follow. The characters seemed to overlap and I got a little confused trying to work out what was happening in some parts and where random characters had come into the story.

Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story and neighbour/friend of Jay Gatsby told the story quite well and I did develop a sense of empathy towards him, but the story itself was rather jumpy and difficult to work out. The romance between Daisy and Gatsby is kept to an absolute minimum and you rarely get a chance to realise their love for each other. After she decides to stay with her husband, she isn’t mentioned again in the book, only to say that she didn’t attend Gatsby funeral.

It’s always a real shame when a book is hyped up as much as this one has been for many years, and then you read it and realise that it wasn’t that worth it. After Gatsby protected Daisy and took the blame for Myrtle’s death, Myrtle’s husband (George B Wilson) kills Gatsby however as he was the main character of the book after all, I think this left a lot to be desired and I don’t feel that the book concluded itself well – what happened to all the other characters? Why didn’t they go to Gatsby funeral?

I can see some of the books has hidden meaning and that Gatsby loved Daisy and this was stronger than any other achievement in his life, but I was just expecting a little more was all. (If you are planning to read it, I would definitely have a list of the characters to hand! Haha!)

Oh, well… Hopefully the next one will be better.

Peace and love, Polly May xx

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‘Safe Haven’ by Nicholas Sparks

So, as some of you already know I set myself the target of reading three enjoyable books through June! I have lots and lots of time off at the moment and don’t really have anything else to do… so I thought I would concentrate on this for a little while. I love reading and just haven’t had the time to read for pleasure in such a long time, so it’s good to get back into it.

I love Nicholas Sparks books, but I have so say that I think that this one has to be the best one I have read. In fact, the best book altogether that I have read in a really long time. I read it in about 4 days and literally couldn’t put it down. It was a really easy book and I loved the characters and the storyline and just the entire way that it was written. Like many of Nicholas Sparks books, ‘Safe Haven’ has now become a film, although I don’t know if I want to see it. I have enjoyed the book so, so much and I think that I have got such a vivid picture of the setting and how it is set out and I don’t want it to be changed haha! The book’s storyline, although relatively simple when explained, was written really well and the ending (not that I want to spoil it for anyone) was fantastic! I really can’t explain to you how amazing I thought this book was and if you’re a bit of a softie at heart and love a bit of romance, then I would definitely say go out and buy it right now. I got mine from Tesco’s for £3.50, but it was also in their 2 for £7 deal that they do, so you’ve got no excuse haha!

Now, on to the next one… (THE GREAT GATSBY!!)

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‘Through thick and thin’ by Gok Wan

So, after not completing and finding ‘Call the Midwife’ really hardcore, – it was quite graphic in regard to birth and body fluids – I decided that I needed something a little bit more light-hearted and easy to read. I have always loved Gok and have watched all of his shows since I was a teenager  with my Mum and Sister and, of course, I still love him, so I decided to read his autobiography. It was so good and a true insight into his struggles to become the person that we see on the television. I have got to admit that I think he really showed a side that I hadn’t seen or thought about before. Growing up he had problems with his weight and his own confidence, which resulted in a sense of depression and lonliness, and it was actually really interesting to read how he felt and how he got himself out of the bad situations that happened to him in his life. It mainly came across that his family are his backbone, which is, of course, a lovely message to take from such a book.

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‘Ronnie’ by Ronnie Wood (2013)

Ronnie Wood’s not only join us on twitter, but I have also finished his autobiography. I am super happy that I have managed to read and still keep (kind of) up to date with my school work. I am so happy that I have my PPA this week. Being a huge Rolling Stones fan, I kind of had to read this book, as I had read Keith’s and this one was an obvious route to go on to. This book was so easy to read – being written in such a talkative way, kind of, how I expect him to talk. It was strange to read the part about their ‘Bigger Bang’ tour as I was actually there in 2007 – haha! I also loved reading all of his memories and the fact that he actually remembered them! Lol… His holdaisy and the many adventures he hd whil in the band. I loved reading the stroies with him and Keith and realising that they are actually really good friends before being bandmates.

I would have loved to have been at one of their crazy fancy dress parties. I am amazd by the amount of people he has worked with – from Jimi Hnedrix (who he lived with at one point) to Eric Clapton and Elvis. He has also had some pretty amazing friends including the obvious ones; Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, to the more obscure ones; George Harrison, Muhammad Ali… He genuinely came across as a nice guy and was able to really show who he really was. I lov how he told the stories, but still reflected on his life for himself.

On to the next one…

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‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ by J. K. Rowling

I cannot believe that I have actually read all of them. From meeting Harry, Hermione and Ron – finding the horcuxes and fighting Death Eaters. Awesome. I have loved reading these books and wish I had done it sooner, however, I am so pleased with myself that I finally did it! From the beginning it took me roughly three weeks to read it all, but if it wasn’t for Uni work and other things I had to do, I reckon I could have read it in about five days! Haha! All 608 pages left me reading wanting more and I can’t believe I have read them all. So happy with myself – I never used to be a reader. I would rather listen to music or watch TV or a film, but now I think I can honestly say that I am a ‘reader’.

The final Harry Potter book was an absolute pleasure to read. It explained Harry’s struggle so much better than the film. With the reveal of Snape’s love for Lily (Harry’s Mum), the way that everything seemed to slot into place so naturally – it was almost like it was crazy it wasn’t obvious from the start, Kreacher, the Deathly Hallows story with the invisibility cloak, the elder wand and the resurrection stones, Dobby’s death being so beautifully written and the way that Harry dug the grave ‘the muggle way’ – he wanted it to be magical less, the ‘Nineteen years later’ bit at the end of the book, with Harry Potter and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione.

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‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ by J. K. Rowling

I had had a little break away from Harry Potter for a while. This was for a few reasons, I had gone on holiday and I didn’t have the room for a fat book, I went back to Uni and had so much academic reading to do and I just didn’t have the time. But, I decided that I would get back to it, and read the Half-Blood Prince.

It is such a good book! Being a total lover of Harry Potter anyway, it was everything I thought it would be, but I am genuinely amazed at how much the films have missed out. The whole discovery of Snape being the Half-Blood Prince had so much more to it than the film showed. Harry also has a lot more going on, as this is the book where he dates Ginny, Ron’s younger Sister. This was covered in the film, but I just feel like the book was soooo much better. This book was also the part of the story that Dumbledore was killed and I honestly can say I was getting really rather emotional when I was reading this bit.

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‘The best exotic Marigold Hotel’ by Deborah Moggach

So, I have finally finished this book. I really don’t know why it has taken me so long to finish. Truth is; that I couldn’t really get into the storyline and at times, I found it really quite confusing. The book has 3 parts to it and it tends to jump around quite a lot between characters and stories. I am pleased that I have finished as it is another one to put towards my 12 book aim, but, unfortunately, I don’t think I will be recommending it to anyone soon. It’s a shame – because it had quite good reviews – but because of the confusing way it was written, and the fact that I really couldn’t get into it, it was a bit on a let down.

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‘My week with Marilyn’ by Colin Clark

YAY!!! I have finally finished it!! I’m so happy with my little self.

After seeing the film at the cinema twice, and then being bought the DVD and book for my birthday, I thought it was about time I finished ‘My Week with Marilyn’. This book was split into two halves; the first being Colin Clark’s general day-to-day diary and the second being his week with Marilyn. I have to admit I found the first one quite difficult to read and it became a little repetitive with his daily drama at the studio and altogether third assistant director jobs. But, the second I have found extremely interesting. It has really shown Miss Monroe’s venerability and her general self. It shows that her innocence and honesty of admitting that she has a evil side, an ugly side and that all people saw was ‘her’. It must me feel quite sad that she was ‘Marilyn Monroe’ for most of her life and people, even her husbands, forgot about Norma Jean.

Anyway, it was a really good half of a book, and I suppose you need to read the first half to give you a basis to read the second, so it was all relevant after all.

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‘Doing your research project’ by Judith Bell.

Although, I haven’t put on any of my academic reading, this is purely for my benefit. This book has been quite a difficult read, but really beneficial. It has given me some pretty good tips and tricks to gather my evidence and how to go about writing a research project (something that I haven’t done before). It has also given me some sort of idea of what actually needs to be included, which is always helpful. I have written so many notes from reading it, and hopefully these will support me when I come around to writing up my dissertation. It is quite scary that I need to start planning etc. for this when it is so important. I feel a bit nervous if I am honest, but I am sure it’ll be okay :) She says….. Haha! Anyway, it was one of my New Year’s: Things to read another academic book, so I thought I would document doing so.

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‘The Lucky One’ by Nicholas Sparks.

This book is definitely a keep. I felt that I needed a relatively short story to give me a rest from all the University books and Harry Potter books that I have been reading recently haha! Nicholas Sparks is officially my favourite Author! I love his books, characters, the way he brings real life situations to the story and the way the he makes me kind of think nothing that happens in his books could ever happen! Haha! I have been known to be a bit of a romantic, but, oh my goodness, this book was a complete slush! Haha! I did really enjoy reading it and it took me just 6 days to finish it. It is yet another of my favourites with ‘Dear John’.

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‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ by J.K. Rowling.

So, I have finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I am so happy that I finally finished as it is the longest book I have ever read, totalling up to 766 pages! WOOP WOOP! Go me. It has taken me a little bit longer than I wanted it to (7 and a half weeks), but I have finished it and that is the main thing.

This was the first ever book that I have read on a Kindle, and I thought it was pretty cool. It was my Mum’s and as it was such a huge book, I asked to borrow it, so that I didn’t look strange on the train! Haha! I would consider getting on, if I commuted or whatever, as they are so convenient, but I don’t think I would get that much use of out one, for the money they are. I am also looking to buy a netbook / tablet, so would rather put the money towards that I think.

Anyway, it was a really good read, and I am so proud of myself for getting one step closer. The story itself (again!) was completely different to the film. This is something that I have found with every Harry Potter book, I have read so far. It is a little bit shocking that so much is missed out and things that are relevant to the story are changed and adapted. When they say ‘based’ they obviously mean it! Haha! Anyway, moan over – it was a really good read and I would really recommend it to anyone who is a true Harry Potter fan. A lot of the things that didn’t make any sense, now do! And, of course, it’s the last one was Sirius Black.

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‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ by J. K. Rowling.

I have also finished my fourth book of this year: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It is by far the longest book that I have ever read of 636 pages, but I absolutely loved it! I think the amount of detail and general chapters that they have missed out completely is amazing. The whole issue with Dobbie and house-elf rights. Some of the facts in the book were completely changed and I kind of now know what people say about how the films don’t do the books justice. The book, as a whole, was probably my favourite as of yet. Each one seems to be becoming my favourite as I finish it. I love the fact that you can just imagine what people look like and the picture in your head has so much more detailed. I find it amazing how J.K. Rowling came up with such detailed and in –depth stories and they are kind of amazing. I am soooo excited because I loved the book and am now onto the next one :)

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‘Harry Potter and the Prisioner of Azkaban’ by J. K. Rowling

So, I have finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and I have to say, it is my new favourite book. I have only ever got to number 3 but never finished it, so I am very pleased with myself. I love the introduction of Sirius Black, Harry’s Godfather, and how parts of the ultimate story are slowly being brought into it. Voldermort is trying to become powerful again, but once again, he hasn’t succeeded yet. I love Harry Potter, and I can’t wait to read the next one, being Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire. This fourth film isn’t particularly my favourite, so hopefully the  book will be really good in comparison :) On to the next one….

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‘Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets’ by J. K. Rowling (2012)

I am sorry, but I just have to say this. I fricking love Harry Potter. After getting the DVD boxset for Christmas and setting myself the mission of reading all of the books, I just can’t get enough of it! Haha! The second book was my favourite, when I read it before, and still is. You begin to learn more about the characters and Voldermort and the battle to come. The part with the spiders is still one of my favourite, but the best bit, has to be the entrance of Dobby! I can’t help but picture a cute bug-eyed big earred elf, a bit like a elf styled pug dog! lol… Anyway, the book was amazing and I really enjoyed it over the Christmas time :) As I have said, the book explained a lot more of the story line and the characters were shown in a new light to the first one. I really like that the Weasley’s become a stronger part of the story. I am quite pleased with how my reading is going so far, so off to my next book.

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The lost art of keeping secrets by Eva Rice

I have finished my book, ‘The lost art of keeping secrets’ and although I have had placement, I managed to read a bit of it every single night! Go me! I do really feel the difference since reading more. Like my vocabulary in my writing and stuff has really improved. It was really good and as it was based in the 1950’s and based around the idea of romance, dinners and 1950’s music, it was totally me! Haha! It was also a bit of a sloshy read, and of course it was perfect, especially for this time of year! I think it as one of the best books this year and I was thrilled with how it ended, not that I wanted to ruin it for anyone; I just think it was a fantastic ending haha! Penelope and Charlotte made the perfect main characters and I love a ‘not-norm’ boy character, so Harry was so readable that I couldn’t put it down!

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

So, although this took a little bit longer than usual due to all the Uni books I have been reading and going away etc. I did really enjoy it. I really want to read all of them now, and hopefully I will do this :) However long this may take. haha! The book had so much more detail than the film, and parts that were completely missed out. I loved that I was able to picture these bits of the book, without the help from the movie. Being a huge Harry Potter fan, I feel a littel bit ashamed that I haven’t read the books and didn’t know any of the stories until the films were released, so I will read them :) haha! I really enjoyed this book, however, my next book won’t be the expected of Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets as I have already started another on holiday.

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The blind side by Michael Lewis

This book has taken me far too long to read, if I’m honest I should have finished it before my holiday. It was a really good read and quite heartbreaking at times; however, I do feel that some of it was a little confusing. There were some chapters that were truly dedicated to American footbal, and I understadn that this needs to be included to some extent due to the books purpose, but I was lost a little. Michael Oher’s stroy is really unique and shows true determination and courage. To come from Memphis’ poorest area, Hurt Village, and follow your dream of being the next Michael Jordan, really does take guts. He believed in himself and didn’t seem to listen to peoples’ cruel comments. It is a really good book, especially if you like to hear of peoples success and how they got there. The film ‘The Blind Side’ shows a really true guide to Michael’s life and I’m glad to have seen this along with reading the book to ‘fill in the gaps.’ Maybe not a easy read (i.e. for holiday) but still well worth it.

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Beautiful by Katie Piper

This book has been one of the most inspiring books that I have ever read. The ease of the writing made it the perfect holiday read. Katie’s courage and honestly throughout the book just made me want to carry on reading and I was disappointed to find myself at the end of it. I find it amazing how one person, like Katie, sets herself a goal and does whatever it takes to achieve it. She shows true bravery and even when, she had to face her attacker, she stood strong and continue to fight for the justice she deserved. That’s takes true strength. Her ex boyfriend, Lynch, violently raped and attacked her before later paying someone to throw acid into her face, resulting in many life threatening issues. He is a truly evil man and he later showed no remorse whatsoever when he was given his prison sentence of just sixteen years. I felt as though I was there with her as she wrote her thoughts and feelings on whether she even wanted to live anymore. She has lived through it all, from having over 60 operations to being thrown out of shops because the owner believed she had been attacked within the Asian community and had sinned. She is a truly beautiful person inside and out and from reading her book, I can take away the fact that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its’ cover. I actually would love to meet her.

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The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The notebook is honestly one of the most romantic books I have ever read in my life. The story is so well-written and having seen the movie a while before plucking up the courage and reading the book, I wasn’t left disappointed. This book is full of innocent romance and the idea that everyone has that one person that they were meant to be with. Yes, it is extremely slushy – but there’s nothing wrong with that at all! I love a good bit of slush! haha! The two characters, Noah and Allie, have such a link and their chemistry is so well-written, I couldn’t put this book down and completed it in a little under 2 days! (Something of a record for me!) haha! I actually preferred the story of Noah and Allie when  they were younger and just getting to know each other. I loved the introduction to their lives together and the way they had to fight to be together. Having seen the film, I was pleasantly surprised that the ending of the book was different to the one I expected. It was a brilliant read and if you fancy a bit of romance, you’ll LOVE IT! (Yay One more step towards my goal… see New Year: Things.) My next book is Katie Piper’s autobiography and I hope it is going to be as inspiring as I think it will.

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Yes Man by Danny Wallace

 I finished my book! Yay! I have been reading ‘Yes Man’ by Danny Wallace for a little while now and have really enjoyed my time reading it.I find it so odd how one little word can change your life and he did include a little bit of romance, which always makes the book a lot more easier to read. haha! Basically, Danny is living a boring and pretty uneventful life. He is sitting indoors, making excuses and not really achieving a lot at all, so a stranger on the bus hears about this and says three simple words… ‘say yes more.’ That’s exactly what he does, it is full of crazy tales and chains of yeses that have caused him to be in a particular place or meet particular people. The fact that this book is also a true story made it even more hilarious. I am not going to tell you all of what occurs, but it is a very good read indeed and would be perfect for a holiday book – very upbeat and generally encouraging. It has definitely made me want to be more positive and try to go and do things a lot more :)  haha… just got to find some people who are also willing to do exactly that :)

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Life by Keith Richards.

Being a HUGE Rolling Stones fan, I can honestly say I was always wanted Mick Jagger over any of the others. But after reading AND COMPLETING (a personal achievement for me!) Keith Richards’ life autobiography, I have some re-thinking to do. It is honestly the best autobiography book I have ever read (Having read Sharon Osbourne’s and other ‘reality’ stars in my chav teenage years.) It is amazing and really gives you an insight into his life. After reading it, it is obvious that still after some forty odd year, Keith is very much still all about the music! Which is a very rare thing in today’s charts. He believes that if he can touch people with his music and get a message out, then he’s doing his job. And some of the tales and stories he shares about the craziness of his life are great! Including growing up in Dartford, Kent, meeting Mick on the train, his relationship with Anita Pallenberg, getting off the junk, meeting Patti, having children, performing, starring in Pirates of the Carribean, the X-pensive Winos, living in Jamaica, falling out of THAT tree, and of course being one of the most talented guitarist in the WORLD! It is a brilliant book, and even if you aren’t too sure about the Stones etc. (if this is the case, you are slightly crazy) just for the story – give it a go!

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Dear John by Nicholas Sparks.

A really great book. The hidden message behind the love between Savannah and John was so well written. I loved it so much! I also couldn’t put this book down and read it in a week :) I also loved the ending and the fact that it was so selfless. It really was a good book and I am going to go on to read “The Notebook” which is also written by Nicholas Sparks and possibly some more of his novels. the film of this book is also very good, but I did come to find that the book had a lot more detail (as always) and the whole plot made a lot more sense, which the extra parts added in. I fear that I will be reading this book again very shortly as it was so good.

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Marilyn Monroe by Barbara Fleming.

I am slightly obsessed with Marilyn Monroe and still think, to this day that she is what all women should be like. She was absolutely stunning and a pretty decent person with it. However, in this book I came to find that she was quite a lonely person. I knew this briefly before reading it, but this book really gave you an insight into her world. She was always worried that people would leave her (in particular Arthur Miller) and in order for this not to happen, always done something to get her out of the situation first. This book did take me a long time to read, and I wish I had read it quicker. But it is still a pretty good book!

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Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

I loved this book and I wanted to read something that was true based and was readable. I liked the idea of her being a simple young girl, however finding herself in a crazy situation. I can’t even imagine having to hide out with my families, just to have a chance at living. And for 7 years, it must have been a pretty scary time. The fact that it is here and available to the whole world is amazing and I just think, she didn’t have any ideas that it would go on to be the phenomenon that it has become. Pretty impressive I think and a great thing to have for such a special girls’ memory.

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