Book Review: Tin Man by Sarah Winman

Format: Hardback, giveaway prize
Links: Amazon UK | Goodreads
Blurb: This is almost a love story.

Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.

But then we fast forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question, what happened in the years between?

This is almost a love story. But it’s not as simple as that. Continue reading

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Notebooks galore with Pocket Notebooks *

I’m just going to put it out there… Bloggers love stationery. Specifically, notebooks. I challenge you to try and find a blogger who isn’t even the tiniest bit in love with notebooks of all different shapes and sizes for all different purposes. I definitely fall into that category and whilst I’ve always loved stationery and even in school I always loved to keep my notebooks in perfect condition and whenever something when slightly wrong; my writing wasn’t neat enough or the pen colour didn’t match it made me ever so sad, I think since blogging, I’ve become even more of a notebook addict. I recently wrote about my blogging essentials where I specifically mention that I couldn’t survive without my various notebooks.

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Improving my wellbeing with Desk Yogi (& giveaway!) 

Ever since I was diagnosed with anxiety, I’ve been really into yoga. I decided to give it a try as I heard it was calming and that I would benefit from the mindfulness, breathing and meditation techniques taught within in. Now, if I can, I try and practice yoga every single day; even if it’s just 20 minutes or so. I find that it just improves my day and makes me feel healthier and happier, regardless of what else is going on around me.

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Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J Tudor 

Publication date: 11th January 2018
Publisher: Penguin Michael Joseph
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: Looking back, it all started on the day of the fair and the terrible accident. When twelve-year-old Eddie first met the Chalk Man.

It was the Chalk Man who gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages between his group of friends.

And it was fun, to start with, until the figures led them to the body of a young girl.

That was thirty years ago and Ed thought the past was behind him. Then he receives a letter containing just two things: a piece of chalk, and a drawing of a stick figure. As history begins to repeat itself, Ed realises the game was never over…

Everyone has secrets. Everyone is guilty of something. And children are not always so innocent. Continue reading

Book Review: Not That Kind of Love by Clare and Greg Wise 

Publisher: Quercus
Publication date: February 2018
Format: Paperback, giveaway
Blurb: A moving, thought-provoking and surprisingly humorous book which is both a description of a journey to death and a celebration of the act of living.

Based on Clare Wise’s blog, which she started when she was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013, Not That Kind of Love charts the highs and lows of the last three years of Clare’s life. The end result is not a book that fills you with despair and anguish. On the contrary, Not That Kind of Love should be read by everybody for its candour, and for its warmth and spirit. Clare is an astonishingly dynamic, witty and fun personality, and her positivity and energy exude from every page.

As she becomes too weak to type, her brother – the actor Greg Wise – takes over, and the book morphs into a beautiful meditation on life, and the necessity of talking about death. With echoes of Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and Cathy Rentzenbrink’s The Last Act of Love, it is a very special read that rejoices in the extraordinary and often underestimated sibling bond, and the importance of making the most of the ordinary pleasures life has to offer. Continue reading

Book Review: The Friend by Dorothy Koomson @DorothyKoomson @penguinrandom

Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Format: Hardback, from publisher
Blurb: What secrets would you kill to keep?

After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret.

Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.

Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life.

That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again… Continue reading

Book review: The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Format: Paperback, ARC
Blurb: There’s trouble in paradise…

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise, but it’s turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?

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A cake through your letterbox? Don’t mind if I do! (& giveaway)

I love cake. I mean, who doesn’t? Cake is the best. You know what’s even cooler than simply a cake? A cake that comes straight through your letterbox! I wasn’t convinced anyone could create a product so perfect that you could literally get cake delivered to your door and you wouldn’t have to get up out of bed to receive it. How wrong was I? Baker Days offer just that; the infamous letterbox cake. And it literally is what it says on the tin. And what’s in the tin is oh so yummy…

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Book Review: The Escape by C.L Taylor

Format: Paperback, bought
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: “Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN. Continue reading

Book Review: The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern

Format: Paperback, gift
Links: GoodreadsAmazon UK
Blurb: A forgotten childhood. A discovered life. What if you only had one day to find out who you really were?

When Sabrina Boggs stumbles upon a mysterious collection of her father’s possessions, she discovers a truth where she never knew there was a lie. The familiar man she grew up with is suddenly a stranger to her.

An unexpected break in her monotonous daily routine leaves her just one day to unlock the secrets of the man she thought she knew. A day that unearths memories, stories and people she never knew existed. A day that changes her and those around her forever.

The Marble Collector is a thought-provoking novel about how the most ordinary decisions we make can have the most extraordinary consequences for how we live our lives. And how sometimes it’s only by shining on a light on someone else, that you can truly understand yourself. Continue reading