Showing posts from January, 2015

The 2015 Book Challenge: January

Happy happy Friday! Friday’s always a good day, right? It is in my world anyway, where it marks the end of my working week and the start of 2 glorious days of weekend. Today I am extra giddy about it because at 4.30 tomorrow morning (Oh God, so early, so very early) I shall be heading off on my first ski holiday in 7 whole years and I am so excited I can barely contain myself. I’ll be taking my February Book Challenge envelope with me, which makes it all even more exciting.

Anyway, earlier this month I posted about the rather excellent Christmas present my pal Sarah got me – the book challenge – and how the first book was Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America 1927 Well, I’ve read it, and I am taking a quick ten minutes before I go on holiday (I'm going skiing. Did I say?) to jot down my thoughts about it because that is the point of the the whole thing, right?

I feel like I need to bake Sarah a cake or something oh my God, because I really liked this book. The following information came…

Throwback Thursday: Josephine's Book Edition

How is it Thursday again already? It's also super cold in this part of the world, it took for actual ever to get to work this morning in what can only be described as a blizzard and I am currently rocking a hoodie at my desk because COLD. Anyway. It is Thursday, because time does keep doing the passing, so let’s talk about Karen Walker’s The Age of Miracles which I read in 2012.

Everybody knows I love me good dystopia. Seriously, give me all the post-apocalyptic stories and give them to me now, and I guess that if you had to put TAoM into a box then the dystopia box is the one you’d probably choose. The book is about, in a nutshell, the slowing of the earth’s rotation and the repercussions of that. It’s not an action packed story though, in fact there’s very little action at all. The whole book is sort of eerily calm. & you know what, I liked that. I mean don’t get me wrong: I totally love a fast paced dramatic story but it kind of makes sense, that when this is a thing that’s …

The Christmas Book Pile and Exciting January Releases

You know what I never blogged about? My Christmas book pile. The Christmas book pile has been a thing my whole life, like, actually. My parents have always always given me a book parcel for Christmas, made up of books I want to read and books they think I should read and books with pretty covers that my Mum just couldn’t leave on the shelf. It’s pretty much the best bit about Christmas Day, the familiar weight of a present that can only contain books and wondering what’s in it. I generally get a book or two from other folk too – my Granny for instance who introduced me to Muriel Spark the Christmas before last, or the time Ian’s parents bought me the new editions of Harry Potter in a pretty boxed set. There are always books on Christmas Day, and Christmas 2014 my book haul looked like this:

There’s the Bill Bryson on top, (from Sarah, for my book challenge) which I have very nearly finished and will be coming back to talk about very soon so WATCH THIS SPACE, along with three other love…

Review: Me and Mr. J

From Goodreads:

Fifteen-year-old Lara finds her soulmate. There’s just one problem – he’s her teacher.
Lara's life has changed radically since her father lost his job. As the eldest, Lara tries to keep upbeat, and the one outlet for all her problems is her diary where she can be open about how dire everything is at home, and worse, the fact that she’s being horrifically bullied at school.
And then a shining light comes out of the darkness – the new young and MALE teacher, Mr Jagger. The one person who takes Lara seriously and notices her potential. The one person who is kind to her. The one person who she falls madly and hopelessly in love with. The one person who cannot reciprocate her feelings … can he?

When I was about 17 (so long ago I’m so old oh God) I read a book called Love Lessons by David Belbin about a 17 year old girl who had a thing with her teacher. I read it, mostly, because David wrote my favourites in the Point Crime series (I loved Point Crime books so hard) and I …

The Girl in the Photograph

From Goodreads:

The Girl in the Photograph is a haunting and atmospheric novel that tells the tales of women in two different eras – the 1890’s and 1930’s – and how their lives seem to be entwined by fate. Kate Riordan’s novel is a beautifully dark and beguiling tale which will sweep you away. It will appeal to fans of Kate Morton and Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.

In the summer of 1933, Alice Eveleigh has arrived at Fiercombe Manor in disgrace. The beautiful house becomes her sanctuary, a place to hide her shame from society in the care of the housekeeper, Mrs Jelphs. But the manor also becomes a place of suspicion, one of secrecy.

Something isn't right.

Someone is watching.

There are secrets that the manor house seems determined to keep. Tragedy haunts the empty rooms and foreboding hangs heavy in the stifling heat. Traces of the previous occupant, Elizabeth Stanton, are everywhere and soon Alice discovers Elizabeth's life eerily mirrors the path she herself is on.

The Girl …

Throwback Thursday: Josephine’s Book Edition

Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.

It's (Throwback) Thursday! Let’s talk about Ruta Sepetys and Between Shades of Gray.
I read this in the summer of 2011. Ian and I were on holiday in Cornwall, staying in a beach hut style cottage and I started this book on the beach at St Ives and finished in my beach hut bed whilst Ian read a car magazine beside me. I seem to recall we drank wine and ate Maltesers and it would have been so lovely had this book not crushed my soul. I got about three quarters of the way through, said to Ian ‘I think I’m sad,’ and promptly burst into tears. Like, I was actually sobbing. We're talking proper ugly crying here people, the real deal.
The book is about, in a nutshell, Siberian work camps in WWII and it’s really freaking brutal.
It’s also exceptionally well written.
This is WWII like I’d never really seen before, and I hated myself for that. I never really knew that any of this terrib…

Review: The Life I Left Behind

I’ve always kind of liked a good thriller, now and then.Once upon a time, actually, I’d read little else, kind of addicted to the thudthudthud of my chest as I turned pages in a hurry, devouring words and holding my breath, safe in the confines of my own home. These days I read a lot less of the old thriller; I have to be in the mood for a book that gives me that familiar panicky feeling, for twists and turns that leave me gasping.
I must’ve been in that kind of a mood then, this week, because I couldn’t put Colette Mcbeth’s The Life I Left Behind down. On the whole, it was a riveting read, and the last 15 percent or so (I read this on my Kindle) had me turning the pages like a crazy person; that thudthudthud I mentioned? The climax of this book gave me that feeling in spades. The premise is interesting, the characters – for the most part at least – vivid and well crafted, and the whole thing unravels at that sort of pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat, skipping meals and fra…

Throwback Thursday: Josephine’s Book Edition

I made the most delicious tea last night, all smoked cod and beans and cheese and yumminess. It was Nigella inspired, obvs, but this is me, and I do thins thing where I want to cook the thing but don’t have the ingredients required to cook the thing and so I just swap them out for whatever I have in the cupboard. Also, Nigella’s version of this meal does not involve any kind of topping with cheese and grilling. However, why would you not? What savoury dish is not made better by topping with cheese and grilling? So, I made it, and it was lush and I was super happy. Ian was less so, but it was always going to be hit and miss with him: he’s not so keen on things like that. He hates gnocchi, and will only eat risotto under sufferance, (which is a shame as I could eat both of those things for ever and not get fed up) and so I kind of knew that a meal that was mostly haricot beans and a bit of fish wasn’t going to fill him with joy. & why I have decided this is a thing to blog about I h…