Review: New Boy

I love a good retelling. Love love love, and, I am especially fond of a good Shakespeare retelling. Have been, in fact since I first watched 10 Things I Hate About You about 20 years ago and wow I hate working that stuff out because it makes me feel old.

Anyhow. Hogarth have a Shakespeare series wherein famous writer type peeps pick one of his plays and put a new spin on it, so you’ve got Margaret Atwood doing The Tempest and Anne Tyler doing The Taming of the Shrew and, the one I am going to chat about now which is Tracy Chevalier (The Girl With the Pearl Earring) doing Othello.


A Little Summer Reading List

Last summer I did a post about books I’d already read that I thought would be fun to read on the beach (you can read that here if you missed it then).

Well, it’s summer again now, kind of – although it’s been ridiculously windy and glum today but we’re just calling it a blip, the blue skies will return; I have faith – and I’ve booked two trips this week, one with my BFF and one with My Best Guy and it got me thinking as most things do, about books.

I’m not going to throw a load of books off my shelf at you this time, because books are heavy and they hurt, but instead we’ll chat about the new and forthcoming books this summer that I think would make nice holiday reads (although this has got me thinking about all the books I own and haven’t read and perhaps THAT could be a post also but I digress…)

Summer lends itself to a certain kind of read for me – I like a thriller in the summer more than at any other time I think – give me some sunshine and a good psychological mystery. I also feel like summer lends itself perfectly to romance or a good coming of age story. And if it has a road trip theme then I am SO THERE. A light easy read I can fly through and get lost in whilst I sip a gin and tonic. That’s what I want from my summer reads; we’ll save the deeper stuff for when the nights are drawing in, thank you.

So, if you want to spend your hard-earned cash on shiny new releases this summer and are looking for some pointers then these are the ones I have my eyes on.

Disclaimer: I haven’t read a single one of these so if they don’t float your boat then I AM VERY SORRY.

Blog Tour: Alone Time

I don’t mind telling you that this book took me right outside of my comfort zone.

Not in a bad way. More in a ‘my comfort zone is a very fictional story and this is not that’ kind of way. I made a little promise to myself at the start if this year though, that I was going to try and read more of books that are not novels – more non-fiction, more memoirs, more poetry, more short stories – and so when I was offered the chance to have a read of this one, I shrugged my shoulders and thought ‘why the hell not.’

And here we are.

Rosenbloom is a travel columnist for the New York Times. In this book she’s visiting 4 cities in 4 seasons. On her own.

All by herself.


As a girl who really wishes she were brave enough to date herself and is endlessly envious of those who can sit at a bar on their own with a gin and be perfectly content in their own skin; who can go to the cinema and not flinch at ordering just one ticket; who will happily sit in a coffee shop and not be hiding behind a book or endlessly scrolling through Instagram, the idea of this really appealed to me.

I think there’s a part of all of us that in some ways yearns for solitude and there’s a lot to be said I think, for the kind of experience you could get of a place if you explored it on your own, in your own time and on your own terms. It helped that the cities Rosenbloom was visiting were cities I was keen to know more about. I already love New York (no other city ever made me glad) and Istanbul, Florence and Paris are all on my list.

Really, this book had my name all over it. Apart from it actually has Stephanie Rosenbloom’s name all over it cos she wrote it, but you know what I mean.

Quick May Wrap Up

Ah May. How I have enjoyed you.

May is a smashing month isn’t it – spring has actually definitely sprung, usually, and is even sometimes even edging into summer and everything is colourful and joyful and lovely. I have loved this May loved loved loved.

I think mostly because I’ve spent so much time with so many of my faves and the sun has shone and it’s just been fabulous. Everything seems brighter in the summer amirite?

What I did:


Helen and I took Molly for her first afternoon tea for my birthday. She was excellent value with her cheeky smile and her ‘more jam please’ – kid loves scones. Like with most months I try to squeeze as much Molly-time in as I possibly can so we also spent an afternoon in and out of the paddling pool on her decking and went out for breakfast and a play on the park. She’s at a really excellent age at the moment – nearly 3 – and just makes me laugh.

The first weekend in May was bank holiday. We’d briefly discussed going away for the weekend but ended up staying at home and I’m so glad we did because it was amazing. The weather was the hottest – like actually I think it broke May Day records – and it was pretty much what perfect weekends are made of: road trips with the roof down, paddling pools and brunch and badminton and prosecco and all the things I love with the people who make me smile. Heaven.

Blog Tour: Love and Ruin

I absolutely loved this book. Loved it. I knew I would: I also really loved The Paris Wife and I’m so there for largely fictionalised accounts of actual events. Like The Crown. That’s like a documentary in my head, you know?

Blog Tour: Days of Wonder

I read Keith Stuart’s debut novel A Boy Made of Blocks last year (I talk about it here) and I absolutely loved it, so when Sphere got in touch earlier this year and tempted me with a copy of his new book, Days of Wonder, I pretty much bit their hand off. This has been one of my most anticipated books of the year and you cannot imagine how happy I am to sit here and say it does not disappoint.

I loved it.

I loved it as much as I loved A Boy Made of Blocks.

I may have loved it more. I already want to read it again.

I’m going to tell you why.