Thursday, 27 November 2014

30 days of books for christmas - the one plus one

If you're a lover of gutsy reads with love at the core, make time this Christmas to meet Jojo Moyes.  I discovered her work some years ago - I think it might have been The Peacock Emporium but I can't be sure.  Jojo Moyes is so fabulously consistent, I'd be happy to pick up anything she's written, knowing I will walk away with the joyful satisfaction that comes from reading a great book.  The One Plus One is no exception - when Jess meets Ed, neither of them could imagine the outcome.  Their reluctance to rely on anyone else dissolves into friendship and possibly something more.

Have you met Jojo Moyes?  If you haven't already done so, why not start with The One Plus One and move on to Me Before You. It's bound to make you cry, so remember the tissues!

PS Image via here and Picmonkey collage

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

30 days of books for christmas - my salinger year

Escape to New York with Joanna Rakoff in My Salinger Year.  This memoir was immediately engaging and completely swept me into the world of 1990s publishing.  Rakoff's time spent answering JD Salinger's fan mail (using a proforma letter devised in the 1960s) is chronicled here, in an office environment where computers where shunned and the typewriter was still King.  I heard Rakoff interviewed via So you want to be a writer (and through which I won a copy) and she writes just the way she talks - a fabulous gush of anecdotes and colour.  Consider this a must read for Christmas (you're going to be busy, aren't you?!).

Are you a fan of the memoir?  Have you come across a Joanna Rakoff interview?

PS Image via here and collage via Picmonkey.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

30 days of books for christmas - the art of adapting

The Art of Adapting by Cassandra Dunn centres on Lana, her two children and brother who find themselves housemates following her separation.  Each of them experience growth throughout the novel, helping each other directly and indirectly in order to do so.  Family is one of my favourite themes in reading and I loved these characters and enjoyed watching their relationships strengthen.  A particularly good read at Christmas, as Lana examines her life and decides what she wants from her future, something the New Year often prompts us to do.

Have you read The Art of Adapting?  What was your take on it?  Otherwise, do you have any recommendations for my list?

PS Cover image from here and collage via Picmonkey.

Monday, 24 November 2014

30 days of books for christmas - the age of miracles

When the slowing comes, Julia's life is forever changed as is the world around her. Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles answers the question of what would happen if the earth rotated at a lower speed - the days would lengthen, hours on end of sunlight affecting wildlife and the natural environment.  In the middle of this is our eleven year old protagonist, troubled by birds falling from the sky, her feelings for a rebellious school mate and the diminishing relationship between her parents.  Karen Thompson Walker takes an already difficult time of a young person's life and adds this end of world premise to the mix, successfully producing one of my favourite reads from 2014.

PS By this stage I can hear you thinking 'I bet you say that about all the books', but I don't!  It's a reflection of the quality writing that continues to be published throughout the world and I'm delighted to be a willing recipient!

PPS Image via here and collage via Picmonkey

Sunday, 23 November 2014

30 days of books - the invention of wings

Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings, set in 19th century America, begins when Sarah Grimke is given a slave on the occasion of her eleventh birthday.  Sarah's reaction - and the events that follow - shape both girls' futures in a heartbreaking tale of slavery, friendship and prejudice.  I loved so many things about this novel and it is another of my favourite all-time reads - I seem to have accrued a number of them this year which is exciting in itself!  This is a must for any reader - just wonderful!

PS You may have noticed I've skipped a couple of days - woops!  It's that time of year!

PPS Image via here and collage via Picmonkey

Friday, 21 November 2014

30 days of books for christmas - the signature of all things

Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things is up there with one of my top reads for 2014.  Please don't shy away from this if Eat, Pray, Love wasn't your thing - this is a different book entirely and one worthy of your consideration.  The novel features the Whittaker family and its journey from rags to riches, from London to the Southern Hemisphere, America to Amsterdam and more.  It is exquisitely written and tender-hearted at its core.  A fabulous read.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

30 days of books for christmas - the good house

Hildy Good is a recovering alcoholic, fresh out of rehab where she was sent following an intervention by her daughters.  A witty and acerbic narrator, we see her continue to slip (through cleverly written prose) and the ramifications for those around her.  I fell in love with The Good House from almost the first line in the novel and enjoyed seeing Hildy's interactions out in the world - cringeworthy though they may be at times.  Ann Leary's novel is funny, dark and complicated.  A must read this Christmas.

PS Image via here (US cover) and collage via Picmonkey.