27 Feb 2021


Book Review / Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert


Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Gilbert offers insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy





Published:     22nd September 2015
Publisher:  Riverhead Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone
Source:  Owned




Having read Eat Pray Love and Committed quote a while ago now, I have always wanted to pick up more by this author and have been meaning to pick this up for quite some time now.  I am always looking for books that give inspiration, whether that be creatively or organisation-wise.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Not only did it give me inspiration to stop living inside the box all the time but it made me reevaluate most of what I do presently - some of which is fine but some I have certainly tweaked and I am so much happier now.  I hadn't realised that this would make a big difference, but it has. 

I would highly recommend this book for both those who want to live more creatively but also for those who maybe like to stay inside the box for most of time but want to inject a little bit of creatively here and there.  It certainly makes a difference.




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26 Feb 2021

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Book Review / If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern

Readers and critics alike adore Cecelia Ahern for her lighthearted yet insightful stories about modern women and their often unusual situations. In If You Could See Me Now, she takes that theme a step further, offering us a heroine who is entirely believable, and the new man in her life who is, well, slightly less so.

Elizabeth Egan's life runs on order: Both her home and her emotions are arranged just so, with little room for spontaneity. It's how she counteracts the chaos of her family—an alcoholic mother who left when she was young, an emotionally distant father, and a free-spirited sister, who seems to be following in their mother's footsteps, leaving her own six-year-old son, Luke, in Elizabeth's care.

When Ivan, Luke's mysterious new grown-up friend, enters the picture, Elizabeth doesnt know quite what to make of him. With his penchant for adventure and colorful take on things large and small, Ivan opens Elizabeth's eyes to a whole new way of living. But is it for real? Is Ivan for real?


Published:     21st November 2005
Publisher:  Hachette Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned





This was my second time reading this book having read it quite a number of years ago now.  I could still remember some of the plot but not all of it.  I was so excited to get to this one, in reading all of Cecelia Ahern's novels, as I remembered this one to be one of my favourites.  

In this story, the main character is Elizabeth who is a very responsible person who does not do anything random.  One day, her son Luke has an imaginary friend.  At first, Elizabeth is worried but soon she starts to hear a voice.  

This was such a fun book to read.  I had forgotten quite a bit in this novel so it was nearly like reading it all over again for the first time!  I have to say that my favourite part would have to be when we see Elizabeth start to loosen up and make a new friend.  

Such a fun and magical read that I would highly recommend. 




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22 Feb 2021

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Book Review / The Litigators by John Grisham

The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.

And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him.

With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25 billion, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it have suffered heart attacks. Wally smells money.

A little online research confirms Wally’s suspicions—a huge plaintiffs’ firm in Florida is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. All Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they won’t even have to enter a courtroom!

It almost seems too good to be true.

And it is.

Published:     25th October 2011
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Goodreads :  Click Here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source: Owned




I can't tell you how much fun I had reading this book.  Although I do and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every book written by John Grisham, there are always a select few that stand out that little big higher than excellent.  This is one of those. 

We follow David Zinc in this story who is tired and stressed at his high powered city law firm job, so he quits and decides to join the small law firm of Finley & Figg.  We then follow David and his colleagues as they investigate and pull together a case relating to a popular drug that could be affecting people adversely and even possibly killing them. 

What made this book great to me was the characters, without a doubt.  You have David who struggled at the start but soon learns to stand on his own feet.  He is the responsible one.  You then have Finley & Figg, lawyers who one is certainly more carefree than the other and one is unhappy in his life and should make a change.  You also have the office manager who is definately a larger than life character and cerrtainly one that was needed in a law firm like that!

Amazing read.  Please do pick it up and read it!!!






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21 Feb 2021


Book Review / Carrie by Stephen King


Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed... But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction...









Published:     13th October 2011
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone
Source: Owned



Stephen King has written so many books and as I have started to get more into his writing I wanted to go back and start at the beginning.  I think this was his first published book (but do correct me if I am wrong!) and one that I was very keen to read and discover more.  I have always been meaning to watch the movie also but haven't because I wanted to read the book first - as books are nearly always better than the movie!

We follow Carrie as she is bullied both at school and at home and she was at the brink of falling apart, having had enough.  However, there is more to Carrie than meets the eye.  Carrie has powers that she hasn't really used... until now...

I really enjoyed this but do have to admit that I couldn't get hooked into this story and found parts of it not interesting to follow.  For me, the story picked up when Carrie was about to break and we start to see exactly what power she has and what she could do with it.  Honestly, the best part of the story was the characters.  This is something that I have come across with the Stephen King novels that I have read so far, that I tend to enjoy the most.  You have a mix of good and bad characters, interacting independently, together and against each other.  

A slow read but worth a pick up for the enjoyable characterisation.




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13 Feb 2021

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Book Review / The Confession by John Grisham

An innocent man is about to be executed.
Only a guilty man can save him.

In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis Boyette abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.

Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess. But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man?




Published:     26th October 2020
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source: Owned



I know I probably keep saying that I am thoroughly enjoying each and every book I have been reading written by John Grisham, but I genuinely am.  There's just something about his way of writing that always draws me in and I really don't want to put his books down again until I get to the very last page.  

In this story, we follow the story of Travis who assaulted and murdered a high school cheerleader, but that's not the best part of the story.  He did not get put in jail for that crime, someone else did.  Travis was put in jail for something else and is now out on parole.  He decides to confess but will anyone take him seriously?

This book makes me angry, but in a good way.  It makes me angry how an innocent person was in jail for a crime that they didn't commit.  It also makes me angry with the possibility that the person who committed the crime, Travis, might just get away with it even if he does confess!  What a great suspenseful story that just kept me hooked to find out whether justice would prevail!!

Would highly recommend, especially if you like stories that focus on moral issues of justice and humanity.








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6 Feb 2021


Book Review / Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain



When the pretending ends, the lying begins . . . Molly Arnette is good at keeping secrets. As she and her husband try to adopt a baby, she worries that the truth she's kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well. Molly ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved. Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a healthy future, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders.





Published:     1st October 2015
Publisher:  Pan
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




Diana Chamberlain's novels have always intrigued me.  Having read The Good Father quite a long time ago, I have been meaning to get back to reading another of her novels.  I just happened to see this copy on sale so I thought it might have been a sign that I was meant to read this now!

We follow Molly in this story, which splits into two separate timelines.  In the past, we see Molly when she was young and watch the events unfold on what happened that led to her leaving her family behind all those many years ago.  In the present, we see Molly and her husband as they go through the adoption process, having not been able to conceive themselves.  

I am so conflicted with this story.  On the one hand, I really enjoyed the writing and the suspense.  What really happened long ago and how was it going to impact what was happening in the present.  On the other hand, I wasn't surprised by any of the events that happened and I so wished that I could have been.  This story was very predictable and I wished there were more twists and turns. 






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5 Feb 2021


Book Review / Broken Things by George Mann


The goddess Amaranth, Queen of the Broken, has been reborn for the first time in generations and now resides once more in her distant tower, observing the world through her strange, fractured eyes. Three pilgrims set out on the trail to find her, each for their own reasons: Pallor, the Knight of Perish, who wishes to die by a worthy hand and will challenge the goddess to a fight to the death; Nok, the tribal Wolkin, who carries her brother’s bones to beg Amaranth to restore him to the afterlife; and Ambrose, the monk, charged by his Order to seek the answer to the unanswerable question at the heart of his faith. Each of these pilgrims will be tested on the road to their inevitable convergence—and each will be granted answers, of a sort, from the Broken Queen…






Published:     December 2020
Publisher:  PS Publishing
Source:  Review Copy Received


It was so good to be back reading George Mann's writing again.  Having previously read and loved Wychwood and Hallowdene, I couldn't wait to get stuck into this and I am truly thankful to be asked to take part in this blog tour.

As this is a novella, I am not going to go into too much depth on the story as I have a firm believe that with most novels, especially novellas, it is best to go into these mostly 'blind'.  That way you can truly enjoy the story.  That said, this world fascinates me.  I am unsure as to whether this is the first novel in this world or that there are many more but having read this with no prior knowledge of what this world is all about, there is plenty of clear descriptions of the characters and the world  that brought me 'up to speed' quickly, which is necessary in a novella!

By far my favourite characters are Ambrose and Amaranth.  Ambrose for his charme and Amaranth for her resilience and the way that she carries herself throughout this story.

 I do, however, have one negative comment to make.  The story was not long enough!  I would have loved to have delved a lot more into this world and the characters and would have happily sat there and read this story in a 400 plus novel! There is so much more I want to know and learn...

Would highly recommend, as well as Wychwood and Hallowdene!



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