Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas Giveaway

My new wee latern from B&M, I love it!

Sorry I am a bit late with December's giveaway, I cannot believe it is the 4th already! The draw for last months competition has been announced and the winner emailed. So nothing for it but to get Decembers up, I have decided to draw it earlier this year and try and get it to the winner before Christmas. If you enter and are outwith the UK it won't get there before the holidays I am afraid, if you are in the UK it should as we will draw the competition to a close on Friday the 16th of December and if the winner has provided all the info needed I will hit the post office on Saturday.

As you can see, we have been embracing the festive period here, well I have and dragging the others with me. We usually do decorations up 12 days before and down 12 days after, but a wee bit of Christmas here and there doesn't count! So, this months prize will be a wee surprise giveaway, a surprise book and maybe a wee extra something. Merry Christmas guys, as always please use the Rafflecopter to enter, the more entries you complete the more times your name goes into the draw, open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bridget Jones's Baby by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones's Baby: The DiariesBridget Jones's Baby: The Diaries by Helen Fielding
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - <4 hours

Pages - 219

Blurb from Goodreads

Bridget Jones, beloved Singleton and global phenomenon, is back with a bump in Bridget Jones's Baby: The Diaries.
8:45 P.M. Realize there have been so many times in my life when have fantasized about going to a scan with Mark or Daniel: just not both at the same time.
Before motherhood, before marriage, Bridget with biological clock ticking very, very loudly, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the eleventh hour: a joyful pregnancy which is dominated, however, by a crucial but terribly awkward question who is the father? Mark Darcy: honourable, decent, notable human rights lawyer? Or Daniel Cleaver: charming, witty, notable fuckwit?
9:45 PM It s like they re two halves of the perfect man, who ll spend the rest of their lives each wanting to outdo the other one. And now it s all enacting itself in my stomach.
In this gloriously funny, touching story of baby-deadline panic, maternal bliss, and social, professional, technological, culinary and childbirth chaos, Bridget Jones global phenomenon and the world s favorite Singleton is back with a bump."

My Review

We all know my feelings on book 3, Mad About The Boy, so it was lovely to head back to a nicer time and in this book we find Bridget, Mark and Daniel again in another "relationship" nightmare. Bridget has a dalliance with each of the boys, one night only resulting in a pregnancy, having no idea which is the father, the three try to work together to get through the pregnancy. As always, told in diary format Bridget catalogs the hilarious trials and tribulations from the run up to pregnancy, coping with the boys and being pregnant and how it impacts her whole life really!

This is one of the few times I preferred the movie to the book, the film is my fav of them all but I did still enjoy the book. The movie sees the introduction of a billionaire and Cleaver is not around however the book stays true to the characters and we have the age old competitive rivalry between the two men, Darcy and Cleaver.

The tale opens written to the baby with Bridget explaining he will hear the story anyway so she would rather hear it from her and her diary entries. Considering some of the content, probably not what I would leave for my kid, some of Cleaver's attitude will quite probably offend some readers however he was always a cad so it isn't really anything new. Timeline wise, this one is set before Mad About The Boy and if you haven't read it I personally would by pass it. Also if you haven't seen the movie, go check it out, absolutely brilliant. 3/5 for me this time, it is always nice to catch up with Bridg especially when all is right in the world of regular characters!

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Blind Date with a book

So I had a look about online to see what book delivery boxes are available as my book saving jar (you put £1 in a jar for every book you read from Jan 1st to December 31st) will be up next month. There are many sites and offers out there but some of them are pretty pricey. I recently found one, on Etsy and Facebook, that offers you one book, a drink of your choice, a wee charm, a tea light candle and some sweets. It is ridiculously good value, under £10 (UK, for International postage is more expensive) for all of that and that is including postage. You can pick your style (genre) and the drink of your choice from your Etsy drop down menu, click here to go straight to the Etsy site. Here is the Facebook link, click here if you love postage, surprise book post (it is a blind date!) and wee extra goodies guys this is honestly the best.

So, as with most people, you are always a bit suspect when ordering things online and small new businesses. I could not be more happy with my delivery. Lets have a wee look at mine, also please remember it is ONE book with your box, I got two in mine however the normal will be you get one book as listed.

So it came wrapped in brown paper, then wrapped in black tissue with a wee gold heart. The book itself is wrapped in brown paper and the sweeties also wrapped in purple tissue :D black and purple, my fave colours, by chance not request!

Inside I had my wee hot chocolate and a wee mini milk, sweeties as you can see below in the pictures and an adorable wee owl charm that I am going to turn into a hanging bookmark I think.

I cannot recommend this enough guys, I will post when my next one comes, I am going to order it tonight. I may even get a few for Christmas presents for my fellow book geeks. Some books are brand new, some are used, you won't know which book it is until it arrives so it could be one you have read before, it is a blind date. I was delighted that I haven't read mine but even if I had (I have 5 bookcases and 300+ books on my kindle so it was a possibility) I wouldn't have minded. For the price you really can't complain and I don't mind re reading a book, I have re read a fair few in my time and whilst I give lots away & do comps, I think as my first ever box I will be keeping both! Lets support small businesses and spoil ourselves with a little indulgence. Oh and if you order, please leave a review and like the Facebook page and word of mouth is what supports and keeps these wee businesses going!

And if all of that wasn't enough, the string that comes with the box and on my wee book has been providing hours of fun for Princess, she will be 16 in January, doesn't keep in great health and I haven't seen her this playful in ages. So a wee additional extra for the kitty, delighted.

Jodi Picoult Book Launch Small Great Things

You can read my review for Small Great Things here, I was very lucky to get an ARC copy from Netgalley.

Last night me & my beautiful friends and friends eldest daughter went along to the Kelvin Grove Art gallery & museum for the book tour Small Great Things. How stunning is the inside of the gallery! Tickets were £20 which I know some people think is quite steep for a book event however this included a signed hardback copy of the new book and Picoult is a fabulous speaker. Not only that the poor lamb had laryngitis and kept going like a trooper!

You can read the review for the book as above however I just want to reiterate that this is a book that will stay with you, racism, injustice and it will make you question yourself too. Last night someone asked her how she felt about the timing of the book what with everything that is happening in America just now. Her answer gave me goosebumps, she said this book is 200 years in coming, it addresses issues that even now are often skirted around. 2016 and racism is still an ugly but very real issue, more so or certainly more in the public eye with Trumps election, Jodie answered with class and honestly she is just such a classy woman with such a great attitude.

The book cover is not like the one posted on Goodreads and linked on my review, it is beautiful and I know I am not normally one to comment much on covers. The front Is black and white striped with a mild texture to it, the writing is a gold/orange shimer as is the spine cover. I was planning on giving the book away as a competition prize but I may just hold on to it, see the pictures below and Princess Trixie is of course in the picture too!.

If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing Picoult speak and back and fro over going, seriously guys go. It is a great night, really worth it and we all enjoyed it. You come away with a great book and thinking a little bit differently!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Penance by Theresa Talbot

PenancePenance by Theresa Talbot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 315

Publisher - Strident

Blurb from Goodreads

TV journalist and media darling Oonagh O'Neil faces danger and chaos when an elderly priest dies on the altar of his Glasgow church. His death comes as she is about to expose the shocking truth behind the closure of a Magdalene Institution.
The Church has already tried to suppress the story. Is someone covering their tracks?
What secrets lie behind the derelict Institution's doors? What sparked the infamous three-day riot that closed t? And what happened to the three 'Maggies' who vowed to stay forever friends?

My Review

We open in Glasgow 1958 to a chilling scene in a Magdalene institution, the next chapter flips to present day, the year 2000 and a priest dies on the altar. We are swiftly introduced to Oonagh O'Neil, a TV journalist and favorite with the people who is doing a tv piece on the Magdalene Institution with the help of her friend and younger priest Tom Findlay. Oonagh has relationship issues, particularly her boyfriend being a married man, Tom is having a crisis with his faith and the priest who died on the alter's death may not be as it first appeared.

Oooh this is a busy wee book, the scenes that briefly visit the Magdalene institution are quite upsetting and disturbing. I think mostly because we know, whilst this is a fiction book that these places existed and the thought of these poor women being exploited, beaten and used is heartbreaking. In current events, the younger priest is having faith issues which may not sit well with some readers of a religion background. The issue of infidelity and extramarital sex may also prickle with some audiences, however all that aside we have some other hot topics. Murders, lies, violence, blackmail, extortion and secrets are just some of the themes covered in this story.

A strong debut, (Talbot has written another book although that is non fiction), a page turner and an opening chapter that will have the hair on the back of your neck standing. This is my first time reading this author, I would certainly read more of her work if and when she brings out another. 4/5 for me this time, Penance is available to buy from all good retailers, go check it out.

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Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

Good Me, Bad MeGood Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - Penguin

Blurb from Goodreads

'NEW N A M E .
S H I N Y.
ME . '

Annie's mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother's daughter...

My Review

Annie changed everything when she went to the police, her mother has since been arrested for the murder of nine children. Annie is placed with a new foster family, her name is now Milly and Milly is trying to be good, Milly's mother talks to her (in her head) and the badness tries to creep up. Good Me, Bad Me is about a young girl who is struggling to come to terms with all the abuse she endured at the hands of her mother, all she has seen and all she has done. Milly wants to be a good person, she really does but she can't get her mother out of her head, her new foster sister is a spoiled evil brat and the foster parents have their own issues to deal with.

This book hints at quite a lot, we know poor Milly has been abused by her mother although not the full extent, as we read further more details emerge. Milly has been forced to participate in her mothers "games" again a lot is hinted as but the book doesn't go into depth on details which some readers will find refreshing. As a teenager and still legally a child, Milly is placed with a foster family and we see her have an internal battle trying to be a new and better person whilst having the effects of all she has endured with her mother.

Some of the book makes for very uncomfortable reading, the bullying from the foster sister is horrible, the atrocities and hate campaign launched against poor Milly is horrendous leaving the reader, well it did me, very angry and frustrated. You are rooting for Milly along the way and hoping someone catches on to what is happening to her, she seems to fall victim to so many situations yet stoically powers on. This book is being tipped as one of the biggest for 2017, whilst I enjoyed it and found it to be engaging I was frustrated at quite a few points and angered at the seniors and authorities. 3/5 for me this time, I voluntarily reviewed this for Netgalley, Good ME Bad Me is available to buy January 2017.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Adventures In Human Being by Gavin Francis

Adventures in Human Being (Wellcome)Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days on and off

Pages - 252

Publisher - Profile Books Limited

Blurb from Goodreads

We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. In Adventures in Human Being, Gavin Francis leads the reader on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot. Drawing on his own experiences as a doctor and GP, he blends first-hand case studies with reflections on the way the body has been imagined and portrayed over the millennia. If the body is a foreign country, then to practice medicine is to explore new territory. Francis leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human. Both a user's guide to the body and a celebration of its elegance, this book will transform the way you think about being alive, whether in sickness or in health.

My Review

I saw this book at the airport and was drawn to the cover, it isn't often I comment on covers but this one pulled me over. The human skeleton with words of body parts etched into the visible parts of the body. Doctor Francis takes us on a trip through the human body, given insights into different parts of the anatomy, workings within the body and to keep it interesting he gives some stories about patients past.

I do enjoy a book where you learn something as you go along, I also like to read about real life human experiences. The human body is an amazing vessel, intricate workings and even when one part fails to work at optimal, the body still continues and compensates, obviously within reason, if your head is removed it is game over.

The only thing I would say is there were a lot of things that people would need to google and in some parts he went off on a tangent or brought in things I didn't feel were always relevant to the section I was reading. I would have loved more of the personal stories and maybe some more laymen terms however overall an engaging read where you can learn a few things about the fabulous human body. 4/5 for me this time, this author does have other works available that I will at some point track down, I won't be rushing out to get the back catalog just yet though.

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