Book Post & a surprise!

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I opened today's book post and was delighted that it was Roisin Meaney's new book "After the Wedding". Each time I read one of her books I feel like I've met a new set of friends and each time I finish I feel a slight sadness at having to leave their stories behind. What makes After the Wedding so special is that it's Rosins first sequel. This story will pick up where One Summer left off, just as she cancelled one wedding and organised another!

I was delighted enough to receive this book from the publisher but I got another surprise when I opened the cover


A printed quote from non other than myself! I knew nothing about this so it was such a shock ( a good one!). I've been parading around the house all morning pointing it out to everyone. The parrot wasn't really that impressed...

I am always a little taken aback when anyone thinks my opinions are worth printing on paper. I just want to say a huge thanks to Hachette Ireland and Roisin Meaney. This made my day.

I cant wait to get stuck into After the Wedding. 

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Mothers day: celebrating women in Fiction

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To celebrate mothers today I wanted to highlight some of the most memorable and inspiring mothers I have come across during my years of reading. 

My first choice would have to go to the famous Mrs Browne. Written by Brendan O Carroll, this series documents the life of Agnes Browne. We see her as a young girl growing up on the streets of Dublin, learning the ways of the market stalls on Moore Street and eventually becoming a mother herself. She is one of the most endearing characters I have ever had the joy of reading about.





Next on the list is Emma Hannigan. Her writing would draw blood from a stone. Have tissues close by in case of feels!






What better way to celebrate mothers than to celebrate the women who bring new life into the world. Jennifer Worth s Call the Midwife series are truly unforgettable. This series was also made into a very successful TV programme by the BBC 





 

  Unless you have been living in a cave you've probably hear of this best seller by Emma Donaghue.

Room is told through the eyes of Jack. A young boy who lives with his ma. Jack and his mother have been held captive by Old nick in a tiny, dingy room for seven long years. 

It brilliantly shows how the bond between mother and child can overcome any adversity. A must on any reading list 







Still Alice is a novel that I often think about even though I read it about three years ago. It really had quite an effect on me 

Alice is a university lecturer, a wife and a mother. One day while going for her regular morning run she realises that she doesn't know where she is and doesn't know how to find her way home.

What follows is a heartbreaking story of how Alice deals with early onset Alzheimers. 

We all have opinions on how we would deal with this if it were to ourselves or a close family member. This book will throw those opinions into disarray .



So who would you pick as your favourite or most inspirational fictional or non fictional mother?


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Mini review: Hollow city by Ransom Riggs

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Source: Received from Publisher in return for an honest                    review

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Quirk books

Page count: 352

Release date: January 2014

Rating: DNF




Hollow city is a sequel to Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children . If you have not read the first book then be wary of reading this review as it may contain spoilers!

I had my reservations before I even started Hollow City. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. It never really grabbed my attention or drew me in. Plus I am always wary when a the first book is immediately part of a trilogy. I am of the opinion that a trilogy should develop from the author and readers longing to know more about what happens to the characters. 

I have a strange feeling that the recent movie deal may have had a lot to do with that decision. With Tim Burton as a director I imagine the influence was probably quite strong.

As with the first book it felt like the author was writing chapters to match the pictures rather than to benefit the story. The pacing was incredibly slow with little suspense. I felt the characters were never really developed enough in the first book for me to care enough about them as they go on their journey to find Miss Peregrine. 

Again I felt that the pictures merely restricted the story telling. Some were quite disturbing and really didn't make any sense! I think it would have been better to use an illustrator if he really felt that the book required images. It would be interesting to see what Chris Riddell would do with this.

If you loved the first book then I'm sure you'll enjoy Hollow City. If like, me you had reservations about the first then I would give this a miss.

Definitely one for the Younger YA readers. I am shelving this one for now. I may come back to it at a later stage but a growing TBR pile means its remaining unfinished for now.


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The Edge Chronicles: Clash of the Sky Galleons by Paul Stuart & Chris Riddell

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Clash of the Sky Galleons was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review 

Format:  Paperback

Published : Jan 2012

Publisher: Doubleday

Page count: 432

Rating :    ☆ 





Ah the nostalgia! I still remember picking up Beyond the Deepwoods in a book shop way back in 1998. That was 16 years ago! I remember being completely fascinated by all of the wonderful illustrations and the strange creatures that lurked on every page. I think It was this series that led to me reading on a regular basis rather than once or twice a year.

It's been a long time since I read the first two books in the Quint series but it actually didn't matter. Despite their being over 12 books in the series now you can actually read and enjoy each as a stand alone novel.
In Clash of the Sky Galleons Stuart and Riddell take us back aboard the Galerider with Quint and and his sky pirate father Wind Jackal. Quint longs to learn everything he can from his father but Wind Jackal's only concerned with revenge. Revenge against the man who killed the rest of his family.


Unlike the other books Clash of the Sky Galleons seems to be more one track minded. This decision may have be due to the fact that revenge, being such a strong emotion, leaves little room for anything else. I have read some other reviews and it seems that people were disappointed by this aspect of the book. I did find the hunt for Turbot Smeal a little predictable and I found it hard to really get invested in the chase. This was probably because he hasn't appeared in any previous novels.

Another thing I didn't fully understand was the sudden hate towards Sky Pirates from the side of the leagues. These pirates basically do your bidding hauling expensive goods from dangerous parts of The Edge yet they suddenly are baying for their blood? Maybe someone else can enlighten me?

I did enjoy this book but it did feel as though the quint trilogy came to a rather abrupt end. I could never see Quint being happy while residing in the knights academy. It always seemed like he longed for nothing more than to be a sky Pirate.


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Discussion - The one where I burned out & neglected stuff

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A lot of bloggers post about burn out. It usually happens a year or so into blogging. The initial shine tends to wear off and you may feel that what you're doing it starting to become a bit of a chore rather than a hobby or something you want to do.

I am suffering from burn out at the minute. However this particular burnout is not caused by blogging. In the past 3 days I've worked about 45 hours. I work as a vet nurse in a mixed animal practice. Spring is out busiest time of the year. Animals are giving birth all over the place. It's manic. Add a busy small animal rota to that and you're ass doesn't meet a chair for hours at a time. 

For example today I started at 9.15 and went straight through till 3 where I proceeded to ram food into my mouth for 15 minutes straight . then back to work until 7.20 pm when we could eventually went home. Back in at 10 pm to check drip lines and take vitals. Home. Sleep. Rinse and repeat.

I came home this evening and I was that tired that I couldn't even blink. Seriously. My eyes were so dry but even bringing my eyelids together would have taken energy that I didn't have. It took some other worldly effort to turn on the comp to write this post. 

Reading this back to myself you'd think I hated my job! The truth is I enjoy it and couldn't really imagine myself doing anything else.

The last 2 weeks or so I have felt like I haven't had any time to do anything outside of work. I come home and collapse on the couch and that's it. I feel like I have been totally neglecting this blog. I wrote one review this week and I really can't see myself writing another. It's depressing. I have 3 books to write reviews for, A pile of about 25 books in the corner to be read and about 15 books on my kindle. Thinking about it is almost making me want to cry!

I am hoping that this is all just got to do with everything being so hectic and that eventually I will be able to get back to having an actual life and having time to read and blog. In the mean time I don't really know what I'm going to do!

What do you do when your work life balance goes completely out of whack??




The Black Snow by Paul Lynch

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A review copy was provided through Netgalley by Quercus in return for an honest review 

Like Red Sky in Morning Loss seems to be a theme that runs throughout The Black Snow. 

A fire on the farm leaves 1 man and 43 cattle dead. Barnabas has no choice but to reach out to the people in his village in an effort to re build his life. As always, its only when trouble brews that we find out who our real allies are. Barnabas comes to realise that people are not what he once thought they were. To them he is no more than a local stranger.

The entire family struggle under the weight of byre as Barnabas struggles to rebuild his farm and life from nothing. 

The re-building of the byre seems to directly coincide with the destruction of his family life. As the wall are built, strong and firm, Eskra's walls are breaking down. Feeling totally isolated and alone she succumbs to a madness that splits the entire family apart. Their son Billy also suffers, from the weight of a secret he feels he cannot trouble his family with.

While trying to bring one part of his life together, his bull headed presumptions eventually lead to everything Barnabas knows being torn apart.

Some may find the writing long winded but I found it incredibly haunting. Like Red Sky in Morning I find it reminiscent of John B Keane and J M Synge. 

Rating:



Guest Post: Brenda from the Daily May. You know you're reading a good book when...

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Daily Mayo


Greetings! I am Brenda from Daily Mayo, and I love books. That sounds like an introduction into an addiction group- but I am addicted to books. Since you’re visiting this site, I bet you are, too.

With millions of books to read, it can be a challenge to know which books are worth your time and which books you should leave on the shelf. Today, I reveal my secret tips for identifying good books before you read them.

With these tips, you can skip the bad books and move on to the good without wasting your time.

So, without further ado, you know you’re holding a good book when…

The Back Cover Draws You In

Of course, it is the publisher’s job to make any book sound like it has an interesting story, but a book that is good has you hooked just by reading the back cover. A good book will make you itch to read the story and you will do almost anything to get home and start reading the book as soon as possible.

The Cover Appeals to You

It almost never fails; if I choose to read a book based mostly on the cover, I am almost always happy. I don’t know what kind of witchcraft publishers use to create covers that appeal to certain fans of certain kinds of books, but for the most part they are a master at it. This tip doesn’t always apply to Indie books, as those often have simple covers that are hiding great books (or terrible books).

The Pages are Worn, Have Food on Them, or Are Dog-Eared

This tip is for used books, but it is true nearly 100 percent of the time. Worn pages mean the book has been read many times (a broken spine can also signify a good book), and if there is food on the book, it means that the previous reader found it so interesting that they had to read it while eating. Dog-eared pages can occur for two reasons: a) the person couldn’t find a bookmark, or b) the person wanted to go back and read that page or passage over again. Usually, if a book has more dog-eared pages, it is better than a book with just a couple. Highlighted passages also can signify a good book.

The First Paragraph Excites You

This is similar to the book description pull, but it can be even more indicative of an amazing book. One book that did this really well was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I felt compelled to keep reading even though I knew nothing about the book or universe. A good book can do that to you.

The Chapter Headings Interest You

If the book has chapter titles, that is a simple way to tell if the book is worth reading. If the chapter headings spark your interest, you will probably enjoy the entire book. Just be wary; some chapter titles contain spoilers, so if you don’t want to find out the plot ahead of time, you may not want to use this trick.

How do you know if a book you pick up is worth reading?



Brenda blogs about books, writing, and book-related goodies at Daily Mayo. She is on a quest to read every worthwhile book in the universe. In addition to reading, Brenda also enjoys sharing her love of books with her two daughters and collecting semi-rare old books. Follow Brenda on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Bloglovin, or Instagram (or on everything. She doesn’t mind stalkers).  

The Loveliest Chocolate shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

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 The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris was provided by Source Books, through Netgalley in return for an honest review

Do not read this book if you are on any sort of diet programme.

The Loveliest chocolate Shop will make you crave chocolate like there is no tomorrow. 

Anna works in a large chocolate factory in England. This factory isn't concerned with fine foods or delicate palates. All the matters is that the chocolate that gets churned out has a uniform taste and can be got to the shops as quickly as possible. 


When Anna has an accident on the factory floor she ends up on her back in hospital. Here she meets her old French teacher Claire. As Claire is nearing the end of her life she urges Anna to star living hers. In doing so she convinces her to take a place at the most famous chocolate shop in Paris.

As we are taken on Anna's journey forward in life we are also transported back to Claire's past and her wonderful summer with the romantic Thierry. The summer romance is a little clichéd but lovely all the same. My heart really broke for her at the end of the summer when she had to return home. 

I loved Anna's Journey through real chocolate making. I loved the descriptions of mixing and conching. I could smell each smell and longed to taste everything they came up with. 

I was actually in Paris while reading this book and found myself heading for the nearest bakery every time I read it.  The imagery in the book is a little unrealistic but still nice to read. A lot of people still see Paris as a place of romance even though the reality is somewhat different!

Another thing that I found odd was the reaction to what Claire's and the childrens mother did. Anna was very blasé about it all when in fact what they really did was ruin her teenage years. All the time she was wondering why, they had the answer. I suppose they thought they were acting in her best interests but I really felt for her.

The first two thirds of the book are fairly slowly paced but I found the ending very abrupt. It was always going to be sad, sort of like taking a band aid off. Make it fast and quick :(

I would recommend the loveliest chocolate shop in Paris to anyone looking for a light, romantic read. Just make sure you have some good quality chocolate beside you!

Rating:



Giveaway! Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella (International)

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To celebrate the release of the paperback version of Wedding Night I am giving away a copy of this hilariously addictive novel!



"Lottie is tired of long-term boyfriends who don't want to commit to marriage. When her old boyfriend Ben reappears and reminds her of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. There will be no dates and no engagement-just a straight wedding march to the altar! Next comes the honeymoon on the Greek island where they first met.

But not everyone is thrilled with Lottie and Ben's rushed marriage, and family and friends are determined to intervene. Will Lottie and Ben have a wedding night to remember. . . or one to forget?"

To enter simply fill out the raffle-copter form below.
This competition is open worldwide! If you can receive post you can enter!

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