Category Archives: Books

Book Review: Addition

Addition
Addition by Toni Jordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought it was going to be too chick-litty for me but it was most enjoyable. I think the test of a a book is whether it is memorable or stands out in some way and this was and did. Grace was an interesting character and although there was a romantic element to the book there was enough humour and seriousness in the subject matter to give it balance.

View all my reviews

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Books I read in 2013

In 2013 I read 51 books. Less than the 65 I read last year but still, not too shabby.

Here are 7 that I remember the most or were more notable for some reason or other.

How To Be A Woman – Caitlin Moran

Marmite Moran, loved and hated on Twitter. I loved this book and wasn’t really expecting to. I’ve not read much about feminism before I admit and there’s a lot more I could venture into I’m sure. I would like to be her friend. In a ‘she seems cool’ way not an ‘I haven’t any friends I’m going to stalk her’ way.

Unbroken A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Laura Hillenbrand

Amazing book. Wikipedia Louis Zamperini the real man behind the true story. Incredible.

Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Neverwhere, Stardust, Good Omens – Neil Gaiman

I discovered Neil Gaiman! How I hadn’t before I don’t know and I felt late to a freaky party (Yes, yes, I know 5 at once makes more than 7, it’s sort of cheating but this is my blog and I can do what I like). I think my favourite was Neverwhere. I watched Coraline over the Christmas holidays and I don’t know what disturbed me more, the book or the film. Just weird. It’s those button eyes. Arrggh! My favourite was Neverwhere or Stardust, I can’t decide.

American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

The majority of the books I read tend to be thrillers or horrific in some way but American Psycho is bloody horrible. Also ace. I need to watch the film but haven’t got round to finding it. One day I’ll use that thing they call ‘The Internet’ and maybe order it online.

The Magicians – Lev Grossman

This was a strange one for me to read but it was different to other books and kept my interest all the way through.

My Mad, Fat Teenage Diary – Rae Earl

A fun book but with a serious topic of mental health. It was made into a Channel 4 programme and series 2 starts soon. Worth a read and a watch.

Asylum Matt Drabble

’13 Tales of Terror’. I don’t usually read short stories but this is 13 stories within a story and it ties together well. An ex-journalist goes to work in a mental hospital and the tales are of patients who reside there. Scary and freaky, just the way I like it. Matt Drabble’s other books are also well worth a read if you like horror fiction. You can also follow him on Twitter @MattDrabble01

So I suppose my aim for 2014 is to read even more book and try and be as varied in my genres as possible.

I’ve just started using Goodreads too so you can find me on there.

Stace

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

My Goodreads bookshelf

Angels & Demons
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
The Lady Elizabeth
The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII
The Midnight Palace
I, Michael Bennett
East End Angel
Fractured
Charlotte Street
Dead Man's Grip
Play Dead
The Secret History
Sister
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Coraline

 

Share book reviews and ratings with Stacey, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Books! A meme about books.

I wanted to write a post about books so I went on a meme hunt and found this…

Book Meme

So here goes…
1. One book that changed your life?

Hate to say it in a way but I read The Secret when I was trying to decide whether to give up work to become self employed and this book helped me make the decision. I wrote this post about it at the time.

2. One book you have read more than once?

I tend not to re-read books, even ones I have loved. I don’t really see the point. I would rather have a new experience with a new book.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

Well I suppose it would depend on how long I may be stuck on the desert island. I read pretty quickly so one book won’t cut it so I’m going to cheat and take my Kindle. If it was some sort of plane crash scenario I would be sure to have it with me anyway. The battery lasts long enough for me to read quite a few books without it dying and once it did run out I could maybe use it as some sort of tool until I’m rescued. Then I’d write a book about my experiences and make it available in paperback and in Kindle format!

4. One book that made you laugh?

Last year I discovered some books my a man Terry Ravenscroft. His book suited my humour so if you want something ligjt to make you laugh try Dear Coca Cola, Stairlift to Heaven and the James Bond spoof Stockport Is Too Much

5. One book that made you cry?

The Time Traveler’s Wife. It’s one of my favourite books which is weird considering I mostly read books about grim murders. I’ve never sobbed so much at a book!  They made it into a film too of course. Meh.

6. One book you wish had been written?

Making a Million and Saving the World by Stacey Smith

7. One book you wish had never been written?

That God awful Twilight mini book thing, what was it called? *consults Amazon*………The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella. Utter pants. I’m not even going to link it for you. Just don’t bother.

 
8. One book you are currently reading?

I started Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand last night and I’m also dipping in and out of The Complete Book of Running for Women which is giving me some handy tips and motivation.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

I’d like to read Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class by Owen Jones but it’s not available on Kindle yet.



10. Now tag five people.

I’ll tag my cousin and readaholic like me Charlotte @LottieB123, my Mom Wendy @wendy2918 who should read more, my friend Kathryn @allfivehorizons who blogs about books too , my Twitter friend @Raychybabe who shares my love of crime thrillers and erm…. no that’s just four, oh well, sue me : p

Thanks for reading my post about reading

Stace x

Follow me @StaceInspire

Quick review of the books I read on holiday

We’ve just spent 10 days in Corralejo, Fuerteventura. As planned we just wanted to chill out and as such we went to the beach most days. This meant loads of time for reading. Hoorah. I ended up reading the following 16 books. Yes 16! A beachy reading holiday. I read 11 on my Kindle and 5 real life wooden ones although the links I’ve provided are all to the Kindle versions. I haven’t the time to review them all properly but anything above 7/10 is worth a read I would say.

I’m into thrillers mainly especially if they’re not too predictable, I love a good murder. I also like funny books and the less serious self help books too.

Deffo give Dawn French a go, I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was and my new hero is Terry Ravenscroft. He is a comedy writer and I’ve previously read two of his other books Dear Coca Cola and Dear Air 2000. His humour really appeals to me.

A Tiny Bit Marvellous – Dawn French 9/10

James Blond – Stockport Is Too Much – Terry Ravenscroft 7/10

The Resurrectionist – James Bradley 3/10

How to Do Everything and Be Happy – Peter Jones 7/10

Dusk – Maureen Lee 8/10

Lethal Legacy – Linda Fairstein 5/10

Someone to Save You – Paul Pilkington 8/10

The Facebook Killer Part One  – M.L Stewart 8/10

The Facebook Killer Part  Two – M.L Stewart   8/10

The Outcast – Sadie Jones 9/10

Touch – Mark Sennen 8/10

Deadly Sanctuary – Sylvia Nobel and Christy Moeller 7/10

The Penal Colony – Richard Herley 9/10

Bullies, Bitches and Bastards -Eileen Condon & Amanda Edwards – 8/10

Stairlift to Heaven – Terry Ravenscroft 9/10

Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum 7/10

So there you go. If you were thinking about what to read next, give some of these a go.

Stace x

Seven Recent Good Kindle Reads

I read all the time and yet I always forget to blog about them so… here are a few of the books I have read recently that you may or may not enjoy too.

Seven Deadly Sins – Corey Taylor

The man the legend wrote a book and it’s really great. Not just because it’s Corey Taylor either. It’s funny and makes you question what actually constitutes a sin and maybe that we shouldn’t care too much about it anyway. As long as we’re keeping ourselves and others happy and not hurting anyone else then who gives a flying?

Catch Your Death – Mark Edwards and Louise Voss

A book which will make you a bit paranoid the next time you sneeze. I think the combination of a male and a female writer works out well because it was pacy and exciting without dwelling too much on the relationships and love stories which some female writers can do and detract it away from the story. The main characters didn’t annoy me and there is always something happening. Killing Cupid is also worth a read too, plenty of twists and turns and you can’t guess how it’s going to pan out until it happens.

Unlikely Killer – Ricki Thomas

A serial killer is on the loose taking on different guises to lure victims. Lots of deaths, grim but gripping.

God Collar – Marcus Brigstocke

Would appeal to atheists and the God fearers alike. I’m somewhere between the two. He describes his own difficulty with his faith in God without being rude and disrespectful to people’s beliefs like some staunch atheists can be. I concluded that I still like to believe there is a God/power up there and feel better believing than not. Not because I have any fear that I’ll burn in hell if I don’t but I feel more hopeful and more comforted that there is a God and a lovely place called heaven than just nothing and I don’t really care about having evidence. (Which is strange considering I am an advocate of evidence and research in a lot of other areas I am interested in!)

How To Be A Woman – Caitlin Moran

Now I’m not very good at being a proper woman or what I would consider to be considered a proper woman or maybe what I hate to think is considered a proper woman! However, this book made me realise that I am quite normal and I am a feminist. That’s a bit of a terrible thing to say, of course I’ve always believed we should be equal but I’ve always thought it was just about hating men, and moaning : o As I’ve never really felt at a loss being a breasted human I didn’t really think I needed to worry much. Turns out I don’t, I can just be who I want to be which is a relief because I always have anyway!  Her stories from growing up are very funny and I think I love her. If you own breasts, read it. Even if you don’t, read it.

Sugar & Spice – Saffina Desforges

Cool name but the title misleads. It’s not at all nice. Tagline on this one is ‘the controversial psycho-sexual thriller’ which of course caught my attention. It’s a tough subject, a child’s murder and a mother’s need to find the killer and bring them to justice. It’s not a jolly read but if you like a good thriller then you’ll love it.

Truth, Dare, Kill – Gordon Ferris

Set in post war London, Danny McRae is a private investigator dealing with his past when he is set a challenge by a mysterious woman. He is to get to the bottom of a disappearance and subsequent murders in the red light district whilst dealing with some undesirable characters both criminal and in powerful positions. I liked this because of the different time period which made it distinctive.

Right, there’s just a few for you.

I will try and keep up, keep my book blogging boots going.

Thanks for reading about reading.

Stace  x

Kindle Books of 2010

On Christmas Day it was my Kindle’s 1st birthday.  Here are the books I have read this year. I’ve provided links to  the best ones.  A lot of people have asked me about whether having a Kindle is worth it and my answer is unequivocally YES!

In chronological order. . .

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larrsson

The third in the Millennium trilogy.  All great books, I loved Salander as a character. Wouldn’t mess with her though!

Wolf Hall – Hillary Mantel

Hard to get into but worth a read.

Blood Sweat and Tea – Tom Reynolds & More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea – Tom Reynolds

Nice easy read books. Real life accounts of an Ambulance man.

Amsterdam 2010 – Ruth Francisco

Dead Until DarkCharlaine Harris

You’ll see quite a few of  these True Blood books by Charlaine Harris in this list. Worth a read but strangely for me I prefer the TV versions. (Probably because of the nakedness though!)

Living Dead In Dallas – Charlaine Harris

Basic Dowsing – Rhondalyn Teel

I bought a dowser at this year’s Mind Body Spirit festival so I thought this book may help me to get my head around it.

Club Dead – Charlaine Harris

Mark Thomas Presents The People’s Manifesto – Mark Thomas

Coincided with the General Election. Most of this made more sense to me than any of of the existing crap we have to vote for.

Dead to The World – Charlaine Harris

Dead As A Doornail – Charlaine Harris

Definitely Dead – Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead – Charlaine Harris

The Surgeon – Tess Gerritsen

Gruesome in places as the title suggests, it’s about a serial killer in Boston. Great read.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner – Stephanie Meyer

Shite.

The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick

As recommended by my bookworm cousin Charlotte. Ace.

Hide – Lisa Gardner

59 Seconds – Richard Wiseman

A self help book for those that can’t be bothered to read other self help books. I mean that as a compliment to him. Loved it.

Anyone Can Do It – Duncan Bannatyne

The tall Scottish one off Dragon’s Den. Inspirational. Makes you actually believe anyone can do it. Cliche but true.

The Help – Kathryn Stockett

This one kept popping up in my recommendations and I kept putting off getting it but I’m glad I did. Really lovely book. Interesting characters in a different setting and time to other books I tend to read. Brilliant.

One Day – David Nicholls

I liked the style of this book and I missed the characters when I had finished it.

My Shit Life So Far – Frankie Boyle

Good book, funny in parts as it should be. He’s still let me down with Tramadol Nights though.

Confessions of a GP – Benjamin Daniels

Wasted – Mark Johnson

I read as a way of switching off so rarely read that many drug related books in my spare time but this for me was my book of the year. I wish everyone would read it. This is a real life story of someone who went through so much with his drug use, offending and homelessness and has come out the other side. Awesome.

In Stitches – Nick Edwards

Soul Identity – Dennis Batchelor

Strange.

The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

Despite reservations it really helped me and I would go as far as to say was instrumental in my decision to leave work. This is my post about it.

The Snowman – Jo Nesbo

Scary, gripping, exciting.

Gone for Good – Harlen Coben

Harlen Coben’s book are always a good bet if you like thrillers.

The Final Detail – Harlan Coben

The Redbreast – Jo Nesbo

Not as good as The Snowman but deffo worth a go.

F**k It – John C. Parkin

Well, it’s called F**k It, of course I had to read it. Enjoyable.

An Idiot Abroad – Karl Pilkington

Oh he makes me laugh so much. It helped to watch the series as well just to picture his expressions and the amazing places he travels to.

The Last 10 Seconds – Simon Kernick

The Basement – Stephen Leather

All three of his books were quick and easy reads and cheap too. Bargain.

Once Bitten – Stephen Leather

Still Missing – Chevy Stephens

Dreamer’s Cat – Stephen Leather

and the final one of the year…

Sister – Rosamund Lupton

Really enjoyed this but the news coverage of poor Joanna Yeates made it a bit too possible.

Here’s to another year of reading some great and not so great books.

If any of you have any to recommend then I would love to hear about them.

Stace x

The Secret and my Secret Shifters

So after a shocking couple of  weeks mainly due to the stress of work and related crapola I have had to take desperate measures to pick myself back up.

I downloaded ‘The Secret‘ by Rhonda Byrne for my Kindle. Up until now I thought it was going to be another load of Americanised culty therapy crap (which it may border on). BUT it is making me think. I’ve always been an advocate of the power of positive thinking (as many of my close friends and family will know) but The Secret takes it to a different level. It also helps you to think about all the things you want in life and getting them too.

The idea of it is based on the laws of attraction. Like attracts like therefore if you have negative thoughts you will attract more negative thoughts and experiences. Makes sense if you think about it. You know when something starts your day off badly so all your thoughts are negative from that point on and the rest of the day continues to be even more crapola? Well if you can change your thoughts to be more positive then you are more likely to attract more positivity. Quite simple really but I would advise you to read it too and see how it’s explained in a much more comprehensive way than I can. This is just my simplified take on it so far.

In the book, ‘Secret Shifters’ are those things which can shift our mood when we are down or feeling negative in other ways. Whilst sitting in my sunny garden today I thought I would make a list of my ‘Secret Shifters’.

Music

Anything I can mosh to – the heavier the better

Anything I can singalong to – the cheesier and lamer the better!

Food

Discovering and making new healthy recipes

Eating out in a new place

Cooking for others ( I am a feeder!)

People

Luckily for me I have a lot of Secret Shifter people. These are people that I know will make me feel better and who I know will support me when I need it. One thing I have to learn is that I can draw on these people when I need to. I don’t have to be the one who keeps everyone happy all the time, they can make me happy too. Hoorah.

My JB, my Mom and Stepdad Tom, my brothers Ricky and Joe, my friend and business partner Lynette, my friend Ruth who I ALWAYS laugh with, similarly my cousin Charlotte, seeing my Nanny Jean, cooking din dins for my Dad and my in laws Pam and Bill who are great. There’s loads more. I am lucky to have so many brilliant people in my life. Like attracts like, love attracts love though. : ) I love a lot.

Activities

Singing

More recently walking and running

Reading in silence

Tweeting and reading people’s funny tweets makes me smile

Comedy on the TV

Funny YouTube videos

Environments

Sunny gardens, parks, the countryside, the seaside, camping and walking in the open air

Helpful

EFT, counting my blessings, asking God/the Universe

I’m only half way through the book so I’m going to keep going. If it helps then it can only be a good thing.

It may also be another thing I will bang on about so beware!

Onwards and upwards!

Stace x

I heart my…. Amazon Kindle

JB bought me this for Christmas. We’ d seen it on the Gadget Show a few weeks before but I had no clue he’d managed to get me one until Christmas morning. I love reading and often get frustrated if I ‘run out of book’. This solves that problem. It is 3G Wi-Fi connected so you can download books within a few seconds directly onto it. The only flaw at the moment is that because it’s not long been available in the UK (has to be shipped from US) it means it connects to Amazon.com. You can browse for books in the same way as you would on the website via the different catergories but as it has a QWERTY keyboard you can just type the author or book you want  in and it finds it for you. Magic!

I am lazy and mainly read in bed so the best thing is that you just press a button to turn the page. There is an option for it to read to you but as I have already been concerned about this non-traditional way of reading I prefer to read the words myself, it’s the least I can do! Unless Stephen Fry was the voice, then I may reconsider. 🙂

The battery lasts ages and you can store 1500 books on it so it will be great for travelling too. You can buy accessories for it like covers to keep it safe and warm.

In conclusion I heart my Kindle. Buy one!

Peace, love, empathy

Stace x

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