Month: April 2021

Sunday Summary – 18th April 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post! As always, I hope you’ve had a brilliant week whatever you have been up to?

I’ve enjoyed a week off work this week, which has been nice. I can’t say I’ve spent it all relaxing though – on Tuesday I re-painted my bathroom and on Wednesday and Thursday I was building flatpack furniture for my spare room. That said, both Monday and Friday were nice and chill.

On Monday I shared a post over on my Instagram and Facebook feeds that explains a little bit about why I have been absent from reading this year. You may recall that I have taken up knitting and I’ve been referencing a project I’ve been doing, but elusively. That’s because I’ve been working on a project for my dad as a gift and so I didn’t want him to find out about it before he was gifted the finished item. So, having given him his present on Monday I shared the below photos of the project I’ve been making him (and incidentally someone else too, so I had to keep both a secret!) 

Thankfully now the time pressure is off but I will be continuing to knit in future. This week I have been able to revisit a project I started in November last year – a jumper for me! Whilst knitting may sound boring to some, there is still a lot for me to learn. I am going to be picking up different projects that will enable me to learn all these new techniques (and hopefully improve on my knitting overall!)

On the blog I have shared a couple of posts with you this week. My first post of the week was a fun Spring Cleaning Book Tag. It actually proved a little bit more difficult to write than I thought – it has some really good questions on it that I had to mull over for a few days. If you haven’t checked out that post already please use the link above to have a look and let me know what you think!

Later in the week, I shared last week’s intended Shelf Control post. I hadn’t published that last week as I was late finishing work in preparation for my week off. Not a big deal though as I have had plenty of time to think about the book featured in that post and on Friday I told you why I’m really excited to pick this up!

 

Books Read

With doing a lot of manual jobs around the house this week I’ve mainly excelled in listening to more of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. I can’t lie, the pronunciation of the name Brienne is still annoying me and makes me cringe everytime I hear it, but I’ve kind of come to accept that it’s going to happen whether I like it or not. It hasn’t stopped me in my reading progress though and as of today’s Sunday Summary update post I am now over halfway through the audiobook. I have around 16 and 3/4 hours left to listen to… not much you know?

I have also picked up and read more Fire and Blood, also by George R. R. Martin, this week. I’m now over halfway through this epic tome as well and I’m really enjoying getting into the history of Westeros and Essos. Naturally, I haven’t gotten through as much of this as I have audiobook progress, based on the fact that I wasn’t sat on my backside for the past week! Still, I’m going to keep making progress with this and I’m hoping to finish this shortly now that there is less time pressure on my knitting projects.

 

Books Discovered

I’m pleased to say that there are no new additions to this section this week. As you can probably tell I have been busy with other things, which is no bad thing. What I can’t promise, however, is that there will be nothing in this section next week. The Isle of Man officially comes out of lockdown tomorrow and a certain local branch of a bookshop chain will be opening. I will be going back to work nearby… I’m just intending to just have a mooch but I make no promises!

 

Coming Up…

I plan to share a book review for moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch midweek. To date I have read (listened to) over half of the series and so I’m keen to start getting my thoughts down on those I have listened to so far before I get too close to the end of the series. I recently reviewed Rivers of London and this review is for sequel to that novel.

Later in the week, I will be finding another feature for this week’s First Lines Friday post. I really enjoy delving through my bookshelves to find interesting books to feature for you here and whilst I haven’t decided what this week’s book is going to be, I have no doubt that it will be a good one! I hope you can join me for that!

 

That’s all I have for you in today’s Sunday Summary post. What are you reading?

 

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Shelf Control #29 – 16/04/2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! As you may recall, this is a regular feature series I started last year and I am looking to get back into sharing these posts regularly again. That said, I was meant to post this last Friday but due to finishing up work late for a week off, I decided to postpone.  My emphasis with this post is to clear some of the old books on my TBR pile; by doing so I am making sure the books on my list are still ones I am interested in and  I can get excited about reading them soon!

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read and write a post about it! Suggestions include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it, and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

This week‘s featured book is a science-fiction themed young adult novel. On the whole, I don’t read much in the YA genre, however, I like the sound of this one. It also has a bit of a dystopian type theme which I am a huge fan of. That might sound odd given that the premise of the novel is about habitation on Mars – typically viewed as a futuristic theme. I’m interested to see how it works out anyway!

Read on to find out about the book!

 

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

Goodreads – Red Rising

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

 

My Thoughts….

I don’t always take note of a book’s rating on Goodreads, but with this one I certainly did and it makes me excited! This book has over 268,000 ratings on Goodreads and an overall average of 4.24 stars out of 5. That’s amazing!

Pierce Brown is a new author for me. This will be my first book of his; given my interest in the synopsis and the high rating it has from other readers I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ll regret picking this up!

Aside from the sci-fi futuristic vibe, I’m also really interested to see how the class system is employed and what impact it has on the novel. It’s blatantly the driving force behind the events of the book but I’d like to see how it is portrayed and how it compares to the kind of society we know. I just hope it doesn’t try to hammering too hard the different roles in society – I have actually stopped reading books in the past that focussed on this so much that it was impossible to invest into the characters! I doubt it though!

That’s all in today’s Shelf Control post. Have you read Red Rising? If so, what are your thoughts? As always, I would love to hear from you!

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The Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Spring Cleaning Book Tag. I saw a version of this post over on Kristin Kraves Books and I wanted to do my version. Now, it’s taken me a little bit longer than I expected to answer some of these questions. I’ve had to think about them quite a bit, but, I hope you enjoy the post and if you have any fun answers to any of the questions let me know in the comments!

 

1. The struggle of getting started: a book/book series that you have struggled to begin because of its size.

the eye of the world

I’m not one to struggle with large books. I would say that I generally prefer them. If I’m going to invest my time in a book then why not into a large series that I can really delve into and enjoy at length? However, there are some exceptions. One particular book and series I have struggled with in the past comes recommended by a friend. I do want to try this again sometime, as I do trust my friend’s recommendation and I think that I was trying to pick this up at the wrong time. This particular book and series is the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

 

2. Cleaning out the closet: a book and/or book series you want to unhaul.

Infinite Sacrifice

I have recently ‘unhauled’ a book called Infinite Sacrifice by L. E. Waters. I downloaded a copy of the book a few years ago (it was free at the time) however having read the synopsis again I’m not sure that this is something I fancy right now. I’m quite good in that if I’m not sure about a book or if I’m trying something new I won’t purchase a copy until I intend to read it. It saves the awkward situation of owning a book that I don’t want to read anymore!

 

3. Opening windows and letting fresh air in: a book that was refreshing.

I really enjoyed rereading the first two books of the Harry Potter series this year. I’ve called and refreshing as they are relatively short rates and they are very easy to get into. A lot of the later depth to the series comes in during and after book 4 in my opinion but these early ones are really approachable and quick reads as well!

 

4. Washing out sheet stains: a book you wish you could rewrite a certain scene in.

A slight variation in answer to this question but it’s the only thing I can think of right now. This isn’t so much a scene I would re-write but rather a certain aspect of what I now expect to be several instances in audiobooks that just need to be re-recorded. I’m listening to A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin at the moment and have just been introduced to the character Brienne of Tarth. I really, REALLY hate how the narrator pronounces her name!! So much so, I’m not sure if it’s going to prove a deal breaker or not! If I had the power to change anything, it would be that.

 

5. Throwing out unnecessary knick-knacks: a book in a series that you didn’t feel was necessary.

I was really disappointed with the ending of The Singing by Alison Croggan. The series itself was really good and I enjoyed all the books leading up to the end. However, the end was just so anticlimactic and disappointing that I wish I hadn’t read it! It would have been better to leave it and let my imagination fill in the blanks. The whole series is around 1500 pages and that’s a lot to invest in for a rubbish ending. I’m sorry I’ve put it like that, but it was rubbish.

 

6. Polishing the doorknobs: a book that had a clean finish.

I love a book series but equally a standalone can be just as good! My recent read of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is one of those examples. I really like that the events of the book were all wrapped up in a nice neat bow at the end. Finished. Done. You knew what to expect at the beginning and enjoyment of the book was the journey to get there. In my opinion there is nothing worse than a book that leaves a cliffhanger… Especially if you don’t know when that cliffhanger is going to be addressed!

 

7. Reaching to dust the fan: a book that tried too hard to relay a certain message.

In the end, I had to put down Lord of the Flies by William Golding because I just couldn’t get into it. I really like dystopian themed novels but I just really struggled with this one. The premise of the book relates to society and civilisation and what happens when that breaks down. I think this particular book spent so much time focusing on this that I couldn’t actually relate to any of the characters and I just wasn’t enjoying it!

 

8. The tiring yet satisfying finish of spring cleaning: a book series that was tiring yet satisfying to get through.

Reading the Game of Thrones series is a massive undertaking. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the books, but committing to reading the whole series is massive! So, the amount of time it took qualifies as tiring because it takes several months (in fact I think it took me over a year to read on and off) but equally it was satisfying to get up-to-date the series again!

 

So there you have my version of the Spring Cleaning Book Tag. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I look forward to seeing you on the next one!

 

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Sunday Summary – 11th April 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a really good week and I’m glad you can join me for today’s update. I have been keeping busy over here and I’m looking forward to telling you what I’ve been up to this week!

I started the week by sharing my Monthly Wrap Up post for March. When I drafted last week’s Sunday Summary post I completely omitted to mention that this was coming up. I published this on Monday so if you haven’t checked it out already, please do!

My next post of the week was a book review for The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. If you haven’t already gathered I am a huge fan of this author and this series. I would love it if you could go and check out that post as well!

On Friday I was supposed to share my next Shelf Control feature post. However, I ended up working late on Friday as I am off work next week. By the time I got round to doing this… well, I wasn’t in the mood. I decided I was better off giving myself the break I needed and the feature post will be shared next week instead.

 

Books Read

This week I have been reading more of Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin. This week’s reading progress hasn’t been comparable to last. I took this to bed one night and have made some okay progress, so won’t won’t knock it. I also plan on taking it to bed tonight to continue. As of the current update I am now nearly 60% of the way through the book. I’m really enjoying having another way of getting into the Game of Thrones series. Being off work next week, I am hoping to be able to spend more time on reading this.

It is probably fair to say that I did better with listening to A Clash of Kings, also by George R. R. Martin. If you needed any testament to the fact that I love this particular author and series, well I don’t think you should by now. This is my first listen to this series – I have always read them previously either in e-reader format or more recently in paperback. I listened to around three hours worth of audiobook this week. That might not sound like too much, but for someone who reads more than listens to books I have no complaints! Again, with being off work next week I imagine I will be able to make more progress on this again.

 

Books Discovered

Aside from reading this week, I have been keeping myself busy with catching up on watching For Life – A TV series based on the real life of Isaac Wright Jr. I started watching this little while ago, but my parents recently surpassed where I have gotten up to and so I wanted to catch up so we can talk about it. So, on the one hand, I have been busy watching this and so not really finding any books. However, after finishing the first series I did have a look to see if I could find a book based on the true story and sadly, I wasn’t able to. So, it’s not for lack of looking that I haven’t added any more books to my TBR this week! I will just have to keep a look out for the upcoming second series of the TV show to indulge in instead!

 

Coming Up…

I read a really fun book tag post recently and I’ve decided that I would like to take part and offer my own answers to the same questions. The book tag post that I saw and read can be found on Kristin Kraves Books. I think this will be a fun post to write and I can’t wait to share my answers with you all!

Later in the week I will be bringing to you the Shelf Control post that was supposed to go live this Friday! As a reminder, this week’s featured book is a science fiction young adult novel – one whose plot is based around class division in an unequal society. I added the book to my list a few years ago now and having just read a sample, I am looking forward to sharing the details with you! I hope you can join me for that post on Friday.

And last, but certainly not least, I will be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary post next Sunday.

That’s all I have for you today folks! I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. What have you been reading?

 

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Book Review: The Bands of Mourning – Brandon Sanderson

Today’s book review for The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson is one I am excited to share! You may already be aware that I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson. I have read and started a number of different series written by him and honestly, I’ve loved them all. They are all completely different, with a vague commonality in that they have their own really unique magic systems. The Mistborn series is the one I have read the most of and these books were my introduction to the author. To date, the series consists of an initial trilogy and there are a further three books published in a later timeline. I am excited as there is an expected fourth book to this later series… but I’m also sad as I’ve caught up and I now have to wait for it to be published!

In the grand scheme of things it’s a small problem – and I’m willing to wait for the next instalment as it’s a fantastic series. Before jumping into today’s review of The Bands of Mourning, please go and check out my reviews for The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self. These two books precede this third book of the later series.

 

The Bands of Mourning – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – The Bands of Mourning

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn series is a heist story of political intrigue and magical, martial-arts action.

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metal minds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

 

My Thoughts…

The second Mistborn series continues with The Bands of Mourning and we are treated once again to an interesting and action-packed plotline, hilarious characters with a great dynamic and even a flashback to the original Mistborn series. As in the previous books, I am really enjoying the mash-up of an industrial revolution int the middle of a Western civilisation setting. That’s one combo I don’t think I have ever read to date and honestly, it really works! Don’t ask me how… I’m not sure that it should and yet it really does and I’m in love with it!

As always, the dynamic between Waxililam and Wayne makes the book. They are absolutely brilliant together despite being like chalk and cheese in personalities. So now, they work really well together and I just love them. There’s nothing more I can say other than they are probably one of my favourite character duos ever! Wax is a brilliant character for his upstanding moral nature. As characters go, he’s pretty altruistic. Not perfect, to say the least, but not for a lack of trying.

Wayne on the other hand is far more of a loose cannon. His ‘trading’ habit (stealing but leaving something in return – often dross) and ability to blend into a crowd come in very useful to the team… but he’s less than honest. He has good intentions for the most part and he is fiercely loyal to Wax, which makes him quite a loveable rogue.

It’s a good job our characters thrive on chaos, because there is plenty of it in their world! Where Wax and Wayne go with the flow, Steris thrives off trying to bring order to the chaos. I must admit I didn’t think too much of her when she was first introduced in The Alloy of Law.  But, I have warmed to her a lot. She’s a great compliment to Wax as well. I’m not big on couples and relationships in books, but they work well together!

I was excited by this second Mistborn series as it expanded on the magic system from the first; instead of being able to use magical power relating to one metal, the book introduced individuals who have the power to use two. What really sold me on this instalment of the series is that a third element was introduced. Whereas previously an individual has to consume metal in order to wield their specific powers, this book introduces the concept of powers being held externally via relics and able to be used by anyone!

I love that Brandon Sanderson isn’t afraid to explore new options in his worlds. Whilst he is very good at creating a consistent setting and building a detailed plot and magic system, I love that he is able to branch out and make a success of re-writing the rulebook, so to speak. So far in this series it has worked very well and makes the novels very interesting to read and invest into. But, it also reassures us as readers that there is a lot more that we can expect!

I really enjoyed how events of this book concluded. Without giving any spoilers, a certain character from the first series that has a presence in this book. It’s been that long since I read the first series that I had completely forgotten about this character! It made for an interesting twist to the plotline and I’m glad they were included. Suffice to say, I’m excited to see where the next book of the series takes us. Sadly, I have to wait for it to be published as I’m now caught up with the series… but at least it’s not over yet!

 

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Monthly Wrap-up – March 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to my March wrap-up post. When drafting my Sunday Summary post yesterday I completely forgot to mention this post coming up this week!

I’m enjoying writing these retrospective posts rather than a TBR post upfront. It means I can work at a more relaxed pace without the pressure of a list. So, without further pre-amble, here are the books I’ve been reading this month! 

 

Books Read

Most of this month has been spent reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak on and off. It’s a long book at around 550 pages and I will admit that my reading did taper off in the early stages of this month. I think in part that has to do with some other hobbies, as well as the new lockdown. However, I did pick up more later on and I went on to finish this near the end of the month.

I picked up Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin again in the very last few days of the month. Having finished The Book Thief and in general just getting back into reading a bit more habitually, I have taken this to bed and have also gotten out into the garden to enjoy a bit of a read. This is also a large book and taking on such a big read when you’re struggling with being in the mood for it is a challenge. That said, I’ve thrown myself back into it and I’m really looking forward to reading more of this in April!

I have been a bit better than usual on the audiobook front, as I have listened to The Toll by Neal Shusterman this month. Normally my audiobook progress is a lot slower than reading, however spending increased periods of time at home, I am able to play audiobooks on various devices I have around the house. Listening to them whilst I’m doing other jobs is very accessible. It’s also a good alternative I find to watching television if I am working on some craft – it means I can focus on my project and not the TV.

Once I finished listening to The Toll I must admit I felt a bit bereft that night. It was such a good audiobook and series and I had no idea what I could follow up with that would be just as good. I ultimately decided to listen to A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. Not only are these books firm favourites, I also haven’t actually listened to them yet. I read them in every other format so far so why not complete the set? I listened to about 20% of the audiobook throughout the course of March and I will definitely be continuing this through into the next month.

 

Blog Posts

In the second half of March I feel like I have done better and certainly enjoyed blogging more. Without going into specifics I was having some technical issues with the laptop I’ve logged on and I’ve ultimately decided to change the way I block. That has been working out for me very well and I say they’re probably has been a slight increase in the number of posts I’ve been sharing. I’ve certainly been enjoying doing it more, if nothing else. In case you missed any of my posts over the course of the month, you can find a list of what I’ve shared below: –

 

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s wrap-up post! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will have plenty of news to share with you in next month’s wrap up post. However, until then, I hope to see you around on the blog.

What books did you read in March?

 

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Sunday Summary – 4th April 2021

Unlike last week’s Sunday Summary update post, today’s is being posted on time! I hope you have all had a good week and an enjoyable Easter weekend?

I’ve certainly been making the most of the weekend by catching up with some jobs that for various reasons I’ve been putting off. Our local amenity site has been shut due to the current coronavirus lockdown, however, they reopened earlier this week (with restrictions). It meant that I could get out and get the first grass cut done and tidy up my garden.

I also decided to move around some furniture to make way for some new flatpack I bought for the spare room. It probably doesn’t sound too bad when I phrase it that way. I’ll spare you the details of my hour and a bit struggle, but after doing both of these physical jobs I’m certainly feeling it now!

That’s not to say that my week has been all hard work though. I have spent more time recently out in the garden enjoying some sunshine – and getting more reading done than I have done in previous weeks. I spent about four hours out in the garden yesterday in all, but the last hour and twenty minutes or so was spent sat on the decking with a cup of coffee and my current read. Now that finer weather is coming (hopefully more long-term), I’m looking forward to being able to make the most of my outdoor space a bit more this year.

In terms of blogging, I have shared a couple of posts with you this week. My first post of the week was a really fun one to write! Whilst the topic proved a little more difficult than I expected, I still managed to come up with ten places in books I would love to live. Granted, some of them have the caveat that I wouldn’t like to live there at the time of the events of the book. But still, I have some great featured locations on that list! If you haven’t checked out that post already there is a link above so you can do so.

My second post of the week was a First Lines Friday regular feature post. This week’s feature is a little unusual in that I have chosen it from a genre that I don’t read very often at all. However, I have read the book on a couple of occasions previously and I love the humour. I think a lot of working women can relate to our main character and the scenario in the opening lines may be one you are familiar with in some sense.

 

Books Read

If my progress update on Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin on Goodreads was accurate before I picked it up again, then I have read around 200 pages of this book this week. I haven’t picked it up for several weeks now; it’s huge… and partway through reading this I decided I needed a smaller book to pick up. However, I’m back from my break and it is safe to say that I have thrown myself back in. Fortunately (or sadly, depending on your opinion) I have a reasonable knowledge of the history of the realm from the main series. So, getting back into the tale didn’t take long and I was able to pick up where I left off quite easily.

I’ve enjoyed getting back into George R. R. Martin’s writing style and the detailed narrative. I’m planning on seeing Fire and Blood through to the finish now with no more breaks. I seem to have got my mojo back a bit more with reading and I would like to make a good amount of progress again next week. I don’t want to jinx it, but as long as I pick it up at least a couple of evenings I’ll be happy!

 

Books Discovered

I am glad to say there is nothing to add here this week. I think the world and his brother knows at this point that I have more books on my to be read pile than I know what to do with. Whilst I’m sure that I will never get this list down to 0, like ever, that doesn’t mean I can’t try and attempt to control it.

Who am I kidding?

 

Coming Up…

I have another book review lined up for you for this week and it’s from one of my favourite authors. Those of you who follow my blog may remember that I went through a phase of reading the ‘second series’ of the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson last year. I love them and to date, I have reviewed The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self. I plan to complete my reviews and share my thoughts on the third book, The Bands of Mourning, this week. If you are as much of a fan of Brandon Sanderson as I am then I hope you can check out my thoughts – and let me know what you think of the book as well!

Later in the week, it is the turn of my Shelf Control feature post. This coming week‘s featured novel is a science fiction young adult book – one whose plot is based around class division in an unequal society. I added the book to my list a few years ago now and having just read a sample, I am looking forward to sharing the details with you! I hope you can join me for that post on Friday.

As always, I’ll be rounding up the week with another Sunday Summary post.

 

For now, that’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Easter weekend, have a good week in general and I look forward to seeing you around soon!

 

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First Lines Friday – 02/04/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s first First Lines Friday post!

I’m back to posting my First Lines Friday feature on a regular basis and I am thrilled to be sharing today’s featured book with you. It will probably surprise you that this is something I have read and enjoyed previously, as it doesn’t fall into my typical genre choice. I’m not a big reader of chick-lit, however this book is absolutely hilarious and I loved it! I first picked this up as a young teenager from my school library. Although I didn’t finish it all before I handed it back, it stuck with me enough to make me get myself a copy and read it again later. I hope you enjoy today’s opening lines as much as I did!

Do you recognise this introduction, or more likely, can you relate to it?

 

1:37 am: How did I get here? Can someone please tell me that? Not in this kitchen, I mean in this life. It is the morning of the school carol concert and I am hitting mince pies. No, let us be quite clear about this, I am distressing mince pies, an altogether more demanding and subtle process.

Discarding the Sainsbury luxury packaging, I winkle the pies out of their foil cups, place them on a chopping board and bring down a rolling pin on their blameless, floury faces. This is not as easy as it sounds, believe me. Hit the pies too hard and they drop a kind of fat-lady curtsy, skirts of pastry bulging out at the sides and the fruit starts to ooze. But with a firm, downward motion – imagine enough pressure to crush a small beetle – you can start a crumbly little landslide, giving the pastry pleasing home-made appearance. And home-made is what I’m after here. Home is where the heart is. Home is where the good mother is, baking for her children.

I Don’t Know How She Does It – Allison Pearson 

I Don’t Know How She Does It – Goodreads

Delightfully smart and heartbreakingly poignant, Allison Pearson’s smash debut novel has exploded onto bestseller lists as “The national anthem for working mothers.” Hedge-fund manager, wife, and mother of two, Kate Reddy manages to juggle nine currencies in five time zones and keep in step with the Teletubbies. But when she finds herself awake at 1:37 a.m. in a panic over the need to produce a homemade pie for her daughter’s school, she has to admit her life has become unrecognizable. With panache, wisdom, and uproarious wit, I Don’t Know How She Does It brilliantly dramatizes the dilemma of every working mom.

 

My Thoughts…

Having read I Don’t Know How She Does It, I can only look to role models like my mum and marvel at how they managed so well. Now that I’m a twenty-something-year-old woman I would like to say that I’m a bit less of a burden on my parents… Although perhaps not. I’m not going to ask! The prospect of having to spend so much time and energy keeping my head above water as a working mum is daunting. However, it is something I would like to do one day if I can. I think children are a reward in themselves – even if they can be trying at times (sorry mum)!

I don’t think I could not go to work, at least not for any length of time. But still, it’s a lot to manage and if anyone ever needs convincing of that I honestly stress you need to pick up this book. Kate Reddy deals with all these trials and tribulations on a daily basis. Her sense of humour is absolutely fantastic and it is because of the humour that I love this book! As I said, chick-lit isn’t normally something I would pick up and read. However, I’m glad that I made the exception for this one!

I hope you enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday feature! Have you read I Don’t Know How She Does It? If not, does this intro entice you to give it a go? Let me know in the comments!

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