Monday, 6 July 2020

Review: Here and Now by Santa Montefiore

Faced with losing everything, all that matters is Here and Now . . .

Marigold has spent her life taking care of those around her, juggling family life with the running of the local shop, and being an all-round leader in her quiet yet welcoming community. When she finds herself forgetting things, everyone quickly puts it down to her age. But something about Marigold isn’t quite right, and it’s becoming harder for people to ignore.

As Marigold’s condition worsens, for the first time in their lives her family must find ways to care for the woman who has always cared for them. Desperate to show their support, the local community come together to celebrate Marigold, and to show her that losing your memories doesn’t matter, when there are people who will remember them for you . . .

Review: I think this was the first Santa Montefiore novel that I've read that wasn't a historical. This was a contemporary novel and I was completely absorbed by it and completely swept away with this family of characters. 

This novel deals with some tough subjects but at the heart of it all is family and the love that a family has and it was an absolute pleasure to read. I loved meeting Marigold. She really has spent her life doing everything for others and always putting other first and she tries to keep doing that throughout this novel but there are objects in her way and it is her family who step up and try and move those objects aside. Her family and the whole community. 

This book really does show you what a community can do when it pulls together and is so apt to be reading about this during this time of 2020. I really loved getting to meet those community members and they are so well-described and so developed by this author that I could sit down and tell you all about them as if they were people I had actually met. 

I also feel this way about the other members of Marigold's family. Dennis just has a heart fo gold and you can tell he is absolutely besotted by his wife. I enjoyed meeting Daisy and Suze. I wasn't sure about them to begin with but their lives are very real and very like my own and I totally warmed to them and lived this whole story line through their eyes. Then we have Nan who is definitely hard to like but when you get down to the roots of her ways, you can see that she does have her daughter's best interests at heart. 

There is a smidgen of romance in this book which I loved but really the heart of this novel is the love of a family and how we can support each other in ways we never knew possible. This book did make me cry so read with tissues to hand but I would read this all again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Guest Review: England’s World Cup The Full Story of the 2019 Tournament Edited by Richard Whitehead

The Cricket World Cup in 2019 was the first to be held in England for 20 years and expectations were high. It did not disappoint. Over six weeks and 48 matches it showcased the best that the one-day game has to offer, with compelling individual performances and spellbinding matches – all culminating in England’s unforgettable victory over New Zealand in the final. The Times England’s World Cup gives you a chance to relive the drama as it happened with the best of cricket writers.

Review: This is the story of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, held in England and Wales, told through a series of articles published in “The Times” newspaper and compiled and edited by Richard Whitehead. England went into the tournament as favourites to win, despite never having won before and not having appeared in the final for 27 years. The tournament was being held on home soil and England were at the top of the world rankings in the 50-over game. Held over seven weeks from the end of May until the middle of July, ten teams from five different continents took part. Initially, the teams played each other in a league format, at the end of which, the top four teams went through to the semi-finals with the winners playing in the final at Lord’s.

Despite some of the group matches being disrupted by the weather, the initial stages of the tournament produced some exciting games and a few stand-out moments. England started the tournament well but then stuttered, losing three of their group games. This meant they had to win their last two group matches to be certain of qualifying for the semi-finals. This, they accomplished, finishing third in the league table. In the semi-final, they overcame Australia to take them through to the final against New Zealand. This final has been described as the greatest game of cricket in history. After both sides had batted their allotment of 50 overs, the scores were level. This meant that, for the first time in the history of the World Cup, the match would be decided by a Super Over. Two batsmen from each team would face one over, and the team scoring the most runs in that over would win. England posted 15 runs in their allotted over. New Zealand started well, but needed two runs off the final ball to win. They ran a single but their batsman was run out a few feet short of his ground when going for the second run. This meant that, once again, the scores were level, but according to the rules of the tournament, whichever team had hit the most boundaries during their innings would be declared the winner. England had hit 26 boundaries compared to New Zealand’s 17, so England won the World Cup for the first time.

The book gives a report of all 48 matches with a summary of the scores and some statistical information. Interspersed with these results are profiles of some of the England players, and there is a more comprehensive statistical section at the end of the book. A number of black and white photographs are included, although many of these are of poor quality since they are reproduced from newspaper reports. However, there are a number of very good quality colour photographs in the middle of the book. One disappointment I had was that the report of the one game that I attended was dominated by the fact that it was the West Indies player Chris Gayle’s last appearance in a World Cup, and probably his last appearance in an international match in England, with very little detail of the match itself. To both team’s credit, and despite the game being a dead rubber, they played out an exciting match right up to the very last ball, which resulted in a spectacular, diving, one-handed catch. However, this is a minor criticism and this comprehensive record of England’s historic World Cup victory will appeal to all cricket aficionados.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Friday, 3 July 2020

July TBR: New Release Recommendations & Library Bingo PLUS Enchanted Fandoms Picks My TBR??


Review: The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

It all happens so quickly. One day you're living the dream, commuting to work by riverbus with your charismatic neighbour Kit in the seat beside you. The next, Kit hasn't turned up for the boat and his wife Melia has reported him missing.

When you get off at your stop, the police are waiting. Another passenger saw you and Kit arguing on the boat home the night before and the police say that you had a reason to want him dead. You protest. You and Kit are friends - ask Melia, she'll vouch for you. And who exactly is this other passenger pointing the finger? What do they know about your lives?

No, whatever danger followed you home last night, you are innocent, totally innocent.

Review: Wow this book had so many twists and turns and revelations I felt like I was on a rollercoaster. And you never see any of them coming! I love Louise Candlish's writing and this book just solidified my love for it. I've been reading other, newer writers, and they just can't compete. Every single revelation is so intricately oven within the characters and within the plot that you really do gasp in surprise and what you thought you knew is thrown out the window at the end of every single chapter-so great!

Even main character Jamie is a massive conundrum who you never really get to the bottom of. I started off the book thinking they were one person and then the character development that takes place over the course of the novel is just extra ordinary. Jamie was intriguing but definitely someone you could meet in every day life, perhaps on your commute! The other 'Water Rats' the other passengers who commute with Jamie are also very true to life. I could picture them and their commute chatting, taking in the scenery. I also really liked the two main females in this book. They felt very like calculating villains in a movie and so they really came to life on the page for me. 

This whole setting is so familiar, I've taken the river bus in London, I've commuted on a ferry in a couple of big cities and it is a really great way to travel, but what do we really know about the other people on that boat? Such a great premise for a book and because of this stellar writing, we get to experience it all as the plot progresses. 

I also really loved the structure of this one. The present day plot takes place in those weird days between Christmas and New Year, an excellent time to set a book with as many twists as this because everything is already upside down. And then we jump back in time to the start of 2019 and gradually flash back and forward until the two points meet. This gives the book its intense feeling and that urgent need to keep turning the pages. We also have some bonus time after the new year and that is just inspired. I loved it. 

Whether this is your first Louise Candlish novel or you are already a hardcore fan, you're going to love The Other Passenger. And sorry, not sorry that once you pick it up you won't be able to put it down again!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday, 2 July 2020

June Reading Wrap Up 2020

I took a week 'off' in June. I watched a lot of TV and went on some lovely walks with my husband. I know reading isn't work but I scheduled everything for the week and took the pressure off but that did take it's toll on my TBR for the month...

Is anyone else struggling with reading still? I thought by now my zest for reading actual books and ebooks would have returned by now but I really am falling back on audiobooks. I can loose myself in my audiobooks whereas I find myself getting distracted when trying to read more than a few pages of a paperback or ebook. 

As always I have broken down my reading into ebooks and audiobooks, I didn't read any physical books this month in the end. I have also linked any reviews I have already posted. 


My Review


This Month's Videos

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

July 2020 TBR

There are so many books out this July, I have a lot of them on ebook thanks to Netgalley or else I have pre-ordered them, or both! So this month will really be focused on getting through those Netgalley reads. I also have some buddy reads I want to get to this month so that should be fun!

And finally I have some more book to TV adaptations and a couple of other books I have committed to reading. Anything else on top of this list will be a bonus! 

What are you hoping to read this month?

July Releases

Buddy Reads

Book to TV Adaptations

Other Books I want to Read