Monday, 30 May 2016

Book Review: Tenacity by J.S. Law!

I took Tenacity by J.S. Law* to Milan since I love a murder mystery when I travel and I'd had it for a while. In fact, I was sent it to review last year, picked it up over the Summer but couldn't get into it and put it down. What a dummy. I should have kept reading because after a slow start, this book blew my mind

Tenacity by J.S. Law!


Two hundred metres below the surface, 
she will have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

A sailor hangs himself on board a naval submarine. Although ruled a suicide Lieutenant Danielle Lewis, the Navy's finest Special Branch investigator, knows the sailor's wife was found brutally murdered only days before. 

Now Dan must enter the cramped confines of HMS Tenacity to interrogate the tight-knit, male crew and determine if there's a link. 
Standing alone in the face of extreme hostility and with a possible killer on board, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival.

The pressure is rising and Dan's time is running out...

Tenacity falls into the trap most debut novels do; a tendency to tell, rather than show, a lot of extra unnecessary detail about radiators and a character talking to herself in a pretty unnatural way. But it's a debut novel, so I can let it slide. Because what it does right, is much more impressive...

Firstly, J.S. Law is a navy man and that means super accurate navy stuff. There's only so far research can get a writer when it comes to the way those kinds of operations run, but first-hand experience shines through in narrative. Never fear though, because since the main character isn't familiar with submarines, as the reader, things are explained well. I could feel the claustrophobia of the submarine, hear the rattle of boots on metal floors, sense the chill of the ship. It was really unnerving and completely what you want in this type of book.

He also writes a female main character fantastically. She's not perfect, she's not weak or 'strong', she's not a Mary Sue. Dan is undeniably real and that's one of the biggest compliments I can give a male writer. Where so many fall down, J.S. Law stands tall.

And the LGBT+ representation; it existed. In a military setting. And the fact that the military is awful about people who are gay is addressed. The relationship isn't idealised because they're gay, their sexuality isn't the whole of their personality, and there's definitely some internalised homophobia that I felt was addressed really well. J.S. Law wrote a relationship that was real, troubled, and not a cliché.

At some point I should mention the plot, huh? It's a murder investigation story; wife gets murdered, husband kills himself, investigate. But there's layers and layers beyond that. The rare flashbacks are done really well and add to the story. The speed of the narrative slowed down, sped up, and just kept me reading late into the night until I finished. I had no idea who did it and the conclusion led onto what I'm sure will be a fascinating series.

I also loved the Open University mention. OU represent! 

If NCIS is your jam, this book is a must-buy. If you like accurate fiction, the navy, female leads or murder mysteries, I highly recommend it. You can buy it here and the sequel cannot come soon enough for me! 

He was loud and had a personality that barely fitted through the main dockyard gate.

Will you be picking up Tenacity?

Monday, 23 May 2016

Books I Want to Buy and Why #11

I'm starting to run out of books on my wishlist for this series! Quick! Recommend me some books! It's time for Books I Want to Buy and Why #11, the series where I show you eight books I want to buy, and tell you why I want to buy them.



This weeks eight are...



The Nameless One by Chris Riddell & Paul Stewart
Last week I talked about the authors who make up the majority of my collection and Chris Riddell & Paul Stewart made the list with their Muddle Earth books and The Edge Chronicles. I've been wanting to re-read and actually finish this series for a while now because I never completed it as a kid, and I have some gaps in the series. This fills one of them!

Highway to Hell by Max Brallier
A couple of years ago my christmas present from my brother was themed around zombies, there was a Rick Grimes action figure and Max Bralliers first book; Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? It's an interactive book where you make choices and see where it gets you. I love it. So, obviously, when I found out a companion book was coming out- you bet it joined the list.

The Twelfth Card by Jeffery Deaver
Another book that was added when I was organising my most owned authors post, I want to read the Lincoln Rhyme series in it's entirety and to do that- kinda need the sixth book that I either never had or has been lost to the book stealing storage unit. I'll probably wait until I actually start my read of the series to buy it though.

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
This is the second book in Charlaine Harris's new trilogy, the first book actually featured in Books I Want to Buy and Why #6 and then I got it for Christmas. But I've been holding of reading it because I'm not great at waiting for new books so I'm waiting closer to the release of book three, Night Shift, which isn't out in paperback until next year although the hardcover is out already I think. Damn my need for series to match. Either way, I want Day Shift.



Murder Is Binding by Lorna Barrett
This is the first book in a cosy crime series set on a street of book stores! The main character sets up her own mystery book store, she's living the dream. Except for all the murder. I love reading about reading, it's one of the reasons I'm in the book blogging community, and I love cosy crime so this is right up my alley.

Glaze by Kim Curran
This is a YA Dystopian book surrounding social media. And I had been watching a lot of Black Mirror when I found it so I added it to my wishlist and kind of forgot about it until I made this list! It still really peaks my interest though. We're at a time where social media is evolving so fast. I remember thinking Instagram would never take off. It promises to be an interesting read and it's been a while since I read any YA.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
As a kid, I read a book that had the main character talking to someone about this book. I can't remember what the book was, but I always remembered that conversation. I don't know much else about it, but I've never read anything by Hardy before and c'mon- the Penguin English Library cover.

Killer Instinct by S E Green
A couple weeks back I was browsing Sarah's blog after meeting her down in London at the Pierce Brown event at Hachette, and came across her review for Killer Instinct. It is one of my goals to write a review where the person immediately needs a book, because Sarah nailed it. I was on Amazon in a second and adding it to the list!

What's on your wish list? Have you read any of these books?

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Book Review: HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt!

I don't think I've been excited like this about a new release in a while. A stand alone debut horror novel? Sign me up. And then when it arrived, praise from John Connolly and Sarah Lotz on the press release! And we know I love them both. It sat on my bedside table for two days while I struggled through some other books then I couldn't wait anymore and picked it up.



Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she's there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.


For me, I didn't find HEX* as spooky as I was expecting. Yes, a witch with her eyes and mouth sewed up is pretty creepy. And living in a town with no access to Twitter would be horrifying. But there's a couple uses of autism and mental disabilities as the butt of the joke in the narrative, which is scarier to me than any witch. It's something I'm picking up a lot these days and it really disappoints me. There's also a lot of- I'm honestly not sure of the term- sexual violence? There's a pattern of every time a woman in the book was attacked, witch or not, there was a lot of groping. 

On the other hand, I can't deny the creepy vibes I got sometimes. It was like a mild throwback to how I felt two years ago when I read The Three for the first time. I read through the first two thirds in two days. And it's interesting that the last third was added on when it was translated because I felt that the whole thing slowed down and ran a bit off course at that point. I think reading a translation of the original Dutch book would be a completely different experience.

I'm a fan of any book that uses True Blood as part of a valid argument; "Seriously, in True Blood the vampires came out of the closet." And the family relationship was super interesting. This book actually looks at the parent who does favour one kid over the other, no matter what they say. Something I've always worried about for when I have future children. The brutal honesty of how people act, how they are deep down, is something that this book excels at. If that's your jam, this will keep you up through the night.

And lastly, the technology aspect of it was great. If anyone has seen the original Scream films, and then the modern show where technology like Twitter and YouTube is so key to the narrative, this book felt like the new version of so many great horror books from the nineties. Videos, websites, instant messaging, so much of that is key to our world and seeing it in a novel makes it feel real.

Warner Brothers is adapting the book for TV and that, I cannot wait for. I think it's going to be interesting to see this world on-screen. Especially if they go with the same vibes that they work with in Supernatural and Person of Interest.

Want to pick up a copy? The hardcover is available now! And the paperback is coming out in October!

Suddenly he was furious at every ounce of common sense that was trying to reason him out of his intention.

Will you be reading this book? What do you think of modern technology in novels?

*I was sent this book for review. It hasn't changed my opinion

Monday, 16 May 2016

My Most Owned Authors!

I moved all of my books from my bedroom because of my redecorating. It took- a lot of time but certain patterns emerged as certain authors made taller piles than others. So before I moved them all back, I thought I'd count them all up, take pictures, almost break bones tripping while carrying them around, and show you who my most owned authors are!



From least to most...

Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart - 12 books


5. Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart - 12 Books
The Edge Chronicles were my favourite books as a tween. I loved the world and the way the different trilogies all worked together. But I never finished them despite buying the last book over a year ago. I'm missing a couple, and have doubles of others, so at some point I'm going to buy the rest and marathon the series. Maybe this autumn!

Anthony Horowitz - 15 Books


3. Anthony Horowitz - 15 Books
Another author I loved as a tween. A lot of my books are actually hand-me-downs from my older brother and I grew up loving Alex Rider with all his gadgets, and the Diamond Brothers. But, again, I never finished either series so I don't know how it ends up for the characters. Anthony Horowitz is a great author though so I might try and finish these two series. Especially with the complete Alex Rider collection on The Book People for £12.99! On the other hand, the Power of Five series might be vacating the premises soon.

Stephen King - 22 books


3. Stephen King - 22 Books
Whelp. I'm starting to realise that 'most owned' doesn't always translate on my read shelf. I do love Stephen King, despite only reading two of his books in the past two years and 'pausing' another. He's my go-to for horror, I just haven't been feeling horror lately. This will probably change soon though because my soulmatepal is currently reading The Shining and keeps trying to get me to start it.

Charlaine Harris - 27 books


2. Charlaine Harris - 27 Books
Is anyone surprised? I'm not. Off this entire list, Charlaine Harris is also my most read author at 21 books. I've completed her Aurora Teagarden series, her Sookie Stackhouse series and I started her Harper Connolly series last month. Out of all of these, she is probably the author where I plan to read all of her books eventually. I love her worlds. I love her characters. I love her writing.

Jeffery Deaver - 28+ Books


1. Jeffery Deaver - 28+ Books
I had all my Deaver books in one pile while I painted but they kept falling down until they were in two piles, not including those on my read shelf. I definitely own more than 28 actually because there are gaps in my Lincoln Rhyme collection (like book 2 which is why I haven't re-started it yet) and I know I own them! They're lost to the house. I read the Kathryn Dance books in December and January and he's such a great crime author. Well deserving to be #1 and a lovely guy.

Who are your most owned authors?

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Beauty Review: Lush's Sunflower Bubble Bar!

This bubble bar is huge! It's about the size of my hand stretched out. Today's post is another review of the Lush Oxford Street exclusives I hauled here. I'm really liking beauty posts and reviews again so it'll hopefully become a regular thing on Sundays. Anyway, the Sunflower bubble bar...


I didn't even know Lush made the black paper bags this big until I got this. It's twice the size of the regular ones.



Since this bubble bar is so big, and flat which is super convenient for dividing it up, I got three baths out of it. I might've been able to get four but I liked the scent way too much to risk a lame bath from not putting enough in. It's really orange-y, citrus-y and basically what you'd expect from a bright orange bubble bar. Unfortunately it just doesn't come out in the bath. You can't smell it at all.

The bath was fine; yellow, bubbles, but I buy Lush for the scents and this let me down. Brightside is a bubble bar I've tried before with the same scent but actually works if this appeals.

Sunflower is a Lush Oxford Street Exclusive but it might pop up in the Kitchen sometime and it's £4.95!

Have you ever tried the Sunflower? Did you get scent from it?

Friday, 13 May 2016

Getting Back into Audiobooks!

I've never been a huge audiobook person. I loved the Stephen Fry Harry Potter ones as a kid and would listen to them on repeat, but audiobooks never fitted into my life the way they do with others. On the other hand, lately I've been making more of an effort to listen to them so I can 'read' while cleaning, travelling, and basically any time when I want a story but can't physically look at a book. Here's a couple of ways I've been getting back into audiobooks...



Audible
First thing I did was log onto my mothers Audible account because she's an audiobook fiend, and thus began my journey listening to the twenty hours of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I love the app and the way it's set out. You can bookmark, which has become my audiobook equivalent of a sticky note. You can speed it up or slow it down depending on your preference. There's skip 30 seconds either way in case you miss something. And a sleep timer which is necessary for me as I've started listening before I go to sleep.

Podcasts
Technically not audiobooks, although you can find readings of classic books in the podcast section. I've been loving fictional world podcasts lately- and will be posting about them soon. But the episode style is great for those with a set commute time, as they tend to run 20-30 minutes and won't have you sat in your car waiting for the chapter to end!

Playster
Playster has been a kind sponsor of Imogen's Typewriter for a while now so I've kept up with how the company has progressed since my first review! Recently they've added audiobooks from MacMillan, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins and a bunch of others. For the UK it is just on the website, they don't have an app for us yet, but the range is good and they have the Lord of the Rings. That might actually make me read something from my 'Eventually TBR. You can keep up to date on their Facebook page and fingers crossed for a UK app soon.

Reading along with a book
Sometimes there are books that just don't want to be read alone. They're classics. They're philosophical. They're autobiographical with audiobooks read by the author. That's when I like to read along with the book in front of me. It also slows me down, which can actually be good when it comes to dense reading. Some books can't be sped through!

Re-reads
We know I'm not a re-reader. I didn't even really rate Harry Potter when I re-read it in book form. It doesn't keep my attention  like a first read. But I can listen to the Harry Potter audiobook from now until the end of time! There's a beauty in a great audiobook that surpasses the usual boredom I get from re-reading. Next time I want to re-read, I'm plugging in my headphones rather than picking up the book.

Are you an audiobook fan? What's your favourite?

*This post was sponsored by Playster!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

NutriCentre Closing Down Sale Haul!

Just under two years ago I posted up a health food store haul and I was a little unsure how I felt about posting food-type posts on my blog. I'm still unsure, but I love when Lauren posts about vegetarian food, and my local health food store is closing down- bummer! I'm sad to see the end of NutriCentre as its been a part of my health kick for years, but 75% off. So I stocked up and thought I'd show what I bought. First things first...



I stocked up on my favourite protein, Spiru-tein. It's a bit of a myth that vegetarians don't get enough protein but while tracking my macros I did notice I was a bit low some days. A quick shake balances everything out and they taste so good. It's basically like having a milkshake.



I also thought I'd try out some new things while I was there. The Amazing Meal's are packed full of protein and super greens and taste pretty nice. I'm not a cook so this is a nice alternative for when I need a light lunch but can't be bothered.

And anyone who knows me, knows I'm a chocoholic so Cacao protein is always a must-buy. I can't wait to try it out, and if I'm not a fan of the taste I'll just mix it with some Spiru-tein.



Super Greens! For months my personal trainer has been raving about super greens, how good they are for you and how they really boost up how you feel. So when I saw them on the shelf I knew I needed to pick some up. She was super excited that I finally got some and they do actually have an effect, even if they do taste pretty grassy.

I take a lot of vitamins already and I won't show all the boring stuff I picked up but these Higher Nature Multi-Vit shots are like un-popping Pop Rocks that taste like Coca-Cola. It's weird. But pretty neat.



Snacks! I'm a sucker for a sweet treat and these sugar free options had me interested. Mainly because I've been re-watching the show Rita and they have an episode where some parents are trying to ban sugar at the school because it's more addictive then heroin. Questionable logic as it's much less dangerous but TV influences most of my choices.

I picked up a few Bounce bars to keep handy in the car/ my handbag when I get snacky on the go. I think I'll try and find a way to make my own though.

The little cacao bars were okay, but not my favourite. I just can't find myself to like dark chocolate unless it's Bournville and even then. I'm a Dairy Milk girl.

And a massive tub of almond butter for smoothies, on toast, and in baking!

And the beauty selection. Dr Bronner's Magic Soap is the best thing to wash make up brushes with and I like the scent of green tea! I'm not a huge fan of the scripture on the bottle but I can live with it.

I've tried out Weleda products before and liked them so when I saw a bunch left, I picked a few things up! The Arnica Massage Oil is self-heating and perfect for sore muscles. Skin Food has been talked about loads on blogs so I wanted to try it out. And this Iris hydrating masque, found literally 20 minutes after complaining about the lack of moisturising face masks. I knew it was meant to me.



And finally, oils. Tisserand is my go to for oils but the only thing they had left was this detox body massage oil. Luckily, I love a massage oil for after a tough gym session to get out some knots.

When looking online for the best oils for dry skin, Avocado oil gets mentioned a lot. So why not give it a try? (My motto for this entire shopping trip)

And lastly, Jojoba oil. I spoke about oil cleansing a while back and find of fell off the band wagon. Sweet Almond oil just wasn't giving me the results I wanted, so I went back to shop bought cleansers and my skin is now average at best. But when I saw jojoba oil I remembered how great it was. Jojoba is the closest oil to your skins natural oils! So I bought some and I'm going to start oil cleansing again. I'm also going to give a bottle to a couple pals who I think will enjoy it.

What do you think of my buys? Have you said goodbye to your local Nutri-Centre?

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Books I Read in.. April!

April was a little bit of a strange reading month. I'm still working my way through the American Gods by Neil Gaiman audiobook and I feel like I didn't read a lot, but then four books isn't actually a bad number! And half deserved full reviews so this is going to be short...



Tenacity by J.S. Law*
Full review here!


HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt*
Full review here!


The Harper Connolly Omnibus by Charlaine Harris**:
Grave Sight
There's something so soothing about a Charlaine Harris book normally, but the Harper Connolly series is very close to the edge on that. It doesn't have the same feel that the Aurora and Sookie books had, maybe because the protagonist is on the road. Hotels don't have the same feeling of security and community Harris does so well.
However, I did really like it. I'm normally pretty good at guessing whodunit but in this case- straight up didn't know who did it. Harris really kept me on my toes. There were inklings but I think I came to the conclusion at the same time Harper did in the narrative.
Speaking of Harper, definitely an interesting protagonist. Getting struck by lightening and being able to sense dead bodies and see how they died. Spooky.


Grave Surprise
This one was slightly more obvious. Despite all the twists and turns, I had a pretty solid idea of who the murderer was early on and I was right. And the characters were just so hateful. Even Harper got on my nerves in this one.
There was an LGBT+ character as well which is still something quite rare in the novels I've been reading lately that I give a little cheer when one is included. Even if it's a minor character.
Another little aspect I loved was how Harris talks honestly, through Harper, about religion in the Bible Belt of America. I have friends who live in the belt and it's always been a point of interest for me. Give me more of this in novels please.

What did you read last month?

Friday, 6 May 2016

Books I Took to Milan!

It was a little bit of an impromptu trip to Milan but I had some great guest bloggers, Lauren and Siobhan, which was exciting. And now I'm back I thought I'd show you the books I took. I've done posts like this before and I'm actually pretty proud that I didn't overpack (that much), and took a lot of review copies for the coming months. Unfortunately, I had a bunch of work to do while I was away so I didn't get much reading done. Either way, my choices for this trip were...



Penguin Little Black Classic No. 5 - Aphorisms on Love and Hate by Friedrich Nietzsche
I've been working through this little book for weeks now. I can't really make up my mind on what I think of his ideas and philosophy isn't something you can rush through. I read a couple pages while I was away but not much.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This has to both Germany and Florence with me. Now Milan and I have still not read it.

Kitty Raises Hell, Kitty's House of Horrors and Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn
I've been trying to dive back into this series for a while now; I took these to Northumberland last year with the same theory that if I was away and wasn't as distracted that I might finally get to them. I picked up the first one but put it down, other books were calling to me.

This Must Be The Place by Maggie O'Farrell*
This is from my Spring TBR and I've had it for a while. Since it's being published in May, I wanted to see if I liked it in time for it's release. I didn't get around to it but it's on my immediate TBR.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye*
This is another review copy I packed. It's a gothic, serial killer retelling of Jane Eyre, which I tried to read last month and just couldn't get into.

Tenacity by J.S. Law*
I always like to have a murder mystery with me when I go away. Normally I take a Jeffery Deaver but I kind of wanted to give Tenacity by J.S. Law another shot. I'm glad I did, it was the first book I started on the plane and I loved it. Full review coming soon but seriously, couldn't put it down.

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
There was a significant lack of YA in my suitcase so I shoved These Shallow Graves in at the last minute. I needn't have bothered because I didn't get to it but I have no self control when packing books!

Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir* 
This is another from my Spring TBR, after I wrote that post I couldn't get this book out of my head but it's quite hefty and I wanted to properly delve into it. Milan really wasn't my kind of place so after finishing my assignment, I delved into the next subject for my semester: Tradition and Dissent in English Christianity. Then I picked up this in my down time since Katherine was so key to that time period. And it's great so far!

Have you read any of these books? Do you overpack when going away?

Monday, 2 May 2016

Guest Post: A Reading Challenge with a Difference!

Hello friends! My name is Siobhan and I write a lifestyle blog over at That’s What She Writes. I write about everything from food, travel and book reviews, to life and blogging advice. I’ve known Imogen for a few years now after meeting her at a few events and following each other’s blogs since, so when Imogen asked me to write a guest post for her of course I said yes!

Guest Post: A Reading Challenge with a Difference!


As my love for reading has been well and truly ignited this year, I thought today I would share with you my reading challenge for 2016.  This isn’t your usual ‘I plan on reading 100 books in 2016’ kind of challenge though.  Mine is based on the types of books I want to read.  You’ll see what I mean as we get into it…

I’ve really gotten into the idea of self-help books this year and have picked up a few for myself.  I’ll be totally honest and admit that I’m an incredibly materialistic person, and I absolutely hate that aspect about me.  I don’t want to spend my life lusting of things, because there’s always something else that comes along that you don’t have and convince yourself you need.  Instead I want to spend my life smiling at the happy memories and moments I have made instead.  It’s something I’m working on, but it’s tough, which is why I think this book will really help.  Gerad Kite believes we are making ourselves ill with our material lifestyles.  He believes we are unhappier than we have ever been, and this is because we have lost the ability to tap into our inner selves.  With this book, Gerad Kite intends to help us view things from a different perspective, and to help us see that everything we need to be happy we already have inside of us.

A Book That Was Made Into a Film \\ Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Unlike a lot of people, I really don’t mind reading a book after I’ve seen the film.  The way I see it is that the book is always so much better than the film, so I’m not going to be left disappointed!  I went to see Warm Bodies a few years ago when it first came out at the cinema.  I knew nothing about it apart from the fact that the main guy was the kid from About a Boy.  I left the cinema pleasantly surprised at how good it was, and immediately went and bought the book.  It’s since been sat on my TBR pile untouched, yet every time I see it I think ‘I really should read that’.  This year I’m actually going to stand by my word and do that.
Warm Bodies focuses around ‘R’, a zombie who is a little different from his fellow dead.  He has no pulse or memories just like the other zombies, but he does have a dream.  One day he meets Julie, one of the living who brings light and colour into his grey and dreary World, and instead of eating her, he decides to save her.  From there a strange yet tender relationship between the two unfolds.

A J.K. Rowling Book That Isn’t Harry Potter \\ The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Anybody who knows me knows I’m a child trapped in an almost 30 year olds body.  Two of my all-time favourite things are Disney and Harry Potter, and I’ve seriously been having a Harry Potter moment since first visiting the studios last year.  To keep the magic alive I’ve been re-watching the films and re-reading the books until my next visit at the end of May.  I feel like 2016 is the year to see what J.K. Rowling’s writing style is like outside of the Wizarding World though.  I’ve had Casual Vacancy sat in my TBR pile for a while, but I’ve been a little apprehensive about reading it.  I think my love for Harry Potter is so strong that I just don’t want to be let down by her other work, but I’m just going to bite the bullet and go for it, and hopefully be left happy!
Casual Vacancy is about the people of a small town called Pagford.  When one of the residents of the town, Barry Fairbrother dies in his early fourties the town goes into shock.  With Barry’s death an empty seat is left on the Parish Council, and with that the biggest war that there has ever been in the town is created.  A war over who will be elected to fill the seat, filled with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations.

I few years back I was bought a variety of classic novels.  I’d wanted to get my nose stuck into some classics, but in all honesty I’m yet to read even one of them.  They intimidate me, and I worry that the time they were written and the style of writing will go over my head.  However, I have to keep reminding myself that they’re classics for a reason!  I recently saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at the cinema and loved it.  I knew I wanted to read the book adaption, but not without reading the original first, so I’ve promised myself that this year is the year I will read my first Jane Austen book.
The book focuses around Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.  Elizabeth has to learn to look beyond her prejudice and swallow her pride towards Mr Darcy as she slowly learns the truth about him, and as a result opens herself up to the desires of her heart.

A Book I Wouldn’t Usually Read \\ I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
This year I have made a promise to myself that I will broaden my reading horizons and pick more books in genres that I wouldn’t have usually picked in the past.  I Am Malala is certainly not something I would have picked up for myself, usually opting for fictional stories where I can escape into new Worlds for a few hours.  I had heard rave reviews about this book though, and being a sucker for an inspiring story I thought it would be worth a read. Malala Yousafzai is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize after she fought for her right to an education.  On October 9th 2012, Malala was shot at point blank range, and nobody expected her to survive.  In this book Malala Yousafzai tells her story and shares with us her journey.

There are many more books on the list; these are just my starting point.  My aim this year is to diversify my reading material.  We can learn so much from reading, both fiction and non-fictional books, and I want to read as many of them as often as I can!

Have you set yourself a reading challenge this year?  What books are on your TBR pile?

Thank you Siobhan for such an interesting post! Make sure to check out her new blog and give it a follow so you don't miss her reviews after she reads these books! <3

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