Yelly Reads

What are you reading?

I’ve been on a massive reading spree lately!  I’ve read the following:

Into The Water because, well, because Paula Hawkins!

The Girl Before, mostly because I loved the cover.  But JP Delaney is a brilliant writer.

The Secret, because again, I liked the cover.  But I already had one of Katerina Diamond’s books on my Kindle collection already but hadn’t gotten around to reading it.  After finishing The Secret, I knew I had to read The Teacher!

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay is basically the memoirs of a junior doctor.  If you didn’t appreciate the NHS and all the medical practitioners who work there, you will after reading this book!

I do love a good book.  I am particularly pleased when it’s a proper book because I enjoy turning the pages.

What are you reading at the moment?

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Yelly Reads

#readinggoals this week!

So this is my book pile.  I’m not entirely sure how long this is going to take me to finish all these books but here goes nothing!

book stackIn my to-read list (from top to bottom and not in any order of importance):

  • Our Kind Of Traitor by John Le Carré
  • Get Started On Food Writing by Kerstin Rodgers (aka @MsMarmiteLover)
  • The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (reading it for the nth time!)
  • Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
  • Get Rich Blogging by Zoe Griffin
  • Girl Friday by Jane Green
  • Voracious by Cara Nicoletti (attempting a second read without munching on anything!)

Lord knows when I’m going to finish it, but I’m going to try!

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Yelly Reads

Comfort reading

There are books that you just pick up and read and it feels like being enveloped in a soft, warm duvet.  These are my comfort books.  Over the years my comfort reading list has evolved and my current list has been my go-to list for a few years.  I had titles by Ingalls Wilder, Austen, Brontës, Keenes, and Blume in my list when I was growing up.  I think these will always be my duvet day standbys, but now that I’m (way) over the age of majority, my tastes are a bit more varied.  I find myself reaching for the following books:

The Languedoc Trilogy by Kate Mosse

LanguedocTrilogyIt’s a series of books that are set in Carcasssone, in the Languedoc region of France, near the Pyrénées.  I find myself repeatedly drawn to books that have a bit of historical fiction in them and these definitely hit the spot!  They are an excellent read.  I started with, of course, the first book of the trilogy, Labyrinth.  Once I’d read this, I knew I had to get the other books to read.  So I moved on to read Sepulchre and Citadel.  It’s not difficult reading, even with the history and the Occitan language inclusions.  I’ve read each book about twice now.  Next on my to-read list is Kate Mosse’s Winter Ghosts, which is also set in the Languedoc region.

Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling

HarryPotterbooksSo who hasn’t read the Harry Potter books?  I fell in love with the world that J.K. Rowling created.  I first started with the Scholastic Books version and moved on to the Bloomsbury editions which I enjoyed the most.  It had all the British references that makes Harry Potter Harry Potter.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

EatPrayLoveI was still in the Philippines when I watched Oprah Winfrey interview Elizabeth Gilbert in 2007.  Oprah waxed lyrical about the book, how the insights changed her life.  That piqued my interest but I didn’t necessarily think it was going to be this mind-blowing read.  It wasn’t until I moved to England that I actually read the book, and I read the book at just the right time.  I read it when I was at a crossroads of my life and needed to make a lot of difficult decisions about the direction I wanted my life to take and who I wanted to have in my life when I moved forward.  It changed my life and helped me get a different perspective.  I still read the book, when I need to be inspired or need to think about things differently.  Yep, the book is amazing like that.  I even did an Oprah – I bought the copies of the books and sent it to my friends so they could read it too!

Julie and Julia: My Year Of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

JulieandJuliaI love this book but I think part of the reason I love this book is because I really did love the movie and I so loved Amy Adams in it.  Amy Adams made the character relatable and made me want to read the book (mostly because I love to cook, read cookbooks and I have a blog where I can be, more often than not, self-deprecating).  I think Oprah liked the book as well, which was another factor (I do love Oprah’s book club choices!).  I know there are a lot of reviews about how bad Julie Powell really is, how selfish she is and self-centered and all that.  But when I read the book, I found myself wanting to find out how she managed to dig herself out of the hole she put herself in.  I mean, I know that she had an affair (this wasn’t in the movie), but Julie Powell in her book certainly wasn’t a flat character!

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris

thehappinesstrapI was introduced to this book by my therapist.  I needed counselling because I was fast approaching a burn-out at work and I was getting more and more sick because of stress and it was affecting my performance and my psyche.  I absolutely loved this book because it allowed me to learn how to tackle my worrying (most eldest children will be able to relate to the pressure that we put ourselves under to be perfect, how we all constantly worry that we won’t measure up).  The most important thing is that it taught me to think about my worrying differently.  I think I’m a long way away from not being a worry-wort (I think that’s what makes me good at my job – I worry about the future too much!) but I’m getting better at dealing with the stress that worrying brings.  It is a different approach to therapy.  I still read portions of it when I have moments.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

TheGirlOnTheTrainI LOVE this book.  I bought it off Amazon because it was about a girl who rode a train everyday.  Hello! My daily work commute involves me getting on a train for over an hour to get to work.  It was something I thought I could relate to (no spoilers so that’s all I’m going to say).  But I didn’t expect this lovely little thriller to grip me in the way that it did.  I couldn’t wait to get home so that I could read more of it and find out how the story unfolded.  I nearly missed my several times because I was so engrossed!  Am so looking forward to Paula Hawkins’ second book.  This was an amazing debut!  I would suggest reading it before the movie hits the screens (Emily Blunt’s in it!) because they’ve changed a few things in the screenplay.

Yelly Reads

The Good Girl

I cannot remember why I thought this would be a good idea.  I’ve signed up to do a reading challenge on Goodreads.  I’ve set my goal to reading 24 books this year.  2 books a month.  At the time I set my goal, I thought it was really doable.  My commute to work is an hour long each way and I thought, “Great, I’ll manage 2 books a month!”  It’s not as easy as it sounds though!  I’m always worried about goals that I set for myself.  I almost always start something and never finish it.  It’s an annoying trait.  I tend to procrastinate to death, until I just get to my set deadline to find out I didn’t even get to the halfway point of my goal!

I’m already a book behind.  It’s April and I’ve only just started reading my 6th book!  I bought two books of the same title.  I read the other, and it was good read.  It was by Fiona Neill.  But this book is quite the page turner.  I even read it with Alan around on the train.  I think he feels a bit ignored when I read on the train instead of talking to him.  The book, at the moment is unputdownable!

If you get the chance to, read Fiona Neill’s book too, but read this one first.  Particularly if you liked The Girl On The Train.

Oh sorry!  I meant to say, I’m reading Maria Kubica’s The Good Girl.

The Good Girl by Maria Kubica

Yelly Reads

Literary treat!

I’ve had the most amazing Tuesday – no, work was stressful and harried, as usual.  The commute has and will always be a bit fraught.  But all the ickiness of the day fades away when I think about how I met one of my literary heroes today.  The encounter was fleeting but I have a photograph as a memento.

I’ve adored the All Souls’ Trilogy, this trio of books about a witch and a vampire, how they go against all odds to fight for their relationship.  There’s a bit of historical fiction, there’s a lot of talk about love and relationships, and there’s a lot of the supernatural.  But I loved the books.  I love how the stories unfolded and how all the things seemed to really come together and how all loose ends were tied up in the last of the three books.  I thought the writing was brilliant — and that brilliant writer is Deborah Harkness, an American history professor.  I love her books because the historical bits were believable and the fiction was weaved wonderfully with what was factual.  While the melding of fact and fiction was seamless, I thought it gave credit to the reader, I thought the stories didn’t take it for granted that the reader wouldn’t know which part was written for the story and which part was historical and helped set the scene for the story.

I’ve read the books several times now and I follow Deborah Harkness on Twitter.  Nothing a fan girl wouldn’t do hey?  I’m quite pleased to say that I’ve gone a bit further than that.  I’ve actually met one of my literary heroes!  She had a book signing event in Chelmsford and I really couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by.  I had to meet her!

It was quite nice waiting.  I eagerly got there 30 minutes before the event started and expected a huge queue because a lot of people said they were excited she was coming.  I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t such a queue at the time – but on the flip side, I was second in line so I was a happy bunny.  It was also really nice to be able to chat to other people who enjoyed the books as much as I did!

When Deborah Harkness arrived, she said a cheery hello and told us she’d be right with us, that she just needed some peppermint tea.  It reminded me of how much Diana, the heroine of the trilogy, loved strong, almost greasy tea.  Always made me smile because I love strong Yorkshire tea over Earl Grey or English Breakfast.

When DH got settled, she chatted pleasantly to everyone who came and signed all the books that people brought to the table.  I cheekily asked for a photo and she said, “Of course!  By all means, this is why I’m here!”

Me and Deborah Harkness

She signed all my books and they will sit very proudly on my shelf!  I am a VERY happy fan girl!