I have written several times this year about struggling with my mental health. I described it a while ago as being somewhat functionally depressed. If I have to go somewhere or someone is expecting me it happens. If there isn’t a set plan things have varied this year between “it’s not going to happen” and “after a fashion”
Reading has been perhaps the hardest thing in that because for quite a while I just wasn’t managing to finish books. Lately that’s improved but despite reading several fabulous books and wanting to review them I haven’t managed that part. I have been wondering if I should give up reviewing books but when I’m well I really enjoy it. So i decided that instead what I need is a clean slate. I’ve been going backwards and forwards on whether that means a new blog just for reviews and still haven’t come to a conclusion. But I did decide that I would post several mini reviews all together. And as a sign of how things are I wrote these and then had problems posting to my blog so there’s been a gap of several weeks. But, at last, here goes.
Goodbye Vitamin. By Rachel Khong.
It’s much too early in the year to declare best book of 2017 but I think this is a real contender for the title. Goodbye Vitamin really surprised me. It had a lovely almost feel good style that was a bit unusual. And it managed to take a very difficult subject (a parent with Alzheimer’s) the focus of a lovely enjoyable book with humour and good times. It felt very real and I am keen to read more by Rachel Khong.
Forever Geek by Holly Smale.
I feel bad that I’m not writing a full review for this but I have reviewed most of the others in this series and I think my love for Harriet Manners and the other characters in the Geek Girl series is well recorded. As always I loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough. It had moments that made me smile and laugh and others that made me cringe – typical Harriet. And lots of random facts.
Practice Makes Perfect by Penny Parkes
I think Penny Parkes is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I started reading this on the train to meet a friend for the afternoon and once I got home kept going until I finished it. I love reading a whole book in a day but very rarely find a book that makes me do that anymore. Returning to the adventures of the Doctors of Larkford this has everything I love in a book. If I had to pick one of the books in this entry as one I’d recommend to anyone and everyone it would be this one. I read this before publication day and for the first time ever was really jealous of those tweeting their excitement to read it on that day because I just enjoyed it that much.
Annie’s Holiday by the Sea by Liz Eeles
Sunshine and unexpected happenings in the seaside made this the perfect summer read. I particularly liked the moments with the choir as although I really can’t sing I love music. It was just fun and enjoyable with enough substance to fulfil my lazy day wishes but keep me guessing and wanting to read it. There’s a Christmas sequel and I will definitely be reading it.
Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage by Heidi Swain
I’ve read and enjoyed all of Heidi Swain’s Wynbridge books and this was no exception. They are well written and always fun with characters I can relate to. I enjoy the way each book brings new characters and tells their story but allows us updates and glimpses of the ones we loved from previous books, Oh and having been felling one of my friends that she would love these books since the first one was published she finally picked one up and then blew through all three others in a short time. If that doesn’t tell you how good they are, nothing will.
The Lemon Tree Cafe by Cathy Bramley
I am never sure whether i want to read Cathy Bramley’s books in their instalments or wait for the whole book. I want to read them instalments because I love her books and don’t want to wait but then I enjoy being able to get stuck in to the whole thing. I read this as the whole book over two days. In fact I sat in the garden one day and read well over half of it. This might be my favourite of Cathy Bramley’s books since Ivy Lane. I really liked the main character, Rosie, and I loved her Nonna. This was full of unexpected humour, a return visit from a character from a previous book, a twist I didn’t see coming and a visit to Italy that made me want to go there myself.