Week 16 – Before The Fall

Feeling a little bit historical I delved into Juliet West’s Before the Fall.  The book is set in 1916, war is raging Hannah’s husband has gone off to war, leaving her alone with the kids.  She finds a guy she likes, relationship develops, gets rather rawr…Then of course as in any war style book, the reality kicks in with a pregnancy.

Oh the drama! Especially at that time… The book is beautifully descriptive in parts but maybe lacks a bit in describing the man in the middle.  The title is in reference to Thomas Hardy who features quite a bit in the book for any Hardy fans out there.  I liked this book, for a romance it wasn’t half bad and it painted an awesome picture of wartime Britain.  Take a look in if you see this one on the shelves!

Week 15 – Family Planning

This week my book brought me on a trip to India, well sort of – Family Planning by Karan Mahajan is a funny little read. It’s about a gentleman who has done extremely well in his career so far but his family of 13 kids is starting to have a bit more of an impact on his working life.  The book shifts to cover the point of view of one of his sons and weaves a story which interlinks everything, from romance, sex, family planning and work, to health, culture and comedy.

Worth a read because the book is pretty amusing even crude at times but I’m not sure I’d pick up another book by this author, something just didn’t quite gel with me.  It came to quite an abrupt stop at the end. Although I enjoyed getting into the psyche of this Indian family the book kind of left me feeling flat? But if you want a light and daft read during your commute, then pick it up.

Week 14 – Brother’s Keeper

This book was in the sale, I picked it up because somebody reminded me that I was doing this book a week thing so that I’d be encouraged to read more fiction…Ooops.  So yep, I thought I’d give Brother’s Keeper by C.E Smith a shot. Again looking at the cover it’s probably not the kind of book I’d usually pick up but it was worth a read.

The story of a disgraced doctor who ends up travelling to a war-torn country as he has found out his twin died there. He takes over the role his brother had and runs into some pretty hefty trouble… Though I like the ideas the book explores, the story took a while for me to get into, the writing seemed a bit too simple for my tastes but it picked up a lot towards the end.  A short book at about 270 pages so you can mooch on through quick and easy in a few hours.

Week 13 – It’s all in your head

I wouldn’t usually pick up this kind of book but somebody recommended it to me and for good reason.  Again it’s not fiction but it was an enjoyable read.  Suzanne O’Sullivan is a neurologist and the book explores a side to her job that perhaps you wouldn’t expect – her work with patients who have psychogenic disorders rather than those caused by physical health issues.

Whilst a book about ‘imaginary illnesses’ might seem like a boring read, just seeing the breadth of problems she has encountered are absolutely amazing and how the doctors choose to try to tackle them is certainly something to be admired. It made me think twice about health issues for sure. If you’ve ever felt tension in your shoulders or head when you’re stressed out, a fluttering in your stomach whilst nervous or even blushed with embarrassment, you will probably find this book to be pretty informative.

Week 12 – Boomerang

I snuck away from fiction again and fancied a book where I’d learn a little something.  Having read Michael Lewis’ The Big Short (and watched the movie!) I kinda knew what I was getting myself into.  This is a short but hilarious whizz through some of the massive flaws in the financial systems which led to various crashes and catastrophes around the world.

From Iceland to Ireland, Greece to to Germany, I absolutely loved this book.  My only complaint would be that it was too short.  I read it on a 2 hour train trip.  Whilst it doesn’t provide a broad view on the debt crisis and how it’s affecting the world, the little stories, anecdotes, interviews and insight into finance was something I really enjoyed reading.  Not quite film worthy but I could see this book being made into one of those netflix style mini series haha…

Week 11 – Crisis

It was the look of this book which caught my appeal. I picked it up, read the back and figured I’d give it a go.  Crisis by Frank Gardner is definitely one for those who like action, it takes you to a world of secret agents, drug gangs, tropical jungles, weapons a-plenty and good ole MI6.

The book was relatively fast paced at the start but began to drag out a bit as it went on – full of acronyms and jargon so for those who love a bit of tradecraft you’ll probably enjoy it.  Nothing ground breaking story-wise and an easy read. You could enjoy it over a few days on your commute.

Week 10 – Air Confidential

I had less time to read this week travelling out and about all over the place but that was my inspiration for picking up Air Confidential by Elliott Hester.  It’s an easy and rather amusing read – one you could enjoy during your flight, train or bus journey and it won’t take you long to whizz through it.

It is as the front page suggests, an insight into what a flight attendant sees and encounters whilst in the skies.  The stories range from weird and wonderful to sad to outright hilarious.  I thought it kind of interesting to learn some of the tips and tricks these flight attendants use too.  As always I love a read which gives insight to another person’s life and this one does it well.  Short, ridiculous but entertaining!

Week 9 – The Fire Child

With the wet and grim weather, it made sense to pick up this book.  I was pleasantly surprised to read that it was based in Cornwall.  Anyone who has visited Cornwall knows how atmospheric the cliffs can be, particularly in areas around the mines and old mining towns.  S.K Tremayne does a great job of painting a picture of the bleak and isolated coastal paths, nice work.

I wouldn’t say it’s ‘I sleep with the light on’ like the quote on the front there, but it’s a cool thriller/horror book.  A delve into ghosts, insanity, dark family secrets and a spooky old house.  I think the book loses it’s thread a bit about 3/4 through but picks up again near the end.  Nothing too challenging in it, the ending made me laugh – because it seems so true to life these days but perhaps not the fairytale one you hope to read.  Definitely worth a look, I’m tempted to try out the ice twins book too…

Week 8 – The Break Down

Well I have done a few war related books now (not expected to but hey!) so I fancied something a little different.  This book was sitting on the best seller thrillers – The Break Down by B A Paris.

It started straight off with a bit of dialogue and pretty big text on the page.  I didn’t have high hopes but it turned out alright.  A delve into the darker side of the mind, marriage and crazy.  It’s a breakdown following a breakdown. A short but thrilling read, nothing too taxing but enjoyable. An easy one to whizz through on the commute, you will probably guess what happens pretty quick ( I did) so that may make it all a bit tedious as there’s a lot of background.  It’s what I’d expect from a short best-selling thriller to be honest…Kinda like what you’d expect from similar style tv show.

Week 7 – Nourishment

It’s creeping into Valentines week, so when I saw the cover of this book I figured it’d probably be something mushy.  Nourishment by Gerard Woodward isn’t quite a typical romance. It’s about a lady named Tory in war times, her kids are gone, her husband off to war… Dodging air raids when she hears her husband is now a POW under the Nazi regime.

The book takes a somewhat strange turn from there….Well funny though.  It was a rather quirky tale all about well….Nourishment.  I don’t want to spoil it too much but certainly worth a mooch if you want a funny and slightly off-beat short story.

Gets a bit tedious towards the end but makes me think more of that’s how life can go.  Some would hate that….