Sunday, 23 September 2018

P'S TOP PICKS: MY FAVOURITE READS SO FAR THIS YEAR!

Now, if you know me but at all, you will probably know I love reading and, in particular, I am a big fan of the chick lit genre.

And yes, I know there has been a lot of debate around that label of chick-lit, and I know some authors pegged within that genre mind it and others do not, but as far as I'm concerned, in my opinion, the phrase denotes a storyline and characters that I am ultimately going to fall in love with and not want to stop reading so if it's wrong to call that chick-lit then I'm sorry, I don't want to be right.

So, last year, I decided I was going to read 40 books at least over the course of 12 months and I managed exactly that. This year, I decided not to put as much pressure on myself and aim for 30. I haven't uploaded many (or any) of these on goodreads as of yet but, given I read 16/17 books in a two week holiday in May, I think I'm probably going to be okay to meet this target. BUT I thought I would share some of my favourites that I've read this year in case there are some like-minded individuals who are looking for some great stories to read on holiday or just a nice story to escape in while you're wishing you were on holiday . . .


I read "One in a Million" by Lindsey Kelk a couple of months ago and I absolutely loved it. It's Pygmalion/My Fair Lady-esque with a modern day edge as we're thrust into the world of social media, namely Instagram. I love Pygmalion, I love a makeover, I love a love story and I love Instagram so this was right up my street and if you are a fan of any of the above and/or Lindsey Kelk's novels, I would thoroughly recommend it.

I put off buying "Eleanor Olipant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman for AGES as I wasn't sure I was going to like it based on the synopsis of the novel. I finally read it over a long weekend in Shropshire back in July and I couldn't have been more wrong. I was hooked from the outset on the quirky character of Eleanor, I was desperate to know why she was the way she was and, best of all, I realised as I read that it was actually set in Glasgow! I really enjoyed this book.

"The Good Girlfriend's Guide to Getting Even" by Anna Bell was another great read, where a sports widow decides to get her own back on her boyfriend, with at times hilarious results. But will he find out what she's been up to and, more importantly, did he really deserve to be treated this way? You'll need to give it a read to find out.

"The Little Bed and Breakfast By The Sea" by Jennifer Joyce was one of the many books I read in Kefalonia and it really was a lovely little read. Characters you want to get to know better, immensely readable, I just loved it. (I'd definitely recommend Jennifer Joyce's novels in general, I'm actually currently reading another of hers and it's been great so far.)

I've been quite interested in visiting Copenhagen for a year or two now and Julie Caplin's "The Little Café in Copenhagen" did not make me feel any less like visiting. Kate is a publicist working for a Danish department store planning to open in London . . . she has to take several journalists on a press junket to the Danish capital and she might find herself falling for more than the city. Great read which I couldn't put down.

Last but not least, I'd recommend "Bricking It" by Nick Spalding. His novels are so humorous and never fail to disappoint - this one about a brother and sister who inherit a dilapidated mansion and decide to renovate it is no exception, it's laugh out loud funny.

What have been your favourite reads this year? I'm off on holiday (again!) in less than a week, so I'm definitely looking for some poolside reads, recommendations are always appreciated!

Monday, 10 September 2018

ON WHY I DON'T LIKE AUTUMN . . .

I don't like Autumn.



It feels like I'm in the minority with this, but it's true. Here's why

1) I like warm weather. Now, I know this seems ridiculous considering I live in Scotland, which isn't exactly known for its temperate climate, but I like the promise of Spring and the odd hot Summers day we occasionally get as a wee consolation prize for living so far north. Once Autumn hits, even the chance of warm weather disappears. (Although it does occasionally like to confuse us by having a seventeen degrees day in the middle of November)

2) I dislike dark nights closing in earlier and earlier. Some find it cosy, I find it imposing and oppressive. I hate going to work in the dark and leaving work in the dark. Don't get me wrong, it's a good excuse to curl up on the sofa with a mulled wine and a Modern Family boxset but I would do that anyway, whatever the weather. I don't need an excuse.

3) Loads of people love talking about how much they love autumn fashion and getting all wrapped up in layers . . . I am patently not one of those people. I don't really like having to wrap up warm to go outside. Even though our weather still isn't great in summer, it's usually mild enough that you can get away with a flimsy blazer and ballet pumps with bare feet. I dislike having to layer, and I hate putting on loads of clothes to keep warm only to end up too warm after I've exerted myself by walking from the car park to the office.

4) Wet leaves underfoot makes me feel a bit queasy. I don't mind when they're dry and crispy but when they're all mushy . . . it's quite disgusting. Especially as I'm probably still wearing ballet pumps with bare feet because denial.

5) On the rare occasion when the sun DOES come out, it's absolutely blinding. I don't really want to be blinded by the sun when it's only five degrees outside and my teeth are chattering.

6) Autumn also usually coincides with Christmas paraphernalia appearing in the shops, usually in the place where the holiday stuff was previously. In my opinion, Christmas should not start until December. The onset of autumn just reminds me how vastly unprepared I am for the 25th December, and that is not something I want to be reminded of this far in advance of the festivities.

7) And last but not least . . . next spring and summer seem soooo far away. Autumn is really just the gateway to winter and winter takes even longer to turn to spring. 

Nah, you can keep your autumn. I might just move abroad somewhere sunny instead . . .

Are you a fan of autumn or, like me, do you hate it?