Monday, 1 September 2014

What I've been reading... September 2014

Ok so it's been a loooooong time since my last reading post, but it's not because I haven't been reading. It's more likely I've read so many books I haven't had time to do an update! One book in particular that I read really got to me (in a good way) and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, some of the others were easy reads and trying out something new. You might also be pleased to see I've got to the trouble of sourcing images for all the books I've read! So you can have some lovely colour pictures instead of black and white Kindle screen shots! Also, do you like my new bedside table set up? My snazzy giraffe, toddler-made monkey and assorted reading material?!

What I've finishing reading:

Surprised by Motherhood- Lisa-Jo Baker
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I don't think I've been affected by a book before quite as much as I was reading this one! I literally bawled my eyes out reading the first 6 chapters! This book follows the true story of a young South African woman whose mother dies when she is aged 18. After her mother dies, Lisa-Jo decides she doesn't want children of her own. She travels to America for University and meets a man, falls in love and slowly God works on her heart and she has her first child. My own mother was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer when I was 16 and passed away when I was 20, so reading this story I almost felt like my own thoughts and feelings were on the page. Of course the geographical setting and circumstances are different, but it definitely spoke right to my soul. If you are a mother who sometimes questions whether you're doing okay, this is definitely an encouraging read. We all struggle with feelings of being inadequate or not fitting this ridiculous mould that all perfect mum's should be. It definitely made me want to hold my little boy a bit closer. Always so hard to put into words a book that really speaks to you as it may not say the same thing to others! It also has some amazing quotes including this one:
Image source- Surprise by Motherhood

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 5)- George R.R. Martin

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Finishing this epic tomb was a little bittersweet! I began reading this series back in February last year, and started this 5th book in October last year. I finished it probably in April, and that's a long time reading one book (on and off of course). I've been following along with the TV series as well, although on TV they are only up to the story of about the 3rd book (I think). I started to get very confused about who was who and what was happening! I'm sure I read somewhere that the first book starts with reading the narrative of 9 characters, and by the end of this book you're reading over 30! Anyway, if you're wanting to read this book, as it's part of a series you do need to start with number one! So there isn't much to say about this book specifically, except for a number of loose ends that need to be tied up, more deaths and hurry up George R.R Martin on writing the next one!

Carry on, Warrior: The real truth about being a woman- Glennon Melton
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If you are a blogging mama, and haven't heard of Momastery, I don't know where you've been living....! I absolutely love Glennon. Much like Lisa-Jo, she is just so REAL. I was also quite captivated reading this book, feeling like I could relate to so many of the feeling and thoughts that Glennon experienced. Maybe not to the same degree or level, but I think we all have trouble with a negative internal dialogue at times. I am really drawn to people who can speak truth and honesty. So much of society now is consumed by presenting a perfect self and putting up a front. The vast majority of what people put out on Social Media is not a true reflection of real life. What I loved about this book was Glennon's honest and no BS account of life. I also liked the way she writes, with a lot of emphasis added, and humour. I actually struggle reading non-fiction most of the time as I find it's too dry... so humour and actual laugh out loud moments are a must for me! (Unlike my husband who reads purely non-fiction). Anyway, if you like Momastery and you're interested in the story behind the movement, you really will enjoy this book. It covers lots of different topics including family, relationships, parenting, self-love and lots of others. This book is not so much just a book, it's a movement!

Warm Bodies- Isaac Marion

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I had already seen the movie adaptation of this book, so I was pretty sure that I knew what to expect. The ending was quite different to what I remember. If you don't know the story, it's set in a post zombie apocalypse world where one zombie is a bit different to all the others. On a feeding mission, he ends up kidnapping a young woman and they start to become friends. And then fall in love. It sounds so stupid but it's actually quite funny! It also included some other zombie characters called "Boneys" which I definitely don't remember from the movie! There's always that debate as to whether a movie or book is better...I'm usually inclined to say I like the books better, but I think in this case I actually enjoyed the movie more. I think if I hadn't seen it, I would find it hard to warm (haha) to the characters. 
I think there might be a prequel to this book, maybe that would have been a better read given I saw the movie for this one already?!

DivergentInsurgent and Allegiant- Veronica Roth
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When I first started reading this series, I felt a bit like I'd come across a Hunger Games/Twilight hybrid! The post-apocalyptic world, divided into sanctions felt very much Hunger Games! And the blossoming teen romance with a "different" race and all that angsty hormonal tension was definitely reminiscent of the Twilight Series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books, but got a bit lost in the third one wondering actually what was happening and some very odd plot twists as well. I often find with trilogies that the third book is a poor sister to the first two, but a necessary read to tie up all the loose ends. I do admit that I enjoy a bit of Young Adult fiction so overall I did enjoy reading this. I haven't seen the Divergent movie yet, but I'd be keen to watch it now I've read the  book series. 

The Fault in Our Stars- John Green

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I read this book because I read an article on about Young Adult fiction. I had read a couple of the other books in the article so I thought I would give this one a go. I often read things when there is a lot of hype about a movie or TV series, just to see if I might like it! It was also about to be released as a movie here too. I thought it was a great read, but not as devastatingly sad as I was expecting. Maybe it's because I've experienced a lot of death and illness in my life, it seems just a normal part of life to me. Don't get me wrong, I still thought it was sad, but I didn't shed any tears in this story. Either that or it wasn't pitched at me. The latter is more likely given I am almost 30, and it's written for people at least a decade younger than me! I found it a really quick read and the story was quite compelling. I guess the things I like to read are a little juvenile anyway, so perhaps I am the target audience!

Best of Me- Nicholas Sparks 

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I was going through my bookshelf on my kindle, and came across this title. I must have bought it ages ago but forgot it was there. I always find Nicolas Sparks an easy read. I find his stories always follow the same formula. Two people, trying to find love, and eventually find each other a fall in love with a few ups and downs along the way! This particular story had a few extra twists and turns in the plot that I wasn't expecting, so I enjoyed it more thoroughly than some of his other stories. The main storyline is about man and woman from a very small town, who were together as teenagers but drifted apart when she went to college. They go back to the town for a funeral of a mutual free and the rest is history.....well there's a little more to it of course, but in a nutshell. An quick read for a  long weekend away or something where you don't need to concentrate too much!

What I'm Currently Reading:

Cross Stitch- Diana Gabaldon

I've actually read this book before. It's part of a series called "Outlander". I read the first book and part of the second before being distracted by something else. I know it's quite popular and my sister really loved the whole series, so I thought I'd give them another go. The story is set post World War 2 (1946) where a couple are reunited following the war. They married just before the war and haven't seen each other in around 7 years. While taking a trip back to their honeymoon spot in Scotland, she disappears via Stone Henge and is thrown into the 17th century. I'm really enjoying it second time round. I have clearly forgotten the whole plot so far so it's almost like reading it fresh! I've got the next two (Voyager and Dragonfly in Amber) in the series downloaded on my Kindle so hopefully I make it through those ones too. 

What's on my bookshelf...

Matched by Ally Condle
A recommendation from my sister in law, I think another vampire/fanstasy/romance novel. Although it's at the top of this list, I've kind of put it to one side as I'm not sure about it yet. Also part of a series. 

Bloom- Kelle Hampton
Kelle Hampton writes on the blog Enjoying the Small Things. I've been reading her blog on and off for about 3 years now, since shortly after her daughter Nella was born. This born is the story of Nella, who has Down syndrome. I've been wanting to read it for a while now (it's been out a couple years) but other books keep coming up first! As my nephew who is being born later in the year has Down syndrome, I'd like to educate myself as much as possible. I've heard both good and bad things about this book so I'll have to reserve judgement until I've read it.

Working It Out- Abby Rike
This is book I've also had downloaded for ages but not got around to reading. Abby was a contestant in The Biggest Loser (one of my favourite TV shows) several years ago. Part of her story was that she lost her husband and children in a car crash. This obviously sounds horrific and the first reaction is "why would you want to read about that", BUT I think it is an inspiring story about overcoming hardships and moving forwards. So again, I'll have to see what it's like.

Motherless Daughters- Hope Edelman
I have no idea what this book is about. I was recommended to read it by a work colleague after I was telling her about Surprised by Motherhood. The titles looks pretty self explanatory! I think I may leave this one for a little bit as I don't think I can cope with too much of this topic at a time!

What are you reading at the moment? Any recommendations? I'd love to know....

Some other bloggers I follow often have good reading suggestions:
Ange @ Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle (who is reading the BBC Big Read Top 200 books!!)
Rachel @ Maybe Matilda
Simone @ Greatfun4kids aka Mrs Readalot's bloggy book club

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