2016 reading challenge, Adventures, Books, Reading challenges

Love, Nina: Despatches From A Family Life – Nina Stibbe


I really enjoyed Love, Nina when it was dramatised for the BBC earlier this year, so I was delighted to discover that it was based on a book. I got it on my kindle for my summer holidays, and read it in Scotland in August.  Continue reading “Love, Nina: Despatches From A Family Life – Nina Stibbe”

2016 reading challenge, Books, Books Are My Bag, Food, Reading challenges

Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil – Jean-Claude Izzo


Have no fear: an excess of basil, like an excess of love, will not damage the heart. Continue reading “Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil – Jean-Claude Izzo”

2016 reading challenge, Books, Reading challenges

Mr Chicken Lands On London – Leigh Hobbs

Mr. Chicken can’t wait another minute, so he finishes his breakfast, collects his camera and flies to London. He wants to see everything. Join Mr Chicken and let him show you his favourite city in the world. Continue reading “Mr Chicken Lands On London – Leigh Hobbs”

2016 reading challenge, Books, Feminism, Reading challenges

Shrill – Lindy West


Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible–like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you–writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but. Continue reading “Shrill – Lindy West”

2016 reading challenge, Adventures, Books, Reading challenges, Recommendations

Sightlines – Kathleen Jamie


With her poet’s eye and naturalist’s affinity for wild places, Kathleen Jamie reports from the field in this enthralling collection of fourteen essays whose power derives from the stubborn attention she pays to everything around her. Jamie roams her native Scottish “byways and hills” and sails north to encounter whalebones and icebergs. Interweaving personal history with her scrutiny of landscape, Jamie dissects whatever her gaze falls upon—from vistas of cells beneath a hospital microscope, to orcas rounding a headland, to the aurora borealis lighting up the frozen sea. Written with precision, subtlety, and wry humor, Sightlines urges us to “Keep looking. Keep looking, even when there’s nothing much to see.” Continue reading “Sightlines – Kathleen Jamie”

2016 reading challenge, Books, LGBT, Reading challenges

“I just wanted to read my lesbian detectives novel in peace!” is not a sentence I would have happily said to my mum a year ago

Or, Calendar Girl by Stella Duffy


Stand-up comic Maggie has fallen for “the girl with the Kelly McGillis body”, a mysterious woman who can’t commit herself. Meanwhile, South London detective Saz is hot on the trail of a woman known only as “September”, who commutes between London and New York in a whirlwind of drug smuggling, gambling, and high-class prostitution. A murder brings Saz and Maggie and their respective mysteries together. Smart and sexy, Calendar Girl is a thriller high on attitude and eroticism. Continue reading ““I just wanted to read my lesbian detectives novel in peace!” is not a sentence I would have happily said to my mum a year ago”

2016 reading challenge, Books, Reading challenges

All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. Continue reading “All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven”

2016 reading challenge, Books, Reading challenges

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness


“Feelings don’t try to kill you, even the painful ones. Anxiety is a feeling grown too large. A feeling grown aggressive and dangerous. You’re responsible for its consequences, you’re responsible for treating it. But Michael, you’re not responsible for causing it. You’re not morally at fault for it. No more than you would be for a tumour.”

I’m terrible, really really terrible, at reading shortlists for book prizes. If I’ve read something off a shortlist, any shortlist, I’m surprised. So when the YA Book Prize Shortlist came out last week, I was shocked to see that I’d already read one of them: The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge, and intended to read at least three others. Last Saturday morning, I finished my previous book on my way to work, so I wandered off in search of something else to read in the afternoon while waiting for my friends. I spent a glorious hour or so sitting on the steps of St Martin-in-the-fields on Trafalgar Square, reading this in the sunshine and listening to someone playing the Star Wars theme on the bagpipes. London: never a dull moment. Continue reading “The Rest Of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness”

2016 reading challenge, Books

The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting – Holly Bourne


I’ve been following Holly Bourne on twitter for months, so she was an obvious choice for something to take home for half term. It probably helped that it’s bright orange, and has a weird title. Also, I didn’t actually read it over half term (I barely read anything over half term), and it turned out that my work ID badge had slipped inside it, which led to quite a lot of panic. Continue reading “The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting – Holly Bourne”