This month’s book selection is one I have grabbed off my ever growing pile of books that I have yet to read. I like the title though as it tells us nothing of the book or story. It is a debut novel by Katie Ward who you know must be good when their is quote from Hilary Mantel that says
Ward is wise, poised, and utterly original. Her eye and her words are fresh, as if she is inventing the world
I have deliberately chosen a very different book this month. A book that is not a novel but a book that I think everybody should read. Especially anybody who has children of their own.
It is called “Mum can you lend me twenty quid” by Elizabeth Burton Phillips. The blurb on Amazon doesn’t really do it justice:
With all this news of a meteorite falling to the ground in Russia it seemed to make sense that this recently published book be the Mummy Barrow Book Club Selection for March. Alex, our central character is hit on the head by a meteorite at a young age and it quite literally changes his life.
No, I don’t mean that sense of “ahhhhh” as the first mouthful of wine hits your tongue at the end of a long week. I mean Wine Relief from Comic Relief.
There seems to be nothing that Comic Relief don’t have a paw in (by the way, have you heard the speaking clock? Dial it from your landline, 10p goes to Comic Relief). And Wine Relief is just a brilliant way of raising money for this great cause. Since Jancis Robinson and her husband Nick Lander started it in 1999 it has raised over £4 million. Jancis was kind enough to tweet me recently when I asked her if she was doing a fund raising similar to one my folks had attended last year. Sadly not, she said as she is in Australia on a book tour.
I picked this book because, well I am a Gone Girl for the next few days. Though there the similarity ends.
I have to confess to having read this book in January because I knew this month I wouldn’t have much time to read I knew it was a cracker.
The blurb is as follows:
I was asked by the publisher if I would like to read this book and have a few copies to give away. Well how could I refuse?
So I decided to make it my January Book club choice and give the free copies away on Twitter in December in the hope that those recipients would also enjoy it and then link up or leave a comment.
The blurb is as follows:
When advertising maverick Farren Mortimer sets up AMOLAD to bring the funeral business into the 21st century his ideas capture the public’s attention as he cashes in on the new zeitgeist of conspicuous public mourning. Appointed as the government’s ‘bereavement czar’ it looks as if Mortimer can’t put a foot wrong as he single-handedly puts the ‘fun’ into funerals. But commercialising death isn’t without its problems; not everybody gives ‘Mr Eulogy’ and his slick marketing techniques their blessing. But who wants to bury Mortimer the most? Is it the anarchist graffiti street artist who has made AMOLAD a particular target for his ire? The self-seeking road safety campaigner with designs on Mortimer as well as his money? The award-seeking journalist who smells a BAFTA? Or someone much closer to home? As the government’s inaugural ‘People’s Remembrance Day’ bank holiday date approaches, will it be redemption or requiem for Mortimer? A Matter of Life and Death is an intelligent, humorous and fast-moving exploration of values and motives in today’s reality TV age: society’s ‘mourning sickness’, the power of marketing, media cynicism, anonymity as fame and the influence of Twitter. A Matter of Life and Death, where each chapter is headed with a song that could be played at a funeral, will appeal to adult fiction readers and fans of satire and black comedy – it picks up where Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One left off.
So join me in reading this in January, comment below when done or write your own blog post and link up below
We saw JoJo Moyes talking about this book (and her best seller from earlier this year: Me Before You WHICH YOU MUST READ IF YOU HAVE NOT. And if you haven’t I am buying it for you for Christmas) at Henley Literary Festival. Reviews for this book have been fantastic so I would love to know what you think as I dive into this month as well.
The blurb on Amazon says:
The Girl You Left Behind is a hauntingly romantic and utterly irresistible new weepy from Jojo Moyes, author of the Richard and Judy bestseller, Me Before You.
What happened to the girl you left behind?
France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait – painted by Edouard – a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.
Almost a century later, and Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv’s life upside down all over again . . .
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most – whatever the cost.
Read, comment or if you have your own blog, would love you to review it an link up. Linky is live for a month:
When I read a book with a title like this I think “I could have written that” as I am always trying to find ways to streamline my life and find ways to make it so much easier. It is how my Dotty Diary was born!
This is a little book, just 100 pages but it is bursting with fantastic time saving tips, with 21 chapters that give you great advice on a theme. Such as “handle it once”. This is such a great tip and one that adopted years ago. Paperwork comes in and I deal with it, and then file in diary or file away. It doesn’t get put to
one side lost for a month and then waste time as I hunt for it. Grace Marshall gives great tips on this theme and how to deal with invoices / emails and to do lists. All that make perfect sense and that you can actually implement.
There is nothing worse than reading self help books and thinking “well that is all very well but …. “. This book is great.
My favourite chapter is “How to say No and stay nice”. I think I need to read this again and again. As I sit here with glandular fever and have been told to take it easy for three months!
All in all this is a great little book that really packs a punch and one that I am going to recommend to a few friends that are constantly swamped or chasing their tales!
It is available now from all good booksellers
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
This month’s selection for my Book Club is the debut novel by Tamar Cohen who’s latest book came out over the summer.
Never have an affair with anyone who has less to lose than you. And – never underestimate the wrath of a woman scorned.For five years, Sally and Clive have been lost in a passionate affair. Now he has dumped her, to devote himself to his wife and family, and Sally is left in freefall. It starts with a casual stroll past his house, and popping into the brasserie where his son works. Then Sally starts following Clive’s wife and daughter on Facebook. But that’s alright isn’t it? I mean they are perfectly normal things to do. Aren’t they? Not since Fatal Attraction has the fallout from an illicit affair been exposed in such a sharp, darkly funny and disturbing way:The Mistress’s Revenge is a truly exciting fiction debut. After all, who doesn’t know a normal, perfectly sane woman who has gone a little crazy when her heart was broken?
Read it, comment below or write your own review and link up below!
I was gripped from page one with this book, though it is not written in a style that I come across much before. It is written in the style of a letter – from Sally, who has been spurned by Clive after an affair lasting five years. A decision Sally doesn’t take well.
So she decides to get her revenge by befriending Clive’s wife. And children. Including befriending them on Facebook.
Sally’s obssession with Clive becomes all consuming, to the detriment of her own partner Daniel and their two children. Her obsession verges on madness with devastating consequences.
With a brilliant twist in the tail this book really is “un put downable” right to the very end.