Book Cllub Challenge Complete

Book with a Country in the Title

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. A book told through documents on the surface dull however once you get into it there are some interesting character dynamics. Salmon Fishing Review

Short Stories

Night Shift by Stephen King. The only story I really liked was Strawberry Spring.

Experience of Stephen King

Childhood book category read many Roald Dahl books as a child. I don’t think I had previously The Giraffe, Pelly and Me, therefore took the opportunity to read that. As it only took 10minutes to read I also re-read Esio Trot. Both books were charming.

Experince of Roald Dahl

Book Bought Second Hand.

Bought The Book Thief from Greener Books via Amazon. This book showed the heart breaking existence of a girl in Nazi occupied Germany, suffering loss after loss in amongst happiness of loving those around. It explores how important books are to her.

A book with an Island Connection

Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior. About an elderly millionaire making a trip to Locket island to find out about penguin conservation. She is initially seems an uptight woman but it is good to see different aspects of her personality emerge as the book continues and past tragedies revealed. 

A Christmas book

I read two. First One Day in December by Josie Silver. It is not set all at Christmas. It is a bit like my favourite book One Day in that follows a ‘will they won’t they couple’ over several years. It has some bitter sweet moments. Defiantly, not a fluffy Christmas romance and very little of it is actually Christmas as it does not check i. On them on the same day every year.

Christmas at the North Pole by Jamie Adnams. It was quite a whimsical book; I guess I managed to enjoy some charming snowy holiday vibes but overall a bit fluffy.

A book Set in Asia

I had a Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hossin on my list since reading Kite Runner last year. Both books are set in Afghanistan this one gave a insight into the lives of women ; it is mind boggling the difference in my life growing up in the UK at the same time as women in Afghanistan.

A book with X in title or author’s name

I doubled up on this category because I had one with x in authors name and one with x in title in TBR piles. First I read a Stuart Life Lived Backwards by Alexander Master. A biography of an unusual subject; a man who swings between prison, life of crime and homelessness. Shocking ending. 

I read the Texas Ranger by James Pattison. An American cop type thing, guess can see why James Pattison is popular for holiday reads and would maybe read one again.

A book with a building in the title

As I received as a Christmas Eve box surprise, Christmas with the Tea Shop Girls by Elaine Everest, I decided that tea shop counted as a building.

The prologue was Christmas Eve then first chapter started 2nd Sep and worked forward to the aforementioned Christmas Eve; therefore it was not all Christmassy. It was a family saga set in wartime England; I do enjoy such books as it was a time of such change in the position of women. Indeed I enjoyed this one.

A book with a Royal Connection

I took part in a Christmas Secret Santa book exchange and was very lucky to received a few books (a book mark and chocolate). One of the books I received The Burning Girls. I decided I could use for the book with Royal Connection because the author’s name was Tudor like in Tudor monarchs.

Upon opening the book I found it was even more appropriate as it was centred around martyrs in time of Queen Mary. it was not a historic book however; it was set fairly recently with a female vicar regularly using airdrop feature on her phone and needing wi -fi. It had plenty of actions – twists and turns.

A book with weather referenced in the title

After reading and enjoying Alex Pine Christmas Killer I. December just before starting this challenge. I decided I could get away with reading his next book the Snow Killer in early Jan. It proved as enjoyable as the first even though this time I worked one big twist out early in the book; I was keen to keep turning pages to see when it would be revealed in the book!

A book set where born

I was born in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire which is an hour’s drive from where I live now in Sheffield. When in a discussion someone recommended Nell Pattison books for this category. As part of the challenge I bought and read Silent House and Silent Night. I have discovered there is a third in the series; Silent Victim; so will have to buy and read that one at some stage.

The books are about a British Sign Language Interpreter who is employed to work with Scunthorpe police and hence becomes involved with murders with deaf communities. It is fascinating and thought provoking, getting an insight into the Deaf community. The murderer identity reveal in both books revealed fairly far fetched murder scenario, but as just small part of the book then I still enjoyed the books overall.

My experience of reading Stephen King

I have limited experience of reading Stephen King. Up until 2017, I had not read any therefore sought to correct. I maybe should have researched more before I bought a book, but instead I bought the first they I came across in a charity shop; Insominia. This ended up putting me off for several more years as I found the paranormal aspect of the book too weird to engage with. At the time I also commented.

“I liked the first hundred pages or so and the epilogue, but not so keen on the middle and there was a lot of middle! The book was 760 pages.”

I did not read another Stephen King until 2021. Pet Semetary. I actually mildly enjoyed this one. Perhaps knowing there would be a paranormal element help. Rather than being bogged down by the paranormal I took the message from the that death is part of life.

My experience with Pet Semetary encouraged me to read a collection of Stephen King short stories to get more of a feel for him. I read his collection called Night Shift. I liked the story Strawberry Spring but was not that impressed with other stories.

Overall I think King’s older works set in the 70s are now starting to feel dated. I can not see myself seeking out further Stephen King but guess I would read more if another came up for a book club or in a situation away from home when limited choice of books!

Book Cllub Challenge Update

Since my last update I have completed the Book with a Country in the Title by reading Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. See Salmon Fishing Review

Short Stories Category read short stories collection by Stephen King called Night Shift.

Childhood book category read The Giraffe, Pelli and Me by Roald Dahl as read a lot of Roald Dahl as a child.

I now just need to read a book Bought Second Hand.

Categories Completed

A book with an Island Connection

Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior. About an elderly millionaire making a trip to Locket island to find out about penguin conservation. She is initially seems an uptight woman but it is good to see different aspects of her personality emerge as the book continues and past tragedies revealed. 

A Christmas book

I read two. First One Day in December by Josie Silver. It is not set all at Christmas. It is a bit like my favourite book One Day in that follows a ‘will they won’t they couple’ over several years. It has some bitter sweet moments. Defiantly, not a fluffy Christmas romance and very little of it is actually Christmas as it does not check i. On them on the same day every year.

Christmas at the North Pole by Jamie Adnams. It was quite a whimsical book; I guess I managed to enjoy some charming snowy holiday vibes but overall a bit fluffy.

A book Set in Asia

I had a Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hossin on my list since reading Kite Runner last year. Both books are set in Afghanistan this one gave a insight into the lives of women ; it is mind boggling the difference in my life growing up in the UK at the same time as women in Afghanistan.

A book with X in title or author’s name

I doubled up on this category because I had one with x in authors name and one with x in title in TBR piles. First I read a Stuart Life Lived Backwards by Alexander Master. A biography of an unusual subject; a man who swings between prison, life of crime and homelessness. Shocking ending. 

I read the Texas Ranger by James Pattison. An American cop type thing, guess can see why James Pattison is popular for holiday reads and would maybe read one again.

A book with a building in the title

As I received as a Christmas Eve box surprise, Christmas with the Tea Shop Girls by Elaine Everest, I decided that tea shop counted as a building.

The prologue was Christmas Eve then first chapter started 2nd Sep and worked forward to the aforementioned Christmas Eve; therefore it was not all Christmassy. It was a family saga set in wartime England; I do enjoy such books as it was a time of such change in the position of women. Indeed I enjoyed this one.

A book with a Royal Connection

I took part in a Christmas Secret Santa book exchange and was very lucky to received a few books (a book mark and chocolate). One of the books I received The Burning Girls. I decided I could use for the book with Royal Connection because the author’s name was Tudor like in Tudor monarchs.

Upon opening the book I found it was even more appropriate as it was centred around martyrs in time of Queen Mary. it was not a historic book however; it was set fairly recently with a female vicar regularly using airdrop feature on her phone and needing wi -fi. It had plenty of actions – twists and turns.

A book with weather referenced in the title

After reading and enjoying Alex Pine Christmas Killer I. December just before starting this challenge. I decided I could get away with reading his next book the Snow Killer in early Jan. It proved as enjoyable as the first even though this time I worked one big twist out early in the book; I was keen to keep turning pages to see when it would be revealed in the book!

A book set where born

I was born in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire which is an hour’s drive from where I live now in Sheffield. When in a discussion someone recommended Nell Pattison books for this category. As part of the challenge I bought and read Silent House and Silent Night. I have discovered there is a third in the series; Silent Victim; so will have to buy and read that one at some stage.

The books are about a British Sign Language Interpreter who is employed to work with Scunthorpe police and hence becomes involved with murders with deaf communities. It is fascinating and thought provoking, getting an insight into the Deaf community. The murderer identity reveal in both books revealed fairly far fetched murder scenario, but as just small part of the book then I still enjoyed the books overall.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen book review

Salmon fishing in the Yemen sounds a ridiculous concept! How could you have Salmon in Yemen? Well you could if you imported from Scotland! The book tells the story of a fictional attempt.

The project to introduce salmon fishing to Yemen was sparked by a Sheiki from Yemen. The government becomes involved. Therefore the book includes characters of fictional Prime Minister of England and his communication chief Peter Maxwell. Through the chain of command between government and civil service a Fish Scientist Alfred Jones is persuaded / forced to become involved in the project.

The book is told from the perspective of retrospectively reviewing the project through review of documents including emails, Alfred Jone’s diaries, transcripts of interviews and draft of Peter Maxwell’s autobiography. However, the construct of the book keeps the result of the project hidden from the reader until near the end.

The epistolic style of telling the story through letters (emails) and other documents initially seems dull. As the initial emails are authentically corporate emails. As the book continues they are so authentic or believable parody of political world; that like political satires like the Thick of it and Yes Prime Minister the book was amusing! The Prime Minister and Peter Maxwell talked and acted in a way that in my imagination were in the current manner of Boris Johnson in the real world. As this book was written pre 2007, it featured Boris Johnson as a journalist. It was confusing when I had imagined Peter to be like Boris that Boris was then interviewing Peter!

Peter and the Prime Minister are desperate to get a photo of the prime minister catching a salmon in Yemen in a cynical attempt to gain votes from anglers! Reminiscent of Boris as Mayor dangling over the Thames on a zip wire! It also rang bells in terms of how Peter, the Prime Minister and the various managers in the story at times were positive of the project, wanting credit for it and if it was not going well wanted to distance themselves from it and pretend had no knowledge! Heard such excuses from politicians a lot during pandemic … it was not a party, I don’t know about a party, I don’t know who paid for my flat decoration…etc

Alfred Jones seemed a dull character obsessed with minute detail of fish such as writing papers such as ‘Effects of increased water acidity on the caddis fly larva’. He was reminiscent of men I have encountered in real life. Although obsessed with fish which has become his career, he is married. Although his marriage seems to be a marriage of conscience. In the book he is mainly apart from his wife; corresponding by emails. Their emails by in large, seem cold and business like rather than affectionate. It annoyed me that underneath text of their emails in the books there were occasionally post scripts! This is not realistic of emails – you either realised forgot something before send email so add it in before sending or gave to send a second email! An undercurrent develops in the emails and his wife is patronising to Alfred, and you begin to feel sorry for him! The emails become subtly bitchy and if you can bring the situation to mind in your head then they are amusing.

This book set out as documents initially seems dull. But as described it builds momentum and it is a good ending. The characters are realistic characters and easy to imagine, you can imagine it as a film. Of course in a film you would lose the subtly of characters saying one thing but thinking another like being falsely positive about the project. I have just looked up and it was made into a film in 2011, starring Euan McGregor as Alfred – Wrong!!!! Too glamorous!!!!

Although not always fully respecting how book was written as a whole it has been thought provoking!

2021/2022 Book Clllub Update

I’m enjoying completing books and categories per this challenge.

The Categories

A book with an Island Connection

Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior. About an elderly millionaire making a trip to Locket island to find out about penguin conservation. She is initially seems an uptight woman but it is good to see different aspects of her personality emerge as the book continues and past tragedies revealed. 

A Christmas book

I read two. First One Day in December by Josie Silver. It is not set all at Christmas. It is a bit like my favourite book One Day in that follows a ‘will they won’t they couple’ over several years. It has some bitter sweet moments. Defiantly not a fluffy Christmas romance!

Christmas at the North Pole by Jamie Adnams. It was quite a whimsical book; I guess I managed to enjoy some charming snowy holiday vibes but overall a bit fluffy.

A book Set in Asia

I had a Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hossin on my list since reading Kite Runner last year. Both books are set in Afghanistan this one gave a insight into the lives of women ; it is mind boggling the difference in my life growing up in the UK at the same time as women in Afghanistan.

A book with X in title or author’s name

I doubled up on this category because I had one with x in authors name and one with x in title in TBR piles. First I read a Stuart Life Lived Backwards by Alexander Master. A biography of an unusual subject; a man who swings between prison, life of crime and homelessness. Shocking ending.

Between the time gap of a book with a building (tea shop) in the title and a book with a royal connection I read the Texas Ranger by James Pattison. AnnAmerican cop type thing, guess can see why James Pattison is popular for holiday reads and would maybe read one again.

A book with a building in the title

In between the two books for X category. it was Christmas. In a Christmas Eve box that I opened Christmas Eve Eve I received a book with a building in the title – I think a tea shop is a building! The book was Christmas with the Tea Shop Girls by Elaine Everest.

Actually the prologue was Christmas Eve then first chapter started 2nd Sep and worked forward to the aforementioned Christmas Eve; therefore it was not all Christmassy. It was a family saga set in wartime England; I do enjoy such books as it was a time of such change in the position of women. Indeed I enjoyed this one.

A book with a Royal Connection

I took part in a Christmas Secret Santa book exchange and was very lucky to received a few books (a book mark and chocolate). One of the books I received The Burning Girls. I decided I could use for the book with Royal Connection because the author’s name was Tudor like in Tudor monarchs.

Upon opening the book I found it was even more appropriate as it was centred around martyrs in time of Queen Mary. it was not a historic book however; it was set fairly recently with a female vicar regularly using airdrop feature on her phone and needing wi -fi. It had plenty of actions – twists and turns.

A book with weather referenced in the title

After reading and enjoying Alex Pine Christmas Killer I. December just before starting this challenge. I decided I could get away with reading his next book the Snow Killer in early Jan. It proved as enjoyable as the first even though this time I worked one big twist out early in the book; I was keen to keep turning pages to see when it would be revealed in the book!

A book set where born

I was born in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire which is an hour’s drive from where I live now in Sheffield. When in a discussion someone recommended Nell Pattison books for this category for myself I ordered two books. I read the first Silent House inside 24 hours. Now on to second and will have to buy third at some stage! The books are about a British Sign Language Interpreter who is employed to work with Scunthorpe police and hence becomes involved with murders with deaf communities. It is fascinating and thought provoking, getting an insight into the Deaf community. The Silent house kept me guessing, I did feel the answer to the mystery was a little flawed but as just small part of the book they is ok.

I have the following categories remaining and have got all the books plan to read apart from book bought second hand which will visit a charity shop for when read other categories.

A book from childhood

A book with a county in the title

A book of short stories

A book bought second hand

Top 5 Tuesday Book Resolutions

Below are the resolutions I’m setting. See Meghan’s blog for her and others resolutions.

1. Read Book Thief for January Book CLlub

2. Look through books for March Top 5 Tuesday scavenger prompts.

3. Read King short stories. This will fulfill book CLlub challenge category short stories and also give me more to judge Stephen King on!

Info about Book Clllub Challenge

4. Buy a second hand book for second hand category of challenge.

5. Read a Colleen Hoover book.

Facebook book clllub

I’m a member of a Facebook book group. People put posts related to books and therefore we discuss books. We have also given each books through Random Acts of Kindness, Secret Santas, Summer book swaps and to mark birthdays. It is a lovely community!

The last few years we have had a book challenge each year where we read books of our choosing to fit different categories.

https://wonderwall360blog.wordpress.com/2021/08/08/book-challenge-complete/

In 2021 we have also started picking a book each month to read. Then on the date of the book club discussion someone posts questions within a Facebook event and you can contribute ever your like. I like that can take time to form what to say and everyone gets to hear say whereas sometimes when discussing verbally the conversation can move in a new direction, before had say.

Books read and discussed

Pet Semetary by Stephen King.

The Midnight Library – Matt Haigh

They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

The Sight of you – Holly Miller

Pet Semetary by Stephen King

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewal

Inside Broadmoor – Jonathon Levi and Emma French.

The Power – Naomi Anderson

The Colour Purple

My favourite was definitely Midnight Library. It was one of the many we chose that centred around death! It was however uplifting and thought provoking. Similarly The Sight if You and they both die at the end was thought provoking about the choices made in life and whether best to know your destiny or not.

We also read Pet Semetary. I think it’s message was that death is part of life.

The Colour purple features a ghost. I found this book a little hard to follow and did not really engage with it.

Adding to our rather dark theme we read a true crime book about Broadmoor which is a mental hospital part of the prison system where serial killers go. There was some interesting parts of this book but ultimately it got very repetitive!

The power is not a genre I would choose to read as it is dystopian; I got through it, it was ok!

Finally the family upstairs involved some murders.

Next year we are starting with the Book Thief.

Top 5 Tuesday Dec 7th books on my Christmas list.

1. Comfort book by Matt Haig as loved his midnight library.

2. A slow fire burning by Paula Hawkins who wrote girl on the train.

3. Adele by L Slimani which I have wanted to read for a few years since read Lullaby.

4. Apples never fall far by Lianne Morietary as usually get something from her books.

5. The next in a series of books set in the Lake District by Rebecca Tope; I have read the first three so far.

Top 5 Tuesday 30 November signs book lover

This week Top 5 Tuesday hosted by is a freebie week so I have devised a list of sign’s that someone is a book lover.

1. Lots of shelves filled with books in house.

2. Books on bedside table

3. Taking pics of books to share on Instagram

4. Packing multiple books to go on holiday.

5. Have read books that tv programmes / films based upon.

Books in luggage

She’s Mine by A.A Chaudhuri Discussion Points

I’m afraid I was not feeling that impressed by this psychological theory, I found that how twisted some of the characters were, was not believable. Also some of the plot was rather implausible and other parts too obvious. Although it has made me think – so perhaps it has impact – Is that the same as being good?Below I will explain in more detail however please note this will reveal spoilers 🚨

Spoiler Alert 🚨

As soon as it was described how Janine had been in Hong Kong for years with an adopted daughter I was suspicious that she was the kidnapper; it just seemed to be too big a coincidence.

After Freya came to lunch where Greg and Ella not present I began to suspect Robyn, Freya and Amber were the same person and it fitted with the title ‘She’s Mine’. who I will now refer to as Heidi mk 2. Putting aside how twisted it is for Heidi mk 2 to be sleeping with her Father, brother and sister how was it even logistical possible for her to have conned them all by and for them not to find out until she was ready for it to be revealed? I guess can understand how Heidi mk2 manipulated the two men but, bit far fetched that the sister could be persuaded into a same sex relationship – I’m not against same sex relationships just concept of all 3 fancying same person; just too unbelievable!

Logistically still how did Heidi mk2 have time for all three? Then how did she keep everyone from finding out they were all sleeping with the same person? Can understand Greg was keeping it his affair a secret and can see his was a less time consuming relationship for Heidi mk2. But don’t know why Dan and Ella could not show each other photos of their partners. Or at least why Dan did not show Ella a picture, as what reason did he not to? You would think with socail media or picture message he would have sent an engagement photo? Then when he brought her round for a family dinner it was just too convenient that Greg and Ella were not there. Of course Ella was colluding with Heidi mk 2 so she had reason to keep it secret. Again something else I do not find believable is that Ella would have continued an intimate relationship with Heidi mk 2 when she revealed she was the daughter of someone her Mother had an affair with; knowing her older sister had been abducted then surely she would want to know who Heidi’s Father was or wonder whether they shared the same Mother?

The author tried to keep suspense by not revealing who Christine had been having an affair with. Christine whole life was wrecked with guilt how did she never reveal it to anyone? How could she continue her relationship with Janine?

The way it was done was irritating always keeping him so anonymous; I can see was needed for the story because if it had been known by the characters and or the reader before then that would have totally changed the book. But it was just really clumsy how she would not give his name or even in here point of view sections she did not think of him as Janine’s husband! This book would not work as a film because would know who Heidi mk2 in all her guises was and who Christine’s affair had been with.

The other way the author tried to throw the reader was with Miranda’s point of view; showing how Miranda was jealous of Christine and her having a baby. But the suggestion that at the same time Janine kidnapped Heidi that Miranda was about to do the same thing was again unbelievable. It is not like supposed friends are always about to kidnap your children so too women aiming to do it the same day is too far fetched.

As regards the actual kidnapping, I can not buy into how Janine persuaded her husband Nate to inflict kidnapping the daughter of someone he loved or at least lusted, the author just said Janine blackmailed him with revealing the affair and that would have been bad professionally. But surely he would not risk being found to be involved with kidnapping a child?! Suspending disbelief and thinking he would go along with the plan … well it was not exactly foolproof! There was no guarantee that Christine would have been distracted enough to wander away and let the buggy out of her sight; yes I know the fact the book says she did is meant to show she cared for her lover more than her daughter. But even if she had not been intently guarding her daughter for her to have been so far away not to see and hear her daughter taken? And for no customers to see and the shop assistant to have disappeared into the stockroom too?

To stretch things even further we are then expected to believe Nate knew Janine had killed little Heidi but still lies for her. Furthermore he stayed with her knowing she was a psychopath who killed a child and he moved countries with her an adopted a child with her and he let her corrupt their adopted daughter.

I mean how on earth did Heidi mk2 get so twisted to sleep with sister and brother. Fair enough she knew Greg not her Father. Then after being apparently so under Janine’s spell she suddenly hated her and killed her.

It was certainly a creative book!