Top 5 books I will Definitely Read this year

This week Meeghan has asked what we will definitely (well almost certainly) , read this year. These are books I intending to read to complete the Locket book challenge for which there are the following prompts:

A book with a preposition in the title (e.g. in, on, through, under)

A book set in Africa

A book with a colour in the title

A book with a family member (e.g. brother)in the title

A book with the name of a town or city in the title

A book with a school subject in the title (e.g. English, History…)

A book about a journey

A book with a girl’s name in the title

A book by a local author

A book with a type of plant in the title

A book with a beautiful cover

A book with a body part in the title

My top 5

1. The 7 husbands of Evelyn Hugo to finally see what fuss about Tayler Jenkins Reid is. Also in terms of the Locket challenge Husband fits into the family member category, of is a preposition and it Evelyn is a girl’s name.

2. The Geography of friendship. My sister bought me this book for Christmas. I do not know anything about the book but handily as it includes geography in the title it fits the school subject category.

3. Americanah by Ngozi Adichie which is a book club book later this year. It centres around Nigeria therefore fits the Africa catergory.

4. Black eyed Susan’s by Julia Herberlin will allow me in one swoop to tick off a lot of categories for the Locket challenge; colour, body part, girls name and black eyed Susan’s are a flower therefore also counting under category of a plant.

5. Arabian nights was given to me by book secret Santa 🎅. It falls into the beautiful cover category as it is a Penguin hardbound cloth edition with it’s own ribbon page marker. Going to be tough as nearly 500 pages of dense small text.

Top 5 Tuesday anticipated 2021 books

I just have two but Meeghan who set the topic has five; see Meeghan’s post for her five plus links to others that have participated this week. My two are:

1. I read the Salt Path by Raynor Winn. in just a couple of days last week. The author Raynor’s husband has a terminal condition and they have been evicted it is about their journey walking 630miles. I want to read the sequel The Wild Silence to find out what. happens next; it is out 27May2021.

Reading about walking long distances

2. I read the Thursday murder book club by Richard Osman last year. I loved the characters, so wanted more of them. A little bit scared of the sequel as it is about murders in a retirement village so more of the same may start seeming ridiculous in a small community but I’m prepared to find out! This sequelae is not out until September 2021!

I wouldn’t * walk 500 miles BUT love to read about such journeys

It is a thrilling adventure to walk day after day to get from place A to place B hundreds of miles away. There is a risk of blisters though doing it therefore an alternative is to read about the adventures!

* I do contemplate long distance walks and I’m crazy enough to may be do it for the achievement and adventure. At present just reading about such journeys.

Over just a couple of days this week I have read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. It is about true life story about a couple who upon bring evicted decide to walk the South West coast path which is 630miles. Raynor’s Winn has been told he has a terminal disease although it can only 100% be confirmed at post mortem. It has made me think what terminal means; looking it up it is a disease that can not be cured which will ultimately lead to death. Sometimes the times the term life limiting is used instead of terminal. Walking 630miles do not seem to fit with those terms although some people with a terminal condition will deteriorate faster. The book is also thought provoking as regards homelessness. I definitely recommend!

For a blog about long distance walking I recommend 50foothead about the ongoing journey from foot of England lands end to the top of the head of Scotland John O’Groates.

I also enjoyed reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harald Fry by Rachel Joyce. A fictional story about Harald Fry setting out to post a letter but walking past letter boxes to the next letterbox and ultimately deciding just to keep walking for days to deliver his letter.

A review of 2020 book resolutions

Resolutions wrote in a different time! I was not sure about committing to my book club due to journeying to it! Since April this has not been a problem as it has been virtual. I ordered a book in March from the library but it then shut before I could pick up the book! It was months before the library reopened and by that time as needed the book for a book club had bought it myself. Once library reopened it has been click and collect and they can not get books loaned from other libraries therefore not borrowed a book from the library, this meant I did not achieve resolution 6 but I did achieve all the others.

2020 book resolutions

Top 5 Tuesday 2020 books

All the books I have read this year can be seen by searching for the #wonderwall360books2020. I looked through myself to think about what my top 5 of the year as prompted by Meeghan were.

1. Doll by Phoebe Morgan.

2. Love the book I have just finished Thursday Murder club by Richard Osman.

3. 9 perfect strangers by Loraine Moriety

4. The Holiday by Tim Logan

5. An unwanted guest Lari Shapena

What were your favourites of 2020?

Blogmas: First 5 ever blog book reviews and last 5 blog book reviews

As I’m coming up to my fourth anniversary of the blog I have been reflecting back on some of my first posts. These were my first 5 ever book review on my blog.

1. Dear Amy

2. Woman next door

3. Black Dahlia

4. Zoo Keeper’s wife

5. Into the Water

My most recent 5 book reviews were:

1. One of my favourite authors but in view of that slightly disappointed by this book. Book of Two Way by Piccoult

2. Features my home town Sheffield. Post Birthday World

3. A murder mystery type book. The Unwanted Guest by S.Lapena

4. The Good Father

5. A new favourite author I discover this year The Dolls House by Phoebe Morgan

Blogmas: 5 Christmas reads

The last couple of years I have tried to read christmas themed books in December.

1. In December 2018 I read:

Mistletoe kisses by Katie Flyn,  I bought this book from a shelf of Christmas books at Oxfam. It was not very Christmas as it in a book that spanned about a decade the kiss was only a small part. It was about life before and during the 2nd world war in Liverpool, an era I enjoy reading about, but this book was mediocre

2. Christmas at the little bakery by Jenny Colgon which I found very average.

In December 2019 I read:

3. A December wedding and a 4. book of short stories by Paige Toone; neither of which were particularly christmassy. See Here for full reviews.

So far in 2020. I have read 4. Christmas with the Bomb Girls by Daisy Styles. As the name suggests it was a wartime book. There was some tragedy and lots of romance. Christmas only came into the book right at the end.

5. Nobody cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley. This seemed an appropriate title for this uncertain year. As it was only £1 it would have been rude not to buy. I can not complete for a £1; it was all set around Christmas, had some snow and some romance. Readable if not scintillating.

I’m now reading Christmas at Liberty’s by Fiona Ford.

Are there any Christmas themed books that you would recommend? Given I do not feel I have hit on a perfect Christmas book yet!

Blogmass: Locket Challenge

This year I read the following books that fitted the 2020 Locket challenge books.

Book set in wartime

Over the Rooftops. Set in Amsterdam during 2nd world war. Mini review in my April Summary.

April summary

Autobiography or biography

The Coops got bananas 🍌 by Hunter Davis. Included in April summary.

A book with a one word title

Capital by John Lancaster.

A book with food or drink in the title

Blood orange by Harriet Trice.

A book over 500 pages long

Caroline’s sister by Shelia O Flanagon.

An author’s debut novel

A woman is no man, Etaf Rum

Doll’s House which is debut for Phoebe Morgan. Have since read her book The Babysitter and enjoyed.

A prize winning book

Olive reader won Richard and Just how to get published prize. Read in January.

January 2020 Summary

A book that is set in an European country (not the UK). 

West of the wall by Marcia Preston which was about the Berlin Wall.

A book published in 2020

Sex and Lies which was a collection of interviews with women by the author of Lullaby Leila Slimani.

A book with z or q in the title

The Saboteur of Austwitz by Colin Rushton.

A book about books

Paris by the book by Liam Callanan. Was set in a book shop in Paris.

A book with a geographical feature in the title (e.g river, mountain etc).

Lake house by Kim Edwards. Included in April summary.

Death : The book of two ways by Jodi Piccoult

Rather appropriately I started reading the book of two ways on Halloween / Mexico day of the dead. It is about a woman who’s first career was looking at Egyptian tombs and then later became a death doula falling supporting her dying Mother. A death doula is about supporting a dying person and their family. I think it was an interesting concept the parallels between the openness of Egyptians with their preparations for death and the work of a death doula. Disappointingly especially for a Jodi Piccoult book who’s work are usually so good at exploring contentious issues, this book did not get realise the potential of the concept and failed to get deep into the issues of death.

Earlier on in the book the woman is involved in a plane crash. Apart from the story is not too clear as to where the crash fits into the chronology. Initially the issue with this, is what you think happens after the crash does not quite make sense. Also the book does skims, very briefly over how this woman who has had so much to do with death handles the prospect of her own death.

I did get through this book in 8 days. Partly because on the 8th day I was seeing my sister to pass it on to her so sat down to get to the end. It was not too much of a chore doing this; it was very readable just it lacked power and was disappointing as an avid fan of Piccoult.

Top 5 Tuesday: Books I’m glad I read

I started writing this post with prompt from Meeghan by thinking what books I was glad I read this year but that, was turning into just the books I have enjoyed most this year so that is a bit boring. Instead I have widened it out timewise to cover books that I’m pleased I have read even though may not have loved the process of reading the book,

1. 1984 not an easy book to read. But good to understand when people make reference to concepts in it such as big brother. I wanted to understand when people made those references to 1984 and was inspired to read it when I saw Cocoa in Sheffield were doing a book club meet for it. This book therefore got me it to that; thinking about it on and off I must have been going to that book club intermittently for more than 5 years. Last year 2019 Cocoa stopped hosting it. We met at the beginning of 2020 in Hoppers on Ecclesall road and since lockdown have gone virtual.

2. Rebecca. I’m not a big fan of classics but this is my favourite. I enjoyed reading it I’m glad that I can say I have enjoyed a classic albeit a modern classic.

4. Extract of Catch 22. I remember reading this in St James Park next to Buckingham palace. I’m glad from it I understand the catch 22 situation but as the extract was so hard to read I’m glad I did not attempt the full book.

3. The idea to include this book in my Top 5 came from Cheryl who included in hers. Like me Cheryl was not an earlier adopter of Harry Potter. Here comes an unpopular opinion I’m including the first Harry Potter on this list and saying I’m glad I read it even though I did not particularly enjoy it. I’m glad I read it so I can say I have tried it and it was not for me rather than just saying I have not read.

5. One Day by David Nicholas. Because I have enjoyed reading it twice. The second time I read it was in Edinburgh where I chased the characters footsteps, so it has given me hours of entertainment!

Retracing one day

Oh yes I’m also glad I read it because I manage to shoe horn it into many Top 5 Tuesday’s!

Are there books you are glad you read even though you may not have throughly enjoyed? Either like Meeghan this year or in your lifetime?