I got so absorbed in this book! The circus, magic, a love story and a courageous heroine to boot....what's not to love? Although this is historical fiction set pre- and post-WWII, this is a creative and unique story, and a nice, easy and captivating read.
Set in the nightclubs of London during the "Roaring Twenties", this is a cracking novel! The story jumps about a bit at the beginning, but the large cast of colorful characters are so vividly portrayed (with witty dialogue) that they keep you hooked and the story soon becomes clear. A fun, mysterious and entertaining story to get immersed in.
Maggie O'Farrell does it again! This time her story is all about the young duchess, Lucrezia de'Medici, in Renaissance Italy. I love her historical details - they really bring the story to life. It's all power, politics, and a vibrant heroine. All topped off with a surprising twist at the end!
Oh my goodness, how much do I love Albert, a 65 year old postman in Lancashire, England? Well....a little bit more than I did yesterday and a little bit less than I will tomorrow. Such a lovely, funny, sad but uplifting book that will warm the cockles of your heart, and prove that it's never too late to turn your life around. A story about hope, love, courage and standing up for yourself, it made me laugh out loud and cry real tears too! Loved every single thing about this book, it's a definite must-read!
Six friends at the exclusive Pelham College in Oxford and a murder. Told in dual timelines (10 years ago at college and the present day) this is dark, compelling, and riveting. A true character driven whodunnit full of twists and red herrings. I thought I knew the culprit but I was so wrong!! Great as an audio book from Libro.fm too!
The second rule of commuting - never talk to strangers on the train. Meet Iona, Piers, Sanjay & Emmie - 4 commuters who share the same train every day but never speak, until one day Piers starts to choke on a grape and Sanjay intervenes and saves his life. Thus begins a very special friendship between these four and a few others who share the same carriage.
This is a charming, endearing story full of quirky, wonderful characters (Clare Pooley writes them so brilliantly) that will make you smile. It's a delightful, easy and unputdownable read, and I aspire to be more like Iona!
I loved Elizabeth Zott! She's a quirkly, dynamic, headstrong heroine who is, above all else, a brilliant chemist. She struggles to be taken seriously but refuses to bow to the expectations and societal norms for women in the sixties. The story is funny, profound, entertaining, brazenly feminist, and Elizabeth has the BEST dog ever, Six-Thirty! You don't want to miss this wonderful debut novel!
After reading and loving "Ghosted" I was so excited to read Rosie Walsh's new book, and I wasn't disappointed! Secrets, so many secrets. How well do you really know the person you're married to? This is a drama-filled love story full of twists and surprises. Told in dual timelines from dual points of view this is an intriguing and captivating page turner. I couldn't put it down!
Sepetys is brilliant at bringing lesser known history alive! This story is set in Romania towards the end of the Ceausescu regime, and is a stark and relevant reminder that historical atrocities are often very recent (1989 is yesterday to me). A well researched, heartbreaking, eye-opening, and humbling story of 17 year old Cristian who is blackmailed into becoming an informer. This is marketed as a YA title but please, please don't let that stop you from reading an amazing book.
If you're a novice breadmaker, like me, you need (no pun intended!) this book!! Everything I've made has worked perfectly, been easy and totally delicious! And our home smells amazing on baking day! I love, love this book!
If you're a cook (or just love food!) and enjoy historical fiction this book is for you. Set in England in the early 1800s, this story is based on the real life of Eliza Acton , the author of the first modern cookbook, assisted by her fictional servant Ann Kirby. A tale of two women from very different backgrounds who form a great friendship based on their love of good food!
If you like quirky heroines (think Eleanor Oliphant) you'll love Molly The Maid. She's socially awkward and a little odd but the best maid out there! A light and humorous mystery about what happens when Molly finds a dead body in one of the hotel rooms she is cleaning. Totally heartwarming and hard to put down!
Historical fiction about the early days of World War II, and bright young Evelyn Varley who gets recruited to MI5 in London. Based on real people and events it's a great depiction of the world of espionage and the sacrifices and consequences one faced by being part of the spy network. Interesting author's notes at the end too!
Martha Hall Kelly knocks it out of the park again! Set against the backdrop of the Civil War this story introduces us to more real-life women of the Woolsey/Ferriday family. Told from three different points of view (a Union nurse, a slave girl, and a female plantation owner-turned-spy) each story merges together beautifully. If you enjoyed Lilac Girls and Lost Roses you'll love this one, although you don't need to have read them as each novel stands up very well on its own. Great historical fiction!
My new absolute all time favorite book!! Quite simply the loveliest, most heartwarming, uplifting, feel good and funniest book I’ve read in a very long time. Norman, Sadie & Leonard will stick with me for a long while to come.
A unique and compelling story centered around the fictional wife of Jesus...Ana, a young woman desperate to have a voice and control of her own life. I loved the familiarity of the biblical references too. Did not want it to end!
Fredrik Backman at his best! He creates such wonderful characters and has a superb understanding of the human psyche. Definitely a story for now - we're all searching for something, doing the best we can and living our lives the only way we know how, even if it does make us "idiots"! This book brings out all the feels - read it now!
A perfect book to cozy up to by the fire, especially while it's cold and dark outside. Terrific light read! Great fun with lots of humor, warmth and charm, and quirky, improbable elderly folks "helping" the police solve a crime that happened on their doorstep. I want to live in a retirement home like this one when that time comes!!
From a tiny English village to glittering Hollywood in the 1940s this story shines a light on just how broad Jane Austen's fan base is. This novel is full of interesting characters (most of them endearing) and references to many of Austen's stories. You don't have to be a Jane Austen fan to enjoy this book but it may make you want to read more of her work afterwards!
We all know about Shakespeare's work but how much do we know about his life? I, for one, knew very little which is the best way to go into this book. I found it fascinating and so beautifully written, sad but utterly captivating. This is a real gem!
There is so much more to this book than just a good read. A great story with an underlying and interesting social commentary that highlights issues around racism, feminism and privilege. Very thought provoking - I couldn't decide who was right or wrong....can you? - Polly
For anyone, or the parents of anyone, struggling to find their way in the world. Read this book and understand that anything can happen and you don't have to have it all figured out right now. A very uplifting take-a-leap-of-faith kind of book that I cried and laughed through, but most of all totally connected with. Well worth the read! -Polly
Sometimes fate is cruel, but true love will always endure. A beautiful and enthralling love story set against the political upheaval of iran in 1953 and present day New England. Unputdownable! -Polly
Loved this!! I connected with Dan on so many levels (especially the bookstore bits) and sobbed at his lessons for Cassidy at the end (I made my daughter read them too!). What a funny, captivating, and utterly relatable book. Read it now! -Polly
Things are not always as they seem. This story shows how one small misunderstanding or piece of misinformation can set off a totally unexpected chain of events. Written on many levels it took me a while to get into, but once I did I couldn't put it down, desperate to know how it all plays out in the end. -Polly
Oh my goodness... I loved this book and so didn't want it to end. I came to care about these four children so much, and what family, love, friendship, and most of all, home meant to them. Beautifully written with the feel of a modern classic, it's an epic story! -Polly
The story of 26-year-old Mia whose perfect life is suddenly and unexpectedly turned upside-down. She embarks on a humanitarian trip around the world to try and "make a difference." Things don't go the way she thought they would, but it turns out life has a way of pointing you in the right direction when you need it. -Polly
I loved spending time wiht this quirky bookworm! A light, entertaining read for anyone who would pick time on the couch with a good book over everything else! -Polly
How well do you know your neighbors? Your friends? When was the last time you shared a deep truth about yourself? This is the premise of this lovely, community feel-good story with endearing characters, a notebook, and unlikely friendships. What's not to like? Utterly endearing! - Polly
A delightfully funny and, in the end, poignant story of a son and the fragile relationship he has with his mother. Featuring the inimitable Jackie Kennedy Onassis!! Have the tissues ready - you'll need them! -Polly
An oldie but a goodie! If you like writing and words you will love this linguistic tour de force of a novel all centered around the immortal phrase "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog."
A very, very clever read! -Polly
A book all about being a woman, friendship, mentoring others, and making your way in the world. Although set in 2006 and written a while ago, it is so relevant for today's women, especially in light of the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements. a must read for anyone interested in feminism, relationships, and life in general. -Polly
A memoir in short essays. Insightful, moving, laugh-out-loud funny, and so relatable that, at times, I thought she was writing about me! For "women of a certain age" this will have you shouting "yes, yes, yes... what she said!" Rest assured that whatever is going on in life, you're not alone. Delightful!! -Polly
Although this is fiction, the story is based on horrifying and true events in the 1930s Memphis at the Tennessee Children's Home Society run by Georgia Tanu (a real person). Two stories (past and present) focusin on one fictional family forever changed by the actions of this dreadful woman. Heart-rending - I was shocked when I found it was baed on fact. Well worth the read. -Polly
A quick, fun read full of family secrets, mysterious relationships, and mistaken identities. Set on the Norfolk coast of England and interweaving two time periods, this is an impressive debut novel, full of twists and turns that will have you up late at night to finish it! -Polly
I loved this! It took a while to take off, but stick with it. An emotional love story about loss and second chances, with secrets and plot twists you won't see coming. Every time I thought I had it all figured out, I was wrong! If you want a captivating distraction, this is the book you want. -Polly
This book is essentially aimed at tweens, but in my opinon, everyone should read it! It's the first book I've read from start to fnish in one sitting for a very long time. It touched me very much and made me laugh, cry, and wish I'd had a teacher like Mr Brown. Simply but beautifully written, and passes along a true lesson in compassion, acceptance, and understanding. -Polly
Eleanor has no filter - she is blunt... very blunt! She is the very definition of socially awkward. She exists by strict routine but doesn't "live." After she strikes up an unlikely friendship at work, slowly the underlying dark mystery of her traumatic past is revealed. Quirky characters and a plot where kindness wins the day makes a great read! -Polly
A young French girl, Addie, makes a deal with the darkness in 1714. This is the story of her extraordinary life, spanning over 300 years, during which time she is remembered by no one. Then one day she meets Henry who utters those three magical words "I remember you". Magical, beautiful, hearbreaking - loved it!
A domestic thriller that starts off slowly but turns into a page turning, fast read that races to a climactic ending. It had me guessing all the way to the end!
Try "The Other Woman" too - another gripping read by the same author. - Polly
All humans must read this book. It is very life-affirming and is nourishment for the soul. I especially like the mole, he has a sound philosophy. The illustrations are quite astonishing too. - Jonathan (Polly's brother)
The story of two siblings, Danny and Maeve, and their unbreakable bond with the house they grew up in. Full of family trials and tribulations, this is a truly absorbing read. If you'd rather listen to it (ask us how) it's read by non other than Tom Hanks! - Polly
It took me a while to actually pick up this book to read after all the hype and controversy surrounding it, but I am so glad I did. An extraordinary, heart-stopping, page-turner of a NOVEL. It had me on the edge of my seat constantly. It is heartbreaking and thrilling at the same time. The opening chapter is horrifying but the need to follow the story of these characters and to find out what happens to them is compelling. One of the best books I've read this year. - Polly
This story is set in post civil war Spain during the dictatorship of General Franco. I was transported to sun-drenched Madrid in 1957, as the story, told by two young protagonists from drastically different backgrounds, unfolds. This is very well written, informative historical fiction that will appeal to both teens and adults. I loved it! - Polly
Finlay Donovan is an assassin....but she doesn't really want to be one, never even intended to be one! Chivvied along by her babysitter and in desperate need of the money (and an idea for her latest novel) Finlay gets embroiled in a messy situation, totally not of her choosing. A fun, madcap mystery romp - I really enjoyed it!
The Bad Muslim Discount is a lot more substantial than I expected, based on the cover and the blurb. There are funny moments (I loved Anwar's Dad) but there are violent and emotional parts too. It tackles some big issues and is a powerful story, highlighting how diverse the Muslim community is. A great read.
Get ready to cry from laughter but also for the beautiful and tender family interactions in this wonderful book that will fill your heart. I thought it was going to be a light and fluffy read, and to a certain extent it is, but there is a whole lot of depth to it as well. A perfect read and exactly what I'd hoped for. I loved his other books (Lily & The Octopus, The Editor) but this is truly my favorite!