Thursday 31 December 2020

Reading Round-Up: November/December 2020

The Writing Greyhound Books

I think it's pretty safe to say that we will all be happy to finally see the end of 2020! What a year it's been - a global pandemic, lockdowns around the world, and plenty of worry and heartache for us all. So, let's try not to dwell on 2020 any longer than we have to - tomorrow is a brand new year! 

Join me as I wrap up the last few months of 2020, sharing all my bookish news from November and December and looking ahead to 2021.

Tuesday 29 December 2020

2020: My Year in Review

2021 2021

Somehow it's December, and there are only a few days left of the year. It's safe to say that 2020 hasn't turned out the way any of us planned this time last year, but it's certainly been memorable and it won't be forgotten in a hurry! 

In amongst all the talk of COVID-19, Brexit, and social distancing, it has been difficult to find some semblance of normality to remind us of brighter times. However, despite all the doom and gloom, that thin thread of hope is still there, shining in the darkness and making sure we keep doing our best and working towards a time - hopefully in the not-too-distant future - where all this is just a bad memory.

Until then, though, I'm back with my annual round-up of the past year. 2020 was always going to be a difficult one thanks to the pandemic and everything else happening around the world right now, but I've done my best to pick out the flowers among the weeds from what has been a challenging year for us all. 

2019 was a pretty good year, but what positives did 2020 hold for me? 

Wednesday 23 December 2020

My Top 5 Books of 2020

Top 5 books 2020

It's certainly been a strange year, yet at least lockdown has meant more time for reading! As the time for another annual reading round-up draws closer, I've put my thinking cap on to decide my top five books of 2020.

In early December, I smashed past my target goal of reading 50 books in 2020. This year has been a bumper one for my reading habits, where not only have I read more books than I've managed since 2016, but I've also read more pages across those books than I have since 2013! 

But with so many books under my belt, it's been even harder to narrow down my favourites this year. However, after a lot of deliberation, I've finally managed to come up with my top five books of 2020!

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Book Review: The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas

The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas book cover

AD* | Effie Truelove has just been expelled from magic class and now she can’t even get back to the Otherworld—the place she most loves and where she feels she belongs. If she can find a copy of The Chosen Ones by Laurel Wilde to give her father then she might be able to fix everything.

The only problem is that there are suddenly no copies of the book anywhere, because Albion Freake, the richest man in the world, is paying for them to be destroyed so that he can own the single-volume limited edition that publisher Skylurian Midzhar is making for him.

Raven Wilde’s witch’s intuition tells her there’s something suspicious about Skykurian’s plan, but she’s not sure what it is.

And Maximilian has somehow managed to go missing deep in Napoleonic Europe.

Will the five friends from Dragon’s Green - Effie, Raven, Maximilian, Lexy, and Wolf—be able to combine their skills again to save the world from the Diberi? And can they get away from Terrence Deer-Hart, the children’s author who seems a bit too interested in Effie’s life?

Thursday 10 December 2020

Book Review: The Open House by Sam Carrington

The Open House by Sam Carrington book cover

AD* | Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves...

Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.

When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.

But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.

Someone doesn't want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it...

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Book Review: All About Us by Tom Ellen

All About Us by Tom Ellen book cover

AD* | If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

Monday 7 December 2020

Book Review: Love in Lockdown by Chloe James

Love in Lockdown by Chloe James book cover

AD* | Sophia is afraid lockdown will put her life on pause – just as she was she was going to put herself out there and meet someone. When the first clap for the keyworkers rings out around her courtyard, she’s moved to tears for all kinds of reasons.

Jack is used to living life to the fullest and is going stir-crazy after just days of isolating. Until that night he hears a woman crying from the balcony beneath him. He strikes up a conversation with the stranger and puts a smile back on her face.

Soon their balcony meetings are the highlight of Jack and Sophia’s days. But even as they grow closer together, they’re always kept apart. 

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Book Review: Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn

Last Updated: 20 October 2021

Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn book cover

A heartwarming, romantic and Christmassy novel set in the gorgeous Cornish village of Conwenna Cove.

When Grace Phillips travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. Grace soon meets local vet Oli Davenport and initially finds him rude, but learning about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.

It’s been two years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart.

As the snow falls and Christmas wishes come true can Conwenna Cove work its magic and help Grace and Oli find the happiness they both deserve?