The Year in Books: December

My book for December is going to be The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg.  It's the sequel to The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules which I've almost finished reading and am thoroughly enjoying.  Very pleased there is a sequel!

As I explained earlier this month, I didn't choose a book for November as there was nothing I wanted to read.  A trip to the library was required, and resulted in me selecting Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French.  I love her television work, and had high hopes for this book.

Sadly, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.  It just wasn't very funny.  Well, it was funny, but only occasionally.  Silvia is in a coma, and various friends and family members come to see her.  Through their stories the reader learns more about Silvia, what she's done, and why she did what she did.  A few of the characters were just downright annoying (and annoying annoying, not annoying that is funny) and several of the timings about who did what when seemed inaccurate which annoyed me further.  I do want to read Dawn French's other book (I've since borrowed it from the library) and I'm hoping it is better, and funnier.  

Perfect by Rachel Joyce was one of the books I picked up when I headed back to my parents' last month.  Not a book I would have chosen in a shop (the title would put me off) but I really enjoyed it.   The book skips between two years, 1972 and the present day.  Two seconds were added to time in 1972 in order balance clocks with the earth's movement.  On the day young Byron believes these seconds are added his mum makes a mistake and throughout the rest of the summer holiday Byron and his friend James try to deal with the repercussions of this event.  In the present day, middle-aged Jim is trying to lead a relatively normal life taking into consideration his extreme OCD and his mental health history.   The story moved along at a good pace and was well-written.

The Crooked House* by Christobel Kent satisfied my need for a mystery/thriller book.  Alison used to be Esme, a little girl who is the sole survivor of a traumatic event.  Alison, along with her partner Paul, returns to the small community where this event happened as she tries to confront people and places in her past.  Whilst I liked the overall plot, I thought there were too many characters (especially as some knew Alison, some knew Esme and some might know Esme-who-is-now-Alison and I'm still not entirely sure how everyone fitted together) and it skipped a lot between the present day and the past.  Usually in books I can keep up with this, but Alison thinking about the past didn't sound too different from Esme in the past and sometimes it took me a page or two to work out where I was.  

The Story of You by Katy Regan moved along at a tremendous pace and I finished it on a 50 minute train ride.  Robyn, a 20-something year old nurse heads home for a funeral, meeting up with a person who was a significant part of her life as a teenager.  A traumatic event happened when she was 16, and she has to come to terms (as much as she can) with this event, in order to move forward.  Well-written, well-paced and engaging, although a tad predictable in places.

Jocelyn organised a book swap for last month as part of her #bringbackpaper campaign, and I received The One Plus One from Chantelle.   I love participating in swaps but there's always a risk that you're going to receive a book you've already read or a book you really don't want to read (sorry, sci-fi, but I just don't get you).  Thankfully, I hadn't read this book and it sounded quite good - success!

It's a very fat book so did hurt my thumbs after a while, but it had a relatively large print and so I whizzed through it in a couple of evenings.  Jess is a single mum with two jobs and two children - teenager Nicky is being bullied and young Tanzie has been offered a scholarship to a private school but Jess can't afford the remainder of the fees.  Then they all encounter wealthy Ed and everything becomes a bit chaotic.  I thought the plot was quite predictable but it was pleasant enough.  Glad I had the opportunity to try out a new author, anyway.

I am thoroughly back on board with reading again, thankfully!  I'm not feeling very well today (first - and hopefully last - cold of the season) so I'm planning on doing nothing more than sitting on the sofa with a large mug of tea, a book, and a box of tissues.

Joining in with Laura.

*Thank you to NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.


  1. I still haven't finished Perfect... thanks for reminding me. I am not too sure if I like it actually. I hope you feel better by now. x

    1. Thank you, I am indeed better now thankfully! I think Perfect is the sort of book you have to be in the right mood for, I can completely see myself not enjoying it had I read it at another time, if that makes sense!

  2. I loved The One Plus One. I've read many of Jojo's books and they're reliably good reads. Just what I want most of the time!

    1. I like reliably good - sometimes that's just what you need!

  3. Wow that is a lot of rising in a month! Sounds like you have got your teeth back into it ;)

    1. Oh yes! I knew I'd enjoy reading again soon!


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