mrschristine.com

2014

Cold Feet at Christmas by Debbie Johnson

Published December 4, 2022

Cold Feet at Christmas by Debbie Johnson

I whipped through this book in super quick time, my first Christmas book of the festive season. It starts off with our heroine running out on her wedding and very quickly falling into the arms of her saviour, who of course comes with his own baggage. At first, I thought this was going to be a bit dull, the pair fell in love very quickly and usually what we’re looking for in Christmas cheesy rom-coms is the will-they-won’t-they. But it started taking twists and turns I wasn’t expecting and kept me reading until the end. Not bad, but I suppose not really that Christmassy once the initial stage is over.

The Escape by David Baldacci

Published December 2, 2022

The Escape by David Baldacci

Although Will Robie was my first Baldacci series, I think John Puller has grown on me more. This book really leans in to his difficult family dynamic, with a brother in prison… although not for long! The stakes are high again, and as we delve into the world of espionage and treason, it’s so hard to know who to trust and who is telling the truth. The tension ramps up really well in this book and culminates in the Pentagon, and it’s just a really action-packed journey. Baldacci always writes well, short, sharp sentences that bring you right into the heart of the adventure. What’s next??

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

Published October 20, 2022

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

This is just an incredible book from start to finish. I’ve seen the film already and loved it, so was keen to read the source material and it’s even better. It’s wonderful writing, witty and insightful, full of honesty and humour and thoughtfulness and longing, and alongside all that it’s telling a fantastic story. I couldn’t necessarily relate to Johanna/Dolly but it didn’t matter because it was so well told that I was there for every moment of the journey. Wonderful.

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth

Published July 4, 2022

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth

This is a great book that delves into that problem that many people will have experienced - the drama that ensues when you are caught between your new romance and your close friend, particularly if they don’t get on very well. It’s highly engrossing, this story, and so well written that you can really get a sense of the characters and of the rollercoaster of swinging between sober and high/drunk. It brilliantly captures those moments where you say you’re going to be good and then wake up next day feeling rotten and remembering nothing. Some of it was kinda gross but that just made it more human - I did not want to stop reading.

What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

Published March 30, 2022

What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

You’ve got to love wisdom from the goddess that is Oprah. I loved this book just because it shares snippets of insight, honesty, life stories and advice, whilst not being judgemental and really just saying ‘it’s there for the taking’. It’s a little repetitive in places, but these are nuggets that bear repeating - be kind, be good, believe in yourself, take time for yourself, and just breathe.

The Rejected Writer's Book Club by Suzanne Kelman

Published March 16, 2022

The Rejected Writer's Book Club by Suzanne Kelman

This is such an odd little book but it was completely readable from start to finish. At first, I couldn’t really see where it was going - there was a lot of detail about our protagonist’s life, including her husband’s obsession with trapping a raccoon, but things gradually started to pick up pace. The underlying concept didn’t quite hang right for me, this odd little rejection club, but it didn’t really matter, the fun was having this adorably oddball collection of people forced to spend time together. A good read, and a happy finish. Apparently there’s more in the series, so I’ll be looking out for the next one.

Kickback by Damien Boyd

Published January 11, 2022

Kickback by Damien Boyd

There was a special deal on some of this Inspector Nick Dixon series, so having read through the first two, I figured it couldn’t hurt to go all in. These are relatively easy books to whip through, and getting invested and following regular characters can be a lot of fun. In this one, it felt like the relationship and partnership with Jane was building a lot more - they work well together and are going to have to navigate spending a lot of time together at home and at work.

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler

Published December 24, 2021

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler

You have to be in the right mood for a book like this, but when you are, it is a wonderful experience. I read through this in just a couple of short sittings - racing through the calm, simple, gentle life of Andreas Egger, who lived the best he could in relatively reduced circumstances. It was simple, and really not that much happened, but at the same time it was somehow unputdownable.

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley

Published December 18, 2021

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley

This was a good set up for a story, people heading out of their comfort zone for a final Christmas together as a family, and I really felt the atmosphere nicely. I didn’t feel like there was a lot of plot to unravel, though - from the very beginning it was clear that the parents didn’t actually want to split, we knew straight away that there had been a miscommunication over the sexuality of our main couple, and all the other ones needed was a minute to relax. It was mostly just like spending time in the company of these characters, rather than actually getting a super-duper story. But still, very Christmassy!

A History of the First World War in 100 Objects by John Hughes-Wilson

Published September 17, 2021

A History of the First World War in 100 Objects by John Hughes-Wilson

There are a lot of books out there that have jumped on the 100 objects bandwagon, but I think this is a particularly good one. It’s published in consultation with the Imperial War Museum, so all the objects are things that can be found in the museum itself. Each item tells its own tale, but the structure works well for detailing the events of the war as it unfolded, mostly in chronological order but dipping back and forth where necessary.