mrschristine.com

2018

Straight Outta Crawley by Romesh Ranganathan

Published September 6, 2022

Straight Outta Crawley by Romesh Ranganathan

I loved this. Romesh writes his memoir with exactly the write tone and balance between stories and jokes. Sometimes comedians shoehorn jokes in that just don’t work on the written page but for me, Romesh’s stories were both hilarious and honest in equal measure. It’s nice to hear the behind the scenes of a journey to stage and screen, via teaching of all things, and Romesh opens up about his approach to writing comedy and what gets included in his material.

Unmasked by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Published August 17, 2022

Unmasked by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Any musicals fan has to read this. I know Andrew Lloyd Webber isn’t so popular at the moment after the disaster that was the Cinderella musical, but there’s no denying what he has done and continues to do for musical theatre. This autobiography is written with wry wit and humour, more self-deprecating than I was expecting, and also a lot harsher - there’s a lot of details and communications and back and forths about who did what to whom in which business deal, and I was quite surprised!

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Osman

Published July 27, 2022

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Osman

After whipping through the TV show in super quick time, I was curious to see what the source material was like. I’m not a huge graphic novel reader but had to dip into this one and was glad I did. The art is of a unique style, quite scrappy, but it draws you in and you connect as if you could have drawn it yourself. The story is very similar to what occurs on TV, although it finishes much sooner than the episodes do, so I’m already interested to read what happens in volume two.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Published July 6, 2022

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

A very good, serviceable thriller. Oddly, I felt like the middle was the best bit, despite not knowing whodunit or even who had been killed. But it took a while to get all the characters straight in my head - always a tricky business when you’ve got quite a large cast of characters all arriving at the same time. And the end felt like it was just a little drawn out, not badly, and not a complaint at all. The end was satisfying which is great, and left with a sense of hope for the remaining cast.

The Drowned Village by Kathleen McGurl

Published May 4, 2022

The Drowned Village by Kathleen McGurl

This is such an intriguing idea, I couldn’t help but get completely invested right from the very start a village in the Lake District is given over to become a reservoir, so the inhabitants have to leave home and start anew…. and some secrets are left to drown under the water. Until in the present, a drought has meant the village is accessible again, and we get to find out what happened. The story is told from the point of view of characters in the village pre-flooding, and then a granddaughter in the modern age. If I’m honest, I read through the modern moments as quickly as possible to just keep dipping back into the past and find out what happened, but as the book went on, the two sides seemed to come together nicely, to secure a happy ending. Hooray!

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Published April 22, 2022

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

A really sweet young adult rom-com read, featuring two boys that meet in the New York and have a rollercoaster of a summer together. I liked that we dipped back and forth between the two characters - and having each author write the different point of view meant the characters really felt real, approaching life in their own unique way. I also thought the subplots about how complicated it is navigating friends-to-lovers-to-friends-again relationships can be. Super easy to read and adorable, I definitely want to pick up the sequel to see what’s next for Ben and Arthur.

Wally Funk's Race for Space by Sue Nelson

Published February 18, 2022

Wally Funk's Race for Space by Sue Nelson

This was a brilliant story of an incredible woman - Wally Funk who was part of the Mercury 13, a group of intrepid women who trained up in the same way as the men but never got to be the pioneers heading to the moon. Ever since then, her mission has been to get into space and she’s achieved it, although this book was written before the big event. This is all about the larger than life character that Wally is, written by a broadcaster who became her friend, and how although life wasn’t necessarily fair on her, she never stopped fighting for her dream. Amazing.

Dead Lock by Damien Boyd

Published February 7, 2022

Dead Lock by Damien Boyd

This book took the crime to the heart of our gang of protagonists, with a couple of abducted children in varying degrees of danger - one of whom is family of a member of the team. That meant the stakes were really high and I feel like this is the first time it’s been clear that our hero Nick Dixon is considered to be seriously good at his job. Obviously we know that he’s great having followed him through the series, but it’s never really been clear that anyone else has noticed how he goes the extra mile to get the job done and is thus revered for it. But this time, the pressure is on… a really interesting plot and also potentially, spoiler alert, the first time the main man got away.

Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson

Published November 29, 2021

Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson

An interesting thriller that starts with a woman waking up in her car, in the middle of a field, in the early hours of the morning. She doesn’t know what happened or why she’s there or why her car has blood on it. A great premise and things kick off well. After a few days of suspecting everyone of everything, we wind up to a satisfying conclusion as we learn more about our protagonist’s history and how her friends and extended family fit into the picture.

Knowledge Encyclopedia Science! by DK

Published October 6, 2021

Knowledge Encyclopedia Science! by DK

I’ve been dipping in and out of some of the Dorling Kindersley books that are aimed at kids, and although this one is a beginner’s guide to science, I really think it’s aimed at anyone who wants to kick start their knowledge at any age. It has the great illustrations and picture layouts that you expect from DK, and structures the subject into sensible areas - what makes up the earth, chemicals, nature, space, and more. Highly recommended, and I notice there’s a similar book on space that I’m going to have to check out next.