Saturday, 2 January 2016

Final book review of the year

At the start of 2015 I wrote about my intention to read my books.  I had big hopes and plans to read a total of 12 books in the year, which would have been a big increase on the previous year... when I read 2 books!

Well I am pleased to report that I actually read 17 books - although I did have a tiny bit of the last one to finish which I read yesterday.  In December I got wildly ambitious and had great plans to make it a total of 21 books which didn't happen.  As 17 exceeded my hopes at the start of the year I am still pleased with the results of my efforts to read more.

This means that I have two final reviews for you!


First up is The Little Christmas Kitchen by Jenny Oliver.  This book - both of these two actually - was very light and fluffy, quite inconsequential in fact.  However, that didn't make it a bad book to read and it was ideal in the run up to Christmas when my brain didn't have much power to think.  It is lovely because it actually has actually Christmassy moments in it which not all Christmas books do in my experience.  So I enjoyed it for that if nothing else. 

I will be sending it to the charity shop because I need to clear out books, but otherwise I wouldn't mind reading it again.  Also, there are some lovely sounding recipes at the back of the book!

The story centres around two sisters, Ella and Maddy, who live in Greece and London respectively.  Events take a turn - as they inevitably do in this sort of book - and they end up swapping where they live.  Both learn a new appreciation for life, make changes and learn lessons.  Maddy's story was rather ho hum for me.  Ella's story was delightful though, she journeys to London for the first time, learns a lot, meets some great people and changes not only her life, but the lives of others around her too.  We could all learn a lot from Ella - such as saying hello to and making friends with our neighbours.

So if you happen across my copy of this book in your local charity shop, pick it up and have a read!


The final book of my year was Once Upon A Christmas by Sarah Morgan.  This book also tells the tale of two different women.  Bryony and Helen.  It is another romance and was also a good read for Christmas.  This book has less Christmassy moments in it, but it does have a lot of medical moments - all the main characters are doctors or nurses - so if you are squeamish this is not for you.  I did skip over a few bits I have to say!  There are also quite a few "intimate" passages, which again might not be for you, and which, I also may have skipped over a bit!  This is not a book for a younger person in my opinion.

I found it a little odd that the two main characters never really have any interaction with each other, I would have liked to have seen more of that.  It didn't make it a bad read, I just felt that was missing for me.

Again, this one is leaving my shelf for reasons for space, but again, if you see it pick it up and have a read.

Bryony's daughter has one wish, which is for a Dad for Christmas.  Bryony sets out to get herself a man and despite her best efforts she is thwarted along the way several times.  She only has a short amount of time to go until Christmas and she really wants to give her daughter this very important gift.

Unfortunately there is someone else standing in the way, who doesn't appear to be in love with Bryony, but she cannot get past him and until she does....

Helen has not had a good time of it at all.  Her man has not been a nice fellow at all and now she doesn't know what to do.  Perhaps some tender and loving care will revive her and bring her life around.

Needless to say, all is well that ends well for both women!


You might be wondering what happened to those four final books that I hoped to read and what they are.  Well, they are Christmas in the snow, Sleigh bells snow, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins sweet shop and a Christmas cracker as in the above picture - I already reviewed A gingerbread cafĂ© Christmas.  I have popped these four books back on my shelf and I will read them either later during the year or next Christmas.

Going forward I have selected the next six books from my shelf.  This is the selection.


Once again all books that I have been given and with several Agatha Christies included as you can see!  The one that I am going to read first is Sophie Writes a Love Story which was sent to my by my blogger friend Linda Kay.  This was written by Linda Kay so I am very excited to read it.

As far as reviews goes I have decided to do two things differently this year.  I am still going to review the books I read, but will do them in groups of six as I finish each group.  Also, rather than put the pictures of the books down my sidebar I am going to simply add another blog page which will list all the books, probably by author and then people can search them for reviews more easily.  That bit is still a work in progress of course.  My whole sidebar and blog need a tidy, so I will be attending to that in the coming weeks.

That is it for reviews for now, when the next ones are finished I will let you know, although I will probably pop up a review of Linda Kay's book sooner.

I hope that you had a good year of reading in 2015 and that 2016 will also be a good year for you!

Happy Reading!

Amy

35 comments:

  1. Some nice Christmas books there, Amy, but do look out (for next year now) for a copy of John S Goodall's An Edwardian Christmas - not a reading book as such, but I know you will love it all the same!
    Also you must add Jane Gordon-Cumming's A Proper Family Christmas. For those who don't know, Jane is the sister of novelist, Katie Fforde, but she is an excellent writer herself.
    These are lovely Christmas books - put them on your list now, Amy!
    My own best books of the year? That's easy! The novels of Jane Thynne set in pre-war Berlin and which feature half English/half-German actress, Clara Vine.
    Margaret P

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  2. Oh I do enjoy an uplifting Christmas story at Christmas time. I enjoyed reading the comment above and have taken note of the suggestions.

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  3. Always good to have a nice read, something that makes us smile. I love Agatha Christie, hope you enjoy her books.

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  4. Hi Amy - I am Deb, a new follower of your blog. I love books and book reveiws so will be coming back to visit often. I also review the books I read. Happy New Year to you!

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  5. PS Amy - Rosamunde Pilcher's Winter Solstice! A great Christmas read. Put that on your list, too!
    Margaret P

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  6. Well done on getting through so many :) It's always a pleasure to find someone else who loves reading, as (apart from the hubby, of course) reading is the love of my life, i never go anywhere without a book about my person, and read every spare moment i have, which is a lot at the moment as there is not much to do around the house this week
    I love Trisha Ashley, she is such a wonderful author, and so witty, i haven't read her latest yet as i'm waiting for it to turn up in a charity shop :) I love Jenny Colgan too, and a building up my collection of her books as and when i find them, though i'm not terribly keen on her first few books
    i have Christmas In The Snow, but haven't gotten round to it yet either xx

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  7. That is a great deal of reading, good for you! I have just started reading Louise Penny, she does some great mysteries that aren't too graphic or crude, I read the firs two in her series in December and am starting the second one tonight.

    Happy Reading!
    Meredith

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  8. Well done - I'm another Agatha Christie fan too!

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  9. 17 books is quite a lot! Happy New Year.. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  10. 17 books is quite a lot! Happy New Year! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  11. Happy reading, and thank you for your reviews. The little Christmas Kitchen sounds like a good read, will pick it up if I ever come across it. I have just finished one book Life of Pi and I am very eager to see the film now, fabulous book but a very slow starter for me. Xxx Leah. Here's to lots more book reading in 2016!

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  12. You did great. I cheap (in my mind) by listening to the books. I enjoy your reviews. You have given me books to om my list. I love mysteries but have never read Agatha's books. II understand they are one of the best to read.Good luck in your goal

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  13. You've been an over-achiever (in the best possible way) on your 2015 reading resolution, Amy. Well done you!

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  14. Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog, I am hoping to stitch and sew again this year. With my arm out of action I read 73 books, which may seem a lot to you but in 2014 I read 90.. I am an avid reader and tend to read quite long books, in which I get so involved I hate to finish!! Happy New Year!

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  15. I love your reviews. I didnt end up reading a CHristmas novel..but I tried because of yoU!

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  16. Well done beating your target. I love to have a book on the go, I find the app Good Read brilliant for suggestions and reviews xx

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  17. Good job...reading all those books and reviewing them for us! I mostly read on vacation...I never seem to find time at home. :)

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  18. I shall look out for them for Christmas 2016, I always enjoy a light hearted Christmas read or five in the run up to the festivities xx

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  19. Well done on excelling your goals, a great achievement.

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  20. Thank you for the reviews of these Christmas books. I have seen these in charity shops and often wondered what they were like and thought they may make good pressies. I shall make a note of them.
    Lisa x

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  21. Well done Amy! I love reading but never seem to find the time, perhaps I should set myself a challenge as well. I have bookcases full of 'to be read' books.

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  22. Well done on exceeding your target. I found that once I started reading again, the amount of books I read increased each year. I read two of the Agatha Christmas books you've got in your next pile last year, I enjoyed them both.

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  23. Great to read your reviews here Amy ... and I think at this time of year when we are all so busy a lighter read is just brilliant.

    Have a great 2016, and good luck with your reading.

    All the best Jan

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  24. I too like to read 'light and fluffy' Christmas books; this Christmas it was 'A Christmas Cracker' by Trisha Ashley. I managed to get through 38 books last year. Earlier on in 2015 I was reading lots for a convention I was planning on going to about the Golden Age of detective fiction. In the end I was unable to go, but I have carried on reading as there is another convention in June. I have read the Agatha Christe's in your current selection, so it will be good to hear what you think of them.
    Happy reading!

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  25. Book reviews are so nice!! sometimes we are not sure about a book but when someone says it is a good one ...well it gives the motivation to read it.I do love to read Agatha Christie.
    I love books and since I have my ebook KOBO I discover more books!
    Such a great time to be quiet!
    Have a great day,
    Rose

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  26. Well done. I think you should leave the Christmassy ones til next year as you won't be in the mood now it's over! x

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  27. I'm happy to see you have Agatha Christie on your list. I have the entire collection, but I've only read two. I did enjoy them though, and plan to read all of them eventually. I hear they get better and better.
    I'm starting the new year with "Drowning Ruth" by Christina Schwarz. I have just finished reading 3 books by Jeanette Walls, and I loved them, my favourite being "The Glass Castle". That was a WOW book for me.
    Happy reading in 2016!!!

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  28. Reading 17 books is quite the accomplishment! Way to go you! Happy New year! :)

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  29. I do love a Christmas read, I've decided to join in the year in books again this year, so hope to read tweleve, happy new year lovely Amy
    Clare x

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  30. 17 books is pretty impressive! Well done for sticking to it the whole way through. I love the way you focused on Christmas books in December - so much fun! I plod slowly and steadily through books but it's so important to keep reading. Thanks for the inspiration, and a very happy new year to you Amy. xx

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  31. Amy,
    I must tell you that you reading this many books in a year is very awesome and wonderful!
    Sticking to your commitment and then surpassing it is fantastic! I hope that I am as successful as you in my commitment to living plain and simple.
    I like your choice of books for this year as well-I have a confession, I have never read Agatha Christie and think that it is just about time I did!
    Happy New Year!
    xx
    Jemma

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  32. Good for you in finishing 17 books! I don't count the books I read, but last year was pretty low I know. I used to always have a book on the go, but the past couple of years I've slowed right down. I too like reading light books for Christmas as it's a nice escape during the rush of the season. Thanks for your reviews Amy, and Happy New Year to you and your family!
    Wendy

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  33. Blimey, you get a lot of comments. I had to trawl right to the end of the page!! I've just finished reading'Girl on a Train' but I have to say, I don't know what all the fuss was about. I found it a bit predictable and a bit disappointing at the end. Thank you for taking the trouble to pop over to mine, Amy and Happy New Year to you too. Happy Reading!

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  34. Happy New Year! I am an Agatha Christie fan too. I read a couple of Christmas crime thrillers over the festive period so might do a quick review of them. Happy Reading!

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  35. oh i love the Christmas selections i will have to see if i have read any of those? ( :

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