Tag Archive | Meg Gardiner

2014 TBR Pile Challenge

I’m very excited that Roof Beam Reader is hosting the TBR Pile Reading Challenge again – for the 5th year! I’ve started the last two years, but failed both, so I’m hoping to do better this year!

The challenge is, as it suggests to read books from your TBR Pile. I can’t even count how many are on my list, and book shelf. We’re thinking about moving in a couple of months, so last weekend, I took a box – big box – of books to our storage unit to get them out the flat. And I’ve still got 4 shelves fully – with two rows per shelf. So there’s loads.

This year though, I decided to take books, partly off my shelf, but mainly from the list I’ve written over the last few years. Every time I see a book I want to read, in a magazine, shop, on TV, a friend recommends, or wherever, I write it on this list. It’s quite long.

I have to choose 12, and 2 spares (just in case) now, then as I read them, review them, link on here, and on Roof Beem Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge. Here’s my 2014 list:

1 – The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (2012)

2 – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (2011) (21/2/14)

3 – The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend (2012)

4 – Lets Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (2012)

5 – Breakfast at Darcy’s Ali McNamara (2011)

6 – How We Met by Katy Regan (2012)

7 – The Man Who Forgot His Wife John O’Farrell (2012)

8 – Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coeho (1998)

9 – China Lake by Meg Gardiner (2002)

10 – The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern (2011)

11 – Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell (2012)

12 – The Greatest love Story of All Time by Lucy Robinson (2012)

And the extras, in case I can’t get through one or two.

13 – Something Missing by Matthew Dicks (2009)

14 – The Other Family by Joanna Trollope (2010)

As I said, I didn’t complete 2012 and 2013, so as the saying goes, I want to make the third time lucky! See Roof Beam Reader’s sign up for the challenge here.

Happy World Book Day

To celebrate world Book Day today I’m going to:

– My monthly Book Group meeting to discuss our latest book – For One More Day by Mitch Albom.

– Finish reading said book

– Decide which book to read next. Top of my pile are:

= Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Novelkicks book club book for March, and on my TBR Pile challenge, some might say I gave Laura the idea for having this book this month),

= Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (The final book in the Delirium trilogy came out on Tuesday I think, so should read the second before I get the 3rd, plus, I’m going to see her at Waterstones on 25th so would be good to have them all read by then).

= Men I’ve Loved Before by Adele Parks (because, oh my god, I’ve not read it yet. AP is one of my favourite authors and I’ve not read this. It came out in 2011! What have I been doing?!?!)

= Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood (because I bought it on my kindle a while ago and still not read it)

= The Liar’s Lullaby by Meg Gardiner (on my list as well for TBR Pile Challenge, and I really want to read it!).

I guess that’s all I’ll be doing. Happy World Book Day all.

2013 Reading Challenge – TBR Pile Challenge

Here’s my second reading challenge for 2013.

TBR Pile Challenge.

I failed this last year, and you know how I hate to fail. This year, I’m determined to complete it.

For this challenge you have to read 12 novels in 2013 from your TBR Pile (physical pile, or just on your list). The great thing is that they have to have been on your list for more than a year (so have a published date of 2011 or before).

You also have to list the books NOW that you’re going to read (plus you can have 2 alternatives, if you really can’t get through any). Last year I went through my shelf and chose books that I physically had. This year, I want to add books that I’ve been meaning to read, I just haven’t bought yet (or borrowed from the library of course).

I didn’t read 4 of the 14 last year (including the alternatives). I’m not going to add all of them back on – 1 I realised was a sequel, and I’ve not read the first, and the other I’m not really interested in any more. I’ll add the other two though.

Here’s my list then. As I read and review, I’ll come back to this page and link to the review. In December I’ll (hopefully) do a review blog where I link them all again, and successfully complete the challenge for the year. My 14 books for this year are:

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (was on the 2012 list, but I never got to it)

A French Affair by Susan Lewis (ditto)

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Build A Man by Talli Roland

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Liar’s Lullaby by Meg Gardiner

and the 2 alternatives

Flash Forward by Robert J Sawyer

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games trilogy, book 2) by Suzanne Collins.

To be honest, I really want to read all of them, so you never know. I’m also doing the Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge, so a couple of these will work for both, which will be good.

Now, I really want to start on the list. My problem is… which first. Good luck to everyone else doing this challenge this year. I can’t wait to see what you’re reading.

Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green Review

My name is BUDO.

I have been alive for 5 years.

5 years is a very long time for someone like me to be alive.

MAX gave me my name. Max is 8 years old.

He is the only human person who can see me.

I know what Max knows, and some things he doesn’t.

I know that Max is in danger.

And I know that I am the only one who can save him.

 

I was instantly attracted to the cover, and the title of this, which is odd, because I’d say as a rule I like the novels I read to be fully based in reality (mainly chick lit, thrillers). Having said that, I read and loved Cecelia Ahearn’s If You Could See Me Now, which was also about an imaginary friend, so maybe that’s why.

I really enjoyed this. Once I started it, I just couldn’t put it down. Budo is such an awesome character, I got really into it and the story, and the lives of the characters. I know the blurb about the book said that Max was in danger, but I didn’t really think it would turn into a Mystery and Suspense Challenge novel, but it did, and that kept me gripped. I was literally sat there reading it willing the right thing to happen (I don’t want to give away anything, so sorry, but that has to be vague). At the end of the day, it’s not a John Grisham/Meg Gardiner type thriller, but there’s a mystery there.

I totally recommend this, and will be reading his other books (it took me a while to find them, in the US he goes by another name, Matthew Dicks, and here in the UK Something Missing seems to be under that name!)

Well… I’m Enjoying Reading

I am enjoying reading. That’s important to be a good writer you have to be a reader. Of course to be a good writer, you have to be writing too…

This happens every year since I started doing NaNo (3 years ago). I’ll write ferociously for the 30 days, I’ll get the 50,000 words done, and then a couple of weeks later I’ll stop writing. I’ll try to motivate myself and I will, but only in dribs and drabs. Eventually, in the summer I’ll start writing properly, then in October I’ll realise NaNo is just a month away and I’ll increase what I’m writing.

Every year that happens. It was slightly different after this NaNo, in that I carried on writing in December, and January. At least I’m getting better. We’re now halfway through March (if anyone knows how that’s possible, please let me know), and less than 2 weeks away from the end of this ROW80 round, and I’ve pretty much done nothing for 6 weeks.

I have my excuses, but they are just that – excuses. Yes, I’ve started a new job that’s taking up a lot more time, and brain power than the old one, so I am exhausted, but the same happened last year. And the one before.

It seems I can’t write without a deadline – and a self-imposed one isn’t good enough. Even having a ROW80 goal doesn’t seem to push me, maybe because I’m not losing if I I fail, I’m just a failer!

I said this before and a couple of people questioned why MY goals weren’t important enough to push me. I don’t know. I just don’t.

my boyfriend’s being really good at the moment – he keeps trying to make me write (well, keeps mentioning I should be), but I always seem to come up with some reason not to.

Just after my last post, I decided I was going to take some time off my novel, and just do random writing. That worked – on that day. I read something in my writing course that said it’s good to write short stories while you’re writing your novel – it helps you feel like you’re achieving something (by writing THE END – something you’re not going to do on the novel for a while). It’s a good idea, but I didn’t stick to it.

I’ve just remembered that Novelicious are running a novel competition. The deadline is 3rd April, so that’s something for me to aim for – an actual goal. I need to edit the first 3000 words of the novel. Fine. Maybe everything else will come back after I do that!

Like I said in the title, I’m really enjoying reading at the moment. I’m reading Before I Fall Asleep by SJ Watson for my Book Club. I’m totally loving it. I seem to really love novels that have ‘before’ in the title  – Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver) and Me Before You (Jojo Moyes) were both really really good books. I also seem to be really interested in memory in novels – The Memory Collector (Meg Gardiner) was brilliant, and also in films – Memento (I guess 50 First Dates too, but I’m talking more serious stuff). I’ve really enjoyed everything listed above. No idea why, seems to be something I’m in to!

My other goals are eating well, and exercising.

Exercising isn’t going TOO badly. I’m walking to and from the tube to work – that’s 40 minutes walking a day! Today I’ve got my gym kit, so hopefully I’ll go there after work!

This week I’ve started Slimming World again. So far days 1 and 2 have been a joke, but day 3 seems to be going well. I’d like to make it the first of going brilliantly!

I hope everyone else is doing better with their goals than me!

Really Good Books

I was thinking earlier it would be really good to do a blog today. Then I started wondering what I could write – it’s not like I’m actually writing is it. So that would leave… reading. I’m really enjoying the book I’m reading now Jeff Abbott’s A Kiss Gone Bad, and the thought of that led me to… I’m reading a lot of really good books at the moment.

In 2009 I only read 17 or something books, and only a handful of them really stood out. I think I tried to do a top ten books I read that year, but didn’t have a top ten. There just weren’t enough good ones there.

Last year was the opposite. I read 45 books, and enjoyed a huge number of them. So, what better way to spend a blog, than with my top books of last year. I was thinking top ten, but going through my list, I’ve actually made a top twenty. Hope it’s not too boring:

YA:

  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (I only read this to prove to people I wouldn’t like it. I loved it. I think it’s my favourite book of the year)
  • Avalon High by Meg Cabot (When I was researching YA novels before writing mine, I knew I had to read one of Ms Cabot’s books – the queen of teen and all that)
  • Summer Dreams Winter Love by Mary Francis Shura (this was my favourite book growing up, and I wanted to read it again. It still had that magic)
  • Della Says… OMG by Keris Stainton (I loved the sound of this when I started following Keris’ blog, and was lucky enough to get invited to her launch party where she signed the book. After all that I was so glad I loved it)

Chick Lit:

  • Love Lies by Adele Parks (I got given a small booklet on the street. It was the first two chapters. I couldn’t read just that, I had to get the whole book and read it.  But then I love Adele Parks so would have had to get it at some point anyway)
  • Foursome by Jane Fallon (This is the best book I read in this category. I loved everything about it, and will definitely be on the lookout for more books by her)
  • Husbands by Adele Parks (what can I say? I love the lady, I had to read more than one)
  • The Happy Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman (I got a copy of this from the publisher to review. I was pretty scared I wouldn’t like it then there would be loads of pressure on me to say something nice about it. Luckily it was great – it was Rowan Coleman, of course it was great)
  • The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman (ditto the great comment above)
  • What My Best Friend Did by Lucy Dawson (another that is in my top three of the year I imagine. Great. Not sure if it’s really chick lit, but I think it belongs here)
  • Ralph’s Party by Lisa Jewell (I read this when it came out ten years ago,  but after winning a ticket to an evening with Lisa, I thought I should re-read it before I went. So glad I did, I’d forgotten how good it was. And Lisa Jewell – she’s awesome and funny, and has a great story of how she got published. I like the idea that mine could go the same way…)

Thrillers:

  • Until It’s Over by Nicci French (my step mum gave me this, saying she loved it. Well, so did her step daughter)
  • The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner (Although this is only the second book of hers I’ve read, I am a huge Meg Gardiner fan, and this is my favourite book. Can’t wait to start on her other series of books)
  • Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay (Again second book of his I’ve read. Again this is my favourite)
  • Random by Craig Robertson (I got this free from the publisher because of doing the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge. It’s his debut book, and it’s brilliant)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo & The Girl Who Played with Fire both by Stieg Larsson (I only picked the first up because of the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge. I was so glad I did. I watched the movie too – it sucked)

 Sci-Fi:

  • The Caves of Steel by Asimov (I read this on recommendation from the other half. He thought I should read something DIFFERENT, so I did. I didn’t want to enjoy it, but I did. I want to read the rest in the Robot series)
  • 1984 by George Orwell (It’s a classic – I had to read it at some time. This was the year. It totally deserves the hype it gets)

I really hope 2011 is as good for books as last year was. I’m on book three, and so far it’s certainly shaping up that way!

What were your favourite books from last year?

Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 Round-Up

Around Christmas I wrote a blog and in it had a big long moan about how badly I thought I’d done in this challenge. After that I sat down and worked out what thriller or suspense books I’d read throughout the year and was shocked to realise I’d actually read 11. Wow! I then thought about all the other books I’d read over the year, and went over to the host of the challenge Book Chick City to see what other people had read. shockingly someone had reviewed Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. I wasn’t too sure if it was a thriller or suspense, but as someone else had used it, guess what? I’m really happy to use it.

So that means… I completed the challenge. WOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO! The thing I haven’t done is review all the books yet, but I will get there. Here’s the list of them – the highlighted ones are linked to the review. The unhighlighted ones will have a review as soon as I can add it.

There you have it, my 12 books. I’m really happy I did it. I think the challenge pushed me to read more thrillers than I would have normally done, because I tend to favour chick lit and romance. I don’t know why I do that, I really love thrillers.

One of my aims of doing this challenge was to introduce myself to new authors. I certainly did that. The first book I read, a Sandra Brown book, I only picked up because of the challenge. I was so glad I did – I totally love both of her books I read during the challenge. I can’t wait to read more of hers.

Nicci French was introduced to me by my Step Mum. Again because I told her about the challenge so she gave me that book. I totally loved it, and will be looking out for more Nicci French books this year, and in the future.

Simon & Schuster sent all the people in this challenge an ARC of one of two novels. I was so happy I got Random by Craig Robertson. I hated the goreiness of it, but loved that at the same time. Last time I saw his update on Twitter, he was writing a new book. When it gets published I’ll be first in line to read it.

I honestly wouldn’t have read Asimov if it wasn’t for this challenge and my boyfriend convincing me it would work really well for the challenge. Sci-fi? Me? Nah! But, yeah. I actually enjoyed it. So much so, I’m going to read the other books in the Robot series. I don’t think I’ll read any others of his though, Sci-fi does still… I was going to say scare me, but I think it just doesn’t interest me that much. Hopefully he’ll (the boyfriend) will bully (!!) me into reading more of Asimov, or maybe another sci-fi writer – and he’ll find something easy-reading that I’ll ‘get’.

I’ve had the Judith Cutler book (and another) for years and didn’t pick it up in all that time. This challenge made me pick it up. I’ll definitely be reading the other one I’ve got of her’s (Dying to Fall) and probably the rest of that series.

That’s it. All the others I think I would have read anyway. But that’s pretty impressive – five authors that now I’ll be looking out for, that would have pasted right by me without the challenge.

I’m really impressed with how much I enjoyed the books I chose for this challenge. Looking at this list, I can genuinely say I loved each and every one of them. How good is that?!

I only have one small regret to come from this challenge. At the beginning of 2010 I looked around the internet and got recommendations of authors from people/places (including other people taking the challenge) and got a list of authors I wanted to read. But, I didn’t read any of them. That upsets me. But I’ll get over it. Just because the challenge is over… doesn’t mean I have to stop reading thrillers & suspense novels.

Plus… You never know what other challenges will be round the corner in 2011…