Tag Archive | The Baby Group

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?

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July Review

So, as I made goals for July, I guess I should review them. If I have to. Which I do because there’s no point making them if I’m going to stick them in a cupboard and ignore them. So. I think I’ll tackle one at a time.

Write 250 words a day, 5 times a week. Well. I did some writing. No where near 5 days a week. I also totally forgot to keep track of when and what I wrote but I know it wasn’t that often.

5 blogs per week. I did 5 blogs a week for 2 weeks, and 4 the other 2 weeks. A pretty good effort I think.

Finish American Gods by Neil Gaiman and read two other novels. Oh I totally rocked this goal. AG finished. Four other books read. Yes FOUR! The Happy Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman, Love in the Air by James Collins, The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman and The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner. Woop, that’s great. Maybe this month I should think more about WRITING than READING. Still, both the Rowan Coleman ones and the Meg Gardiner were BRILLIANT. In fact I stayed up way too late the last two nights to finish The Happy Home…!

Spend two hours per week on my writing course. Well, last week I probably spent more than two hours on it. But hadn’t touched it the rest of the month. Damn again.

So what have I learnt from this? I should maybe read a little less this month and write more. And definitely work more on my writing course.

I’ll set some goals for this month in the next couple of days, but it’s going to be hard when I know I’ll need to be job hunting. 250 words a day is not much though. I could do it in the morning or before bed if I can’t find time anywhere else (which I doubt I won’t be able to do!).

In other news, I had the most productive evening ever last night. After work I went to the recording of a TV show (‘Pointless’, pretty funny) so got in late. I planned to do the Bathroom, a Blog and Book (I was loving Bs). I managed to do the bathroom, post a blog, finish a book AND do some ironing. I need to take last night’s motivation for getting things done in the evening and carry it on to every other night of my life. Ooh, except tonight, I’m going out for dinner then to watch Inception. Can’t wait!

A Few Thoughts

This is probably going to be a quite short, and maybe pointless blog, but I have this goal to blog three times a week, so need to do it. Plus, I’m really hungover and forcing myself to do this today will hopefully help me do it more often when I’m in this state.

Shockingly for me, I’ve also done quite a lot of reading today – usually it’s way too much effort, but I  had to know what happened. I was reading The Baby Club by Rowan Coleman. Loved it. I did like that although it was predictable (it’s chick lit – fo course we know what’s going to happen) there were a couple of curve balls in it too to keep you guessing. I also liked that the MC’s other half wasn’t everything you dream of – he had flaws.

I was given The Girl Who Played with a Hornet’s Nest for my birthday this weekend (bit of a late present as I’d not really seen my friend since my birthday). So excited to read it, BUT I feel like I need more romance in my life at the moment (probably the hangover blues but still) so I’ve started another book instead. It was a really hard decision – I went to the library the other day and got a couple of books out, then also my housemate came home with a book I’ve been dying to read last week. Plus you know, I’ve got that 80 odd TBR book pile in my room.

But, this book’s been shouting and screaming at me to read it since I picked it up at the library, so what could I do? It’s called Love in the Air by James Collins. I’ll let you all know how it goes – have a feeling it’s gonna be a good one!

Thursday’s Thoughts

I don’t think this whole 30 thing is working for me – or it’s working too much! Every day since my birthday last week I’ve been either going out, really tired or hungover. It’s zapping my productivity. Today for instance, should be putting the finishing touches to my story for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition, but instead am very tired and a little hungover. Why do I do it?

I’ve done edit number one on it. The ending always makes me smile – I love the idea of it, I just hope the twist isn’t too subtle, I’m slightly worried it is. Probably just me being paranoid!

Oh no. I just finished this blog, and internet explorer died. Along with the rest of my blog 😦 I may cry! Actually I’ll go have lunch and come back and carry on. So upset!

Right, so where was I?

Rowan Coleman’s been running weekly mini story competitions via Facebook. Back in May I was a runner-up to one of the weekly competitions. Rowan said because my story made her laugh. Hopefully my story for this main competition will also make her laugh.

Having had this runner’s up position makes me a tiny bit confident about entering the comp. Hearing 33 people entered yesterday ALONE makes me anything BUT confident. Especially as I’m really struggling with a few sentences. I just can’t get them right. Other than that I’m pretty happy about it.

I think of the best things about entering this competition is it will hopefully give me confidence to enter more competitions, and maybe even submit a story to a magazine.

(I’ve just realised – I lost my blog. That’s great. On Sunday I lost my phone – then found it – last night I got home without my keys – but found them this morning. As things happen in 3s I’ve been a little worried about what I’d lose next. Very relieved it’s just a blog – I was having visions of it being my purse).

I went to the library the other day. I’d told myself I was allowed to get out two books. I got three, which to be honest was pretty good for me. I can’t remember what two of them are (yeah, they made that much of an impression!). The third (or first, whichever way you look at it) is The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman (see a pattern to this text?!) I’m maybe 1/5 of the way through it.

Reading it though has made me wonder about the characters in my writing. In this novel there are five women in the baby group – each one is totally different with different personalities, with different things motivating them. I’m worried my characters are all the same. I’m going to have to work on this – maybe for Fiction Friday tomorrow. If I get this Rowan Coleman story done in time.

Right off to start on draft 3 of this short story!