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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Tom Fletcher – The Christmasaurus

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Following Tom Fletcher on Instagram and Twitter, I’ve heard a lot about this book in the run up to its release and the subsequent praise that it received, so when I saw it on offer at Costco, I just couldn’t resist. I love reading Christmassy books in the run up to Christmas, and this one was perfect.

Although it’s a kids book, I didn’t find that it was written in a childish tone, although there were quite a few silly jokes and made up words which made me giggle, and I can imagine that a child would find them hilarious. When I’d been hearing about it, I assumed it would be a short book, but it was a 384 page novel. Saying that, I did finish it in two sittings, I just couldn’t stop turning the pages, and obviously the writing was a bit larger than a normal novel.

I loved Fletcher’s imagination in creating the characters and plot of this book, I was transfixed the whole way through, it was completely magical. I’d definitely recommend this as an ideal Christmas book for children and adults alike.

P.s. I know that my book reviews have been a bit lacklustre lately, and it’s taking me ages after I finish reading the book to actually post the review, which means I lose a bit of my excitement when I write the review. It’s my new years resolution to be a better blogger next year, so keep reading!

Review: Chrissie Manby – The Christmas List

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18925351To get myself in the festive spirit, I decided to download a few Christmas themed books with my Kindle Unlimited membership. To me, fantasy and crime books aren’t really the kind of books that evoke festive feelings, so I downloaded a few ‘Chick-Lit’ books to satisfy my Christmas cravings.

This was only a very short book really (about 100 pages), but the audio version got me through 2 days of commuting to and from work, so it didn’t go by too quickly.

The main premise of the book is a young woman who absolutely adores Christmas, and gets dumped just before the start of advent. Milly is distraught, as even though she’d only been going out with Duncan for 11 months, she’s been planning their wedding on pinterest for the past 7 of them. A little bit bunny-boiler-ish, but never mind.

To cheer herself up, she writes a Christmas letter with her two young nephews and then sends them up the chimney to Santa. She’s rather surprised when the things she’s asked for start to come into her life. Maybe not as she would have planned it, but it’s all quite coincidental. Until she writes another list to Santa asking for something altogether bigger, and guess what? She gets that too!

It’s quite a light hearted book with just the right amount of Christmas spirit to get me worked up for Christmas Day tomorrow. I would have liked it if Milly was a little more go-getter-ish and a little less mopey, but you can’t always have everything you want.

I wouldn’t say it was the best book I’ve read, but it definitely wasn’t the worst, just a nice easy-going read. The ending felt a little rushed, as if the author had been given a word/page limit and had to wrap things up to stop from writing too much. I would have rather taken some of the fluff out of the middle and made the ending a little more full, but that’s just me.

3/5

Leeds German Market in Millennium Square

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I’ve been having a tough couple of weeks at work, so when I had a day off yesterday (although not the original 2 and a half that I had planned), Cameron took me into Leeds for lunch and some Christmas shopping. I’ve never been to the German Market before, so that was our first stop. I’m not sure why I’ve never been as it sets up in Millennium Square every year, but I really loved it. I had to reign myself in to stop from spending all my money, but I could seriously have spent a fortune. I did buy a couple of lovely presents for my Mum, although I’m not sure how authentically German they are.

After we’d been around the market, we had lunch at the Cuthbert Broderick (Wetherspoons) in Millennium Square before setting off into the centre of Leeds to do some last bits of Christmas shopping. I’d already bought all my presents so it was mainly for Cameron, but I still ended up spending way too much money! It was extremely windy and very cold, but thankfully there was no rain or snow, so it was a really awesome day. It really helped take my mind off everything for a little while.

Anyway, here’s a few snaps of the German Market, only iPhone pics as I didn’t even think to take my camera with me.

 

Review: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Christmas

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photo-18Thankfully (and as I had hoped), this book was not actually about Christmas, just set at Christmas, which meant I enjoyed it more than I thought.

This book saw Lily go back to her hometown for her sister’s wedding, which meant she had to confront all the people from her past, who she had not seen since she left town when everyone stopped being able to look her in the eye.

Two people were killed early on in the book, but the main storyline was not about the murders, but about a little girl that had been abducted 8 years before. Lily’s private detective boyfriend (Jack) just happened to be in the same town to investigate after he had been mailed a picture in connection with the abduction. There were three possible girls that it could have been, including the daughter of her sister’s fiancé, so it was a race against time to find out the culprit before her sister possibly married an abductor.

When the mother of one of the 3 children turns up dead outside Lily’s sister’s house, things get a bit stranger, especially when her last words are ‘The Children’. At this point, Lily decides that she will help Jack to investigate, so that they can find out the truth before her sister’s wedding.

In the end, it turns out that the culprit is a man who likes little girls a bit too much, and abducted the baby on an impulse after his baby boy was born and died. Lily finds this out in a dramatic chapter while she is baby-sitting the three girls and their siblings. It was definitely a very tense part of the book, but also quite emotional too, especially when one of the girls hides her little brother so her dad can’t hurt them.

Only two books left in the series now and already I don’t want it to end, really looking forward to the next one.

5/5

Now Reading: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Christmas

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photo-18I’m now onto book 3 of 5 of the Lily Bard series that my parents bought me for Christmas. I’m loving this series so far, so I’m guessing that this one is going to be just as good.

The only thing I hope out of this book is that it’s not too Christmassy. It seems like a long time since Christmas now, so I don’t want to read anything too festive. But on reading the back of the book, it looks like it might just be set at Christmas time rather than actually about Christmas.

From reading the description, it looks like we’re finally going to be introduced to Lily’s family at her sister’s wedding. It’s been two books so far and we don’t know anything about her family, other than she moved away after the terrible things that happened to her. The only problem is her sister might be marrying a killer…

Before this set of books, I’ve never really read murder mysteries before, but I’m really enjoying reading them. I have the feeling that because they’re Charlaine Harris there’s a bit more romance in these books than a usual murder mystery, but that’s one of the reasons why I like Charlaine Harris.