Mhairi McFarlane - Don't You Forget About Me Book Cover

Mhairi McFarlane – Don’t You Forget About Me

New year, new me? Nope. In typical Louise fashion, I spent new year’s day sick on the sofa instead of at my brother in law’s new years party. The only consolation? This delightful book which completely transported me away from my living room and into Georgina’s world. Georgina doesn’t seem to be having the best luck – she’s just lost her job through no fault of her own, she’s just walked in on her...

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Ewa Jozefkowicz – Girl 38

At the start of this book, we’re introduced to Kat, a young girl who loves nothing more than to draw her comic books. Her parents work long hours and she’s often alone, and she’s feeling out of touch with her childhood best friend Gem, who is becoming more and more like a tyrant than a friend. So when Kat gets talking to the old lady next door, it seems like a world will be opened to her that will make her feel less lonely...

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Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe – Heathers: The Musical

I went to see Heathers last year when it was in the west end – mainly because one of my favourite actresses (Carrie Hope Fletcher) was in it, but it turned out to be one of the best musicals I’ve seen – and completely not what I expected. While I was there, I picked up this script as a memento of what I’d seen, and today I spent a fabulous couple of hours reading through the script while listening to the soundtrack. It...

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Ele Fountain – Boy 87

Oh. Em. Gee. This book was filed in the children’s book section of my library app, so I didn’t quite expect what was coming. Not an easy read, for sure, but definitely one that was worth reading. I started this when I got into bed at 10.30pm on boxing day and basically stayed awake til after 2pm because I simply couldn’t put it down. We start the book with a ship capsizing in the middle of the ocean and a boy struggling to...

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Julie Murphy – Dumplin’

Before I read this, I’d watched it on Netflix, not realising it was based on a book. I thought the Netflix show was great, the cast was fantastic and the story was captivating. I’m happy (but not surprised) to say the book was even better – I read it in one sitting! Willowdean Dickson is the daughter of a former small-town pageant queen. Despite never quite living up to the daughter that her mother had in mind (her mother...

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Sophie Kinsella – I Owe You One

Fixie Farr has a reputation for always needing to fix things. Whether it’s just something out of place in her family shop, or something much bigger, she just can’t help herself. But most of the time, she ends up just causing more trouble by trying to make everything perfect. When she saves a stranger’s laptop from imminent doom, he tells her he owes her one, and so begins a long line of favours back and forth between Seb and...

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Claire McGowan – What You Did

Not my usual kind of book, but I got this one for free through the Amazon First Reads program and it kept me going through a long couple of train journeys to London and back. I say not my usual kind of book, I’ve read crime/thrillers before and I usually do find them quite enjoyable, but it’s not my first choice genre as I like to feel warm and snuggled in a book and thrillers usually set me on edge – not good when...

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Carole Matthews – Happiness for Beginners

My friend bought me this book for my birthday and she clearly knows me very well, because this book was exactly my cup of tea! Characters that feel like friends and a setting that just can’t help but make you smile, what more could you ask for? Seeing the relationships develop gradually throughout the book just gave me warm fuzzy feelings. And I don’t just mean the inevitable romance, but the growing relationship between Molly...

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Milly Johnson – The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew

The perfect birthday present – a new Milly Johnson book! At least that’s what my husband thought when he pre-ordered it for my birthday, not bargaining on the fact that I’d be so eager to read it, I’d buy it two days before my birthday and read it in one sitting! Sorry Cameron! But how could I say no to these glorious blue edged pages (the special edition from Tesco). I’m a sucker for a coloured-edge, and...

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Ethel Rohan – The Weight of Him

The blurb on the back of this book made me immediately want to buy this and read it – a man struggling with both the loss of someone close to him, and also struggling with his health and appearance – he’s extremely overweight and feels alienated from his family. I felt like I would be able to empathise a lot with him, and I was right, to an extent. It turns out that the loss that Billy is struggling with is the loss of his...

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Diana Gabaldon – Outlander

We went on holiday to Scotland for our anniversary this year, and gifts/souvenirs for Outlander were absolutely everywhere. I’d watched the first episode of the Amazon TV series with my friend, but I decided I wanted to read the book before I watched any further. I LOVE Scotland, and a book set in such beautiful scenery sounded like a dream. Having watched the first episode of the series, I knew the main premise of the book was a woman...

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Paula Gooder – Phoebe

I picked this book up after seeing an advert for a talk with the author at Southwark Cathedral which just so happened to be while I was in London (this never happens!). I booked onto the event straight away, and the kindle version of the book was only 99p, so I dug straight in. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled for personal reasons, but I’m so glad that the event was what caused me to pick the book up in the first place, as it was...

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Shari Low – With or Without You

An interesting premise, a story that starts with a life-changing decision. Then we split into two parts – one where Liv says Yes, and one where she says No. But is your life actually pre-destined to end up a certain way no matter what decisions you choose? That’s what is explored in this book. I found the pacing a bit variable, at times I was fully engaged and devouring page after page, desperate to know what would happen next...

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Giovanna Fletcher – Dream a Little Dream

Giovanna Fletcher is one of my favourite people to follow on the internet, and I have always loved her books, but if I’m honest, I found this one really hard to get into. I think I was probably about half way through before I felt like the pace picked up enough for me to be completely invested in Sarah’s life, and there were a couple of times when I wasn’t convinced I was going to finish reading. But the second half of the...

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Onjali Q. Rauf – The Boy at the Back of the Class

A warm, engaging and inspiring look at an all too relevant topic, I would recommend this book to everyone, but particularly as a very engaging and relatable way to introduce the topic of the refugee crisis to young children. I first heard of this book when it started winning awards, namely the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019, and although it’s a children’s book, it hits with a big punch. Written from the...

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Paige Toon – The Last Piece of My Heart

Another E-book by an author that I’ve heard of but never read before, picked up because the e-book is currently free on Amazon, and the perfect book for a long train ride home. However, I did have extremely mixed feelings about the book, which you might understand as you hear more. In the book, we meet Bridget, a successful travel writer, who is currently travelling around the world meeting up with past boyfriends to ask them for...

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Cathy Bramley – We’ll Meet Again

What a sweet, perfectly romantic book. It was less than 50 pages long so you wouldn’t think you would have much time to become invested in the characters, but the way this was written made the characters feel like friends almost immediately. I’ve never read any of Cathy Bramley’s books before, but I decided to read this one while I was sat on my train waiting to set off from the station, and it was such a quick and...

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Sarah Bennett – Spring at Lavender Bay

I’m in two minds over how to review this book – on one hand, I read the book in just a few hours and I felt really invested in how Beth’s story would turn out. But what was really jarring for me was that there were so many editorial mistakes that I kept being jolted out of the flow of the story because either the sentence didn’t make sense or a spelling mistake meant my brain had to try and process what was being said...

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Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl

It would be really easy to judge this book by the title and assume it’s ‘just’ young adult fiction and doesn’t have a serious point. But although this might be young adult fiction, it showed that the only way to get through social-anxiety and other mental health problems is to open up to people and let them help you. As you might tell from the title, Cath is a fangirl, introverted and in love with the Simon Snow...

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Ann Weisgarber – The Glovemaker

For our anniversary, Cameron and I decided to start a new tradition where we will buy each other books related to whatever the anniversary is supposed to be represented by that year. Apparently, year 2 is cotton, so we spend a good hour in Waterstones in Oban looking for books that were cotton related. For Cameron, I bought the Underground Railroad (about cotton plantations and the slave trade), and he bought me this beautiful looking book...

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Bill Clinton & James Patterson – The President is Missing

It’s been quite a while since I listened to an audiobook, but over the last week, Cameron and I have been on our anniversary holiday to Scotland which has involved a LOT of driving. Rather than listen to the same music over and over again, we decided that we’d spend the time listening to a book instead, and since this one was on discount (and was one of the hardbacks that Cameron already had on his shelf), why not?! Narrated...

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