Falling Forward

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear Jess,

Thank you for being one of my favourite people to spend time with. Your enthusiasm and grace will be missed now you’ve moved to London (*sob*) but I’m excited to have a new penpal and a new part of that beautiful to city to visit. Cardiff’s loss is London’s gain – knock ‘em dead, kid.

Love Sarah

See other Friday Thanks here or visit the original inspiration for the project here.

30 for 30: Read 30 ‘To Read’ – Books 1-5

Posted by in 30 for 30, Books, Projects

This post is an update on my 30 for 30 goal: Read 30 Books I’ve Been Meaning To Read. So far I’ve read 5 out of 30.

1. Pamela Ribon – You Take It From Here

24

Date Read: 29th June 2013
Rating:  3 stars

Mini synopsis: Bossy girl with terminal cancer wants her reluctant friend to take over her life once she’s gone.

Read it because: Pamela Ribon is a talented, funny writer. I personally couldn’t get along with the main character, but a lot of people like this one so I’d suggest giving it a chance.

2. Kim Edwards – The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

7

Date Read: 6th July 2013
Rating:  2 stars

Mini synopsis: The stigma of down syndrome causes a secret family rift.

Don’t read it because: it’s really not worth it. The premise is there but the writing is clunky at best, it’s about 50 pages too long and I really couldn’t bring myself to care about any of the selfish, maudlin, boring characters.

3. Jeffrey Eugenides – Middlesex

10

Date Read: 24th July 2013
Rating:  4 stars

Mini synopsis: Greek hermaphrodite tells his story; intriguing, interesting and heartbreaking all in one.

Read it because: Amy loves it – more than a good enough reason I think.

4. Lauren Beukes – The Shining Girls

12

Date Read: 25th July 2013
Rating:  5 stars

Mini synopsis: If Stephen King had written The Time Traveler’s Wife this is what it would have been like.

Read it because: I couldn’t put it down. Thrilling, frightening and utterly compelling. Lauren Beukes is on fine form, I can’t wait to see what she puts out next.

5. Maggie O’Farrell – Instructions for a Heatwave

25

Date Read: 28th July 2013
Rating:  3 stars

Mini synopsis: A missing father brings all the secrets up to the surface.

Read it because: Maggie O’Farrell has a wonderful gift with words. I’d have given it 4 stars but she has a bit of a noncommittal stance to endings and that bugs me. For the thread that bound them all, Robert felt like a bit of a lost character in the end, which I thought was a shame, but it’s definitely still worth a read.

0

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  •  Making someone laugh unexpectedly
  • Friendships spanning a decade
  • Yellow lilos
  • Holiday countdowns
  • Cinema snacks

See the whole list here

0

July Book Update

Posted by in Books, Projects

01. RR Amor Towles – Rules of Civility [30 for 30]
02. NEW Kim Edwards – The Memory Keeper’s Daughter [30 for 30]
03. RR Berlie Doherty – Tilly Mint & The Dodo [30 for 30]
04. RR Douglas Coupland – Girlfriend in a Coma [30 for 30]
05. RR Toby Litt – Journey Into Space [30 for 30]
06. RR Alice Sebold -  The Lovely Bones [30 for 30]
07. NEW Jeffrey Eugenides – Middlesex [30 for 30]
08. NEW Lauren Beukes – The Shining Girls [30 for 30]
09. RR Douglas Coupland – Life After God [30 for 30]
10. NEW Maggie O’Farrell – Instructions for a Heatwave [30 for 30]
11. RR Stephen Clarke – A Year in the Merde [book club]

This month was the first full month of my 30 for 30 list, and I think I did pretty well at crossing a few of those books off my list. I read four of the books that I’ve been meaning to read forever, and six of my favourite favourites – a nice mix. I would have read more of the new books but, to be fair, the favourites are the ones that I already have on hand.

Of the new books, The Shining Girls was definitely my favourite. Tense, gripping and compelling I finished it in a day and described it to Amy as “A Stephen King version of The Time Traveler’s Wife” which I think is fairly accurate. I was really disappointed in The Memory Keeper’s Daughter - it was insipid and bland and I’m sorry I waited all those years to read it thinking it was going to be good. I enjoyed Middlesex but I feel like I need to re-read it to pick up on the intricacies of the plot.

Of the old books The Lovely Bones was as heart wrenching as ever, Rules of Civility took me back to 1930s New York all over again and the three Douglas Coupland books I read were as enjoyable to read now as they were the first times I picked them up.

We’re going on holiday to Greece for a week in a couple of weeks and my Kindle is already loaded up and ready to go. I can’t wait to have nothing better to do than lie in the shade and read as many books as I can. Bliss.

I’m still working my way through my read 1000 new books for my Life List, I started tracking those in 2011 and I’m up to 189.

0

30 for 30: Re-read 30 Favourites – Books 2-6

Posted by in 30 for 30, Books, Projects

This post is an update on my 30 for 30 goal: Re-read 30 of My Favourite BooksSo far I’ve read 6 out of 30.

2. Berlie Doherty – Tilly Mint & The Dodo

Date Read: 6th July 2013
Rating: 4 stars

Mini synopsis: Young girl takes a trip to a mystery island, meets a dodo.

Read it because: It’s one of the books that stuck with me ever since I read it when I was a little girl. Read it to your children, especially.

3. Douglas Coupland – Girlfriend in a Coma

2

Date Read: 9th July 2013
Rating: 
5 stars

Mini synopsis: The tales of friends struggling to cope with the loss of a friend, watch out for curve balls.

Read it because: It’s wacky but it’s intriguing and beautiful. If you can suspend disbelief for a bit then you’ll probably enjoy it.

4. Toby Litt – Journey Into Space

15

Date Read: 
Rating: 4 stars

Mini synopsis: Teenagers in space (unlikely to reach their destination) dream about trees on a planet they never saw.

Read it because: Toby Litt is such an intriguing writer. His books are being released alphabetically and each one has been written in a different genre. How many writers can you name who’ve done that?

5. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones

8


Rating: 
5 stars

Mini synopsis: Murdered girl can’t stop watching her family from heaven. Will her murderer be caught?

Read it because: Oh, just read it. Whatever you’ve heard about it, whether you think you’ll love it or hate it please just read it. But avoid the film like the plague, that thing was a bloody train wreck.

6. Douglas Coupland – Life After God

25


Rating: 
5 stars

Mini synopsis: Short stories that intertwine about loss of faith, humanity and being alone.

Read it because: Coupland has a beautiful, distinctive writing style. This is a short book, so a great way to dip your toes in to see if he’s your kind of writer. If you love one, you’ll love them all. (See also: Girlfriend in a Coma)

0