A Place to Read

What I’ve been reading lately! June Edition

I like to keep a track of what I’ve been reading and maybe inspire someone else to read the same. So here are my list of books that I’ve read in June 2019.

What I’ve been Reading in June

Things in Jars – by Jess Kidd

The Blurb


London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.
As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.
Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.

My Review

I’ve become a fan of Jess Kidd, I love her quirky stories that never fail to surprise. The main character is an anomaly in herself, a private investigator in Victorian times, but not only that..she’s a woman. Her housemade is a former freak show performer and immensely close to her employer.

The story revolves around a missing child, but what is the mystery about the child and why has she been kidnapped? But more than your general detective story, there is so much more to gleam from this book, in particular, how times have changed since then.

Jess Kidd has a fascination for the unusual, abnormal even creepy things that may or may not exist. If you want to read something different then I’d highly recommend this book.

Playgroups and Prosecco – Jo Middleton

The Blurb

January 3rd
Jaffa Cakes – 7. Times I was forced to watch a small child do a dance involving a dusty piece of ribbon found under the sofa – 4. Inappropriate thoughts about Zac Efron – undisclosed. 

Single mum Frankie’s whole life revolves around her kids. But when your toddler has a more active social life, something has to change. Forget ‘me-time’, Frankie would settle for some adult conversation, and watching something other than the Disney channel. 

The local playgroup may be ruled by Instagram mums with perfect husbands but Frankie accidentally forms a splinter group of single parents. After all, Mummy really needs a playdate of her own. (Now pass the prosecco.)

My Review

I reviewed this book in detail in a single post as I loved it so much. You can read the review here
https://athomealot.com/2019/06/21/playgroups-and-prosecco/

Normal People

The Blurb

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins.

Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can’t.

My Review

I fell into the hype with this book (and the fact that it was on the two for one list on Audible.)

I don’t read a lot of romantic novels but this one was really not what I was expecting. The two main characters seemed anything but normal, both them had underlying relationship issues. But the bond was so strong it kept bringing them back together no matter where their lives took them. It’s not a long book and I read through it very quickly, but it was incredibly difficult to put down. You really do get drawn into the young lives of Connell and Marianne. The ending felt a little surprising, but on second thoughts, you know exactly what is going to happen with these two.

The book did jump around a lot which was confusing. You’d start a chapter and then jump back to find out how they got to the point at the beginning of the chapter. There were lots of issues that could have been addressed in more detail and I think a lot of the main points of the book where left open for the reader to make up their own mind.

There is one thing I know though, Normal People is not a book about Normal People.

This book has won a lot of awards and been nominated for even more. I have heard it on the grapevine that it is going to be made into a television series. I did enjoy the book, but I’m not sure I’d give it an award. A Television series would have to be padded out a lot more and the jumping around would be missing, so that would work better than reading it, I suppose.

Audible ‘Reading’

I read a lot of my books on Audible (Which means I actually listen, not read, but you get what I mean!)

If you would like to know more about Audible then I have a post that can has just won a prize that I would love you to look at. It’s over on my other blog here.

Also, I’d love to know what you have been reading too, so do let me know in the comments. If you have a book reading blog I’d be very interested in hearing about it.

Pin for later!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links but they will not make any difference to you if you click through and go ahead and purchase. If you do, you will be doing me a great favour though and for that I thank you in advance.

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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A Place to Read

Playgroups and Prosecco – book review

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (2 May 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1529103363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1529103366
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm

Playgroups and Prosecco by Jo Middleton

Jo Middleton is a lovely, funny blogger over on Slummy Single Mummy.

I’ve met her a couple of times now and she gifted me a copy of her book without any expectations of a review.

The book is available from many sources, including Amazon where you can get it in paperback, kindle and audiobook.

The Blurb

January 3rd
Jaffa Cakes – 7. Times I was forced to watch a small child do a dance involving a dusty piece of ribbon found under the sofa – 4. Inappropriate thoughts about Zac Efron – undisclosed.


Single mum Frankie’s whole life revolves around her kids. But when your toddler has a more active social life, something has to change. Forget ‘me-time’, Frankie would settle for some adult conversation, and watching something other than the Disney channel.
The local playgroup may be ruled by Instagram mums with perfect husbands but Frankie accidentally forms a splinter group of single parents. After all, Mummy really needs a playdate of her own. (Now pass the prosecco.)

My Review

I like to read a wide genre of books and sometimes after indulging in too many dark crime or horror novels I like to relax with something guaranteed to make me smile again. Playgroups and Prosecco is one of those books.

I could relate to the playgroups where you could feel left out sitting in the corner and wondering why your kids had more friends than you. I was so pleased that the main character of this book, Frankie, managed to make a couple of good friends at the group.

Following Frankie’s life throughout the year with diary type entries we can relate to so much of the stuff she goes through

The story is really well written (I wouldn’t expect any less) and flows nicely. I love what Frankie and her friends get up to and even had to check out @simple_dorset-life on Instagram. Jo captures perfectly the life of a mum with a teen and a toddler, I’ve been in the same situation myself so I could relate. I’ve also been a single Mum with a good relationship with the ex husband, so again, relatable. What I have missed in life is the good relationship Frankie has with her playgroup buddies and that’s what brings all the fun. I’m glad I didn’t get the ending I was expecting, that was refreshing. I really enjoyed this book and I so hope that Jo decides to write another, I’ll pre-order it, promise!

Post contains affiliate links

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All The Beautiful Lies – Book Review

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All the Beautiful Lies

On the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice, to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father.
But who really is Alice, his father’s much younger second wife? In a brilliant split narrative, Peter Swanson teases out the stories and damage that lie in her past. And as her story entwines with Harry’s in the present, things grow increasingly dark and threatening – will Harry be able to see any of it clearly through his own confused feelings?
Harry is devastated by the sudden death of his father, but was it really an accident. And who is the strange young girl who turns up at the funeral that no-one seems to know. As we follow Harry’s story of investigation into what happened to his father we also delve into the history of his Step-Mother Alice. Alice lost her mother as a teenager and soon after began a relationship with her step father. They kept it secret, but some local residents had their suspicions. As the plot thickens, Harry discovers the stranger at the funeral was having an affair with his father, but soon after his discovery she ends up dead. Harry suspects his Stepmother has something to do with his Father’s and his mistresses deaths but can she really be guilty. As we discover, her past is not so innocent. In the second part of the book we discover the murderer and hear of a much darker history of the Stepmother Alice. Then to top it off there is even more twists to end the story.

My Verdict.

A dark psychological thriller which had me gripped from the start. An interesting take on a very difficult to talk about subject, interspersed with mystery and murder. It stirs up a lot of emotions and will not be an easy read for anyone who has been a victim of child abuse of a sexual nature.

Audible

I listened to All the Beautiful Lies on Audio Book and I get my books from Amazon Audible. I love audio books, I can listen while I crochet or even while doing the housework, it means I don’t have to put down my book. You can get any type of books in Audio, fiction or non-fiction. I love audible because you get the chance to listen to an sample before you buy. I like to do this because I have to be sure I like the voice I’m going to be listening to. Each month I get a free credit to buy any book I wish which can be great value. One month I chose the entire works of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes read by Stephen Fry. I’ve got a lovely library of audio books that I can return to at anytime if I wish. Boo has just decided that she likes listening to books to, so I can put the app. on her phone and she can listen to children’s books. When you sign up to Audible you get the first three months at half price and then it’s £7.99 a month which is usually less than the price of the book you can get with your monthly credit. It’s up to you if you buy more, I tend to stick to the one a month, although sometimes they have some amazing offers starting from just 99pence. Audible also offers some exclusive podcasts to listen to for free from the likes of Stephen Fry, David Mitchell and Sue Perkins to name a few. Whether you want to listen to comedy, drama or history there are so many genres to choose from. Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate and this post contains affiliate links which will make no difference to your costs but may earn me a little money if used. Thank you
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