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

What I’ve been reading lately

I like keeping a track on the books I’ve been reading and as my last post was in March I have some catching up to do.

So here is what I’ve been reading the last two months. This post will contain affiliate links which will cost you no extra if you click and purchase anything, but can earn me some money. So thanks in advance to anyone who uses them.

Jess Kidd – Himself

Back in March I read a book by Jess Kidd called the Hoarder. I loved the quirky way the main character could see Angels and it was quite different from anything I’d read before. So, I decided to go for another Jess Kidd book and the one I chose was, HImself.

The Blurb

A charming ne’er-do-well returns to his haunted Irish hometown to uncover the truth about his mother in this “supernaturally skilled debut” (Vanity Fair) and turns the town–and his life–upside down.

Having been abandoned at an orphanage as a baby, Mahony assumed all his life that his mother wanted nothing to do with him. That is, until one night in 1976 while drinking a pint at a Dublin pub, he receives an anonymous note implying that she may have been forced to give him up. Determined to find out what really happened, Mahony embarks on a pilgrimage back to his hometown, the rural village of Mulderrig. Neither he nor Mulderrig can possibly prepare for what’s in store…

From the moment he arrives, Mahony’s presence completely changes the village. Women fall all over themselves. The real and the fantastic are blurred. Chatty ghosts rise from their graves with secrets to tell, and local preacher Father Quinn will do anything to get rid of the slippery young man who is threatening the moral purity of his parish.

My Verdict

Another quirky book but this time the main character can see ghosts. I love the characterisation that Jess Kidd provides. These characters just jump out at you and you can see them in your mind’s eye as well as if they lived next door.

This was a great ‘detective’ story with a very unusual twist. Very dark in places but also full of humour and a fair amount of swearing!

I loved it and will definitely be reading more Jess Kidd.

Safe With Me – KL Slater

The Blurb


Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even.

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?

My Verdict

This is one of those books where you just don’t get to like any of the characters you are reading about. They all have something to hide, they are all quite weird in their own way. I think this makes it difficult to digest, everyone needs a hero, or a victim. Of course, there are some major twists and turns that may change your mind.

Anna, kind of reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant, you could tell that her actions where guided by something awful that had happened in the past. But even Eleanor had redeeming qualities, or at least made you feel a little empathy towards her. Anna’s awful background is made quite apparent, but I still lacked empathy for her. Maybe, that’s just my opinion, or maybe that was the intention?

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – BBC dramatisation

The Blurb


A full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s celebrated apocalyptic comic novel, with bonus length episodes and outtakes.

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday in fact. Just after Any Answers on Radio 4….

Events have been set in motion to bring about the End of Days. The armies of Good and Evil are gathering and making their way towards the sleepy English village of Lower Tadfield. The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse – War, Famine, Pollution and Death – are assembling. 

Witchfinder Shadwell and his assistant Newton Pulsifier are also en route to Tadfield to investigate unusual phenomena in the area, while Anathema Device, descendent of prophetess Agnes Nutter, tries to decipher her ancestor’s cryptic predictions.

Atlantis is rising; fish are falling from the sky; everything seems to be going to the Divine Plan.
Everything, that is, but for an unlikely angel and demon duo, who have been living on Earth for several millennia and have become rather fond of the place. If they are to prevent Armageddon they’ve got to find and kill the one who will bring it about: the Antichrist himself. There’s just one small problem: someone seems to have mislaid him…

Adapted, sound designed and co-directed by Dirk Maggs (Neverwhere, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) this first ever dramatisation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel features a large cast including Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Josie Lawrence and Paterson Joseph.

My Verdict

I read this book many years ago and didn’t remember much of it. As a big Terry Pratchett fan I was not impressed with it not being a Discworld book. I did download it with one of my free credits on Audible and I LOVED every moment of it.

It’s just fantastic to listen to, the cast do an amazing job and I will definitely listen to it again. It doesn’t matter that it’s not Discworld, the story is still funny in the Terry Pratchett way along with the story line you’d find typical of Neil Gaiman.

The Humans – Matt Haig

The Blurb


THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. OR IS THERE? 

After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where he is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, Professor Andrew Martin is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst an alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.
Who is he really? And what could make someone change their mind about the human race . . . ?

My Verdict

After reading this I’m determined to read much more of Matt Haig. How have I not read anything by him before?

I love his gentle story telling and how he makes it feel like it’s coming from a completely different perspective. It’s so alien!

It’s a fantastic look at the human race and their qualities good and bad. It certainly gives you food for thought.

Both humorous and heartwarming, and a little dangerous at times, it provided me with a story I found difficult to put down. I can’t wait to be reading more.

Audible

All the links so far have been to Amazon books, but I always listen on Audible. You can read about my Five Reasons to Listen to Audible on my other blog.

Anyone can join audible and you can start with a 30 day trial. After that you pay £7.99 which gives you a free credit against any download, no matter what the price. You can also look out for deals and offer, at the moment you can get a daily deal for just £1.99 and also buy 3 audible books for the price of two.

I really never thought that I’d get into listening to books but I honestly love it. All of the above books I listened to on Audible and I’ve also started listening to free audio shows. I’m currently 95% through The Power of Vulnerablity by Brene Brown, if you’ve not seen any of her TED talks I’d recommend you do. I’m a bit fan.

Anyway, click on the banner below to find out more about Audible. I will get more to listen to if you do 🙂

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A Place to Read

The Best Biographies and Memoirs on Audible





Do you like finding out more about celebrities, hearing about the real person? These audiobooks are Audibles latest offerings in celebrity Biographies and Memoirs.  

Michelle Obama – A Life

Michelle Obama – A Life

Audible – £28.09 or free with a 30 day trial of Audible

By: Peter Slevin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 15 hrs and 33 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 18-08-15
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios

An inspiring story of a modern American icon, here is the first comprehensive account of the life and times of Michelle Obama. With disciplined reporting and a storyteller’s eye for revealing detail, Peter Slevin follows Michelle to the White House from her working-class childhood on Chicago’s largely segregated South Side. He illuminates her tribulations at Princeton University and Harvard Law School during the racially charged 1980s and the dilemmas she faced in Chicago while building a high-powered career, raising a family, and helping a young community organizer named Barack Obama become president of the United States.



From the lessons she learned in Chicago to the messages she shares as one of the most recognizable women in the world, the story of this first lady is the story of America. Michelle Obama: A Life is a fresh and compelling view of a woman of unique achievement and purpose.


©2015 Peter Slevin (P)2015 Audible, Inc

Mel B – Brutally Honest

Brutally Honest – Mel B


Audible – £18.99 or free with a 30 day trial of Audible

By: Melanie Brown
Narrated by: Melanie Brown, Phoenix Chi Gulzar Brown, Andrea Brown, Zaraah Abrahams, Bruce Lester Johnson
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 27-11-18
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios

Please note that this audiobook contains explicit language and content some listeners may find distressing.

The memoir from the real woman behind the leopard print, for real women everywhere. 

As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, has been an international star since the age of 19. And yet there are sides of Mel that no one has ever seen or really known. 

Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success. With deep personal insight, remarkable frankness and Melanie’s trademark Yorkshire humour, this audiobook removes the mask of fame and reveals the mother, wife and daughter behind the Spice Girl everyone thinks they know. 

The audiobook edition features narration from Melanie, her daughter, Phoenix, and her mother, Andrea.


©2018 Melanie Brown and Louise Gannon (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

Robert Webb – How Not to Be a Boy

Robert Webb – How Not to be a Boy




Audible – £19.99 0r free with a 30 day trial of Audible

By: Robert Webb
Narrated by: Robert Webb
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 29-08-17
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios

Rules for Being a Man:

  • Don’t cry
  • Love sport
  • Play rough
  • Drink beer
  • Don’t talk about feelings

But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone?

Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life. Hilarious and heartbreaking, How Not to Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters, and the understanding that sometimes you aren’t the Luke Skywalker of your life – you’re actually Darth Vader.

Giles and Mary –  A Tale of Two Nobodies

Giles and Mary – a Tale of Two Nobodies

By: Mary Killen, Giles Wood
Narrated by: Mary Killen, Giles Wood
Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 02-11-17
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios

What is life for Gogglebox‘s Giles and Mary outside the willow-patterned cocoon?

Giles is a countryman who relishes solitude. His wife, Mary, thrives in company and enjoys frequent escapes to London.

After 30 years in a marriage of opposites, Giles and Mary have adapted to a life of domestic misunderstandings within comical misadventures.

In The Diary of Two Nobodies, you will have the unique opportunity to discover, first hand, what occurs when a man who sees himself as a cross between Mr Bean and Basil Fawlty shares his life with a woman who identifies closely with the Queen.

Accompanying this diary is a candid and amusing Audible Sessions interview with Giles and Mary, in which they discuss how they made it onto Gogglebox, what the most annoying things about each other are, and why ‘nutty’ is their go-to term of endearment.

Audible – £13.99 or free with a 30 day trial of Audible.

This post contains affiliate links because I am an Audible affiliate. I’m also a huge fan of Audible and love receiving my new audio book every month for just £7.99 You can choose anything, I have a six volume set of Sherlock Holmes in my collection which would have cost nearly £70 if I were not a member. 

Since I got sick my eyesight is troublesome. I’ve tried the opticians and have reading glasses, but although they help they don’t stop the tiredness I get in my eyes. 

I would have to give up reading but since I discovered Audible I’ve devoured more books than I have done in ages. I love it! And the best thing is, I can carry on listening to my books while crocheting or even doing to the housework. You don’t have to put your book down to make a cup of tea, just take it with you in your ears.

If you join audible or buy a book from my list you’ll be helping me to add to my listening collection with no extra cost to you, so thank you in advance. 




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