Summer Reading List & Ratings

Some summer reading books

Some summer reading books

During the holidays I finally managed to move my little girl out to her own room and I must say that I have really enjoyed all the bedtime reading I’m doing. I always liked reading a chapter or two before going to sleep.  I have really gone on a light summer reading bonanza and not read a serious book all summer. Rather than review them all separately I’m just going to list them and give my opinion on them.

  • The Thief of Time – John Boyne – the story of a man living for over 250 years.  The story moves back & forth between his lives but for me the best one was his first life. By the end of the book I was starting to think he’d done enough living – 4/5
  • The Art of Friendship – Erin Kaye – a book about 4 friends and the ups and downs of their friendship. Very readable but not gripping 3/5

  • Sparkles – Louise Bagshaw – A family saga about a French jewellery family. A good story and a nice couple of twists – 4/5

  • Homecoming – Cathy Kelly – This author never fails to disappoint.  A novel about friendships, forgiveness and second chances – 4/5

  • Picture Perfect – Jodi Picoult – my first time reading a Jodi Picoult book and possibly my last!  It was only average and annoyed me.  3/5

  • Please Forgive Me – Melissa Hill – another good book from Melissa Hill but not as gripping as The Last To Know – 4/5

  • Love Match – Mary Malone – typical book of friendships and relationships. Average 3/5

  • The Drowning Girl – Margaret Leroy – a book about a troubled child whose past is trying to be heard. Well written.  3/5

  • No Angel – Penny Vincenzi – this book is definitely my favourite of all my summer reads. Over 700 pages long. A dynasty saga and book 1 of a trilogy.  It has a great story and interesting characters.  I’m on the lookout for books 2 and 3 so I can keep on reading. 5/5

  • Set In Stone – Catherine Dunne – This is kind of a strange book. It wasn’t really here nor there. It wasn’t good or bad. Only average. It had the potential to be much better but wasn’t  – 3/5


Book Review: The Last To Know by Melissa Hill

I was told by a friend to read a Melissa Hill book. Last February I went to London and took this book in my bag but brought it home again as I was reading another book.  It has been on my pile of books to read since then and finally made it to the top last week.  As I have only recently moved my little girl to her own room I have rediscovered the joy of reading in bed so I read a few chapters every night. By Saturday night I was nearly halfway through but the book totally grabbed my attention and I kept reading until I finished it at 2.30am. I can’t remember the last time a book caught me like that.  I was glad it wasn’t a night before going to work but didn’t regret it the following morning.

The Last To Know - Melissa Hill

The Last To Know – Melissa Hill

The Last to Know is the story of 4 women – Eve, Anna, Sam and Brooke and how their lives are intertwined.  Eve has been waiting for years for her partner, Liam, to marry her.  Anna is engaged but slow to set the date.  Sam is Eve’s sister who knows too much about Liam and doesn’t think he’s good enough for her sister.  Brooke is living in Australia not knowing that a secret is going to be revealed that will change her life forever.


What I liked about this book is that it was so different from regular chick-lit as there was a twist and while I knew there was a twist there was a few red herrings to make you think things and then I discovered I was wrong.  I love when I can’t predict the ending of the book.  I’m not going to reveal too much about the book as don’t want to give the plot away but I do recommend this book to read.  I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more Melissa Hill books.


Fiction Versus Non-Fiction

I have always read fiction.  Years after leaving school I was still sure that I didn’t like non-fiction.  Over the last while I have been reading non-fiction books and I’m hooked.

I have been selling books online for 13 years and while I have thousands of mainly non-fiction books I found I haven’t read many of them.  In 2012 after a few quiet years while I had my family I devoted more time to my book selling business.  This involved sorting through many boxes of books that I had bought.  I was amazed at how many I wanted to read and they were nearly all non-fiction. While I still have a big pile of fiction books to read I now find I have a bigger stack of non-fiction.  I don’t know if it’s life, motherhood or age has changed my taste in books but whatever it is its a change for the better.  Now my problem is I don’t have enough time for all the books I want to read.  Due to my very limited time for reading I find I am currently reading a few books together which I know some people don’t understand how people do it but it’s really easy.

Some recent non-fiction reads:

Dewey – The Small Time Library Cat Who Touched The World by Vicki Myron

Abandoned Mansions of Ireland by Tarquin Blake

Con Cremin – Ireland’s Wartime Diplomat by Dr Niall Keogh

Chicago May by Nuala O’Faolain

I am also going to a book club which is make me read fiction that I normally wouldn’t chose to read like

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Serena by Ron Rash
Lies of Silence by Brian Moore

Now winter is here I hope to have a bit more time for reading.

Book Review: Casa Clara by Kate McCabe

Casa Clara by Kate McCabe
Published by Poolbeg Press, Dublin, 2010.
ISBN: 1842233559
Finished on 20/05/2012

Liz Frazer packs  up her job in Dublin and flees to Fuengirola in Southern Spain where she finds refuge in a beautiful little hotel right on the beach – Casa Clara.

This book is very well written and in a way that makes it so easy to read.  Emma is the central character and there is no flitting from character to character.  The story progresses well and at a good pace.  While it was a simple storyline there were a few twists on the way so it wasn’t totally predictable.

I enjoyed it as I have holidayed in the Costa del Sol so it was easy to picture the lifestyle and haven’t we all dreamed of running off to a life in the sun at some stage?

I have also read Forever Friends and The Book Club by this author.  Both were also very enjoyable.  I would recommend this book for light reading. Perfect for a holiday or a relaxing afternoon.  I find her books nice and a light read after a day at work when I don’t want to face into a heavy read.

Her new book Magnolia Park  (  is currently on the bestsellers list here in Ireland. It is also set in Spain. I look forward to reading it.