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: Forgive Me by Lesley Pearse

When I worked in a bookshop back in the 1990’s I discovered Lesley Pearse and was instantly hooked.  After reading the first book, I immediately ordered all her other books and loved them. They were the good old days when I was paid to read. Of course I argued that I had to have read books to be able to recommend them to customers. After leaving the bookshop I used to always look out for new books written by Lesley Pearse. She only releases one book a year on average but I always know when it’s due out and what it’s about.

This years book is called Forgive Me which tells the story of Eva Patterson whose Mum commits suicide not long before Evas 21st birthday.  As Eva deals with the aftermath of the suicide and searches for reasons why her mother took her own life, she discovers many secrets from the past.  The search for answers takes Eva on a journey to her mother’s past where she discovers things she never knew about her mother.  The book has plenty of twists and turns so you want to keep reading to know where the story goes.

Lesley Pearse always writes stories that are emotional and you can feel the highs and lows with the characters.  It is a gripping story and it’s one of those books that you just want to keep on reading.  I read it over a couple of evenings and didn’t want it to finish which is a sign of a good book.  I was pleased with this book as her last book was the first one to slightly disappoint me so I was afraid she was losing her touch. This book proves she still is a super writer.

I’m looking forward to the next book already.  Reading Lesley Pearse always makes me want to be a writer myself.


Forgive Me - Lesley Pearse

Forgive Me – Lesley Pearse

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.

My First Reading Experiences

I can’t remember when I started reading but my mother said I always had my head stuck in a book.  Books have always been part of my life.

One of my earliest memories is running up to the library most nights.This was before I decided running wasn’t for me but that’s another story.  The library was only up the street from where I lived and used to open at 5.30 and I’d be waiting outside the door. The librarian was a little grumpy and used to say you can’t have your books read already but I used to have them read.  I’d get new books most nights and come down home and sit and read them.

Enid Blyton Books

Enid Blyton was a favourite author of mine and I read my way through many of her books from The Secret Seven series, The Famous Five and many others. I remember going on a school tour and I got spending money for the trip and I bought 3 Famous Five books that weren’t available in the library. I still have them, among many more, and hope my children will read them some day.

I read many books including girls and boys adventure stories.  I loved mystery stories and as I got older read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Our library was small so you couldn’t have the snobbery of saying the book was for a boy or a girl. The childrens section was only about two bookcases in size so I read anything I could find that I could read.  What a thrill it was when the library van came and bought a few new books.

Reading is such a learning experience from learning new words to learning about new places and experiences.  I also found that with books set in different places it broadened my mind to travelling, the world and cultures.

I am bringing my children up to love books and while I am a bookseller I take my children to the library as it’s a lovely experience to chose from such a selection of books and try all different genres.

After I started writing this blog, I looked up the full title list of Enid Blyton books. I can’t believe how many of them I have read and I am really looking forward to reading them all again with my children.  This amuses me greatly as I am one of these people who only reads a book once as I think there are so many books to read why read one twice.

Reading has always been part of my life. I find great comfort in a good book and am never bored when I am reading.  I don’t have as much time for reading since I had my children but I’ll get back to it as they get bigger.  Just because I can’t read them doesn’t stop me buying them.

Book Club – My First Time

I have always wanted to join a book club but in my locality they are mainly on during the day when I am working.  Finally after a bit of searching I found one that is on in the evening at Bandon Books so I emailed to ask when was the next meeting and what was the book.  Gerry sent me the details so I went and bought the book One Summer by Roisin Meaney.  I had a week to read it which was no problem. It was an easy to read book and not too taxing on my brain.

On the Monday night I went off to the book club meeting feeling a little nervous and wondering what kind of people would be there. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be high-brow literary discussions which I can do but was more in the hope of some light relief.  I got there just on time and the door was locked but another lady was waiting and said Gerry would be on shortly. A few more turned up along with the bookshop owner.  We all trundled in and sat down.  We introduced ourselves and did a bit of chit-chat while waiting for the rest of the group to show up. It was a quieter night than usual they said as there was only 9 in total, 7 women and 2 men.  

The book being discussed was more a womans’ book. The reason they chose it was the author had come to the book club the previous month.  It was interesting to hear what the author, Roisin Meaney, had to say when she visited the book club. There wasn’t a huge amount to discuss as the book was fairly ordinary but enjoyable. It did amuse me that some of the people hadn’t either read the book or finished it and didn’t want the end discussed.  I suspect this could only happen in Ireland.  They went on to discuss another book that they hadn’t time to discuss the previous month, which I hadn’t read but was interested to hear what they had to say.

See my review here –

After that we  had a general discussion on books and the book for next month was decided upon. The way they do it is one of the members pick a book so one of the men picked Lies of Silence by Brian Moore which I must read.  I knew I had a copy of it at home so I didn’t have to go searching for one.  I must start reading it.  There definitely should be more to discuss at next months book club as the book raises much more discussion points.


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