Friday, 29 January 2016

The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist
Author: Jessie Burton
ISBN: 9781447250937

Hi Everyone

Here is a book that I wanted because of the cover.  This time, I wasn't let down.  The idea of a miniaturist revealing all the secrets of a household grabbed my attention.  The miniaturist exceeded my expectation. 

The characters were interesting, every one of them.  They all had their place in the story making it almost as though there was more than one character.  It was the sister in-law that I liked the most.  She was strong and independent yet without faults and secrets.  The husband annoyed me, which was good as every good book needs a character that is annoying.  It keeps you reading.  There was another male character in the book that just went beyond making me angry.  I cant tell you who or why without a spoiler alert... Read it. 

The plot was fantastic.  From the beginning, it moved to places I didn't see coming.  By the middle of the book, I was glad I was on holiday because I needed to read and read!  The ending is not what I expected, and it made the book.  I love unexpected happenings in books; it is what keeps me picking up the authors next book.  As for the miniaturist, I  cannot say I got to know them.  I got a glimpse, but that was all.  I think I liked it that way.  It created a mystery.  I couldn't wait to see what the next miniature item was going to be.

Would I recommend this book?  Definitely.  But you may need time out by the middle of the book as that is when I found it was hard to put down. 


There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed ...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways ...Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall? Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, Jessie Burton's magnificent debut novel The Miniaturist is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

Happy Reading


This was available from:  Amazon, Fishpond and Book depository

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Worthy of repeating

Hi everyone

This is what touched me most and got me thinking this week.  There are two youtube clips here, that have both been on the net for a while now.  One is about how society shapes us especially during the teen years.  The other is about what we would change if we could change one thing to do with our body. 

I find it interesting that as children, the answers were fill of hope and love.  They believed totally in who they were.  Why do we lose this?  How is it that we wake up one day and decide society should shape us and diminish our dreams?

I have a dream, to inspire and encourage all children to read, learn and shine.  I encourage all you book reviewers out there today to keep going.  We need to have reveiws for books out there because it makes people want to read them. To all the authors out there that send me books and pdf's of their novels, you need to keep writing.  Follow your dreams, like you did as a child, and don't let publishers stop you from keeping going.  Children need to have stories it is where dreams start!  Other worlds can be entered through turning of a page!

Come on girls remember who you were and the dreams and goals you had and go for it
You have only one life and one body enjoy it like a child
One last word... Go get a book and sit down and enjoy a story.  Go to another land, world or time and remember what it was like to read as a child.  Then think about reading a story to the children in your life they are worth it.
Happy reading



Friday, 22 January 2016

One more day

One More day
Author: Kelly Simons
ISBN: 9781492618645

When I first got this book, I was so excited by the blurb.  I couldn't help but open it quickly and start reading.  I have to say that it was nothing like what I expected.  I was thinking of a storyline where a child is taken, returned, and taken again.  While that is the base of the story, it is far from what the story develops into.

I am impressed by this story.  The depth in which the story developed had me up last night reading at 2 am.  'One more day' becomes 'one more day' all throughout the book as more characters are introduced.  Has that got you intrigued?  It is what kept me reading.  As more secrets opened up through 'one more day' events, I had to keep reading to see what was real and what was not. 

I had no idea what the outcome was going to be until the end.  I like books that keep me reading until the end to find out what I need to know.  I liked the stress of the story and characters.  It had me turning page after page to find out where each secret was heading.  Everyone seemed to have a secret and they were being exposed in the bizzare ways.  As secrets are revelled and told the mystery of the missing child evolves, but you have to keep reading to discover where it all leads. 

This is a very well written book, in my view.  It is different from anything I have read and that's what I enjoyed the most.  An unpredictable plot which takes you into many lives as secrets evolve making the main character, Carrie, seem unstable yet so real.


Don't turn away

No one wants to be the mother whose child disappears. It's unthinkable, the stuff of nightmares. But when she turns her back to pay a parking meter, Carrie Morgan becomes that mother. Ben is gone, and more than a year later, it's clear that he is never coming back.

Until he does...for just twenty-four hours, before once again vanishing from his crib without a trace. Rumors start to circulate through Carrie's small town. Whispers that she's seeing things. That her alibi doesn't quite add up.

Her husband and friends start to think she's crazy. The police start to think she's guilty. As the investigation heats up, Carrie must decide what to share, and why. Because the crime is about to be solved... and her secret revealed.

This was available from:  Book depository, Fishpond and Amazon

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Todays choices

I was out for a run this morning, it was peaceful, and the sun was shining.  These types of runs lead me to an inner calm.  I have to breathe the air around me just to survive, as I pound the road beneath me.  Today I got to thinking, of some of the decisions I have made in my life and where I have got to today.  What I have become is due to choices made yesterday, the day before or years ago.  I am the outcome of more than the people around me.  My parents had their time of making my decisions, and part of that has influenced who I am today.  But more so it is choices I have made.  Each day I am faced with possibilities, if I chose to see them, take them or leave them. 

Many occasions passed through my thoughts, as I breathed each breath on my run.  I remembered things I wanted, but couldn't get, yet didn't fight for either.  I remembered the things I did fight for, the things I worked for,  and the way I grew through so many occasions to become the person I am today.  This made me realise I am an outcome of my choices.  I am reaping the results of choices I made days, months, even years ago.  Each choice has an outcome.  Sometimes I think I have no control over the things happening in my life, but I do have a choice in how I will react and how I will feel.
As this year takes us all to places, we have planned or never imagined, remember we are all able to make choices.  Think of things you value the most and where you want life to take you.  Then base your choices on these things and make them happen.  Only you can make things happen, because only you know what you really want in life.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Last library before the Antarctic

Hi Everyone

I have been away on a much-needed summer break.  It's good to be back with you all again.  I can travel no further south!  I can find no other library closer to the Antarctic than this!  It is small and open short hours, the bookshelves hold only a few books in comparison to other libraries, but it has been worth the journey.  Where is this library?  Stewart Island.  Way down the bottom of New Zealand.  It is the most relaxing, refreshing little island I have ever been to.  There were only a few cars but there were plenty of friendly people.  Everyone smiled.  Everyone had kind words to say.  And to add to the beauty and atmosphere, the sun was shining. 


What more could one ask for?  Internet, yes the internet.  My kids needed to find the one and only street that had free internet.  It was of primary importance.  I have to smile here; I take them to the most beautiful, relaxing place, and they go on a hunt for internet.  Lucky for them it was also the street that contained the library.  I wanted a photo of the library for all you book lovers, and the kids got their internet.  Now they have re-named the street (my kids that is) Internet Street.  All the locals had no idea what the kids were on about but once explained they totally understood.  Beyond their adventure to the one free internet street, they loved the island.

If you are looking for a place to go on holiday, New Zealand is worth looking into.  Remember to take the trip to Stewart Island.  They make good coffee, have the best fish, the scenery is divine, the bird life beautiful and the atmosphere beyond tranquil.  And, they have a library!

Where can you find libraries?  I have always loved old churches and architecture but now I am seeking out libraries they hold more stories than the books within.
Happy reading


Disclaimer:  I took these photos and do not know any of the people within them.  They just happen to be on the streets of Stewart Island and enjoying the scenery, at the same time as I took the photo.  If you recognise yourself in them then your welcome to let me know.

Friday, 8 January 2016

The 1-Hour Goddess

The 1-Hour Goddess
Author: Anne Clara Laugesen
ISBN: 978-1518819926


When Anne Laugesen offered this book to me, I was extremely excited.  I love fitness.  I have been a runner since I was ten years old.  A year ago I started to feel my hip aching and decided it was time to slow down the running and take up walking.  Walking was too slow, so I tried pop-pilates and loved it.  So when this book came up for viewing, I had to take a look.  I sat down and read it in two readings. 

So what do I think of this one?  I agree with most of the things she has written.  I would say that I agree with all of it, but will have to read it again before I make that kind of statement with any health book.  There is much on offer out there for health advice but over the years I have come to believe that whole food and getting moving is the only way to optimised health.  This book promotes all this and more.  Taking a look at strength training, she makes some good points.  There needs to be time for your muscles to work to their maximum ability and a time to heal the soreness resulting.  I heard this theory years ago from a body builder and never took any notice of it until I picked up this book.  It got me thinking, I have found Pilates good for my health and fitness, but the way I do is in line with Anne's philosophy, of which she has included reference to her research. 

She has included links to her exercises that made them easy to understand and follow.  Considering it is so simple to have incorrect form when strength training I give Anne credit for thinking of this.  It is what I liked most about this book.  I have an electronic copy, so I am not sure how it works in print form but it's great clicking the page and being taken to a link showing how to do each thing.

So, in conclusion, I give credit to Anne Laugesen's research, writing and presentation of a fitness book I am pleased to have taken a time to read.  Do I recommend it?  Yes, I do.  After the past year of Pilates, focusing on more than cardio for fitness, I agree with the importance of balance.  Food, cardio and strength training together make a good foundation for health. 

I am just realising the importance of stretching, as I slowly incorporate time to relax and stretch.  We have a body, and each part of it is important.  When I get a sore finger, I realise that it affects my strength in other parts of my body.  So I question why we tend to focus on just the heart and lungs, or just the way the muscles look in our arms look, or even what food to eat so we can stay slim.  As we all enter 2016 and take up new diet fads or exercise programs, take a look at the health of your whole body.  And if you want a good read to motivate you along the way take a look at this book and the links within.

Happy new year, it's good to be back with you for 2016.


This was available from:  Amazon, Book depository and Fishpond