September Book Haul


 

 

I promised you all a book haul and here it is. After trawling through my bookcase trying to narrow down which books should feature, it became apparent that I have too many favourites to list in one post. Bearing this in mine I've decided that the best thing is to share my recommended reads over several posts, this being part one.
I hope you've all had a fantastic weekend. Thankyou for all the kind emails, messages and tweets regarding my last post. 
Sharing that side of me was anxiety inducing to say the least and as you all know I had my reservations. But I'm so glad I did it now. You've been nothing but lovely and supportive. Huge hugs! 
Talking of support, please go and check out my lovely friend Lora's new blog. I won't say what it's about, just that you ought to read it. Click here to be redirected.

And now that I've got that out the way, let's talk books! 

First up... 

'Ways To Live Forever' by Sally Nicholls



This is one of my all time favourite reads. Although technically a children's novel I truly think readers of every age will appreciate it. Sally writes beautifully and in a way that makes the words flow effortlessly off the page. In a nutshell it's about an eleven year old boy who is dying of Leukaemia. Tissues at the ready!

 Excerpt...

'LIST NO. 1 FIVE FACTS ABOUT ME

1. My name is Sam.
2. I am eleven years old.
3. I collect stories and fantastic facts.
4. I have Leukaemia.
5. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.'

The blurb...

'Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has Leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nobody will answer.'

That's all I will reveal about this particular book. To say anymore would spoil it. Go read it! Enough said.



'Can You Keep A Secret' by Sophie Kinsella




Excerpt...

'Of course I have secrets. Of course I do. Everyone has a secret. It's completely normal. I'm sure I don't have any more than anybody else.
I'm not talking about big, earth shattering secrets. Not the-president-is-planning-to-bomb-Japan-and-only-Will-Smith-can-save-the-world type secrets. Just normal, everyday little secrets.
Like for example, here are a few random secrets of mine, off the top of my head:

1. My Kate Spade bag is a fake.
2. I love sweet sherry, the least cool drink in the universe.
3. I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is...

14. I have no idea what this guy in the grey suit is going on about.
15. Plus I've already forgotten his name.
And I only met him ten minutes ago.'

And so begins Emma's story. After a very bad day, Emma finds herself sat aboard a turbulent plane spilling all her secrets to the handsome American sat next to her. But it doesn't really matter because he's a complete stranger. And as soon as she's off this plane she'll never see him again. Or will she? The following morning she comes face to face with the big boss of the corporation she works for. Three guesses who the boss is?! Yep. The stranger from the plane.

This was actually the first Sophie Kinsella novel I ever read. In fact if I'm honest, as much as I love Becky Bloomwood, I preferred this to the Shopaholic series. This is one to go for when in need of some laughs or lighthearted relief.



'On Writing' by Stephen King



 




Part memoir, part master class, Stephen manages to combine both beautifully in this fascinating read. 
And who better to give advice to the aspiring writer than the international bestselling author of over fifty books? Stephen certainly knows his craft.
Not just a practical guide, Stephen also shares memories spanning from his childhood right through to his near-fatal accident in 1999. 
This is a must for every writer, novice or not.


'If I Stay' by Gayle Forman




 I read about this book on Twitter and immediately went out to buy it. It wasn't quite what I expected but I did enjoy it nevertheless. 
It follows the story of Mia, the sole surviver when a four-ton pickup truck plows headlong into the family car with the force of an atom bomb. Alone for the first time in her life and hanging on by a thread, Mia has a decision to make. Should she stay or should she go? 
This is one of those life-affirming books that makes you appreciate the people and the little things around you. 
If you do read this and like it then definitely read the follow on novel, 'Where She Went.'


'The Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold


 

Excerpt...

'My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. In newspaper photos of missing girls from the seventies, most looked like me: white girls with mousy brown hair. This was before kids of all races and genders started appearing on milk cartons or in the daily mail. It was still back when people believed things like that didn't happen.'

Blurb...

Susie tells her story from heaven. Everything Susie wants appears as soon as she thinks of it - except the one thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on earth.
Watching from heaven, Susie sees how her death has devastated her family. Over the years, her friends, and siblings grow up and fall in love, doing all the things she never got the chance to do. 
But life is not quite finished with Susie yet...'

This copy is pretty well worn as you can see. I read it about ten years ago and I fell in love with it immediately. It isn't a light hearted read, in fact I remember certain parts disturbing me, but that said it's written in such a way you can't help but be gripped. 
Just don't take this to bed with the aim of reading just a few pages. I guarantee you'll still be up in the early hours as I was! This, like 'All The Bright Places', is one that will linger in your mind for weeks after you finish it.


'The Rosie Project' by Graeme Simsion




Blurb...

'Don Tillman is a thirty-nine-year-old geneticist. He has trouble dating. In fact he's never even had a second date. And so he devises The Wife Project. A scientific test to find his perfect partner. Surely a foolproof idea? But then Don meets Rosie - 'the worlds most incompatible woman' - throwing Don's safe, ordered life into chaos.' 
Could Rosie be the one?

I've literally only started reading this but so far I'm loving it. 
I don't usually read fictional books by male writers, that's not because I have anything against them, it's just that the majority of books I've ever bought have happened to be written by females. 
Graeme has opened my eyes somewhat. If this is anything to go by then I'll be trying novels by more male authors in the future!
He has brought to life a character that is set to become a household name. I can only describe Don as a male version of 'Bones.' (Here's hoping you've seen or heard of that particular tv series.) With social skills that leave a lot to be desired, Don is downright honest and matter of fact, telling it like it is, even when he offends. I'll possibly review this one in the future!


'The Other Side Of The Story' by Marian Keyes

 

 

I've saved this one for last. Marian Keyes. One of my all time favourite authors. She is legendary. If you haven't heard of her then you must have been living under a rock. And if you haven't read one of her bestselling novels - then as Marian herself would say in her lilting Irish accent - shame on you! 
Seriously though, Marian has an ability to connect with women the world over with her witty, well written page turners. 
I think it also helps that women have a lot of respect for Marian. Afterall she did hit rock bottom (she is a recovering alcoholic) but picked herself back up and started to write. I often wonder whether writing saved Marian like it did me.
'The Other Side Of The Story' is my favourite of all Marian's novels. I think secretly this is because it gives such an insight into the publishing world. I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of the story. 
So what's it about?
It follows three very different women... Jojo, a feisty red head and literary agent, who also happens to be in love with her very married boss. Lily the author who Jojo represents, is enjoying overnight success with her debut novel whilst feeling guilt ridden for stealing her best friend's man. And Gemma, thirty two, an event designer, Lily's ex- best friend. Newly single, she spends most of her life looking after her mother and emailing a colleague about her frustrations. 
As we all know, nothing is ever straight forward when it comes to love and war. This is a definite must have on your reading list! 


And so that brings us to the end of part one. I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you do try any of these books or if indeed you already have. 

Have a fabulous week... Don't work too hard! I'm off to get some much needed shut eye.

Lots of love GGD xxx 


Photos for 'Ways To Live Forever' and 'Can You Keep A Secret' taken from wikipedia.org


All others my own 

Excerpts/Blurbs take from:

www.sallynicholls.com/books/ways-to-live-forever/ - Chapter One

 www.sophiekinsella.co.uk/book_detail.php?b=Can_You_Keep_a_Secret_ - Chapter One

The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold - Chapter One

The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion - Blurb



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