Snapshot Reviews

Since I started my new job a few weeks ago, I don’t seem to be getting anywhere near as much reading done as I’d like to- or used to when I worked at my old company through the day. *Cough* Still, it’s been so nice actually having proper work to do and occupying my brain again that I can’t complain too much 🙂

I have however started walking to work every day and on the forty-five minute walk into the city centre, as well as getting the benefit of some much-needed daily exercise, I’ve been listening to audiobooks on my I-Pod.

At present I’m listening to Nora Roberts The Search which is an easy to listen to romantic-suspense story set in the beautiful-sounding Washington State. The narrator is decent, albeit the book itself seems to be filled up with LOTS of filler information about dog-training, so much so that it sort of reads like a doggy training manual which wasn’t quite what I anticipated. Never mind. I doubt it will be one of my favourite Nora Roberts books but it is still entertaining and stops my walk from being boring.

I’ve also finally joined Audible, so I’m wondering what I can pick out to listen to next. I really fancy Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book which I’ve heard some very good things about from other bloggers so I might give that one a shot. In terms of physical books, I have Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen on the go, and also a romance novel by Debbie Macomber which is the first in a series of books set in the fictional town of Cedar Cove. I’m very much in the mood for heart-warming romantic reads at the moment for some reason!

Aside from that, I have read a few books during the start of August- some books I have completed for review and posted links on my blog for already but mainly chick-lit paperbacks from my shelves and a few others:

Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France- Karen Wheeler; the first non-fiction book I have picked up in absolutely ages! This is the true story of a British freelance writer who has moved to the French countryside and set up home. Whilst there she has a few dating disasters, then ultimately meets the love of her life- an adorable doggy, who is much better for her than any man. With nice sensory descriptions of France and some great depictions of the people she encounters along the way, I enjoyed this book a lot- perfect escapism for a summer’s day!  4 stars out of 5.

The Scapegoat- Daphne Du Maurier; obviously not chick-lit. This isn’t my favourite Du Maurier to date either, albeit I loved the premise. It just took far too long to get going for my tastes and even though I adore Du Maurier’s loquacious prose, I found my attention wandering somewhat here.

When Englishman John meets his French doppelgänger Jean in a provincial French railway station, he doesn’t imagine quite how his life will be turned upside down. Jean gets him drunk and then absconds with all of John’s belongings, leaving the Englishman no option but to step into his own shoes.

This story of identity, self-discovery and betrayal was an interesting and quite dark read. I’m glad I picked it up, but it just didn’t “grab” me in the way the author’s other books have to date, unfortunately. 3.5 stars out of 5.

Power Games- Victoria Fox; A must-read for fans of Jackie Collins!  I really enjoyed this crazy novel which was a mash up between Lost, Survivor and Lord of the Flies (really).  The writing was pacey and the characters fun and some especially loathsome- I know a lot are based on real-life celebrities and it was fun speculating as to which ones. After reading some heavier books for review, this was perfect ‘switch your brain’ off reading.

The plot revolves around a shadowy multi-millionaire who has a vendetta against an assortment of celebrities.  After some manipulative mind-games and tricks, seven celebrities end up in a plane crash and marooned on a desert island. Not all of them are going to make it out of there alive, however… 4 stars out of 5.

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts- Lucy Dillon; I read one of Lucy Dillon’s other books a few years back and genuinely loved it so I was happy to stumble across this paperback in a charity shop. Set in the fictional town of Longhampton, it follows Rachel who has unexpectedly been bequeathed a dog kennels by her late Aunt Dot. Rachel’s life is a total mess- she has just split up with her boyfriend and has left her long-term job- so any more unexpected complications are the last thing she needs. To top it off, she isn’t exactly a dog person either…

This sweet, well-written romance offered a guaranteed happily ever after and I liked its engaging, likeable characters. To top it off, the book also starred some adorable sounding canines; I’m definitely more of a cat person myself but still fell in love with some of the pooches in here- I want a Basset Hound now!  Reading this has made me determined to go back and read the rest of the novels from this author’s back catalogue at some point and I’ve already bookmarked them on my Kindle wish list.  Maybe after next pay day!  4 stars out of 5.

It’s the Little Things- Erica James; one from this author’s back catalogue I thought I’d missed. Until I started reading it and realised I actually picked it up a few years back. Oops. Still, a satisfying re-read with some complex themes woven in there, this book held my attention throughout.  It primarily follows the lives of three people who were caught up in the Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand and three years later are still living with its after-effects. Exploring the impact of post-natal depression, guilt, secrets and betrayal, it is a tale of broken relationships and ultimately hope and new beginnings.  There are however two of Erica James books that I definitely haven’t read (her two most recent releases), so I must remember to give those a go at some point soon. 4 stars out of 5.

So, what is everyone else reading at the moment? And can anyone recommend any really entertaining audiobooks to me? 🙂

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