It’s Sunday again and today I’m back this is three in three so far this year for me and I couldn’t be happier.
Six for Sunday is a weekly meme created by https://alittlebutalot.com each week a prompt is given and then you choose books accordingly.
Today’s prompt is Books you wish you read in 2020. As a bookworm and blogger it’s an occupational hazard that the pile of books only ever gets longer, no matter how many books you read. I mean I was impressed with my totals in 2020 and I very much used my spare time wisely – I’m also thinking of how much more I could have achieved if I hadn’t lost a week or two from headaches. Another bookish hazard right there.
I have a few blog commitments in my next two reads but where should I go with these?.
Obviously I will read Concrete Rose before The Hate You Give and I’ve just ordered that from the gorgeous Berts Books last night.
Here we are again…Saturday has rolled round. Although this week has felt longer than most. I’m not going into too much as I haven’t the information or the time to do so but I will admit it’s been a somewhat anxious and agonising week, with still no answers.
This means there are no sweaty selfies this week. My last run was exactly a week today. My only saving grace is the weather has been pretty pants. As a good friend told me this week muscle memory is paramount and she always feels good after a break. So I’m trying to embrace those good vibes whilst I’m not pounding the pavement.
This week I’ve read:
What’s been on theblog?
On Sunday I took part in the second Six for Sunday of 2021 – this weeks prompt was Bookish Wins of 2020 and you can read my post here.
For some reason the past two Monday’s I’ve not been prepared and there hasn’t been a blog post. I’m taking some time over this weekend to read as well as prep post too. Shout if there are any specifics you would love to see here.
On Thursday I shared a post I had been toying with as I was in the middle of Buddy Reading my first book of 2021. You can read Buddy Reading here. I apologise for the link heavy post and for possibly adding to your ever growing TBR piles.
On Friday I posted another late in the day blog post following finishing listening to Twice in a Blue Moon as I hadn’t felt great so did no physical reading yesterday. You can read my thoughts here.
In terms of my GoodReads target for 2021 adding 3 more books has taken my total to 5. Having managed 107 plus 7 to what I was aiming for I decided to aim higher this year setting my target at 120. I figured as I am aiming to read more daily, listen to more audiobooks and get my Netgalley shelf down I thought it was worth a try and whilst we’re still living these strange times I thought it couldn’t hurt.
I’m proper on one today ha. Remembering things to share and say. Who is loving The Mask Singer – this is the first series I’ve been able to properly get involved and I’ve called them correct the last two weeks.
Blurb: Her husband’s moved out – and her dad’s moved in… Curl up with the page-turning story full of emotion about family, marriage and second chances
It’s New Year’s Eve, and Iris has just found out that her husband, Adam, is cheating on her. Furious, she kicks him out, and enlists her Dad to move in and help with the children whilst she tries to mend her broken heart.
But her Dad soon starts to display signs of Alzheimer’s, and Iris realises that if she loses her partner, she’ll be managing an awful lot on her own. Soon, she realises that Adam wasn’t the only one taking their marriage for granted, and for the sake of the children she decides to give him one more chance. But is it braver to stay than to run? And can anyone fall in love with the same person twice?
Review: This is my first introduction to Helen Whitaker and what a treat it was. I Give it a Year – starting on New Years Eve – which was why I chose this as my first read of the New Year and it takes you through until the following New Years.
As we meet Iris – she’s home alone with her young children whilst her husband is visiting his family or so she believes. This is when the story unfolds as Iris is clearing up ahead of getting to bed to be up for the children – when she picks up Adams iPad and notices a message that makes her suspicious. The nervous twitch that she can’t shake means she logs on and reads through the messages to discover to her horror that Adam has been cheating on her.
What I loved about this novel is the way this is set out. We have bold font for texts and emails and then as the story transpires we also have transcripts too. I also liked the dates at the beginning of each chapter as it shows where in the year we are.
This breaks it up and with a number of the chapters being quite short you find yourself turning more and more pages. Wanting to know more and wanting to see what twists and turns will transpire.
I now have to mention Fran and Nat – Iris’s friends her confidants. It’s only natural when going through the best and worst times of your life you confide in your friends. They won’t always tell you what you want to hear but they’ll be there. Fran and Nat are so different and I loved getting to know them although we get more airtime of Fran as she’s her best mate and they go running together. That’s another plus for me I found Running during the pandemic and I find it’s given me such a boost so being able to read a story with the release of running is wholeheartedly relatable even though I cannot relate to the being a mother part.
This is a story of family, betrayal, illness, grief, loss, trust, love and ultimately second chances. Helen has written a very relatable novel that focuses on a number of real to life aspects with humour and grace. It also shows how life can get in the way – Adam & Iris are a hardworking couple both with charity based jobs that take up a lot of their time. As well as having two children and trying to juggle that and the complexities of their extended family on both sides.
This wasn’t a cut throat story and throughout I kept thinking different things. I loved watching the couple speak openly about what was troubling them. There were so many twists and turns. A gorgeous start to my reading year and this won’t be the last of Helen Whitaker’s that I read.
Be sure to check out the rest of this fabulous blog tour it’s been an honour to take part.
Blurb: Libby Quinn is sick and tired of being sensible. After years of slogging her guts out for nothing at a PR company, she finds herself redundant and about to plough every last penny of her savings into refurbishing a ramshackle shop and making her dream of owning her own bookshop become a reality. She hopes opening ‘Once Upon A Book’ on Ivy Lane will be the perfect tribute to her beloved grandfather who instilled a love of reading and books in her from an early age. When her love life and friendships become even more complicated – will Libby have the courage to follow her dreams? Or has she bitten off more than she can chew?
Review: During the first lockdown I had seen this advertised and in reading the blurb, the romantic and bookworm in me needed to read this. Fast forward to December the second book following the Ivy Lane bunch is released – I then had to bump this up my pile. So I decided to pay the additional fee and listen to this book.
Whenever I read a gorgeous Irish tale it reminds me of my longing for the Emerald Isle – thanks to Covid I haven’t been this year but in delving into books I’ve been able to embrace the Irishness I love. Not only is this an Irish tale it’s also a bookish tale – a love of reading through the ages. In hearing Libby’s story of her love of the written word shared with her Grandad it made me long for my Grandad. I inherited his bookshelves that he made and a number of his Lee Child novels. Even though it sometimes makes me sad it also makes me feel connected to him, whenever I read something he would have read or just a way to remind me of him.
With that in mind I really did relate to Libby a lot. I loved how each chapter was named after a book, even though that did not give many clues to what way the story would go.
From the off we are thrown into Libby’s story and her love of reading with her Grandad and on hearing his very own stories. ‘There’s no greater love that you can give someone than a love of reading.’ I loved that quote and the sentiment of books being loved, lived in and devoured from cover to cover.
It seemed apt that Libby wanted to embark on her beloved Grandads dream of opening a book shop. Quite early on I wasn’t taken with her boyfriend Ant – he just didn’t get Libby at all. Immersing Libby’s dream I felt like I could see the shop shaping up from start to finish. A shop that started like a bomb site full of dust and infestations – to the final chapters when Libby was gearing up to open her beloved shop in memory of her Grandad. There was some truly gorgeous final touches that had me melting…
Alongside the renovations of the shop – there is a quite simply gorgeous Irish community feel. Where I have to mention the delightful Harry – the adopted Grandfather that we would all hold dear. I knew he was a delight from the beginning but he sure does take us on an emotional rollercoaster- there were a few chapters where I felt for Libby but I could see she hadn’t realised.
Which then brings me onto the story of friendship now on Sunday I included Libby and Jess in a six for Sunday prompt as two people I would spend New Year with. Their bond is timeless – although like all friendships they are tested but I knew they would come through the other side. I loved seeing the changes in them both from start to finish but I love how strong their friendship became even when sorely tested.
Finally the love story in this tale runs throughout the story. It’s a frustrated tension that you can see from the beginning. I thought I had worked it out and I had although this reveal came later on in the story. Noah is a loveable Irish man and you can see why he’s a barman – he has such charm and he’s a hard worker. I also have to mention Jo who I adored from the very start.
The Irish banter, the love story unfolding and Libby’s dream becoming a reality made this a truly gorgeous debut. A beautiful and at times heart wrenching tale of love, loss, grief, sadness, friendship, community and Dreams. This is a story I won’t forget and I cannot wait to be reunited with the Ivy Lane contingent. I’m hoping there’s a cuppa and a slightly out of date Twix awaiting me.
I haven’t participated in a Six for Sunday in forever and I thought it was time to change that. Six for Sunday is a weekly meme created by https://alittlebutalot.com each week a prompt is given and then you choose books accordingly.
This weeks prompt is characters you’d spend New Year with….this is definitely one I could make choices for.
Minnie & Quinn will stay with me and it’s an extremely hopeful read that I may reread in New Years to come you can read my review again here.
It seems to be a theme with some of my favourite reads of this year happen to be Buddy reads. Up next is Joe & Otty from the gorgeous Our Story.
You can read my review on this absolute beauty here.
My next offering was also a Buddy read and a book series I hope to reread ahead of the festive season next year.
Dash & Lily stole my heart both on paper and via Netflix I’m currently reading Mind The Gap, Dash & Lily. Here’s my thoughts on Dash & Lily Book 1 and Book 2 here.
I’m almost done listening to this beauty – my review will be up in the coming week. I seem to have been duoing my answers. From this one I’m choosing Libby and Jess these besties would be great craic especially at New year.
I couldn’t do a post like this without any Paige Toon. There’s so many characters of hers that I’ve loved but Hannah & Sonny stole my heart this year so it has to be them. You can read my thoughts here.
I absolutely love these posts and I’m hoping to do more of these in the coming weeks. I had said I might have posted two posts today but I think I’ll organise the review I had to post tomorrow. Happy Sunday all.
Firstly, I’m so so sorry that this post is super late in the day. Even before Boris changed restrictions today was a busy and tense one – had a few things to do. I can safely say I managed to get in a few bottles of Mulled Wine for Christmas 🙂 so in that sense I was happy. I’ve not felt very Christmassy so today I sat and watched Holidate.
A fun film that will definitely put a smile on your face. Although it does make us single folk think but this is definitely a film we can escape to and relate to.
Now as ever there’s been some running in my week. I got out on Tuesday and on Thursday. On Tuesday I ran 4.77 miles the sunshine after the rain sure did make it a hard slog. I had wore a T-shirt but based on how hot it became I needed to have had a vest on.
Following the 10k last week I knew my next run I wouldn’t be pushing it. On Thursday I got back out and this time I hit the 5 miles I could have ran a little longer although it was another hot one so I didn’t push it. This time I learnt my lesson and ran in my vest and shorts. It was another warm one and the sun sure was blinding but I wanted to get at least 5 miles in and I did so I was happy with that.
On Wednesday evening I joined Catriona on her channel to talk all things This Time Next Year and you can see it here.
This week I read?
I’m still listening to…
And I should have already finished…
What’s been on the blog?
On Sunday there was a Blog Tour post where I shared an extract and you can read that here.
On Monday I shared my thoughts on The Christmas Killer and you can read that here.
On Tuesday I shared a Blog Blitz called Twinkle and you can read that here.
On Wednesday I had initially planned to share a review but thanks to the headache it turned into this Hump Day post which you can read here.
On Thursday I had a Cover Reveal which you can see it Here. I also shared a blog tour post on an adorable Children’s book with such a special message you can read that here.
On Friday I shared a blog blitz for 58 Farm End that you can read here and my thoughts on the festive Jack Reacher short that you can read here.
I’m so sorry that this post is so late in the day. I didn’t really want to be posting it tomorrow as I have a blog tour commitment and didn’t really want to be sharing all these links and that too. It’s been a weird ole day but we have to take each day as it comes I guess. We have the good and the bad. As I say I’m hoping to get up and out tomorrow a run always makes me feel better even when my joints are crying at me. It may also be my last chance ahead of Christmas so watch this space. I promise next weeks will be more organised and prompt. As ever if there is anything more you would like to see here at Hayley Reviews do get in touch.
Blink blink and another week passes us by. Is it just me or has 2020 been a mixture of fast impending weeks and never ending ones. This past week was a mixture – I’m still all over the place in regards to work so for now that’s all I will say on the matter.
Following last Saturday’s run I got back out on Tuesday. I decided to layer up slightly there were still the shorts but this time I went for my trusty football shirt and that added protection of my shoulders was good in terms of not being so cold. In saying that once I start running I’m sweating. This was my second 5K of December and I ran 5.06 miles which had me thinking I was closer to the 10k again.
Tuesday evening I was part of a Zoom chat with the lovely Books and the City team. There is a whole post dedicated to that which I will share later in this post. Tuesday also saw me finish listening to a gorgeous festive read but Patricia Scanlan and hit my GoodReads target for the year. Saying that I haven’t finished any of the ones I’ve started as I’ve had on/off headaches. I’m a lot better but hoping to get some more audio in today and then see how I am later on.
On Thursday I got back out and ran a 10k and I beat my personal best without even realising so that was a damn good feeling.
Yesterday I shared my thoughts on the crime anthology and you can read that post here.
Have a good week all and if there is anything you would love to see on here do get in touch. Right I’m off to listen to my audiobook whilst mr head is still so so. I believe I have a few blog blitz’s this coming week.
Blurb: Alison’s American dream is in tatters. Her highflying career is on the skids and her Upper East Side apartment is now way beyond her means. But pride prevents her from telling her family back home just how bad things are.
Olivia is fraught trying to juggle family, career, preparations for Christmas and organize a surprise party for their mother’s seventieth birthday. How she envies, and sometimes resents, her sister Alison and her life of excitement and affluence in New York.
Coming home for the holidays is the last thing Alison wants to do, especially now that she’s met a rather attractive neighbour. But family ties are strong. Alison and Olivia must sort their differences, throw a party and Christmas might just bring changes for Alison that she could never have imagined …
Review: Back at the end of April beginning of May I read and truly loved my first Patricia Scanlan book in The Liberation of Brigid Dunne which is set to be rereleased under the new name of A Family Reunion. You can read my thoughts here.
I really enjoyed reading from Patricia so I set out to see what else I could read from her and I found Coming Home For Christmas on audio via the library. It was quite a short read if you were reading via paperback or ebook – via audio I listened to it various evenings and whilst undertaking a few other tasks within a few days. It also happened to be my 100th read of the year completing my Good Reads target and I couldn’t be more chuffed in doing so.
When reading these type of books I always remember how much I love and adore the good ole Irish charm and humour. I wanted a Christmas book that would absorb me from all the troubles and strains of the world and this was the perfect treat.
I immediately warmed to both the sisters and sympathised with both their individual struggles and strains. Alison is such a hardworking individual who prides herself on her hard work and her good fortune – so I really felt for her when her life dramatically changed. When she changed apartments and met JJ and the other Irish guys there really was a shift in her. I wasn’t a fan of her boyfriend Jonathan from the start and the more I heard of him the more I disliked him. In seeing the change in Alison she also came to a similar realisation. When she went home and had a few drinks with Olivia we saw Alison’s guard drop. I loved seeing the sisters reconnect and in doing so they learnt a lot about each other strengthening their relationship for the better.
Olivia is the older sister who became increasingly frustrated and jealous of her younger sibling. Thinking she didn’t have half the worries she had. In part that was true but as I said I loved them reconnecting and both of them realising just how grateful they were for their family ties.
A gorgeous Irish tale of friendship, love, hope, traditions, kindness loneliness loss and family. Friendship is a great gift to give and to receive and everyone needs something bad for them are two profound quotes from this festive treat. I have to mention JJ the bond we see forming between him and Alison is heartwarming and full of such Irish charm from start to finish and I was immersed from the off.
2020 may well have been a car crash year but in discovering Patricia Scanlan it sure was one of the finer aspects and I’m chuffed that her festive audio helped me hit my Good Reads for the year. I also have her festive short stories to read before December is out.
If you have read and loved Patricia Scanlan do let me know what I should read next???
I believe the Self Care Sunday post has been chosen in a Twitter poll twice recently. I woke up again with a headache so I will most definitely have to retire to bed earlier tonight especially as I’m off to Sainsbury’s in the morning. It’s been a while since I’ve had to be up and out at a specific task rather than just relying on my body clock plus my family to get me up and moving.
I started today taking some paracetamol having a decent breakfast and a coffee followed by water and some household chores and getting my audiobook review finished and posted.
I must admit I’m itching to get back to This Time Next Year – I should in actual fact finish reading it today but as it stands my head is still a little on the sore side. I’m hoping it continues to ease and I can dive back in to Minnie & Quinn’s Story. I’ve loved every single second of getting to know them and it’s been a joy to message Catriona with my thoughts here and there – I haven’t heard from her as yet today but she’s in Denver so we’re always on time difference. I believe I’m ahead as it stands unless she finished and read past me I don’t know as yet.
Because of the headache I decided to have a good bath and listen to an audiobook – I chose Patricia Scanlan’s Coming Home For Christmas which I will get back to later.
I’m now feeling much better because of it and following a hearty meal of steak, egg, potatoes and mushrooms I’m now sat with Minnie and Quinn and a coffee. In saying that the football will start soon so I’ll be watching that it’s a big London Derby today.
So following my rambling self Care is taking time for you. Yesterday as I said I ran again which gave me all the feels and some and I got to read, done a face mask and loved my Yog Nog bath.
Whatever you do on this Sunday steal some time for you. Whether that’s making a cuppa with a book, listening to music watching TV or films or even going for a run or a walk. Embrace your you time, until next time.
Blink and another week goes by, as you saw last week I was getting mixed up with days and all sorts. That’s what happens when you’re not working or running. It also wasn’t the greatest week for me.
Following my self inflicted injury I have been continually stretching with the help from my two year old niece. She’s watched me so often that after I aim to plank for 1 min although she more often that not stops me before 25 seconds she tells me what I should be doing next. When I say tells me she obviously doesn’t understand the names of the stretches but she does them although she calls a lunge a lunch which is adorable.
Before attempting to run again I decided to descend on a walk that’s one of my previous running routes. I had to collect a Christmas gift so this made perfect sense to do so I did this on Tuesday and obviously picked up one of these festive beauties.
I felt good for the walk and after a good stretch, I decided I would leave a day or so before I tackled a run and on my run I wouldn’t push it beyond my body. This turned into a number of days gap thanks to the truly awful weather so this morning I got back out there and ran for 4 miles. It was pretty hard going but it was so good to be back running even though I felt like my chest was burning. Yup I’m that crazy who ran from Eltham through Lee and Blackheath and back in shorts and a vest. I was cold on my descend to where I would start running but once I got going I was pretty warm. Sunshine is a blessing and a curse for a runner it’s great as dry conditions are the best but when the sun beams down on you along with your own sweat it can be killer.
I’ve made a number of purchases to aid my running journey and this top is the latest. I missed out on getting one of these from ChantillyFit the first time so when she brought them back I had to have one. I wasn’t sure on the sizing but it fit like a glove I absolutely loved running in this today.
This week I have read…
I was on the blog tour for No Room at the Little Cornish Inn and I very nearly forgot about it. This was a gorgeous festive treat focusing on family and happiness and I have to mention it features a dashing Irishman who is a bit on the surly side but he was gorgeous all the same you can read my review here.
I truly loved the Christmas Crime Anthology I would have read it a lot quicker but I had to write notes for each. This anthology is in aid of a domestic violence charity and was worth every penny. Although it may prove costly as I’ve found so many fab authors who I will definitely want to read more of.
Yesterday I was graced with another treat from my fabulous friend Catriona aka Fabulous Book Fiend in this.
So what’s been on the blog?
I’m pretty chuffed that November was a full house and December is starting pretty well. I’m hoping to prep a few posts as I have some stuff half started and ready togo.
On Sunday I shared this post on Self Care and you can read it here.
Monday was the final day of November and I had this to share with you Blog Blitz
On December 1st I had two posts to share with you a Blog blitz for Unparalleled and the review of No Room at the Cornish Inn which I’ve already shared on this post.
On December 2nd I was honoured to share a spotlight post for a gorgeous debut author and you can read it here.
On December 3rd I finally shared with you what I read in November and you can read that here.
Yesterday I was meant to post two posts but time ran away with me plus I had a few other things as well as trying to get a head start on my latest buddy read. I posted my second Friday meme and you can read it here.
So that concludes my weekly update. Is there anything you would love more or less of on here? Do get in touch.
I’m currently buddy reading this…
So far it’s gorgeous although I kind of feel like I’m cheating on Christmas with New Year. I’m not as far along as I would like as continued reading late last night and was giving myself a headache which I woke with. Hoping it eases to let me catch up…
There’s a few things I would definitely like to accomplish this week including getting some more runs in. If I get three in a week I’m a happy girl but I will be happy with at least another following today’s.
As Monday I’m heading to Sainsbury’s so wish me luck. But as I say I still have festive reading plus I think I have a Thriller that’s due out this week and I believe it’s a debut so would like to attempt to get that read and reviewed for publication on Thursday.