Review: The Opposite of Loneliness

the-opposite-of-loneliness-book-coverThe Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan, published April 2015 by Simon and Schuster.

Read: August 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction/Fiction/Short Stories/Essays
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 208

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’, went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord. Even though she was just 22 when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle we all face as we work out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

Continue Reading…

My Second #OTSPSecretSister Experience

2016-Discussion-ChallengeWhen my first round of #OTSPSecretSister ended, I wrote a post all about my OTSPSecretSister experience, and now that another round has sadly come to an end, I thought I would do it again to encourage all of you to participate in this project at least once.

To recap, OTSPSecretSister is the fabulous invention of Brittany @ Book Addict’s Guide, Alyssa @ Books Take You Places and Amy @ Tripping Over BooksThe project is a “cheer club” – you are paired with a “Secret Sister” and send them letters, cards and gifts over the course of 6 months, before revealing to them who you are. While you’re doing this, you have your own Secret Sister who’s looking out for, and sending cheer, to you.

The project started in the US only, but now there are Secret Sisters in the UK, Belgium, Canada, and Australia. Check out #OTSPSecretSister on Twitter to see what all the ladies (and guys!) get up to. I really enjoyed taking part for a second time, but I’m taking a break for this next round as I’ve other things going on, and don’t feel I can commit to it fully just now, which wouldn’t be fair to the other participants. I’ve a feeling I’m really going to miss it though, so no doubt will be back doing it again soon!

The Secret Sister I Sent To – Natalie @ Food For Bookworms

Continue Reading…

Book Release: A Boy Made of Blocks

A Boy Made of Blocks Book CoverA Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stewart, published September 2016, by Little Brown Book Group.

Add to GoodreadsGoodreads Synopsis: Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy. Fans of About a Boy, Us and The Rosie Project will love this heart-warming, heart-breaking & wonderfully funny debut from an exceptionally talented new writer.

Life is built on the little things image

Continue Reading…

Stacking the Shelves & Wrappin’ It Up August 2016

Stacking the Shelves

I know everyone is saying it, and I say it every month (and should really change my tune), but honestly where is this year going? I’m starting to get excited about two weeks off over Christmas already! But that’s the one and only time I’m going to mention it until after Halloween, pinkie promise!

Don’t forget to enter my INT giveaway for a paperback copy of It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, AND I’m hosting a giveaway for a paperback copy of The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh (UK & Ire).

The Books:

For review this month, I received The Things I Should Have Told You by Carmel Harrington (which was beautifully packaged!), Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst, and A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart. I also agreed to review a children’s picture book called A Child of Books. Picture books aren’t something I tend to buy or review, but this one is an ode to reading, so I thought I would give it a go.

Continue Reading…

This Or That Tag!

This or That Tag

The lovely girls over at Closet Readers tagged me in the This or That Tag, created by Ayunda from Tea and Paperbacks.

Reading on the couch (sofa) or in the bed?

Bed. It wins every time. I think I like reading on the sofa too, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to test that theory. I can’t read if the TV is on in the background, and there’s usually someone watching TV. Between blogging, reading, and other life-happenings, I spend a lot of time in my bedroom.

Definition of a Librocubicularist

Continue Reading…

Author Spotlight: Interview with Marina Fiorato & Giveaway!

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh Book Cover

I recently read and reviewed The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh, and I LOVED it, giving it 5/5* (which everyone knows is a rating that I rarely give!). I contacted the author, Marina Fiorato, who kindly agreed to be interviewed, and her Publisher has also offered a copy of the book for me to give away (see below – open to UK & Ireland residents only)! 

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is currently on Amazon for £4.99 for the eBook, and the physical copy is on both Amazon and The Book Depository for £7.99. Get your hands on a copy now!

Enter GIVEAWAY to win a paperback of The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh!

R: Hi Marina, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

Marina Fiorato PhotoM: Hi! I’m Marina Fiorato, and I’m the author of 7 historical novels, mostly set in Renaissance Italy. When I’m not writing – and even when I am – I’m a mum of two so you’ll find me doing the school-run or cooking dinners in which I try to conceal the presence of vegetables.

R: What made you want to become a writer?

M: I wrote a lot at school – I even wrote my school’s Nativity play when I was ten years old and the school actually humored me and used my script! I wrote a kid’s novel about Vikings when I was fourteen, then at Uni I wrote another play, which went to the Edinburgh Fringe. That one wasn’t an unqualified success – once, I remember, there were more people in the cast than the audience! It was when I had my son that I really began thinking about writing seriously; I wanted to explore my heritage (my father was Venetian) a heritage that was now my child’s too. And that’s how I began what was to become The Glassblower of Murano, my first novel.

R: The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is based on the true story of Mother Ross. How did you hear about Mother Ross, and what was it about her story that inspired you to tell it? 

M: I love watching history documentaries on iPlayer, and I think it was on one presented by Simon Scharma that I first heard about Kit. I then tracked down her biography, which was written by Daniel Defoe, and found it incredible reading. I felt like if she was a man we’d all be learning about her in school. Kit didn’t just dress as a man, but she fought as a soldier in four bitter and bloody campaigns. Even then, she didn’t just scrape by and keep her head down; she fought so well she was actually decorated by the Duke of Marlborough himself. Then when a desperate rape victim claimed Kit was the father of her child, Kit not only defended the woman’s honour, but she agreed to support the child financially. I wish every girl in every school knew about Kit.

Continue Reading…

Review: Don’t Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It’s Raining

Don't Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It's Raining Book CoverDon’t Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It’s Raining by Judge Judy Sheindlin, published January 1997 by Harper Perennial.

Read: January 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 256

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: “Can we get some reality in here?” asks Judy Sheindlin, former supervising judge for Manhattan Family Court. For twenty-four years she has laid down the law as she understands it. If you want to eat, you have to work. If you have children, you’d better support them. If you break the law, you have to pay. If you tap the public purse, you’d better be accountable. Now she abandons all judicial restraint in a scathing critique of the system – filled with realistic hard-nosed alternatives to our bloated welfare bureaucracy and our soft-on-crime laws.

Continue Reading…

Review: The Dark Days Club

The Dark Days Club Book CoverThe Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, published January 2016 by Walker Books.

Read: March 2016
Genre: Young Adult/Historical/Paranormal
Source: Publisher
#Pages: 496

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: London, April 1812. 18 year old Lady Helen is on the eve of her debut presentation to the Queen. Her life should be about gowns and dancing, and securing a suitable marriage. Instead, when one of her family’s housemaids goes missing, Lady Helen is drawn to the shadows of Regency London. There, she finds William, the Earl of Carlston. He has noticed the disappearance, too, and is one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of powerful demons that has infiltrated every level of society. But Lady Helen’s curiosity is the last thing Carlston wants—especially when he sees the searching intelligence behind her fluttering fan. Should Helen trust a man whose reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her headstrong sense of justice lead them both into a death trap?

Continue Reading…