Dearly by Margaret Atwood.


Dearly by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My first Atwood. Again I listened to this on Audio read by Atwood herself- I don’t think I could have read these poems from a book. I didn’t even try to take the content in, or try to understand it. I just let the language wash over me as I went about my day. Every now and ten a poem or a line would resonate with me- I would have to replay it. But on the whole it was just a soothing drone of words.

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Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson.

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two of my favourite things are playlists and road trips. Two of my second best things are books containing these things. I loved Mix Tape. I was reminded of and introduced to songs and bands from the late seventies/ early eighties that I had either forgotten about or hadn’t heard of. All through I had to stop reading and yell at Alexa to play a song by a particular band.
This weekend will see me compiling a ‘Mix Tape’ playlist and planning a mini-break road trip to Sheffield. And a much grander, maybe in the future, trip to Adelaide!

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Under a Croatian Sun by Anthony Stancomb.

Under a Croatian Sun

Under a Croatian Sun by Anthony Stancomb

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

‘A fat buttock always looks for a comfy bench to sit on’

Had to be favourite line and life lesson from this likeable ‘escape to a Mediterranean island’ travelogue.

I was beguiled by the beautiful Croatian Island of Vis (where Mamma Mia 2 was filmed) and it’s quirky characters.

Still my life dream..!

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Cartes Postales From Greece by Victoria Hislop.

Cartes Postales from Greece

Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I absolutely love a travelogue in any shape or form.

A series of postcards are sent to Ellie’s flat destined, presumably, for the previous tenant, from a former suitor, apparently now in Greece. After a few months the postcards stop coming, but Ellie is hooked and on her way to Greece.

I enjoyed travelling around Greece with the writer of the postcards, listening to the Greek stories and narratives. The slow pace of life and the meditative tone was theraputic. I finished listening to this feeling revitalised and refreshed and with a burning desire to jump on the next plane to Athens and re-explore the Greece and Greek islands I first discovered inter-railing across Europe in the summer of ’83.

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Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks

Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks

Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An island, a family and a secret. Set on an island off Poole in Dorset and close to Brownsea Island- recently visited on a road trip (and of course a ferry crossing) made this even more interesting. All a bit sinister- anyone of the islanders could have been guilty and I guess more than one are! Kept me guessing for a week!

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A Very French Affair by Sue Roberts.

A Very French Affair by Sue Roberts

A Very French Affair by Sue Roberts

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was OK. Predictable but quite sweet. Baker Liv goes to France to work in her aunts bakers while said aunt has an operation; and while she’s there she searches for the father of her child- a holiday romance from twenty years ago. Yes it was that exciting!
It did give me a yearning to revisit the Cote d’Azur and had me looking into opening a bakery, or at the very least, a cake baking business.

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The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean- Paul Didierlaurent.

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘Charming… Champions the power of literature’ Sunday Times. (The front cover review). And it does celebrate literature.

Guylain reads excerpts of pages of books that escape pulping at the factory where he works, which he reads aloud on the train on the morning commute and then leaves the pages tucked down his seat for whoever might want to read them.

I loved everything about this book: the imagery: ‘Resignedly, he quit the warmth of the train… Outside the rain was pelting down…’ p. 9.

The sub-plot of the work accident severed legs mashed up in a book run: ‘… this inconsequential book… made with this unique paper pulp… The old fellow had found his legs’ p.57.

The security guard who spoke in verse and the literate toilet attendant: ‘When you’re a public lavatory attendant… you’re not expected to… sit there tapping away on… your laptop… You’re only good for wiping from morning to evening…’ p.133.

I also loved the crazy Care Home book group and the moving love story.

A book hasn’t stayed with me for a while. This one will.

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BBC Radio 4 Short Works. The Cleaner by Mary Paulson.

I’m loving this Short Works series by BBC Radio 4.

In The Cleaner a woman returns to her home village in Scotland to clear her mother’s house. But things do not turn out as she expects.

What ties us to our past? Makes us return and stay, even though we might have moved on?

Concise and clever story writing. I will be looking out for more Mary Paulson.

Find here on the BBC Sounds App:

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

I like Richard Osman and looked forward to reading this. You could definitely hear his voice in the writing. I loved the characters, but got a bit muddled with the plot. Still not really sure who killed who and why. But I definitely want to live in a retirement village with loads of quirky people to drink wine with and socialize. Look forward to the next murder solved by the Thursday Murder club.

Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle.

BBC Radio Drama

Written by Neil Gaiman

Adapted by Katie Homs

Directed and Produced by Allegra McILroy

A twisted fairy tale part Snow White, part Sleeping Beauty with women at the forefront of the tale. Sleeping Beauty is awoken by a kiss from the Soldier Queen- the prince is redundant and the dwarfs aren’t to be taken seriously. On her awakening we find that Sleeping Beauty put a counter-spell on the old woman, ensuring that she can never sleep.

A brilliant BBC radio dramatization narrated by Dame Penelope Wilton with Neil Gaiman himself as The Home Secretary.