Before the Crown by Flora Harding.

Before the Crown by Flora Harding

Before the Crown by Flora Harding

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I’m currently obsessed with anything involving the Royal family since watching The Crown on Netflix. ‘Before the Crown’ was an in depth lead up to the Queen and Prince Philip’s marriage, focusing on the key players- The King, the young princess and the young prince, and the intricacies involved in being a member of the family and doing the right thing. What looked initially to be a marriage of convenience, ended up a love story between a prince and princess. Beautifully narrated by Edward Killingback, Imogen Wilde, I really enjoyed this.



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International Women’s Day 2021.

‘A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.

So let’s all choose to challenge’.

I grew up within a very traditional family background, however there was never any question that my dad was somehow more worthy than my mum because he was the man, the breadwinner. They had an equal relationship, her view always counted. This has followed be throughout my fifty- five years. I have grown up, live and work around strong women and I have brought my daughter up the same. I feel privileged to be in this situation, but it hasn’t made me complacent. Women must keep challenging to change for all women, to keep moving towards a gender equal society.

#ChooseToChallenge

#IWD2021

Lupin (TV Series 2021– )

Is anyone watching this? It is a French mystery thriller streaming television series created by George Kay and François Uzan that premiered on Netflix on 8 January 2021. The series consists of 10 episodes, with the first five episodes released in January 2021 and the remainder scheduled to be released mid-2021.

Image result for Lupine Season 1. Size: 272 x 160. Source: www.thecinemaholic.com
Lupin series 1.

Inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief Assane Diop sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family.
Creator: George Kay
Stars: Omar Sy, Vincent Londez, Ludivine Sagnier

Watch the trailer here:

It’s brilliant!

The Confessions of Arsène Lupin
The Inspiration behind the Netflix drama.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert.

City of Girls

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A coming of age novel set in the 1940s this glittering epic had me hooked from page one. Nice American girl Vivian is sent to stay with her aunt in New York and let loose, has an absolute ball. Her aunt has a small down at heel theatre company in downtown Manhattan, where Vivian makes costumes for the cast. When she isn’t sewing clothes Vivian is discovering the what New York life is really about with the theatre show girls. She hits NYC and she hits it hard!
Vivian! I hot damn loved you babe. You enthralled me. I listened to this on audio and the narrative was enhanced by the spot on reading of actress Blair Brown.



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The Year of the Ox.

Today, 12 February 2021 is Chinese New Year. Observers worldwide celebrate by feasting, letting go of grudges and wishing their loved ones good fortune.

This year it is The Year of the Ox. The Ox is the second of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.

Image result for year of the ox

I was looking online for a suitable proverb and this has to be my favourite:

“A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.” – Chinese Proverb

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The cruelties of families- the differences that parents make between siblings, the way siblings treat each other. ‘Our Little Cruelties’ shows with clarity how these acts of unkindness don’t disappear when childhood is left behind, but are carried through to adulthood with devastating consequences. Even more devastating is the way they spill over into the next generation and continue to ruin lives. Liz Nugent’s narrative is both fascinating and horrifying- difficult not to feel disgusted by the whole damn family. Loved it.



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The Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada.

opens catalogue entry for The Auschwitz violin

This was my Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January) read for this year. it was part of East Sussex Libraries Holocaust reading list- find the full list here: Home | East Sussex Libraries (spydus.co.uk).

Daniel was a luthier- a maker of stringed instruments- imprisoned in a concentration camp. His craft saved him from certain death when the camp Kommandant wanted a violin handcrafted. The book is about unimaginable cruelty and suffering, resilience and sadness.

A harrowing and moving read.

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a raw, disturbing and harrowing read. I had to keep reminding myself that this was set in my lifetime, Thatcher’s eighties, not the nineteen thirties depression era. A cross between This Is England is (2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows) and ‘Animals’ by Emma Jane Unsworth. A narrative of excess and poverty; poor parenting; sexual exploitation; resilience and survival. Shuggie went without basic life essentials- love, food and warmth, due to Agnes’s narcissism fuelled by her alcoholism. Not enjoyable, but a hard-hitting eye opener.



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British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues by Mike Bayly.

British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues

British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues by Mike Bayly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I quite like a bit of football and I like the football grounds even more. Heard a review of this book on Talk Sport radio. Informative, accessible and with fabulous photographs I was entertained for a couple of days reading about these footie grounds and learning the social history behind them and their teams. I knew that lots of factories had teams that made the leagues, but I didn’t know that lots of the division teams originated as church teams. If you love football you will love this. It’s a book to dip in and out of throughout the season. Best of all for me, a local team was number one.



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The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse.

The Christmas Café (No Greater Strength, #2)

The Christmas Café by Amanda Prowse

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


You have to read at least one Christmas novel in December. This year for me it was The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse. It was great to travel from Australia to Edinburgh- hot Christmas/ cold Christmas and get embroiled in Bea’s return to the country she grew up in and met the love of her life in. I also love a cafe and there were two very different ones here. I liked it.



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Grave Stones by Priscilla Masters.

Grave Stones by Priscilla Masters

Grave Stones by Priscilla Masters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The last few days I have been caught up in the goings on in Leek, Queen of the Moorlands. A farmer was murdered, the wife might, or might not have met a grisly end, a daughter is quite frankly totally unlikeable! In fact few of the characters are very likeable. Farmland versus suburbia. Cleverly plotted and an easy read, a cosy-type crime that kept me amused for a while.



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Weather by Jenny Offill.

Weather by Jenny Offill

Weather by Jenny Offill

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was expecting a narrative with a beginning, middle and end. It wasn’t. I nearly gave up and then I settled in and accepted it for what it was. It was a book for a voice- Lizzie Benson’s. Her life, job, family, her affair- her stream of consciousness. Like living someone’s day to day life with them.



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