The Big Birthday To Birthday Book Bonanza

I like big books and I cannot lie…..

I do. 

Not just big ones but occasionally small ones and sometimes some as big as your head. 

I always have. 

I can still remember the feeling of complete and utter excitement when I knew I was getting a Roald Dahl box set of books for Christmas when I was 10. It had to be specially ordered from WHSmith, imagine that! Oh the excitement! 

See, utter book geek. 

I’m never not reading something and the feeling of having just finished a book knowing you can go and sit infront of your packed bookshelf and decide what to read next is one of the best. Exciting isn’t it to just take out a book, read the blurb, open it up and decide if you like the print….just me? 

On the note of liking the print of a books (small, neat, lots of words to a page), I have other little book related likes and dislikes, do’s and dont’s…..we all do right?

Don’t leave me hangin’ dudes it’s NOT just me. 

This is what I’m talking about:

  • NO KINDLES. Just NO. 
  • Paperbacks over hardbacks  – hardbacks are just too heavy and uncomfortable to read but I will make an exception and risk possible injury if it’s a book I’ve been waiting to read. 
  • I’m not at all precious about cracking a spine although I know a lot of people are. I’m not fussed. Crack away!
  • I always use my trusty Mary Rose bookmark that I got from a lovely holiday in Portsmouth. NEVER fold down a page. Sacrilege!
  • I never finish part way through a chapter if possible but sometimes if I have droopy eyes or have to get back to work then I will. Upsets my equilibrium though. 
  • I tend never to read the same book twice. Once I’m done I’m done. With the exception of 2 childhood books which I LOVED. ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ and ‘The Little Girl and The Tiny Doll’. This last one I vaguely remembered from my childhood but couldn’t remember the name of it. All I knew was that there was a little doll living in a freezer in a supermarket. Good old Google tracked it down for me and I bought it. Such a lovely story. 

I buy a lot of books secondhand from either charity shops or Amazon. I like the idea that someone else has read and enjoyed it before me and sometimes you find the previous owners bookmark or an old receipt wedged between the pages or maybe little notes or inscriptions. I love that kind of thing. 

In terms of the kind of books I like to read and don’t like to read I’m afraid I may lose a few of you here…..

But here goes…..

  • Harry Potter or anything fantasy/dystopian. No thanks. (Sorry)
  • I’m not right keen on YA fiction (young adult) although I know a lot of not so young adults that are. It’s just not my bag. 
  • Anything along the lines of ‘The Vintage Tearoom Book Club Down By The Beach Cafe On The Seafront blah blah blah). No. Just no. 
  • Following on from the above ‘My Single Life As A Crazy Singleton Looking For Love On Valentine’s Day blah blah blah. Also very much a no. 
  • So I suppose you could say ‘chick lit’ in general is not for me. 

Are you still with me book lovers? Have I offended your bibliophile sensibilities. I hope not, it’s each to their own. 

Whatever blows your frock up. 

What blows MY frock up you might ask? (Or not if you’re a Harry Potter fan and I’ve pissed you off). 

Well….I love psychological thrillers. The best book I’ve read in this genre without doubt is ‘The Girl On The Train’ by Paula Hawkins. The world and his wife have now read it and rightly so, it’s amazing. 

I love a good page turner, twisty turny plots that keep you guessing probably with a stalker or two thrown in for good measure. 

Some of my favourites in this genre are:

  • The Book Of You by Claire Kendal. 
  • The Bed I Made and Before We Met both by Lucie Whitehouse. 
  • Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. 
  • The Liars Chair by Rebecca Whitney. 

As for authors. We all have a favourite and particular ones we will make an effort to read anything they write. My favourites are Elizabeth Haynes, Lucie Whitehouse, Sophie Hannah, Julie Myerson and more recently after read ‘The Paying Guests’ I’ve fallen in love with Sarah Waters and her style of writing. Such a brilliant detailed story teller. 

Anyway, the title of this post is The Big Birthday To Birthday Book Bonanza, so I should really explain why…

On my birthday in July last year (22nd if you want to buy me a gift next time), I got given a set of 3 lovely little notebooks. At the time I wasn’t blogging or anything that would require a notebook so I decided to use one to note down the books I’d read. 

My friend Jollypops (that’s not her real name obvs but it’s her name for blogging purposes, you’ll no doubt hear of her again in the future) she suggested I give myself a book challenge and see how many I can read from my birthday in 2015 to my birthday this year. 

So that’s what I’m doing and here’s where I’m up to…

Not too shabby eh? Wonder if I can smash 70? Stay tuned. 

Going back to my earlier dislike of hardback books I am going to make an exception for this one….

….mainly because it’s by one of my favourite authors but also because it has a representation of a vagina on the cover. 

I’ll leave it there. 

Man alive! I was doing so well being all high brow talking about books and now I’ve ended on a vagina. 


Love ya. 




Book Review #1

Rebound – Aga Lesiewicz



I really really wanted my first proper book review post to be a positive one. I’m really not a moaning northern bird, honest. 


I’ll level with you…

This review ain’t gonna be great. Sorry. 

I picked this up because I was attracted to the cover and the tag line ‘I’m not a bad person but maybe I did a bad thing’…..dun dun duuuuuunnnn. 

I’m not one to give up on a book if I’m not really enjoying it because in the world of books Mand ain’t a quitter. (I’ll quit a lot of other things like the gym and such like but NOT books). 

However I have to admit I DID consider it about a third of the way into this one when something so ridiculous and out of the ordinary happened so quickly that I thought it was some kind of Dallas style dream sequence. But no it happened. And yes it was daft. 

The general premise of the story revolves around Anna, a highflying business woman/jogger who somehow becomes embroiled in a spate of rapes and murders on ‘the heath’ where she jogs with her dog ‘Wispa’. (Now this just made me crave chocolate so I’m blaming the book for the fact that I got stuck in my vintage dress this week). 

In between lots of drinking Malbec (her not me, although a glass or two may have made reading it more enjoyable) and supping copious coffees from her Nespresso coffee maker or ‘throwing on’ her running gear, she finds the time to have anonymous sex with a stranger on the heath multiple times, facilitate redundancies at work and piss a few people off. 

It also seems like every person who comes within 2 feet of her instantly fancies her, (both men AND women). 

She must be a right bloody stunner this Anna. 

She irritated me. Big time. 


Now I enjoy a good ‘whodunnit?’ style plot but there were far too many possible ‘who’s’ that could have ‘dunnit’ for my liking. 

Far. Too. Many. Crikey it seemed like the milkman could be a suspect….slight exaggeration but you catch my drift. 

The ending had the potential to be the most gripping part. It could have been written very dramatically to draw out suspense but no, like the ridiculousness at the start the ending was over far too quickly and boxed off nice and neatly in about 2 pages. 

She even bagged herself a new man. Of course she did. 

No surprises who the perpetrator was in the end either despite a pond full of red herrings. 

So to sum up I will have to in future go by the old adage of ‘Never judge a book by its cover’. 

I did. 

I was disappointed. 

But maybe you won’t be so don’t let me put you off! Try it.