Tuesday, 30 January 2018

January Reads

I can't believe January is almost over. It feels like only yesterday I was making my New Years Resolutions whilst eating Christmas leftovers. One of my big resolutions this year was to read more. I tend to say this every year but this year I really wanted to make it a priority. Studying Creative Writing at university I have been encouraged to read as much as I possibly can and the majority of authors I have met have always given the same advice on reading when it comes to writing - it is imperative that you read widely as it will really improve your own writing. I also just find I feel much happier and much calmer when I take time out to read as well as learning more about all sorts of things.

I started off well with my 2018 reading challenge and managed to read four books all of which have been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now. Another resolution was to buy less books and read more of the ones I already own as well as using my library as much as I can. I wanted to share more books on this little blog and seeing as it is National Storytelling Week it seemed fitting to do a monthly round up of my reads.

Stately Pursuits - Katie Fforde

I started off the year with a nice easy romantic read. I've been a big fan of Katie Fforde for years and years, she was one of the first authors that really inspired me to write romantic fiction and I always go back to her books time and time again. This book I'd picked up in a charity shop a few years ago and it has been sitting on my shelf gathering dust since then. It was the perfect gentle read to help me relax in the evenings after a busy day writing. Stately Pursuits follows the story of Hetty Longden, a woman in her early 20s going through her first ever heart break. Within a day she loses her love and her job and has nowhere to turn until her Mother decides to volunteer her to take care of a distant relatives crumbling stately home. She soon finds herself joining the village's fight to save the estate and fight off the heirs plans to bull-dose their piece of history. This book is the perfect romantic escape during these darker months.

Home for Good - Krish Kandiah

This book I have been meaning to read for a while. I bought it almost three years ago at my first ever Christian convention but once again left it sitting on the shelf. For a while now I have felt a call to be a foster mum one day and I was really interested to read a book from a Christian perspective. This book was absolutely fantastic. It was incredibly informative and really helped to lay out exactly what a foster parent would be taking on and what the process would be like. It also really helped to encourage and challenge me that as Christians we should really be involving ourselves and our churches in the fostering crisis we currently have in this country (over 8000 children are currently in need of a foster home). If you're thinking about fostering or have never thought about it before I would really recommend this book. It will make you think about things in a totally different way and look at fostering and adoption from a biblical perspective. It was such a great read and I'm already recommending it to as many friends at church as I can.

Appleby Farm - Cathy Bramley

Another lovely easy romance book to take my away from this cold miserable January weather. This was a super market buy a while ago and I had planned to take it on holiday with me last year but a different book took my attention instead. I was actually really pleased I decided to pick this book up as it was exactly what I needed. Incredibly uplifting and fun this book tells the story of Freya, a woman in her late 20s who is starting to feel after years of travelling maybe it's time to put down some roots. Just as she is about to make a real go of her life working in the cafe just round the corner from Ivy Allotments and throw herself into her new romance, she gets a call from her Aunt and Uncle in Cumbria. Their farm is financial trouble and Freya quickly travels up to help out. Full of beautiful Lake District scenery, laughter and a romance this book is a great escape for the next few months of cold weather.

A Cornish Stranger - Liz Fenwick

After booking a holiday to Cornwall this summer I picked out this book from my shelf to get me in the mood. Full of beautiful imagery, suspense and romance this book was another great escape for January and had me practically packing my boat shoes for June already. This book follows the story of famous artist and recluse Jaunty and her Granddaughter Gabriella. At the age of 93 Jaunty is becoming increasingly frail and Gabe decides she to move into the little cabin on Frenchman's Creek in Cornwall, where Jaunty lives, to take care of her. Jaunty is haunted by the events of her past and is determined to write them all down before it is too late. Gabe however is determined to forget the traumatic experience in her past and carry on with her life. All is well until one night during a storm Gabe heroically saves a strange man from drowning. It took me a little while to get into this book but I'm glad I persevered. If you're looking for a romance with a little more bite to it I would really recommend this book.

And there you have it. I'm really looking forward to reading lots in February and would love any recommendations anyone has. Let me know what you've been reading in the comments below!


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