Although I still have a few books left from my last library haul, I had to return some yesterday – and there was the Quick Pick table with some appealing new titles on it… and the cold dark winter days and nights stretching ahead…
So what made me pick these 6 gems? My criteria for books changes all the time, depending on my mood and what’s going on; a while ago I was reading every thriller I could lay my hands on, but lately I’ve been veering more towards historicals and lighter reads. I also have different criteria for books I borrow rather than commit to purchasing – partly because I very, very rarely buy myself a physical book. I normally produce a long wish list on birthdays and at Christmas time!
Currently, I’m after a mix of:
- lighter reads that must have something about them that appeals; interesting location, sub-plot, an author whose work I already enjoy. I like romcoms, but there has to be something extra about one that catches my attention, as it’s a genre that’s bursting at the seams. I wouldn;t know where to start, otherwise!
- stories with a bit more depth; I choose them because I think I’m going to learn something about myself or perhaps a place, career, lifestyle or a period in history.
- books that don’t fit either of these categories, but there’s just a feature that grabs me. It could be the cover, the language used in the blurb or an intriguing idea.
What I’m not in the mood for at the moment is anything too tense, dark or heavy. So with all this in mind, I perused the Quick Pick table…
First, I scooped up A Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley. Life’s been a bit stressful lately and it seems set to continue what way for a while, so Christmas is the last thing on my mind – and I’m a long way from feeling any pre-festive excitement.
Life’s been a bit stressful lately and it seems set to continue what way for a while, so Christmas is the last thing on my mind – and I’m a long way from feeling any pre-festive excitement. I’m hoping that when I’m in the right frame of mind, this might help me get in the mood. I’m not there yet, but I’m hoping I will be in a few weeks’ time. I’ve not read a Trisha Ashley yet, but there’s much talk of how brilliant her books are, so a no-brainer!
The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley
I’ve heard positive mutterings about this book – and it’s got book in the title! Put book, bookshop, diary or letter in the title and you have me at, well, the cover. I read the blurb, though, just to make sure it met my criteria. It mentioned foreign locations (Corsica and Paris), two different time periods – one within my lifetime and one pre-WW2 – and had a family mystery at its core. I was convinced.
Next, I picked Cecelia Ahern’s The Year I Met You.
I’ve read a few of Cecelia’s books already and they’re a great mix of soul-searching, wisdom, humor and compulsive plotting. The characters are so well-drawn and realistic that they could be people who have always cropped up in my life. What’s not to love.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
I felt almost guilty for picking this up; it would probably have gone on my Christmas list this year and nearly did last year, but the list was getting too long! However, if it blows my socks off and I think I’m likely to read it again, I’ll still want to own a copy.
A foreign location, a historical period I’m fond of, the intriguing notion of a doll’s house whose inhabitants and happenings are somehow related to real life people and events… how I’ve left it so long to read it, I don’t know.
I was done with the Quick Pick table at this point; most of the other books that appealed to me were ones I’d ready already! So I went hunting for a new Diane Chamberlain on the fiction shelves because I’ve read two of hers now and I’m addicted. Like Jodi Picoult, she likes to punch you in the chest with life’s big questions and issues while assuring you that you can survive them.
Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain
In the interests of fairness, I have to tell you this was the only Diane Chamberlain book in our tiny-but-perfectly-formed library that I hadn’t read. However, the main character is trying to discover more about her dead mother, who was an author – and she enlists the help of an archaeologist. See those wonderful purple words there? Love ’em. Love reading about ’em. Even wrote a novel about an archaeologist once (who had a dead mother too, strangely). If I didn’t have dodgy knees, I could well have been tempted to be an archaeologist.
It was nearly time to leave the library with my 5 book haul, but to do that I had to pass – oh, woe! – the sale trolley. Although this week it’s mainly full of children’s books, there was a smattering of adult fiction too, including…
Cecelia Ahern, The Time of My Life
Are you taking your life for granted? Lucy Silchester is. She’s busied herself with other stuff: friends’ lives, work issues, her deteriorating car, that kind of thing. But she’s stuck in a rut – and deluding everyone. Only Lucy knows the real truth.
Time for a wake-up call – a meeting with life. And life turns out to be a kindly, rather run-down man in an old suit, who is determined to bring about change.
A-ha! A book about someone stuck in a rut. Haven’t I told you before how much I love books about fresh starts and dramatic life changes? And haven’t I just told you I love Cecelia Ahern?
Out came a 50p and reader, I married it. Bought it. I mean bought it.
That’s me sorted for a while on the book front. Expect some book reviews shortly! 🙂