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Showing posts from August, 2019

Book review: Margot & Me

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By Juno Dawson Published by Hot Key Books Synopsis: Fliss's mum needs peace and quiet to recuperate from a long illness, so they both move to the countryside to live with Margot, Fliss's stern and bullying grandmother. Life on the farm is tough and life at school is even tougher, so when Fliss unearths Margot's wartime diary, she sees an opportunity to get her own back. But Fliss soon discovers Margot's life during the evacuation was full of adventure, mystery... and even passion. What's more, she learns a terrible secret that could tear her whole family apart… How did this book end up in my hands? I listened to this audiobook via the BorrowBox app. Was it a page-turner? Once started, I was eager to learn what came next but I did take my time and I didn’t mind having to sometimes wait a few days before I could continue listening. Did the book meet my expectations? For some reason, when I read the synopsis I decided that the secret in Margo

Book review: Cruel Acts

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By Jane Casey Published by HarperCollins Synopsis: Leo Stone is a ruthless killer – or the victim of a miscarriage of justice. A year ago, he was convicted of the murder of two women and sentenced to life in prison. But now he’s free, and according to him, he's innocent. DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve finds out, the less convinced she is of his guilt. Then another woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start? How did this book end up in my hands? This was another brilliant serialisation by The Pigeonhole . Was it a page-turner? Yes, yes, yes! Having to wait for each instalment to be published was extremely difficult. I am normally quite patient but this book tested me! Did the book meet my expectations? This book went above and beyond expectations as it wasn’t as graphic as I feared (althoug

Book review: The Dangerous Kind

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By Deborah O’Connor Published by Zaffre   Synopsis: One in 100 of us is a 'potentially dangerous person' - someone likely to commit a violent crime. We all know them: these charmers, liars and manipulators. The ones who send prickles up the back of our neck. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power.  Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators. But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the sfety of her own family. How did this book end up in my hands? I read it via The Pigeonhole . Was it a page-turner? OMG, at the end of each instalment every day, I kept trying to turn the page. I just couldn’t understan

Books on bilingualism

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Bilingualism is a subject that has always interested me and back in 2004 I read a book called The Bilingual Family by Edith Harding-Esch, which I found extremely insightful and that I would definitely recommend. Ahead of my daughter’s birth, I’ve recently felt the need to read more about this topic as my wife and I plan to raise her bilingually in English and Italian. For this reason, today I’d like to share with you three books on bilingualism: Be Bilingual - Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families by Annika Bourgogne This was by far my favourite book on the subject as it clearly introduces the most common approaches used when raising children to be bilingual. For each approach, the author shares both theoretical concepts and practical examples, together with potential pitfalls and tips for success. I found it very useful, even though some of the resources indicated are outdated by now. How To Raise Children Bilingually by Rosario Carolina Then de Lammerskötter

Book review: The Inside City

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By Anita Mir Published by Unbound Digital Synopsis: As India hurtles towards Partition, in Lahore's ancient inside city, Amrau Dar is not thinking about politics. She is waiting for a prediction about her son, Awais, to come true. Awais discovers not a secret garden but a secret city and his beloved sister, Maryam, discovers the world of maths. Fearing that the prediction has gone wrong, Amrau takes a series of decisions that will change all their lives. How did this book end up in my hands? I followed its serialisation as it appeared on The Pigeonhole . Was it a page-turner? Every day for ten days I received an instalment of the book in my inbox and I dutifully read it. I didn’t have a problem keeping up with the schedule but I must admit that I struggled with the novel itself and – were it not for references to a culture I am extremely intrigued by – this might have been a DNF for me. Did the book meet my expectations? At one point, a character in the book said ‘Mit

In conversation with... Caroline Bond (#2)

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Hi Caroline! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Forgotten Sister ! Before we delve deeper into it, I would like to ask you if you were happy with the reception of your debut novel, The Second Child , which I have very fond memories of. A: I was happy, yes, but as a debut writer I didn’t really know what to expect. The best part of the experience - to date - had been readers getting in touch with their responses to the book, some of which have been quite personal. People rooted for different characters in the book and want very different outcomes for them, which I take as a positive sign of engagement. This sort of feedback helped me to more fully grasp that endings are controversial in dilemma fiction - again in a good way. The worst response a book can have is indifference. Being selected for the Radio Two Book Club was also real boost to my confidence, and to sales. Though being interviewed live by Simon May as my first ever taste of ‘the a

Books on baby sign language

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As you might know if you follow me on Twitter , my first child is due this month! I have been so excited that I’ve started reading up on how I can make our lives easier and interesting at the same time and baby sign language came to my attention. As part of my Kindle Unlimited subscription, I borrowed two books on this subject: Baby Sign Language Made Easy: 101 Signs to Start Communicating with Your Child Now By Lane Rebelo Baby Sign Language Book: How To Teach Your 6 Month Old Baby Sign Language Today! By Olivia Michael  What I liked about both books is that the authors write on a subject that they have first-hand experience with. They are both a good introduction to baby sign language and they both highlight the same hurdles that parents might encounter, giving tips and offering motivation to continue on this journey. If I had to recommend one book only, however, it would be Baby Sign Language Made Easy . The book by Olivia Michael has a short history of baby

Blog tour: The Daughter in Law by Nina Manning

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Today I am extremely happy to participate in the blog tour for The Daughter in Law by Nina Manning and to be able to share with a Q&A with the author herself… Hi Nina! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Daughter in Law ! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about? A: Thank you very much! The book is firstly about the relationship between a mother and her son and the hostility Annie shows towards Bens new wife, Daisy. But Annie is also afraid to let her son go and has raised Ben to be fearful of the world. The mother in law/daughter in law theme is a universal one and something many wives experience when they meet their mother in law’s for the first time. But there are more reasons why Annie is so reluctant to let her son go. And when Annie and Daisy find themselves alone in Annie’s remote beach house for several months, is when the two women learn more about each other and the lengths a mother will go to, to protect her child.  D

Book review: Lost For Words

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By Stephanie Butland Published by Zaffre Synopsis: Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you. Into her refuge - the York book emporium where she works - come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories. Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can't hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story? How did this book end up in my hands? I was browsing the Borrow Box app and the cover of this book caught my eye so I decided to download the audiobook. Was it a page-turner? This is not a thriller so I took my time enjoying the unfolding of the story. My pace did however increase towards the end,