Thursday 23 July 2015

The Husband's Secret

I would like to say that I am disappointed with this offering from Liane Moriarty, but I can't. Towards the end of the book I felt let down, wanting more from the story, feeling that it should be... better somehow. Big Little Lies was explosive with plenty of twists and turns and I had, maybe wrongly, expected the same here. It was predictable and I guessed what was about to happen for almost the entire story. Until the epilogue.

The epilogue was a game changer and a welcome surprise. It changed the story entirely and made the book worthy of the brilliant reviews I had read beforehand. It cemented Liane Moriarty as one of my new favourite authors despite only having read two of her books so far. I find her style very easy to read and I am looking forward to reading the rest of her collection.

This afternoon I start What Alice Forgot and I have already loaded the rest of Moriarty's collection onto my Kindle.

Until next time!

Rachael x

Monday 20 July 2015

Goodreads Review

My recent obsession: Goodreads

Earlier this year I discovered something called Goodreads and I have recently started to use it A LOT so I thought I would dedicate a blog post to it, so that I could give it a full review and the credit it deserves.

For those of you who don't know what it is, it is basically THE social media site for books and book lovers. According to their own 'About Us' page it is the "largest site for readers and book recommendations in the World" with over 40 million members and more than 1 billion books. From 2013 on it became a part of the Amazon family and has since gone from strength to strength. It is a great place to connect with like-minded readers all over the world, to discover what's 'hot' right now, to find your next read and much more.

Whenever I purchase a book online, which is usually through Amazon anyway because I have a Kindle, I like to browse through some reviews and maybe look at it's star rating. This just gives me reassurance that I should enjoy it and that it would be worth the price. Goodreads is a step up from that. It gives me access not only to reviews but to groups and like-minded people who I can engage with to talk about a potential read or a previously read book. You feel like you are part of the largest book club in the world whilst still retaining a sense of small town community spirit. There are literally thousands of groups to join so you are almost guaranteed to find something to your taste.

The social media integration is more than adequate. It is very simple to link your Facebook and Twitter accounts, plus invite contacts from your email address book and with just a few clicks in the settings you can automatically share your books and your current reading status with your friends and followers. Some users in the US and Canada I believe also have the rather useful functionality of linking Goodreads to their Kindle which makes the integration between the two even more seamless. No more manually adding books to your library or manually updating your reading progress on the website or app, it is automatic. My only gripe here is that, to date, this function is currently unavailable in Europe which is disappointing, although the Goodreads team have tweeted me to reassure me that it is a work in progress. As you can see to the right of this post there are also various widgets available to share on your own websites including the one that I am currently working very hard on, the 2015 Reading Challenge!

There are plenty of activities to partake in on the site itself including quizzes, polls and group discussions. Of course there is the ability to rate and review books and recommendations for you based on your current 'bookshelves' which are created by you and categorised into shelves such as 'read', 'to-read' and 'currently reading'.

For the organisers like myself who like to keep things in order, Goodreads is a must for your virtual library sorting needs. I have come across various helpful articles online such as this one which helps you to keep your Goodreads super organised.

If you are a book lover, just head over to the link above and create your account. It's completely free to use and a great tool to have at your disposal. Obviously since this is 2015 you can also download the free Goodreads app from iTunes or GooglePlay although in my opinion the apps are fairly limited in their functionality and the full desktop site is the better choice for now.

Don't forget to add me as a friend! You can find my link under the 'Follow Me' heading at the top right of this page.


Rachael x

Big Little Lies

Well, it's been a crazy few days since my last post. It's the Summer Holidays here in the UK and so my three little darlings are at home taking up what precious little time I have for blogging and other such activities! Although we have had heaps of fun so far in between the outbreaks of rain! (Another perk of living in Wales!)

Today I finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I loved it! To begin with I was a little apprehensive about my choice as it is not the usual genre that I enjoy reading. I am very much a True Crime / Thriller girl at heart. I chose this particular book because I am currently participating in a Reading Challenge that I stumbled across on Goodreads. The challenge is comprised of 52 books, one per week, with a different topic for each book. This week's topic was a book with antonyms in the title and Big Little Liars was one of the more popular choices with the other challengers in the group. 

The first few chapters were a little slow, introducing the characters and setting the scene, but it was sufficiently interesting to keep me reading and I am so glad I did. After those initial doubts I could barely put it down. It is very well written and has a format that I have not encountered before. There is a sort of dialogue / narrative running alongside throughout the whole story which at first was a little off-putting and distracting but it grew on me as the book progressed. Once the purpose of it was clear it suddenly occurred to me how brilliant it was.

The rest of the story did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed drawing on the similarities between my own life as a school run Mum and those of the characters in the book. At times it almost felt that I was reading about our own group of friends and it definitely raised a laugh or two, (and some heartaches). I had read some reviews before starting it and a few mentioned about it being the funniest book they had ever read about the subject of domestic violence. My initial thoughts were 'how could a book about domestic violence possibly be funny?' but it just works. Most of the main characters have a great depth to them and by the end, as is true for all great books, you feel that you really know them inside out.

I admit that it seems like a strange mix of genres to include elements of comedy, mystery, romance, parenting and violence in one book but I think that's what makes it seem all the more like real life. As a parent especially, many of the above are experienced on a daily basis without the need for a novel! 
I absolutely recommend Big Little Lies and I am looking forward to reading more from Liane Moriarty. In fact I have already started The Husband's Secret for this week's book. The theme this week is to read a book from a place you have always wanted to visit. It is set in Australia and I am definitely planning to visit there before I'm much older!

Until next time!

Rachael x

Friday 17 July 2015

Welcome to my blog.

As the title suggests, this is my first post. Firstly I would like to say thank you for visiting me! I'm sure you may have already guessed but this is a brand new blog created through my passion and lust for reading.
I have already tried a few times to start blogging (3 to be precise) but for one reason or another it hasn't stuck.
You may know already from reading the 'About Me' section to the right that I am a Mum of 3. I work from home and obviously with 3 children I am always on-the-go but aside from reading and watching my favourite TV shows I still feel that I need a hobby. So this is my last-ditch attempt at creating and sustaining a fully-fledged blog.
I hope you enjoy reading with me and I hope that this time next week I will still be enjoying writing! (Yes, I really am that fickle!)
See the social media links at the top of the page (if I have managed to do them correctly!) to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.