My 2016 Reading List

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One of my resolutions for 2016 was to read more. So far, I’m not really doing so well on that but I do intend to. I actually find reading easier in the summer – when I am sitting in the garden or when we’re away camping. Winter is perfect for snuggling in front of the fire with the book but I find myself decluttering or planning DIY projects instead!

I have a fully-stocked Kindle (note to self: stop downloading books) and in order to get myself into the groove I thought I’d share some of the books I am planning to read during 2016. If you’ve ready any of these, let me know, would love to hear your thoughts – NO SPOILERS of course!

The Baby Laundry for Unmarried Mothers by Angela Patrick
In 1963, London was on the brink of becoming one of the world’s most vibrant cities. Angela Patrick was 19 years old, enjoying her first job working in the City, when her life turned upside down. A brief fling with a charismatic charmer left her pregnant, unmarried and facing a stark future. Being under 21, she was still under the governance of her parents, strict Catholics who insisted she have the baby in secret and then put it up for adoption.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is a massive cultural phenomenon and its title has become an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of bestseller lists internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated opinion pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership.

Sophia’s Secret by Susanna Kearsley
When bestselling author Carrie McClelland visits the windswept ruins of Slains Castle, she is enchanted by the stark and beautiful Scottish landscape. The area is strangely familiar to her but she puts aside her faint sense of unease to begin her new novel, using the castle as her setting, and one of her own ancestors, Sophia, as her heroine. Then Carrie realises her writing is taking on a life of its own and the lines between fact and fiction become increasingly blurred. As Sophia’s memories draw Carrie more deeply into the intrigue of 1708, she discovers a captivating love story lost in time. After three hundred years, Sophia’s Secret must be told.

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis
An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life? How will she survive? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank
For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself by Harriet Ann Jacobs
Of these female slave narratives, Harriet Jacobs’s “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself” is the crowning achievement. Manifesting a command of rhetorical and narrative strategies rivaled only by that of Frederick Douglass, Jacobs’s autobiography is one of the major works of Afro-American literature…Jacobs’s narrative is a bold and gripping fusion of two major literary forms: she borrowed from the popular sentimental novel on one hand, and the slave narrative genre on the other. Her tale gains its importance from the fact that she charts, in great and painful detail, the sexual exploitation that daily haunted her life–and the life of every other black female slave…Ms. Yellin’s superbly researched edition insures that Harriet Jacobs will never be lost again. –Henry Louis Gates, Jr. “New York Times Book Review “

I have over 250 books on my Kindle so this is just a toe in the water! This is where I intend to start though, I think there’s a good mix of books here, something for whatever mood I am in!

Have you made a reading list for 2016?

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Reading is FUN!

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Well I think so, and that’s the message I am trying to pass on to my children, but how do you do that successfully in a world full of gadgets, gizmos and reality TV?

Books have always been a big part of my life. I didn’t have piles of toys as a child as my parents weren’t particularly well off but I did have books. Again, not many, but books I loved to read over and over again. Favourites included anything by Enid Blyton, the What Katy Did series and one I really adored, Charlotte Sometimes.  I also loved reading poetry and joke books and remember spending hours in bed at the weekend reading these before everyone else had woke up. I still read for pleasure now.

We’ve always surrounded our children with books, with bedtime story routines beginning when they were only about 4 months old (It it bedtime Wibbly Pig?). They’ve always had books for birthday and Christmas presents and their bedrooms are full of books of all types. As toddlers, their little heads were always in books and they were fascinated turning the pages over looking at all the brightly coloured pictures and then there was nothing nicer than getting cosy together with a book together at the end of the day.  I still, even now they are 9 & 7 spend time reading out loud to them which they really love.

I’m fortunate enough that my children have both turned into great readers. My daughter took to it like a duck in water and is flying way ahead of where she needs to be. My son was a real slow reluctant starter but has now almost caught my daughter up. She favours poetry, he prefers non-fiction. They have reading targets at school which is checked weekly, and they have to read at least four times a week to get their house points, which they always achieve with a bit of reminding from me but what I am struggling with now is how do I make them WANT to read?

Whilst in the mornings in bed, more often than not they’ll be found with their nose in a book, at any other time of the day they would never choose to read a book. I’m constantly met with “I’m bored” at the weekend and I’ll tell them to go read a book but they won’t because what they really want is for me to say “put the TV on” or “play Minecraft”. Neither of these is bad but I really hope they get to the point where they want to go read a book because they enjoy it and want to escape into that make-believe world because reading can be SO rewarding.

I am conscious of not pushing them to read too hard and maybe they’re still too young to want to read for pleasure when so much of it seems so tightly tied up with school and learning but I do so dearly hope they discover one day that feeling of excitement when reading a story for the first time, of not wanting to go to sleep because you want to finish a book and the mix of emotions when you finally get to the end of a book. Reading is a rollercoaster!

Before I go I will share this poster that I once saw, The Rights of the Reader, I love it and it makes me feel better when I hate a book so much I don’t want to continue!

Ten rights of readers poster

Maybe you’ve got some hints or tips for me?

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My 2015 Reading List

So as mentioned in my post the other day about what I had read in 2014, I didn’t really make much of a dent, if any, on my planned 2014 reading list. That doesn’t mean I didn’t read, because I did. What it means is that I am a book magpie and my eye is easily caught by the latest bestseller or an Amazon Kindle bargain.

I really really need to stop downloading books as I have about 250 on my Kindle and I am NEVER going to get through all of those. It’s a problem I have. Surely there is a support group somewhere?

Therefore in 2015 I shall be continuing with my 2014 Reading List but in addition I plan to read the following.

Just so long as something new and shiny doesn’t pop up in the meantime.

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1. The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker
For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too.  Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister… Sally. Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance. Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim… Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?

2. Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge
Chloe Benson wakes up kidnapped and bound in an underground tomb with no memory of how she got there.  She manages to escape but no one believes her story—not the police, not the doctors, and especially not her husband, Liam.  When she suspects Liam is lying to her, Chloe is forced to retrace her past, following in her own footsteps to find the truth and stay alive. But who is following Chloe?Look behind you. You never know who’s out there.

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3. The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman
When time is running out, every moment is precious…When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold onto the past when her future is slipping through her fingers…?

4. The State We’re In by Adele Parks
What are the odds that the stranger sitting next to you on a plane is destined to change your life? Especially when they appear to be your opposite in every way. She’s a life-long optimist, looking for her soul mate in every man she meets; he’s a resolute cynic – cruel experience has taught him never to put his faith in anyone.  People can surprise you. In the time it takes to fly from London to Chicago, each finds something in the other that they didn’t even realise they needed. Their pasts are such that they can never make one another happy and it’s when they get off the plane that their true journey begins…

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5. Feels Like The First Time by Shawn Inmon
If you remember your first love, your first date and your first kiss, then Feels Like the First Time will take you back to those moments. Shawn met Dawn when she moved in next door in 1976. Soon, they were best friends, then became each other’s first loves. Shawn was outgoing but bookish, Dawn, beautiful and reserved. Their storybook romance came to an end when Dawn’s parents forbid them to see each other.  They obeyed – for 27 years, until a chance meeting swept them up in a storm of emotions and memories. Can the sweet bond of first love not only survive into middle age, but flourish?  Feels Like the First Time lets you share in the magic of young love in small town America in the 1970s. No matter how much the world changes, some things – timeless music, high school dances, making out in the backseat of a Chevy Vega, and of course true love – will always remain the same.

6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play. Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and first love – who committed suicide. Hannah’s voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself and Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. All through the night, Clay keeps listening – and what he discovers changes his life . . . Forever.

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7. The One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
One single mum with two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it’s hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn’t. Because you have to . . . One chaotic family Jess’s gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she’ll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess’s teenage stepson, can’t fight the bullies alone. Sometimes Jess feels like they’re sinking . . . One handsome stranger Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it’s like to be lonely. And he wants to help . . .One unexpected love story

8. The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore
London, the present day: Emily Gordon has found her dream job, as an editor at a small publishing house. When the biography of a late great English novelist crosses her desk, she discovers, buried beneath the history, a story that simply has to be told…  London, 1948: Isabel Barber has barely arrived in the city when a chance meeting leads to a job offer, and a fascinating career beckons. But as she develops a close working relationship with a charismatic young debut novelist the professional soon becomes personal, and she finds herself fighting for her very survival…

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9. The Haunted Woman by David Lindsay
David Lindsay’s vision in “The Haunted Woman” (1922) is a strange and personal one, but very different from the alien landscapes of his earlier and better-known novel “A Voyage to Arcturus”. Set in the Sussex Downland of the 1920s, “The Haunted Woman” tells of Isbel Loment’s strange experiences at Runhill Court, a house with ancient origins. Ascending a staircase that few can see, she meets the owner of the house, Henry Judge, in rooms, which seem to exist only in another dimension. As with Lindsay’s other novels, “The Haunted Woman” was appreciated by few in his lifetime. But in recent decades readers and critics have come to recognise how remarkable Lindsay’s strange, metaphysical writings really are. Outwardly more conventional than “A Voyage to Arcturus”, “The Haunted Woman” nevertheless offers a glimpse of a supernatural world, hinting at alternative existences, whilst remaining a very readable novel of mystery and romance. This new edition of “The Haunted Woman” contains an Afterword by Douglas A. Anderson.

10. Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi
A single mother takes her two sons on a trip to the seaside. They stay in a hotel, drink hot chocolate and go to the funfair. She wants to protect them from a cold and uncomprehending world. She knows that it will be the last trip for her boys. This is a haunting and thought-provoking story about how a mother’s love for her children can be more dangerous than the dark world she is seeking to keep at bay. Veronique Olmi handles an aspect of motherhood we all too often deny. She depicts a woman’s fear of releasing her children into the world.

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11. Fractured by Dani Atkins
What would you do if life gave you a second chance? The night of the accident changed everything… Now, five years on, Rachel’s life is crumbling. She lives alone in a tiny flat, working in a dead-end job, desperate with guilt over her best friend’s death. She would give anything to turn back the clock. But life doesn’t work like that… Does it?  The night of the accident was a lucky escape…  Now, five years on, Rachel’s life is perfect. She has a wonderful fiancé, loving family and friends around her, and the career she always wanted. But why can’t Rachel shake the memory of a very different life? Gripping, romantic and heartbreaking, Fractured is a magical love story that asks: can two different stories lead to the same happy ending?

12. How To Be A Good Wife by Emma Chapman
I know what my husband would say: that I have too much time on my hands; that I need to keep myself busy. That I need to take my medication. Empty nest syndrome, he tells his friends at the pub, his mother. He’s always said I have a vivid imagination. Marta and Hector have been married for a long time – so long that she finds it difficult to remember her life before him. He has always taken care of her, and she has always done everything she can to be a good wife. But when Hector comes home with a secret, their ordered domestic life begins to unravel, and Marta begins to see things, or perhaps to remember them. In the shadows there is a blonde girl that only Marta can see. And she wants something . . .

So there are some of the books I plan to read in 2015.

If you’ve read any of the above, I’d love to hear from you, especially if you think they’re a pile of old tosh – might save me some time! Please feel free to share in the comments (or link to your own post?) what you will be reading this year.

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