Nov 2013 TBRTwo books set beside the seaside today, as you do. OK, one’s a novel set in South Wales and the other a guide to a bit of Devon, but you know how I like to have a theme … These were two relatively “easy” reads, with the Carole Matthews being read on a trip down to London and back again in one day, and the guidebook accompanying my irregular hairdrying sessions in the spare room. But really, where would we be without the odd “easy” read, eh? As long as you get a good mix, that’s all that counts, just like always eating sliced white bread or meringues wouldn’t be fun if we did it all the time.

Carole Matthews – “A Cottage by the Sea”

(e-book, bought on sale, can’t remember when)

Ella, Grace and Flick get together at Ella’s inherited cottage along with their partners. Grace is reassessing her marriage as she looks in slight horror at what it seems to have become, and Ella and Flick are reassessing their priorities and changing their ways – or seem to be. They slot into the same roles they’ve taken since they met at University, 10 years ago, but are maybe even starting to question those. Throw this uneasy mix into a rural setting with long walks, no mobile signal, too many pubs and the odd emergency, and you’ve got a potentially explosive situation.

Carole Matthews is adept at creating leading men with a sweet vulnerability and kindness rather than the chest-beating alpha males of traditional romance (at least in the books of hers that I’ve read). In fact the two alphas of the group come over as a bit pathetic, chasing a free existence or the bottom of a wine bottle … She’s also very good at subtly letting her readers guess plot points before the characters do, leading to a nice sense of clever satisfaction. You kind of know that it’s going to work out in the end – somehow – and there are some very enjoyable scenes before it does. A good relaxing read with some laughs along the way and believable characters and relationships.

“The Official Guide to the English Riviera Global Geopark”

(07 March 2013, Paignton)

Taking in the geology, geography, social development, flora and fauna of the area, this is a useful guide to the Torbay region with good explanations and plenty of illustrations. It suffers from a lack of copy-editing, especially towards the end, but is useful and has a handy fold out map section.


New acquisitions …

Nov 2013 5aI was out shopping for Not So Secret Santas for the LibraryThing Virago Group and Birmingham BookCrossers’ group (and also picking up odd others for people) when I happened across this one. I’ve been wanting to read this ever since I realised it’s set in Moseley in 1998-91, a time when I was around in South Birmingham: oddly, this fact and author had escaped me, even though I have heard of the book, and my friend Ann knows the author / my friend Sarah is thanked in the acknowledgements, and my friend Karen and her husband taught the chap! So, when I spotted it in the Oxfam bookshop, it would have been rude not to have added it to my pile (and it wasn’t on my wishlists, so I haven’t denied anyone the opportunity of buying it for me, hopefully!)

Nov 2013 5bAnd then I was at the BookCrossing meetup on Saturday when this one surfaced – I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, and there it was, and here it is on the TBR shelf!


Currently reading – I’m currently reading Debbie Macomber’s very romancey and easy “The Manning Sisters”, which a friend who’s in hospital at the moment is also reading, hence my promoting it up the TBR pile. Readable fluff. I’m not reading anything else at the moment, but I’m sure that will change soon …