Goodreads Monday [Everything I Know About Love]

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners, and add your own links!

This is a book I’m excited to read this having read the synopsis – I instantly wanted to read it!

Title:  Everything I Know About Love
Author: Dolly Alderton
Publish date: 1 February 2018

Everything I know about love

[Synopsis]

A spot-on, wildly funny and sometimes heart-breaking book about growing up, growing older and navigating all kinds of love along the way

When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.

Glittering, with wit and insight, heart and humour, Dolly Alderton’s powerful début weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age – while making you laugh until you fall over. Everything I know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.

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Have you heard anything about this book, or have you got it on your TBR list? 

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

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Friday Finds [17 November]

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your ‘To Be Read’ (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

It is hosted by Miz B over at A Daily Rhythm.

My finds:


Maria in the Moon - Louise Beech

Maria in the Moon – Louise Beech (Amazon)

[Synopsis]

Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’

Thirty-one-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria. With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything. Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

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Dawn Girl - Leslie Wolfe

Dawn Girl – Leslie Wolfe (Amazon)

[Synopsis]

Her blue eyes wide open, glossed over. A few specks of sand clung to her long, dark lashes. Her beautiful face, immobile, covered in sparkling flecks of sand. Her lips slightly parted as if to let a last breath escape.

Who is the beautiful girl found at dawn, on a deserted stretch of white sand beach? What is her secret?

FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett searches for answers relentlessly. With each step, each new finding, she uncovers unsettling facts leading to a single possible conclusion: Dawn Girl is not the only victim. Her killer has killed before.

Hiding a terrible secret of her own, Special Agent Tess Winnett faces her inmost fears, in a heart-stopping race to catch a killer who’s getting ready to end yet another life. Will she find the killer in time? Will she be able to stop him? At what cost?

The rules of the game have changed.
So has the textbook definition of a serial killer.

Special Agent Tess Winnett is the bold, direct, and short-fused heroine of Dawn Girl. Putting her life on the line, she doesn’t pull any punches, searching only for the truth, and for the man who takes lives on her watch. Intelligent, resourceful, and uncompromising, Tess will take readers on a memorable, white-knuckled journey in this suspenseful, gripping serial killer thriller.

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Malevolent - Jana DeleonMalevolent – Jana Deleon (Amazon)

[Synopsis]

Everyone wondered about Shaye Archer’s past. Including Shaye.

Shaye Archer’s life effectively began the night police found her in an alley, beaten and abused and with no memory of the previous fifteen years, not even her name. Nine years later, she’s a licensed private investigator, with a single goal—to get answers for her clients when there aren’t supposed to be any.

And maybe someday, answers for herself.

Emma Frederick thought her nightmare was over when she killed her abusive husband, but someone is stalking her and tormenting her with mementos from her past. With no evidence to support her claims, the police dismiss her claims as post-traumatic stress, but Shaye is convinced that someone is deliberately terrorizing Emma…playing a cat and mouse game with only one goal in mind.

To kill Emma.

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The Minimalist Kitchen - Melissa ColemanThe Minimalist Kitchen: 100 Wholesome Recipes, Essential Tools, and Efficient Techniques – Melissa Coleman (Netgalley)

[Synopsis]

The practical art of making more with less–in the kitchen!

Melissa Coleman, the creator of the popular design and lifestyle blog The Faux Martha, shares her refreshingly simple approach to cooking that delivers beautiful and satisfying meals using familiar ingredients and minimal kitchen tools. The Minimalist Kitchen includes 100 wholesome recipes that use Melissa’s efficient cooking techniques, and the results are anything but ordinary. You’ll find Biscuits with Bourbon-Blueberry Quick Jam, Pesto Garden Pasta with an easy homemade pesto, Humble Chuck Roast that’s simple to prepare and so versatile, Roasted Autumn Sweet Potato Salad, Stovetop Mac and Cheese, and Two-Bowl Carrot Cupcakes. While The Minimalist Kitchen helps tackle one of the home’s biggest problem areas—the kitchen—this book goes beyond the basics of clearing out and cleaning up, it also gives readers practical tips to maintain this simplified way of life. Melissa shows you how to shop, stock your pantry, meal plan without losing your mind, and most importantly, that delicious food doesn’t take tons of ingredients or gadgets to prepare. This streamlined way of cooking is a breath of fresh air in modern lives where clutter and distraction can so easily take over.

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Gone Viking – Helen Russell (Netgalley)Gone Viking - Helen Russell

[Synopsis]

Frazzled mum Alice Ray likes to think she’s on top everything – she has FOUR bags-for-life in the boot of her car for heaven’s sake. But after spectacularly embarrassing herself at work, she finally gives in to her sister’s pleas to take a much needed break.

But this is not the luxury spa holiday Alice hoped for – instead, she finds herself in Denmark, in the middle of nowhere, on a ‘How to be a Viking’ getaway.

Can the two sisters finally learn to get along or will learning to embrace their inner warrior just make them better at fighting?

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Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton (Netgalley)Everything I know about love

[Synopsis]

A spot-on, wildly funny and sometimes heart-breaking book about growing up, growing older and navigating all kinds of love along the way

When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.

Glittering, with wit and insight, heart and humour, Dolly Alderton’s powerful début weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age – while making you laugh until you fall over. Everything I know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.

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What books have you recently added to your Goodreads list, or bought/ been given? 

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

WWW Wednesday [15 November 2017]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments. I’d love to see your answers too!

The three W’s are:

    1. What have you finished reading?
    2. What are you currently reading?
    3. What will you read next?

What have you finished reading? 

Don’t Wake Up – Liz Lawler
Before This Is Over – Amanda Hickie [review to follow soon]

What are you currently reading? 

Seven Days of Us

Seven Days of Us – Francesca Hornak

What will you read next?

A choice of three again:
The House at the Edge of the Night – Catherine Banner
The Perfect Victim Corrie Jackson
The Spark Girl Fiona Ford


What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!


DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

Don’t Wake Up [review]

Don't Wake Up - Liz Lawler

Title: Don’t Wake Up
Author: Liz Lawler
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

[Synopsis]

Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.

The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The offer he makes her is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.

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[My Review]

Don’t Wake Up is one of those books that not only leaves you imagining (with horror) how you’d react in this situation, but makes you start to consider whether people would believe you, if you were in Alex’s situation…? It’s not a nice thought, but it makes for a great read!

I liked that, although there were parts of this novel which were quite typical of the genre, there were parts that I was not expecting along the way. Don’t Wake Up kept me guessing, and though some characters felt a little over-exaggerated, I really liked how author Liz Lawler created characters which, for the most part, were convincing. Also, I warmed to main protagonist Alex despite the apparent unreliability of that very same character – without giving anything major away, at some points you’re not always sure if Alex is telling the truth because everyone around her seems so sure she’s making it up…

The pacing of this novel quite fast, though there’s enough time to build on the characters and for the reader to develop their own opinions of Alex’s friends and colleagues. There are some quite dark parts, and the last 30% or so really ramps up the tension.

Overall, an engrossing, tense read which kept me guessing – recommended!

[Rating: 4/5]

Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

First Thoughts [Spotlight on #GirlBoss Workbook]

Girlboss Workbook cover

Title: The Girlboss WorkbookThe Girlboss Workbook
Author: Sophia Amoruso
Publisher: Portfolio Penguin

[Synopsis]

Hot on the heels of the new Netflix show based on #GIRLBOSScomes Sophia Amoruso’s workbook of tips, doodles, and fill-in-the-blanks that will help you become your best Girlboss yet.

A graphic and whimsical easy-to-carry life bible filled with to-do lists, timelines, exercises, illustrations and plenty of scribble room, The Girlboss Workbook is fit for both the dreamer and the doer. It invites you–hell, implores you–to get in there and mess it up a little. Write in the blank spaces and in between them.

#GIRLBOSS started as Sophia’s story, but The Girlboss Workbook is your story. It includes the best advice from #GIRLBOSS, of course, and will remind readers of the story of the girl who got her start fumbling and failing hard, but now it is time to take her story and use it to help you write your own.

Use The Girlboss Workbook to design your own freak flag to your heart’s content. Ask yourself (or your mom) what makes you special and then draw in your own special snowflake. Revisit #GIRLBOSS‘s sage career wisdom and then use it to draft your own dream cover letter and answer your own practice interview questions. Fill in the blanks with your turn-ons and turn-offs, your most badass accomplishments, your mistakes. Write your own lemonade recipe with your own personal lemons. Use this workbook as a diary, a mood board, a stress ball.

No need to handle this book with care and no need to live a typical, cookie-cutter life. Sophia’s has been anything but.

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[Thoughts…]

This lovely book caught my eye when it came through the letterbox because not only does it have a very eye-catching design (I love the illustrations and doodles on the pages within) but it’s all about building your own confidence and providing inspiration so you can be your own #girlboss!

I love the interview advice and the lists/ sections which encourage the reader to get to know themselves better with prompts such as what turns you on and off,  your most memorable mistakes, etc; it’s got a great purpose.

As the synopsis says, “Use this workbook as a diary, a mood board, a stress ball” – it works for all three and would make a great gift for any great females in your life 🙂

I haven’t read #GirlBoss but I definitely want to give it a go now as this has sparked my interest in Sophia.

Available now on Amazon.

Many thanks to Portfolio Penguin for providing a copy of this book!

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

Best Day Ever [review]

Best Day Ever - Kaira Rouda

Title: Best Day Ever
Author: Kaira Rouda
Publisher: HQ

[Synopsis]

A loving husband. The perfect killer?

‘I wonder if Mia thinks I have a dark side. Most likely as far as she knows, I am just her dear loving husband.’

Paul Strom has spent years building his perfect life: glittering career, beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in the suburbs.

But he also has his secrets. That’s why Paul has promised his wife a romantic weekend getaway. He proclaims this day, a warm Friday in May, will be the best day ever.

Paul loves his wife, really, he does. But he also wants to get rid of her. And with every hour that passes, Paul ticks off another stage in his elaborately laid plan…

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[My Review]

I hugely enjoyed Best Day Ever, so much that I read it in a few hours (despite having lots of other things I needed to get on with that day!). I just wanted to keep reading on to find out exactly what was going on, and the characters – some likable, some really not, drew me right into their story! This is a fairly slow burner of a novel, but there’s nothing wrong with a slower build up, and this is definitely a novel that I found myself sucked into more and more.

From the very beginning you can tell that Paul Strom is not a nice man; at first I thought he seemed like a bit of an idiot really, but as I read on I realised things were getting quite dark. I was rooting so much for his wife to realise what was happening!

I don’t want to give too much away but Best Day Ever is full of tension and uncertainty, for both characters, and it has its fair share of twists and turns. Not everything is as you’d expect, and though I picked up on some things happening, others took me by surprise and I loved that about it.

I found Best Day Ever really absorbing and, though it starts quite slowly, Kaira Rouda effectively draws you in, bit by bit, until you find you can’t (and don’t want to!) get out! Highly recommended.

[Rating: 4.5/5]

Many thanks to HQ and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

WWW Wednesday [8 November 2017]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments. I’d love to see your answers too!

The three W’s are:

    1. What have you finished reading?
    2. What are you currently reading?
    3. What will you read next?

What have you finished reading? 

The Death Of Her  – Debbie Howells [read my review here]
Best Day Ever – Kaira Rouda [review to follow soon]

 

What are you currently reading? 

Don't Wake Up - Liz Lawler

Don’t Wake Up – Liz Lawler

 

What will you read next?

Probably a book I’ve just won from Readers First, The Perfect Victim, which sounds great, and then after that it’ll be one of the following (some of which are the same as last week!)

The Perfect Victim Corrie Jackson
The House at the Edge of the Night – Catherine Banner
Before This Is Over – Amanda Hickie


What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!


DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

The Death of Her [review]

The Death Of Her - Debbie Howells

Title: The Death of Her
Author: Debbie Howells
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

[Synopsis]

A woman’s body is discovered on a Cornish farm, battered and left for dead in a maize field. Airlifted to hospital, her life hanging in the balance, no one’s sure who she is. Three days later she comes round, but her memory is damaged. She knows her name – Evie – but no more, until she remembers another name. Angel – her three-year-old daughter.

As the police circulate Evie’s photo, someone recognizes her. Charlotte knew her years ago, at school, when another child went missing. Leah Danning, who vanished whilst in Evie’s care.

When the police search Evie’s home, there’s no sign of Angel. More disturbingly, there’s no evidence that she ever lived there, forcing the police to question whether Evie’s having some kind of breakdown.

But even from the darkest place she’s ever known, Evie believes her daughter is alive. The police remain unconvinced – unaware that on the fringes of Evie’s life, there’s someone else. Someone hidden, watching her every move, with their own agenda and their own twisted version of reality.

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[My Review]

The Death of Her is a tense, twisty novel which kept me intrigued throughout.

The characters are really interesting and I enjoyed seeing the story from different perspectives, some of which were a surprise and some which gave an insight into the police investigation. I don’t want to give too much away but there’s definitely a sense of bewilderment at times whilst reading this – Debbie Howells effectively keeps you guessing and unsure of what exactly is going on sometimes, which I really liked.

I enjoyed reading about Cornwall and the investigation, though the police seemed a bit slow in their investigation sometimes! However there’s plenty of twists and surprises – the mix of Evie’s daughter Angel being missing, but there being doubts as to whether she event existed, combined with other possible crimes and unrealiable characters, left me wanting to read on!

I guessed a few smaller parts but the end left me feeling surprised and satisfied; I really enjoyed this novel from start to finish and would definitely recommend it.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

Goodreads Monday [Shadow Man]

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners, and add your own links!

This is a book I’m really looknig forward to reading and is on my TBR list. It’s actually just been published but I’m a little behind on my review – I hope to get around to reading & reviewing it very soon!

Title: Shadow Man
Author: Margaret Kirk
Publish date: 2 November 2017

Shadow Man - Margaret Kirk

[Synopsis]

Two brutal killings rock Inverness, and bring ex-Met Detective Inspector Lukas Mahler the biggest challenge of his career…

The body of the queen of daytime TV, Morven Murray is discovered by her sister, Anna, on the morning of her wedding day. But does Anna know more about the murder than she’s letting on?

Police informant Kevin Ramsay’s murder looks like a gangland-style execution. But what could he have stumbled into that was dangerous enough to get him violently killed?

Mahler has only a couple of weeks to solve both cases while dealing with his mother’s fragile mental health. But caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, is ex-Met DI Lukas Mahler hunting one killer, or two?

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Have you heard anything about this book, or have you got it on your TBR list? 

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

Natural Feasts [review]

Natural Feasts

Title: Natural Feasts
Author: Ella Woodwin
Publisher: Scribner

[Synopsis]

Internationally bestselling author of Deliciously Ella, Ella Mills offers more than 100 exciting, accessible recipes to show how clean, gluten-free, plant-based eating is the perfect way to entertain friends and satisfy your guests.

In Natural Feasts, Ella Mills makes it easy to prepare delicious food for you, your friends and family, for any event. No more wondering whether certain dishes go together or how you can provide delicious, plant-based meals that won’t leave your guests craving what isn’t good for them, Ella makes life simple with her menus—whether you are planning a laid-back brunch, a last-minute lunch, or a fancy dinner, she has it covered with hearty recipes that celebrate her natural eating philosophy. This gorgeous book also showcases more than one hundred full-color photographs, beautifully illustrating that clean eating and entertaining are a perfect match.

When conventional medicine failed her, Ella overcame a rare, devastating illness by switching to a plant-based diet. With no formal culinary training, she began developing her own recipes and blogging about her journey. She’s a self-taught cook. She’s approachable. She inspires people. Now Ella shares her personal ideas and recipes for every foodie occasion, from cozy nights alone to easy kitchen suppers, flavorsome feasts, birthday parties, picnics, and mocktails and cocktails. Deliciously Ella with Friends is the go-to book for anyone who wants to make simpler, healthier food choices—for themselves and their friends and family.

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[My Review]

As my partner is vegetarian and I try to stick to veggie meals too, this kind of cookbook – veggie whilst still being healthy and inspirational – really struck a chord with me. As soon as you start you’ll be struck by the absolutely gorgeous photos, and I always appreciate clear, lovely images in a cookbook.

The recipes themselves are ideal for anyone trying to cut out meat (either in part or completely) and stick to more natural, sans-additive dishes, as they offer a wide selection of options for breakfast/ brunch, lite bites, dinner and desserts. I usually find myself skipping through the breakfast items as they’re often the same uninspiring ideas, but in Natural Feasts Ella presents some interesting ideas which are again split into different sections based on the type of breakfast they are – think ‘grab & go’ for home-made breakfast bars, ‘sweet brunch’ for- you guessed it – sweet stuff, and ‘the new english’ for English Breakfasts with a twist, plus others toov (including smoothies, which never hugely excite me, but still)! I tried the spiced potato cakes and really enjoyed them; they’ll be easy to cook with a twist on depending on my breakfast mood!

I am usually most interested in the dinner options, and I always go through recipe books and put a bookmark next to those I think I’d actually make. If a book has lots of bookmarks it’s a good indication that it contains recipes that are actually a) appealing and, for me, b) not too tricky or time-consuming to make. Natural Feasts, I’m pleased to say, have many – and plenty of lovely photos to inspire too! I must admit that some of the dishes don’t look hugely filling to me, but I do have a big appetite so that’s always circumstantial…

Though a lot of the pages are filled with pictures, so you’re perhaps not getting as many recipes as you’d think, this is a solid cookbook for anyone looking to eat more healthily, without compromising on taste or simplicity.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!