One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot – 4/5
Photography features quite a lot in the book, some of my favourite moments were when Julien was taking photos of Paris, everything seemed to come together, and the descriptions of what he was photographing worked very well. Ava became Julien’s muse from their first encounter, taking photos of her without her say-so which I didn’t agree with. But as photography is a fond hobby of mine, Julien’s passion for it, kept me interested.
As a Christmas novel, I can see the plot and characters will be a little fluffy and light-hearted. But the story was compelling, and I genuinely couldn’t put it down, I felt gripped. I’ve come away in good spirits from the book, as the story is memorable.
The Hungry Student Easy Baking by Charlotte Pike - 5/5
This has become my favourite and most used baking book I own. Nearly all the recipes I have made from this book have been amazing and very reliable. The recipes are actually fairly simplified, with short descriptions and a minimal feel to the illustrations. I particularly enjoy the cookie section as there are so many interesting variations. Even if you are not a student, but you want to try baking, this is the book for you!
One Minute to Midnight by Amy Silver - 5/5
Going into this I expected it to be a really fluffy chick lit book, but the storyline had a fair amount of grit to it which I liked. The characters were believable, rough around the edges and troubled in a lot of ways. There were a few cultural and political references which is unlike a lot of chit literature. There was quite a bit of travelling to different parts of the world too, which added a unique element.
The chapters jumped about from different time lines, which usually I don’t take too, but the author did this very nicely. I researched the author and book afterwards and I was stunned to see Amy Silver is a pen name for the famous Paula Hawkins, writer of The Girl on The Train. I’ve read this too, and the chapters do the same thing within the more famous book.
The writing style was very entrancing, it was easy to get lost in the book, and I finished it remarkably quickly. I enjoyed the few major plot twists which came out the blue. One Minute to Midnight is actually very well written. I was deceived by the pretty cover, as it was definitely not your typical kind of read. If you like Paula Hawkins writing, I would give this one a go.
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking – 5/5
I was delighted when I saw this book available to buy second hand in one of our local coffee shops. I picked it up immediately and donated some change to charity. This book interested me because of all the hype I’ve seen in the blogging and booktube community, but also I really love the idea of learning more about how to be cosy, relaxed, and appreciate the simple pleasures.
The chapters vary on different themed topics about hygge, my favourites were the ones about how to enjoy hygge for yourself, with really cool tips. The short chapter about introverts really captured my attention too, and I resonated with what had been said.
The illustrations were excellent, they created a wonderful ambience to this coffee table book. The only small element I disliked was I found there were too many statistics which were less interesting, this wasn’t enough to knock it down a star. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it.
Us by David Nicholls – 5/5
What a marvellous book, after reading One Day, I felt a bit underwhelmed but Us swept me away. I really wanted Douglas to succeed with his holiday plans and for him to reconnect with his wife and son. I enjoyed the family’s both physical and emotional journey. The protagonist Douglas, came across likeable even though he was someone with imperfections. Although Connie irritated me at times, I thought she was written well, and I could imagine her being a real person. It was nice to see characters that were rough around the edges and the dialogue created an unease and tension for the reader as there were many quarrels along the way.
There were some very interesting observations into art, as the family toured famous art exhibitions, both from those who did and did not have an understanding of it. I was surprised to find I liked the structure of the book and the way the narrative jumped from timelines. The journey of the holiday really grounded the way the story was told. The conclusion was unpredictable yet I felt satisfied in the way it ended. I believe this novel could appeal to a wide range of people and I fully recommend it.
Have you read any of these?
What book are you currently reading? :-) Xx