Books read in 2017

When I'm not knitting (and sometimes when I am!) I love to read. Here's what I've been reading in 2017.

1. The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan
Enjoyable, easy-read novel set between a chocolate box village in the UK and Africa.

2. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
Semi-autobiographical children's story about a child's experience as a Jewish refugee during World War II. Incredibly moving and higly recommended.

3. Five Give Up the Booze by Bruno Vincent
Light-hearted parody that finds the Famous Five in their 30s and struggling to work out where it all went wrong.

4. Five Go On a Strategy Away Day by Bruno Vincent
More of the same. Features The Secret Seven as rivals of the Famous Five. Very enjoyable.

5. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) by Lemony Snicket
I read this having watched the Netflix series, and was a bit disappointed - this really is the bare bones of the TV series, which is excellent.

6. The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 2) by Lemony Snicket
As number 5. I haven't yet gone back to read the other books in the series.

7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I read this having seen the movie, which was heartbreaking. The book is much more detailed, resulting in a much more complex story. Lou is in her early 20s when she starts working as a carer for Will, a quadriplegic. Within a few weeks she works out that her role is much more significant than she at first thought, and that they can teach each other a lot about life.

8. After You by Jojo Moyes
Sequel to Me Before You. Not as moving as the first, but an engaging story that left me wanting to know how the story would resolve right to the end. If you want to read both, maybe leave a bit of a gap between the two - I read them back to back, which was maybe a bit much!

9. Spectacles by Sue Perkins
I laughed the whole way through this book. Written in a hugely likeable style, reading this book was like catching up with an old friend.

10. The Lake House by Kate Morton
I have loved everything Kate Morton has written, and was not disappointed. Three stories in three different time periods, but all centred on one house and family are told concurrently to create a tightly plotted mystery novel. I only guessed the outcome of one thread of the story; this one kept me guessing right to the end.

11. Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson
Young adult 'thriller' written by the former children's laureate. Leo has runaway from home to the streets of Glasgow in search of her family. She meets Finlay who tries to help her, with mixed results. While the book was well thought out, and excellently written, I didn't love it.

12. Bridget Jones' Baby by Helen Fielding
More of the same in the Bridget Jones' series. Bridget gets pregnant after two one-night-stands. Wose is the baby? This book totally ignores the existance of the third Bridget Jones book in which she is a widowed mother of two. Anyhow, enjoyable enough.

13. The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan
I loved this book. Flora escaped the fictional Scottish island of Mure to go to university and is now a paralegal at a London firm of lawyers. One day an American billionaire approaches the firm to get them to fight his case to get a planned wind farm relocated to stop it from spoiling the view from his hotel on Mure; he knows Flora is from the island and wants her on the case. Flora is sent to the island and is forced to address some home truths.

14. The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams
I read this to see whether my son would like it. There is a lot of hype about the David Walliams books, and while it was enjoyable enough, I'm not sure I want to read any more of them.

15. The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie
I picked this up having seen it on various Instagram feeds. The story interweaves several threads spanning 100 or so years, with each story linked by a sewing machine. I enjoyed the book, but did guess how all the threads linked up about three-quarters of the way through. Not perfect, but a decent enough read.

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