Wednesday 1 February 2017

A month in books: January 2017

One of my goals for 2017 is to read for at least 15 minutes a day. And it's working! I am actually getting through a few books! Here's what I've been reading in January.

The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan
The story starts with newly-engaged Rosie finding out that she's unexpectedly pregnant. Her war-hero fiance (Steven) hears news from Africa that the sister of two children who died while he was trying to protect them is also pregnant, and the couple plan a trip to Africa. Obviously things don't go quite to plan, especially when you add in Steven's aloof family. The action in this book splits itself between Africa and Derbyshire, and while you have to suspend your disbelief for some of it, I was caught up in it and found it a very enjoyable read, especially over Christmas.

This book is the third in the Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop series, and while I have read the second (Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop; over Christmas 2015), I don't think that matters on this occasion - the book has a handy summary of what happened in the previous stories, so you can start this one with all the background in place, and it is an easy read. I definitely plan on reading more of Jenny Colgan's books when I fancy reading something light, but well-written.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a novel based on Judith Kerr's experiences as a Jewish child in the 1930s and her life as a refugee. Anna is a pretty typical nine year old girl living in Germany when her family are forced to flee and live as refugees, first in Switzerland, then Paris and finally England as her father is a high-profile anti-goverment writer with a price on his head as Hitler comes to power.

This book is one that I had been meaning to read for a long time, but may never have actually got round to if a friend hadn't sent me a copy for Christmas. I have read many of Judith Kerr's books for children, including the Mog series and The Crocodile Under the Bed, but hadn't read any of her novels. I found the book very easy to read, and wanted to know what happened to the family, and their wider community; there is peril, and a lot of laughter mixed in with pictures of poverty. Highly recommended.

Five Give Up The Booze by Bruno Vincent
Five Give Up The Booze is one of a series of Enid Blyton parodies written for the Christmas gift market. The Five in the title are the Famous Five, whose childhoods were depicted by Enid Blyton as they went on adventures and drank ginger beer and are now grown up and struggling with modern life. These characters are firm favourites from my childhood, and the book didn't disappoint; in this instalment the Five give up alcohol for January. Very light, very enjoyable. My only criticism is that the pictures (which hark back to the original books) are in no particularly order, and don't often faintly relate to the section of text they are placed in. I have another to read, and will be looking out for the others when I fancy something quick to read.

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