Being a mother is hard work. It’s one of the toughest, and yes, most rewarding, jobs out there. It sounds cliched, but it really is one of those things that you’ve got to be down in the trenches to really understand what it is like. It’s a whirlwind of emotions all wrapped into one tiny human who you are SO AFRAID FOR and SO IN LOVE IT all at the same time (while you’re hiding in the kitchen, shoving biscuits into your mouth before their supersonic hearing detects them). It’s a variety of feelings summed up so well by artist Anna Lewis, who has recently released her first book, Sketchy Muma: What It Means To Be A Mother. I was lucky enough to be sent a copy for review by the lovely people at Quercus Books, and have one to give away!
What if your child was stolen? The tagline of Nicola Cassidy’s debut novel draws the reader in and plays on their emotions immediately. Her book, December Girl, is a historical fiction novel, based in the 1800s in Drogheda. I was lucky enough to receive an advance review copy to take part in the Blog Tour to launch this wonderful book, and have been devouring it over the past few nights. So, what’s the book about, and is it any good?
Our family holiday wasn’t exactly a lie back on the beach with a good book type of break, but that didn’t stop the reads from accumulating. Long flights will do that for you – the Kindle app on my iPad was definitely kept busy. Here’s a look at my October reads, the books I dove into over the last month, and what I thought of them.
I’ve been getting back into reading lately, having failed for quite a while on my earlier resolution to read 40 books this year. On suggestion of some other bloggers, I signed up for NetGalley, and as a result have been lucky enough to receive advance review copies of books. These make up a substantial amount of the books I’ve read lately – and my to-read list grows ever longer, as I’ve gotten a bit request-happy! Here’s a look at what I’ve been reading lately.
I’ve been a fan of Marian Keyes since I was about fourteen and picked up a copy of Watermelon. Her writing is funny, passionate and it draws you into her world with a warm hug. Eleven years on, I’ve read all the previous books and loved them in differing amounts. Her non fiction books (Under the Duvet and Further Under the Duvet) stuck out for me as particularly special, but I spent much time in the worlds of the Walsh family and their idiosyncracies. Much like the work of Emma Hannigan, with Keyes there is a habit of looking around your family and seeing them in the characters, it brings them to life. So, when I saw that there was a new book, The Break, to be read a little jump of joy was happening in me.
I’ve been a fan of Claire Hennessy since my early teens. Her writing spoke to me at my different ages that I was reading it. Published in 2000 (when she was thirteen!), Dear Diary was my first introduction to a writer who would reoccur throughout my teen and early adult life. Through the teen angst years Abi and Emily (of Stereotype and Good Girls Don’t) were my touchstone. Adulthood has not changed their charm. That’s the thing with the YA fiction genre – when it’s good, it doesn’t matter what age you are. So, when I saw her latest novel “Like Other Girls” was about a teenager from Dublin, but dealt with things like the 8th amendment, questioning sexuality and the obligatory pop culture references, I was hooked.
I’ve read my fair share of parenting books. Most of them while pregnant, unsure, terrified and hoping that divine wisdom would help me remove the watermelon I was growing in as painfree a way as possible. Since his birth, theres been a number of books enter my house telling me how to feed, dress, treat my son as he grows up to ensure that he’s the best he can be. Oh precious firstborn, I did my research on you. Most of it is a fat lot of nothing – Annabel Karmel recipes don’t seem to work on him, we’ve gone through numerous sleep books. None of them made me laugh (apart from the ones with seriously unrealistic expectations). None until “I Forgot To Take My Pill – An Honest Diary of a First Time Mum”, by the very funny Sharyn Hayden, which launched this week. (more…)