Nine Perfect Strangers By Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers By Liane Moriarty

Nine perfect strangers, each hiding an imperfect life.

A luxury retreat cut off from the outside world.

Ten days that promise to change your life.

But some promises – like some lives – are perfect lies . . .

My Thoughts:

I like how the plot is short and sweet and gives nothing away. I have not read many of Liane’s books but this one I felt as though I would enjoy. And I did. I did think with there being a lot of characters it would become confusing but it certainly did not. Each chapter is a different person so you get everyone’s perspective. We also hear of everyone’s stories which some people reading this may be able to relate to atleast one of these peoples lives. It is quite fast moving and some of the chapters are short so you feel as though you have to read one more. It was such a good plot line and I didn’t see the ending coming. It was a really good read. I look forward to watching the series on TV now.

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The Man I Never Met By Elle Cook

The Man I Never Met By Elle Cook


Two lives are about to be changed by one phone call…

When Davey misdials Hannah’s number, at first they think nothing of it.

After all, Davey lives in Texas and Hannah lives in London.

But when Davey gets a job in London, their paths are sure to cross. As messaging turns to video calling, this feels like the start of something.

Weeks later, Hannah is waiting for Davey at the airport, but he never walks into Arrivals.

When Hannah finds out why, her world is turned on its head. And with their future so uncertain, each must pick up the pieces of their lives.

Will fate intervene once more to bring them together? Or will Davey always be the man that Hannah never met?

My Thoughts:

I loved the sound of this book, it sounded just what I needed to read. It was a slightly different story line which I liked. When Davey misdials Hannah’s number, neither realises what this will entail. Davey lives in Texas and Hannah lives in London so how is this going to work? After talking lots, they decides to meet each other but when Hannah turns up at the airport, Davey is not there. What has happened to him? I never guessed in a million years what the outcome was going to be. This book is full of emotions, I did shed a tear or two, but it is an lovely story about finding love in an unexpected place. Such a beautiful story.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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Cuba: An American History By Ada Ferrer

Cuba: An American History By Ada Ferrer

In 1961, at the height of the Cold War, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, where a momentous revolution had taken power three years earlier. For more than half a century, the stand-off continued—through the tenure of ten American presidents and the fifty-year rule of Fidel Castro. His death in 2016, and the retirement of his brother and successor Raúl Castro in 2021, have spurred questions about the country’s future. Meanwhile, politics in Washington—Barack Obama’s opening to the island, Donald Trump’s reversal of that policy, and the election of Joe Biden—have made the relationship between the two nations a subject of debate once more. Now, award-winning historian Ada Ferrer delivers an “important” (The Guardian) and moving chronicle that demands a new reckoning with both the island’s past and its relationship with the United States.

Spanning more than five centuries, Cuba: An American History provides us with a front-row seat as we witness the evolution of the modern nation, with its dramatic record of conquest and colonization, of slavery and freedom, of independence and revolutions made and unmade. Along the way, Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising, often troubled intimacy between the two countries, documenting not only the influence of the United States on Cuba but also the many ways the island has been a recurring presence in US affairs. This is a story that will give Americans unexpected insights into the history of their own nation and, in so doing, help them imagine a new relationship with Cuba; “readers will close [this] fascinating book with a sense of hope” (The Economist). Filled with rousing stories and characters, and drawing on more than thirty years of research in Cuba, Spain, and the United States—as well as the author’s own extensive travel to the island over the same period—this is a stunning and monumental account like no other.,

My Thoughts:

I have always been fascinated with Cuba and when I got the chance to read this one which is a finalist for the Cundill History Prize I was excited. It is a decent size book that you can really get your teeth stuck into. I always enjoy it when books travel back in time and have pictures that help the reader understand more about what they are reading. It provided me with a fascinating insight into what Cuba was like back in the day to what it is like now. All the troubles they have had too. I found I learnt so much more to Cuba after reading this powerful and insightful book. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more or is intrigued about Cuba.

To learn more about the Cundill History Prize, check here for more information:

https://www.cundillprize.com/

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.

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Christmas at the Village Sewing Shop By Helen Rolfe

Christmas at the Village Sewing Shop By Helen Rolfe


Can three sisters stitch their family back together?

Loretta loves running the little village sewing shop in Butterbury. Some of her most precious memories are sitting with her three daughters Daisy, Ginny and Fern, stitching together pieces of material – and their hopes and dreams.

But this Christmas the family is coming apart at the seams: Fern feels like she’s failing at motherhood and marriage, Ginny’s passion for her job as a midwife is fading, Daisy is desperate to prove she ‘ s changed since her wild younger years – and most of all, Loretta seems to be hiding something…

As they come together to create a new festive quilt, the bond between the sisters begins to heal. But when Loretta reveals the real reason she’s brought them all home, can the sisters mend the quilt, and their family, in time for Christmas?

My Thoughts:

If your after a great festive read, this is the perfect book for you, also I love how it was set around the Village sewing shop, it was a little different which I liked. It was the perfect book to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s day. Loretta who runs the sewing shop has three older daughters who have gone off to do their own things. I love finding out more about each one of them, they all have real life issues that they are going through. I felt drawn to this family straight away and I could not wait to read more about them. I felt as though I really got lost in this story and it felt truly magical.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Shite before Christmas By Serena Terry

The Shite before Christmas By Serena Terry

One month to go. One stressed mum. Can she pull off the perfect family Christmas?

Twas the sh!te before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for … mum!

Like every mum, Tara wants a perfect Christmas for her family – but no-one else is lifting a finger and she’s losing her elf-ing mind. From the kids behaving badly (vaping! Potty training! The Nativity!), to a distracted husband acting very out of character, the last straw is Tara’s glamorous, feckless, boundary-less mother moving herself back in for the holidays.

Can Tara pull off the holly jolly Christmas of her dreams? Will she deck the halls and not her family? Or is this a Christmas catastrophe waiting to happen?

My Thoughts:

I saw this book and knew I had to read it. I loved it, it had everything and more that I needed. If you are after a hilarious and laugh out loud story, this is the perfect read. This is an author that is definitely going to be on my radar. Tara has a husband and kids and as it is getting closer to Christmas which is the most wonderful time of the year but is anyone helping her? of course not, and Tara is heavily pregnant. In this side splitting and mum related read, I felt sorry for Tara but my god Serena the author knows how to write a funny book. I would highly recommend.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union by Vladislav M. Zubok

Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union by Vladislav M. Zubok


In 1945 the Soviet Union controlled half of Europe and was a founding member of the United Nations. By 1991, it had an army four-million strong, five-thousand nuclear-tipped missiles, and was the second biggest producer of oil in the world. But soon afterward the union sank into an economic crisis and was torn apart by nationalist separatism. Its collapse was one of the seismic shifts of the twentieth century.

Thirty years on, Vladislav Zubok offers a major reinterpretation of the final years of the USSR, refuting the notion that the breakup of the Soviet order was inevitable. Instead, Zubok reveals how Gorbachev’s misguided reforms, intended to modernize and democratize the Soviet Union, deprived the government of resources and empowered separatism. Collapse sheds new light on Russian democratic populism, the Baltic struggle for independence, the crisis of Soviet finances―and the fragility of authoritarian state power.

My Thoughts:

This is one of the three finalist for the Cundill History Prize. Even though it is not really something I would read, there are parts that I found fascinating. Reading about the meltdown of the Soviet Union and how slow it was eye opening. If you want to learn more about the Soviet Union this I would say really takes you there and helps for a better understanding of what happened. I did skim parts but the parts I did read were interesting enough.

To find out more about the Cundill History Prize, check here for more information:

https://www.cundillprize.com/

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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What’s for Dessert By Claire Saffitz

What’s for Dessert By Claire Saffitz

“Whether you’re into flambés, soufflés, or simple loaf cakes this book offers over 100 different answers to that all-important question: What’s for dessert?”―Claire Saffitz

Claire Saffitz returns with 100 recipes for all dessert people―whether you’re into impressive-yet-easy molten lava cakes, comforting rice pudding, or decadent chestnut brownies.

In this all-new collection, Claire shares recipes for icebox cakes, pies, cobblers, custards, cookies and more, all crafted to be as streamlined as possible. (No stand mixer? No problem! You won’t need one.)

To keep the recipes straightforward and simple, Claire makes sure each recipe is extra efficient, whether you’re making a Whipped Tres Leches Cake with Hazelnuts or Caramel Peanut Popcorn Bars. Fans will find all the warmth, encouragement, and deliciously foolproof recipes with loads of troubleshooting advice that they’ve come to count on from Claire.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited to read and review this delicious dessert cookbook, and I literally cannot wait to bake pretty much everything in this book. My husband has made me a list of everything he wants me to bake for him. It is such a wonderful cookbook with over 100 recipes from easy to hard. I like how the book is made up into different sections and the images are just amazing. I always like a cookbook where it shows you what the end product should look like. It is easy to follow, with lots of encouragements through out so you feel as though you can make the dessert. There are so many good recipes in here and I also like how it shows you different techniques at the back of the book so if you are a novice it gives you step by step guides on how to achieve a good result. I cannot wait to start making some of these recipes. Don’t read this book when hungry.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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My First Popsicle: An Anthology of Food and Feelings By Zosia Mamet

My First Popsicle: An Anthology of Food and Feelings By Zosia Mamet

Of all the essentials for survival: oxygen, water, sleep and food, only food is a vast treasure trove of memory and of sensory experience. Food is a portal to culture, to times past, to disgust, to comfort, to love: no matter one’s feelings about a particular dish, they are hardly ever neutral.

In My First Popsicle, Zosia Mamet has curated some of the most prominent voices in art and culture to tackle the topic of food in its elegance, its profundity and its incidental charm. With contributions from David Sedaris on the joy of a hot dog, Jia Tolentino on the chicken dish she makes to escape reality, Patti Smith on memories of her mother’s Poor Man’s Cake, Busy Philipps on the struggle to escape the patterns of childhood favourites and more, My First Popsicle is as much an ode to food and emotion as it is to life. After all, the two are inseparable.

My Thoughts:

This was a great and different kind of read, one that is thought provoking and is light hearted. It was an interesting mix of contributors revealing their favourite food and why it means so much to them. We all take food for granted, but when do people ever really saviour the taste of what ever they are eating and think about what goes into making said food. It is a fun and quirky book all about food, with some great illustrations and some delicious recipes to try for yourself packed in. This book has made me really appreciate food and my love for it.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Cruise By Catherine Cooper

The Cruise By Catherine Cooper

A glamorous ship

During a New Year’s Eve party on a large, luxurious cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, goes missing.

Everyone on board has something to hide

Two weeks later, the ship is out of service, laid up far from land with no more than a skeleton crew on board. And then more people start disappearing…

No one is safe
Why are the crew being harmed? Who is responsible? And who will be next?

My Thoughts:

I love a book that is set somewhere completely different to normal and this book was set on a cruise ship. I have read one of Catherine’s books before and it had me hook, line and sinker, I was completely drawn into the story about being on board a large cruise ship, when one person goes missing then more people start disappearing. I felt as though I could not trust anyone and I felt as though everyone was acting suspicious. I didn’t know what the outcome would be but I enjoyed turning the page and discovering something else. The twists in this book are fantastic and kept me guessing the whole way through. It had a brilliant pace the whole way through and I could never expect what happened to happen. Such a brilliant thriller.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Coming Darkness By Greg Mosse

The Coming Darkness By Greg Mosse

Paris, 2037. Alexandre Lamarque of the French external security service is hunting for eco-terrorists. Experience has taught him there is no one he can trust. Experience has taught him there is no one he can trust – not his secretive lover Mariam, not even his old mentor, Professor Fayard, the man at the centre of the web. He is ready to give up. But he can’t.

In search of the truth, Alex must follow the trail through an ominous spiral of events, from a string of brutal child murders to a chaotic coup in North Africa. He rapidly finds himself in a heart-thumping race against chaos and destruction. He could be the world’s only hope of preventing THE COMING DARKNESS . . .

My Thoughts:

I loved the sound of this book, set in Paris in 2037. Alexandre is the main character and he works for a security service in France. He trusts no one even those that are close to him. He is on the hunt for eco terrorists and will stop at nothing to find them. There is a lot of tension and grittiness to this story, I liked Alexandre, he is a very bold character. There are parts to it that are dystopian too. I feel like it was not punchy and thrilling enough for a thriller which is a shame because it could of been a really good read.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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