2+, 3+, Picture Books, Uncategorized

There’s A Spider in My Soup by Megan Brewis

Little Spider loves to go swinging from her web!

Wheeeeee!!!

But one day, she swings too far and – SPLOOSH – lands herself in a big soup-bowl of trouble.

Poor Little Spider.  

Will she ever be brave enough to go swinging from her web again?

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I’ve always been a little scared (understatement) of spiders but meeting this little spider family has made me a little more comfortable with them.  Little Spider is full of adventure and longs to swing from the web but mum and dad spider knew how dangerous swinging could be.  One day whilst they are sleeping Little Spider decides to venture out for a little swing and soon ends up in hot water… or should I say soup.

This is a delightful, beautifully illustrated picture book that will teach young book lovers how to be brave… and that spiders are actually rather friendly and lovely. 🙂

There’s A Spider In My Soup is published by Oxford University Press.

About the author

Megan Brewis

Find out more about Megan by visiting her website here.

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Uncategorized

The Woman in the Window by A J Finn

9780008234157

Now this review is a wee throw back to February last year.  I’m excited to share it again as the paperback edition has now been published by HarperCollins.  Towards the end of 2017 when I was still on the editorial team of Lovereading, we received a proof in the office that caught our eye. It was hailed as THE book of 2018. Quite a claim don’t you think? Yet it did sound intriguing.

So what’s the hook? – A woman trapped in her own home and suffering with a debilitating mental illness witnesses a terrible crime. She is an unreliable witness. She drinks heavily, barely existing on meds and a diet of wine, she limps through each day watching classic crime movies and spying on her neighbours. The police shrug the crime off as an hallucination caused by the mix of drugs and alcohol, yet she’s convinced what she saw actually happened. But how can she prove it when she’s unable to even leave the house without being consumed by terror and panic?

Yet things are about to become even more terrifying for Anna as someone else knows what really happened that night and they’re determined to make sure the truth stays hidden – no matter what.

The book…

9780008234157

The Woman in the Window By A.J.Finn

What did she see? It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside. Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers. But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

So, I was intrigued. It was already creating a stir and the consumer reader review panel at Lovereading loved it. I leant it to a friend who quite simply devours crime novels – and she loved it. Finally over half term I found time to sit down with it myself and I absolutely LOVED it.

It’s a cracking psychological read. Brilliantly told through Anna’s perspective, the tension is built in such a way that I felt as though I was standing right next to her, so palpable was her fear and distress. His ability to plunge us into her mental issues whilst slowly revealing both her past and present was absolutely gripping. Finn’s nod towards the classic thrillers such as Niagara, Wait Until Dark, The Vanishing, Rosemary’s Baby and of course, Rear Window add a sense of crime noir that has you gripped from the start (and started the itch to watch those old, yet timeless classics again).

This is definitely worth the hype and one that I would recommend reading when you have the time to immerse yourself fully, without distractions.

Now published in Paperback by HarperCollins

Adult Fiction, Uncategorized

The Museum of Cathy by Anna Stothard

The Museum of Cathy by Anna Stothard

Today I would like to throw back to a title published in 2016 by Salt Publishing. It was fantastic and even now, more than two years later I’m still thinking of it.

Museum of Cathy

This latest novel from the acclaimed author of the Orange-longlisted The Pink Hotel is an exploration of memories, consequence and the difficulties of living with the past. Cathy is a curator of natural history in Berlin. She is engaged, about to receive an award for her work and beginning to feel that she has finally escaped her past, a past that she keeps locked away within her own museum of curiosities. Yet on the day she is due to receive her award she receives a gift that tells her that a shadow that haunts her memories has resurfaced to claim back what he feels belongs to him.

I was completely swept away with this story. Stothard’s technique allows us to watch events unfold with regular insights into Cathy’s past that slowly reveal the reality of what she has been hiding from with a steadily rising sense of foreboding. I found the exploration of characters sensitively handled and yet provided enough suspense and contained a level of sinister tension that had me guessing just what each one may be capable of. This is exquisite, beautifully written prose and the use of the museum as a theme throughout with setting, a means of storytelling and metaphor, is quite brilliantly executed. It is personal, it is universal and it is something that lives within each of us and the memories we hold. Cathy’s story moved me and I so wanted her to find the escape she desperately needed. Highly recommended.

And here’s the synopsis

From the author of the Orange Prize long-listed, The Pink Hotel Cathy is a young woman who escapes her feral childhood in a rundown chalet on the East coast of England to become a curator of natural history in Berlin. Although seemingly liberated from her destructive past, she commemorates her most significant memories and love affairs – one savage, one innocent, one full of potential – in a collection of objects that form a bizarre museum of her life. When an old lover turns up at a masked party at Berlin’s natural history museum and events take a terrifying turn, Cathy must confront their shared secrets in order to protect her future. This is an exquisitely crafted, rare and original work.’

The Museum of Cathy was published by Salt Publishing in November 2016.

Find out more about author Anna Stothard by visiting her website here.

Find out more about Salt Publishing by visiting their website here.

Uncategorized

Letters From The Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

Meanwhile, over on Tales Before Bedtime Juniors…

Tales Before Bedtime Juniors

Summer is here and the holidays are almost upon us so I thought I’d start sharing my recommended reads for children to help keep those heads in books over the coming weeks. Banish those calls of ‘I’m bored’ and keep them entertained no matter what the weather brings with fantastic books for all ages.

I’m a big fan of Emma Carroll and so it felt only right that I kick off my summer reads with one of her books.

Letters From The Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

img_0010Emma is a children’s writer who takes moments from history and turns them into exciting adventures that are massively relatable to children today. Her stories continue to delight and move me, and Letters From The Lighthouse is another gripping historical tale.  It also happens to be the very worthy winner of the Books Are My Bag Award for Best Middle Grade Book of 2017.

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Uncategorized

Introvert Things: Pens

Just loved this article…

The INFJ PhD

Staples for introverts, pens & post-its.

Practically all introverts I know appreciate the gift of a good pen. Most have very specific favorites (having only one is difficult!), & they can tell you how their pen expertise has evolved over the years. From flowing ink to gel & from nib to ball-tip, their pen specifications & preferences widely vary.

Drawing pens.

Since writing, doodling, sketching, printing & script require focus & quiet, introverts often use journaling and/or art as an outlet for stress. A leather-bound journal holds appeal along with the pen, since those in coffee shops or public places can use them as tools for warning off strangers or acquaintances.

Journaling tools.

Tastes differ, of course, depending on the purpose & use of the pen. For me, I find my handwriting changes to a certain extent as a result of the particular pen choice. My favorite samples of my…

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