Monday, 1 February 2016

What I've Read This Month + Giveaway

A more accurate title would have been 'What I've Reviewed on Goodreads This Month', but it didn't have quite the same ring about it. Please scroll to the bottom of the post for the giveaway.

This Month I've Read...


The Career of Katherine BushThe Career of Katherine Bush by Elinor Glyn
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Fiction, 1912. The class ideology in this one is ridiculous, and the pacing isn't much better. It's hard to get behind a main character who isn't very likable, which just made the whole thing even more of an uphill slog.



Miss Million's Maid: A Romance of Love and Fortune (1915)Miss Million's Maid: A Romance of Love and Fortune by Berta Ruck
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Fiction, 1915. This is a fun idea, with the mistress becoming the maid and vice versa, but the execution falls a bit flat. I found the action dragged a little, and the jingoism towards the end really began to grate for me.



2727 by Howard Sounes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2013. Short biographies of the 'big 6' members of the 27 Club with a particular focus on Amy Winehouse. I hadn't read anything about it before and found it a great introduction to the topic, without turning into a full biography of any single artist. 4 stars because of some inaccuracies, but overall an enjoyable and interesting read.


Mummy Makes MilkMummy Makes Milk by Helen McGonigal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2015. A lovely way to introduce the topic of breastfeeding to a child. Archie's baby sister Ella comes home from the hospital and won't stop crying - at least not until Mummy sits down with her for a feed. This short story covers all the big questions (What is breast milk? Why does the baby want it? What will they drink afterwards? Will it take up all of mum's time? Etc.), and the illustrations are absolutely fab with bold patterns and bright colours. Highly recommended!


An Eagle in the SnowAn Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2015. Lovely book, great illustrations, and an interesting way to present history to children - would be brilliant for beginning discussion about topics like war, refugees, and morality too. I particularly liked that there was a biographical section at the end, to help children make their own minds up about the truth (or otherwise) of the stranger's story.



Ufo WalesUfo Wales by David L. Richards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2013. A great introduction to the big Welsh cases, along with lots of information on minor sightings across the country. Plus a really enjoyable read! My only quibble is that it could have used a tighter SPAG edit.




The Best of BennThe Best of Benn by Tony Benn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2014. Not as much fun as the diaries, but still a great introduction to Benn's writing.





Scamp and IScamp and I by L T Meade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fiction, 1900. Poor Flo wants nothing more than to see the fancy Ladies on Regent Street. Instead she gets to spend her days in a cellar, cobbling old shoes. Her only solace is her little half starved dog, Scamp. Still, when her brother Dick and his mate Jenks get in a scrape, it seems things might be about to improve for this child of poverty.... Very Victorian, with a heavy focus on the wonders of religion and morality, but enjoyable all the same. I won't spoil the ending, but I did cry!

Dumps, A Plain GirlDumps, A Plain Girl by L.T. Meade
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fiction, 1905. Rachel, AKA Dumps, is a plain girl. And her two younger brothers make sure she knows it. Her father doesn't notice her much at all, and the three of them are neglected and often hungry until he remarries. Can Dumps accept a new woman in her long departed mother's place?

This one is unusual of the L.T. Meade stories I've read in that it's told in first person. Like many of her books, it does suffer from the rushed ending, but is a light, enjoyable read all the same.


Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine" by Henry E. Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2010. Great introduction to Confidential, one of the first true gossip magazines. The book covers Confidential's rise to success, with examples of the type of stories it ran, and then its demise in the midst of lawsuits. Very interesting!

For more on the history of Confidential, I've blogged about it and this book in more detail at: http://www.babiafi.co.uk/2015/11/confidential.html.


Rainbow Unzipped. Tim RandallRainbow Unzipped. Tim Randall by Tim Randall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2009. My baby daughter is obsessed with Rainbow so it was great to find something aimed at the adults. It's good fun, but I couldn't help feel disappointed that the fake expose didn't follow the facts of the show (George didn't join 'til later...).


Beyond the RocksBeyond the Rocks by Elinor Glyn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fiction, 1906. Light period romance by one of the era's best selling novelists. Completely predictable, but no less enjoyable for it.




Queen Mary's Doll's HouseQueen Mary's Doll's House by Mary Stewart-Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 1988. Amazing peek into one of the world's premier doll's houses. If you're a fan of miniatures, I highly recommend!


1980s Fashion Print1980s Fashion Print by Marnie Fogg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2009. Great look back at 1980s fabric patterns. Some awesome - and some not so awesome!


The Yowie: In Search of Australia's BigfootThe Yowie: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot by Tony Healy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2006. I read about the yowie in something else and went searching for something more in depth - I'm so glad I did! There is a great warmth and humour to this book, which will make it a fun read no matter where you are on the belief spectrum. Even better is the exhaustive research and compelling eye witness accounts presented. I went from knowing next to nothing about the yowie to a dubious believer.


Saucy Postcards: The Bamforth CollectionSaucy Postcards: The Bamforth Collection by Marcus Hearn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2013. I loved this! I saw it in The Works and couldn't resist - it's a snapshot into the past, and some of the corny jokes, at least, are sure to raise a smile.


Mister Cleghorn’s SealMister Cleghorn’s Seal by Judith Kerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2015. This is a super sweet story about a man who rescues a seal cub - and a whole zoo in the process! The illustrations are lovely, and you can't help but be charmed by the tale, no matter how old you are.



The Girls of the True BlueThe Girls of the True Blue by L.T. Meade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fiction, 1901. Nan's mother dies, leaving her a poor little orphan. Luckily, a close friend of her mother, who feels there is never enough she can do to repay the woman for her historical kindness, takes Nan in. Everything is going perfectly, with Nan settling in as the third daughter of the household, until the girls' cousin turns up and sets about making Nan's life a misery.

It's a typical example of Meade's stories for her younger readers, with heavy focus on life lessons and morality. It's enjoyable all the same, and the precocious little cousin makes a perfect villain. Everything is resolved at the end, of course, in true Meade style (rushed together, but still satisfyingly enough you can't bring yourself to hold it against her).


Beth Am Dorri Gair? Mww! Mww!</a></b> (Can You Say It Too? Moo! Moo!)Beth am Dorri Gair? Mww! Mww! (Can You Say It, Too? Moo! Moo!) by Nosy Crow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2014. We've got the Welsh bilingual version and it's completely adorable. The illustrations are bright and fun, and my toddler loves lifting the flaps to find the animals - especially on the last page where you lift up mummy pig to find her 'moch bach bywiog' (cheeky piglets). :)


Downton Abbey: Rules for Household StaffDownton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff by Justyn Barnes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2014. This is a great insight into the daily life of those serving in large households - some of the expectations seem ludicrous to modern eyes, and the notes from Carson are a really fun touch.


His Grandfather's WatchHis Grandfather's Watch by N.R. Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2012. Sweet modern day gay romance followed by the most bitter sweet tale of the titular grandfather's ill-fated relationship at the outbreak of WW2. I cried, which only made me love it more!



The St. Neots Poisoning CaseThe St. Neots Poisoning Case by Julia Joyce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2014. Very detailed, well researched account of a man who may well have been a serial poisoner, and the woman whose murder he was eventually hanged for. I really enjoyed following the twists and turns of the court case, and would highly recommend to fellow true crime fans.

View all my reviews

GIVEAWAY

The Killing Kind - Chris Holm

I haven't got around to this one yet, but I have a few copies so figured I would offer one to my readers. The blurb reads:


Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he’s not so bad a guy. Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the U.S. military, Hendricks was presumed dead after a mission in Afghanistan went sideways. He left behind his old life - and beloved fiancée - and set out on a path of redemption... or perhaps one of willful self-destruction. Now Hendricks makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts: he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he’ll make sure whoever’s coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill-set to make a living - but a great way to make himself a target.

You can get up to five entries by filling out the Gleam form below.

 
The Killing Kind Giveaway


For more competitions, check out my Giveaway Page. For even more, try theprizefinder.com, superlucky.me, umeandthekids, lifeinabreakdown, and competitiondatabase.co.uk.

MamaMummyMumMy Random Musingsmy petit canard
You Baby Me MummyBinky LinkyWafflemama.

93 comments:

  1. Last book I read was Molvania a jetlagtravel guide - absolutely hilarious.

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    1. That sounds like my kind of thing, I'll have to check it out!

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  2. im a mills and boon fan sad i know
    from samantha price

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    1. Hehe, nothing wrong with a bit of Mills and Boon!

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  3. Wow a very diverse selection there!! Thanks for linking up with #ReadWithMe

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  4. Wow! That's an awesome number of books to read in a month :)

    #readwithme

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    1. Thank you! Though most of them are kids' books, so it is like cheating ;)

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  5. The last book I read was called First One Missing by Tammy Cohen, a great crime thriller type of book. You have read a gret assortment of books last month. One I really like the look of is His Grandfather's Watch. xx
    #readwithme

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    1. Ooh, that sounds great - I love that kind of thing. His Grandfather's Watch was really sweet, and it's a free download too which is always good. x

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  6. Wow what a great range of books you have read. Puts my two books last month to shame! #marvellousmondays

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    1. Aw, there are a lot of kids' books in this list though!

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  7. Glory,by Racheal billington a story about Gallipoli, quite heavy going but interesting

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  8. the last book I read was MY SECRET SISTER and it was very interesting and I enjoyed it

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  9. Wow, you have read a lot this month! I particularly like the sound of 27 (although like might not be the right word) and am going to check that one out.

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  10. Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts - a very good read

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  11. Backlash by Lynda LaPlante - Great page-turner xxx

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  12. That's a lot of reading!!! #readwithme

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  13. The Health Gap, by Michael Marmot. Very interesting, deals with how society impacts on Health.

    Rachel Craig

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  14. I have just read You Are Dead by Peter James and really enjoyed it.

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  15. im reading a book about tony stockwell at the minute which is very interesting x

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  16. Wow. You've read an amazing number of books in a month. Glad to see you enjoyed The Eagle in the Snow from your win on my blog. I watched War Horse last week and was thinking, I must get round to reading The Eagle in the Snow myself, so yes definitely after your 5 stars. I've just re-read Digital Fortress and Angels & Demons, was giving myself some Me-Time to readjust after my last block of night shifts. #readwithme

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    1. I really enjoyed it! I love the kind of 'is it - isn't it?' paranormal trope, so that just added to it. I've not read those, I'll have to check them out :)

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  17. That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson I loved it because I read ll that she writes.

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    1. I've not read anything by her before, I'll have to give it a go!

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  18. sail by james patterson it was a fab book i couldn't put it down and read it in an afternoon

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    1. I love James Patterson so I'll have to give that one a go.

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  19. Close Call: A Liz Carlyle Novel by Stella Rimington. Enjoyed it, exciting, and I think it's an extra thrill with Stella Riminginton having been Director General of MI5.

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  20. That is an amazing number of books, I am still on the 2nd chapter of a book I started in October!

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  21. That's a lot of book for this month, puts my measly 4 to shame! They're not all the kind that I would pick myself but they do look interesting especially the 27 one #readwithme

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    1. It was really good. I'd heard of the 27 Club before but I'd never looked into it or anything.

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  22. The last book I read was Game of Thrones, was good is better than the tv series

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    1. I haven't read it but my partner says they're really good too.

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  23. Death Sentences - a collection of stories introduced by Ian Rankin - I loved it, such a wide variety of authors all writing stories about book mysteries!

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    1. That sounds great, really my kind of thing!

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  24. I read an awesome Mills and Boon regency :)

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  25. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Next. It was great and gave the nurses at the hospital a giggle when I pulled it out.

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  26. I like the sound of the confidential one
    #readwithme

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    1. It's really interesting - and kind of weird to see what passed for 'scandal' back then!

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  27. I read The Shepard's Crown, Terry Pratchett's last. Of course it was genious, even though aimed at young adults and I'm a rather mature adult.

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    1. I love Terry Pratchett. We're collecting all the books at the moment - just need more space now!

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  28. Thanks so much for linking up to #FriYAYLinky and what an amazing selection of books, I wouldn't know where to start but I would love so many of those and I'll definitely be picking up the Judith Kerr book for the kids, it sounds so sweet. I haven't read much since I had children but I can't wait to get back into it again, so relaxing. Have a lovely weekend x

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  29. Thanks so much for linking up to #FriYAYLinky and what an amazing selection of books, I wouldn't know where to start but I would love so many of those and I'll definitely be picking up the Judith Kerr book for the kids, it sounds so sweet. I haven't read much since I had children but I can't wait to get back into it again, so relaxing. Have a lovely weekend x

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  30. Thanks so much for linking up to #FriYAYLinky and what an amazing selection of books, I wouldn't know where to start but I would love so many of those and I'll definitely be picking up the Judith Kerr book for the kids, it sounds so sweet. I haven't read much since I had children but I can't wait to get back into it again, so relaxing. Have a lovely weekend x

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    1. The Judith Kerr one really is lovely! I always read more in the winter, probably because we're all in bed early - come summer it's a different story. :)

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  31. Oh my goodness, have you actually read all of these this month?! We have some English/Welsh children's books at home (Welsh in-laws), I love them #thelist

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    1. I know, I surprised myself last month! I've been trying to review on Goodreads as I go along rather than relying on my memory at the end of the month, lol.

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  32. Nothing lately, but usually Josephine Cox

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  33. I've just finished Harm by Hugh Fraser (review here if you want a read : http://madhousefamilyreviews.blogspot.com/2016/02/book-review-harm-hugh-fraser.html) and I'm now half way through Match Me If You Can by Michele Gorman. I like chick lit when I want something fluffy but I do like to get my teeth into a good bit of crime fiction :)

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    1. Ooh, I'll make sure to check that one out! Totally agree too, sometimes you just can't beat a bit of chick lit!

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  34. I Love New York - Lindsey Kelk. Really enjoyed it. So much so that I now want to read the other books in the series and visit New York.

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    1. I've not heard of that one, I'll have to check it out!

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  35. Great selection of books. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

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  36. Lots of reading there couple I will definitely check out thanks for linking to the Binkylinky

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  37. Wow, that's a lot to get through in a month! Sounds like a few good ones I haven't read here :) #binkylinky
    Debbie

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    1. Thanks! Some of them were really great x

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  38. Wow, thats a very long and rather impressive book list for a month into the year! Really interesting to read your reviews for such a diverse list. Thanks for linking this up to #MarvMondays

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    1. Thank you - we'll see how well I fare this month without the holidays to help it along! :)

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  39. I read "Not Enough Time" by Henrietta Knight. It was a really good book - really easy to read!

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    1. Sounds great - the only problem with this post is I'm adding so many new books to my 'to read' pile! :D

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  40. You have read loads, I wish I had more time these days to read like I used to. #binkylinky

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    1. I have phases with it - one month I'll read loads, then I'll have a month where I read hardly anything.

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  41. Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole. It was funny and exciting.

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  42. The girl on the train! It was fab as it kept me wanting to read on. I'm currently reading the girl in the spiders web and that's pretty good so far!

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  43. I read Girl Number One by Jane Holland which was quite gripping with lots of twists.

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  44. Lee Child's Jack Reacher series - book 19 - Personal. I love these crime thrillers. They are brill and I never want to put the book down. I can never guess what is going to happen - I love the suspense! Will Jack find the murderer?! (@PeanutHog)

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  45. I am currently reading Blue by Danielle Steel, I'm enjoying it so far :)

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  46. Charmian Filewood13 February 2016 at 00:04

    Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden, very hard hitting but fascinating the reign he had over basically the whole of Columbia

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    1. Sounds really interesting, I'm going to look out for this one

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  47. The last book I read was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - I obviously thought it was brilliant, because I've lost track of how many times I've now read it! :)

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    1. I *love* that book! I'm such a Harry Potter geek in general :)

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  48. I last read His Other Life by Beth Thomas - it was fantastic, lots of twists and turns, couldn't put it down.
    @ickle0ne
    Victoria B

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  49. I'm reading the Story of a New Name be Elena Ferrante - it is wonderful - I will read the other 3 in the series as soon as I can.

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  50. The Night Stalker by Chris Carter. Loved it. There's a bit in the book that made me look behind me. :) Slightly biased as he's my favourite author but I'm now on my 5th copy of it.

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  51. The Stand Stephen King - love it

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  52. The first book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It was so good I have ordered the rest of the series

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  53. The Killing Lessons by Saul Black

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  54. It's been along time since I've read but my daughter is obsessed

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  55. Never Go Back - a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child

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  56. The girl on the train and it was a really awesome read

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  57. The Ice Twins - it was incredible!

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  58. Ballet shoes by Noel Streatfield

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  59. I have a couple of books by Meade! Loved them... I'll definitely have to check out the ones you reviewed...

    Have you read The Rosary? I haven't read it in a bit, but it's similar period and feeling as Meade if I remember right... totally satisfying vintage melodrama. :P

    Also impressed with how eclectic your other picks are too!

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  60. The Last Book I read was Don't wake me at Doyle's
    by Maura Murphy, I thought it was excellent and felt sad when I finished it last night x

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