Becoming by Michelle Obama #Audiobook #Review

I am delighted to share my review for the Audiobook version of Becoming by Michelle Obama.

I have had my eye on this for a while and as I had a credit left on Audible I decided that this was a book I would like to listen to, rather than read.

So let’s have a look and see what it’s all about…

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Listening Length: 19 hrs 3 min

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. 

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Well as you can see from the synopsis this book has a running time of 19hours and I will tell you something, it didn’t feel like that long. Her voice is one of those really pleasant ones, it makes it easy to listen to her and it’s full of emotion.

I had Michelle accompany me on a 7hour drive to my parents house and back again, she was with me as I was weeding the garden and when she had finished telling me her story I genuinly missed her voice.

Becoming is the story of Michelle Obama, she relates her childhood growing up in Chicago, through college and university and to becoming one of the most famous women in our time.

As I listened to Michelle I was surprised to hear that she is not the confident person I thought she was. She shared her worries, fears, nerves, doubts and concerns. She comes across as so strong and yet she is like the rest of us exactly like the rest of us.

I adored listening to the anecdotes and stories from her childhood and these carry on into adulthood. She is super proud of her roots and shares some wonderful memories. I smiled and laughed at many and also had a lump in my throat at others. In fact at one point I had to pause the book because I was driving and I could feel tears welling up, not a good thing when you are on the motorway.

Michelle comes across as such a warm and genuine person. This is evident from the stories and the causes she supports and also from the the sound of her voice. I could here anger and frustration as well as humour, sorrow, and amusement. It felt that she was talking directly to me rather than at me.

I adored the fact that she was very open and honest as she told me about her life. It was refreshing to see the more vulnerable side as well. To be able to see her not as a First Lady, but as a daughter, wife, mum or work collegue.

An absolutely fabulous book to listen to and the most brilliant choice of audiobook to spend my spare credit on!

I absolutely recommend Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be fab 🙂 xx

Perfect Crime by Helen Fields @AvonBooksUK #NetGalley #review

Today I am delighted and excited to be sharing my review for Perfect Crime by Helen Fields. This is Book #5 in the DI Callanch Crime Thriller series. My huge thanks to Avon Books UK for approving my request on NetGalley for an e-copy. I read this book wayyyyy back in January and finally, I can share my thoughts 🙂

Anyone who reads my blog may be aware that I am a huge fan of this author and the Perfect series. I think I may have just found my favourite one…

so far…

Let’s see what it’s all about…

Synopsis:

Your darkest moment is your most vulnerable…

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

An unstoppable crime thriller from the #1 bestseller. The perfect read for fans of Karin Slaughter and M. J. Arlidge.

My Thoughts:

Di Luc Callanch and DCI Ava Turner are investigating murders, that at the beginning look like suicides. They seem unconnected and random. I have learnt from experience, that this author does not do unconnected and she does not do random. What she does do is clever, devious and intriguing.

As I have read every one of the books in this series I have got to know the various characters and their traits. It was great to get to know a little more about them and see the ways in which they work together as a team. Working as a team has, in the past been a little tense as the pecking order is established and trust is gradually built on. Perfect Crime sees the old faces again as well as a couple of newcomers. One has made a previous appearance, I am reserving judgment on this one at the moment. The other definitely goes out on a limb…

The one thing I really like about this series is the way friendships and past stories have been built up over time. Luc and Ava… well I could seriously bash their heads together. Their friendship has always hovered on a precarious tightrope of emotion. This story shows a more personal side to each of them as the investigations take precedence over “normal life”. Luc delves into his past, he is trying to quash his demons that have had a way of always hanging around, but in doing so he leaves himself vulnerable and open to trouble that also threatens Ava.

The investigation is wonderful and well paced. I really enjoyed the false leads and was wrong-footed in a spectacular way when I finally discovered who was responsible. The author really does have a knack for leading the reader down blind alleys and leaving a trail of red herrings.

There are so many things I want to say about this book, and all are good. It has a twisted and devious plot with details about suicide and the help that can be sought. It plays on the vulnerability of those who are the lowest point in their lives. Adding in sinister characters who exploit perceived weakness in others makes this a deceptively dark read.

I adore this series and would recommend it to anyone who has not yet read any. This is a police procedural series that also incorporates personal life details of the main characters. It is something that is expanded on with each book and builds up a relationship with the reader.

If you love crime, thriller books and have not yet read this series then Why the hell not? If you have read the series, then you are in for a real treat with this one. It is deceptive, sinister and devious making for a cracking read. It gets a Highly Recommended from me.

And… I cannot wait for the next one PERFECT DARK 🙂

About the Author:

Helen can be found on Twitter @Helen_Fields for up to date news and information. A former barrister, Helen now writes a Scottish set crime series – D.I.Callanach and D.I. Ava Turner. Her debut novel Perfect Remains and the second in the series Perfect Prey are Amazon best sellers. Her next book ‘Perfect Death’ is due out on 25 January 2018. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, and lives with her husband and three children.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be wonderful 🙂 xx

Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas @MichaelJBooks #NetGalley #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas. My thanks to Michael Joseph Books who accepted my request to review this book via NetGalley.

This is the first time I have read a book by this author so I am delighted that she has published other books so I can read more by her.

Could your dream home be your worst nightmare? 

After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family. 
And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic.

But then their first guest arrives.
Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see.
It’s 17 years since she tore everything apart.

Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty’s life?
Is Selena running from something too?
Or is there an even darker reason for her visit?

Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it . . .

The synopsis does a good job of laying the bones for this story and it has a nice amount of mysterious and enticing intrigue to it. I don’t know about anyone else, it worked for me.

The author has set this story at a good pace with a family moving to their new home. They have purchased a rundown property in a Welsh village, a chance to make it into a home and also be run as a guest house. Oh, by the way, I am not mentioning what it resides next to…

Even though it has a good pace, there are also quieter moments to the story. These tend to have a sinister feeling and aspects of a creepy sense start to be felt. I would expect this with an old property, but there is more than that. Adding to this feeling is the way the author has used the surrounding hills with their domineering presence to add an extra chill factor.

Old houses have histories and when they are in village communities they also have secrets, whispers and to some extent mistrust, depending on who you listen to …

As this is also a guest house, there are obviously guests, some are welcomed and some are not. It was interesting to see how things had been manipulated among the residents and how… actually I’m not saying anymore because I don’t want to spoil it… But I will say that there were several truths and revelations that raised my eyebrows.

While this is a psychological thriller, it is not a hardcore bloodfest sort. Yes, there is a body but there is something more sinisterly dangerous and also a vulnerability at play. It also deals with a tough condition that I thought had been done in a very well balanced way.

As for working out the culprit, well here the author outfoxed me, I could have listed several characters, in fact, this is what I believe the author has intended, so well played.

I have been very vague for this review, it is one of those books you need to experience for yourself. A story of family hoping for a new start. Secrets and rumours play a part. Mistrust add to the sense of suspense. A book that I really enjoyed from start to finish and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Image from Goodreads

Claire Douglas always wanted to write novels and, after many years of trying to get published, her dream came true when she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award in 2013 with THE SISTERS.

Her second and third novels, LOCAL GIRL MISSING and LAST SEEN ALIVE (Penguin), are Sunday Times bestsellers.

Visit Claire – Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be brilliant 🙂 xx

My Top Reads of 2018…finally

I know, I know, this is a little late but better late than never as they say..

Before I get into my top reads of last year I just want to share some of my Goodreads stats with you. My original Goodreads 2018 Challenge was to read 200 books, I read 222 and one manuscript that I am sworn to secrecy about at the moment…

I read 59,747 pages across 222 books

I am breaking this down into genres, that I would recommend and then right at the end if you are still reading I will do a TOP 3 Reads.

So first off Contemporary/General Fiction… Recommended Reads

These were stories that really touched my heart, for various and different reasons. They each had a special something about them.

Next up is… Crime and Thriller Reads

Crime is probably one of the genres I read most. There are several authors here that have released more than one book and I would happily list them as well. I have decided to limit myself to one author.

Nest genre is Fantasy/ Dystopia I have put these together for my convenience 🙂 …

Again these are very different and yet still fall into my category. They give a glimpse into a different reality and all are fabulous reads, some are part of a series while others are stand alone reads.

Historical (Fiction/Non-Fiction) is my next category…

I say Historical because the books I have chosen here is because they have either a historic setting or are based in myth and legend, historical culture if you like. They are a mix of fact and fiction or based on real life.

Finally, I have Romance, Chick Lit, Rom-Com… whichever term floats your boat. They all have a romance aspect to them.

These are stories that worked for various reasons, nothing in love ever goes according to plan and these stories really made for great reading.

Now then…

Are you still here?

Helloooooooo, anyone still reading?

Do you think I have missed any?

Are there any books that you think I should have included?

Well maybe they made it into my TOP 5…

Yes I know I originally said TOP 3…

But as I was writing this post up…

I found that I was wrong in thinking I could narrow it down to a Top 3…

What on earth was I thinking…

Okay to my Top 5 book s that I read last year…

Right then…

The eagle eyed readers will have noticed that I have listed only 4 books so far…

wait for it…

There was one book that absolutely made me have goosebumps on a very hot summers day as I read it…

It made my fingernails go twitchy…

I felt claustrophobic and I was sat outside while reading…

It was fabulous read…

Have you guessed what it is yet?

It’s one I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you have not yet read it

Okay here it is…

And…

It was a brilliant book…

I would love to know what you think of my picks.

I know that some of the genre grouping may look random to some, but for me they make sense. This has been such a hard post to write up as I could included so many more books than the…

just scrolls back to count how many books …

44… thats a nice number…oops

Hope you all have a great reading year and thank you all for sharing, posting and commenting on my posts. Hopefully 2019 Top Reads will actually be posted in 2019 🙂