Book Review – Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie: The BiographyHugh Laurie: The Biography by Anthony Bunko

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was quite disappointed with this read. This was not a good biography at all, with pages and pages dedicated to talking about actors and a few select friends who Hugh Laurie has worked with, and been educated with. His father was mentioned, and I think I learnt more about the senior Mr Laurie than I did his famous son.

This of course raises the question regarding what should be in a bio’s content? Well no need down to minute detail, or sock size, but some kind of background and or reference to inspirational people etc would be a start.

Such a shame as Hugh Laurie is a favourite of mine.Hugh Laurie: The Biography

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Book Review – Hiss and Hers

Hiss and Hers (Agatha Raisin, #23)Hiss and Hers by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hiss and Hers was my first Agatha Raisin, chosen randomly from the library.

I classify this book as comedy/crime and was a quick and easy read. The story evolves around PI Agatha Raisin falling madly in love with a hunk of a gardener, only for advances to be avoided, and then said gardener is murdered. To say more would be adding spoilers.

There are loads of colourful characters, and I found myself confused at times around who was who and why they were there. That said, the crime was easily followed, not quite easy to believe, but very entertaining.

There are a number of Agatha Raisin books, and I’d read more. Hiss and Hers

(Original review on Goodreads)

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Pied Piper review

Pied PiperPied Piper by Nevil Shute

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice little read was this one. The story is about an elderly man embarking on a fishing trip to France. Once there, the inevitable happens, WWII erupts, and feeling the need to be home to do his bit, decides to return to the UK as soon as possible.

Heading home on his own would be easy, but having befriended an English couple living in Switzerland, he is requested to take their 2 young children with him. Believing this would hamper him only slightly, and with little knowledge of how quickly the Germans are moving, he agrees. Within hours things start to go wrong, and quickly the number of children in his charge grows from 2 to 3, and eventually to 7.

As war intensifies, so the routes and transport they need become non-existent. Food too. And of course safety. Left to little more than a broken pram and determination to keep the children safe, John Howard sets out to achieve what many will see as unachievable.

Pied Piper

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Jedland video

Writing a sequel is always fun, especially when you have a character like Jed P Horton.

With that in mind, and to help me as well, I’ve put together a short video of a reading from the beginning of Jedland, along with some happy snappies to set the scene of Jed’s journey

Hope you enjoy

Jedland – The Sequel

 

Jedland has always held a soft spot for me, and while I originally thought Jed’s story had been told, I now realise it needs to be finished.

The Jedland sequel picks up in 2016, where Jed is now in his early fifties, no longer working in the press room, yet still hankering for a final dream to be fulfilled.

Below is a short snippet

2016

Heading along Leighton Buzzard’s High Street in search of a cup of tea at May’s Tea Shop, Jed P Horton’s well-eaten, and almost non-existent fingernails held grip to a travel brochure he’d had his eye on for some time now. The brochure had been the only change to his routine. A routine that took him daily along the same route . . . always at the same time of ten in the morning . . . his feet religiously secured in a pair of favoured red Doc Martens, which after suffering years under his lumbered pace, were now held together with more of a wing and a prayer than the dozen or so tubes of glue he’d purchased over the years. It was fair to say Jed’s boots had seen better days. And it was fair to say Jed had too.

Of late the nip in the air had started to catch up with him, and not bothering to slow his pace, nor change his grip on the brochure, Jed sunk his neck into the up-turned collar of his weathered, brown leather jacket, going as far as pulling the zip hard until it would go no further, and even then giving it an extra pull to ensure it was right to the top.

As to the teashop, well it certainly wasn’t May acting as a draw card. Not a chance. For as Jed would say, May had taken the wrong turn when passing the looks department on her way to be birthed. She’d also gone on to make matters worse by adding tattooed lips and eyebrows – which even Jed would wager money on being a do-it-at-home job. She’d effectively done a hatchet job on herself, and having done so, now paid the price of garnering the kind of attention she’d hoped for, but yet beneath was along the lines of, what the heck has this nutter done?

Jed could vouch for this too, having paid witness to a combination of surprise, fear and confusion, as non-locals entering the teashop found themselves holding May’s gaze far longer than they really should do, or for that matter need to. They pretty much followed the same pattern, trailing an eyebrow to the peak, just below her heavy fringe of grey hair and of late purple highlights, and then back down again, before crossing to the other brow and repeating. If they weren’t careful they could be at it all day, eyes going up and down, down and up, all the while May smiling a toothless smile, as often than not she’d left her teeth at home, or had dropped them in a glass by the till.

In fact both ends of May had fallen victim to the wrong end of the body scale. There were bunions too. Great, big, onion sized lumps, overlapping her sandals. Jed had caught sight of them often enough over the years, and in doing so could well understand the ease of being put you off your teacake, should they be in view as you went to take a bite.

No, what drew Jed to May’s then was how she ran the place. Setting it up as you’d have expected in the 70s and early 80s. A place where when you wanted a cuppa, all you had to do was ask for a tea. There was none of this choose a blend of leaves from a carefully written chalkboard, secured to the wall behind the counter. Further more, and thankfully, there was no sight of egg-timers, fancy pots, and pyramid shaped teabags within a fifty-mile radius. No way, all you need do at May’s was offer a nod, a thumbs up, and a single word, tea. Magic it was, almost immediately you got your tea; a heavy, thick-lipped mug of strong, sweet tea that warmed you to the core, and called Jed back every day.

If he were to be lucky, May would have some sausages sizzling too. And being it was market day, she probably had some soft, fresh rolls to push two fat ones into, layering with them HP brown sauce and a flick of mustard. Talk about a winning breakfast. He was already licking his lips as he touched the door of the Tea Shop.

A Vintage Wedding – Katie Fforde

vintage wedding

Easy to read book when you are looking for fluff and fun. I only give it a 2 star because it didn’t keep me enthralled, and sadly there were pages I didn’t even read.

This was my first Katie Fforde, and probably the style of book I would have read years ago.  The boy meets girl, they all live happily ever after scenario. I’m certainly not rubbishing this style of book, rather that it isn’t really for me these days.

Premise of the book. Three women meet in their local community hall, where a meeting is being held to find funds to repair the hall. They quickly bond, and subsequently decide the hall would be a great wedding venue for Beth’s sister, which in turn sparks the creation of their Vintage Wedding business. The repairs and new business spark a series of events and eventual falling in love.

Katie Fforde touches lightly on OCD, but it’s not really a huge part, and to be honest I kind of thought, Hello, that could be me!

After You by Jojo Moyes

 

after you

This was my second Jojo Moyes book – the first one being Me Before You. After You being the sequel

I really liked this book. It was good to find out what happened to Lou and her family, as well as the Traynors. There was some surprise in how Jojo Moyes chose to move Lou along, and at times I wasn’t entirely convinced of how Lou really felt about losing Will. But then I asked myself do I want to read about a young woman moping around, and concluded NO I DO NOT!

My favourite moments though were with Lou’s parents, and how they faced their own set of problems, and I particularly roared at the waxed legs scenario at the end. And dare I say, Jojo Moyes could do herself a favour by writing a book about them.

Overall a Goodread

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@jojomoyes

 

The Break-up

Wow, this is a great short story to sit and read as you enjoy your fresh cup of coffee. Having only recently ‘ followed’ Karina, I have to say how very pleased I am to be doing so.

Karina Magdalena

Break-Up LitNet illustration

It was an awkward situation. I was standing there, in front of my best friend’s door, with a cardboard box and an old suitcase in my arms, feeling foolish. I could hear her drying her hair inside. Taking a deep breath, I pressed the bell.

“Coming!” Marlene shouted, switching off the hairdryer.

When she opened the door, the dark hallway of the flat building was flooded with sunshine. It was the beginning of a hot summer day, the humidity in the air promising rain later in the afternoon. Marlene’s damp red curls looked on fire in the bright morning light.

She hovered in the doorframe, staring at the box and the suitcase, twisting one of her curls between a forefinger and a thumb.

“Hi,” I volunteered.

“Hi, come in.” She disentangled her fingers from her hair and swept her hand aside in a gesture of welcome. The flimsy bathrobe she…

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