Tuesday 21 July 2009

I'm Back!

Did you miss me? I most certainly missed you guys!

Thank you for all your lovely comments. I am feeling a lot better now. I spent the weekend resting and managed to finish two books, so yay me!

I have to do a post soon of all the lovely awards I have won from some fantastic blogs. I really appreciate them and I often forget to publish them, so I will try and be more organised and show them soon.

Family life is still stressful, as hubby's dad is constantly on our minds and our rabbit Max is still not quite out of the woods. Also my girls are really giving me a hard time at the moment. They tend to argue quite a lot, which I am told is normal for twins.

I realised over the weekend that I managed to complete two challenges last week.

I finished Trish's Non Fiction Five challenge and the In Their Shoes challenge. I really enjoyed reading the non fiction books and have found I really enjoy travel journals. Here are my five non fiction books.

1)Bad Blood by Lorna Sage
2)Cinnamon City by Miranda Innes
3)The Funny Thing is.. by Ellen Degeneres
4)Waiting on Manana by Miranda Innes
5)Angels in My Hair by Lorna Byrne

Here are my In Their Shoes challenge books.

) Stori Telling by Tori Spelling
2) Dear Fatty by Dawn French
3)Bad Blood by Lorna Sage
4) Angels in My Hair by Lorna Byrne

Out of all of these books, I would have to say the two by Miranda Innes were definitely my favourite ones, as her books kept me entertained all the way through. I know I have said it several times before, but you really need to read these! I am not on commission, so don't worry, I just like to see good books read a wider audience.

Over the last week, a friend of mine lent me a Maeve Binchy book for my letter Q on my A to Z titles. Now I have always been a bit dubious about Maeve Binchy, I wrongly classified her as a writer I did not want to read, along with Danielle Steel and Catherine Cookson which are two writers that have never really grabbed my attention. Not that they are not good authors, as they are and they sell millions of books, they just weren't for me. So with trepidation, I started reading Quentins and found I could not put the book down!! It was absolutely fabulous.

The story revolved around the restaurant Quentins, which is about to be the focus of a documentary. The book delves in and out of the lives of the restaurant staff and the filmmakers and you get a real feel for the place. I loved the characters, they all had interesting aspects to their personalities. I love the feel of the restaurant, it was the kind I would love to own. This book was just brilliant, so brilliant in fact,that when I noticed Tara Road by Maeve Binchy on sale in the charity shop, I just had to buy it. Tara Road has some of the characters from Quentins in.

I found Maeve Binchy reminded me of Debbie Macomber quite a lot, as they both write about real life and breathe life into their characters.

So I have learnt not to have prejudices about any writer in the future that I have not actually read. I will not turn my nose up until I have actually read one of their books. I shall gently slap my hand at showing such bad behaviour. So you can remind me of this later in the year, but I will now challenge myself to read a Danielle Steel and a Catherine Cookson book by the end of the year. If I don't, you can all sent me abusive comments!

Is there any authors that you choose not to read just because you believe they are just not for you? Have you actually read the authors you sometimes turn your nose up?


  1. Welcome back! We did miss you. And congrats on finishing your challenges :)

    There are indeed some authors I avoid even though I haven't read them - Jodi Picoult, for example. I know I could be completely wrong about her, though, so I won't say no to the possibility of reading her someday.

  2. Welcome back...I missed you too. You sound quite rejuvenated though!
    I read Maeve Binchy once and most definitely when you said she reminded you of Debbie Macomber, I totally agree with you.
    I am a book snob, so yes there are author I have not read, and won't read because of some lurking prejudice. I like you, should be more open.
    It's funny you should mention travel logs because I really enjoyed two of them this year. I never read them before, yet I really really loved them. One was Tone Deaf in Bangkok, which I reviewed on my blog.
    Congratulations on finishin your challenges. I'm glad you took some time off.

  3. Well, congrats to you on finishing two challenges. That is awesome. Tara Road is one of my favorite Binchy books. Her characters are so real to me. Light a Penny Candle (one of her older books) is just a wonderful read. Happy discovering a new to you author. Isn't that fun?
    Glad you're back and have a great week.

  4. Welcome back and yes you were missed! Glad you are feeling better.

    There have been authors that I don't read for one reason or another. Usually it's because I tried one of their books, didn't like it and didn't bother trying another.

  5. So glad you're feeling better!!! I hope the same can soon be said for your father-in-law and Max.

    Congrats on finishing both challenges!!! I'm beginning to wonder if I'm ever going to finish another book, let alone finish another challenge. :/

    And yes. I'm absolutely guilty of avoiding certain authors. For lots of different reasons. Because I think they're just "not for me," because they totally intimidate me, etc. But I, too, have learned that it's good to break free of these thoughts. A few years ago, I would have laughed if someone had told me that I would read Lord of the Rings. I thought they were definitely not for me AND they intimidated the hell out of me. Of course, I read them and found them to be FREAKIN' AWESOME. So, that is the lesson I try to remind myself of when I'm shying away from a book. Of course, at the same time, there's sooooooo many books I know I really do want to read that it can sometimes be hard to find the time to break out into new territory.

  6. We're glad to see you're feeling better! Congratulations on finishing some challenges. I've signed up for several and have yet to finish one. Hopefully that will change this year.

  7. Wilbur Smith was a bit like that for me - then my Dad lent me River God and I LOVED it! Read the complete series over one weekend.

    Funny you should say that about Maeve Binchy - my Mum loved her and Catherine Cookson. She swayed me to read some of CC's - if you read any my favourite was definitely the Hamilton series. It's about a girl who sees an imaginary horse called Hamilton. Loved it to pieces. But I never did read any Maeve Binchy maybe I should.

    So glad you are back and feeling better in yourself you definitely leave a gap in Blogland when you are away. Hope your loved ones get some better news soon.

  8. So glad to hear you're feeling better! Congrats on finishing your two challenges - that's great! I understand what you mean about Maeve Binchy. I have picked up her books many times and set them right back down. Don't know why... But actually I have the same feeling with Stephanie Meyer. I typically don't read books that are so hyped up for fear I'll be dissappointed. My best friend has borrowed the whole Twilight series from her daughter and she is loving them all.She gives me regular reports on the characters (which I know nothing about!!) lol but I'm still reluctant.

    So glad you're back and hopefully feeling much better!

  9. I'm glad back and feeling better. Congratulations on finishing both challenges. There are so many authors I avoid like Picoult and Stephen King.

  10. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.

    I've read two of the books on your lists, The Funny Thing Is. . . , and Stori Telling.

  11. Welcome back! I missed you! Sorry things are still rough. I'm keeping you in my prayers.

    Congrats on finishing a few challenges. I'm envious. I'm doing so bad. I really need to buckle down and get at it.

    Tara Road is really good. I read it years ago but I remember not being able to put it down. I'll have to read The Quentins. She's got a lot of really good books.

    Take care...

  12. Great to see you back! I'm happy to see you were able to enjoy some reading tome too!

  13. I love Maeve Binchy. I think I've read almost everything she's ever written. I just love her simple no-nonsense writing style. My favourite is The Glass Lake (it's an older one).
    I'm not a book snob and I'll pretty much give anything a try. For example, I have a weakness for Jodi Picoult even though her writing isn't the great. I just get sucked in by the story (which, really aren't all that great either!) and I can't help myself!

  14. I am definitely not a book snob, and I read virtually all genres (although there are some I avoid) and I always surf round genres. Sometimes I read a lot of mysteries, sometimes I read contemporary lit, other times classics, then a scifi, then a fantasy and then a chick lit.

    But is is funny you should mention Maeve Binchy. I've read a couple of her books, and liked them ok, although none were total "winners", but I was still looking forward to Quentins when that came out - and I really did not like it AT ALL. One of the reasons I didn't like it was that Mrs. Binchy was writing about younger girls living today, and I simply didn't think that she was able to really nail that (or was there more) character, her being somewhat older. Had she written about being a younger girl living when Mrs. Binchy herself was young, it would have been completely different. But I remember that that bugged me a great deal. I haven't picked any Maeve Binchy books up since then.

    Oh. And don't get me started on Wilbur Smith!!!

    LOL, in fact, you all may have just gotten me started....I am going to write an "opinion-post" in a Blog Improvement Project I am participating on, and pet peeve authors might be a good idea, if not too controversial ;o)

  15. LOL - Louise, what have I started? Now you mention Maeve Binchy's portrayal of younger women, I can see what you mean. I found the way the lead character walked into a teaching job, without the qualifications very amusing. I wish it had been that easy for me to get a job!

  16. Congrats on your accomplishments and awards. I'll be glad to see you posting again.

    I haven't read Maeve Binchy but I would like to try something by her. I think she wrote Circle of Friends, which I saw the movie version of and it was pretty god, so I didn't put her in the ranks of Danielle Steele.

  17. Welcome back!! Glad youre feeling better ;)
    I dont have any unread authors that I avoid reading.

  18. Glad you're feeling a bit better. Your girls are teenagers, right? I'm guessing there will be a lot of fighting in the future (my sisters and I fought all the time! but now we're very close).

    Congrats on finishing the Non-Fiction Five! Since you're done so early, you're welcome to continue to leave links if you read any more NF by the end of September. The more the merrier!

  19. Welcome back, Viv! I'm glad to hear you're feeilng better now.


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