Friday, 22 May 2015

Some of my favourite reads

So my skydive has had to be rescheduled again! But only until tomorrow because of today's weather, so at least it's not too long to wait, although it is getting a little frustrating now. Anyway, most of my day has been spent reading as I find it passes the time and really helps me with my mental health; I guess because it sort of distracts me and takes me away from reality. So I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite books and authors and maybe give you a bit of inspiration if you want to pick something new up. I tend to read girly books that I can relate to a little - nothing particularly substantial as reading thick medical textbooks regularly is enough of that for me!

Lindsey Kelk is one of my favourite authors - she has the rare ability to make me laugh. None of her main characters are perfect so you can easily identify with them, and her writing is really easy to read. Her I heart... series encompasses 6 books spread over various cities over the world: New York, Hollywood, Paris, Vegas and London, and the last book is called I heart Christmas. They follow the main character Angela on her adventures around the world, where something always seems to go wrong, yet you know it will be okay in the end. Lindsey has also written About a Girl and What a Girl Wants, which are very similar in that they follow the main character Tess on her adventures, and are definitely also worth a read. I have just finished her newest offering, Always the Bridesmaid, which is centred around Maddie and her two best friends - one is getting married, and the other is getting a divorce. I read it within two days which shows that it was a really good book; funny and heart-warming, as with the rest of Lindsey Kelk's novels.

I read this during my A-levels and it was one of the things that got me interested in psychiatry and, I guess, medicine. The Sunflower Forest is about a mother and daughter, Lesley and Mara,  of whom the daughter is trying to grow up, but her mother's past always seems to overshadow everything. Throughout the novel you learn more about what happened to Mara during the Holocaust, and how that has affected her mental health. I won't let too much away, but I found this book gripping and so interesting.

"Liza McCullen will never escape her past. But the unspoilt beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves... Until Mike Dormer arrives." This book is not a typical romance novel - it is set in Silver Bay in Australia, home to many whales and a close community of people. However the bay needs some renovation work, and Mike Dormer arrives with plans to do just that - until he falls in love with the location's rustic charm and the locals. There are a few different plots running throughout the book, as well as a back-story, that all come together in the end. I found myself becoming really attached to the characters and genuinely felt like I got to know them throughout the story.

Another author that can generally make me laugh out loud, which is why I love Alison's books so much. I think I got this book in an old issue of Cosmopolitan magazine and didn't have high expectations for it; but then I read it on holiday and couldn't put it down. The WAG's Diary is a light-hearted read that follows Tracie Martin on a mission to write a handbook on how WAGs should live their lives. I don't particularly have any interest in football at all, but really enjoyed this book - I also would recommend the two sequels, A WAG Abroad and WAGs at the World Cup.

Tasmina Perry is one of my favourite authors and I always tend to pick up her new books when they are released, but I think Kiss Heaven Goodbye is one of her best. It takes you all over the world where you follow the lives of the four main characters - who all share a secret from a long time ago on a Caribbean island. It also has a clever and unexpected twist in it - definitely a great beach read if you are looking for something this summer.

This was one of my mum's books that I picked up when I ran out of reading material on holiday last year. It's a little different and a little less light reading than most of the books on this list - Kate Morton successfully jumps between three different time periods, where you follow the story of a little girl who is abandoned after an ocean voyage from England to Australia during the First World War, where the mysterious 'Authoress' had promised to look after her. In the present day her granddaughter in Australia is left a cottage in England as part of her inheritance - so she goes searching for answers about what happened all those years ago. I really enjoyed this novel and found that I couldn't put it down until I had finished it. It's not predictable in the slightest which is always a good sign, and completely takes you away from reality to another time period.

Karen Swan is another of my favourite authors - I love her style of writing. Although it sounds like this book is all set in London around Christmas time, the majority of it is set in Italy in the summer. The main character, Clem, has many secrets that you learn throughout Christmas at Claridge's - she goes to Italy to restore a villa, which drags up some unwanted memories from the past. The book finishes in Claridge's, where Clem is working on a commission for the hotel, with a little lovely twist at the end. I also love Karen Swan's other novels - particularly Christmas at Tiffany's, The Perfect Present and The Summer Without You. They all have very different and imaginative story lines, so don't get predictable in the slightest.
It always seems impossible until it's done.
                 - Nelson Mandela

PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

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