Photo an Hour #12

Without realising it, I picked the day of my nephew’s first birthday party for July’s Photo an Hour. I actually find it a lot easier to do Photo an Hour days when I’m not busy. Firstly, if I’m out and about, I almost definitely won’t have internet access on my phone, meaning I have to upload a load of photos all at once when I get home. More importantly, I find it difficult to take photos when I am busy, because I have to really think about what to take a photo of. In the case of a first birthday party, I had to take four of the photos while I was there, and as things weren’t changing that much, it was more of a challenge than if I was at home pottering about! But I managed, and I coincided with my sister Kim, who was also taking part in Photo an Hour, and was at the party. One of our photos is almost exactly the same!

9am – Eating some breakfast. I was half awake before this, but the massive storm kept me awake for some of the night, so I had a lazy start.

10am – I had to wrap up some presents; one for Freddy, whose birthday party I was going to, one for Lyla, whose birthday had been the day before, and one for her sister Florence, who had turned six a week before, but for whom I hadn’t got around to giving a present. Add to this my dad, my sister, and two best friends celebrating birthdays, and July becomes an expensive month!


11am – Before the party, I had to go and buy some birthday cards, and I took a detour into the library. I nearly always end up there! I had spotted a book that I wanted to read a couple of weeks ago when I was in there, and luckily it was still there on Saturday, so I borrowed it. (It’s Along the Way by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, in case you care!)

12pm – This weekend is always flower show day (I did a photo an hour on this Saturday last year too!), and I like to head down to the field to have a look around, even if it’s only for an hour or so. The flower arrangement categories were all inspired by books this year, which was obviously right up my street! There was a Beatrix Potter category, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party category, a Harry Potter category, and an Enid Blyton category. I took a photo of this lovely Noddy display – I love how beautifully colourful it is!

1pm – There are always bees at the flower show, and I always like to take a look from a distance. I’d love a hive in my garden, especially knowing how endangered bees are, but I think I’ll have to settle for planting some bee friendly flowers!

2pm – Party time!

3pm – This was one of my ‘What shall I take a photo of?’ photos. I ended up snapping Hattie, who seemed quite proud of the fact that she had collected up all of the blue balls!

4pm – Time for Freddy to blow out his candle! Except of course, he’s one, so he doesn’t really get the whole ‘Blow the candle out!’ instruction. He just looked at it quizzically, before my brother blew it out for him!

5pm – My piece of cake! I can confirm that it was delicious.

6pm – It was a hot, sticky day, with thunder bugs galore, so I had to have a quick dip in the bath when I got home. I took The Goblet of Fire in with me, but I only read a couple of chapters. It’s such a bloody big book, it’s hard to hold!

7pm – Time for tea! I didn’t want dinner, because I’d been grazing on rubbish all afternoon at the party, so I decided to finish off the day with the meal of champions: beans on toast and a cup of tea.

What a busy day! A lot of fun though, and it’s always lovely to get together with all of my family, and spend some time with the little ones. I do love having a plethora of niblings to cuddle and annoy!

As ever, I encouraged everyone to join in, and there were quite a few of us this month!

♥ Louisa at Duck in a Dress joined in on Instagram
♥ Josie at Tales from the Finch’s Beak joined in on Instagram
♥ Sharon at Sunshine and Celadines joined in on Instagram
♥ Saskia at Braids and Books joined in on Instagram (from Nepal, no less!)
♥ Kim joined in on Twitter
♥ Hannah joined in on Instagram
♥ Sara joined in on Instagram

It’s great to have lots of people joining in; I really do like having an insight into people’s days! It’s also interesting to see the overlap – there were multiple photos of ironing, washing up, reading, food and alcohol this month!

If you’re interested in joining in with Photo an Hour, next month’s will take place on Saturday 16th August. I don’t have any plans as yet, though that is likely to change! It’s easy to join in: set a reminder on your phone to take a photo each hour (if you think you’re likely to forget!), and upload your photo to either Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, tagging it with #photoanhour. If you don’t want to upload in real time, but would prefer to post your photos into a blog post, please feel free, and just send me a link to the blog post, so I can add it into mine!

Eight down, four to go on number ten of 32 Before 32 – Complete a Photo an Hour post monthly


Right now, I am mostly…

Buying : I have been steadily adding to my vinyl collection recently, with the help of my local charity shops, and I was thrilled to find this one at the weekend. £2 is more than I usually spend on a record, but I had to have it. Mary Poppins is one of my all-time favourite films (almost definitely top three), and I just love the soundtrack.

Celebrating : This little man was one last week, and we spent Saturday afternoon celebrating with him. He’s such a little love, and I can’t believe it’s a whole year since he was born!

Watching : I’m still watching Battlestar Galactica, and it’s still very good. But I have been a bit distracted lately, because I restarted Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, having only watched the first couple of episodes when it aired, and I’m fully obsessed. If there’s a more perfect example of manly manliness than Agent Phil Coulson, I’m yet to find it. I adore him.

Wanting : I really, really want Martin Sheen’s memoir on audiobook. I don’t really listen to that many audiobooks, I tend to find that my attention wanders too much. But I’d listen to this, because it’s read by Martin Sheen himself, and Emilio Estevez. Unfortunately £20.05 is too much for me to be spending on books at the moment, so I found it at the library and checked it out. It’s not quite the same as having Martin Sheen read it to me, but it will have to do.

Reading : I downloaded We Were Liars because it was 99p in the Kindle Store, and I started reading it during Friday night’s storm. Then it popped up all over Twitter on Saturday, because the #bookadayuk prompt was a plot twist you didn’t see coming, and apparently it has a massive one! I finished in a second sitting yesterday morning, so a review will follow shortly.

Book Review ~ Spare Brides by Adele Parks

With the centenary anniversary of the start of the First World War, books like this are popping up everywhere. I’ve always found that reading fiction about a historical period allows me to understand the history as well as, if not better, than a non-fiction book on the same subject (provided it’s well written and accurate, of course).

Spare Brides is set in the early 1920s, shortly after the end of the First World War. It tells the story of four women: Ava, Beatrice, Sarah and Lydia. The four friends are feeling the effects of the war; Sarah’s husband was killed on the front, while her sister Beatrice, single at 26, is a lonely victim of the millions of men not returning from France. Ava is an independent young woman, engaging in love affairs but not willing to settle down. Lydia is married, but her husband Lawrence didn’t go to war, and Lydia is worried that her failure to conceive a child is punishment for what she sees as her husband’s cowardice. When she crosses paths with a dashing war hero she is tempted into pursing an adulterous affair with him, and none of the friends’ lives will be the same.

I know Adele Parks is a popular author, though I have only ever read one of her books before. Spare Brides is the first historical novel she has written. i can’t say, having finished it, that I am a converted fan of Parks. Although i enjoyed the story to a certain extent, I found the language that Parks used to be completely over the top. When I’m reading a book like this, I don’t expect a comment on the human condition every couple of lines. I just want to know what’s happening to the characters, and why. The subject matter and the writing just didn’t seem to fit with one another at all. The sex scenes were completely overwritten, in a way that just made me want to skip ahead.

“They forgot everything other than each other. They drifted beyond their pasts and they did not need futures.”

Lines like this are designed to make me think that the connection between this two people is extraordinary, but all it makes me do is roll my eyes!

The scenes were long and drawn out; as a chapter finished I expected the next one to move the action on, but it just went back and picked it up again, leaving me sighing. The end of a chapter, when used well, signals a dramatic break in the action, but here, there was no drama, just continued meandering.

I think Lydia, who was posited front and centre as the main character, was supposed to elicit my sympathy. Married to a man she is fond of, she doesn’t realise passionate love exists until she meets Edgar, a war hero with whom she falls head over heels in love. But I found her boring, and I wasn’t particularly sympathetic to her plight. I was much more interested in Ava, an independent, feisty and ambitious young woman who is happy to sleep with men she finds attractive but has no intention of marrying them. Sadly, her story was pushed to the side in favour of Lydia.

It wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed the setting; the upper echelons of society in the 1920s is always an entertaining backdrop in a book. After a slow start, I found myself enjoying the idea of picking up Spare Brides to read again, and once I’d got two-thirds of the way through, I was eager to finish to see how the story ended. I just wasn’t all that impressed with the writing, or some of the characterisation. I’m sure if you’re a fan of Adele Parks’ previous work, this will be right up your street. And it has a really pretty cover, so there’s always that.

Spare Brides
First published: February 2014
ISBN: 9781472205391
Review copy via Bookbridgr

A Love Letter to… BBC Radio 2

Dear Radio 2

My love for you is not something I am particularly shy about. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love to listen to Radio 2, because I go on about it all the time.

My enthusiasm is something that is ingrained, because while I was growing up, you were the constant soundtrack to my life at home. My mum loved the radio, and Radio 2 was her station of choice. As a housewife, and with six children to bring up, she seemed to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so the radio went on first thing in the morning, and stayed on until she was finally able to sit down and watch some television in the evening. This habit has rubbed off on me; while I don’t spend all day in the kitchen, when I am at home, the radio goes on and stays on. I also listen a lot on the iPlayer Radio app – Chris Evans wakes me up, and Janice Long accompanies me as I fall asleep.

For me, your appeal lays in the DJs. Radio 2 is full of men and women (though too few women between 6.30am and 8.00pm, I have to say) who really know their stuff. They know about music, and they are seasoned professionals when it comes to radio broadcasting.  I’ve had a think about it, and I think my top five are:

  • Simon Mayo (but of course)
  • Bob Harris (runs Mr Mayo a pretty close second)
  • Chris Evans
  • Janice Long
  • Liza Tarbuck

So along with the DJs, who feel like friends because of the amount of time I spend listening to them (and the fact that I go out of my way to try and get all of them to mention me on air – so far I’ve got Simon Mayo, Janice Long and Steve Wright on that particular list!), I do of course love the music you play. Sometimes I think that certain songs stick around on the playlist for marginally too long – Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars and the Englebert Humperdink and Cliff Richard duet, to name but two. But generally, I think the music is wonderful: the perfect mix of classic and modern. Real variety, unlike a certain commercial station whose tagline is ‘More Music Variety’, and then seems to be a loop of the same twenty or so songs. .

And of course, we now have the Playlister button, something that has made my life immeasurably more fun. I know this isn’t a Radio 2-specific innovation, but it’s where I use it the most, because my radio/app/online player is tuned to Radio 2 more than anything else. Much, much more!

I love you, Radio 2. Never change. Or if you do, make changes that will ensure you remain the best radio station in the world (but never take Simon Mayo off. Drivetime wouldn’t be the same without him), and I’ll promise to love you forever.

Love Jane

A Love Letter to… is an ongoing series in which I profess my love for something or someone. 



Right now, I am mostly…

Watching : Hannah and I watched the firs series of The Office over the course of two nights last week. It’s been so long since I watched it, but I must have watched it a lot back then, because the jokes came back to me really easily, and I found myself anticipating the next line a lot! I have also started watching Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. It’s one of my 32 Before 32 items to watch a television series, and as it’s now less than four months until my birthday, I thought I had better get a shifty on. It’s better than I ever expected it to be. Why did nobody tell me how good it is!

Reading : As I mentioned last week, I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series, and I’m up to Prisoner of Azkaban. I devoured Chamber of Secrets, but I’m back to just dipping in and out now, because I’ve also got Spare Brides on the go. I’m struggling with the writing slightly, although the story is enjoyable enough.

Inheriting : My nephew has grown out of a couple of pairs of trainers, and so my sister gave them to me. I think Robbie regrets that he no longer fits into them; they are still in really good condition, and while I don’t really think they are the most stylish things in the world for a thirty-one year old, I’m still wearing them lots. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of Nikes before.

Listening : My Radio 2 listening is always slightly curtailed in the summer months, when my favourite DJs take time off (how dare they?). Janice Long has had two long weeks off, so I haven’t had anything to fall asleep to (this might not sound like a compliment, but it is. I love her show), and Chris Evans has been off for a week, albeit with an illness rather than on holiday. Both are back next week, so it’s all back to normal with my radio listening for a while, until other people start taking time off.

Bemoaning : I’m hating the fact that the film of the year, by all accounts, is not available at any of my local cinemas. Boyhood seems to have received a really limited release, and I am probably going to have to travel into London if I want to see it. It’s not the end of the world, but I’d much prefer to nip to Chelmsford or Southend to see it!

Eating : Anna made a quite yummy Red Velvet cake on Saturday night for V’s birthday. I had one and a half slices; I tried for two but it was just too much!

Book Review ~ Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O’Porter

Paper Aeroplanes had been on my library list for the longest time when I was lucky enough to spot a tweet saying that it was free in the Kindle store for one day only. Needless to say, I snapped it up and got reading, and it ended up taking me less than a day to read it. This should give you some idea as to how much I enjoyed it.

Renée and Flo are classmates in Guernsey in the mid-1990s. At first it seems as though they couldn’t have less in common; Flo is studious and quiet, best friends with Sally who treats her like dirt, while Renée is outgoing, confident and sexually experienced. They find each other when they need each other the most; neither has a happy family life, and at times it seems as though their friendship is the only thing that will pull them through.

This is a wonderful book about teenage friendships; Renée and Flo are both vulnerable in their own ways, and both have to deal with loss at a young age. They are also suffering from having friends who don’t really understand them. Flo’s ‘best friend’, Sally, is an odious girl. O’Porter has done a great job in creating such a hateful character because at various points I just wanted to shake Flo and tell her to get out of this toxic friendship! Renée is friends with two girls more out of convenience than anything else, and while they aren’t nasty, they don’t understand Renée at all. With all of this going on, I spent the first third of the book ‘shipping’ Flo and Renée. I desperately wanted them to find one another, though of course I knew they would in the end.

The joy of reading a book about teenagers set in the mid 1990s is that I have distinct memories of this time. I was 12 in 1994, so while I was a little younger than the protagonists, all the cultural markers were completely familiar. Of course, O’Porter herself would have been the same age at Flo and Renée at this time, and so she knows exactly what she is writing. That being said, she doesn’t try to shoehorn in too many references; there aren’t constant mentions of chart music from the time, just the odd one here and there.

Paper Aeroplanes is a truly lovely book, and I would encourage anyone who has ever been a teenage girl to take a look at it. There’s plenty of boy stuff happening, with Renée developing a huge crush on Flo’s brother, but this isn’t a book about boys and girls, it’s a story of the deep and complicated friendship between two girls. It feels completely and utterly authentic, and it’s a book that has stayed with me. I’m thrilled that there is a follow-up, I’m already itching to get my hands on Goose, and I suspect I’ll be downloading it sooner rather than later.

Paper Aeroplanes
First published: May 2013
ISBN: 9781471400360
Hot Key Books
Kindle Download

The Bookish Side of Life #1

I’ve taken to describing Is That You Darling as a lifestyle blog with a focus on the bookish side of life. I think this sums things up quite well; I don’t want it to become only about books, but I’m a bit of a bookish character after all, and my blog is going to reflect that! So that with that in mind, I’ve decided to start a new series of posts called The Bookish Side of Life, just to round up a few of the bookish things that are going on with me lately.

I popped to the library this morning, to pick up a book that has been waiting for me for a while. I put The Chimp Paradox on my reservation list ages ago, when I heard the author, Professor Steve Peters on the radio talking about it. It sounded fascinating, but it took so long to come in at the library that I have lost some of my enthusiasm for it! I have already started reading it (walking home from the library), so hopefully I will remember why I was so fascinated with it.

I took about six books back to the library, mostly unread. I hate doing it, but sometimes I just get overwhelmed with how much I have to read, and I think it’s best if they just go back, and if I really want them, I’ll get them a second time. The idea was to take back lots and just pick up one, but I ended up having a browse of the shelves, and picking up another one too. The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress by Beryl Bainbridge took my fancy because it’s about a young couple on an American roadtrip that coincides with the Robert Kennedy presidential campaign. Anything with the words ‘presidential campaign’ in the blurb will immediately pique my interest, and it being Robert Kennedy makes it even better.

My book problem is more or less out of control. I made a list the other day of all the books I have to read, including library books, review books for the blog, review books for Essex Life, book club books and any others I want to read. It was a long list, and slightly overwhelming, so I did what any normal person would do. I reached for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and settled in for a re-read. I was supposed to be dipping in and out with a chapter here and there, which is what I did with Philosopher’s Stone, but then I devoured Chamber of Secrets within a day. It’s not really getting the job done, but I’m enjoying myself.

I’ve been baking out of a book today. My sister bought me Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe for Christmas, along with all the ingredients to make these Express Airline Altitude Cookies, and it has taken me until now to bake them! But it’s my dad’s birthday today, so along with a cake, I’ve baked some cookies. I haven’t read the book yet, but I might save it now until later in the year. It might feel autumnal today, but it’s very much midsummer!

What are you reading at the moment?

My Thoughts On… X-Men: Days of Future Past

Just a reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to Why Should I See This Film? which is spoiler-free! (This post definitely contains spoilers, so avoid if you haven’t seen the film!)

It’s been a long time since I saw this film – forty one days, to be exact. As such, as ever, this mightn’t be the most detailed post in the world. My apologies.


The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. (via IMDb)

What I Liked

  • First of all, it should be noted that I am a big X-Men fan, and a bit of an apologist. (It should also be noted that when I say fan, I mean of the films, rather than the comic books. I haven’t read the comic books, because comic books intimidate me.) I am the one person who didn’t think X-Men Origins: Wolverine was that bad, because as far as I’m concerned, a mediocre X-Men film is better than no X-Men film. All that being said, I loved Days of Future Past. Like, really loved it.
  • I wasn’t sure where the films where going to go next with regards to the prequels after X-Men: First Class, and I spent a long time wondering what the title was going to be. I was thrilled with the result, because there’s nothing I like more than a bit of time-travelling, particularly when it’s the sort of time travel where paradoxes don’t really matter. There aren’t two Wolverine’s wandering around, because Kitty send Logan’s consciousness back to his old body, so there’s never any danger that the two different versions of him will meet.
  • James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult – there are some pretty awesome actors in this film, and some of my personal favourites, so it was a joy to watch them, even if some of them got less to do than other (Ian McKellen really didn’t get that much screen time, did he?).
  • As well as being a fine, fine actor, James McAvoy is also a very attractive man. Even in his seventies guise, with the hair, he’s still lovely. He’s definitely my favourite X-Men actor.
  • The best sequence of the film had to be the Quicksilver sequence where he danced around the kitchen. It was genuinely funny, and so well done. In fact, Evan Peters just about stole every scene he was in, so it’s a shame he wasn’t in it more. It seems as though he is definitely one for the future though, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing him pop back up (although Aaron Taylor-Johnson will be playing him in the Avengers films, going by the post-credits sting at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier).
  • I genuinely think that Days of Future Past might be my favourite X-Men film. It combines what I love about First Class and the original trilogy, and manages to make a huge ensemble cast work seamlessly together. Brian Singer (controversial allegations made against him notwithstanding) seems to know and love the universe so much that he was the perfect choice for this film, and the script works well too. First Class and X2 probably run it pretty close, but Days of Future Past might just nick it. I’ll have to watch it again to work out exactly where it ranks.
  • I was pleased with the ending (the actual ending, not the sting), because it sets things up for a great next instalment. I know that X-Men: Apocalypse is already in the pipeline (for a whole two years away – argh!) but it remains to be seen which band of mutants will be taking centre stage. If it’s the First Class gang, as expected, there’s the possibility that the original gang could have their own new movie, as the timeline has been reset. Or, as rumours suggest, Apocalypse could actually bring the two separate groups together again, because let’s face it, it was a pretty big success this time around. No matter what happens, I’m totally excited for the future of this particular franchise.


What I Didn’t Like

  • I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t like Jean Grey. I don’t know if I don’t like the actress, or if it’s actually the character I can’t bear (I suspect it’s a little of both), but I just don’t want to see her. So when she popped up at the very end, my heart sunk. She ruined The Wolverine for me, so I’d prefer it if she’d just remain dead and stop haunting Logan.
  • I wasn’t crazy about the sting at the end of the credits. I know it was setting things up for Apocalypse, but it didn’t feel juicy enough to warrant sitting through the credits for.
  • Nothing to do with the film whatsoever, but we had the annoying family from hell behind us in the cinema when we went to see it. The children all went to the toilet multiple times, grabbing the back of my chair and pulling it back each time they did so. The child directly behind me had their feet on the back of my chair throughout most of the film. And then, to compound matters, the father of this merry little band of code violators spoke at various points throughout the film, using his normal voice, saying things like “That was quick!” when his son got back from his eighth visit to the toilets, and “That’ll be Jean Grey!” moments before Famke Janssen appeared on screen. Yeah, thanks. We all got that.

Why Should I See This Film?

See this film if you’re an X-Men fan, because it’s a great addition to the series. I think it might even be the best of the bunch, though that decision is still pending! If you’re not already a fan, this might not be the best place to start, because it relies on a certain amount of knowledge of the characters to really appreciate all the plot points. If you’re simply undecided, I would say go for it. It has time travel, and time travel done well is always worth a watch. It has a plethora of great characters, some we know well, and some new people to get to know. The action sequences are great, but the character pieces are even better, and all of the actors involved are just fabulous. Just go and see it. It’s awesome.

Run or Dye

As you may know (if you’re a long time follower or if you glance over the list on the right), one of my 32 Before 32 items is to run 5K. The idea wasn’t necessarily to run a 5K race, more that I wanted to be able to do it for myself, and then hopefully a race would follow. I haven’t got very far with it, to be honest; I start with the best of intentions and then for some reason it all comes crashing to a halt, usually because I think up half a dozen excuses as to why I can’t go out for a run!

Run or Dye

But I have now decided that I want to do a proper race, it’s time to get the trainers, sports bra and Couch to 5K app out again! Run or Dye is the world’s most colourful 5K, and it’s making its debut in the UK in 2014. It’s already huge in the US, and I’ve been wanted to do one for so long that I just thought I’d do it! While you run, you are blasted with bright powdered dye, so you finish the race having been turned into a technicolor canvas!

The run takes its inspiration from the ancient Hindu festival of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours. The coloured powder is the obvious influence, but Holi is also about celebrating the triumph of good over bad, bridging social gaps and renewing relationships, and Run or Dye aims to encourage its participants to celebrate life, fun and friendship in a similar way! What better way to celebrate life and fitness than by running 5K and being pelted with coloured powder? I can’t wait!

Even though I am not quite there with my 5K training yet, I’m not worried about being too slow – Run or Dye is for everyone, no matter what their fitness level. I’m sure there will be lots of people who want to try for a personal 5K best, but there will be just as many ambling their way around the course having fun and getting messy!

There are various events throughout the country, and even more are planned for 2015. As if the idea of all that colour wasn’t enough to convince you to sign up, I’ve got a code that will give you £3 off your registration fee. Just enter SIMPELLE at checkout to receive your discount. All participants will receive a goody bag including a Run or Dye t-shirt, and after the run in finished everyone can join in with a big party to celebrate!

If you do sign up, let me know, and I’ll see you there!

Library List 005

It’s been a while since I shared a library list. I have been really good about not reserving all the books in the world, because I already have far too much to read. Also, all the books that are on my list are taking ages and ages to come in, so I’m just leaving them there to slowly make their way to me.

But I’ve added three more since my last post, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton
The former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State did the rounds last week promoting this book, and after I heard her talk about it a couple of times, I added it to my list. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the Clintons, though I know, of course, that they have their flaws, and I think Hillary Clinton’s story is a really interesting one. This book is about her time at the State department rather than an autobiography of her life – she released Living History in 2003 (which I am yet to read) that gives a more general account of her life. I’m not convinced when she says she doesn’t know if she’ll run for president in 2016; I think she knows full well, and I think she’ll run. But it’s a while until she has to announce, and in the meantime, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Hard Choices. It will be a while, as I’m number ten, and there are only two copies!

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
I didn’t really realise that this one had been released until I saw it in WHSmiths. I read The Cuckoo’s Calling last year and really, really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to dipping back into the world of Cormoran Strike. I wish I had been able to read it without knowing that it was J.K. Rowling, but I didn’t know anything about Robert Galbraith until she was outed. Would you believe that I am number 200 on the list for this one? There are loads and loads of copies of it too – I should have been much more proactive and reserved it months ago! I don’t expect to see this one any time soon!

Only Remembered edited by Michael Morpurgo
I’ve long been a fan of Michael Morpurgo. He gave the Richard Dimbleby lecture a few years ago and just spoke so much sense, it’s difficult not to want him to run for Prime Minister. He’s obviously a wonderful children’s author, though I’ve not read as many of his books as I would like, something to remedy, I think. Only Remembered is a new book that he is releasing, though he has edited it rather than written it, as it’s an anthology of poems, short stories, letters, articles etc, contributed by many well-known names. He spoke about it on Simon Mayo’s radio show last week (and Simon Mayo is a contributor), and it just sounds beautiful. I’d like to buy it, but for now, it’s on my library list, and I’m number three.

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