World Book Night 2020

The World Book Night choices were announced recently and it’s quite an eclectic mix.  A couple of years ago I challenged myself to read all of the books on the list prior to World Book Night, which I did achieve.  It’s not something I’ve got time for next year unfortunately although I do have some of them on my bookshelf already.

If you’ve not heard of World Book Night before it’s a fantastic initiative to celebrate reading and to inspire everyone to share books and reading, in particular less confident and less passionate readers.

You can read a sample from each of the books here or apply to be a giver here.

I think there’s something for everyone on next year’s list!  What do you make of the choices?  Any you fancy reading yourself?

Book Review: 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman

59 SecondsWhat’s it about? 2012 WBN LogoBBC 2014

Most people would like to be more creative, more persuasive and more attractive. For years, gurus and ‘life coaches’ have urged people to improve their lives by changing the way they think and behave, but scientific research has revealed that many of their techniques, from group brainstorming to visualization, are ineffective.

Fortunately, psychologist Richard Wiseman is on hand to provide fast-acting, myth-busting scientific answers to a huge range of everyday problems. From job-hunting to relationships, and from parenting to self-esteem, personal and professional success may be less than a minute away . . .

My thoughts

Finally, I’ve made it to book 20 of 2o in my World Book Night reading challenge – yay!

This was the first self help book I’d ever read and something a little bit different for the blog being a non-fiction.

Basically this is a collection of studies into what makes us happy and what can make us happier and gives the reader tips and exercises to help you change or improve particular areas of your life such as: jobs, relationships and parenting.

I found the chapter on Persuasion and the section on giving the perfect interview particularly helpful as I’m looking for a new job and always let myself down in interviews and there’s some really useful tips in here that I’m prepared to try.

I don’t know much about this stuff, the psychology or whether it actually works for people who need it but it’s an interesting read but not something I’d ever consider reading out of choice. I gave this book 3/5 on Goodreads as I didn’t feel I was in a position to judge whether it is a good book or not. I don’t feel I’m any happier because of reading it (I don’t think…but hey maybe subconsciously I am!) so felt that an average rating was best.

Get the book Paperback

Connect with the author Richard Wiseman via

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Book Review: Black Hills by Nora Roberts

Black HillsWhat’s it about?2012 WBN Logo

Cooper Sullivan and Lil Chance were unlikely childhood friends – thrown together each summer when Coop visited his grandparents’ South Dakota ranch. But with every year, their friendship deepened from innocent games to stolen kisses and the promise of something special…until fate, and a terrible tragedy, pulled them apart.

Twelve years later Coop – now a private investigator in New York – returns to the ranch to care for his grandparents. Though the memory of Coop’s touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening a Wildlife Refuge on her family’s land. But someone else has been keeping a close watch on Lil Chance, and Coop’s return has unleashed more than just old passions.

There’s a hunter lurking out in the Black Hills, and Lil and Coop have been singled out as prey…

My thoughts

This book was next up as part of my World Book Night reading challenge and was my first experience of Nora Roberts.

The book is a thriller/romance novel which is split into 3 parts: Heart, Head and Spirit. Heart introduces us to a young Cooper and Lil during their teen and college years, their ensuing friendship, the discovery and as Lil becomes a target.

In Head, the tension rises with more stalking and death and Coop goes back to his detective roots and learns more about who they’re dealing with. This theme carries on through the Spirit part also. Coop is determined to protect Lil but actually she’s strong and independent and she actually doesn’t really need saving. There’s a bit where he picks her up and carries her off which I thought was a bit cheesey and patronising. However, the events do reach a climatic ending if not a little predictable.

The perpertrator is revealed quite early on which I didn’t really like, I prefer them to be revealed much later in the story – almost at the end. I didn’t think that it really added anything to the tension, anticipation or expectation by knowing early on. In parts, the predator has his own voice as we’re let into his head and his motivation. This I thought was on the weak side, the link between him and Lil and what drives him to do what he does.

I did feel that it got a little repetitive on occasion – Lil’s feelings and her issues with Coop, she kept banging on about them, and I just kept thinking yeah yeah we know, let’s move on now.

The relationship between Tansy and Farley as a secondary romance is really rather sweet if not a little nauseous in places.

Overall, quite a good thriller without being too gruesome which suited me as I don’t like reading books that scare me and or play on my mind. Coop reminded me of Jack Reacher…elements of vigilantism in him!

Buy the book Kindle | Paperback

Connect with the author Nora Roberts

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Book Review: The Recruit (Cherub #1) by Robert Muchamore

As part of the 10th anniversary new cover re-launch, here’s my review on the first in the CHERUB series:

The RecruitWhat’s it about?BBC 20142012 WBN Logo

A terrorist doesn’t let strangers in her flat because they might be undercover police or intelligence agents, but her children bring their mates home and they run all over the place. The terrorist doesn’t know that one of these kids has bugged every room in her house, made copies of all her computer files and stolen her address book. The kid works for CHERUB.

CHERUB agents are aged between ten and seventeen. They live in the real world, slipping under adult radar and getting information that sends criminals and terrorists to jail.

For official purposes, these children do not exist.

And now: a new cover look for this number one bestselling series!

My thoughts

This was my next read up as part of my World Book Night reading challenge and although primarily aimed at the young adult age range was an enjoyable read so many thanks to Netgalley for the review copy.

The Recruit is the first in the CHERUB series and is the story of James and how he becomes a CHERUB recruit – the child spies that work with MI5. We follow James through his recruitment, the training, the relationships and friendships he forms with his trainers and the other recruits and then onto his first mission. James’ relationship with Joanna was actually really sweet and incredibly sad that things worked out the way they did.

There were elements of unbelievability such as the extreme training and the fact that these orphan kids are just taken and recruited but let’s face it, this is like a book of mini James Bonds so all sense and reason goes out the window.  Some of the more adult scenes came with explanations which felt a little which condescending but then this was probably because of the target audience age range – I should have expected that.

As I had a Netgalley copy the formatting was a little out of sync but I could get past that (not the author’s fault).

Overall, an easy, quick read that I would recommend for younger readers who are fans of James Bond, Police Academy and Spy Kids – this is for you!

Buy the book Paperback | Kindle

Connect with the author Robert Muchamore

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Book Review: Today Everything Changes by Andy McNab

Today-Everything-changesWhat’s it about?2012 WBN LogoBBC 2014

Abandoned as a baby, Andy McNab’s start in life was tough. Growing up in South London with foster parents, and surrounded by poverty, he attended seven schools in as many years, disillusioned and in remedial classes. It wasn’t long before his life descended into petty crime. By the age of sixteen, he was in juvenile detention.

Recruited into the Army from there, it soon became apparent that he had the reading age of an eleven year old. The next six months in the Army education system changed his course of his life forever. Today Everything Changes is the inspiring story of when life changed for Andy McNab.

My thoughts

Here’s another Quick Read that’s on the World Book Night reading list and that I’ve read as part of my reading challenge.

It’s a good insight into army recruitment, training and daily life and reads true rather than propoganda. I always wondered why the training was so brutal, down to the cleanlines of boots and tidiness of lockers but reading this made it all make sense.

I’m not really into army type books whether they be fiction or non fiction but this book is the perfect read to get a brief introduction into army life from someone on the inside. The narrative is simply written and easy to understand so I pretty much got through it in an hour or so.

I liked the words McNab’s Captain used and he now uses himself –  “you’re not thick, you’re just not educated yet” and even after a rubbish start in life he’s still made something of his life and is really an inspiration to others. Army life isn’t suited to everyone but this book really shows how you can turn your life around and have a positive outcome.

Overall, it’s an interesting read and you may be surprised that you’ll enjoy it, as was I!

Buy the book Paperback | Kindle

Connect with the author Andy McNab

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