Bestsellers · contemporary

The Reading List – Sara Nisha Adams ★★★★★

Blurb; Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in the London Borough of Ealing after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries.

Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home.

When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list… hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again. 

My Review; I am one of those readers that if the book has the word reading, bookshop or library in the title I know it will be a brilliant read and this was spot on. Highly recommend. A must read. One that will stick with me for a long time.

This story brings a lot of people together over books. From non readers, widows, to carers to the lonely people from old to young in society they all come together over one reading list but do not know where the list has come from or who wrote it. Heart-warming. Uplifting. The story focuses on two characters in particular Mukesh and Aleisha with a few chapters from others inbetween.

A story that will stick in your heart. One you won’t regret reading. A must read for me. High chance this could end up in my top reads of the year. A well deserved five stars. A beautiful ending which might make you tear up. Books are powerful things.

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Bestsellers · Time travel

Before the Coffee gets Cold: Tales from the Cafe – Toshikazu Kawaguchi ★★★★

Blurb; In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time…

From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold comes a story of four new customers each of whom is hoping to take advantage of Cafe Funiculi Funicula’s time-travelling offer.

Among some faces that will be familiar to readers of Kawaguchi’s previous novel, we will be introduced to:

The man who goes back to see his best friend who died 22 years ago
The son who was unable to attend his own mother’s funeral
The man who travelled to see the girl who he could not marry
The old detective who never gave his wife that gift…

This beautiful, simple tale tells the story of people who must face up to their past, in order to move on with their lives. Kawaguchi once again invites the reader to ask themselves: what would you change if you could travel back in time?

My Review; I absolutely loved the book before this one (Before the Coffee gets Cold) and the lovely Mel from Melanie’s Reads told me about this one and sent it me for Christmas last year. This is a book that I wanted to devour but also to savour & not finish.

It’s a short read at just under 200 pages. It is split into four different short stories of people coming to the cafe to time travel, most people choose to travel back in time but in this book one person travels forward! The rules remain the same from book one and the cafe characters remain the same. Its such a cosy read. Welcoming. A setting I will miss.

However, short story number three did require some attention from me as this was a story of back and forth, hard to keep track. Each story is unique and beautiful. Highly recommend and isn’t that cover just stunning. A well deserved four stars from me… If you could who would you go visit back in time? Or the future?

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Bestsellers · crime · Detective · mystery

The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman ★★★★★

Blurb; Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
The Thursday Murder Club

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

My Review; Now You must have seen this book everywhere. I sure have. It seems to me its a marmite book you either love it or don’t get the hype. For me I am firmly on the love side. I loved it all. It’s set in a little retirement village with OAPs and they came up with the idea to start a club to solve/fix old cases that were left unresolved. Meet the Thursday Murder Club.

Things soon enter from the present though with a murder right on their own doorstep, they all witnessed and they’re determined to solve it before the police do. Now don’t under-estimate these OAPs they’re clever and know the right people. Especially Elizabeth she seems the leader to me. However, soon things become far more complicated than they first seemed dragging them back into the past to discover the answers.

A very clever story, kept me guessing. A great outcome I never saw coming. These clever OAPs stole my heart. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead in book two. Highly recommend! A well deserved five stars from me.

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