Wednesday, 12 February 2020

My 2020 Reading List...

I love to read, but like most busy working parents I struggle to make the time to read as much as I would like. I usually average about one book per month - and realistically I probably can't fit in much more than than, but to help me keep focussed and on-track I've decided to set myself a reading list for 2020.

I have previously kept track of all the books I have read since 2015 - you can find the full list here or on the 'What I'm Reading..' tab at the top of this page.

The books on my reading list for 2020 have either been recommended to me by friends or family, or I've read about them online or on social media and liked the sound of them. Some of the books are new titles by authors whose books I have enjoyed previously.

Here's a brief description of each book (taken from goodreads.com)



Normal People by Sally Rooney

"The first in a gorgeous new series from the author of Summer at the Cornish Cafe.

Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival. At least, most of them are…

For Sam Lovell, organising the summer festival in her hometown is one of the highlights of her year. It’s not always smooth sailing, but she loves to see Porthmellow’s harbour packed with happy visitors, and being on the committee has provided a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and the distinct lack of it in her love life).

When their star guest pulls out with only a few weeks to go, everyone’s delighted when a London chef who grew up locally steps in at the last minute. But Gabe Matthias is the last person Sam was expecting to see, and his return to Porthmellow will change her quiet coastal life for ever.

Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour."



Work Like A Woman by Mary Portas

"Work Like a Woman is a bold manifesto about why the way we work now is in desperate need of change, how you can campaign to help make this happen and why we will all – men and women – profit from this.

Women today are working in a man’s culture - and it’s holding us back. In Work Like a Woman, Mary Portas examines the world of employment, how it works against women and what needs to change, as she tells the story of her career – and learning to rewrite the rules.

Taking us through her working life, Mary looks at a range of topics from workplace bullying and accessing promotion, to combining a career with children and the affect that getting divorced and becoming a single parent had on her professional life. Speaking candidly about the traps she fell into – from aping the behaviour seen in aggressive corporate environments to recreating a male working culture within her own business – Mary will explode the myth of women ‘having it all’. She will also track her evolution as a business leader and the decision to rebuild her company from the ground up on a model that today embraces female values.

Examining practical issues, including flexible working and equal pay, and also cultural ones - such as gender bias - Mary will argue for a revolution in the way we work.

Work Like a Woman is a manifesto for all: from young women entering the workforce and older women trying to integrate professional and family ambitions, to executives running businesses and creating best practice and the businesses that employ them. Honest, accessible and entertaining, it is a bold and inspiring vision of the future world of work."



Feminists Don't Wear Pink (and other lies) by Scarlett Curtis

"An urgent and inspirational collection of essays by a diverse group of celebrities, activists, and artists about what feminism means to them, with the goal of helping readers come to their own personal understanding of the word.


Feminism has never been more deeply and widely embraced and discussed, but what exactly does the F word mean?

Here, personal stories from actors, writers, and activists explore the contradictions and complications at the heart of the movement. By bridging the gap between feminist hashtags and scholarly texts, these essays bring feminism into clear focus.

Published in partnership with Girl Up, the UN Foundation's adolescent girl campaign, contributors include Hollywood superstars like Saoirse Ronan, activists like Alicia Garza, a founder of Black Lives Matter, and even fictional icons such as Bridget Jones.

Every woman has a different route to their personal understanding of feminism. This empowering collection shows how a diverse group of women found their voice, and it will inspire others to do the same."



Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
"A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.

A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game--and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!"



Educated by Tara Westover
"Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes and the will to change it."



The Woman Who Wanted More by Vicky Zimmerman
"Two lonely women.

An unlikely friendship.

And one big life lesson: never be ashamed to ask for more . . .

After a major life upheaval on the eve of her 40th birthday, a reluctant Kate Parker finds herself volunteering at Lauderdale House for Exceptional Ladies. There she meets 97-year-old Cecily Finn. Cecily's tongue is as sharp as her mind but she has lost her spark, simply resigning herself to the Imminent End.

Having no patience with Kate's plight, Cecily prescribes her a self-help book with a difference - it's a 1957 cookery manual, featuring menus for anything life can throw at 'the easily dismayed'. Will Kate find a menu to help her recover from her broken heart? If Kate moves forward, might Cecily too?

The cookbook holds the secrets of Cecily's own remarkable past, and the story of the love of her life. It will certainly teach Kate a thing or two.

So begins an unlikely friendship between two lonely and stubborn souls - one at the end of her life, one stuck in the middle - who come to show each other that food is for feasting, life is for living and the way to a man's heart is . . . irrelevant!"



Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

"Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming."



Dear Evan Hansen The Novel by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

"From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen. Dear Evan Hansen, Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be? No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation."



Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan
"From the bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes - a novel of mothers and daughters, families and secrets and the astonishing power of friendship.

Tilly was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone's Magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits - staff and guests alike.

But Tilly's childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she'd ever loved to boarding school with little explanation and no warning. Now, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother's unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. But when her mother dies, Tilda goes back to Brighton and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets about unraveling the mystery of her exile from The Paradise Hotel and discovers that her mother was not the woman she thought she knew at all ... Mothers and daughters ... their story can be complicated ... it can also turn out to have a happy ending."



The Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard

"Sun, croissants and fine wine. Nothing can spoil the perfect holiday. Or can it?

When Emmy Jamieson arrives at La Cour des Roses, a beautiful guesthouse in the French countryside, she can’t wait to spend two weeks relaxing with boyfriend Nathan. Their relationship needs a little TLC and Emmy is certain this holiday will do the trick. But they’ve barely unpacked before he scarpers with Gloria, the guesthouse owner’s cougar wife.

Rupert, the ailing guesthouse owner, is shell-shocked. Feeling somewhat responsible, and rather generous after a bottle (or so) of wine, heartbroken Emmy offers to help. Changing sheets in the gîtes will help keep her mind off her misery.

Thrust into the heart of the local community, Emmy suddenly finds herself surrounded by new friends. And with sizzling hot gardener Ryan and the infuriating (if gorgeous) accountant Alain providing welcome distractions, Nathan is fast becoming a distant memory.

Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, feeding the hens in the warm evening light; Emmy starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her friends, family, and everything she’s ever worked for, to take a chance on a place she fell for on holiday – wouldn’t it?

Fans of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Nick Alexander will want to join Emmy for a glass of wine as the sun sets on the terrace at La Cour des Roses."



DEEP WATER - Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

"A searing and sinister thriller for readers who liked Gone Girl.

What if your best friend's child disappears? And it was all your fault.

A searing and sinister thriller for readers who liked Gone Girl.What if your best friend's child disappears? And it was all your fault. This is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto, overwhelmed working mother of three, one freezing December in the English Lake District. She takes her eye off the ball for just a moment and her whole world descends into the stuff of nightmares. Because, not only is thirteen-year-old Lucinda missing, and not only is it all Lisa's fault, but she's the second teenage girl to disappear within this small tightknit community over two weeks. The first girl turned up stripped bare, dumped on a busy high street, after suffering from a terrifying ordeal.

Wracked with guilt over her mistake and after being publicly blamed by Lucinda's family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. But as she begins peeling away the layers surrounding Lucinda's disappearance, Lisa learns that the small, posh, quiet town she lives in isn't what she thought it was, and her friends may not be who they appear, either."



A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

"The first in a gorgeous new series from the author of Summer at the Cornish Cafe.

Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival. At least, most of them are…

For Sam Lovell, organising the summer festival in her hometown is one of the highlights of her year. It’s not always smooth sailing, but she loves to see Porthmellow’s harbour packed with happy visitors, and being on the committee has provided a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and the distinct lack of it in her love life).

When their star guest pulls out with only a few weeks to go, everyone’s delighted when a London chef who grew up locally steps in at the last minute. But Gabe Matthias is the last person Sam was expecting to see, and his return to Porthmellow will change her quiet coastal life for ever.

Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour."

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What genre of books do you love to read? Do you mix it up like me, or do you tend to stick to a specific book type or specific genre? Do you make time to read? Or is it something you wish you could make more time for?

Here's hoping I can get through (at least!) these 12 titles in 2020!

Happy reading folks!

I hope I've been able to provide a little reading inspiration for you...

Mrs B
xxx

1 comment:

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