Little Princes – Conor Grennan

Little PrincesI often like to read books about places I have visited. So, after my amazing trip there last year, I was on the look out for a book set in Nepal. It was the colourful front cover that first attracted me to Little Princes, and the fact that the story sounded uplifting.

Finishing the final pages of Little Princes while sipping ‘milk tea’ which I bought on a souvenir shopping spree in Kathmandu, I felt a real craving to go back and explore more of Nepal. Closing my eyes, the spicy aroma from my mug made the dusty streets of Kathmandu seem not too far away.

I was never really out of my comfort zone in my brief two week visit to Nepal, but Conor Grennan certainly was. Little Princes is his story about how he came to be in Nepal in the first place and how it changed not only his life, but the lives of countless Nepali families.  Continue reading

The Enchanted April – Elizabeth von Arnim

cover162045Last June my friend and I took a much anticipated trip to Rome and Florence. We met as au-pairs in Milan about five years ago and try to get back to our favourite country as often as we can. The night I got back from our holiday, I felt the post Italian blues so strongly, that I desperately searched around for films, books, food, anything! that would transport me back to the wonderful country that I love so much. I was so lucky to find The Enchanted April. The dreary, grey and depressing London in the first part of the book expressed perfectly how I felt about being back.

Four women, all strangers, put their money together to escape their unsatisfying London lives for the month of April. They are all very different characters who are unhappy or unsatisfied in some way; excitable Mrs Wilkins, kindhearted Mrs Arbuthnot, grumpy Mrs Fisher and the beautiful Lady Catherine.  Continue reading

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan

9780141346809I bought this for my younger brother as a present but was so intrigued to see how Riordan would bring the Greek Gods into the modern day, that I decided to give it a go myself.

At first I quite enjoyed the writing style and pace of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Riordan gets straight to the point, with the first chapter being named “I accidentally vaporize my pre-algebra teacher” (who hasn’t wanted to do that at some point in their school lives?)

There’s no faffing about, it’s all in-your-face-action with an easy going, humorous narrative from Percy himself. With his natural way of speaking and everyday problems (on top of the extraordinary problems you get from having a God for a father), I imagine kids can relate to Percy.  Continue reading

Desert Flower – Waris Dirie

Desert Flower Waris DirieI first heard about Waris Dirie on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. From nomad to supermodel, Bond Girl to human rights campaigner, her story made me stop what I was doing, sit down and listen in disbelief.

The book opens in her home country, Somalia. Her upbringing there was about as different from mine as you can get. She lived a very simple, but hard life in the desert with her mother, father and siblings. Waris loved parts of her childhood, especially her family and the way of life; always on the move to find water, looking after the animals and caring for her younger siblings. However, there were certain things that she did not understand and her rebelliousness sometimes got her into trouble. The final straw came when, while still only a child, her father tried to force her into a marriage with a much older man. To escape this unwanted match, Waris decided to run away from home. She always had a feeling that she was destined to have a different life. And she was right. Continue reading

My Top 5 Books from 2013

Happy New Year

I was not the most consistent book blogger in 2013. I currently have a daunting ten books piled up ready to be written about, and some of them have been there since the spring! Hopefully I will manage to get on to them early in the New Year. My reading list, like my blog, has been a bit pathetic over the past year. I haven’t been racing through books like I usually would, apart from the odd couple. I’ve found comfort in old favourites such as The Hobbit, The MoonstoneThe Little Friend and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase series, but not managed to pick up as many new books as I would have liked.

I’m afraid I can’t blame this lack of adventurous reading on being too busy at work or anything like that, but I have been busy. I’ve been busy having fun! In fact, for me, 2013 has been one of the best years for a long time! I’ve been on some great holidays, including a fantastic trip to Nepal in October, (Where I visited the amazing Pilgrims Book House in Kathmandu, and fought off tears in the airport when reading Sold by Patricia McCormick), and life has generally been quite good, with a job that I enjoy and living happily with my boyfriend in a lovely little flat in the centre of town.

Instead of doing ‘awards’ this year (like in 2011 and 2012), I thought I would simply share my Top 5 books from my reading list of 2013 (Some of which I haven’t reviewed yet – I’ll add the links as soon as I do!)

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