The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Instead of reviewing the 2 Little Beach Street Bakery books back to back, I thought I’d break it up with a different book review. In today’s post I’m going to be sharing with you my thoughts of the latest book I read for a book club: “The Tattooist of Auschwitz”.

I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. 

Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.

So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

I’d seen this book around and thought it looked like an interesting read but hadn’t yet got round to picking it up. When the chance to read it for book club came up, I bought it right away and couldn’t wait to get started.

I read the book in 2 days and couldn’t put it down. It was a really interesting read, yet also incredibly sad at the same time. History has always fascinated me, especially history of WW1 and WW2. It was a disturbing time in history, particularly WW2 which I really hope never ever repeats itself.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the story of Lale during his time at Auschwitz in WW2. Lale is an intelligent, and proud man. He speaks 5 different languages and from his arrival at Auschwitz he was taken in by Pepan, the Tattooist of Auschwitz. Shortly after his arrival at Auschwitz Lale contracted Typhoid and almost died, however he was nursed back to health and became Pepan’s assistant. He learnt how to survive in Auschwitz from Pepan, and when Pepan one day disappears Lale becomes the Tattooist of Auschwitz, risking his life on many occasions to help others. He develops a relationship with Gita and their hope of a life together keeps them both alive.

All I basically have to say is that if you haven’t read this book yet then do pick it up. It is a fascinating, yet sad read, documenting the life of someone who lived, and survived Auschwitz. Ok, there are a lot of questions and debates regarding the accuracies of the book and it has been quite heavily criticised. But that shouldn’t stop you reading it!

Have you ever read “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” or do you have plans to? 🙂

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Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

As promised, it’s time for a review of “Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery” by Jenny Colgan. Having really enjoyed “Little Beach Street Bakery” it was time for me to move on to the next in the series!

When Mrs Manse (Polly’s landlord) passes away, her bakery business falls into the hands of her horrible son Malcolm. When Polly’s puffin Neil is found in her shop one day, Malcolm finds the excuse he needs to dismiss Polly. Struggling to make ends meet Polly’s husband Huckle heads back home to America to get some money back behind them, leaving Polly back at home planning her future. Polly quickly comes up with an idea to continue her baking business and it slowly sees her working her way back.

I absolutely loved “Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery”. The characters are just so relatable and lovable and it’s such a light and easy read. The storyline is great and Jenny Colgan does a great job of making you hate the right characters. Although at one point I was slightly concerned by the relationship that seemed to come up between Flora (who runs one of the bakeries) and Malcolm… It seemed and sounded a bit dodgy!

Would I recommend the book? Yes definitely, particularly if you want a nice easy read. 🙂

Have you ever read “Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery”? Or would you like to?

My 2018 Books

Hello again! I’m back today with a new post! Since my blog was originally a space for me to review books, it only seemed fitting that my first “proper” post of 2019 was a book related post. So today I thought I’d share with you the books that I read in 2018.

In 2016 and 2017 I managed to read 52 books in a year, and although my Reading Challenge was set at 25 books I was secretly aiming for more. However, that didn’t happen… Work happened, and not only that but anti-social hour work happened, meaning as soon as I got home from work it was bedtime, not reading time! Anyway, without further ado I will share with you which books I actually read in 2018.

January

Photo 11-03-2018, 10 01 04January started well and I read 4 books. I finally read “The Fault in Our Stars” and actually really enjoyed it.

1) Game Ranger in Your Backpack

2) The Fault in Our Stars

3) Happy Mum, Happy Baby

4) Blue Planet II

February

Photo 24-02-2018, 10 16 43

I managed to read 5 books in February, including a couple of really interesting reads. I really enjoyed reading Levison Wood’s “Walking the Himalayas” and Eddie the Eagle’s book. I also began reading books 7-9 of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” in preparation for Netflix’s series.

5) All That She Can See

6) Walking the Himalayas

7) Eddie the Eagle: My Story

8) The Vile Village

9) The Hostile Hospital

March

Sadly I only managed one book in the whole of March?! I’m not quite sure how that happened! But I did begin my job so maybe that accounts for it!!

10) The Carnivorous Carnival

April

Photo 24-04-2018, 10 32 47During April I read 3 books, including “The Martian”, a book which had been on my TBR list a long time! I really really loved the book and honestly couldn’t put it down! I also read a Nelson Mandela book which was really fascinating and I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough!

11) Mary Poppins Comes Back

12) Doing Life With Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend

13) The Martian

May & June

May and June were again, slow months of reading. I read Carole Matthew’s newest book, which I absolutely loved and can’t wait for her next book.

14) Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses

15) The Great British Bake Off: How to Avoid a Soggy Bottom

16) A Million Love Songs

17) On a Beautiful Day

July – September

Photo 13-09-2018, 13 27 36I only managed one book in these 3 months! That’s very unlike me. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the book I was reading but I think it reflects what I was doing during that time! I was working full time, obscure hours, and applying for jobs and reading kind of fell behind. Anyway, I finally read “The Rivers of London” which I absolutely loved and can’t wait to read again and more of the series!

18) The Rivers of London

October

Photo 07-11-2018, 16 23 52In October I discovered the ebook library of my local library and read my first book from it.

19) A Bear Called Paddington

20) One in a Million

 

 

November

November saw me unemployed and I obviously had some more time to read! I finally managed to read the next in the “Me Before You” series, and I also joined another book club, for which I read “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”.

21) Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

22) Still Me

23) Little Beach Street Bakery

December

Finally in December I finished the “Little Beach Street Bakery” series. A series which I loved dearly and can’t wait to review the last 2 books on here for you.

24) Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

25) Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery

So that was my 2018 in books! Again for 2019 I’m going to aim to read 25 books but we’ll see how that goes! As of 11th Jan 2019 I’ve read 3 books and hope to keep up my reading through the year.

Did you read many books in 2018? Or did you read any of these ones? 🙂

 

Still Me

Ever since I heard “Still Me” had come out I was desperate to read it. I really enjoyed both “Me Before You” and “After You” and was desperate to find out what happened next in Louisa’s story. However, the price of the book never dropped from £10 and I couldn’t really justify spending £10 on a new book, so I decided to wait until it became cheaper. Anyway, I finally got my hands on it through the ebook service from our library and I absolutely loved it 🙂

Lou Clark knows too many things . . .

She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.

She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to meet someone who’s going to turn her whole life upside down.

Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it’ll hurt.

Lou won’t know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.

In “Still Me” we rejoin Lou in her new job out in New York where she is living in ridiculous wealth, minding and befriending Agnes. As well as this she is learning how to cope with a long distance relationship as well as being thousands of miles from home.

I absolutely LOVE Louisa and she makes me laugh so much in so many places. Lou is just one of those people who doesn’t take life seriously and you can just laugh with her.

Basically, I don’t want to say too much and ruin it for anyone but this is a must read for anyone who has enjoyed the “Me Before You” story and wants to see more of Lou’s story.

Have you read Still Me? If so what did you think of it?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

I’m back with another book review! 🙂 So a couple of months ago my friend set up a book club with some of her friends. Unfortunately I missed the first meeting as I was working, but last month our book was “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”.

A few weeks ago I found that our local library also has an ebook service, so I decided to get this book from there, as reading the description of it, I wasn’t 100% sure if it was a book that I’d want to read.

Anyway, “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” is Gail Honeyman’s debut book and it has subsequently won a couple of awards.

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

So first up, I’m just going to say it. This book was not really my cup of tea. It was an OK read but the story just didn’t seem to progress. It felt pretty mundane and there wasn’t exactly a massive story or plot to it.

This book focuses on the themes of loneliness and isolation and definitely comes from a character with depression. OK, it was nice to see what happened to Eleanor and how her life moved on, but I just really couldn’t get my head around the story. Eleanor and Raymond (the other main character) were pretty easy to get on with and I loved how their relationship developed through the story.

Anyway, at the the end the day I wasn’t much of a fan of this book. I wouldn’t hurry to read it again, nor would I particularly recommend it as one which people should read. But that said, I know everyone has different tastes in book so this one could be for you 🙂

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine? If so what did you think? Is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on your to be read list?

One in a Million

I’m back with another book review 😀 I feel like my reading has picked up again the last few weeks. Maybe that’s because of the weather. Colder, snuggle up weather is definitely more book weather!

One of my latest reads is “One in a Million” by Lindsey Kelk. This is Lindsey Kelk’s newest release and I couldn’t wait to read it as I love all her books.

Everyone wants that special someone….

Annie Higgins has one goal this year: to get her tiny business off the ground. But – infuriated by the advertising agency across the hall making fun of her job – Annie is goaded into accepting their crazy challenge: to make a random stranger Instagram-famous in just thirty days.

And even when they choose Dr Samuel Page PhD, historian and hater of social media, as her target, Annie’s determined to win the bet – whether Sam likes it or not.

But getting to know Sam means getting to know more about herself. And before the thirty days are out, Annie has to make a decision about what’s really important…

I really enjoyed reading “One in a Million”. It was quite a different read compared to some of Lindsey Kelk’s other books. In fact, as much as I love all the series like the “I Heart” Series, sometimes it is great to have new standalone books.

“One in a Million” was very focused on the use of Social Media and how quickly things can go viral/how quickly someone can become famous online. OK, I know this isn’t a “normal” situation, but I suppose it highlights how much we rely on social media these days!

I really enjoyed the characters and Dr Samuel Page grew on me throughout the book. As well as that Annie was brilliant and I loved how she faced up to all the stick, criticism and downers that everyone was putting on her.

Without ruining the plot this was a great, easy but funny read which I’d recommend to anyone who loves this kind of genre 🙂 I apologise it’s such a brief review! I just don’t want to ruin it!

Rivers of London

This book took me far too long to read but I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to read some of the others in the series!

I’d heard about the novel “Rivers of London” a few years ago now, and everyone was recommending it and saying how great it was. But no matter how many times I read the blurb I couldn’t quite convince myself to pick it up.

Anyway, last year while I was in WH Smith, I found it in the clearance section for £2 and thought “what the hell” and it then sat on my shelf for almost a year. Then my good blogging friend decided to pick this book for her book club and it was the excuse I needed to pick it up!

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden … and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

Loads of people have described this book as kind of Harry Potter like, and I suppose in some ways it is… But I thought Harry Potter was better! Anyway, from the first chapter of this book I was gripped! It was such a change from the usual romance/chicklit stuff that I usually read but I loved it. It did require quite a lot of concentration at times and I was slightly disappointed at how flipping long some of the chapters were but at the end of the day I loved it. So much so that once the end was in sight I couldn’t put it down and finished the last 3 chapters in one sitting.

I definitely think I’d like to read the other books in this series at some point in the future 🙂

Have you ever read “Rivers of London”? What did you think of it?