Tuesday, 17 September 2013

My top 5 books read this Summer by Carole Matthews

When I initially put out feelers for this top 5 books read this summer feature week Carole Matthews, bestselling author of 23 books including her latest books A Cottage by the Sea and Calling Mrs Christmas which is being published in paperback next month, was one of the first to offer to contribute. So what books did she pick, read on to find out... 

Me and Mr Jones by Lucy Diamond

Meet the women in love with three very different brothers...

Izzy’s determined to escape her troubled past with a new start by the sea – but flirtatious Charlie Jones is causing complications.

Alicia’s been happily married to loyal Hugh for years but secretly craves excitement. Maybe it’s time to spice things up?

Emma’s relationship with David was once fun and romantic but trying for a baby has taken its toll. Then temptation comes along . . .

As the future of the family’s B&B becomes uncertain, Izzy, Alicia and Emma are thrown together unexpectedly. It seems that keeping up with the Joneses is harder than anyone thought...

Really enjoyed this book. The story of three women , all of them married to sons of the Jones family. The action revolves around who will take over the running of the family bed & breakfast as their parents start to age. Funny and poignant. I love Lucy’s writing.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

January 1937. Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight year old Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life. So when he's offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway: five men and eight huskies, crossing the Barents Sea by the light of the midnight sun. At last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year. Gruhuken.

But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. He faces a stark choice. Stay or go. Soon he will see the last of the sun, as the polar night engulfs the camp in months of darkness. Soon he will reach the point of no return - when the sea will freeze, making escape impossible.

And Gruhuken is not uninhabited. Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark...

I really fancied reading a scary ghost story and find that very few books can frighten me these days. This is a great chiller though. Set in the 1930’s, it’s about a team of men who go to do some weather surveys in the arctic region of Spitsbergen. So creepy and atmospheric. Beautifully written too. Loved it.

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell is Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes having risen with those of Anne Boleyn, the king’s new wife. 

But Anne has failed to give the king an heir, and Cromwell watches as Henry falls for plain Jane Seymour. Cromwell must find a solution that will satisfy Henry, safeguard the nation and secure his own career. 

But neither minister nor king will emerge unscathed from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days.

I’m completely obsessed with Tudor history and so the second book in the trilogy about Thomas Cromwell was a Must Read for me. Thoroughly enjoyed it, but it’s slow-going and has taken me weeks to read, so it’s curtailed my summer reading somewhat and a lot of the books I wanted to read are still on my shelf.

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

The haunting story of the mother of the Tudors, Elizabeth of York, wife to Henry VII. 

Beautiful eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville - the White Queen - the young princess Elizabeth faces a conflict of loyalties between the red rose and the white. 

Forced into marriage with Henry VII, she must reconcile her slowly growing love for him with her loyalty to the House of York, and choose between her mother's rebellion and her husband's tyranny. Then she has to meet the Pretender, whose claim denies the House of Tudor itself.

I love her books and this follows on from the story of The White Queen and The Kingmakers' daughter - the books that were recently televised. For me, Philippa Gregory makes me feel as if I’m right at the centre of the action. In my humble opinion, no one does historical novels better.

Whitstable by Stephen Volk

1971. A middle-aged man, wracked with grief, walks along the beach at Whitstable in Kent.

A boy approaches him and, taking him for the famous vampire-hunter Doctor Van Helsing from the Hammer movies, asks for his help. Because he believes his stepfather really is a vampire…

Published to Honour the 2013 Peter Cushing Centenary

You can tell that I read very differently from the sort of thing that I write during my holiday! I think it’s good to have a break from my own genre sometimes. 

This is a gentle novella written by someone who’s obviously a big fan of Peter Cushing. The story is about Cushing’s life after his wife dies and how he becomes entangled in the life of a young boy. A moving, sad, but very well-written story.

Come back tomorrow to see which 5 books Kirsty from The Love of A Good Book has picked as her top 5 choice.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful eclectic mix of reads. And such a good idea for a post!