Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walker

imagesThe Italian Riviera, Hollywood, the 60’s and romance…what’s not to love?

I fell in love with this book from the first paragraph…

‘The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly—in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier. She wavered a moment in the boat’s stern, then extended a slender hand to grip the mahogany railing; with the other, she pressed a wide-brimmed hat against her head. All around her, shards of sunlight broke on the flickering waves.’

Pasquale Tursi owns a hotel on a desolate (fictitious) island clamped to the rear of the stunning Cinque Terre. Left to look after the crumbling hotel after his father’s death, the clings to the idea of American movie stars visiting his intimate (read: tiny) island, and works to finish creating the beach and tennis court on the cliffs which he is certain will bring them there. In his spare time, he tries to convince the owners of the Cinque Terre to include his little dot into their fold – after all, Sei Terre is so much easier on the tongue, no?

Continue reading

Books to make you fall back in <3 with reading! My guest post

So I jumped at the chance to do this post, which first appeared on Lipstick & Motherhood, a great new blog I stumbled across that covers all things from beauty, motherhood, fitness and more!

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

Ok, so that title is quite a claim, but I stand by it!
As many of my readers know, I am a bookworm. Reading relaxes my mind, transports me into other worlds, and makes my life all the richer. Because of this, it makes me sad when people tell me they’re just not into reading, or they used to love it when they were younger but can’t get back into it. I think this is a huge shame, and firmly believe it’s a case of a bad or inappropriate book. 
Without further ado, check out my list of books guaranteed to get those pages turning!
 
Shadow of the wind series – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The city of Barcelona pulses alive in this gothic tale filled with mystery, suspense and romance. It’s a very readable trilogy, with the pages flying as you try and unravel the mystery 10 year old Daniel Sempere stumbles upon when he ‘adopts’ a novel from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The writing is beautiful, and the story gripping. Good luck putting it down!


 

Continue reading

Burial Rites – Hannah Kent

I encourage anyone who hasn’t read this book to seriously put down whatever you’re doing, and hop to it. I picked it up last Saturday night, and when I put it down what felt like 3 minutes later, (but was actually closer to 2 hours) I was halfway through. It’s Hannah Kent’s debut novel, and the story itself of how the book came to be written is extraordinary. The writing is truly something else, lyrical but yet taut and very atmospheric- I read it with a growing sense of foreboding which I felt I could almost reach out and touch.

Burial_Rites_AU_FC-S

It’s based on the true story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman to be exiled in Iceland for her part in the murders of Natan Ketilsson and Pétur Jónsson in 1828. The novel tells the story of her last few months, in a combination of first person narrative and through the eyes of those around her- which I thought was a nice touch to keep the story moving, and not at all as jarring as it can feel penned by a lessor author. Some voices are sympathetic, like the young and compassionate preacher, Reverend Thorvadur “Tóti” Jónsson  who Is Agnes’ self requested confessor, used as a vehicle for Agnes to voice her side of the story. Continue reading

The Forever Girl – Alexander McCall Smith

I’ve never read anything by Alexander McCall Smith, but I do know he penned the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Perhaps I should have started with one of those.

The story is likeable enough. Clover and David are the children of ex-pats living on the idyllic Cayman Islands. They’re thrust into friendship from a very young age –  inevitable when you’re parents move in the same social circles of a small community. Continue reading

Afternoons in Ithaka – Spiri Tsintziras

They say not to judge a book by it’s cover. Pffft…have you SEEN this cover? I had to have this book, immediately, and it was all based on the cover.

171805

Turning it around, I hoped the back would do it justice- and it delivered!  I knew I wouldn’t even need to do the first page test or the random middle page test. I was in love with the writing, and the story was already tugging at my nostalgic heartstrings. Continue reading

The Food of Love Cookery School | Nicky Pellegrino

Nicky Pellegrino is one one of my go to authors when I want a little escapism. This time last year, hubby and I were planning a trip to Europe, which included 2 weeks exploring Italy. Feeling a bit nostalgic and totally over winter, I picked up a copy of this at my local library.

If you love food and travel, then this is the book for you!

 

Nicky-Pellegrino-food-of-love-web

Continue reading

An auditory travel through time…

A friend’s recent Facebook post prompted me to think about sound and music in particular recently. It’s such a powerful sense and can literally transport you back to another time and place.  She asked what music we were listening to throughout high school. I distinctly remember sitting in the playground with a group of friends in Year 7 belting out ‘Ain’t nobody gonna break my stride’ by Unique II (Yes I had to look them up!)

I think this, along with this Savage Garden number could just about sum up my high school years. Continue reading