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Falling Leaves ~ Adeline Yen Mah

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Autobiographical account which makes for some uncomfortable reading. Chinese daughter railing against her family’s wishes for her.

Despite the arguments and what life throws at her , Adeline succeeds against all odds.

Without giving too much of the story away you know that you will cry with her and feel her despair, but hold on just as she does as she reaps rewards eventually.

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And the best inflight magazine goes to ….South African Airways!

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I’ve never had reason to blog about an inflight magazine before. Generally I flick through the flight offerings and dip into the odd article or two which take my fancy….. however Sawubona the inflight magazine for South African airways really held my interest on a flight from Heathrow to Jo’burg then onward to Blantyre. Well done SSA it makes for excellent reading.

Highlights for me in the June edition included Morgan Trimble’s take on a hot Malawian Sauce where she espouses the virtues of Nali …. I did look out for it in Mulanje but wasn’t successful. I like a chilli sauce so always ready to try a new one.

I loved Brian Parsley’s advice about trusting others….I could learn from that ……often though I feel others have to earn my trust but perhaps we have to dive in feet first and give people an opportunity.

The profile on Lusanda Jiya quotes that her most important item on holiday is her attitude…. for me it’s my camera but I think I should pick attitude as a close second. I agree with her, I like an aisle seat over a window and my mum’s not reading this so am going to say champagne when given a choice of tea,coffee or bubbles!

The article on beach house living in Tanzania will be my go to dream escape during the English winter! The travel articles were varied and abundant, the photos rich and inviting.

Overall plenty to keep me occupied for quite a period of time, easy enough to read when you are feeling tired and uncomfortable after travelling for many hours, I wish I could have access to a hard copy of this magazine when not flying as I think it would satisfy some of my wanderlust and scratch my itchy feet…… So long South Africa until perhaps next year and thanks Sawubona.

Originally featured on The Grey Traveller

Bread Alone ~Judi Hendricks

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Her marriage breaking up Wynter or Wyn to her friends finds herself on a journey both geographically from LA to Seattle and metaphorically from coupledom to living with her mother and then sofa surfing with her best buddy CM to living alone. In amongst all this she returns to her first love of making bread and we get to know a little about her time in France learning this craft and how it provides therapy and respite from the real world.

With a nod to the backdrop of sunny south California and a few name dropping hints about Santa Monica and the like ( I enjoy the odd reference to places I’ve been on my travels I’ve yet to make it to coffee capital Seattle but would love to see the fish throwing stall holders in the market just as Wyn and CM do.)

The story throws Wynter the curved ball of husbands ‘other woman’, her mum remarrying and the slightly hostile climate of Seattle but she bounces back albeit slowly and with some pain along the way.

It’s an easy read and my first from Judi, I know she has some more ‘Bread’ titles, so I look forward to a full blow out!

The Husband’s Secret -Liane Moriarty

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This pacy novel set in the Australian ‘burbs carefully tells several small stories before they all become one big fat mother of a tale. You can see yourself in some of the characters whether it’s the trying to juggle everything Cecelia, the hard done by Rachel or the trying to smooth rough seas Lucy. I didn’t know whether I was heading towards a disaster or a perfect ending, either way I was eager to find out! Tell me what you think of Liane’s other books, as I’m keen to find out, she is new to me.

 Find out what The Husband’s Secret is…..I didn’t guess it, but it makes for great reading. Enjoy!

The Sisters ~ Claire Douglas

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The book cover entices you in with the hook – One lied One died, and yes I was hooked straight away. The delicate heroine is buffeted this way and that after losing her twin sister, she is fragile, weak and mentally wounded as she tries to find herself in her new world bereft of her best friend. Her friends and family are scared for her and perhaps scared of what she might do next. She is drawn to a new friend who like her is a twin, she moves in with her desperate to be accepted but finds herself questioning her own mental state, is she actually going mad?

Lots of references to the beautiful city of Bath but to find the answers you will have to read it.

31 Dream Street ~ Lisa Jewell

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Picked this up in a Dubai hotel for a recent beach read. Ticked the box as would any of Lisa’s books. A gentle, intriguing read about a group of disparate folk living together at you guessed it 31 Dream Street. There’s a little mystery, a few ups and downs and of course the IMG_1301inevitable little love story that makes it all ok in the end.

No I haven’t given anything away but you will fall a little in love with the unlikely hero at number 31. You will also feel sorry for some of his tenants, but I can equally guarantee you will be pleased if you pick this for a beach read, it’s just right with a holiday cocktail and a comfy pool side bed. Enjoy! ……I did.

East of the Sun ~ Julia Gregson

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cropped-img_4398.jpgI could almost hear the plaintive haunting sounds of a sitar whilst reading this book. The lives of three girls are intertwined in twenties India. They arrive from good old safe Blighty to a country on the turn. Two ‘well to do girls’ Rose and Tor are intrigued by their chaperone a quiet seemingly mousy Viva.

Viva is paid to keep an eye on the girls and another mysterious charge  – a 16 year old boy as they steer their way from Southampton to Bombay in search of marriage and adventure or in Viva’s case work and to collect a trunk her dead parents had left behind. Viva had fond but distant memories of India which she had last seen as a child, Rose was meeting her fiancé and getting married whilst Tor was escaping her mother and looking for anything to keep her from returning to Middle Wallop. Enjoyable easy read and I loved the story as well as the descriptive Indian back drop. If you have something to add please drop a word in the comment box.

The Shadow of the Wind ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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I often choose a book just because of its cover, but The Shadow of the Wind chose me because as I read the jacket blurb and learned that it was set in Barcelona I had to have it and I’m so glad I did. I hadn’t long returned for a few days in this arty city when I happened upon this novel.

The book is set after the Civil and Second World War when atmosphere of late forties Barca is somewhat austere. There are many mentions and references to areas I had explored in 2014 such as the Boqueria Market, Las Ramblas and Monjuic. ….but best of all he refers to a meeting which takes place in the Placa de Santa Felipe Neri, a beautiful square in the Gothic area where I stayed. The square is tiny and beautiful, centred on a fountain. The poc marked walls are reminders of a bomb which killed several children during the civil war and for me I will forever associate it with some haunting Spanish violin music where one evening I watched and listened to a puppet playing violin at the clever and creative hands of its mistress, clearly a talented musician with a canny and unusual gift of entertainment.

But to return to the book, it’s a mystery surrounding an author and one of his books found in the cemetery of forgotten books a veritable treasure trove of the written and published words in a book shop not far from where the hero or should I say main character resides, we grow with this young boy who fast reaches adolescence and his obsession with this author and book leads him to don the persona of Sherlock.

Quite a big read, educational and entertaining at the same time.

Old School book or tablet? ~ you decide!

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I’d love to hear reader’s views on reading from a tablet versus reading a book? What are the pros and cons in your opinion? Do you love your Kindle or Nook? Do you read books on an iPad or phone? Which do you prefer to use? Please let me know your views by leaving a comment here.

Iris and Ruby ~ Rosie Thomas

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IMG_1833.JPGSo Rosie Thomas is new to me, I can’t believe I haven’t come across her or her books before but now I am a new fan and I will make it my mission to explore the works of Rosie some more. As both a keen traveller and a reader it’s great to have my two ‘loves’ combined. I often choose books set in places I have been to as somehow it adds another dimension to the story but this time Rosie’s book is set in a place I haven’t set foot in but has been on my bucket list for some time………..

Her story is set in both war time and present day Cairo and is feeding my desire even more. The descriptive passages of colonial cocktail parties, silk dresses and pink champagne amidst a heated backdrop of both the climate and the desperate passion takes the reader back to a world at war but just as easily drops you into more recent times as the two worlds fuse as grandmother and granddaughter get to know one another. To begin with they are strangers  but things change and they gradually allow each other to learn a little about their respective selves.

If you want to add a review about this book or another please contact me I would be pleased to hear from you.