Adventures in Books… The Book of You

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“Clarissa is becoming more and more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won’t leave her alone, and he refuses to take no for an answer. He is always there.

Being selected for jury service is a relief. The courtroom is a safe haven, a place where Rafe can’t be. But as a violent tale of kidnap and abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the young woman on the witness stand.

Realizing that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted, macabre fairytale that Rafe has spun around them – and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying than she could have imagined.”

This was a bookclub read from January and I can’t say I enjoyed reading it. It is pure and simple stalker story that takes place a little too close to home – in Bath and Bristol. I like TV and films that have this premise, but in a book and reading from the main characters point of view is not a nice feeling.

I also guessed the ending early on so was reading it just waiting for it to come about and because we were going to be talking about it in bookclub. It wasn’t all bad as the concept of keeping a journal and everything a stalker gives you and says is quite important and I didn’t realize this.

I can’t say I would recommend this to anyone to read and we didn’t rate it as a bookclub either, purely because of the subject matter, but maybe that means it did what it set out to do – make the reader uncomfortable,

Adventures in Books… The Guest Cat

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“A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another.

One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby Garden. But then something happens that will change everything again.”

This is a lovely book that didn’t take long to read. I loved it because it is about a cat and also it is set in Japan, where I really want to visit. It is beautifully written with lots of description about the surroundings and life the couple led at the time. The book is essentially about relationships and I found it an interesting read.

This is actually a very different book for my to read. I like books that are about journeys, but this is a book about people. There is a journey taking place, but it is the journey we all face as we move through life. If there wasn’t a cat involved I would not have enjoyed it anywhere near as much (just being honest!).

It got me thinking as well. I would it if a cat came to visit me, but I don’t know how I would feel if my cats went to visit someone else. In the end it doesn’t matter as my two are house cats essentially as they only go outside when I am there with them. But I don’t know how I would feel if they did go wandering and spent time in someone else’s house; I think I would be jealous.

Overall a sweet book to read and I would recommend it as something different but worth while.

Adventures in Books… The Nemesis Program

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“A BRUTAL MURDER
While secretly researching the bizarre discoveries of Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla many years earlier, physicist Claudine Pommier becomes the victim of a remorseless and cruel murderer who breaks into her Parisian apartment. Is he just a serial killer, or is there more to her death than the Paris cops believe?

A SCIENTIST ON THE RUN
Maverick American biologist Dr Roberta Ryder receives a mysterious letter from her friend Claudine and travels to Paris to see her, only to learn of her shocking death. Before she knows it, Roberta becomes the target of ruthless men with a deadly agenda that only the letter can unmask. She’s alone and vulnerable. But she knows someone – the only someone – who can help her.

A PLOT TO KILL MILLIONS
Ben Hope, ex-SAS soldier and Roberta’s old flame, now trying to retire to a life of peace with his fiancée Brooke, suddenly finds his life turned upside down by Roberta’s sudden arrival in England. She needs his help; he can’t turn her down. In a frantic race to Paris and halfway around the world, Ben and Roberta battle to uncover the mystery of Claudine’s research, with the killers just half a step behind. In the process they uncover a global conspiracy that will claim the lives of millions of people . . . unless Ben can stop it.”

I normally hate reading things out of order, but when a book is sent to you for free and I’m trying to watch my spending it calls for an exception. Of the Ben Hope series so far I have read books one and nine.

I enjoyed this. It is very Dan brown like in its conspiracy thriller plot. It was easy to read and a page turner and I enjoy that every now and again. I’ve added the second book in the series to my wishlist as I would like to read the ones I’ve missed.

I liked the characters and the relationships, even when the story got a little far-fetched I enjoyed how the characters reacted and dealt with things. Like I said at times the story goes a little beyond the realm of believability, but I like that in books as I like to be taken out of reality while I am reading them.

Overall a good action, crime, conspiracy story.

Adventures in Audiobooks… Foxglove summer

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“In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.

Travelling west with Beverley Brook, Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what’s more all the shops are closed by 4pm …”

This is the 5th book in the Rivers of London series and I am very much getting into the series. It’s quite nice not knowing how long the series will go on for and be able to look forward to a new book every so often.

This book takes the series and characters out of London, but the geography is just as fantastic and the attention to detail is utterly amazing. I like the author’s writing style and although it is descriptive and detailed, it does not waste time or feel like burden to the book. I like to know about the locations as well as the characters and this works here.

The story is an intriguing one and I could not guess where it was headed. I like the characters and the hints and links to the overarching storyline of the series. The plot of the book was great as a single story, but it is the unknown that intrigues me the most.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out!

Back in the Lake

This weekend, the first weekend of April, I set as the date I wanted to get back in the lake, and that is exactly what I did.

Saturday it was a chilly 7 degrees Celsius outside and warmer 8.7 degrees Celsius in the water. I joined the Cotswold Open Water Swimmers for their breakfast swim. This involved swimming in three lakes and then going for breakfast.

I made it into the first two lakes, but as the third was a drive away I decided to skip that one. I was a little chilly by this point. I managed about 100m in each lake, maybe slightly more, but as my aim was to get in and see how it went, that was a great start.

I then went back today and it was glorious. The sunshine was out and it felt warm out on the side. The lake hadn’t warmed up at all, but it was nowhere near as bad with sun out. Today I managed the 400m route and got my face full in the water on the way back to shore. My friends Carol and Sue (who are now doing the 70.3 with me as a relay) cycled over to see me swim. I want to be first out of the lake from the club at the 70.3 so I am training now!

Sue snapped some action shots of me!

The worst bit is the first dip under when the water enters the wetsuit through the zip. I was fully kitted up gloves, booties, and gloves!

Now I’ve started I will be in every week and will be building up distance. I would like to get up to swimming 5km this year, with the aim of doing a couple of 10km events next year. I also want to build speed for the 70.3 so have plenty to work on :)

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