Day 32 of lockdown. How’s it going folks? I’ve been enjoying relaxing with my Kindle in the garden on the warm sunny days we’ve had recently but at the speed I read I’m getting through books way too quickly! Fortunately Amazon have some good kindle offers on so here are a selection of 99p books to read during lockdown.
1. This Could Change Everything – Jill Mansell
This is one of those books that’s easy and enjoyable to read, but difficult to summarise without spoilers so I’ll give it my best shot!
It begins with Essie, a young lady who makes a silly mistake and manages to lose her boyfriend, home and job all in one go (she lives in her boyfriend’s house and is employed by his mother, hence the triple whammy). It’s not long before she’s back on her feet with a new job and a new place to live. It is here that she meets Connor, Zillah and a cast of other colourful characters. Zillah is a fabulously stylish 83 year old woman who grants last wishes to dying people, along with her sidekick Connor, a young photographer looking for love.
I personally found this book fairly unpredictable (until the end), although others may disagree. I think because there are so many characters whose stories intertwine, I wasn’t sure which way the author was going to take the main story.
My favourite quote:
“Every day we do things that are capable of changing everything, and that’s what makes life exciting”.
Recommend: if you’re looking for something uplifting, heart warming and a little different to the norm.
2. It’s Now Or Never – Carole Matthews
The story centres around twin sisters, Annie and Lauren, who upon looking at their perfect older sister Chelsea’s fabulous life decide that they want to make a change and turn their lives around before their 40th birthdays. Annie has 2 grown up children and lives in a dull marriage with her husband who is well and truly in his comfort zone and just likes to go fishing all the time. Lauren on the other hand is having a five year long affair with her married boss and wastes her life waiting for him to become available.
“See? Why don’t I think of things like that? I’ve become so narrow in my life that I can’t even begin to think out of the box”
Recommend: if you’re the wrong side of 35 and looking for a captivating read.
3. How To Be Champion – Sarah Millican
You know Sarah Millican? Comedian from South Shields, wears glasses, likes to talk about cake and things being ‘claggy’? Well, How to be Champion is her autobiography and personal guide for how to be, well, champion. Kind of part autobiography, part self help book. She talks about everything from her childhood and being bullied at school, to relationships (with yourself as well as others) and divorce. And of course she talks about how she became a comedian. I’ve never seen Sarah live but I’ve watched some of her stand-up on tv and I couldn’t help hearing her distinct voice in my head the whole time I was reading this book! She’s a bit naughty but she’s unapologetically herself, which is refreshing in the world of celebrity.
“Life is too short not to enjoy yourself when the opportunity arises”
Recommend: if you’re a fan of Sarah Millican. Obviously.
4. Playing Away – Adele Parks
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one as it’s quite different to what I would usually read. The story centres around Connie and her fancy London friends. Connie has been married to her husband Luke for one year but embarks on an affair with an arrogant but irresistible guy from her office named John. What appealed to me about this book was rather than being a ‘searching for Mr Right’ type of book which is quite typical of the chick lit stories I’ve read in the past, it’s actually more about already having Mr Right but giving in to the temptation of Mr Wrong. Although I couldn’t relate much with the characters, there was one quote that stood out to me when Connie was at a child’s birthday party surrounded by nosey 30-something year old mothers:
“I am bored. I am scared. I don’t want this. I don’t want to be in a job I hate, waiting to have children, who will undoubtedly hate me, just so I can live out my failed ambitions through them”.
I think it speaks to the 30-something female who is still looking for something – not a man or a baby or a job – but something more.
Recommend: if you’re looking for something a bit spicier than your usual chick lit.
5. The Hotel Where We Met – Belinda Jones
Belinda Jones is one of my favourite authors. Her stories usually involve her heroine travelling to some exciting and/or exotic far off land and eventually falling in love with some heartthrob at the end of the book. Predictable but enjoyable.
The Hotel Where We Met kind of has the key ingredients, however with a time-travel twist. Chloe, our heroine, travels to Coronado, a resort island off the coast of San Diego. She receives a mysterious message on the plane that suggests that the reason she hasn’t yet met her perfect man is because he doesn’t exist…. yet. Chloe then must travel back in time to match-make couples to ensure that her future beau is born.
I lifted this quote from the book…
“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
And be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny”.
Recommend: if you’re a fan of holiday escapism.
Chances are there will be another post like this before we all get back to normality, so why not escape reality for a little while with a good book!
Would love to hear your reading recommendations too.
Stay safe x