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FREE Kindle books to read during lockdown

If you have an Amazon Kindle (or even the Kindle app for tablets) did you know you can get a 2 month free trial to Kindle Unlimited? No, neither did I until the other week. As I already smashed through 5 books during the first month of lockdown I thought it was definitely worth my while getting a free trial. So here’s what else I have been reading…

4 Riverside Close – Diana Wilkinson

I demolished this book in less than 24 hours. This is a psychological thriller centred around Riverside Close, a middle class cul-de-sac in North London and a seemingly harmless social networking site called ‘Join me’ inviting people to connect and socialise with like-minded individuals. The chapters are narrated by four different characters but because they are all so different I didn’t find it confusing and I think as the author had made the characters quite well-rounded, it helped me to picture them in my mind. In the opening chapter we learn that there is a murder on the close, the book is then a build up towards the murder and introduces the characters and possible motives. I personally didn’t work out whodunnit until it was revealed, which made it quite an engrossing read. My favourite character was Alexis – a young woman with desires to become a private investigator – and I would love the author to write a spin off with her and her friends Gary and Olive. The feel of the book reminded me of Desperate Housewives so I think fans of that show would enjoy this read.

Checking Out – Nick Spalding

Checking Out is the story of Nathan, a 33 year old man who has made a small fortune creating beloved children’s characters in the form of singing fruit and veg. But before Nathan can fully enjoy his money and freedom he discovers that he has a deadly brain tumour. We then follow Nathan and the bizarre situations he finds himself in as he deals with anger at his misfortune, a potential new love interest as well as the nagging urgency to do something meaningful with his life.  I must admit I was slightly anxious reading this given the subject matter but actually found it quite a humourous, uplifting and thought provoking read.

The Other Wife – Claire McGowan

This is a mysterious thriller which centres mainly on two women, Suzi and Nora, who live in a small remote rural village in Kent. Both are hiding secrets and it is their loneliness initially that bonds them, but we later find out that there is more to both these women than meets the eye. Throw in a few more characters and you have a story that builds quite slowly but then picks up pace with its twists and turns. The chapters are narrated by different characters so it can become a little confusing at some points, but bear with it and it will make sense in the end.

Jessica Beam is a Hot Mess – Kirsty Greenwood

Jessica Beam is your fun friend, a commitment-phobe party girl who drinks, swears and sleeps around. Her so-called best friend Summer has had enough of her shenanigans and after a disasterous event, Jessica finds herself homeless and penniless. The only person Jessica can turn to is her long lost grandmother Matilda – author of a series of books popular in the 1950s teaching women how to conduct themselves and catch the perfect man. For the sake of a new book and some much needed money, Matilda transforms Jess from Hot Mess to Demure Woman in order to capture the heart of one of London’s most famous playboys.
I loved this book. It was funny and even though she’s a bit trashy I still really liked Jessica. All the characters were wonderful apart from Summer.
If you’re looking for some lighthearted fun and entertainment I would recommend this book.


That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve already read another three books on Kindle Unlimited but I don’t know if I will write about them but you can read some of my previous book reviews here.

What have you read lately that you would recommend?

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I am in NO WAY sponsored by Amazon but if Mr Bezos is reading, I’ll have some money please 🙂

Friday Night Dinner Drinking Game

Hello Bambinos!

I’ve been making good use of lockdown time and have made a Friday Night Dinner Drinking Game, ready for tonights episode.

If you’re a fan and do it, let me know how it goes.
If you’re not a fan…. what’s wrong with you?! p.s. its on Channel 4 tonight, previous series are on Netflix and 4OD.

Friday Night Dinner Drinking Game - quirkylittleplanet.com

You’re welcome, pissface.

Disclaimer: This game is not endorsed by C4 or FND. Drink responsibly. Don’t blame me for any hangovers, caravan fires, bags in trees, spilt paint, stolen chicken or any other alcohol induced disaster.

99p books to read during lockdown

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

 

How to be Happy – Book Review

How to be Happy by Eva Woods

How to be Happy - Book Review

If there was one book that I have read in the past year that I believe should be made into a movie, then this is it! So much so that I recommended this book to my mum, who then recommended this book to my aunt and now I am recommending it to you.

How to be happy by Eva Woods tells the story of Annie. Annie is not in a good place – she doesn’t like her job, her mother is in hospital and after a run of awful life events she generally feels quite down trodden and, well, sad. And then along comes Polly – a riot of colour and bursting with fun, laughter and joy. Polly is everything Annie is not.

Annie is in no mood to make friends but Polly is persistent and forces herself into Annie’s life with the aim of helping Annie find happiness in just one hundred days. Polly shows Annie that life is too short to be miserable and slowly but surely, Annie starts to believe her. What Annie doesn’t realise is that Polly needs her, just as much as she needs Polly.

Without revealing any major plot spoilers, this book is a bittersweet tale of friendship, life and love. It’s called ‘How to be Happy’ yet it is also very poignant and reminds us to live our best lives. As Polly would say, “Life isn’t about avoiding the storm; it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.

#GIRLBOSS – Book Review

I’m about a year too late to the party, but having recently watched the Netflix series I felt inspired to read the book itself. I am of course talking about #GIRLBOSS.

#GIRLBOSS book review
Background image via unsplash

You probably already know by now, but #GIRLBOSS is written by Sophia Amoruso, founder of multi-million dollar fashion empire Nasty Gal, and is a bit of a rags to riches kind of story. Sophia tells her tale in this book which is part autobiography, part motivational speech.

I didn’t know much about Amoruso or her Nasty Gal empire before I watched the tv series, but I felt that the book was kind of like getting a pep talk from your sassy, savvy (and very rich) friend. I enjoyed the first half of the book and it made me feel inspired and wanting to get up and go do something extraordinary but unfortunately my interest dwindled towards the end of the book… there’s only so many times you can read “I am the CEO of a $100-million-plus business” and not grow jaded.

This is not a self-help book in the sense that it will give you insider info to help you run your own empire, but it will give you a bit of a pep talk to go out there and get shit done.

Here are some of my favourite quotes:

“The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol”

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission”

“Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening. But before you start to think you just got lucky, remember that it’s magic, and you made it yourself”

“When your goal is to gain experience, perspective, and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility. Failure is your invention”

“It’s cool to be kind. It’s cool to be weird. It’s cool to be honest and to be secure with yourself. Cool is the girl at a party who strikes up a conversation with you when she notices you don’t seem to know many people there”

“Clothing is ultimately the suit of armor in which we battle the world”


Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What motivational books would you recommend? Feel free to comment below!