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

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

 

My top TV show recommendations

As it’s pouring with rain today, and sadly the glorious summer seems to have ended, I thought I’d share my top tv show recommendations because y’know, what else you gonna do on a rainy day other than snuggle up infront of the tv?!

Ok I confess, maybe I do spend too much time watching tv but when the programming is this good can you blame me?

Dark

It’s not often I get fanatical about a programme but Dark was SO GOOD. It’s a Netflix Original sci-fi thriller and I have been recommending it to everyone. It’s a German language series but we just watched the dubbed version as we find subtitles too distracting (and the only German I know is how to order a small chocolate milkshake! ha!). The story begins in the year 2019 and starts with a young boy who goes missing. It then centres around four families and their connections to each other in the fictional German town of Winden. The show is a little reminiscent of Stranger Things (which I also love) but takes on a much different twist several episodes in. I can’t say much more without major plot spoilers but if there is one show to watch on Netflix right now it is Dark.

Dark Tourist

Sticking with the dark theme, we happened across a series called Dark Tourist. It is presented by David Farrier, a journalist from New Zealand, who explores the phenomenon of dark tourism. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it is basically defined as tourism to a place of death and tragedy. Farrier travels the world and satisfies the morbid curiosity in all of us. One of the most notable things he does is take a bus tour to the area of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan – where eventually the radiation levels read so high on the geiger counters that the tour is then halted. He also meets drug lord Pablo Escobar’s number 1 hitman in Colombia and takes part in an Indonesian funeral ritual involving digging up a corpse, among many other things. Some of the viewing is not for the faint-hearted but it is an intriguing watch.

Lee Daniels’ Star

I’m currently in the middle of watching season 2 of this drama about a girl band trying to make it big in Atlanta, USA. This show tackles almost every issue under the sun from violence, drug abuse, transgender identity and toxic relationships, all of which are intertwined with the highs and lows of trying to make it in the music industry. It features some relatively fresh faces to acting who hold their own alongside some big names such as Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt. Oh and the soundtrack is pretty fab too!

RuPaul’s Drag Race

I am very late to the party but I can’t get enough of RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a competition hosted by iconic drag queen RuPaul, to find America’s next drag superstar and has had 10 seasons already. The programme is the perfect mix of funny, sassy, creative and touching, I feel more sparkly just by watching it. I’ve only managed to watch the 3 most recent seasons as that’s all Netflix have got now, so if anyone knows where I can watch the older series please let me know! If I can find it on an android tv box or something I will be very happy.

Image via unsplash

What are you watching on tv at the moment? Leave me your recommendations below.

This was a collaborative post with Latest Deals.

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”.