ISABELLA CONNOR

Books I'm reading/have read

Since I got my Kindle, I have a wealth of books to read - One Click is all too easy, especially for a self-confessed spendaholic.  My most recent acquisitions are the complete set of Susan Coolidge's Katy books. Loved them as a child, and I have the feeling I'll still enjoy them. I'm also planning to get the entire Discworld series downloaded, always guaranteed to raise a smile. Remember once laughing aloud on a train. God bless Terry Pratchett.

I'm useless at reviews, so won't pretend that's what I'm doing here. But I hope I can at least convey reasonably well, my feelings about the books I've read. 

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I'm currently reading GYPSY BOY by Mikey Walsh. If I had to choose one word to describe it, traumatic would be in with a chance. What he went through as a child, from just four years of age, fills me with horror and sadness.

It's pretty car-crash, and I don't mean that in an insulting way. I don't want to read it, but am compelled to. It's powerful stuff. He has a new book out, and that is next on my shopping list.

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Recently finished GLASSHOPPER by Isabel Ashdown.  Really evocative and highly recommended. The story revolves around 13 year old Jake and his mother, Mary. The chapters alternate between the POVs of each of them, and this works really well. There were times when I wanted to slap Mary, but as the story goes on, I became more and more sympathetic and understanding towards her. The ending shocked me. I'd become so engrossed in the story, I completely forgot the warning earlier in the book!

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One of my favourite books ever is PILLARS OF THE EARTH, by Ken Follett. Total escapism. Even if you don't like history, I'd defy you not to become engrossed in this book. Empathetic heroes/heroines, and villains you just want to suffer. The follow-up, WORLD WITHOUT END is just as good, although my enjoyment was tempered somewhat by the fact I couldn't wait for the paperback, and the hardback was like a brick. If you buy the hardback version, I'd recommend a lectern to go with it. Or a Kindle if it's available in that format.

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 TRADE WINDS by Christina Courtenay is a great read, especially if you want the kind of hero you can instantly fall in love with, and Killian is such a hero. Christina has the knack of engrossing you right from the first page, and it never flags. 

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I recently became more than a bit obsessed with the FEVER series by Karen Moning - truly wonderful escapism. Set in Dublin, where fairies - the Fae - are living amongst mortals preparing to take over the world. Some are pure evil, some less so but still a bit suspect; what they aren't is pretty little creatures with wings, spreading fairy-dust. And I fell in love with JERICHO BARRONS, who is most definitely not your typical romantic hero, but is absolutely compelling.

Have now started on Ms Moning's HIGHLAND series. That woman sho knows how to write a hero. Grimm Roderick is definitely one to get your teeth into.

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Currently reading ONE DAY. Wanted to see the movie, but had to read the book first, so will now have to wait for the dvd. Great laugh aloud dialogue stands out.

Update: Mixed feelings about this book now I've finished it. The dialogue was great throughout, but it was one of the most depressing books I've ever read, and I never warmed to the hero.

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 HIGHLAND STORMS by Christina Courtenay - a sequel to Trade Winds, with a different, but equally charismatic hero in Brice Kinross. The kind of book you just don't want to put down until it's finished, and then you get depressed because it is. Christina's books are like movies. I don't just read them, I watch them.

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ANY DREAM WILL DO, Maria Duffy's debut novel. I would actually have bought this because of the cover alone. It's really attractive, and screams 'buy me'  The book does it justice too - good characters and though generally a fun, light-hearted read, it has some poignant, more serious, moments. Looking forward to reading more from Maria.

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 One of the most bizarre books I've read recently is UNTIED KINGDOM, by Kate Johnson. I don't mean that in a critical way, as I was gripped throughout. It's the strange story of Eve, who falls into a parallel universe where England has had a disastrous history, never had an Empire, and is basically a third-world country. There's a lovely line about the aid workers from Africa! I did get a tad confused about a moment towards the end, so if anyone has read it, maybe they'd like to explain it to me. @Livbet on Twitter. There's some cracking dialogue between Eve, and the gruff (but endearing) hero, Will Harker. If you want a different kind of read, this could be right up your street.