34 weeks

I’ve purposely waited until almost bedtime to write this in case I jinxed myself so it will probably be a few days old by the time anyone reads it.

Today, 25th November 2021, I am 34 weeks pregnant. This feels like an amazing milestone! I am now officially on maternity leave and actually should have been coming back to hospital today for the final countdown to my c-section. Instead I’ve already been here for just over 2 weeks but so far everything is pretty stable. Amniotic fluid is still low but there was very slightly more yesterday than a week ago and baby’s heart rate always looks good. I had to go back on IV meds about a week ago as a precaution after having contractions (non-painful, “practice” contractions that would be perfectly fine if it weren’t for the two-month old incision in my uterus!) but apart from that it’s been a relatively boring stay so far. I will continue to be closely monitored and if baby’s growth slows down or they see any signs of distress the c-section will have to be performed earlier but for now we continue to wait and hope things remain stable. Three weeks to go until my planned c-section date!

Spoke too soon…

I guess I shouldn’t have mentioned on Tuesday that I was out of hospital. At my routine ultrasound that afternoon I discovered I had low amniotic fluid and ended up being admitted again. And here I will stay until it’s time to give birth – which I’m hoping won’t be happening anytime soon! I am currently being closely monitored and if baby shows any signs of distress or I have proper contractions it will be c-section time. Today I’m at 32 weeks and 3 days. Ideally I would like to make it past 34 weeks but we shall see…

Back in hospital…

A huge thank you to all those who have been checking in since my operation. I appreciate all your comment. Apologies if I’ve failed to respond to any! This will be a short post since once again I am typing on my phone. The operation went really well – couldn’t have been better. Both an MRI and several ultrasounds have shown leg movement right down to the feet so it looks like we’ve been able to preserve that function and baby should later be able to walk unaided or with minimal aid. My recovery also went well and I was taking brief walks around the ward on day 3. I got to go home after exactly 2 weeks with strict instructions on what I was not allowed to do (basically any housework whatsover!). I then managed a whole two weeks at home before I started noticing contractions. Luckily as it turned out they are “practice” ones (known as Braxton Hicks) so labour down seem to be imminent but because of the fresh incision the doctors wanted to be extra careful so I was admitted back to hospital for observation and IV anti-contraction meds. And that’s is where I am now. Later today I will hopefully find out how they want to proceed. For now I am celebrating the fact that baby and I have made it to exactly 5 weeks since the operation!

What i read in September 2021

Hello friends. Today is the 7th anniversary of Show Us Your Books. Congratulations to Steph and Jana!

I read twice as many books in September as in August for a total of 8. And here they are.

Rose Madder by Stephen King. After years of being beaten by her husband, a single drop of blood is what finally awakens Rosie Daniels to the fact that, eventually, he I’d going to kill her. And so she flees – taking his credit card.

Alone in a strange city, Rosie begins to build a new life: she meets Bill Steiner and she finds an odd junk shop painting, ‘Rose Madder’, which strangely seems to want her as much as she wants it. But it’s hard for Rosie not to keep looking over her shoulder. Rose-maddened and on the rampage, Norman is a corrupt cop with a dog’s instinct for tracking people. And he’s getting close. Rosie can feel just how close he’s getting. This book is extremely violent and gory, even for Stephen King’s standards. There is also a fairly graphic description of a miscarriage a few pages in so be warned about that. It is well written as always though and the characters are well fleshed out. I loved Rosie and was rooting for her all the way through. Norman Daniels is absolutely vile and honestly terrifying. This would have worked fine as a straight thriller – I’m not sure the supernatural element was entirely necessary, although it was kind of interesting. 3.5 stars.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. When Nora decides she doesn’t want to live any more she ends up at the Midnight Library – a place filled with an infinite number of books, each containing a different version of her life – one that might have been if she had made a different decision somewhere along the way. But are any of them truly better than the one she had? This is my favourite of the Matt Haig books I’ve read so far. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t LOVE it like everyone else seems to. It did make me think – although at times it seemed like it was trying almost too hard to drive the message home – and the ending made me cry, so there’s that. 3.5 stars.

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth. Seventeen-year-old Saoirse has sworn off relationships. She doesn’t believe in love or happy endings. Then she meets beautiful, fun-loving Ruby, who doesn’t care about any of that. Because Ruby has a loophole in mind: a summer of all the best cliché movie montage dates, with a definite ending come autumn – no broken hearts, no messy breakup. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters have fallen in love… for real. This is very cute. I love Saoirse – she’s sarcastic and prickly and so relatable. She’s been through – and is still going through – so much and my heart ached for her. Apart from Saoirse my favourite character was actually Oliver, the love interest’s cousin. I felt kind of sorry for him from the beginning when he was all alone at his own party and I enjoyed the banter between him and Saoirse. Ruby is almost too nice and good and forgiving, but the relationship is cute and things didn’t end as predictably as I expected so that was nice. 4 stars.

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards. Lucy Jarrett is at a crossroads in her life, still haunted by her father’s unresolved death a decade earlier. After her mother has a minor accident, Lucy returns to her hometown in Upstate New York, The Lake of Dreams, and, late one night, she cracks the lock of a window seat and discovers a collection of objects. They appear to be idle curiosities, but soon Lucy realizes that she has stumbled across a dark secret from her family’s past, one that will radically change her – and the future of her family – forever. I enjoyed parts of this book but I felt like the author tried to include too many issues/aspects. I was intrigued by Rose’s story (the mystery from the past) and wanted to know what happened to her, but Lucy’s family dynamics (everyone failing to get over her father’s death for so many years, mysterious rivalry/tension with her uncle) plus a side story of environmental/land-use issues also somehow tying back to Lucy’s family all seemed a bit much. Also Lucy is kind of annoying. I practically cheered when her mum accused her of acting like a teenager and not wanting her mother to be happy because she really was! She also seemed to think rules and morals didn’t apply to her – just because you can pick locks doesn’t mean you should constantly break into places in a whim! I didn’t hate the book though, although it may sound like it. It’s perfectly fine, but nothing particularly special. 2.5 stars.

Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan. After their nan accidentally burns the family home down, twin brothers Patrick and Dominick move with their parents and baby sister to a small cottage by the sea. The family has spent many a happy summer there but never a winter – and against a backdrop of howling storms and wild seas, the twins find themselves haunted by a mysterious boy. This is is a creepy little book involving a haunting/possession set against the backdrop of 70s Ireland with a few forays back to 1914. A ghost story that also deals with themes of grief and loss, mental illness (Alzheimer’s) and family. The pacing was a bit slow in the middle but I liked the writing (and the Irish slang) and enjoyed it overall. 4 stars.

Watching You by Michael Robotham (Joe O’Loughlin #7). Marnie Logan often feels like she’s being watched. Nothing she can quite put her finger on – a whisper of breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye – and now her life is frozen. Her husband Daniel has been missing for over a year. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin. Joe is concerned by Marnie’s reluctance to talk about the past, but then she discovers a book packed with pictures, interviews with friends, former teachers, old flames and workmates Daniel had been preparing for Marnie’s birthday. It was supposed to be a celebration of her life. But it’s not the story anyone was expecting. This was a re-read but I didn’t remember too much. I thought I remembered what had happened to Marnie’s husband but I must have been confusing it with a different book because what I thought isn’t what happened. There are a lot of twists and turns and a few aspects felt a bit too far-fetched – yes, it’s fiction and suspension of belief is necessary, but there are limits. I hadn’t realised this was part of a series but honestly it didn’t matter. Joe was such a peripheral character that I didn’t even care that I didn’t know his whole story. He wasn’t even mentioned until well into the book. Marnie was the focus anyway. 3.5 stars.

Act Your Age Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (Brown sisters #3). Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong – so she’s given up trying. When yet another of Eve’s ventures goes wrong her parents finally issue an ultimatum. It’s time for Eve to grow up! Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she accidentally hits him with her car. With a broken arm and understaffed B&B Jacob has no choice but to hire Eve. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen – and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore – and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior. Another adorable book to end this trilogy. It did feel like it was repeating the first book slightly with the two characters who didn’t like each other to start with, except this time the love interest was the prickly one while in the first book it’s was Chloe who was uptight. At least in Dani’s book the two knew each other/were friends first. I did still really enjoy this book though – I loved both Eve and Jacob – Eve definitely seems like the nicest of the three sisters. A satisfying end to the trilogy. 4 stars.

Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans (Who Let the Gods Out #1). Elliot’s mum is ill and his home is under threa. Then a shooting star crashes to earth, right through the roof of his barn, and changes his life forever. The star is Virgo – a young Zodiac goddess on a mission. But the pair accidentally release Thanatos, a wicked death daemon imprisoned beneath Stonehenge, and must then turn to the old Olympian gods for help. After centuries of cushy retirement on earth, are Zeus and his crew up to the task of saving the world – and solving Elliot’s problems too? This book is lots of fun and I can see how it would appeal to certain children but personally I found that all the jokes and references to pop culture and modern technology got to be a bit much eventually. The parts with Elliott’s mum and scenes in school were excellently written but once the gods came on the scene it all got a bit too silly for my liking. 3 stars.

So, that’s it for this month. Out of 8 books sadly only one was by a BAME/BIPOC author.

I typed this on my phone while in bed recovering from an operation so please forgive the lack of links to the books and any autocorrect fails.

Check out the link up for more book reviews!

Not how I imagined making this announcement…

I don’t even really know how to start with this, so I guess I’ll just say it…

I’m pregnant. Currently almost 24 weeks, which is honestly amazing. I never thought I would make it this far. On Thursday, I’ll have officially reached viability. Babies born at this stage at least have a chance to survive… doctors will try to save them. Such a milestone!

Of course, nothing is ever simple for us. At 18 weeks and 5 days, three days before my birthday, I went for an anatomy scan where we found out that our baby has spina bifida. The one thing that was not even vaguely on my radar. I had been taking high dose folic acid since around 6 weeks and a normal dose for 5 years before that. So you can imagine it was a shock. I had to come back the next day for an amniocentesis, then we spent the next two weeks going to appointments and meeting with specialists. After an MRI followed by a very long discussion with a specialist in Zurich we finally decided on our next step – fetal, or in-utero surgery. So on 24th September I’ll be going into hospital and on the 27th I’ll undergo an operation so that they can repair the defect in our baby’s back before I even give birth, thus preventing even more damage to the nerves during the course of the rest of my pregnancy.

All that to say things will be pretty quiet around here for a while. Even more so than they have been anyway, that is. I will be able to respond to comments while in hospital and will probably visit other people’s blogs but it’s unlikely that I’ll attempt a post from my phone. But hey, at least I’ll have plenty of extra time to read for a couple of weeks!

Photo an hour: 20 March 2021

I missed July’s photo an hour day – which is probably a good thing considering how many I still have to catch up on! I did, however, manage to take part in August’s date on Instagram. So now I’m finally getting round to the blog post for March. I’m actually supposed to be doing my taxes, which explains a lot…

Anyway, the chosen date for March was the 20th and this is what I got up to.

10 a.m. Heating milk for porridge (don’t worry – the kettle was also on!)

11 a.m. I was taking part in a weekend readathon so this was just the first of many reading photos.

12 noon. Still reading.

1 p.m. Finally off for a shower! By the way, all of those bottles had been refilled at a zero-waste supermarket. Hooray for reusing empties!

2 p.m. On to my second book of the day. How creepy is that cover?

3 p.m. Put the kettle back on! This time make tea for two.

4 p.m. Two books down for the readathon!

5 p.m. Off to the post box – there’s no collection on Saturdays but I wanted some fresh air.

6 p.m. Another book… and a snack.

7 p.m. Jan offered to cook so I got to carry on reading.

8 p.m. Food, not made by me. These leek and feta pastry things from LIDL are delicious but they only have them when it’s Greek special week.

9 p.m. Decided to go for a bath.

10 p.m. Baths are thirsty work!

11 p.m. More reading before going to sleep.

And that was my day. Not the most exciting to take photos of but a day spent reading is always an enjoyable day in my book. (Ha, pun totally not intended but I’m leaving it in…)

July 2021 recap

Hello friends! Can you believe it’s August already? My birthday month! Mind you, the amount of rain we had in July you would think it was October already. At one point we had thunder and lightning every day for about 5 days in a row! I love a good storm but that felt a little excessive. I think we had maybe 7 or 8 days without any rain and probably 5 of them were sunny. Luckily we weren’t affected by the flooding that hit other areas – the images from Germany were awful! The Rhine here was much higher than normal and ships were stopped because they couldn’t fit under the bridges but overall we got off lightly. There was some flooding in other parts of Switzerland but not wide-scale destruction and I’m not aware of any deaths from floods.

The Rhine in Basel, July 2021

Given the amount of rain you can probably guess that we didn’t really do much. On one of the drier days we drove up to somewhere near Grenchen (I think) and took a walk to a view point. On the 21st I went to Germany to have a meal with my colleagues – our delayed Christmas meal. I said I would go as long as it was possible to sit outside and it ended up being the one sunny week of the month (of course on the Friday evening the rain returned just in time for the weekend and then remained for the entire rest of the month…). Since Germany has now decided everyone needs a “COVID certificate” to get in and I am not vaccinated (yet – but I now have an appointment for my first dose) I won’t be going to the office anytime soon so I’m pleased I went and saw everybody. I don’t feel like getting tested to go into work so it will be the last time I see them for a while! The trains I took were at non-peak times and nobody tried to sit next to me so I felt pretty safe.

View of the River Aare from above

I read 9 books in July, all for the 15th round of Book Challenge by Erin. More on that next Tuesday when it’s time for Show Us Your Books.

We watched football – Jan more than me. He actually went out a couple of times to watch with a friend (outdoors at non-crowded bars – they ended up leaving one place because they felt it was too crowded). I did watch the final. Ah England – so close. Penalties are the woooorst! We’ve watched a bit of the Olympics, mainly recaps since it’s mostly happening either in the early hours of the morning. I enjoyed the women’s triple jump, the BMX events and the men’s high jump. How lovely was it when they decided to share the gold medal? We have also been continuing to watch Richard Osman’s House of Games although it’s still repeats. And the other day we watched Dirty Dancing – the first time I had seen it in probably 20-odd years!

My friend had her third son on 1st July and I finally finished the birth sampler I’ve been cross stitching for months (no exaggeration). His name and date of birth are below the picture but I’ve cut them off for privacy.

I can’t think of anything else I want to say. I managed to continue going for walks most weeks during brief breaks in the rain – although there was one week that I missed entirely because the weather was just awful and I didn’t want to go out for any length of time at all.

That’s all I’ve got for you. More next month. I hope you are all well, safe, happy and staying dry or cool, depending on which weather extreme you’re currently going through (those seem to be the main ones currently…).

What I read in June 2021

I am having to type this from my phone again, and yes it’s still annoying. Especially the adding links part. But I refuse to miss Show Us Your Books day just because technology hates me! So here we are. I’m linking up with Jana and Steph, of course. Here’s what I read in June:


Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor. It’s New Year’s Eve and a teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called on to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must. This is a hard book to describe. I can definitely see that a lot of people would hate it. The writing style is unusual and it’s very repetitive. I actually kind of enjoyed it though. If you go into this book thinking it’s going to be a mystery about a missing girl you will be disappointed. It’s more a story about a village, somewhat also about the people in it. The missing girl provides the starting point for the story, and she comes up throughout as people remember her, but it’s not really her story at all. I do have to admit to being a little disappointed that we never did find out what happened to Rebecca though! 4 stars.


A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens (Murder Most Unladylike #6). When Hazel Wong’s beloved grandfather passes away, Daisy Wells is all too happy to accompany her friend (and Detective Society Vice President) to Hazel’s family estate in beautiful, bustling Hong Kong. But when they arrive they discover something they didn’t expect: there’s a new member of the Wong family. Daisy and Hazel think baby Teddy is enough to deal with, but as always the girls are never far from a mystery. Tragedy strikes very close to home, and this time Hazel isn’t just the detective.. it appears she’s also a suspect! The girls must work together like never before, confronting dangerous gangs, mysterious suspects and sinister private detectives to solve the murder and clear Hazel’s name – before it’s too late. This book  is fantastic! I loved seeing Hazel come into her own and be the one who knew what was going on. I was greatly amused whenever Daisy sulked because she didn’t understand something. Petty maybe but she deserved to be shown that Hazel is just as good as her. Hazel’s little sister May is hilarious. And I loved the Hong Kong setting. It’s great to see the series back on track after a disappointing book 4. (Book 5 was great and this one is even better). 5 stars.


Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks. When Charlotte offers to take her best friend Harriet’s daughter to the school fair, she expects nothing more than a fun, care-free day. She swears she only took her eyes off the children for one second. But when her three kids all emerge from a ride safe and sound whole Harriet’s daughter Alice is nowhere to be found, Charlotte panics. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing. And admit that she has only herself to blame. Harriet, devastated by this unthinkable, unbearable loss, can no longer bring herself to speak to Charlotte again, much less trust her. Now more isolated than ever and struggling to keep her marriage afloat, Harriet believes nothing and no one. But as the police bear down on both women trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to this little girl, dark secrets begin to surface – and Harriet discovers that confiding in Charlotte again may be the only thing that will reunite her with her daughter. This is a fantastic thriller.  I was not expecting the twist (I had actually guessed something else). What I really liked was how the book described the fall out from what happened – it seemed very realistic. I felt terrible for poor Charlotte! I also liked the ending – things didn’t work out too neatly. The characters’ feelings at the end made a lot of sense and I liked that it wasn’t nicely wrapped up with a happily ever after bow. 4 stars.


Where the Light Gets in by Lucy Dillon. While working at a nursing home, Lorna meets Betty. Defiant to the end, Betty encourages Lorna to face her fears… which is how she ends up in Longhampton, the childhood home she swore she would never see again. If Lorna’s learned one thing from Betty it’s that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you’re panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town’s gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty’s anxious little dachshund, Rudy, trembling beside her. Lorna’s come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, that she needs to lay her ghosts to rest first. As Lorna – and the little dog – tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery. This is a fun, heartwarming read. I was expecting a romance, but it’s more a story about family and friendships really. There are little sprinklings of romance in there with two potential love interests but it’s not really a focus of the book. I loved the doggy characters – anxious little Rudy and Bernard the border terrier, who can be a bit of a handful. Joyce is a real character and I loved the little snippets we got to know of her past. I weirdly kept forgetting the main character’s name though – I just found all the other characters so much more interesting than her! She’s one of those people that’s almost too nice and just lets people walk all over her. Several times I found myself thinking if she’d just open her mouth and communicate occasionally she wouldn’t be in this situation. The other characters made up for it though. 4 stars.


Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean. Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His mum and dad are acting weird, and they’re doing a terrible job of pretending they don’t hate each other. All he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. If only he could figure out what the secret is that they’re keeping from him! When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad’s pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow – an adventure away. Together with his best friends, Bell and Seb, Archie sets off on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey to try and fix his family, even if he has to break a few rules to do it. This is a wonderful book. Very wholesome and heartwarming with some funny moments. Archie’s friends are fantastic. I did feel like the story was a bit superficial in some places – it just barely scratched the surface of it being okay for Archie to be upset about his dad being gay and I feel like it could have gone a lot deeper into that. I also would have liked to see Archie have a more serious conversation with his dad – they did eventually talk but it seemed to be over in a few sentences then everything was resolved and they all apparently lived happily ever after. My heart went out to Archie’s mum – she was so supportive of her husband while at the same time obviously struggling with the loss of the marriage she thought she had. 4 stars.


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1). While sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song has never had a boyfriend, she has been in love – five times. And she’s written a love letter to each of them, which she keeps in a hatbox her mother gave her. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. Especially since one letter, the newest one, is sent to Josh – the very recent ex-boyfriend of her older sister, who has just left for college! First of all, full disclosure – I had never intended to read this series. But I was looking for a book by a POC author to read and every single thing I looked up from my to-read list wasn’t available on Scribd. Finally I remembered this series and decided to give book 1 a try. It turned out to be a cute and fun read. I enjoyed that there’s a lot about family along with the romance. Lara Jean’s sister Kitty is awesome – she may be my new favourite little sister in fiction. It’s a very teenage book and a bit overly dramatic at times but that’s kind of to be expected. There were things about Peter (the main love interest, kind of) that I didn’t like but he does seem to be a good person and not your typical popular boy which was kind of nice. The ending annoys me – it’s so clearly contrived to make you want to continue the series! Luckily I actually could read the next one straight away, but I hate it when authors do that. 4 stars.


P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2). Don’t read this synopsis if you haven’t read the first book in this series and still want to ;-). Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. All along, they were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t – and now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? I  didn’t like this one quite as much as the first book. I feel like introducing yet another potential love interest on top of everything else going on between Lara Jean and Peter was a bit much – even if the new guy was very sweet. I did enjoy it though. Once again Kitty was the star for me. 3.5 stars.


Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3). Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends. Life couldn’t be more perfect! At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks… until she gets some unexpected news. Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans – but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to? I actually read the book I’m reviewing next before this one, but I thought I would keep the trilogy together here.  didn’t enjoy this one as much as the others. It’s still cute but it doesn’t really add anything to the series. There’s not much of a plot to be honest – Lara Jean is just kind of living her life: baking, hanging out with her sister and boyfriend, crafting. It was quick and fun to read but ultimately I think I’ll forget most of it very quickly. 3 stars.


I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark (Alvirah & WIlly #8). Two years after the day that her son Matthew was kidnapped in broad daylight, Alexandra Moreland is still torn between hope and despair. Now, on what would have been Matthew’s fifth birthday, photos surface that seem to show Alexandra kidnapping her own child. Her ex-husband blames her and even her good friends Alvirah and Willy seem to doubt her story. Alexander believes someone is pretending to be her. But who could it be… and why take Matthew? This  book was fine. It’s apparently part of a series but that doesn’t matter at all when reading it. The premise is interesting but the solution is a bit predictable and some of it is far-fetched – nobody can be that good a makeup artist that someone who has literally met and spoken to them both couldn’t tell them apart. And even if they looked identical wouldn’t they have different voices? I also thought the motive was a little weak. It’s as if the author wanted to write about identity theft but then couldn’t come up with a plausible but still interesting reason why someone would do that. It’s an easy read though and I did like some of the characters. 2.5 stars.


No Way Out by Cara Hunter (DI Adam Fawley #3). It’s the Christmas holidays, and two children have just been pulled from the wreckage of their burning home in North Oxford. The toddler is dead, and his older brother is left fighting for his life. Why were they left in the house alone? Where is their mother, and why is their father not answering his phone?
Then new evidence is discovered, and DI Fawley’s worst nightmare comes true. Because this fire wasn’t an accident. It was murder. I  didn’t love this book quite as much as the first two in the series – possibly because I partially guessed the solution – but I still enjoyed it a lot. There are many twists and turns – another reviewer described it as peeling back the layers of an onion and that’s exactly right. I enjoy the way Cara Hunter always uses things like news articles (complete with comments) and social media in her books – showing how quick people are to judge a situation they know nothing about. DI Fawley is having some issues in his private life and takes a bit of a backseat in parts for this one, which was kind of nice since it allowed us to learn a bit more about some of the members of his team. 4 stars. I highly recommend this series.


And that’s it for this round.
Total books read in June: 10. By BAME/BIPOC authors: 4 (yes, 2 were from the same series but it still counts!).

June 2021 recap

Hello lovely readers! Normally I would posted my monthly recap before now but either WordPress or my internet browser (or more than likely some combination of the two) is being a massive pain and refusing to load the post editor – I just get a blank white screen. Blogging from my phone is ridiculously annoying and yet here I am. Yay?!

Anyway, I’m not sure I have a great deal to say about June. It was hot – almost too hot – for approximately 2 weeks. So naturally I decided to bake scones on a day with temperatures over 30ºC. On one of the hot days we drove to a village called Linn to go for a walk. I read that there was a waterfall, and indeed there is… but it’s tiny. Apparently the biggest waterfall in the canton of Aargau though. Bless. There’s also a giant lime tree right outside the village that’s supposedly famous – I think pretty much solely for being huge, which it is to be fair.

The rest of the month I continued going for walks locally – often in between rain showers. After those two hot weeks we got lots and lots of rain. I think at one point we had thunder every day for a week! I love a good thunder storm but it started to get a tiny bit ridiculous.

Jan actually got to perform with one of his choirs – I went to watch since it was outdoors. Luckily the rain held off until the end!

We continued watching Richard Osman’s House of Games – until the series ended and it was replaced by tennis, which we did not watch. Did we watch football in June? I can’t remember if it had already started then. Jan watched more group phase matches than me – I only really bothered with “my” teams (England, Scotland, Wales, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Ukraine if you’re interested – and I only watched some of their matches).

I read 10 books in June, including the entire To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy (years after everyone else!). I will bring you my reviews on Tuesday even if it means having to post on my phone again.

I can’t think of anything else to tell you and typing on the tiny screen is annoying me so I’m going to stop here. Have a great weekend everyone! (Or a great whatever day it is when you read this.)

Style imitating art: when art and books collide

To be honest I most likely would have forgotten to check the inspiration for SIA again this week but Kezzie sent me the link saying I had to join in and when I checked it out I agreed.

Here’s the chosen piece of art:

It’s called Booky and is part of a series called Domestic Demise. The first thing I noticed (other than books!) was that there’s a lot of red in this picture. Then my eye was drawn to all the flowers so I decided to go with a dress featuring flowers. Here’s my outfit:

It seemed appropriate to pose in front of the bookcases – although mine aren’t quite as chaotic (yet).

The dress is from H&M probably 4 years ago, shoes from Primark when I lived in Germany so they’re at least 7 or 8 years old. I’m also wearing earrings my dad’s girlfriend gave me years ago and a book necklace that was a gift from my sister. Here’s a close up of the necklace:

Jan acted as my photographer and he asked me whether I had a book with flowers on the cover, which resulted in this fun shot:

I think it’s actually some kind of bag that’s covering her face in the painting but this works just as well.

I’m a bit late with posting this so you probably won’t have time to submit an outfit but if you check Terri’s blog on Wednesday you can see what other people have made of the inspiration.