Everything I read in 2016 rated

Five stars

  • The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell
  • 11.22.63 by Stephen King
  • Spectacles by Sue Perkins
  • Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
  • Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Four stars

  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Slade House by David Mitchell
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • After You by Jojo Moyes
  • Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley
  • Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig
  • The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
  • Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • The One We Fell In Love With by Paige Toon
  • House Rules by Jodi Picoult
  • Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  • Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran
  • The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

Three stars

  • A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Sign Of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
  • Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
  • Me & Earl & The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  • Disclaimer by Renee Knight
  • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  • Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
  • Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
  • Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith
  • Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn
  • To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
  • One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon
  • We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Billy And Me by Giovanna Fletcher
  • Always With Love by Giovanna Fletcher
  • Philomena by Martin Sixsmith
  • The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern
  • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  • What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

Two stars

  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones
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2017 goals

A short list of 2017 resolutions/goals but I thought it would add some extra obligation if it’s written on the internet.

  • Do a 10k
  • Read 52 books
  • Blog once a week
  • Learn a challenging new piece on the piano, clarinet AND saxophone
  • Write some short stories
  • Go away somewhere new

And this is all the fun stuff already scheduled in that I can look forward to.

  • Live music: Busted, Caro Emerald, Electric Six, Frankie Valli, London Symphony Orchestra, Take That, Electric Light Orchestra, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe
  • Other live events: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Greg Davies
  • Two weddings of schoolfriends
  • Frazer’s return from New Zealand

Things to be grateful for

In today’s fast-paced world, surrounded by news of Trump and Brexit and celebrities dying, it’s easy to get caught up and forget what’s really important in your own life.

Even if you manage to ignore the cyclic nature of the news as driven by social media, repeating the same fears and worries and bad news over and over, most of us are still racing around to and from work with barely a second thought about the important things which are quickly passing us by.

So, inspired by this post on The Pool (which is always on point) I have decided to spend a week listing three good things I’m grateful for each day – because it’s important to pause, remember, and let these positive thoughts rise to the forefront of our priorities.

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Finding a book to get excited about

Happy 6th anniversary Frazer

Dear Frazer,

You’ve been on the other side of the world for five months and I miss you so much! But that’s also my excuse for not sending you a present – I would have had to remember weeks ago, and I did not because I’m useless. I hope this is a nice replacement.

This is the card I saw and thought of you:

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It’s tough to speak properly sometimes between England and New Zealand, especially when the time zone keeps changing and I’m working odd shifts. But it’s always a pleasure and a highlight of my day, even when we are too tired to speak about anything but Shanti. She enjoys being a key topic of conversation.

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Movie Review: Sully

Although it’s not out in the UK until December, I saw an advanced screening of Sully while I was in New Zealand and am now happy to rave about it back home.

Sully’s central drama is the 2009 emergency water landing on the Hudson River of US Airways Flight 1549 by pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and the subsequent investigation into the event.

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My summer reading – part two

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

the-lovers-dictionaryIf you’re looking for something different, I’ve certainly never experienced anything quite like The Lover’s Dictionary which tells a real and at times fraught love story using dictionary definitions. What’s more, the story is ordered alphabetically rather than chronologically, but segments are always placed thoughtfully and often poignantly in sequence.

Nothing can explain this unusual idea quite like simply picking up the book and seeing for yourself – but I guarantee it will then be difficult to put down. The short definitions – rarely over a page long each – mean it’s spectacularly easy to just keep reading ‘one more’.

But what actually makes this book so special is its beautiful use of language and constantly exquisite yet realistic descriptions of relationships.

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