Calling Major Tom by David Barnett

amy calling major tomThomas Major is a grumpy, forty something year old man who volunteers for a one way trip to Mars. His life has been unhappy and confusing, and he is keen to turn his back on earth and its people. By strange co-incidence, he is in contact with a family who will challenge his views of the world, and himself. Full of quirky characters, crazy antics, high drama, and heart-warming triumphs, this is a fun and uplifting read. For fans of A Man Called Ove.

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Lawyer for the dog by Lee Robinson

pam-halliburton.jpgFor a quirkily funny read about human nature, you must read “Lawyer for the Dog” by Lee Robinson.
Set in the wealthy area of South Carolina, this highly improbable, yet highly plausible novel is a must for those who wish to escape into the realms of fiction.
Attorney Sally Baynard is the protagonist and of course she finds love. But with whom?
And, as she is a lawyer, you can imagine there are problems with divisions of assets. Will the pet dog, a miniature schnauzer called Sherman (yes, as in the tank!) be torn in half?
This is a thoroughly good light hearted read, and is a must for those who always like to see the good in others.

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The trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

amy-nevermoor.jpgI once grew my hair to look like Audrey Tautou in Amélie. I realised that the comparisons were not in my favour. Comparing new books to Harry Potter is a similarly risky move, but in this case, I think it works. As I read Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow, I was strongly reminded of Harry Potter many times, but in a good way. The story of cursed child, Morrigan’s, rescue from death, and removal to Nevermoor where she competes to join the Wundrous Society is full of delightful characters, twists and turns, joy, fear, sadness, laughs and a lot of fun. It’s great for younger readers, and, like all good books for young people, for those of any age who love a heartwarming, sweet, and funny tale of wonder.

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Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Amy MiddlesexI really love this book! In order to tell his story, Cal Stephanides needs to go back and start with his grandparents. What follows is the epic story of a Greek family, beginning with an escape from burning Smyrna to their settling in Detroit. It is full of real history thrillingly entwined with the imagined; the Nation of Islam, the riots in Detroit (David Bowie song!) and an experience of being intersex. It is heartwarming, funny, over the top and very real at the same time.

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How to find love in a bookshop by Veronica Henry

Amy How to find love in a book shopIt turns out that I can enjoy a book like this, if it is set in a book shop, in the Cotswolds. Emilia’s father has died, leaving her a book shop that isn’t doing very well. As she decides whether to keep it going or not, a cast of her customers also find themselves at crossroads. It’s heartwarming, comfortably predictable and sweet, without being cloying. I couldn’t read only this sort of book, but it was an entertaining interlude.

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The enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Amy Enchanted AprilThis is a thoroughly enchanting, magical experience. Four ladies answer an advertisement to rent an Italian chateau for a month, in the hope of escaping their dreary lives in London. In the explosion of flowers and bright sunshine they are each transformed. Beautifully written, so that I could smell the flowers and thrill at the gardens overlooking the sea, it is also a warm, life-affirming book and surely the next best thing to a month in an Italian chateau.

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Where’d you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

amy-whered-you-go-bernadetteThis is a really delightful book. It’s about a woman who is struggling to come to terms with disappointments and find her way. She is a much loved mother to 15 year old Bee, and all sorts of complicated things to other people in her life until she disappears and Bee sets out to find her. It’s clever, funny, quirky (not self consciously so), has a great sense of place and is so life affirming, a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

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A man called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Tracey RRL A man Called OveI loved this book because it conjured up a host of emotions in me. Reading about a grumpy, yet lovable, old man’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of his beloved wife who was the colour in his otherwise black and white world and his one man war against a wolrd that insisted on not following his rules made me feel sad, happy, angry, frustrated, annoyed, laugh out loud and giggle, but most of all it warmed my heart and left a smile on my face. This easy to read book with chapters that could be short stories in themselves left me feeling uplifted whilst wiping away a tear or two.

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