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Book Corner – Latest Reads

Sometimes it is easy to simply take your phone to bed and spend those last few moments of the evening scrolling mindlessly through Twitter and Instagram but I am reading more and more now about how the light emitted from phones and tablets does not contribute to the best night’s sleep.

For the last few weeks, I have read a couple of chapters of a book before turning the lights off instead and not only has it resulted in being able to nod off slightly easier but I am working my way through some great reads!

Here are some titles that have been on my bedside table recently:

The Russian Concubine

Set in 1928 China (I am a Chinese history geek!), this is fundamentally a love story but set within a world of danger with some fascinating characters. This is a fairly long book but I was gripped from the start and the descriptions of the sights and sounds of the market places really bring the story alive. This is the first book I’ve read by Kate Furnivall and I would be keen to read more.


44 Scotland Street

I must admit to having a soft spot for Alexander McCall Smith after reading his No1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. I find his writing really easy to read and he manages to weave together the lives of various characters with subtle humour. 44 Scotland Street is based in Edinburgh with a variety of eccentric neighbours coming and going. It is the first in the series and I plan on picking up the rest if I see them (weirdly, there always seems to be a good selection of his book in charity shops!)


Not That Kind of Girl

I was only saying to my friend this week that American comediennes are really having a moment book-wise. It seems like everyone and their dog are reading ‘Yes Please’ and I have Mindy Kaling’s release waiting to be read on my Kindle too.

I discovered Lena Dunham through the amazing series ‘Girls’ so was eager to get my mitts on her first book too. I really really wanted to love it but having finished it at the weekend, I have to say I just wasn’t blown away by it. Maybe I should have read it without having seen ‘Girls’, but I just kept picturing Lena playing her character Hannah as there were so many similarities and traits in the book both the author and character share.


There was obviously a lot of humour throughout the book and her writing style is very captivating and easy to get lost in. I also liked the little lists that popped up throughout to break things up a bit. However, I think my biggest complaint was that it was just so neurotic and really portrayed Lena as a very privileged bohemian artsy child who made lots of stupid decisions just because she could then called it ‘perspective’. It is a warts-and-all style book but sadly I didn’t identify with Lena as the amazing feminist she is styled as in the media, even though I think she usually comes across brilliantly in interviews.

I’ve just reread these paragraphs and realise I am well and firmly sat on the fence here but the truth is that I enjoyed reading it but didn’t love it as much as I thought I would or was hoping too, plus I am still a bit fan-girl over Lena Dunham and think Girls is one of the best shows on TV at the moment…does that clarify things?! Good!

Any other good book recommendations? x


About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

2 responses »

  1. Selina Buggy (was Fulton)

    I am a firm believer that everyone should read before going to bed and for parents to encourage their children to do so, (or they read to the children). I went through a phase of spending around an hour on my phone before I went to sleep. Well actually I didn’t really sleep. I then would find myself reaching for my phone every few hours during the early hours of the night. Ridiculous. I too have read some amazing books and I panic if I haven’t got my next novel lined up! I have to say my favourite book of all time has to be Shantaram. I first seen this book whilst on travelling in India. It was a common book shared amongst fellow travellers and I have since made many friends and family read it. Trust me you won’t find a better read!! My dad is reading it now. If you private message me your address I will send it to you but only if you promise to send it on to someone else to read it. Xx


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