Aimee Horton

What I Read In July.

Aug
10

July has been a slow old reading month – all my intentions were quashed as I sat in the editing phase known as self-despair and self-loathing. Nothing like re-reading something you thought you were done with to bring you down, oh, except reading other people’s amazing work. The inferiority complex that comes with reading other peoples work sometimes amazes me, so at times I’ve put off starting the new books I had lined up, simply as a survival technique (sorry Nick!)

But, I have to say, what I have read has been worth it.

I started the month with Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary.

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I’ve followed Sarah for a while on twitter, and her book has been on my list, but there are loads of books there, so I tend to sort of bumble along picking whatever jumps in front of me at the time. Sunday morning, after I’d finished Lisa Jewell’s book (mentioned here), Sarah posted a picture of her new book and it’s cover. It was a SIGN. I had a fresh cup of tea, and was in the market for a bit of readin’. I downloaded the book and in the words of Janice…

OH. MY. GOD.

Since reading Someone Else’s Skin, it has gone on to win Theakston’s 2015 Crime Novel of the Year. I don’t really need to say any more – I love, love, loved it, and I would be surprised if anyone else didn’t.

After that I have to admit, I needed something light, and my gorgeous friend Kerry Barrett gave me a little sneak into her upcoming novella A Spoonful of Sugar.

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Having been a massive fan of all of the other books in the Could It Be Magic series, I read this book fast, and did a lot of hand clapping. The book is out TODAY, and if you haven’t read the rest, why not download them here.

At one point I was tidying boxes out in the study (aka procrastinating) and totally deliberately went to get my Judy Blume books out. She’s been about a lot recently, what with her new book and whenever I see her name she brings back a longing to read her old stories. So I put my hand in, and pulled out It’s Not The End Of The World.

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You’d think, at 33, having read the book a gazillion times during my teenage years and twenties I’d be bored of it, but I’m not. In fact, I’ve got the others stacked next to my bed to read again soon.

Just as I was about to pick up Nick Quantrill’s book when Kerry mentioned her new book she was working on. She’s mentioned it a few times, and I love the fact that she lets me read them, she drip feeds me chapters like my husband drip feeds me pizza and gin after a day on my own with the kids. I’M LIKE AN ADDICT.

My friend is very talented.

I can’t tell you much – I’d love to – but it’s Kerry’s thing to shout about, because this new book, this new character, oh my actual goodness. I swear on Bombay Sapphire’s life – it’s the best thing she’s written.

I’ve been using it as my editing treat. Edit X amount of pages, and I get to read a chapter. Never have I been so motivated.

All I can say is, the glitz, glamour, that come with Amy Lavender and Cora. They’re worth waiting for.

Right now, I’m reading Jenny Colgan’s – Where Have All The Boys Gone? It’s ok, but I’m looking forward to finishing it so I can start something more meaty. I’ll tell you all about it next month.

What are your book recommendations for me? I have my holiday coming up, and need stuff that I can read in the day by the pool with the monsters, and in the evening with gin and Mr Aimee.

What I read in June.

Jul
02

I love to read, REALLY love to read, but sometimes my time with my book gets overshadowed by real life. But this month I haven’t let that happen. I’ve left the dishwasher, I’m not getting sucked into the box sets as easily (except OITNB obvs), and who needs to earn money anyway? Not when you can get lost in somebody else’s life.

So what have I read this month?

Precious Thing– Colette McBeth

 

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My friend recommended Colette’s book to me. She said it was an amazing debut novel and she was a bit jealous that it was so good. Reading some of the reviews I wasn’t so sure, “if you’re a fan of Gone Girl, you’ll love this.” I bloody hated Gone Girl. I fell asleep in it so many times I resorted to the audiobook (which also failed) and then finally the movie, which I made it through thinking “meh” the entire time.

So with mixed feelings I downloaded it in preparation for my few nights away without the kids.

Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?

Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever.

They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara’s life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes.

Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you’ve shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it.

Stupidly I started reading this book a few days before we left for holiday. I was instantly sucked in, Colette’s writing was absorbing, and for the first time in a long time I was so wrapped up in the story I didn’t even start trying to work out the ending (I’m a bugger for that – I like to guess before I’m told. Impatient some might call it).

The end was also quite satisfying. Usually with thrillers I find myself frustrated at many an anticlimax of an ending (Girl on the Train anyone? Why didn’t the end it one chapter earlier when it all kicked off?!).

If I did rankings it would totally get five out of five gins.

I Let You Go – Clare Mackintosh

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I quickly downloaded this book as my second read of the month, and while I could tell it was probably going to be amazing, I couldn’t read it.

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .

I really wanted to read it. The reviews, the recommendations, I had a feeling it would be a fantastic read, but after the first few chapters, perhaps it was that niggling feeling of being away from the boys, but I found it too upsetting.

It’s still on my Nook, and hopefully when I’m a bit less emotionally charged (Summer holidays when I’ve had the little bug…angels for 8 weeks I will be less bothered).

Dark Winter – David Mark.

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I’ve been following and chatting to David on Twitter for a while, and when I found out he was speaking in Lincoln about a month ago I totally rocked on up to stalk him. Him, and another author (Nick Quantrill whose book is next on my to-read list) were great speakers and after they both read extracts of their latest novels I was keen to read the actual series.

DS Aector McAvoy is a man with a troubled past. His unwavering belief in justice has made him an outsider in the police force he serves. When three seemingly unconnected people are brutally murdered in the weeks before Christmas, the police must work quickly to stop more deaths. It is only McAvoy who can see the connection between the victims. A killer is playing God – and McAvoy must find a way to stop the deadly game.

Crime stuff that’s a bit close to home often freaks me out a bit. I have an over-active imagination and start to get a bit paranoid that something is going to happen…

ANYWAY. Aside from me being weird I really enjoyed the book, and came away pleased it was part of a series as I’ll be reading more over the summer.

Four gins out of five. Only knocking one off because I’m too scared to read them in the dark.

The House We Grew Up In – Lisa Jewell

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OH LISA! PLEASE CAN I BE YOU?!

I’m a huge fan of Lisa, and her books are usually on the pricey side so when this came up on offer I downloaded it instantly, even though I must admit I felt the blurb was a bit “meh”.

When a tragedy breaks a family apart, what can bring it back together?

The Birds seem to be the perfect family: mother, father, four children, a picture-book cottage in the country.

But when something happens one Easter weekend, it is so unexpected, so devastating, that no one can talk about it.

The family shatters, seemingly for ever.

Until they are forced to return to the house they grew up in. And to confront what really took place all those years ago.

However, as always, to me Lisa can do no wrong. The book was just *does that happy sigh thing you do when you have an amazing book*. I loved how issues were tackled, showing how little quirks can become serious issues. The whole book left me feeling a bit empty when it was finished, and made coming home from Malaga less painful because at least I had the entire plane journey to read. FIVE GINS WITH AN EXTRA DASH!

I’m currently reading Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary, and after that I’m very excited about Nick Quantrill’s The Crooked Beat. I’ll let you know what I think next month.

Always up for recommendations though – any genre – as long as I can laugh or think I’m on it. I don’t like crying too much though – always embarrassing if you read in public.

#LittleLoves during one of those weeks.

Apr
17

This week has been special. On a week I’d been hoping to hide away in my study and catch up on the Easter holidays, it’s been anything but. Plus, to keep it going, the children have been fighting. Totally and utterly driving each other mad on purpose, which of course is driving me mad. To top it all off, primary school places were in. I’m totally fine. Totally.

However, in a week of craziness, I have been lucky enough to experience a lot of #littleloves so it’s giving me the perfect opportunity to join in with Morgana’s linky.

Read

On finishing The Girl on the Train – which by the way was brilliant. I have never read a book, where I didn’t like any of the characters, but I was obsessed by them. It was horribly clever and I couldn’t put it down.

After that, I started reading a lighter read – Gallery Girl.

This book had me totally torn. I love Wendy Holden books, they’re a totally perfect holiday read, but this had a lot going on, and I must admit, whilst guessing the ending is one of my favourite parts, it wasn’t as enjoyable with this. Saying that, it was perfectly pleasant to read until the end.

Watched

So I have a new girl crush. I want to be Blake Lively.

*squeak* (credit modemusthaves.com)

Gossip Girl has become my guilty secret when I’m doing stuff I would rather not be doing. It keeps me entertained, but may not be helping my shopping habit.

Wore

One thing that is actually amazing about having a week like this week, is the mix of what I do. Whether I’m freelancing, editing my book, or being lucky enough to visit a school which has been through so much and turned into an amazing learning environment. 

Most of the time I’m in my normal clothes, jeans, denim, and a jumper. See.

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But every now and then, I get to be a grownup…or well, at least to pretend to be. Sometimes it’s so nice pulling on something smart, especially *smug face* if part of the outfit happens to be pre-child. (NO NOT THE SHOES).
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Heard

Ok. So when I’m editing, I like to listen to songs that make me feel happy and safe. Therefore I’ve spent a lot of time listening to these guys.

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For as long as I can remember I’ve loved The Carpenters and their songs are perfect editing accompaniment. 

Made

As a feeder nothing makes me happier than eating together. Due to life, we don’t get to do it as often as I would like. So when we get a chance, I don’t half relish it. To celebrate commiserate the end of the holidays, we had a big fat curry on Sunday. In fact, it wasn’t big and fat – and it was full of spinach, which after an episode of POPEYE is now The Beast’s favourite food. Gotta love media pressure!

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…and lastly

I’ve discovered recently I’m not very good at accepting compliments. It’s something I feel I should work on, rather than batting it back with a self-insult (is that a thing?) I should accept the nice thing somebody has said about me. Perhaps one day I might even start believing it?!

The other day, when I didn’t even realise I needed it, my friend sent me this. It made me smile for a very long time. It’s lovely to have people who think of you.

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This has been a long missed (by me) linky with But Why Mummy But Why.