- Never judge someone on first appearance/meeting
- You can move on despite your past
- Friendships are important
- Don't take people for granted
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My first book for 2022. Here I go with my Eleanor Oliphant references again but if you loved Eleanor you will love Annie Stanley too.
It has been a while since I've written a review. Last year I struggled to find any good books. To the surprise of one of my workmates I only read (finished) eight books in 2021. So much for completing my Goodreads 25 books challenge for that year. I did start many more but just couldn't get into them. In December I found this book while shelving some books in the library I work in and
thought I'd give it a try. I loved it!
Annie Stanley's father dies and she decides to take off on a trip with his ashes around shipping areas in Britain. Why? Her father loved listening to the shipping forecast. She meets different people along the way - some from her past, some from her present and some strangers. It explores relationships whether it be friendships, family or those of the romantic kind.
There are some great lines in the book including one from Annie - "Sometimes unfinished business has to stay... unfinished. You can't write "The End" on every chapter of your life''.
A light and oftentimes funny read. I loved Annie and I reckon you will too.
“Sometimes when I close my eyes I swear I can still taste the dust.”
I couldn’t decide whether to review this book. There is so much I want to say. The Four Winds is only the second book by Kristin Hannah I’ve read. I was drawn to her books after watching the Netflix TV series Firefly Lane based on her book with the same name which I have also since read. What a show but I digress…
The Four Winds is Hannah’s latest book based on the catastrophic events of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s and it had me from the beginning. As soon I took it off the Holds shelf at the library I work in I was transfixed. Like, I was reading it as I went up in the lift to the third floor staffroom for my tea break.
I’m not a fast reader and will normally just read for 30 minutes and then do something else. With this book I would sit for an hour or two and just want to keep reading.
The flow of the book is easy. The characters are well developed and I liked the protagonist Elsinore (affectionately known as Elsa) Martinelli. It's 1930s America and after dealing with the rejection of her family, Elsa finds a man, a new family and home. But then their land and home is hit by the Dust Bowl and Elsa has to decide whether to leave and head for California to find a better life for her and her two children – a move made by more than three million Americans.
I don’t want to give too much more of the book away but what I like about these kinds of books is 1) the history lesson and 2) the insight you get into what life would have been like for many trying to escape the conditions of those times.
This is a sad book but there were times when I did smile - the small moments of happiness for this woman and her two children which are sprinkled throughout the story. One that comes to mind is when Elsa gives her daughter Loreda a library card for Christmas or when a hairdresser offers to cut Loreda's hair for free. Such small acts of kindness which meant so much to this family and something we can all keep in mind when thinking of others less fortunate.
A gripping read from start to finish.
Since getting our dog Dollar nine years ago I've developed an interest in animal books and this one would be among my favourites. I really didn't want this book to end, it was so good.
In September 2018 Scottish man Dean Nicholson headed out to cycle around the world. On December 10 that same year he came across an abandoned and unwell kitten on the side of the road in Bosnia. He named her Nala, nursed her back to health and a beautiful friendship began.
Nala was Dean's travelling companion. Everywhere that Dean went, Nala went too, either tucked around Dean's neck or in a special carry case in the front of his bike. Over the next year and a bit they journeyed together through various places including Montenegro, Albania, Santorini, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.
Dean posts a video on Instagram of his first meeting with Nala which was seen and picked up by the animal stories website The Dodo. One day Dean's Instagram account had 3000 followers, the next day 150,000 followers. He now has more than 850,000 followers on Instagram and his YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Dean posts his travels on social media and has used his presence on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube to raise tens of thousands of dollars which he's donated to various charities including animal shelters. People who follow him on social media make special trips to wherever Dean and Nala are just to see the feline star.
I can't express how much I loved this book and while Covid-19 may have halted some of their travel plans, I hope that when they are able to travel more extensively Dean will write another book.
Five out of five stars for this fantastic read.
Footnote: For anyone wanting to follow Dean and Nala's adventures, their Instagram account is @1bike1world and Facebook page is 1bike1world.
Have you ever thought about being an organ donor? If there is any book promoting organ donation, then Tiny Pieces of Us is it
Nicky Pellegrino's latest book Tiny Pieces of Us is, from what I can tell, quite different to her other books. I admit I haven't read any of the others but from what I know about Pellegrino, who lives in New Zealand but was born in Britain, she generally writes about Italy and food. Italy only plays a small part in this book.
The main character is Vivi Palmer, a journalist working in London for a tabloid called The Daily Post. She had a heart transplant and seven years later discovers her new heart came from a teenage cyclist Jamie who was hit by a car and died.
Jamie's mother Grace also chose to donate her son's liver, lungs, pancreas, corneas and undamaged kidney. After Grace and Vivi meet, Vivi uses her journalistic skills to search for the other organ recipients. Grace wants to know what the recipients have made of their lives thanks to her son. The story also takes a few unexpected turns.
There are a number of characters in the book but not so many that it becomes confusing. Part of the book I liked the most was the development of each character. I too was intrigued to know about each organ recipient and what they had made of their lives.
A great read. Definitely four out of five stars.