My Year Starts With…


…as always, a to be read (TBR) list longer than days I have left on this earth.

However, does this deter me? Nope! It’s a brand spanking new year and my love for literature only gets deeper. For some people buying a new pair of shoes makes them happy. Others treat themselves to a new gadget. Me, it’s books. Always has been, always will be.

So here I share with you books, plays and short stories I plan to read through the course of 2016. This by no means is all of them and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will undoubtedly find many more to add to the list. Whether I’ll enjoy them or not is yet to be decided but that’s a different post for a different day.

I’ve summed up briefly what interests me about the book and who knows maybe it’ll inspire you to give one of them a whirl too.

So let’s begin:



Henry Farr is a dude from Wimbledon that’s desperate to get rid of his wife. He tries to rid himself of the wench by poisoning the roast chicken, but unfortunately all doesn’t go quite to plan. It’s a comedy and set in London, what’s not to love?



I won’t lie to you, I was drawn to this book because of the title and cover. Firstly, pretty colours. Secondly, I used to be a nanny in London and Thirdly, I loved the 90s sitcom that starred Fran Drescher. However, after a little investigating (aka, reading the blurb) it seemed like an easy light hearted read and rather relatable. The protagonist is an unfulfilled 23 year old that goes to work for a family in London. So….basically 2014 Jessiny. I couldn’t not buy it.



I can’t even pretend to sum it up better than the writer. So here’s what Mr. Harvey wrote:

Hello. There are two things you should know about me:

1) My name is Karen Carpenter.

2) Just before Christmas my boyfriend left me.

I’m not THE Karen Carpenter. I just have the most embarrassing name in Christendom. Particularly as I’m no skinny minny and don’t play the drums.

I can’t even sing. I’m tone deaf. I work in a school in the East End. (Where I came third in a ‘Teacher we’d most like to sleep with’ competition amongst the Year 11 boys)

My Mum’s driving me mad. She’s come to stay and is obsessed with Scandi crime shows and Zumba.

Oh yeah. The boyfriend. After eleven ‘happy’ years he left me. No explanation just a post it on the kettle when I got in from work. I think I’m handling it really well. I don’t think I’m confused at all. What was my name again?

I rest my case.



I can neither claim to have read or seen Eat Pray Love. Nor can I claim to have ever heard of Elizabeth Gilbert, that is until I stumbled across this book in Waterstones. I read the blurb, I was curious. I started reading the first chapter and was a little hooked. I do worry it may get a little naff but I’m willing to give it a go. Basically it’s a book that inspires you to embrace curiosity and live creatively by reassessing your attitudes, approaches and habits.



Set in 1983 this audacious sounding book had me from the word go. In fact I wasn’t the only one. When I was in the charity shop and having a gander there was this woman hovering over my shoulder, I KNEW she was just as interested in the book as me and was waiting to nab it as soon as I put it down. Obviously I was having NONE of it. When I went to pay my £1.50, Pwoar if looks could kill! Front cover gives you enough deets. I canne wait to sink my teeth into this one!



Basically an all round easy chick lit read. Enough said really.



A single mum that’s become a stripper to earn enough money to try win custody of her daughter. Black humour and set in Florida. Should be an interesting one.



I have dipped in and out of this one since uni. I am determined to read it from start to finish this year. It’s such an important bit of literature. This and the Divine Comedy might take me a while to get through but it HAS to be done.



I didn’t quite know how to explain this one so I’ll let goodreads do it:

Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be “normal,” Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia — until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college put the romance of wasting away to rest forever. A vivid, honest, and emotionally wrenching memoir, Wasted is the story of one woman’s travels to reality’s darker side — and her decision to find her way back on her own terms.



Beautiful cover alert!! Essie Fox writes a tale set in Victorian England which is riddled with Indian folk lore, theft and obsession. When I read that Alice was born in India but raised in England by her spiritualist medium aunt I was so excited because you just KNOW there is going to be some weird and wonderful plot to follow.



Two teens fall in love, runaway,  join a bunch of squatters in Bristol and dabble in heroin. I can safely assume it’ll be one interesting read.



Heebie Jeebie alert. May have to do a Joey and reserve a space in the freezer for this one! Susan Hill is Susan Hill, a fabulous writer that gave us The Woman in Black.



Frenchie seems to have done it again. I love her and let’s face it I’d read a 5 year old shopping list of hers if I got the chance. According to YES is set in New York’s Upper East Side. Rosie Kitto is a primary school teacher from England that doesn’t exactly abide by the rules of Manhattan’s elite.



I’m a Drama graduate so naturally was drawn to this. It appears to follow the highs and lows of the theatre business as young thespians get to grips with life on tour, ridiculous auditions and what it means to be successful.



I found this book on the floor of Madame Jojos, a burlesque joint in heart of Soho 2 years ago. No I didn’t STEAL it!!! I asked everyone if they knew who it belonged to, we’d arrived early for the show you see so there weren’t many people about. I took it to the lass in the kiosk and she just looked at me as though I was nuts and said ‘No one is going to give a fuck about an old book mate, just bin it’. Pshhh!!! I GAVE a fuck. Anyway, I kept it (obviously) and feel it is now time to give this nugget a go.



Due to simply not knowing where to start I have never read a Discworld novel. However, flicking through this trio of plays by Terry Pratchett in Waterstones I stumbled across this odd extract and just HAD to know more.

The Rince Cycle – Scene 5

OLD RINSE WIND: And then- what adventures we had! I was pulled into a tree by hamadryads…

(Girls in green lycra enter, moving mystically and sinuously across the stage.)

Naked green women, trapping me in a tree, probably not something that would interest anyone here…(The girls stamp off, petulantly.)

(A man enters with a large tentacle wrapped around him, which he hacks at with a sword.)



David mourns the loss of his mother. He is angry, alone and takes refuge in his imagination. He soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to mould into one. Books, fairy tales and much much more, I am too excited for this one!



It’s Stephen King. Enough said.



Inspired by true events Frog music is a tale of the unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet. It is set in 1876 San Francisco and is centred around the victims friend who is a french burlesque dancer. Burlesque + crime = an intrigued Jessiny.



THIS is the blurb:

We don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn’t. And it’s what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.




The first of the All Souls trilogy, A Discovery of Witches is a tale of witches, demons and vampires. There is forbidden love and a manuscript that holds all the secrets. Totes my cups of tea.



My books are my pride and joy. These crates are filled with hundreds of worlds some of which I’ve visited (more than once!); many I have yet to explore.


Kisses from cornwall

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