Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 places to read

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

In May, the topics are all about our reading environments. So far, we’ve looked at food and drink while you read and this week it’s all about your favourite places to read.

My favourite place to read will always be a comfy chair. I’m not someone who really enjoys reading in bed but much prefer to curl up in a squishy armchair. On a Winter’s evening, there’s nothing better than drawing the curtains and curling up with a new book in my armchair. If the cat decides to keep me company, then that’s even better.

My next favourite place to read is in our sun lounge or garden room. This has a glass roof and so even on dull days, it’s lovely and bright which makes it a great place to read. As I get older, I find that the amount of light is really important when I’m reading 😒

I do love to read outside though as soon as the weather is warm enough. We have a really sheltered area in our garden with a seat and table and it can be warm enough in February to sit out in the sun

When Summer is really here, then I love to get my sunlounger out and read in the garden. I’m always to be found under the huge pine tree in the shade but it’s so peaceful sitting outside with the birds singing and a good book.

If we’re talking about location, then my absolute favourite place to read would be somewhere where I can sit and look out at the sea. Some hotels only have one comfy chair in each room and I’m always the one sitting in that, looking out at the sea while my husband has to sit on the bed!

Where are your favourite places to read?

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 drinks for reading

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

We’re moving away from last month’s scavenger hunts and now it’s May, the topics are all about our reading environments. This week’s is all about your favourite things to drink while you are reading.

Like snacking, my choice of drink will often depend on the season. My preferred drink on a cold winter evening when I’m curled up on the sofa is very different to what I want to drink when I’m sitting in the garden.

Probably my most common drink while I read is coffee. I love to read while I eat my lunch now that I’m retired and don’t have to spend my lunch times marking books so lunchtime reading is generally accompanied by a mug of coffee.

My other favourite hot drink while reading would be hot chocolate. That would ideally be in the late afternoon, just as it’s getting dark on a winter’s evening and maybe accompanied by a chocolate off the Christmas tree.

Winter is behind us now and so I’m in the mood for more summery drinks. Probably my favourite drink in the evening when I’m relaxing with a book would be a glass of cold, dry white wine.

If I don’t have any wine in the fridge, then a gin and tonic would be another good choice. I was given some lovely gin glasses as a retirement present last year so I often use them if I have a drink in the evening.

I am conscious that I shouldn’t drink too much alcohol though so I am just as likely to have the tonic without the gin. There are some lovely flavoured tonics out there and they all have that slightly bitter kick to them which I love.

What do you like to drink while you read?

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 snacks for reading

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

We’re moving away from last month’s scavenger hunts and now it’s May, the topics are all about our reading environments. This week’s is all about the snacks that you eat while you are reading.

My choice of snack will often depend on the season but the one thing that I am always happy to eat while reading is chocolate. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. My idea of heaven would probably be a bar of Galaxy milk chocolate.

In the Summer, I love to pair the chocolate with strawberries. This can have unfortunate consequences for my book if the strawberries are a bit too ripe. I have more than one book with strawberry juice stains on one of its pages – I can hear the sounds of horror from some of you now.

I love to read while I eat my lunch now that I’m retired and don’t have to spend my lunch times marking books so any sandwich that means I can hold it in one hand while holding my book in the other is fine by me.

In fact, that probably sums up my attitude to eating while reading. If I can pick it up and eat it with one hand while holding a book in the other hand, then it’s a good snack as far as I am concerned. Not all snacks work though.

Jam doughnuts are delicious but possibly not the best choice for a reading snack. You get left with very sticky fingers!

Do you like to eat while you read or is that definitely a no-go area?

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 books about a death

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

We’ve done births and marriages so far and this week, it’s time to look at books about a death so we can complete the Hatched, Matched and Dispatched trio.

My initial thoughts were that I would pick 5 of my favourite murder mysteries but then I began to think about how a death is often the catalyst for change for those left behind so my ideas changed a bit. After quite a bit of thought, here are my top 5 books about a death.

Under a Whispering Door by T J Klune

I wonder how many other people are going to feature this one in their top 5? It does seem like an obvious choice as it is all about a death, specifically the death of Wallace Price. Workaholic Wallace dies suddenly but he isn’t ready to pass over yet so has to spend time at the Charyon Tea Room where he meets Hugo, the ferryman and begins to learn about what actually is really important.

One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

Another book about death. This time it’s the impending death of 17 year old Lenni as she lives out her life in the terminal illness ward of the local hospital. In an art class, she bumps into 83 year old Margot and a bond is formed between them as they realise that they have lived 100 years between them. They decide to paint pictures to illustrate their lives and we learn about them through these including what it might be like to live, knowing that you don’t have long left. This is another amazing book and one of my best reads of 2021.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Death often means huge changes for those left behind. The death of the Emperor and his heir in a plane crash changes his youngest son’s life completely. As a half goblin child in a court of elves, Maia has been banished to an out of the way estate with just a guardian to care for him. Then he receives the news of his father’s death and finds out that he is the new emperor. This is definitely one of all time favourite books and I have reread it several times. The story of how Maia negotiates a hostile court is simply brilliant.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Another book where a death has a huge impact on others. The death of Mr Henry Dashwood has a devastating effect on the lives of his widow and daughters. They are forced to move out of the family home and into a small house belonging to a distant relation. This is one of my favourite Jane Austen novels and I love the relationship between the two sisters although I feel that I have far more in common with Elinor than Marianne.

The Night Singer by Joanna Mo

I couldn’t have a top 5 about death without including at least one mystery. This is the debut novel by Swedish Author Joanna Mo and is one of the best I have read this year. Detective Hanna Duncker returns to her childhood home to find that she has to investigate the death of her best friend’s 15 year old son. She has to deal with traumatic events that happened in the past as well a complex investigation in the present. Definitely a great debut.

Thanks Meeghan, I really enjoyed thinking about my choices for this week’s theme.


Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 books about a wedding

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

It’s Spring and so it’s definitely the right time to do a post featuring books about weddings. I could do just 5 romantic novels that end with a wedding but where would be the fun in that? All of my books have weddings as an element but they are probably more about the marriages than the weddings.

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

I’ve gone on and on about this book since reading it 6 months ago. This Science Fiction romantic murder mystery was a perfect book as far as I was concerned. The book centres around an arranged marriage between the widowed Jainan, a key figure in a diplomatic alliance and the playboy aristocratic Kiem. If you haven’t read it, then give it a try.

Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts

Another stunning book which has been one of my favourite reads for over 30 years. Mara’s family are all killed in a war on the world of Midkemia. As a result, she has to give up her planned life as a priestess and take control of her family. However, in a male dominated society, she has to marry to survive. Mara is the utlimate heroine who does exactly what she has to do to ensure her family’s survival in the deadly Game of the Council.

WolfBlade by Jennifer Fallon

Not just one wedding but several. Marla Wolfblade is the younger sister of the High Prince and this is another male dominated society where women have to marry to survive. Marla makes sure that her several marriages all help to keep her son Damin safe.

The Tainted Queen by Alison Weir

This is definitely a wedding that doesn’t end well. Poor Katherine Howard was the pawn of her ambitious family and became the fifth queen of Henry VIII . Alison Weir’s novel portrays her as a naive girl who was neglected while growing up and able to have relationships which would come back to haunt her when she became queen.

A Wedding in Provence by Katie Fforde

I don’t read a huge amount of romances but Katie Fforde has been one of my go to authors for many years when I do fancy curling up with a romantic novel so it seemed appropriate to choose her latest book for my final book about weddings.
This is a lovely feel good book about family and relationships. The provencal setting is idyllic and the characters are lovely.

Thanks Meeghan, I really enjoyed thinking about my choices for this week’s theme.


Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Books about a Birth

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

The theme for this week is Top 5 books about births as births are really the start of everything. I immediately thought of fantasy novels. The number of fantasy books that feature the birth of a ‘special’ child is too many to even think of so I then tried to think of less obvious choices.

After having this one rumbling around in my head for the past few days, these are the 5 that I have come up with.

This is one of my favourite dystopian novels. It is set in 2021, 26 years after the last child was born. Society is crumbling as there seems to be no hope for humankind but then one woman becomes pregnant. I guess maybe this isn’t really about a birth but rather the prospect of new life after giving up hope.

This is another dystopian book. This time it is set in a near future where no female children for over 30 years. Then a single girl is born and aptly named Eve. The book and the sequel deal with how society has developed and what Eve’s role will be as she approaches adulthood. My main quibble with this is that the first books were issued quite quickly but there is still no sign of the final book in the trilogy.

Possibly the very first story of a ‘chosen child’ was the story of Merlin orchestrating the birth of the future King Arthur. I loved all the Arthurian legends as a child and Mary Stewarts Crystal Cave trilogy is one of my favourites. T H White’s version of the legend is a great read and immortalised by Disney in The Sword in the Stone animation.

A true life story about a birth or at least the need for one. Henry VIII’s desire for a male heir to the throne changed English history. Because he needed a divorce, he broke with the Catholic church in Rome and founded the Church of England. Hilary Mantel’s brilliant Wolf Hall tells the story of Thomas Cromwell who was instrumental in helping Henry achieve his aims.

I don’t read horror stories as a general rule but I read this when I was still at school less than 10 years after it was first published and it has stayed with me ever since. The gradual build up of unease and menace was something I had never come across in a book before and the ending was truly shocking. I’m not sure if still has the same impact today but it’s still in print so obviously it’s still being read.

Thanks Meeghan, I really enjoyed thinking about my choices for this week’s theme.


Top 5 Tuesday – Anticipated Reads April – June

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here

There are so many amazing books being published this Spring that it’s really hard to narrow it down to just 5. However, these are the five that I think I am looking forward to the most.

A new Beth O’Leary book is always something to celebrate and I can’t wait to read this one.
The No Show is published on April 12th

I loved The Last Chance Library last year and I’m really looking forward to this new book by Freya Sampson
The Girl on the 88 Bus is published on June 9th

The Washington Poe novels by M W Craven are among my favourite crime novels and I am really excited about this new one coming out in June.
The Botanist is published on June 2nd

Sarah Morgan is another of my favourite authors. This one is set in California and I’m really looking forward to reading it.
Beach House Summer is published on May 26th

This is probably the book that I’m looking forward to the most. I’ve been reading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books for nearly 30 years and I’m so excited for this trilogy about the founding of Valdemar.
Into the West is published on June 23rd

Thank you Meeghan for another fun week.

What new releases are you most looking forward to?


Top 5 Tuesday – Books with Books

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for Jan- Mar see Meeghans page here

March is a month of scavenger hunts through our book shelves for the different themes. So far we’ve done doors, thrones, jewels and clocks but we are now down to the last which is my absolute favourite as it’s books with books!!! Who doesn’t love books about books? Just for this week, I actually had difficulty in deciding what my top 5 would be as I had a lot more than 5 to choose from.

These are the top 5 books with books which I have read in the past year.

This is possibly the best book cover and also the best Middle Grade book that I read last year.

Rachel and Robert have to uncover the secret of The Book of Stolen Dreams in order to save their father’s life. It’s a thrilling fantasy adventure and brilliantly written.

Another absolutely brilliant book about books. A mysterious reading list links a library volunteer and a lonely widower and they begin a new friendship. It’s a gorgeous read and definitely inspired me to read the books on the list.

One of the books featured on the reading list is Pride and Prejudice. This is the untold of Mary Bennett and another book that I absolutely loved last year.

Not many books make me laugh out loud but this was one of them. Nina Hill is a complete book worm and lives her life by her daily planner. Everything is perfect until one day, she receives some very unexpected news.

My final book is about a library threatened with closure. I think the current title is The Last Chance Library which actually makes more sense. This was a lovely book full of great characters and another of my favourite books about books.

What would your top 5 books with books be?

Thanks Meeghan for a great set of challenges. It’s been a lot of fun finding books each week. This week was definitely my favourite.

Top 5 Tuesday – Books with Clocks

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for Jan- Mar see Meeghans page here

March is a month of scavenger hunts through book shelves for the different themes. So far we’ve done doors, thrones and jewels but this week’s theme is clocks. I had a couple of ideas straightaway but then had fun looking along my bookshelves and kindle to find a few more. Here are my top 5 books with clocks:

This has to be the top of my list of books with clocks. Gretl is surrounded by clockwork on the cover of one of the best children’s books ever written.

Another classic book for my second book this week. It actually featured in a TV programme this week as a character was reading it .

This is a great historical fantasy novel based in Victorian London but also travelling to Japan .

A brilliant contemporary novel by Anne Tyler about Willa who decides it is time to make her own choices and choose her own direction.

My final book is another historical one. This time a historical mystery with a dual time line. Elodie in the present day is trying to solve a mystery dating back to 1862.

We just have one more scavenger hunt to go and I’m really looking forward to finding 5 books with books on.

Thanks Meeghan for another fun challenge.

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 books with Jewels

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for Jan- Mar see Meeghans page here

March is a month of scavenger hunts through book shelves for the different themes. So far we’ve done doors and thrones and this week is jewels. I couldn’t find any books with pictures of jewels on my shelves so I’ve had to stick with jewels in the titles. I have read all of these but don’t actually own all of them anymore.

The Ruby knight is the second books in Eddings’ Elenium series. I never thought it was as good as the Belgariad but still a fun read.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier – This was the first of her novels that I ever read and I loved it.

The Crystal Singer is one of my favourite Anne McCaffrey fantasy books. I loved the whole concept and the world of Ballybran is brilliantly conceived.

The Pearl Sister is the fourth in Lucinda Riley’s Seven sisters series where the adopted daughters of a billionaire all search out their roots. This one takes place in Australia and as always, the setting is amazing.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins is a classic and one of the first detective novels so an obvious love for me.

Thanks Meeghan for a fun challenge this week. Now to get thinking about books with clocks ready for next week😃.