Title: As You Were

Author: Eileen Feeney

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Random House

The Blurb

Sinéad Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret. 

No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie.

But she can’t go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Across the ward, Margaret Rose is running her chaotic family from her rose-gold Nokia. In the neighbouring bed, Jane, rarely but piercingly lucid, is searching for a decent bra and for someone to listen. Sinéad needs them both. 

As You Were is about intimate histories, institutional failures, the kindness of strangers, and the darkly present past of modern Ireland. It is about women’s stories and women’s struggles. It is about seizing the moment to be free.

Wildly funny, desperately tragic, inventive and irrepressible, As You Were introduces a brilliant voice in Irish fiction with a book that is absolutely of our times.

The Review

As You Were by Eileen Feeney is the story of Sinéad Hynes. She is currently residing in hospital having been diagnosed with cancer. No one in her family knows. Her day to day life is examined in this story as she traverses the dynamic of the ward that she is on. The old lady opposite who has dementia, the lady believed to have had a stroke and the gentleman who has ended up on an all female ward much to the chagrin of his daughter.

As You Were is brilliantly written and Feeney has elements of Marian Keyes in her delivery and although the over riding theme of the novel is one of sadness it is the small idiosyncratic nature of the characters and the nuances of Irish life that make the story enjoyable.

As You Were by Eileen Feeney is available now.

For more information regarding Random House (@randomhouse) please visit www.randomhousebooks.com.

Title: And Now for the Good News…To the Future With Love

Author: Ruby Wax

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

When was the last time that reading the news made you feel good?

Dear Reader,

I know what you’re thinking, is it some kind of macabre joke? Has she been in a coma? How can Ruby Wax write a book about good news when the world is facing the worst disaster since the Plague? 

Let me explain. I began writing in 2018, back when the world’s worries were somewhat different. Climate change, greedy bankers, exam results, crap politicians, mental health: these are still HUGE ISSUES, but even the ancient soothsayers reading pig entrails couldn’t have predicted this.

This is my new mission: to share the green shoots of hope peeping through the soil of civilization. Literacy is at an all-time high, world-hunger is likely to be eradicated this century, technological improvements are saving lives ­- just to scratch the surface. I’ve talked to everyone from leaders to scientists to tech geniuses. I’ve done the research and practiced what I preach. And my conclusion? Behind the clouds, the sun still shines. 

So here’s to the shoots – may they become a blueprint for how the world can shift for the good. Hopefully we’ll learn from them.

Love, Ruby

The Review

Wow. What a truly positive and joyous read. In her book – And Now for the Good News – Ruby Wax looks at world problems and really manages to show how a) they impact our mental health and b) how we can do something about it – both our mental health and helping fix the problems within the world.

If I am honest, I was expecting sardonic wit and humour. The sort of thing you are used to getting from Ruby Wax in her humourous guises. However, what I got was a lot of humour but equally a lot of real life advice. It is not surprising that she had been awarded degrees for her work in mental health.

And Now for the Good News is genuinely uplifting. Wax doesn’t shy away from the darker more difficult topics but equally she makes you see the positivity that life has to offer. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

And Now for the Good News… by Ruby Wax is available now.

For more information regarding Ruby Wax (@RubyWax) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Triflers Need Not Apply

Author: Camilla Bruce

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Belle Sorensen loves men.

She loves them to death . . .

___________

Early in life Belle Sorensen discovers the world is made only for men. They own everything: jobs, property, wives. But Belle understands what few others do: where women are concerned, men are weak.

A woman unhampered by scruples can take from them what she wants. And so Belle sets out to prove to the world that a woman can be just as ruthless, black-hearted and single-minded as any man.

Starting with her long suffering husband, Mads, Belle embarks on a killing spree the like of which has never been seen before nor since. 

And through it all her kind, older sister Nellie can only watch in horror as Belle’s schemes to enrich herself and cut down the male population come to a glorious, dreadful fruition . . .

Based on the true story of Belle Gunness whose murderous rampage began in Chicago in 1900, Triflers Need Not Apply is a novelistic tour de force exploring one woman’s determination to pay men back for all they have taken.

The Review

Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce is the imagined tale of one of the most notorious female killers in America.

It is the story of Belle Gunness who is believe to have had a penchant for killing men. In this fictional account Camilla Bruce has tried to paint a picture of Belle and the events that led to her murderous spree. Cleverly, Camilla Bruce has not tried to overly paint a sensitive picture to humanise the act of murder or this merry murderess; at times Belle is downright unlikeable. She is: selfish, recalcitrant and deeply unrepentant of her actions.

However, incidents have been created to create an image of what may have led to these events.

I was unaware of Belle Gunness before reading Triflers Need Not Apply. Having read it, I must admit she seems like a fascinating and clever character. Camilla Bruce really has managed to bring her to life in this novel.

Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce is available now.

For more information regarding Camilla Bruce (@millacream) please visit www.camillabruce.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: The Idea of You

Author: Robinne Lee

Pages: 372 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

EVERYONE IN THE WORLD KNOWS HIS NAME.

BUT IT’S YOU HE WANTS.

At thirty-nine, Solène Marchand is a devoted mother, a dedicated colleague and a considerate ex-wife.

But it’s a long time since she’s felt like herself.

So when someone comes along who seems to see her – to want her – for who she really is, the attraction is instant. And so begins a jet-setting, earth-shattering secret love affair.

But what if that someone is world-famous sex symbol Hayes Campbell? Captivating frontman of boy band of the moment August Moon – whose face is everywhere. Including Solène’s teenage daughter’s bedroom wall.

Can Solène allow herself to fall for the boy the whole world wants?

OR WILL SHE HAVE TO MAKE A DEVASTATING CHOICE . . . ?

The Review

I was, once again, seduced by a book cover. I looked at The Idea of You by Robinne Lee and I thought This is going to be Almost Famous and Daisy Jones which to me would have been perfect. What I got was a little less than what I was expecting. I got Daisy Jones meets 50 Shades.

The story focuses on Solene, a single mum of one who is reaching her 40th birthday. When she takes her teenage daughter to a concert for the latest boy band she ends up starting a tempestuous relationship with the Lead singer Hayes Campbell. A man 20 years her junior.

Okay, so far as stories go it isn’t bad. The important point that Lee tries to make is that women of a certain age are overlooked and this she does quite well. She has successful women who are independent of men and shows the impact on them, the unfairness of it and the disparity in the way men and women of a similar age are treated.

The Hayes Campbell storyline which is the bulk of the story was a little hard to digest. Mainly because every seen had them having sex in a variety of graphic ways. I did make my vomit face on several occasions. I’m no prude but the way things were phrased had the ‘ick’ factor.

Overall, The Idea of You is an easy read. It is uncomplicated and is the kind of book that you can take on holiday. It isn’t poorly written but due to the amount of sex scenes I personally felt like our protagonist wasn’t as well rounded as she could have been.

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee is available now.

For more information regarding Robinne Lee (@robinnelee) please visit www.robinnelee.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Speed Reading – Learn to Read a 200+ Page Book in 1 Hour

Author: Kam Knight

Pages: 118 Pages

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

The Blurb

#1 Speed Reading Book on Amazon for 2 Straight Years

This has become the go to book for students, teachers, educators, professionals, and home-school parents & children to rapidly improve their reading.

It offers simple tips to not only accelerate reading, but comprehension and memory.

Unlike other books that merely teach you to skim & scan, this book taps into your brain and eyes’ amazing power to naturally read more words in a shorter time.

In fact, this isn’t your average speed reading book.

I spent years to refine the techniques to double or even triple you reading speed with a few simple shifts. No skimming, no scanning, but reading every word with double or triple the speed.

Then with the additional tips and exercises, you will raise that level until you are comfortably reading a 200+ page book in 1 hour.

The Review

I am a quick reader. I read an awful lot of books per year yet my TBR pile never seems to go down (and my NetGalley percentage never seems to go up). I saw the title of this book and how it could teach me to read a 200 page book in one hour and my curiosity was heightened.

Some of the techniques that are taught in this book are really impressive and when you try them out you see that Kam Knight, the author, is on to something. For me, I found reading between the spaces to be the best technique and I am going to practise that one much more.

Speed Reading is definitely worth reading and giving a go. I plan to and hopefully my TBR pile will decrease.

Speed Reading – Learn to Read a 200+ Page Book in 1 Hour by Kam Knight is available now.