Title: Very British Problems – Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time

Author: Rob Temple

Pages: 270 Pages

Publisher: Sphere

The Blurb

There’s an epidemic sweeping the nation. Symptoms include:

*Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of making a fuss;

*Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake;

*An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology.

Doctors have also reported several cases of unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing etiquette and dramatic sighing in the presence of loud teenagers on public transport. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS. VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS are highly contagious. There is no known cure.

Rob Temple’s hilarious new book reveals all the ways in which we are a nation of socially awkward but well-meaning oddballs, struggling to make it through every day without apologising to an inanimate object. Take comfort in misfortunes of others. You are not alone.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Very British Problems is collection of tweets from the Very British Problems Twitter account that essentially does what it sets out to do – talk abut British problems. The success of this Twitter account and indeed the book is that we recognise ourselves in the things that are being written. If not in ourselves then certainly in someone we know. 

Very British Problems by Rob Temple is the ideal stocking filler and since there is not long until Christmas then you should get buying it now.

Very British Problems – Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time by Rob Temple is available now.

For more information regarding Rob Temple (@RobTemple101) please visit www.verybritishproblems.com.

For more information regarding Sphere (@BooksSphere) please visit the Twitter page.

Title: The Silver Collection

Author: Carole Matthews

Pages: 59 Pages

Publisher: Sphere

The Blurb

The publication of my novel, The Christmas Party, has seen me celebrating a career that has spanned twenty-five books and eighteen years. Yet it seems like only yesterday when I had my first book, Let’s Meet on Platform 8, published. I’m so lucky to have an enthusiastic and devoted following of readers – some who’ve stayed with me from the very beginning and some who are recent converts. Without you reading and enjoying my books, I would never have had the fabulous career I’ve been blessed with. We make a great team!

I thought it would be nice for you all to join the celebration with me and to offer a small token of my thanks and appreciation for all your support over the years. I love writing short stories and that’s what helped to get me started on this road so I’ve put together a collection of a few of my favourites that have interspersed the last twenty-five books. Each one is very special to me for a different reason and has lovely memories. I hope you enjoy them too. Find half an hour to curl up on the sofa with them and raise a glass to toast twenty-five books and us!

Cheers!

Carole xx

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I have never read anything by Carole Matthews before. My mum and my sister are fans but I had never read anything of hers before. Because my mother and I have such differing tastes I think I purposefully stayed away. However, never one to be a nay-sayer I decided to give her collection of short stories a go. A tentative dip into her bookish waters and I was pleasantly surprised.

In The Silver Collection we travel all over with a series of likeable leading ladies. In particular, I enjoyed the story set in Venice. Carole Matthews manages to ad zest to downtrodden females and give them hope. The stories were all rather wonderful.

The Silver Collection by Carole Matthews is available now.

For more information regarding Carole Matthews (@carolematthews) please visit www.carolematthews.com.

3 Stars

BossypantsThe Blurb

Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.

Before 30 Rock, Mean Girls and ‘Sarah Palin’, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher.

She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

The Review

Memoirs are not really my thing. I dip in and out of them sporadically rather than being an avid reader. However, every once in a while I find an autobiography that really impresses me; Tin Fey’s Bossypants really impressed me.

With her inimitable sass, Fey walks you through key moments in her life flashing you a sardonic smile along the way. What is really great is that Fey peels back the layers of “celebrity” and lets you see the person behind it. She doesn’t do this with sad stories, tragic past and constant failures but by showing just how damn hard she worked to get to the level of success she is privy to.

It would be cheesy to say that her story is inspirational because to be honest we all want the lazy way to success – for it to just fall into our hands – but it is uplifting to see someone who seems so together saying that she is just human.

It is probably due to this level-headedness that makes Fey so likeable.

With her book Bossypants Fey adds another quiver to her bow of talent.

Bossypants by Tina Fey is available now.

Follow Tina Fey (@NotTinaFey) on Twitter.

4 Stars

The Blurb

At thirty, Claudia’s life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds herself facing life – and Christmas – alone.

Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It’s also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festival markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing’s for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different.

This is the story of Claudia and her twelve dates of Christmas. Hilarious, uplifting and romantic, it’s a story about losing love, finding love, and discovering what’s been there all along. Expect Christmas sparkle, butterflies-in-your-stomach romance and a lot of very funny moments in The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

The Review

Oh the path of true love never runs smoothly, does it? Especially not for the self-destructive heroine of The Twelve Dates of Christmas, Claudia; when Claudia and long term boyfriend Seth split up just before Christmas (what is it about Christmas that it seems to go hand in hand with heartbreak) she realises that she has just been existing and not living. Well no more, Claudia is dusting off the cobwebs from her life and giving herself a kick up the backside.

One part of her life that really needs a boost is her love life; after several interesting (coughs – disastrous- coughs) dates, Penny realises with whom her heart really lies and sets out on trying to make things happen.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas is a pure unadulterated will-they-won’t-they love story that pulls dramatically at the heartstrings and has you screaming my favourite saying at the characters – “Kiss her/him, you fool!” It is one of those brilliant books that sucks you right in and has you thinking about the characters, what they should do and how they are feeling long after you (begrudgingly) put the book down.

Our protagonist Claudia really has the ability to pull at your heartstrings; she seems to constantly lose the things that she loves – first of all, dancing. Due to an injury a few years earlier, she is no longer eligible to be the prima ballerina that she always longed to be and when opportunities in the dancing field come her way she shies away from them – through fear? Possibly. It seems that she can’t allow herself to be near the things she loves because she destroys them. Maybe I am reading too much into her character but this is the overall impression that I got of Claudia. Mainly I wanted to give her a good shake and tell her to pull it together. However, it is the simple flaws that made her human and loveable.

What Dickenson has done rather well is that she has created a “well fanciable” hero. The love interest for Claudia is swoons-worthy. Is it wrong to fancy fictional characters? Ah well, who cares. All I know is that The Twelve Dates of Christmas is a great book, with great characters and will make a great gift for your loved ones this Christmas.

Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson is available now.

Follow Lisa Dickenson (@LisaWritesStuff) on Twitter.

The Blurb

Movie addict Scarlett O’Brien is finally living the jet-setting life she’s dreamed of – but it all hangs by a shiny, golden thread.

Flying between London and New York, running two businesses, planning her wedding to handsome fiancé, Sean, with best friends Oscar and Maddie – life couldn’t be better.

But then Scarlett meets paparazzi darling, Gabriella Romero, and life suddenly becomes even more extravagant and glamorous. As she begins to experience the other side to being rich and famous, it’s not only Scarlett’s perfect wedding that’s put in jeopardy, but her whole world.

The Review

I am a huge fan of Ali McNamara’s writing and I have yet to find a book of hers that I dislike. It is always a worry having to read and review an author whose work you like just in case they have written a stinker. Fortunately for me From Notting Hill with Four Weddings…Actually is still in the high calibre of rom-com chick-lit we have all come to expect from McNamara.

I love that with a series of books you don’t have to get to know your main characters again. It is like being welcomed back into the family fold. You know the characters foibles and personality traits and so less of your time and concentration is taken up by this and you can focus more on the story. Like the previous two books in this series – From Notting Hill with Love Actually and From Notting Hill to New York…Actually – there is an element of mystery with From Notting Hill with Four Weddings…Actually. What McNamara does so succinctly is throw in some very impressive red herrings. I must admit I was disappointed when certain clues were given and I came up with my own assumptions but like a true mastermind writer McNamara pulled the rug from under me…that cheeky minx!

From Notting Hill with Four Weddings…Actually is a fantastic part of an already brilliant series and fans of the previous two books will not be disappointed.

From Notting Hill with Four Weddings…Actually by Ali McNamara is available now.

You can follow Ali McNamara (@AliMcNamara) on Twitter.

Find out all the latest news about Ali McNamara on her website www.alimcnamara.co.uk

From Notting Hill with Four Weddings