Lean In: A Must-Read Book For Working Mums (Career Loving Parents)

Friday 25th November 2016


The time is vast approaching when I will be returning to work full time following nearly ten months maternity leave.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve really struggled being away from work for this amount of time.

Since I was sixteen, I’ve worked full time.

Half my life in fact.

So to go from that to being at home with a baby all day has been somewhat of a culture shock for me.

I’m used to being busy. I like being busy. I’m typing this as I try and cram some ‘me time’ in as Ella naps. I’ve blogged to keep me sane.

I’ve got a brain.

I want to use it not lose it.

And it’s helped massively.

But what has spurred me on even more to make the decision (to be a full time working mum) is Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’.

Missuswolf Lean In Sheryl Sandberg Kindle cover with baby shoes and wand

I’m choosing to go back full time. I want to stay in this rat race.

I know Ella will be fine at nursery – heck nursery will prep her for school, which in turn preps her for the world.

At her visit last week she was craning her neck to see what was going on. She was desperately trying to wriggle out of my arms to join in.

I’m not worried about her going to nursery in the slightest. It will be good for her development – better than what I could ever provide her.

I don’t want her to have flown the nest and I’ve sacrificed my ambitions when I had the opportunity to chase them.

Missuswolf Mother and daughter walking on a country lane

Ella’s not mine to keep.

She’s mine to teach.

One day she will have a life of her own.

And I’ve thought this practically from the day she was born.

I’ll do my job with her and always love her beyond belief.

But we are both human beings and want the best for ourselves out of life.

In the book, Sheryl mentions Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller foundation, and the subject of how women choose to leave the workforce.

It would make sense for me to cut my hours. In essence I’m working to pay for my child to go to nursery and the household bills with very little play money at the end.

Missuswolf piggybank

But I’ve chosen to do this.

I don’t want to give up my career now when I was at the peak of it prior to maternity leave.

I’ve worked too hard. I’ve put in too many hours to just hold my hands up and step down.

Because in a couple of years, Ella will be at pre-school. Then actual school.

What do I do then? If I’d chose to leave the workforce, I’d be back in a position where I could go full time and not have to pay the nursery fees.

After discussing this with my OH, we are both acutely aware that the next couple of years are going to be hard financially.

But it won’t last.

Plus, we’ve struggled and survived on my maternity pay this year. We can make it through the next couple of years.

If I look back to November last year when I was twenty weeks pregnant, the time has flown over. I now have an eight month old.

Next November, I’ll have a twenty month old. Nearing that gap to fifteen hours free nursery care. Which will certainly ease the burden.

So I know I can do this.

I think maternity leave is the hardest part. You’re left alone to deal with this baby day in, day out, with little help and lack of money.

But come weekends and trips away, with the OH, family and friends – I don’t feel the stress and burden anymore. And bizarrely, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my KIT days. They’ve been welcome breaks.

I’m not saying this is what everyone should do – far from it. Every family set-up and circumstance is different. This isn’t a bash at parents who stay at home or work part time. It’s simply what I’ve chosen to do and I’ve found a book that’s supported my thought process.

This post is in case there are any like minded people out there struggling to come to a decision. I want them to read this and know it’s OK.

Sheryl broaches the subject that us women are often the breadwinners in our generation. So we do have to go back full time. Which is good. However, we’re penalised with nursery fees.

This was my case but I’m actually taking a cut when I go back to my new role. However, it’s still a promotion – and a development opportunity. I’m still in the game.

Sheryl’s point though is that if there was more help with childcare, more women would go back full time. For some families, it’s just not cost efficient to do so.

And I get that.

But what if those women really wanted to go back to work? That they were clever, hard-working and had ambition and drive?

Missuswolf woman at laptop working

Not only is it them missing out on bettering themselves and in turn bettering their families, but businesses are missing a trick. They are effectively losing out. Losing a strong member of staff simply because they can’t afford the childcare.

This is something that the government needs to look into and help with funding nurseries. But that’s a different topic for a different day.

However, Sheryl’s stance on this is that women mistakenly drop out of the workforce as their salary barely covers childcare. She promotes a different way of thinking. That we should measure the cost against our future salary rather than our current.

And with that in mind, I’m more than happy to go full steam ahead of working full time.

Sheryl discusses childhood bossiness and the neighbourhood. Looking back, I had similar drive. As an eight year old, I used to dance on our driveway with my sister and our friends.

 

img_1480We would put on shows.

Our favourite song to dance to was Two Unlimited’s ‘Get Ready For This’. I know. How cool were we?

I went so far as to type up tickets (on a typewriter too – no computers in those days) on yellow or green paper. Then we would march around the neighbourhood and sell them to people. To come and watch six girls in crop tops and cycling shorts dance.

And people actually bought them.

Could you imagine if we did that in this day and age??

Suffice to say our parents marched us straight back to return the money.

But looking back, you could say it was the start of business thinking.

When I was ten years old, I bought jewellery making kits and pulled together some earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

I packaged them and marketed them as ‘GG’s Gems’ and sold them at fayre’s at the local community centre.

Why I’ve never pursued this little trait I’ll never know but my god I wish I’d gone to University and done English/Journalism or Business and Marketing.

Never mind. I suppose it’s never too late.

My point being is that Sheryl Sandberg had a similar streak and ‘bossiness’ about her. Now I am no way comparing myself to her at all (I wish!) but her point is that it’s not bossiness as a little girl. It’s leadership qualities coming through.

And I’ve never seen myself as a leader. But maybes at this point in my life, it’s time to become one. Especially through the eyes of my little girl.

Missuswolf little girls taking photo

I want her to look up to me. To see her mammy working hard but playing equally as hard. Show her independence and drive. That mammy enjoys using her brain and contributing financially. See her mammy happy as she has a healthy balance in life.

And lead her to strive for that same well-being.

Leadership is also a quality to look for and nurture in little girls of our own. Which I’m going to do with Little Miss E.

Missuswolf little girl in princess outfit

#GirlBoss

Sheryl points out that thriving marriages appear to be ones where both parents work full time and have careers as well as children. There’s less guilt and good mental health. Some data also suggests that two working parents outside the home are advantageous to a child’s development – especially girls.

Missuswolf little girl reading

I agree with this statement for my set up. I’m used to being extremely independent – working full time, having my own money and coming and going as I please.

 

To say this has been turned upside down this year is an understatement. I’ve had to be dependant on someone else, had very little money and my schedule is dictated by a small human.

Who wouldn’t look back on their former selves with envy? Of course parenthood and maternity has probably been the hardest year of our marriage. So I’ll be welcome of a level playing field come January.

Missuswolf couple on top of mountain

Like I said before, there’s no question about my love for my child. I just know exactly what I want out of life and Sheryl Sandberg has shown me I can get it. Being a mother does not prevent me.

In fact, it fuels me. I’ve discovered a drive I’ve never had before.

I’m more determined than ever.

Caroline O’Connor refers to herself as a career loving parent instead of a working mum.

And I love this title.

From now on, I will refer to myself as a career loving parent. A woman who loves business and works to better herself as well as her family.

Like Beyonce says:

Missuswolf woman with child on her back in working fields

 

Who Run The World.

Girls.

Where you can grab a copy of Lean In:

Love Missuswolf xxx

Please note this post contains affiliate links

Images from Unsplash

K. A. Richardson’s Time To Play: Blog Tour

Friday 30th September 2016

image

The book I’m currently reading is Time To Play by North East Crime Writer K.A Richardson.

 

I always like

to have a book

to read.

Missuswolf Time To Play K.A Richardson

For those of you who’ve followed this blog for a long time, you’ll recall the days when this was solely about books and writing.

It’s somewhat expanded in the last couple of months but my heart will always be with literature.

Crime and psychological thriller’s tend to be my forte.

 

K. A. Richardson

I used to work with Kerry a few years back and I’ve loved following her writing journey. Back then, she was busy writing her first book, With Deadly Intent (cheeky post plug – read more on my interview with her here).

She was also in the process of setting up her blog too Kerryannrichardson.com

2016 has been a busy yet exciting year for Kerry. Her debut novel, With Deadly Intent, was released in April, followed by I’ve Been Watching You in June and now Time To Play was released on the 22nd of this month.

Back in July, Kerry also won author of the month over at the UK Crime Book Club.

At the time of going to press, I’ve Been Watching You was number 2 in the free Kindle Crime Chart and no 6 in the overall free Kindle Chart.

Pretty impressive achievements while working in a (very important) full-time job.

Biography

Missuswolf K A Richardson Author PictureMy name is KA Richardson, and I am a crime writer based in the North East of England. I write around my other work commitments so am constantly on the go. I love reading many genres, love speaking to people and spend a lot of time people watching in coffee shops, though if I’m honest this is more for the purposes of character building and plotting. I enjoy watching ‘cop’ shows from both the UK and the USA, and am a fan of sci-fi. I began thinking about writing as a career in 2010 and completed my Ma Creative Writing in 2011. I love to be inspired, and enjoy spending time with friends and family, as well as other like-minded folk. My website has some more info on me, if you’re interested pop on over to www.kerryannrichardson.com, or I can be found on Facebook as KA Richardson.

Time To Play …

DI Alistair McKay is still reeling from the ‘one that got away’ but when he is called to deal with a potential murder at the water side, he must put his personal worries aside.

As police diver, Marlo Buchanan, starts pulling bodies out of the water, it becomes clear that something isn’t right.

Someone is torturing young girls and dumping them in the local reservoir.

Then the body of a man is discovered and Mackay and Buchanan are pulled into the seedy underworld of human trafficking.

As the team race against the clock tensions start to run high.

Can they overcome their personal demons to work together?

And will they find the killer before he strikes again?

The team are back in the third novel from the gripping North East Police series.

 

Missuswolf Time To Play K.A Richardson

You don’t have to have read

the previous books

to read Time To Play

Although the book is part of the ‘North East Police’ series, the beauty of Kerry’s work is that the books are stand alones in their own right.

They focus on a different character in each novel and, although they make reference to previous character’s who are bobbing along in the background, this doesn’t distract from the main storyline.

My favourite style in this book is that the sections are snappy; almost like an intertwined diary. In any chapter, the date and destination heading change allows us to follow different character’s; from the police dive team, detective’s and scene’s of crime officer’s to the horror of the human trafficking world.

Interlaced within all that are the sub stories of the police officer’s lives.

The pace is good, it keeps it interesting the technique that Kerry has used.

The topic is very raw and the level of research that Kerry has done on both the subject and the roles of the police teams involved is a real credit.

Richardson’s got a good knack of getting inside the mind of a killer and their thought process to justify their actions.

Chilling,

but thrilling.

I’m not going to give too much away on this one for fear of dropping any spoilers.

The nights are drawing in and what better way to get all snug and cosy than to get your nose in a new book.

Time To Read

Time To Play

Missuswolf Time To Play K A Richardson

Have you read any of Kerry’s books?

Love Missuswolf xxx

The Ruby of Egypt – Christmas Book Trailer

SUNDAY 23RD NOVEMBER 2014

It’s a fairly mild November night and the smell of Christmas cake lingers in the Wilford household.

Yep, I’ve attempted to bake a Christmas cake.

For those who know me, baking is not one of my strong points. Neither is running but I’m conquering that nemesis too.

So as I’m feeling festive (I discovered Smooth Xmas FM this morning and watched Elf this evening) I thought I’d briefly pop my head into the blogging world  to show you my Christmas Book Trailer for ‘The Ruby of Egypt’.

Apologies for my absence of late but the current day job takes up more time and energy than I first anticipated. I hope to be back to writing and blogging again come the new year.

But for now …

The Ruby Of Egypt

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Lucy Diamond

WEDNESDAY 08th OCTOBER 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

 

I am delighted to welcome the lovely Lucy Diamond, author to several chick-lit novels including The Beach Café, Me and Mr Jones and Sweet Temptation. Lucy’s new novel ‘Christmas Gifts at The Beach Café’ is available to pre-order on Amazon now. I’ve got my order in – get yours here.

Christmas Beach Cafe

~Author Bio~

First of all, a confession. My name isn’t really Lucy Diamond at all, it’s Sue Mongredien. I’ve used a pen name because Author Pic Lucy Diamond‘Diamond’ is a lot easier to spell and pronounce than ‘Mongredien’ and also because I’ve written lots of children’s books too and wanted to keep the genres separate. (There is actually another Lucy Diamond on Amazon who writes religious children’s books. That isn’t me, though.) I was born in 1970 and grew up in Nottingham. I read English at Leeds University then moved to London and worked for various publishers before I packed it all in to go travelling around the world for a year and a half. When I came back to the UK, I worked in publishing again, then moved to the BBC.

I now live in Bath with my husband and three young children and divide my time between writing and looking after them. You can have a look at my children’s books here.

I would love to hear from you so do say hello if you’re on Twitter. You can find me @LDiamondAuthor. Otherwise you can email me via the Contact Me page.

Grab that cuppa and get snug as we catch-up with the lovely Lucy Diamond.

Cuppa and fire

Hi Lucy and welcome!

 The below are questions asked by my Aunt, Tracy Wilford, who is a huge fan and has introduced me to your books.

In Sweet Temptation your main characters, Maddie, Lauren and Jess meet at their local Fatbusters. I Sweet Temptationreally enjoyed their struggles with food and the reactions of those close to them to their weight issues. Why did you decide to write about a weight loss club?

First of all, thank you for having me here – and for reading my books. It’s much appreciated!

Sweet Temptation is a book that’s very close to my heart. Although I have never been to a weight loss club myself, I was quite insecure and self-conscious through my twenties – and it was only when my body produced three beautiful babies in my thirties that my attitude changed, and I started to feel proud of what my body had achieved, rather than fretting about wobbly thighs!

But then I joined a gym and the instructor did that horrible fat-pinching test and told me I was ‘verging on obesity’ (I was a size 10-12!) and all the old insecurities rushed back. In tears, I went home and wrote a blog about how upset I felt, and had the most amazing outpouring of support from readers, most of whom I didn’t know. And even in the depths of despair and angst, I thought – There might be a book in this…

 

In ‘Me and Mr Jones’ the character Alicia is married to dependable Hugh and as she approaches her 40thMe and Mr Jones birthday she becomes restless and yearns for time to herself. This storyline resonated with me, who was your inspiration for this character?

The inspiration was me! I found turning 40 quite difficult. I had enjoyed my thirties so much that I felt somewhat apprehensive about leaving them behind. I think there’s a tendency to assume that life will suddenly change quite dramatically once you pass these milestone birthdays… funnily enough, it doesn’t. I am happy to say I am enjoying my 40s enormously – I’m sure Alicia is too!

Why did you decide to include recipes for beauty products, breakfasts, summer cocktails, and other plot related information at the end of your books? Have you tested all of the recipes yourself?  

I think it’s nice to add a few extras at the end of a novel – and yes, I always test the recipes. I had particularly good feedback regarding the extra material at the end of Summer With My Sister – one lady wrote to tell me she had enjoyed making the beauty products so much, she’d actually started her own business (which has been a great success, and is still going from strength to strength!)

The below questions are from myself, I’d love to hear more about how you work …

The Beach CafeHow do you manage your writing time? 

I tend to write while my children are at school. I warm up by reading through and editing my previous day’s work, then push on with new pages. I write fairly quickly but edit many times before anyone is allowed to see a single page. My favourite part of the process is when I have completed a first draft – I’ve actually made it to the end! – and I have the pages printed out, ready for me to read the book through in its entirety. I do a HUGE edit at this point – whole chapters cut out, whole characters sometimes, I am absolutely ruthless. For me, it’s only when I’ve got to the end that I can see how the book needs to be balanced, and how it’ll ‘work’ as a whole.

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on? summer with my sister

I have always written: diaries, short stories, bad sixth-form love poetry… but it wasn’t until I was working at my first job in publishing that I fell in love with the idea of actually becoming an author myself. Until then, I’d kind of assumed that ‘people like me’ didn’t get to do things like that – but then I started meeting ‘real’ authors and realised that they didn’t conform to a type whatsoever, and most of them were very nice (and quite ordinary!) people. It was really only then that a little daydream became a possibility in my mind, and I thought, Why not?

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow? 

Hens ReunitedI have a lovely little office at home, which is full of books and nice things my children have made me, and a very comfortable armchair for reading page proofs. However, at the start of this year, I began working a day or two a week at a shared office in town. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to write with music playing, and other people around me, but I actually love being back in a proper office and feeling as if I have ‘colleagues’ again. (Plus it’s right in the middle of town and I kind of love a bit of lunchtime shopping too…)

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I can’t resist a bit of karaoke… Don’t judge me!        

Thank you for being here today Lucy

~Where to find the author~

Facebook

Twitter: @LDiamondAuthor

Email: Lucy@lucydiamond.co.uk

Website: http://www.lucydiamond.co.uk/

Blog

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch Up – An Author Interview with…Kathleen Shoop

SATURDAY 22nd DECEMBER 2012

Cuppa and fireHurrah! Despite what the Mayans said we have survived the End of The World – it’s great to see you all on the other side! So here’s to new beginnings and with that, I would like to welcome back author Kathleen Shoop to my blog whose novel, Love and Other Subjects is out now. 

So get that kettle boiled, grab that cuppa and your favourite biscuits (umm I could just eat a shortbread right now now nom nom) and get all snug as we find out more about Kathleen Shoop and her new novel….

 

Kathie’s bioMJ2kathie_photo_outside_snow-1

Love and Other Subjects is the  third novel by bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards in 2011 as did her second novel After the Fog in 2012. A former Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

 

Synopsis of Love and Other Subjects:

Love and Other SubjectsFor every woman who wonders if she chose the right career…

In Love and Other Subjects Carolyn Jenkins strives for two things—to be the greatest teacher ever and to find true love. She’s as skilled at both as an infant trying to eat with a fork. Carolyn’s suburban upbringing and genuine compassion for people who don’t fit effortlessly into society are no match for weapon-wielding, struggling students, drug-using colleagues, and a wicked principal.

Meanwhile, her budding relationship with a mystery man is thwarted by his gaggle of eccentric sisters. Carolyn depends on her friends to get her through the hard times, but with poverty-stricken children at her feet and a wealthy man at her side, she must define who she is. The reality of life after college can be daunting, the road to full-fledged adulthood long and unscripted. Can Carolyn take control and craft the life she’s always wanted?

 
Now start sipping on that cuppa and dunking that biscuit as we catch up with Kathleen Shoop…

Hi Kathie and welcome back! It’s great to have you here and congratulations on the release of the new book! Where did the inspiration behind this book come from?

The inspiration for Love and Other Subjects came from my own experiences during my first two years of teaching. But in addition to all the new teacher escapades in the novel, I also drew from my experiences in doing research during my PhD studies and working in schools across the country for the last 20 years. The scenarios—Carolyn’s, Nina’s and Laura’s failures and triumphs were in some cases exaggerated, but unfortunately some “inspired by real life” situations had to be dialed BACK to be believable. Carolyn’s love life is complete fiction although I had my share of breakups and wondering if I would ever meet the man of my dreams. This romantic plot was a chance for me to introduce some humor to balance the more serious school issues. As far as the plot thread dealing with Carolyn and her friends, that comes from much of what I experienced while living with a group of new teachers, all of us experiencing young adulthood and our first classrooms together. I created Carolyn, Nina and Laura by pulling from all of our personalities (at least six of us!) creating streamlined “people,” and issues rather than having the reader try to keep track of too many characters.  I suppose the heart of this novel—the post-college coming of age theme is as “true” as nonfiction in the sense it captures the unwieldy days after college when people have no idea what they’re doing, but they’re damn sure they’re smarter than you’re appearing to be. I think readers, no matter what their profession, will recall the same feelings that the characters experience.

 How would you compare writing this book with writing your previous books; After The Fog and The Last Letter? MJ2AFTERtheFOG_COVER-FINAL copy

Well, for one thing, this was so much more fun. Though the educational thread in Love and Other Subjects is serious, there’s a lot of levity, facing adversity with humor, seeing characters transform into the people they want to become. So much of what happens in After the Fog and The Last Letter is shaped by a world that Jeanie and Rose are not equip to manage—they are powerless in some ways. Carolyn, due in part to the era in which she comes of age, has the ability to demand the world change, she has the means to carve out the existence she wants because she has an education, she is independent and not yet saddled with family and children. Although it takes Carolyn a while to figure out how to access her abilities, to recognize her strengths, she knows somehow she’ll figure things out. I feel like the historical fiction I’ve written is heavier in nearly every sense. This book is quirky, light, and fun.

last-letter-cover I have read Love and Other Subjects and thoroughly enjoyed it. You had me hooked in the first chapter where I really felt the tension and panic that you built up in that classroom as well as thinking ‘where is the going’ making me really want to read more! What made you choose (without giving too much away) that particular set up as your first chapter?

I’m so glad you liked it, Gemma! That is just the best to hear! I chose to write the first chapter like I did so the reader would know right away what Carolyn was up against every day, but also to show there would be humor in the story, that it would address serious issues with respect, but also with hope and levity. For me, being able to laugh at problems helps me deal with them—it doesn’t mean roadblocks are silly or unimportant, but humor allows me to work through problems that would be too weighty to address otherwise. I think this comes through in the first scene and early chapters. At least, I hope it does.

 I really empathized with your character when having to deal with the principle, Klein, who was a character I loved to hate. His attitude towards Carolyn really wound me up. There was a point where I had a slight wobble towards him, but he inevitably did something equally annoying to change that pity. Who was your favourite character to write?

Well…I loved writing Jeep because he is sort of a fantasy guy in a lot of ways. He had his issues, yes, but I loved that he seemed to “know” Carolyn instantly and fall in love with her and all of her shortcomings. But, really, I have to say I loved all these characters, the students, the teachers because in drawing from real-life experiences I could craft people to suit my needs—who doesn’t love that? But, I agree, Klein’s a great character—he is severely limited in his ability to mentor people, but he has his moments of compassion, that hopefully round him out a bit…but he is a good villian. 

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

Well, in keeping with this book, I’d say that I wrote my dissertation and worked on research projects that put me in the homes and lives of children, observing the ways their families used text in throughout their day, throughout their work and play. That type of research offered an inside view of how people’s lives work, it stripped away all I thought I knew about people and where they were coming from. It was incredibly transforming to experience this—to be in the role of the “other” in someone else’s world.

 Thank you for being here today Kathie

Love and Other Subjects

Readers – here is where you can purchase Kathie’s books:

Kindle Edition UK

Kindle Edition USA

You can also follow Kathleen Shoop on Facebook and Twitter @KathieShoop, as well as view her website and blog.

 Love Missuswolf xxx

My New Writing Bible – Stephen King ‘On Writing’

FRIDAY 11th MAY 2012

I find myself ordering bits and pieces during the wee small and quiet hours on a night-shift; randomly this time it has been some silver wall hanging hooks, an iPod Transmitter Car Charger and most relevant of all; Stephen King’s On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft.

I first heard about this book when I attended a Creative Writing Class last year, where it seemed to be the main condiment that complimented our conversations; a highly recommended writers tool.

Since then, it has lulled in the back of my mind that it is something that I need to purchase.

However, I could not buy this in the Kindle Format.

Oh no.

Because I am a girl who LOVES tabbing and sticking labels on relevant pages, making notes, penciling in comments, referencing items. My true inner geek shines through with something like this.

Which would be wasted on a Kindle (although I do still love you My Beloved Kindle.)

So this is one purchase that I am pleased I made in the murky midst of a night-shift.

I haven’t started reading this yet – a mixture of postponement to prolong the anticipation and the fear that once I start, I will simply not be able to stop.

I have read some reviews and they are all extremely positive, identifying this as a useful (and interesting) tool for writer’s – as well as a fantastic insight into Stephen King himself.

I believe that I will find a lot of guidance, inspiration and answers hidden in this little treasure.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Listmania!

SATURDAY 21st JANUARY 2012

Afternoon All!Missuswolf Kindle Listmania

 

I wanted to share with you my discovery of Listmania! on Amazon; a concept that allows you to search up to 25 books, copy and paste their ISBN/ASIN into a list and give each book a reference that is personal to you ie ‘Classic Book’ or ‘recommended by book club’ etc.

You also give your Listmania! a name; mine I have entitled ‘Books to Read’ as quite frankly, it is a list of books that I want to read.

I composed my Listmania! during a quiet spell on night shift and it is my list to work through to download to my Beloved Kindle.

I received some money for my birthday to put towards Kindle downloads and I have started (slowly but surely) building up my collection.

Please click here to view my Listmania!

I have started by downloading the first Twilight book by Stephenie Meyer, which i intend to read once I have finished reading one of the Classics, ‘Pride and Prejudice.

Also, you will see from the picture that I have decided to dress My Beloved Kindle in a lovely Kindle Cover courtesy of lilmo30 on ebay. Check their products out here.

My intention is to work through this List this year – as you can see, there certainly is a variety on there; Stephen King and Rosamund Lupton   to name but a few.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Timeless Classic Reads

THURSDAY 19th JANUARY 2012

Afternoon All!

Another of my New Years Resolutions was to expand my literature knowledge  and try to broaden the content in what types of writing styles that I read.

This has been made more accessible by My Beloved Kindle.

Thanks to the fabulous Kindle Store on Amazon, they have two Top 100 Lists; Top 100 Paid and Top 100 Free.

Not one for missing out on a freebie, I have set straight to work downloading some Classics that are now available as part of the Top 100 Free.

Amongst the Classics available is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Having never seen any of the TV Series or the film, I wanted to experience this book and get a feel of the writing style. It is all part of my journey to  become a writer.

Although it is not what I class as an ‘easy read’ where I can easily slip away into a world of escapism.

It takes me a bit longer to get into this story, especially when I try to read on a night-shift. I find it hard as I have to somewhat concentrate more to read this than other books due to the different narrative and conversant language that is applied. But that’s the beauty of it being a classic; experiencing the writing of someone from the 1800s and how writing styles have progressed since.

Other Classics that I have downloaded for free that I intend to read this year are:

*Little Women

*Black Beauty

*Treasure Island

*The Importance of Being Ernest

*Wuthering Heights

*Adventures of Tom Sawyer

I am hoping it will aid my intellect and make me super brainy (well – one can dream!)

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

The Brightest Star in The Sky – Marian Keyes

SUNDAY 15th JANUARY 2012 – WEE SMALL HOURS

 

I got this book for Christmas from the hubby after I wrote it on my ‘Christmas Ideas’ list for him whilst, unbeknown to me, he had ideas to get me a Kindle. I still got this book alongside the Kindle and decided this would be my ‘bedside’ read; whilst the Kindle would be my ‘Portable’ read.

However, this soon turned into a ‘portable’ read as I couldn’t bear to tear myself away from it. During a quiet late (well half night shift) at work I managed to finish this.

Wow, is really how I would sum this book up.

Extremely thought-provoking and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, i genuinely got goosebumps on reading the last page.

It focuses on the lives of people who live in a Georgian house in Dublin that is converted into flats. There is a mysterious force present throughout the book which is a page turner in itself as I was dying  to know what that was.

The characters are so well written and so distinct; such as I could visualise and actually feel the strength of stroppy Lydia’s character.

It is so cleverly written, with the chapters being a countdown to an unknown event (pageturner reason 2) that I was again desperate to find out  what it was.

The chapters are fast paced and flick between the lives of all these people, at times intertwining them, which makes for interesting reading as you are never left bored – it carries the story at such a good pace and Marian Keyes cleverly drops subtle hints here and there that I reflected back on once  had finished.

I was desperate to know what happened to the characters, why they behaved they did, what had got them to this stage of their lives (pageturner reason 3).

It answers all questions that I had built up along the way and, as described by many a critic and I am certainly in agreement, ‘hilarious yet heartbreaking’. Touching on sensitive issues with care and respect, yet using words to make it a tangle of light-heartedness, positiveness and humour. Always look on the bright side of life.

An amazing book to read, such a fantastic idea and angle to write from. It was the best hand-held book to kick-start the year off with a theme that was so fitting (don’t want to elaborate as I will give too much away).

Having read her previous books, all of which I have throughly enjoyed and loved, this alongside ‘Anybody Out There’ (which made me SOB!) are my favourites.

Marian Keyes is one of my favourite authors, I love her humoured, chatty, fast paced style and she never fails to disappoint and manages to make me laugh and cry with her magical dance 0f words.

A must read.

Love Missuswolf xxx