Sometimes it’s hard to write reviews. So, rather than leave them languishing as drafts, I’ve decided to share them as mini reviews instead.
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A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen
From Goodreads: “Laura Callaway daily walks the windswept Cornwall coast, known for many shipwrecks but few survivors. She feels like a castaway, set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers. Now living with her parson uncle and his parsimonious wife in North Cornwall, Laura is viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong somewhere again.
When ships sink, wreckers scour the shore for valuables, while Laura searches for clues to the lives lost. She has written letters to loved ones and returned keepsakes to rightful owners. She collects seashells and mementos, and when a man is washed ashore, she collects him too.
As Laura and a neighbour care for the castaway, the mystery surrounding him grows. He has abrasions and a deep cut that looks suspiciously like a knife wound, and he speaks in careful, educated English, yet his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Their attraction grows, and while she longs to return the man to his rightful home, evidence against him mounts. With danger pursuing them from every side, will Laura ever find the answers and love she seeks?”
This was a very gentle romance set in Cornwall during the days of smugglers and wreckers. I really liked the main character Laura, and the mysterious castaway who she rescues. I enjoyed the mystery and romance and loved the historical detail of Cornwall and then my home island of Jersey. It was lovely to read and recognise local place names and food, especially Jersey Wonders! This is a Christian romance so some readers may find the Christian message a little strong and repetitive in places. If that doesn’t bother you at all it’s a very charming, gentle, historical novel.
Thanks so much NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for my digital copy.
Breathless Sleep…No More by Paul Rodriguez
From Goodreads: “Breathless Sleep… no more is the author’s journey of how he struggled for years against severe obstructive sleep apnoea. Paul was faced with the debilitating and life threatening consequences of his breathing suddenly stopping. It occurred mostly during sleep…without warning and without control.
In his search for effective treatment Paul tried conventional and unconventional methods. If you enjoyed reading the personal experiences recounted in “Breath, The New Science of a Lost Art” by James Nestor you will appreciate reading about the transformation of Paul’s health. In the book he discusses the relevant science underpinning the Buteyko Breathing method and he uses “before” and “after” sleep studies and photographs to support his case for controlling sleep apnoea.
Following completion of his 6 week Course the author wrote, “I have rediscovered the benefits of quality sleep. I have clarity of mind, my body functions like a well-oiled machine instead of a broken down toy“
I confess I’m a snorer and a noisy breather so I found this interesting, although I didn’t get along with the narrator. I’m not sure why exactly, maybe it was to do with some of the content of the audiobook or because his voice was a bit too deep for me. Anyway the book was also available to read, so I read some of the explanations about the breathing which I understood better. As I mentioned above I do snore which sometimes drives my husband mad and wakes him up, so I’ve got myself an extra pillow as directed and it has helped with my sleep which is really great. I think this could be helpful if you have similar sleep problems.
Thanks so much NetGalley and the author for my digital copy via the NetGalley app.
The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
From Goodreads: “Discover the universal tale of four unlikely friends that has captured the hearts of listeners of all ages, now available in audio.
Experience the world of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love.
Charlie’s words have brought comfort to many and have been shared online by those around the world, as well as on t-shirts for Comic Relief, on magazine covers, on street lampposts in lockdown, in school classrooms, local cafés and hospital ward walls. They’ve even been used as screensavers for NHS hospital computers in difficult times.
The shared adventures and important conversations between the four friends are full of life lessons that have connected with listeners of all ages.
Enjoy the journey of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse brought to life in audio by its author and illustrator Charlie Mackesy, with a beautiful music score and the real wildlife sounds of rural England.“
Available now from – Audible
This was a lovely audio version of this now very famous book. It was beautifully read by the author making it even more special. He obviously knows his book so well that it felt like a quite an intimate recoding. As I haven’t actually read the book myself I really appreciated the beautiful descriptions of the illustrations that we all know so well through social media. At just 58 minutes it’s a short recording that could be used as a kind of meditation or during a lunch break.
Thanks so much NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Audio for my digital copy via the NetGalley app.
Sherlock Holmes: The Empty House by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Adapted by Stephanie Baudet
From Goodreads: “It has been three years since the death of Sherlock Holmes. Watson is now solving mysteries solo and he’s about to face his toughest one yet: the impossible murder of Mr Adair. What Watson doesn’t know is that this curious case will unearth secrets from beyond the grave …
The Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection: Creatures, Codes and Curious Cases:
Sherlock Holmes returns! Facing beastly creatures, catching curious criminals and uncovering deadly secrets from beneath the sea are all in a day’s work for this world-famous detective and his faithful biographer, Watson, as they face their final (and most dangerous!) cases.“
Pre-order from Amazon
I love the Sherlock Holmes books and when I spotted this as a ‘Read Now’ on NetGalley I jumped at the chance to read it. As child I enjoyed reading simplified classics and just knew that I would love reading a Sherlock Holmes book for children. It was really good with excellent illustrations throughout adding to the story and showing what was happening with the characters. I particularly liked the fight scenes near the end, it reminded me of old cartoons! The story was told in an easy to read way but not so easy that it would bore readers. As a Sherlock Holmes fan I would definitely recommend this book and would love to read more in the series.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Sweet Cherry Publishing for my digital copy.