Apologies for going AWOL for a while everyone! I’ve been working on another project related to my on-going health conditions for the last few months, which has required doing quite a bit of research because I’m seeing a specialist in the New Year, and I’ve just started working with a relevant charity – Mast Cell Action.
I have not been the best book blogger this year as there has been quite a lot of change going on in my life, and that pattern is set to continue for a while yet. I’ve been experiencing temporary brain seizures as part of my medical condition that also leave me immobilised for a few minutes, and then I’m usually wiped out for 48 hours afterwards. However, I’m no longer bouncing back like I normally do after one of these episodes at the moment, hence the need to see a specialist in January 2018. As you can imagine this is having an impact on my reading ability, among other things, and I’m finding that I tire much faster these days. I’ll have a better idea of where my future lies in March 2018.
If there’s one thing I’m really proud of this year it’s the series of interviews that I’ve done with many writers called Changing Lives. Every story those writers shared touched me in many ways and has also given me strength and hope in what has been quite a challenging year, those stories have also helped others going through change as I’ve shared them. A huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who has taken part in this series so far. If you would have story of change that you would like to share, please do use the ‘contact me’ form on my blog.
You’ll be pleased to hear that I finally have some book review requests lined up. In the New Year you can look forward to reviews of the following:
James Orr – husband, father, reliable employee and all round model citizen – wakes one morning to find himself quite transformed.
There’s no way he can go into the office, and the doctors aren’t able to help. Waiting for the affliction to pass, he wanders the idyllic estate where he lives, with its pretty woodland, uniform streets and perfectly manicured lawns. But there are cracks in the veneer. And as his orderly existence begins to unravel, it appears that James himself may not be the man he thought he was.
Ireland is flooded, derelict. It never stops raining. The Kid in Yellow has stolen the babba from the Earlie King. Why? Something to do with the King’s daughter, and a talking statue, something godawful. And from every wall the King’s Eye watches. And yet the city is full of hearts-defiant-sprayed in yellow, the mark of the Kid. It cannot end well. Can it? Follow the Kid, hear the tale. Roll up! Roll up!
On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.
I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.
In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.
Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.
So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.
I’ll end this post by wishing you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and if you’d like to share which books you hope Santa’s going to be delivering this festive season, or what you’re planning on reading over the holiday, please post in comments!