Top 5

My Top 5 for 2019

This has been a phenomenal year for reading. I am currently on book 320, which is 200 books more than last year. I think I mustn’t have actually left the house over the previous 12 months to read that many! My goal had been 240, so I have well and truly surpassed that! I still have just under three weeks left as well so goodness knows how many more I can squeeze in.

Flirt Club

The Flirt Club

You may have noticed that I’ve been reading a lot of saucy books with very hunky men on the front lately! These are mainly from a group of authors called ‘The Flirt Club’. I did do a brief spotlight on their Irish collaboration back in March not long after I’d discovered them.

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Woman in the Water - Katerina Diamond
Blog Spotlight

I’m alive. But I can’t be saved . . .
When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed.
Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of the Corrigans, looking for answers. But the more they dig into the couple’s lives, the less they understand about them.
What’s their connection to the body in the river?
Why have other people they know been hurt, or vanished?
And can they discover the dark truth of their marriage before it’s too late?

Book series

A book in a series you've been reading

This is the very last Reading Challenge category, 'a book in a series you've been reading'. I'm sure that you will have been reading loads of books this year and one of them may have been the start of a series, this is the perfect chance to delve back into that world and read a follow-on!
Obviously, I don't know what books you've been reading so I can't suggest specific follow-ons to ones you may have started. So, the list of books I recommend has been compiled of series that I have read or am reading since I started this blog. I have chosen books over a variety of genres to keep it interesting. So, if you haven't started a good series, now is the time to get your teeth stuck in! Settle down in a comfy chair as you are in for the long haul!

Author different country

A book by an author from a different country

I realised whilst I was compiling the recommended books for this latest Reading Challenge 'a book by an author from a different country' that there will be people reading this post from different countries to me. Therefore, I may have recommended a book from their own country! I'm based in the UK, so the majority of the books on this list are all foreign to me. I have included Lee Childs, though, who is famous for his Jack Reacher books, which are set and based in the US.

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Through The Wall by Caroline Corcoran
Blog Spotlight

Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…
Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom. But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…
Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.
Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop…

Book letter p

A book that starts with the letter P

I chose this next category for the Reading challenge 'a book that starts with the letter P' simply because of the name of my website. Pink and Dizzy! Pink is also my favourite colour (so there is, of course, the challenge to read a book with a pink cover, too). I could have chosen any letter for this category, but I wanted it to have a purpose. If I'd chosen the letter R, it wouldn't have meant anything and would have been a bit 'R'andom!

Gift of happiness blog

The Gift of Happiness - Holly Martin
Blog Spotlight

This December Ruby Marlowe is relocating her little Christmas shop and everything she owns to the pretty seaside village of Happiness. With her best friend Willow already living there, and a heartbreaking past she’d rather forget, Ruby jumped at the offer of a cosy cottage and a fresh start on the Cornish coast. But she wasn’t the only one…
The last person Ruby expects to find in Happiness is her summer fling, the very gorgeous Jacob Harrington. He’s the only man who has come close to unlocking her heart, and therefore the one man she knew she could never see again. But now he’s here in the same village, and the chemistry between them is more electric than ever.
Falling in love again is something Ruby has vowed never to do. But Jacob is determined to change her mind.
As the village sparkles with Christmas lights and the snow begins to fall, can Jacob convince Ruby that love is worth the risk? And will Ruby accept the gift of happiness that Jacob is offering her before it’s too late?

Cat book

A book with a cat in it

I love reading books that have animals in them. Not necessarily books where it is written in the animal's voice but where they either have a predominant role or are there just slinking around in the background. The next Reading Challenge category is 'a book with a cat in it'. Anyone that knows me knows that I am obsessed with my baby cats, so I thought that this category was just fitting. It's not just any animal in a book but a cat. Some of the books I've recommended have a cat as a pet and is mentioned just now and again, but you know they are there, and they are essential to the main characters. Other books have a cat more in the foreground, and it is their story (but not necessary narrated by them).

Genre avoid

A book from a genre you would normally avoid

This is the perfect category to get you out of your comfort zone. To read something you would usually bypass as it's not your cup of tea or you think you won't like it.
Up until two years ago, I only really read romance or contemporary fiction, then I did my first reading challenge and read my very first Psychological Thriller. I think I would now say they are my favourite genre I still like a good old girly romantic comedy or a bit of blush action from the Flirt Club books, but book covers that now attract my attention are usually PT or Crime Thrillers. I never in a million years thought that would happen. I thought I was set in my ways. There are still some books that really don't appeal to me, which are mainly sci-fi and fantasy.

Book laugh

A book that will make you laugh and cry

The next category in the Reading Challenge is a book that will make you both laugh and cry. The books I have recommended below have the potential to do both, but there is no guarantee. I have read the majority of these books, and they elicited a laugh out loud moment or a tear up moment. I'm not one to cry my eyes out to a book, but sometimes they make me feel like I could. I'm a tough cookie! 'If I'd Known by Paige P. Horne' is the only one that I have been in floods of tears afterwards.

Goodreads rating

A book that gets an overall rating of at least 4.5 on Goodreads

I know I've said choosing books for the Reading Challenge have been difficult in the past, but they have all been a piece of cake compared to this one. This was undoubtedly the most difficult. I had found a list on Goodreads that had a rating of over 4.5, but the majority of the books were part of a series or the Bible!

Library

The first book you come across on Amazon / library/ bookstore

TThis is the perfect category of the Reading Challenge to allow a little bit of creative licence! 'The first book you come across on Amazon / in the library/ in the bookstore' will enable you to choose a book that you WANT to read whilst at the same time being one that is entirely new to you. Either widening your horizons in genre or finding a new author.

Change

Reading Challenge 2019 - Book Choices I've Changed

So, I’ve been really ramping up my reading of the Reading Challenge books lately. They’d fallen a little to the waste side due to me having so many NetGalley ARCS and the Flirt Club releasing so many books this year which also receive ARCs for. So, I’ve been making an effort to really get my Reading Challenge list of books down. I’m doing quite well. I think I have five left to go.

New author

A book by an author you've never read before

The next category in the Reading Challenge is 'A book by an author you've never read before', this category also exists in the Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge that I am doing. So I had to pick two books by new authors! The choice for my category was a no-brainer. I was desperate to read 'The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor'. This was literally everywhere last year, all over twitter, and with everyone raving about it I just knew I needed to see what all the hype was about. The hype was justified and is probably one of the best books I've read so far this year.

Book one word

A book with one-word title

I thought this would be a simple and easy category for the Reading Challenge, but finding books with titles that aren't preceded with the word 'The' is actually quite tricky. There are lots of books that are one-word IF you take the word 'The' away, but that would be cheating. I was looking specifically for books with only one word. The below list is made up of internet searches and books that I have read previously. For the ones I have read, I have included my previous review, the rest are all ones I would want to read, and my pick for this category is 'Gridlock by Ben Elton'.

Bookcupcakes

A book written by someone the same age as you

A book written by someone the same age as you is the fourteenth category in the Pink and Dizzy Reading Challenge.
It is quite a difficult category as you are relying on authors having their personal details online to research this one. You then need to find one that is the same age and has a book you actually want to read. You also need to decide are they going to be the same age as you when you literally read the book or are you going to go for someone born in the same year as you? Quite a hard feat

Village happiness

The Little Village of Happiness - Holly Martin
Blog Spotlight

Willow McKay needs a fresh start. Her recent break-up may not have left her heartbroken, but it’s certainly wounded her pride. Desperate for a change, an advert offering free homes in a picturesque village on the Cornish coast sounds like just what she needs. Without thinking twice Willow packs up her life and heads to the village of Happiness.
But when Willow arrives, she finds ramshackle cottages, shops lying empty and villagers that seem in need of cheer themselves. It's nothing like the pretty picture the advert had boasted. It seems Happiness was too good to be true. That is until she meets the handsome estate manager Andrew Harrington.
His passion for restoring the village to its former glory is contagious and soon they are working together, forming a secret society to bring happiness back to Happiness. And as sparks fly between them Willow can feel herself falling. But Andrew is holding something back.
Will they succeed in transforming the old village to its original beauty before it’s too late? Can the gift of happiness really save a village, and can it save Willow herself?

National book award

A National Book Awards Winner 2018

The 2018 National Book Awards was held on the 20th November and was sponsored by Specsavers. Zoe Ball presented the awards where it was a glitzy and glamorous affair. For more information on the awards visit the official website here:
The eleven categories were:
Popular Fiction, Crime & Thriller, Autobiography & Biography, Popular Non-Fiction, Food & Drink, Children’s, Young Adult, Audiobook, New Writer, International Author, and UK Author.

Book initials

A Book by an Author with your Initials

The next category in the Pink and Dizzy reading challenge is to read a book by an author with your initials.
This blog post for this category needs to be a little different as I can't recommend books for you as I don't know all of your names! For my choice, I started out searching the web for authors with the initials HL (I'm Helen Leecy), and it was proving to be very unsuccessful. Then I stumbled across this great site called Fantastic Fiction.