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).
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 girl 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.
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.
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 pie 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!
This 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.
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.
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.
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'.
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!
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?
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 glitz and glamorous affair. 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.
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 successful. Then I stumbled across this great site called Fantastic Fiction. Visit the site here:
A book based on a true story is the next reading challenge category. This was a really easy category for me as I have read a lot of the books that I have listed below. I hadn't realised there were so many books written that have either drawn on the author's personal experiences or have been based on well-known facts that have happened in history. The amount of 'fiction' books based on World War two is crazy. So I apologise that there are three included below, but they are iconic and very popular reads! I really hope you enjoy this category. I have picked The Tattooist of Auschwitz, for two reasons really. One it is based in the war, and I love these kinds of reads, and secondly, it was just so well advertised and recommended last year I just knew I had to work it into one of my reading categories somehow!
‘It’s strange, the way fortune deals her hand.’ The year is 1759 and London is shrouded in a cloak of fear. With the constables at the mercy of highwaymen, it’s a perilous time to work the already dangerous streets of Soho. Lizzie Hardwicke makes her living as a prostitute, somewhat protected from the fray as one of Mrs Farley’s girls. But then one of her wealthy customers is found brutally murdered… and Lizzie was the last person to see him alive. Constable William Davenport has no hard evidence against Lizzie but his presence and questions make life increasingly difficult. Desperate to be rid of him and prove her innocence Lizzie turns amateur detective, determined to find the true killer, whatever the cost. Yet as the body count rises Lizzie realises that, just like her, everyone has a secret they will do almost anything to keep buried…
This is the tenth category for the Pink and Dizzy Reading challenge - a book written by a celebrity. When I added this category, I envisaged fiction books by celebrities as opposed to autobiographies.
Broke and desperate, Sugar Ryan has no use for arrogant, bad boy athletes . . . until she’s forced to bargain with the cockiest of them all. If only he knew she was alive. Her mission? Get on this hockey player’s radar any way possible. Zack Morgan is the king of the ice and the bedroom—but nothing prepares him for the mystery girl who shows up everywhere he does—frat parties, his favorite bar, and finally his front door with an offer he can’t refuse. The only rule in her boyfriend bargain: no falling in love. But after one (um, two) smoking-hot hookups, he’s done with pretending and vows to make their fake relationship real. Too bad she can’t trust a player with a reputation for breaking hearts. Will this hockey star score his forever girl or will their Boyfriend Bargain end in heartbreak?
A book adapted into a TV series is the next reading challenge category. This was actually quite an easy category to find books for as there are so many programmes out there that have either been based on a book or gotten the inspiration from a book. The majority of suggestions that I have listed below are programmes that I have watched and only realised during that they are based on a book. There are a few on the list that are on my 'To Be Watched' list. However, out of all the books listed below, I have only read one of the series which is Vampire Diaries. That is definitely a slapped wrist moment for me that I haven't ever picked up the books for some of my favourite shows. Although, I did read Candace Bushnell's latest offering 'Is There Still Sec in the City' and that didn't work out too well for me. My review resulted in her blocking me on Twitter, oops!
When Isabella Jenkins is unceremoniously fired from her fancy London job, she escapes to Tuscany. A few weeks hiding amongst rolling hills and grape vines at Villa Limoncello sounds exactly like the distraction she needs. But Italy holds emotional memories for Izzy and with a hapless handyman, a matchmaking village matriarch and a gorgeous – if infuriating – local chef named Luca Castelotti, her quiet Italian get away turns into an unending cacophony of chaos. Suddenly Izzie finds herself on a mission to pull off the wedding of the century and maybe get her life in order in the process. If only Luca’s gorgeous smile wasn’t such a powerful distraction…
Ever since the death of his wife, Lina, in a Kabul bombing, Aubrey Savage has been determined to fulfil his promise to her: to find out what happened to her brother, Jarrah, a disavowed MI5 agent who has been missing for two years. An ex-SAS officer, Savage is used to noticing the small things. So when he offers a lift to a terrified runaway bride on the moors, he knows there's more to her story than meets the eye. But when she is snatched away immediately, leaving behind a holdall and a Glock that he recognises to be that of an MI5 agent, he is thrust into a deadly world of corruption, and a threat that's all too close to home...
A book with two or more authors is the next challenge in the 2019 Pink and Dizzy reading challenge. It was actually tough to find these books as often when you look on Amazon it only gives you the one author and it is only when you do a little more research that you realise it is two people or it has been co-authored etc. The books I have chosen below are a mixture of ones that I have read, am going to read and recommended by my husband. I had to turn to him for help with this post as a lot of his genre has books with two authors.