Books, books, books! :)

I set out this Summer with a book list and was determined to get through it. I love to read, as I have mentioned before in various posts, such as, "Bookworm Life." and I love nothing better than curling up with a good book whether it be on the couch with the sun shining through the window or relaxing by the pool side, getting lost in my own little world! :) I think I last left you with 'The Little Beach Street Bakery' and my bread affixation after finishing the book, and I had set about reading another Jenny Colgan book in the form of 'Meet me at the Cupcake café.' Summer began rather sweet! :)

I instantly fell in love with 'Meet me at the Cupcake cafe' due to the fact that I could relate to the main character Issy. Issy loves to bake and often does so for her colleagues and friends. Baking solves problems and makes everything better. In addition, Issy's Grandpa used to own a bakery and he is always sending her recipes and talking about cake. This made my heart happy and made me think of my Grandad and how we always talk about food together and how his recipes are dear to my heart and how I use his tips and advice on a daily basis. The story takes you on Issy's journey from being made redundant and taking the plunge in opening up her very own café. She has ex's, best friends and rather cute bank manager's to deal with and it makes for a wonderfully darling story, perfect for a bright and happy kick start to Summer. Although I didn't want to start daydreaming about Christmas in April, I couldn't resist picking up the follow up 'Christmas at the cupcake cafe' right away, this continues Issy's journey and takes her to New York. You simply can't go wrong with New York, I could picture every scene in my head and it just made me want to go back there. Another delightful read that I couldn't put down. I hope there is more from Issy soon! :)
Next on my list was the third and final installment in Hilary Duff's Elixir series and I was super excited to get stuck into this one. I'm a huge Hilary Duff fan and just had to read these books when I learnt that she had author to her name. I wasn't sure what to expect at first but I know I definitely wasn't expecting the story that unfolded as I turned the pages. I was pleasantly surprised by the imagination and creativity and I liked the characters and where she was going with it right away. I've never really gone for the whole mystery, immortals and, I want to say teen sci-fi/spooky esque fiction, as you can see it's hard for me to even label the story but it's because it's more out there and unique to what I have read before, but I could not get enough of this book. I don't want to say I pre judged what I thought Hilary Duff's books would be like but I'm ashamed to say, I guess I did. You see, I also adore Lauren Conrad and when I went to pick up her book series I didn't fancy it as it seemed very much like 'The Hills' but in book form and although I do enjoy girlie reads, it didn't really appeal to me. I have to say, I think this is what I had been expecting from Hilary Duff. Needless to say, that's not what you get from 'Elixir', 'Devoted' and 'True'. I'm a believer in soul mates and therefore loved the idea behind this captivating and gripping story between Clea and Sage. For me, it's a must read and I would recommend it to everyone! :)
I finished 'True' while I was home in June (the picture of 'True' was taken in my garden on a beautiful sunny day in England :p ) so my read for the plane ride back to KY was to be Jack Kerouac's 'Maggie Cassidy'. (Above) Jack Kerouac is by far my favourite author, I simply adore his work. I always feel more intelligent upon finishing one of his books and I just love the feeling of having learnt a million things, some of which I can't even pinpoint but it's just there. It feels like his words are ingrained in my head, like you have to truly focus and delve into his language and the way in which he writes that it becomes a part of you. I love the way he transports me back to another time, a time where he makes the world sound so rich and alive and somewhat simple. As Amazon puts it: "Maggie Cassidy is an affectionate portrait of the teenager that made the man - of friendship and first love growing up in a New England mill town." If you are a fan of the beat generation then I would highly recommend this romantic and pure tale.
We often get told that "you can't judge a book by it's cover." I have to say that on this occasion you most definitely can and I most definitely did! :p While out shopping with my Mum, we nipped into WHSmiths, as my Mum has become an avid reader and we wanted to see what was new and if there were any good bargains (you can't beat the 3 pound books from Tesco.) I was routing around and just happened to pick up this little delight! I hadn't come across Belinda Jones before but I'm so happy I found her. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and was taken in by it's heart warming content. At first glance I was excited to read about travelling America swapping English recipes for American ones but as I read on I got swept away by the backgrounds of the characters that unfolded. I just wanted to keep reading and for them all to be ok and happy and work everything out. The book had depth and brought out all sorts of emotions but at the same time felt very lighthearted and fun. Ultimately it made me smile, want to bake and visit every wonderful place that Laurie and the gang made their mark in. :) My Mum and sister have been given a list for their next visit to WHSmiths. California Dreamers sounds right up my alley! :)

Last but not least is a book that was recommended to me by Jenny Davies of  I met Jenny on my last trip home and the aforementioned shopping spree in WHSmiths. We were chatting all things books when Jenny picked up a Carole Matthews bundle and said that she thought I would like her. The bundle came with 'For better, For worse' and 'A place to call home'. I was instructed to read 'For better, for worse' first and that I did in about 3 days. :p For me, this was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, a very funny, with lots of twist and turns and a pretty adventurous, you don't know what's going to happen next, type of roller coaster and I enjoyed and laughed a long with every minute. There's weddings, best friend drama, diamond ducks, an awful ex husband, New York, rock stars and a whole lot of alcohol involved! :p I really loved the Josie and Matt characters, they were just very endearing and I want to say, cute. They were real and after all the confusing, crazy and unpredictable events that occurred the ending was so simple and perfect that it left me with a big smile on my face. :) What more could you ask for?! Thank you Jenny for your recommendation, I have already seen a bunch more books on your blog that I must pick up next. :)
What books have you been reading this Summer? Do you have any favourites or recommendations? If so I would love to hear about them in the comments below! :)
Have a wonderful day and happy reading!
Love Lulu. xx


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