February books.

24. The Surrogate – Tania Carver.
I thought I needed a bit of a break from chick lit, so I went for a murder mystery instead. Although it was STILL about mothers and babies! This was a well done, if incredibly gruesome, detective story and kept me interested throughout. There was a lot of backstory between the detective and the psychologist that made me assume it was not the first book in the series, but apparently it is.

23. Mommy by Mistake – Rowan Coleman.

This book was actually better than I expected. It’s about a woman who gets pregnant after a weekend fling, and the way her life changes after the baby is born and she joins a baby group. What made this book work for me was the characters. I’m nothing like Natalie, the main character, but she was a cute and funny protagonist. I did find myself identifying with a lot of the new-mother issues and problems that were raised in the book though, and I think a lot of mothers of young children would too.

The one thing about this book that annoyed me was the use of the word ‘Mommy’ because it seemed like such a British book in every other respect and it just didn’t fit in!

22.The Ultimate Teaching Manual – Gererd Dixie.

This was a UK based book so contained some irrelevant information about OFSTED and their exam systems, but apart from that it was a useful read. Straightforward language relating to teaching and learning, practical suggestions for establishing classroom rules and planning lessons, dealing with behavioural issues and reflecting on experiences.

21. Names My Sisters Call Me – Megan Crane.

I was interested to read this book because it is about a sister dynamic, and having four sisters of my own it’s definitely something that fascinates me. I’m glad I don’t have any sisters like the ones in the book though!

Three quarters of this book was really enjoyable. Good characters, interesting storyline about the sisters, the relationship with the mother. The other quarter involved the main character having angst about the ex boyfriend and I really could have done without that. He was basically a jerk, so I don’t understand why she wasted all that time thinking about him when she had her perfect fiancé on her arm. I realise that it’s supposed to be the plot complication that keeps you hooked, but to me it was just annoying…why do so many people just not choose to be happy?

20. The Arrivals – Meg Mitchell Moore.

This book explores a situation that is becoming increasingly common again, that is adult children returning to their parents’ home to live. In this case the three siblings that turn up are Lillian (complete with two children, having left her husband after his infidelity), Stephen (along with his pregnant wife Jane who ends up needing bedrest for a complicated pregnancy) and Rachel (broken hearted after a break up and miscarriage).

It was a good story and I enjoyed the book, but I admit that I didn’t have much sympathy for any of the characters. I just wanted to shake the children and tell them to stop being so obnoxious and show at least a little gratitude and consideration to their parents, and to the parents I just wanted them to tell the children off and stand up for themselves! How much of this was about the book characters though, and how much of the situation with certain in laws of mine just coloured my view of them I don’t know! Maybe I should give the book to my mother in law…she’d probably really relate to it.

19. My Point….and I do have one – Ellen DeGeneres.

Well, she might have a point, but I’m buggered if I know what it is. I was all set to enjoy to this book because I really do like Ellen, but it just wasn’t that great. I guess a lot of her humour is in the delivery.  

18. Fathermucker – Greg Olear.

This book is a bit of a twist on the usual chick lit in that protagonist is a man, a stay at home dad named Josh. The story is basically a day in his life in which he deals with his kids, his (struggling) career as a writer, his friends and the suburban social life, and his fears about his wife having an affair. It’s a pretty good story, he uses language well, the characterisation was good and it was very funny in parts. It wasn’t a great stand out book for me, but it was a good read.

The parts that resonated the most with me were actually the parts involving the main characters Aspie son- I thought that was pretty well done. Despite the kid’s obsession being lamps and house plans, it did remind me of life with a preschool Aspie and made me glad we’re not there anymore!

17. Diary of a Wimpy Vampire – Tim Collins.

If Adrian Mole had ever been transformed into a vampire, something like this book would have been the result. A very funny read about an emo fifteen year old vampire who is not quite as sparkly as other vampires of popular fiction!

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