My 2015 challenges are:-
1) Read one book each month.
1a) Read Agatha Christie books in chronological order.
2) Watch films from IMDb's top 100 movies of all time.
3) Support charities.
I was on holiday for part of August, that accounts for the number of books I've managed to get through this month, seven in total counting my Agatha Christie read. I always read plenty whilst I'm away.
A little while ago, I received a parcel through the post, all the way from Australia. It was sent by my good friend, Susan, from Granny Smith's Quilting. The gift was beautifully wrapped in some floral fabric, which I'm sure I'll be able to make very good use of some time in the future.
Susan thought I might enjoy reading Footsteps in an Empty Room by Lilly Sommers, and she wasn't wrong. This was the first of this month's reads and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story starts with bumps in the night and goes on to tell the tale of two different time periods which interweave. I've lent the book to my mum and she's coming to the end of it now, having enjoyed it too. I was lucky enough to receive the beautiful dolphin bookmark in the parcel too. Thank you so much, Susan, it was so kind of you to think of me.
What Have I Done is the second book in the No Greater Love series by Amanda Prowse, I read it on my Kindle. Domestic abuse is the subject of this book and it could be quite hard to read at times, especially knowing that this isn't a far fetched story, many women, and men, go through this in reality. It's very well written and kept me turning the pages to find out what happens.
After reading The Fault in our Stars a couple of years ago, Eleanor wanted to read something along the same lines so I bought her Now is Good by Jenny Downham. She's never read it so I decided that I would. Published previously under the title Before I Die, it's a story narrated by Tessa who's sixteen and is terminally ill. She's been given just a few months to live and so she creates a list of things she wants to do before she dies. This book falls in the Young Adult Fiction genre, however, having a daughter roughly the same age as Tessa, it was hard not to look at Tessa's story from a parent's perspective. It's a moving story and one I'd recommend to any age.
The third book in Amanda Prowse's No Greater Love series is Clover's Child and is my favourite book by this author so far. Set in the East End, the story covers what it was like to fall in love with, and get pregnant by, a West Indian boy in the sixties. The book tells of the attitudes and prejudices of people during that time and highlights how things have changed since. A real page turner.
I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy A Little Love, Amanda Prowse's fourth book in the No Greater Love series, but I did. Pru Plum turned sixty six last year but has never found love, mainly because she hides a secret from her past. I did guess Pru's secret quite early on but it didn't spoil it for me. I wouldn't say this is a fast paced, gripping novel but I enjoyed reading about a more mature lady falling in love for a change as most romance stories are centred around twenty somethings.
The Lie of You by Jane Lythell was a free book on my Kindle. This is a thriller about one woman stalking another. I like how the book is written, one chapter from Heja's viewpoint and the next from Kathy's. This is one book where I didn't expect the ending.
My Agatha Christie read for August was The Mystery of the Blue Train. This is another Poirot book and it kept me guessing right till the end. A real page turner and one of my favourites so far.
I've only managed two films again this month.
The Departed is a crime thriller from Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson. An undercover cop is attempting to infiltrate a gang in Boston but there's a mole in the state police. All I can say about this film is Wow! The ending! I never saw that coming. A decent film but one I wouldn't have chosen to watch if I wasn't doing this challenge.
Sci-Fi is not a genre for me at all but I decided that I'd give The Matrix a go. It actually has quite a good storyline which put me in mind of a Doctor Who episode, New Earth, with the Sisters of Plenitude. I'm afraid The Matrix started to lose me half way through and then again near the end with prolonged fight scenes. Not really my thing.
I've done a bit of charity shop shopping this month. First of all, this Typhoo Tea tray caught my eye in the Age UK shop and then I came across a book in The Salvation Army shop which I'll be reading a little later on in my Agatha Christie challenge. These were both found in Pickering whilst we were on holiday.
I picked up another couple of books nearer to home, one from the PDSA Shop and one from the St Gemma's Hospice shop. I enjoyed watching Poldark earlier on in the year so when I saw the book, I thought I'd have a read. I picked up the Liane Moriarty book because I read one of her books earlier this year and really enjoyed it, I hope this one's as good.
I've recently bought some new towels as my old ones had seen better days, I've had some of them since before we were married and as you know, we celebrated our Silver Wedding anniversary last month. Although the old towels were past their best, I knew that the Dogs Trust would be able to get some use out of them so we bagged them up and took them to our local centre last week. There were bath towels and some beach towels amongst them. Whilst we were there, we visited the dogs which are waiting to be rehomed at the moment. It's heart wrenching seeing all those abandoned dogs waiting for a new home, but the Dogs Trust do all they can to help them so they're a very deserving charity to help.
As I mentioned in my Yarndale Sock Line post, I'm sending a pair of hand knitted socks off to help someone in need. In fact, the socks have been posted today so that they'll be there in plenty of time. Eleanor made me a little label to attach to the socks so that I could write the particulars on the reverse.
It's a bank holiday weekend here in the UK (except Scotland I believe), and Mick's taken the rest of next week off work too so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get some fine weather so that we can have a few days out. I hope you all have a good weekend, whatever you're up to.