Rosie’s Good Read Collections: Modern Contemporary Themes

Welcome to “Rosie’s Good read Collections”, I’ve put together the books I’ve read into subject headings that I think the books belong to, for you to browse.

16090310When the police have been seen at school on the second day of term, fighting breaks out amongst parents and gossip about individuals threatens to spiral out of control, can Mrs Hardy, the Headmistress at Moortulk Primary keep control for another school year? Sophie Grey lands a self-made job where she is in a prime position to hunt out the inside story. Is this an idyllic English school? Goodreads,,, My Book!

18460826Karen Kavanagh has spent her life feeling like the runt of the family. Her two elder sisters, domestic goddess Ava and salon owner Saskia, are mini versions of their mother, a gorgeous Danish beauty. Karen has inherited her father’s droopy, dull brown hair and long nose – pitted against two Scandinavian sauna babes, she feels like Cinderella in reverse. Danny Alvarez doesn’t see her like that. He thinks she’s wonderful. Lots of women want Danny, but Danny just wants Karen.
He pursues her with the devotion of a stalker – but she pushes him away. Then she realises what she’s done…
Set in Norfolk, Terry Tyler’s sixth novel, “What It Takes”, is a story of insecurity, jealousy, sibling rivalry, love and loss, and the games people play in the search for love – because if you love someone with all your heart you’ll do what it takes to make them yours. Goodreads,,, My Review:

3407741Another warm, wise and witty offering from Sunday Times bestseller Trisha Ashley. James is everything Tish has ever wanted in a husband – she’s married a man who even her mother approves of. He’s handsome, dependable, and will make an excellent father – unlike Tish’s first love, the disreputable Fergal. Her teenage sweetheart abandoned her for a music career and now lives a typical celebrity lifestyle. Fergal broke her heart – James helped mend it.
Now, they’ve bought a cottage in the country. The next step – kids and a lifetime of domestic bliss. Well, that’s the plan. And even if James has a slight tendency to view the village pub as a second home, their relationship is still in pretty good shape after seven years of marriage. So why is marriage to Mr Right making her long for Mr Wrong? Goodreads,,, This book would also fit into the romance genre. My Review:

18008061Anyone who’s dabbled with internet dating has a story to tell, but few can tell them with as much wit and honesty as Julie McDowall. Her online dating blog became an instant sensation on when she charted her bizarre and hilarious experiences in search of the perfect man. Or at least a man who wasn’t a total freak. Or, failing that, a freak who was freaky in the right ways…
Now for the first time CASTING THE NET – VOLUME 1 presents the unexpurgated true story of her on-going quest for love, including all the material deemed unfit for a family newspaper. Join the eloquent and intrepid McDowall as she tackles The Janny, The Accountant, The Comedian, Foxy Doctor, the inimitable Shug — and her ultimate nemesis, The Clown. Goodreads,,, My Review:

17792066You know the Dugans.  They’re that scrappy family that lives down the street.  Their yard is overgrown, they don’t pick up after their dog, their five children run free – leaving chaos in their wake – and the father hasn’t earned a cent in years.  The wife holds them together on her income alone.  You wouldn’t want them for neighbors – but from a distance, their quite entertaining. Of course, alcohol is an issue.  You can tell from the empty bottles lying under the bush out front.  You can hardly blame the wife for leaving one day.  Without her at the helm, the rest carry on the best they can.  Their strong sense of family keeps them going.  They help each other, and in some cases, rescue each other.  They struggle for a better life.  While they never follow the rules, or completely conquer adversity, they stare it down, meet their challenges, and earn some much needed respect.   They might even make you proud. Set in the Finger Lakes region of upstate  New York, the twelve linked stories in Our Love Could Light The World depict a dysfunctional family that’s messy and rude, cruel and kind, and loyal to the end. Goodreads,,, My Review:

18071472‘The first thing you have to know about me is that I have no voice.’ This is the story of a curious girl, and the threads of a life she’s determined to unravel. Mouse de Bruin is under siege. Without a voice since the age of six, she is trying to work things out about the world. She and her mother have moved into a
rented Pennine farmhouse in which reminders of the man who lived there previously, William Crosby, lie all around her. Fighting to hold the outside world at bay, Mouse becomes increasingly drawn to William, a man who seems to have been haunted by secrets. As Mouse’s investigations lead her towards some of the people who knew him, she unearths a collection of letters about William’s experience as a young officer in the chaotic final weeks of the war. But why, as Mouse begins to uncover the mysteries of William’s past life, is she so keen to eliminate all traces of her own? Goodreads,,, My Review:

17240425When Sam, Jackie and Anna successfully campaign to save their children’s school lollipop lady, they are asked by a TV reporter if they fancy standing in the general election. It is, of course, a crazy idea: Sam’s youngest son has an incurable disease, Jackie is desperate for another child and her mum is struggling with Alzheimers, Anna’s teenagers – and marriage – are in danger of going off the rails. But sometimes the craziest ideas turn out to be the best. And just think what they could do if they got to run the country…Goodreads,,, My Review:

16170937Make a Joyful Noise is the sparkling tale of a choir preparing for a very special Christmas performance of “Belshazzar’s Feast”. We meet a host of characters who are mercilessly sent up by the author: Lucy the staggeringly trusting young music teacher, Tristan the lecherous and vain anti-hero, Miss Greymitt the ageing and slightly confused choir pianist, Claire the shameless and scheming temptress, and singers with nothing but resonance between their ears. Just as all does not run smoothly for King Belshazzar in Walton’s music, so the characters in the novel suffer from hopeless yearnings, romantic misunderstandings and the unfortunate consequences of their own misguided actions. All is sharply and wittily observed in a delightful mix of romance, music and humour. Goodreads,, This book could also fit in the romance genre. My Review:

16371619A boy, Halkeno, waits in a small orphanage in Beira, Mozambique for someone to find him. A successful Iowa businessman realizes there’s a space in his life and goes off searching to fill it. Amazingly, the boy and the man meet and life is very happy for a time. But they never see the tragedy moving toward them and suddenly Halkeno is on his own again. This story of fathers and sons spans four generations and three continents. It answers the question, “when we lose our fathers, do we ever find them again?” and shows that true love lives forever. Goodreads,,, This book could also be in historical, but I’m more comfortable putting it here. My Review:

17125479What do you do when your family’s dream becomes a nightmare? Combining the skill of Jodi Picoult with the warmth of Anita Shreve, Charity Norman explores – with heart-thumping tension – a fresh start which goes very badly wrong. In the quiet of a New Zealand winter’s night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He’s fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn’s fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he’s prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it happened. And she isn’t telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
Tragedy isn’t what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. For Martha, it was an escape. For her artist husband Kit, it was a dream. For their small twin boys, it was an adventure. For sixteen-year-old Sacha, it was the start of a nightmare. They end up on the isolated east coast of the North Island, seemingly in the middle of a New Zealand tourism campaign. But their peaceful idyll is soon shattered as the choices Sacha makes lead the family down a path which threatens to destroy them all. Martha finds herself facing a series of impossible decisions, each with devastating consequences for her family. Goodreads,,, My Review:

Good Deeds Week 29th September – 5th October

This is all about my journey to achieve one Good Deed a day for a year. I was inspired to set myself this challenge when I began reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Judith undertook some amazing deeds in her year, my own challenge has opened my eyes to opportunities which would previously have passed me by, where I can make a difference to the world, not matter how small.Good deedsSeptember 29th – A lovely autumn day and I spent the afternoon helping my Mum pick pears from her trees.

September 30th – In a bid to support a fellow local author whose just lost a lot of her work when computers were stolen, I agreed to read and review her book.

October 1st – The October edition of Fleet Life is out with my page of book reviews, this month the following authors were included; Sean Flynn with his book “Beer Goggles”, Pearl S Buck’s classic book “The Good Earth”, “Family Ties” by E.L. Lindley, “A Punctual Paymaster” by Dan Groat, and Julie McDowall with her book “Casting the Net”

October 2nd – Sadly we had to attend a funeral today. We joined others to celebrate the 92 years on this earth of a dear friend, and we made suitable donations to a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Charity and the local church.

October 3rd – Have just picked up someone else’s litter that was blowing around the court in which we live. Dropped off a Thank you note for a gift from a friend.

October 4th – 2 Books finished today for reviews in various places, I’m also working on guest author interviews for the entertainment of you, the readers.

October 5th – Today I voted for a local food bank in the Lloyds Bank community Fund promotion. Voting closes early November and the winning 2 good cause get £3000 each and there are £300 for 2 runners up.

Rosie’s Good Reads October edition of Fleet Life

Once again it’s the start of the month and another edition of Fleet Life featuring my page of Rosie’s Good Reads. For the online version go to click on online directory and find me on page 42 this month.

October Fleet Life jpegThis month’s featured authors and books are;

Beer Goggles by Sean Flynn

The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck

Family Ties by E. L. Lindley

A Punctual Paymaster by Dan Groat

Casting the Net by Julie McDowall

Guest Author Julie McDowall

Today my guest is Julie McDowall author of “Casting The Net”, a very entertaining book about internet dating. I recently reviewed the book and you can read that review here.    Now let’s go and meet Julie; Julie McDowell Casting the net

1) Where is your home town?
Glasgow, Scotland.
2) Where did the idea for “Casting the net” come from?
It is a non-fiction account of two very harrowing, disturbed but funny years I spent online dating in Glasgow. I would come into the office on a Monday morning, still baffled, reeling, aghast, furious or overjoyed from the weekend’s mad dates. My friends would gather round my desk, desperate to hear what on earth had happened this time. I got real pleasure out of telling my stories and entertaining my friends, so I set up a blog on WordPress so I could share the horrors with a wider audience. The blog became massively popular, and within four months of starting, had been taken up by The Herald newspaper where it still appears in instalments each Monday. The editor at The Herald then suggested I contact a publishing house called Blasted Heath. To my mad and crazy delight, they agreed to publish it as an extended and uncensored book, in two volumes.
3) Your book is set in Glasgow, can you tell our international readers where that is and tell us 5 great things about Glasgow?
Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland, and is on the west coast of the country.
It was once known as The Second City of The Empire as it produced so many of Britain’s ships and locomotives, and had great wealth.
Its history is evident in its architecture, so much of which is proud and ornate Victorian.
It has produced a staggering amount of great writers, such as Alasdair Gray, William McIllvanney, James Kelman, Julie McDowall…(Of Course!)
It’ll host the Commonwealth Games in 2014
4) In your book, you try out several types of dating sites, do you think there is much difference between sites, or does it not matter because everyone enhances their profile regardless of online styles?
There is a huge difference between the various sites, and a novice must choose carefully. Some sites, such as Guardian Soulmates, are aimed at middle-class types, so you’ll tend to find people who are in their 30s or 40s and are serious about finding a partner, and will expect that person to have achievements and interests. At the opposite end of the spectrum are sites like Plenty of Fish which can be quite foul. The people on these sites don’t need to pay to upload their advert, so you find silly, badly-spelled, sometimes rude and aggressive adverts, many of whom are from people simply seeking a one-night stand. Then, there are novelty dating sites, like ones for people in uniform and ones for clowns and circus performers.
5) Do you think there are upper age limits to online dating or is everyone getting involved now a days?
Most sites require you to be 18, but they have no way of testing your age so anyone can join. These days, you find a massive age range on these sites. I’ve seen teenagers and pensioners trying it (though not together) and I say good luck to ’em! There used to be a sad stigma attached to online dating and it was seen as something only desperate folk would do, but that silly notion is vanishing.
6) Can you give 3 pieces of advice to someone about to take their first scary steps into online dating?
The first is to upload a photo. I was nervous when I first started and didn’t want my picture out there for the world to see, but you will scarcely get any approaches without a photo. It will imply that you are concealing something, or that you’re not really committed. I say, be brave and post a nice photo.
The second is don’t be afraid to be rude. If someone emails you and you’re not comfortable with them, or you know there’s simply no way you’ll want to meet them, don’t be afraid to simply ignore and delete the e-mail. Don’t waste your own time, and don’t give people false hope. It’s OK to be ruthless!
The third is to meet a date sooner rather than later. If you e-mail someone for weeks, trying to work out if they’re right for you, you’ll build up a false picture of them in your head. Meet them in person as soon as is reasonable and don’t let a whimsical e-mail romance develop. You’re not here to find penpals!
7) Your book has been extremely popular, is their a sequel on the way?
Yes indeed, Volume 2 will be published and I am also writing a novel about sexual obsession.
ctn-400Find “Casting The Net” here on
Catch up with Julie at these following places;

Thank you Julie for being a guest on the blog, good luck with the new writing.

Casting the Net by Julie McDowall

Casting The Net - Volume 1Casting The Net – Volume 1 by Julie McDowall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dive head first into the world of internet dating and meet the good, bad and the ugly on the net. With internet dating being used by so many people today, this book is a humorous tale of one girl’s experiences. Following the break up of a relationship and period of moping our girl sets out to bag herself a man, and there are hundreds to choose from! Read this anywhere, any when and give yourself a chuckle.

View all my reviews