Over the summer months I really enjoyed the beautiful weather and our new garden decking so that I could sit outside and read (it seem...

What is Mummy Reading? July - September

Monday, October 22, 2018 BookBairn 8 Comments

Over the summer months I really enjoyed the beautiful weather and our new garden decking so that I could sit outside and read (it seems strange typing this now that the beautiful autumn sun is coming through the window and the wind swirls the crisp amber leaves - but oh well!). And here's what I read and a short snippet about what I thought:


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling - 5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling - 5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling - 5 Stars

These three were definitely my favourites in the series (don't ask me to choose an absolute favourite until I've re-read them all) as they had so much more than the films. I can’t believe I waited this long to read them! And now I’m sad it’s over! Maybe I should just start from the beginning again?!

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances - 3 Stars

A good old quick read trashy thriller! Not read a thriller in a while and this reminded me why (I don't find them all that thrilling and they can be somewhat predictable and a bit cliche!) but every so often it's fun to read something so fast paced and utter nonsense!

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - 4 Stars

This was such an emotional, gripping and thought-provoking book. As I had seen the film before, some of the shock-factor was diluted for me but I still really enjoyed it. And found it surprisingly easy to read.

The Book Case by Dave Shelton - 3 Stars

I bought this for the cover and the cover is the best thing about it. It was ok, but not as good as I wanted it to be. I love the Murder Most Unladylike series which is MG crime novels and I hoped this would be a similar sort of read but it wasn't nearly as good. But the cover is delicious! 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - 5 Stars

I really enjoyed this and loved the characters (I think Celeste Ng creates really rounded beautifully flawed characters), but it is quite a slow paced book, which I enjoy when I have lots of reading time, which I did in July with my husband working away a lot, but I know other times I would have found that a bit frustrating. I have seen some people saying recently that they just didn't get along with this book and I can see why as it's not very plot-driven. But I liked it.

The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis - 1 Star

I heard so many good things about this book but I just couldn’t get into it. I even downloaded the audiobook to help (which I returned - did you know you can return books on audible if you don’t like them?) but it really wasn’t that great in my opinion. It was a bit kooky and not my taste.

I really enjoyed this even though the main character was wholly unlikeable. It made me think about what we value in modern society, how social media lies, how moving from your 20s to your 30s changes what you want from life and what you value, and how finding your own happiness is important rather than trying to value what makes other people happy you have to find your own. I think it’s easy to be flippant about this book as it’s pitched as a modern day Bridget Jones/Sex and the City chick lit but actually if it makes you think it makes you think.


My August reads were an eclectic bunch as for back to school (in the middle of the month) I started a month-long reading of kidlit chapter books. So you can expect a few more in my September round up too!

A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan - 4 Stars

One of the most intelligent and enjoyable MG books I’ve read. They way everything interconnected was perfect (if you’ll pardon the pun).

The Matilda Effect by Ellie Irving - 4 Stars

A little girl and her granny putting to rights a wrong from the past that meant her grandma was overlooked for her whole science career just because she’s a woman! A fun adventure that anyone raising little feminist will love!

Firebird by Elizabeth E. Wein - 3 Stars 

The story of female soviet pilots in WWII - for me this was a little too condensed into its novella format - I’d have rather had more character development and a slower plot and it be twice as long.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend - 5 Stars 

It’s had so much praise and now I see why! I loved the world-building, the characters and the plot. It was all so gripping and took you on an adventure in another world. Amazing! Just pick it up now.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - 5 Stars 

When I picked this up it was because I thought it was about time I read it, but as it turns out I have read this before, but since I didn’t remember the ending I was still weeping. One of the most powerful books in Kid Lit.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick - 5 Stars

Incredible! I loved loved loved this. I find David Selznick’s storytelling is engaging and enchanting. I may have cried at this too - and our builders may have caught me crying to this one.

The Beetle Boy trilogy by MG Leonard - 3 Stars

What an adventure! The characters in this, human and beetles, are so engaging and it was such a treat to read.

I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge - 3 Stars 

I mentioned this before on my Social Media just after I finished it and on reflection I find myself still wanting to read more on the topic. I found it very problem-centric pointing out all the things that are wrong and imbalanced, and delving into why this is so, but with no solutions or advice on how to help and support this feels like merely the start of a conversation.

The Girls by Emma Cline - 2 Stars

I didn’t enjoy this. I was so disconnected to he characters and found them naive, indulged and therefore I couldn’t see their points of view.


During September I continued with reading MG books to celebrate 'back to school' and I also read some of the best non-fiction that I've read in a long time. I'm looking at the books in my TBR pile at the moment wondering which ones I will actually manage to read before the end of the year! Certainly I'm enjoying reading so much this year and feel like I am using my spare time in a way that makes me happy and not just mindlessly scrolling or watching rubbish TV that I don't really enjoy. 2018 is definitely going to the year of books for me!

I love this story, it's equally sad and uplifting and challenges the way we see people. Choose Kind.

This is a very slow-building and atmospheric book. I enjoyed reading this again but it was spoiled slightly by having seen it unfold before. I still really enjoyed it though. I mistakenly watched the film though which I found to be very poor.

I love the characters in this series and the setting and magical elements are wonderful, though I do find some of it a bit overly complex, and some of the scrapes that the characters get into are rather conveniently resolved. I read the final book in the series in October so you will have to wait to see that review.

This book just effortlessly sweeps me up into another world and it's just brilliant.

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell - 5 Stars

I found this fascinating and really easy to read (and listen to the audiobook). Kind of want to move to Denmark. But then I think Scottish winters are bad enough.

The Feminists Guide to Raising a Little Princess by Devorah Blachor - 4 Stars

I really enjoyed reading this witty book, looking at concerns about empowering our daughters to be authentic, joyful and fearless in a culture that still promotes pink tutus and princesses as the ultimate choice for little girls.

Lullaby by Leila Slimani - 3 Stars

Not sure I really 'got' this one. I thought it was a thriller but it was more a character study in the breakdown of the nanny committed an atrocious crime. Really disappointed as not what I expected.

It has been so long since I read a graphic novel as, in general they don't cover the sort of stories and topics that I like reading about. But I loved this graphic novel, such an amazing story and one that really does help build empathy for refugee and asylum seekers. Very powerful.

I really enjoyed reading the stories (even though they are aimed at readers aged 5-11) and loved the diversity of the illustrations. They would be great for children who are already familiar with the characters and stories, to see a different way of tackling a problem and ultimately that not every story that has a 'happily ever after' needs to have a prince and a wedding. We can choose our own happily ever afters!

So I have really enjoyed the last few month's of reading! And I get excited about all the books I still have to read. One of the things that I am really enjoying is listening to audiobooks at the gym (since I joined in August in an effort to get this bookworm doing some exercise) and I love that my library have some availble to dowlaod straight on to my phone. But I also love Audible and some of the deals that they have. It's so easy, for £7.99 a month you get one credit to exchange for a book. But they also have deals on so you can often get 'buy one get one free' or 'three for two', and I recently discovered that if you don't like an audiobook you have downloaded you can return it (though I think this is at Audible's discretion so you don't take advantage). If you would like to sign up for a free trial I'd love it if you clicked on my affiliate link below, it literally won't cost you a penny! And you can always pop a reminder in your phone to cancel before the free trial ends if you don't want to continue.

Below is a link to my GoodReads page which should be up to date with all the books I have read so far this year (and it should keep updating as I continue to read). I'll be doing another quarterly post at the end of the year but if you want to see what I'm currently reading you can find me on there!

BookBairn's bookshelf: read

My Cousin Rachel
The Feminist's Guide to Raising a Little Princess: How to Raise a Girl Who's Authentic, Joyful, and Fearless--Even If She Refuses to Wear Anything But a Pink Tutu
The Dreamsnatcher
Northern Lights
Power to the Princess
Battle of the Beetles
The Matilda Effect
A Place Called Perfect
The Marvels
Beetle Queen
The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Beetle Boy
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
The Girls
The Butcher's Hook
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
How Do You Like Me Now?

BookBairn's favorite books »

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
BookBairn has completed her goal of reading 48 books in 2018!

The next time I write one of these will be the end of the year so I wonder if I will reach my secret (shhhh!) target of 100 books. And I wonder what my favourite book of the year will be!

Do get in touch if you've read any of these - I'd love to know what you think! 

Happy Reading,


Disclaimer: Words and opinions are my own. If you click on the title or image of the book you will be sent to Amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-70p per book) from amazon at no extra cost to you. If you use the affiliate link for Audible I also receive a commission. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.

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  1. What a lot of reading. Well done, MummyBookBairn. I don’t know how you find the time. The only one of these that I have read is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and it made me cry to. The film is also good.

    1. I've not watched the film as I don't know how I could handle it! I just stay up too late reading!

  2. WOW you've read A LOT. I still need to read Wonder, I adored the film. How Do You Like Me Now was a favourite of mine this year. I wanted to read Little Fires Everywhere but I have read mixed reviews on it so not sure. Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

    1. I'd say if you're on the fence of Little Fires not to bother - you will either like it or not - it's not very plot driven and quite slow. But the characterisation is great! I'll bet your eldest would like Wonder too - maybe read together?

  3. Wow, that is a lot of reading! I had to google what MG books were! I read a lot of those while doing a job with children's books, but I've given it up now. I'm amazed that you waited so long to read the last three Harry Potters. I read those three when they were published and felt very sad when they were over. I was surprised at you only giving 2 stars to The Girls. I would have probably given it 4 stars, but that's whey there are so many books out there, because we all have different tastes! And I don't think I've ever read an ending so devastating as the ending to The Boy in Striped Pyjamas.

    1. Thank you! Yes sorry about that I probably should have included a description here. I only started Harry Potter this year!

  4. Gosh you have read a lot. I've been meaning to read Wonder since last year when son2 read it as a school class book #readwithme

    1. Thank you! You should read it! But don't let him tell you any spoilers!