Monday, 12 December 2016

HAPPY HOLIDAYS and A FEW GREAT READS





So winter is already here in full force which means the holidays are closing in on us. Maybe it's time to consider some of the delights and aggravations of the season. Check these out:

  1. Fir trees decked with pillowy white snow - a delight to the eyes! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
  2. Driveways covered with icy snow - a pain in the ass (and lower back)!  πŸ‘ŽπŸ‘Ž 
  3. Cosy evenings spent around a crackling fire equals "I love you." πŸ’—πŸ’—
  4. Endless days spent inside because it's -25 outside equals "I'm sick of your face. Let's get the f*** out of here." πŸ‘ΏπŸ‘Ώ
  5. Aahh - the spicy deliciousness of cinnamon and nutmeg and delicious holiday baking. πŸͺπŸͺ
  6. Owww - the bloated gassiness of gluten and sugar on your overloaded holiday gut. 😀😀
  7. Raising a glass of Christmas cheer with friends and loved ones. πŸΈπŸ·πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
  8. Raising all the ancient gripes and grudges after too much Christmas cheer with friends and loved ones. 🍷🍷🍢🍹🍺🍻😑😬😑
  9. Laying out the cookies and milk for Jolly Old Saint Nick.
  10. Opening yet another bottle of Scotch for boozed up old Uncle Nick.
  11. Turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings - a Yuletide feast fit for a king! πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—
  12. Turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey pie, turkey risotto, turkey tacos - let's get our asses to Burger King!
  13. πŸ˜€πŸ‘David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy
  14. πŸ‘ŽπŸ˜Elmo and Patsy singing Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

On a more serious note, here are some great reads to occupy all that extra time over the holidays:

THE UNDERTAKING by Audrey Magee




This powerful account of a German soldier caught in the nightmare of the Eastern Front is told with such precise and unsentimental language it reveals all the horror, violence and futility of war.
Peter, an ordinary German soldier, fights for survival in a war engineered by Nazi elitists who regard him only as cannon fodder to fuel the massive German war machine. Seizing on the opportunity to get ten days' "marriage leave", he marries a woman he doesn't know so that he can escape the Front and assure her of receiving his pension should he die. After an awkward first meeting, love unexpectedly blooms between the two strangers and Peter returns to the Russian Front determined to return to his Katharina.
The story follows Peter through the unimaginable horrors of the Russian front where soldiers ill equipped to deal with the frostbite, hunger and disease are driven to commit unspeakable acts of violence. Katharina's story also unfolds as her spineless father is so caught up in his ambition to ingratiate himself into Nazi high society that his own family falls victim to the self-serving Nazi elite.
Magee's cool, detailed prose and ultra-realistic dialogue make this a fast but utterly disturbing read and a damning account of yet another aspect of World War 2.

SMALL ISLAND by Andrea Levy




A multi-award winning novel, this wonderfully human account of Jamaicans coming to England during and after World War 2 is told with tender emotion and sparkling wit. Levy tells a story of false hope, disillusionment, racial discrimination and the power of love, through the voices of four very different narrators: Queenie, a farmer's daughter turned landlady who disregards her neighbours' disapproval and offers accommodation to Jamaican immigrants; Hortense, a proud, well-educated Jamaican teacher who arrives in London with a broken heart and one suitcase, to an entirely different welcome than she expected; Gilbert, Hortense's kind but disillusioned husband who struggles to make a life for them in a hostile city; Bernard, Queenie's missing husband who returns after horrendous war experiences in India.
Levy skilfully steers this unlikely group of individuals through unexpected twists and turns while dealing with important social issues in a way that is never heavy-handed. An incredible, compelling read.


And if you're looking for a good suspense novel set in a snowy small town, check out LILAH, one of my own novels. 



Beautiful and mysterious Lilah arrives in sleepy little Silver Narrows one snowy night and journalist, Nick Hendricks is soon caught in her spell. When he begins to investigate a string of tragic disappearances from the past he soon realizes there are guilty secrets lurking beneath the town’s cozy exterior and somehow Lilah is connected. But he’s unprepared for the nightmares that emerge from his own past as well as the shocking discoveries he makes about the town and Lilah, the woman he thought he knew.



HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU! AND HAPPY READING!