I have a new trick and it works really well, you see I don’t have a lot of time to keep up with what’s good to read out there and what to avoid but lots of my friends and family are avid readers.

I was lucky enough to get given a Kindle a while back and it’s perfect for taking on train journeys if I have to go up to London and of course on holiday, I am able to load lots of books on there and read at leisure all on one device.

So what’s my trick? I write a Facebook status update – I know it’s not groundbreaking stuff but I got so many excellent tips that I thought it would be good to share them.

Top books to read summer 2014

  1. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson came out tops with most votes. I am half way through it and love it
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. On the Kindle and still to read
  3. The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Brilliant read had me hooked all the way through.
  4. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.
  5. One Summer by Bill Brysone
  6. The Monk who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  7. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  9. Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge
  10. Tandem by Alex Morgan

Other suggestions included: Americanah, We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, Sisterland, Raising my rainbow, Shantaram, The Fever Tree, A Change in Altitude and The Making of Miranda.

Do you have anything to add? Please let us know

In honour of World Book Day on Thursday, I thought I would write a post on why books are so amazing.


World Book Day 2014

World Book Day 2014

1. As soon as you open up a book, you enter a whole new world. 
Each book you open up has new things waiting for you, new experiences and new universes. Every book is different and unique, offering billions of circumstances.

2. A book gives you the freedom to decide what goes on. 
A film shows you exactly what the characters look like, what the world looks like and how everything is shown. However, when reading a book, it gives you the opportunity to  choose what goes on and how everything looks, in your own head.

3. A book is portable. 
You can take a book anywhere and everywhere! You can read it on an aeroplane, a car journey or a boat trip. The versatile nature means you can continue your story wherever you want and not matter about connecting to the internet or whether it will run out of charge!

4. You can pick up a book whenever you want, no commitment needed!
However much time you have in a day, you can read a book. No commitment is needed, you don’t have to finish a whole book, you can read a page if you want!

5. You can learn from books.
Whether it is a situation you have experienced or about to experience yourself, every book has something to learn from. A message that you can take away or even an experience that you now know how to handle just a little bit better, every book has something important to take away from it.

Happy World Book Day everyone!

Happy World Book Day 2014

Happy World Book Day 2014

Knackered Mother's Wine ClubI’m in it! No honestly I am. I drink wine and I’m knackered, so that means I am in it. Are you?

I *watch it claim to fame coming up* actually met Knackered Mother a few years back, we were invited to a vlogging camp by BritMums in London and we sat next to one another, one more clueless than the other and we talked wine as it was one of our common denominators – apart from being knackered, that was the other.

Anyway Helen and I chatted, I told her about setting up a wine bar in the hotel in Italy with my ex and having to taste every bottle of wine Italy could throw at me, for research purposes you know and she told me she used to buy wine for a major British supermarket, so she won that chat hands down but how goddamn cool is that? Helen’s street cred shot up a billion points with that nugget of info.

Anyway, via Twitter or Facebook we’ve kept in touch. She reprimanded me when I wrote about our stay in Sandy Balls as she was close by – a missed opportunity to drink more wine together and recently I received a copy of her brand new book.

The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club

Now you’re all going to say, oh but she’s your friend so your bound to say the book’s good which is true BUT let me tell you this. It’s awesome!

For example answer these questions

  • Do you – Frequently panic in the wine aisle and end up reaching for the same old thing. Every. Single. Time?
  • Simply pick the bottle with the nicest looking label?
  • Always choose the second cheapest wine on the wine menu?
  • Feel it may be time to extend your wine horizons beyond Pinot Grigio?

If you answered yes to the above then this book is for you too

Because life’s too short to drink bad wine

That’s KM’s quote above by the way and she does write very well indeed, in fact you must bookmark her homonymous blog with the same name Knackered Mother’s Wine Club because every week she gives the white in the fridge and the red in the rack and all the info a KM needs to know. It’s insanely easy and she knows what she’s talking about.

So without giving too much of the book away because it really does deserve to be on your bookshelf I have discovered there’s more to wine than just Italy – yes we all know I am Italy obsessed but since reading I have tried a Falanghina from Puglia and a Nero’d’Avola from Sicily – yes I know they’re both Italian but they were KM’s suggestions, next up is a Viognier from Chile and a Garnacha from Spain.

I can honestly say the Chardonnay from New Zealand was delicious, I think I may have even tweeted her that one. Helen has had this amazing shopping list drawn up and I copied it onto my shopping list. Colour/Where from?/grape made from/why choose it?

Simples, she gives the country ie Italy (not that I’m pushing Italian wine or anything here) the region Campania and off you go to the supermarket and search.

First up it’s amazing to find myself actually looking at what’s in the bottle, I’ve discovered an entire new world to explore and secondly, I’m starting to enjoy shopping for wine rather than head for the 3 x £10 or on special this week. which however are not to be knocked because as Helen says in her book (which you really must get) sometimes they put some fabulous wines on special and of course if you recognise them you can stock your wine shelves up and make the most of the bargain.

So, have I convinced you? I hope so, you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t buy it. It’s on sale for RRP £12.99 but right now Amazon is offering it for £8.44 with Free Super Saver Delivery get in there!

PS Tonight from 8 – 9pm @knackeredmutha will be on Twitter doing a Q&A with @TescoWines, come and check it out

Hinterland Caroline Brothers BloomsburyIt’s such a marvellous thing to be able to finally snatch back some reading time for myself and after reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother for Bloomsbury they invited me to choose another book to read so with my Italian trip looming, airport departure lounge, flight and no twins for 2 days it would be the perfect time to read.

I chose Hinterland by Caroline Brothers and waited with anticipation to see if I had chosen a good book or not. There is nothing worse than sitting down for a good read only to find the book doesn’t grab you, in my opinion and with my reading time so limited I have to get it right.

I wasn’t disappointed, Hinterland was gripping from start to finish and a book I will bend over backwards to recommend to any bookworm out there.

Caroline Brothers weaves a controversial tale of immigrants trying to reach the UK escaping from their own war stricken countries and in search of a better life. A subject that is loudly heard all over our country, ‘We’ve got too many immigrants here!’ ‘Send them all back to where they came from!’ ‘We don’t have any more room, infrastructures…’ basically we don’t want them here, when we read in the media that families of 12 are living in mansions in Chelsea costing the tax payer millions of pounds we get angry with the whole situation. We’re not a nasty population but our country is small and we are in financial difficulty up and down the land and more importantly we will not suffer any lazybones or people who come her to purposely get as much as they can from our state without doing nothing in return.

A subject close to many I assume.

Hinterland is the story of two young brothers who have lost their parents in Afghanistan and watched them die, bombed in front of them. They have no one and have been advised to go to the UK where they will be able to go to school and live a normal life again. The story is seen through their innocent eyes as they cross the vast lands that stretch between our countries, as we pass the interminable months they must wait before they can move on and encounter the dangers as they come across you cannot but feel warmth in your heart for the older brother Aryan as he looks after his younger 8 year old brother Kabir so diligently during their treacherous journey.

One of my favourite quotes from the book at a particularly poignant moment is –

‘I wish there were a way to turn back time and bring back all the people who died,’ Aryan says. ‘Well not all of them, not the bad ones. Just some.’

A deep fraternal relationship where the older brother is forced into a parental situation. An exhausting journey where the children battle extreme cold, heat, violence and exhaustion, where the hunger never leaves them for one moment and where they are ignored by everyone apart from the police who are surprisingly vicious every time.

A beautiful story that really makes you question your thoughts and feelings on this matter and makes you realise that sadly this is real, it is actually happening out there and we too often turn our heads the other way.

10/10 is my vote on this book, if you see it buy it. Hinterland by Caroline Brothers published by Bloomsbury

Disclosure – I was sent this book to read, I was not asked to write a review but I did because I really enjoyed this book and all of the above is my thoughts and opinions

I have four children and I have been pregnant seven times, my first pregnancies were back in the late 80’s and there was no internet in homes back then my only font of knowledge was from a book, a Dr Miriam Stoppard book. That was my bible throughout both gestations. I was excited and wanted to know more. In fact, one book wasn’t enough for me and by the time I lived back in the UK and was expecting twins in 2oo8 I had four books and a number of websites at hand with forums where I could go and talk to other women in the same position, who would ‘understand’ what I was feeling and be able to reply accordingly.

From the moment you discover you’re pregnant you step into a world of The Unknown, everything that is about to happen to you will be new and although many women go through a similar experience no two pregnancies are ever the same. Even mothers with handfuls of pregnancies behind them say each pregnancy was different to the last.

It can be quite daunting and this very fact can actually add a notion of fear of what lies ahead. As if there wasn’t enough to worry about!

With the majority of us being on various social media networks today we have a lot of information at our fingertips and as we all know the internet can be a frightening place in the search for information; you can come across some very scary sites and that slight tummy twinge you felt earlier all of a sudden gets blown totally out of proportion leading to panic.

That’s why sites like are so helpful. Home grown and complete, from trying to conceive through to labour and beyond this site welcomes you in and puts your mind at ease from the word go. An ovulation calendar for those who want to find the most significant moment to go for it and a week by week account of every change in the baby, pregnancy symptoms, feelings, emotions and facts.

There are forums to join where you can meet people and swap notes. I still have friends I made in my forums many moons ago and maybe we’re not chatting as much as we were back then but we’re still in touch with Facebook comments which is so lovely.

If you’ve stumbled upon my blog via a Twin Pregnancy search then you may be pleased to know I’m getting my twin pregnancy diary together with information as I lived it and turning it into a downloadable E-book but in the meantime here’s my twin c-section birth story and here are my twin pregnancy books I read last time round and if you’re looking for a forum to join to put your mind at ease whilst being pregnant then hop over to