The Latest and Greatest Reads from Jonathan Ball Publishers…

It has recently been the season for book events… I am blogging all things bookish right now, because every event results in a pile of books to be read and that is my favourite kind of work. We have been reading up a storm, so that we can bring you the latest and greatest reads, hot off the press. Tonight I am going to tell you about Jonathan Ball Publishers’ Bookish Event to show the local media which wonderful books will be on offer over the next couple of months. It really is my happy job to bring the books I have been enjoying on to you and let you know which of them are totally fabulous.


Jonathan Ball Publisher‘s Bookish Event


I love the variety of books, there is really something for everyone… browse away and scroll down this post for our reviews of the ones we loved.


Stars of the Show

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon: This book I read all the way through, without expecting the ending at all. It is the story of three ditsy friends: Florence, Elsie and Jacob, who live in Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. Can I just say, these friends, who are all a few sandwiches short of a picnic, sure get up to mischief, and I am guessing we don’t know the half of it. It is a lovely friendship that has stood the test of time. So Florence has had a fall and is lying on the floor in her room waiting to be rescued, and reflects back on her life. I love Florence, she is a darling, and she is 84, so entitled to a certain amount of scattiness. As you head into the book a dark shadow from her past, a somewhat sinister character arrives to stay in the home. With her memory fading, it is hard for her to figure out the truth from reality and you really want to step in and figure it all out for her. There is a twist in the very end of the tail, you have to read it all the way through… a classic tale of what goes around comes around. Great read, sweet and nutty, with a touch of crime.

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn This is thrilling from the start, something is going to happen, you know it is… you just don’t know when. When I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it… and I bought the audible simply because my review pile was looking a little overwhelming. From the first page, I wished I could turn the pages faster, but you can only listen so fast. I did not see any of the twists and turns coming. The book has really short, sharp chapters that represent the state of mind of the main player, Anna Fox, who suffers from agoraphobia. The question is why? Has she perhaps experienced some sort of trauma? Anna is really not in a good place, her husband has left her and taken their daughter with him, she seems to live on a blend of medication and alcohol and spends her days observing her neighbours. Closely. Anna is also a child psychologist and for all her faults, her heart is in the right place. And then, as you expect, she witnesses something she shouldn’t have, or does she? And who would believe her? She is the epitome of an unreliable witness and she knows it. She blunders her way through trying to solve the ensuing mystery on her own. She is not very good at solving mysteries… just saying. And then the plot changes completely and again and again… and in the end… this book blind sided me so many times, I never expected the twists and the turns. Not to mention, just when you think, sigh… so that’s what is going on, you realise you have thirty more chapters to go… the plot doesn’t wait for you to catch your breath… stick with the short sharp chapters, you absolutely need them, they totally reflect the peripatetic state Anna is in. This book is complete escapism, you will literally not be able to do anything else while you read it. This goes right to the top of my most gripping book of the year pile…

The Venue: The Grand Daddy Hotel


I have so wanted to visit the Grand Daddy Hotel, about for ever, so this was the perfect excuse. Just the idea of a movie on the roof top seriously appeals to me, and why did I not go upstairs just for a photograph… but lets go back to our bookish evening…


And the feast…


All kinds of wonderful…



And the view…


If people watching is your thing… then this is the place to visit.

The Goody Bag

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Oh would you look at this lovely, lovely goody bag… I absolutely love it. This is a relaxing reading holiday in a bag. I was very tempted to grab the whole bag and disappear for a day or three. In fact come to think of it, I might need a weekend away!!! Chocolate and hot chocolate to get started, and then tea to sustain you through. And these beautiful, beautiful modern classics… Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I have been dying to read Snow Falling on Cedars by for the longest time, my mum told me to read it ages ago and I have been meaning to read it ever since. And Eat Pray Love, well I love a memoir, especially one that so many folk have said… you should read this.

Otherwise a beautiful cook book, Cherish by Anne Shooter, its a family style recipe book packed with beautiful recipes and enticing photographs. We have been without an oven for about six weeks, ours died and I paid an electrician that did a runner (who wants to fix a 40 + year old oven, I hear you!!! Lesson learnt… and our dinosaur is sulking in a corner of the kitchen. Anyway, I was doing just fine with our Wonderbag and hot plate, until I got this cookbook and there are so many recipes that I want to try… so many. It is packed with classics from my childhood, Anne Shooter has packed this recipe book with family friendly recipes from her Jewish roots… can I hear: Israeli salad and chopped herring, as well as the most stunning looking Shakshuka, and a lovely variety of stuffed roast peppers, courgettes, and aubergines. There is a whole chapter of one dish meals, and my absolute favourite… Simple and sweet, chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme with baby potatoes and carrots. If you want to be inspired then head for her instagram account, anneshooter.

And Other Fabulous Reads

Richard Scarry’s Best Treasury Ever, A Collection of Five Favourite Books: Forget flimsy little paperback Richard Scarry’s that have replaced the big old Richard Scarry’s of my childhood, this is the real thing. A great big chunky book filled with the best of Richard Scarry’s books: The Great Big Mystery Book, Busiest People Ever, Great Big Schoolhouse, Cars and Trucks and Things that Go and the Best Lowly Worm Book Ever. I love this book, but my youngest kid loves it more…


A robust hardback, packed with all your favourite characters… Huckle and Lowly Worm, Bananas Gorilla and Sergeant Murphy. This book is the perfect gift for little people, it is the kind of book that kids will grow up with… from being read to, to reading the book to themselves.

The Infographic Guide to the Bible: The Old Testament: Well we love infographics over here and this one has been lying on our coffee table for a little while now. My kids have been discovering all sorts of little facts and snippets in this book… it is packed with interesting and fun discoveries. This is a great read for dipping into, all those familiar stories and some unfamiliar ones too. Lots of details to glean by looking at charts, and information presented in a fun and lively way. that you may not have known. Fun read and plenty of information presented in an accessible way, especially for folk that like reading information in small morsels.

Unicorn Food by Sandra Mahut: Natural Recipes for edible rainbows… this book is an absolute winner!!! WINNER!!! We love it… packed with bright funky, colourful food… and tons of healthy easy to follow recipes. Easy, fun food that your kids will want to eat and more important they will want to make themselves. No cook book has ever inspired my kids like this cookbook ever. The first half of the cook book has savoury recipes and the second half has sweet recipes. I have to say that when I saw the cover I was a little bit like “Uh-oh” this is going to be all cup cakes and sugary rainbows… it does have those, but it is so very much more… This is very much a why wait for a party to celebrate kind of a cook book… there is even a page of helpful tips on how to create natural food colours from ingredients that you have easy access to. Take a look at the author, Sandra Mahut’s food website, honestly you are going to wish you were neighbours.

Here is a sample of the recipes: Unicorn rice paper rolls, my kids like rice paper rolls, but these send them directly to heaven…


Unicorn dips of humus and guacamole…


Can I say mermaid toast, cream cheese with natural colouring on crisp breads…


Honestly, who wouldn’t want to eat a rainbow veggie sandwich.


And celestial swirl soup… yummy vegetable soup…


Of course there are cupcakes and rainbow cakes and unicorn cheesecake and swiss roll, supernova rainbow popcorn, not to mention smoothie bowls and rainbow smoothies… and I don’t think we are going to get through this winter without Unicorn hot white chocolate. If you are looking for a recipe book to inspire your kids to create their own feasts… then go with this one. It is just fabulous!!!

Huge thank you to Jonathan Ball Publishers for supplying this fabulous collection of books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post and all the reviews are as usual my own.

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