5. A book published this year

Meet me at Beachcomber Bay

by Jill Mansell

“Sometimes it only takes a split second for a state of absolute calm to turn to one of horror and panic”

I think it’s nearly impossible for Jill Mansell to let me down. This book was another page turner, made me laugh and cry, sometimes even at the same time. There was a plot twist I didn’t see coming (and one that was obvious, but I wouldn’t have it any other way).

There’s something in her books that makes me buy them as soon as they’re published. I then proceed to read them, sometimes even in one sitting. My first was 15 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. In the beginning the stories were rather the same, girl meets boy, girls meets another boy, girl chooses one of the boys and lives happily ever after. Jill has a great sense of humour and I love her writing, every single book made me laugh. Then suddenly there was a change. I read ‘To the moon and back’ in 2011 and I cried. I cried actual tears. The story was so moving, I didn’t expect that when I bougth my copy. And I’m glad it did, because Jill made me love her stories even more, every book over and over. And yes, I laughed a lot too!


beachcomber bay 2


3. A book you solely picked because of the cover

The Muse

by Jessie Burton

You have this light, and when it switches on I don’t think you even realize what it does.

This story. It’s SO beautiful. Absolutely intriguing, grips you from the start and doesn’t let go. Initially I fell in love with the cover, I barely read the synopsis on the back of the book. It took me two days to finish reading the story and needed two days to recover from the exquisiteness of the prose.

I was drawn to the gorgeous colours and the way the design was executed on the cover of the book. Looking at it more closely now, I recognize the story in the picture. I noticed there’s a yellow version as well, but I think this blue one is more fitting.


2. A book that was made into a movie

The girl on the train

by Paula Hawkins

“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.”

First of all, I never saw the movie. I’m not sure I ever will, not because I don’t want too, but perhaps because I don’t want to see the characters that came to my mind while reading, brought to life. I would never have given Rachel the face of Emily Blunt. I just don’t see it, but maybe that’s why I should go and see it. (I do like Emily Blunt, though.)


Now for the story. I’m conflicted between liking it and hating it. I didn’t like Rachel at first, but I got to understanding her. Especially when I learned what happened between her and her ex-husband. What a horrible man. But Rachel is no angel either, and neither are “Jess and Jason” or Anna for that matter. It was a mess of a situation, it made it a mess to read too at some points. The narrative wasn’t always easy to follow, however that might be more because of Rachel’s condition.

I’m leaning towards not liking it, since the story ended rather perfect and somehow happily. Of course, a girl died and the circumstances of her demise were shocking and scandalous, yet all’s well that ends well. Rachel knows the truth, Anna knows the truth.


18. A book with a blue cover

The Happiness Project

by Gretchen Rubin

“The time to start exercising, stop nagging, and organize our digital photos was when everything was going smoothly. I didn’t want to wait for a crisis to remake my life.”

This book was absolutely inspirational to me. Gretchen takes she through a year of her life, through the search to be more happy, to find happiness in her day-to-day life without radically changing anything. Some people move to another town, embark on a journey around the world, or find another job. I liked that she didn’t want to do any of these things, but tried to make the life that she has now better, tried to life fuller and love deeper. Her honesty was much appreciated, she’s fully aware that she might be more privileged than others, because she works from home, has a good marriage and two lovely children. Her project fits with her job as a writer, but it never felt as if the project would be something I couldn’t do myself. I don’t work from home, do have a good marriage as well, and I “only” have a fur baby. So maybe her privileges are not so far from mine after all.  However, no matter what your background might be, Gretchen gives great advice on how to start for yourself and make your own happiness project a success.

Her main goal was to live lighter, so she would be better prepared for hard times that would undoubtedly occur. I learned this years ago from Dr. Phil (whose book I have yet to finish, maybe that one could be in this challenge as well).

She gave each month their own chapter, added a theme, and made subcategories with goals for that particular month. My favourites were January through December, the book made me happier just by reading it. Gretchen didn’t make it look easy, she actually made it easy. I learned so much through her experiences. Most of the issues she writes about are relatable and that makes it that much more accessible for her readers. First thing I did? I joined a gym near my home. And the second? Started working on my blog again! And hopefully I’m less nagging nowadays too. The digital photo collection organization will have to wait awhile..