Reading list

Books I've read (and in some cases, re-read) in 2012:

Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson (from the Enchanted, inc series)
I ADORE this series and have been reading them since 2005; since the last book in 2008 (Don't Hex with Texas) I've been hoping that we'd see another one, and yay, Katie's back and just as good as ever, hurrah!
"A magical crime wave is sweeping the city and wizarding whiz Owen Palmer thinks the chaos-causing spells look awfully familiar -- like something his arch-rival Phelan Idris would create. When Idris's rogue firm Spellworks starts selling amulets to protect against these spells, Owen's suspicions are confirmed. While Owen and the other wizards scramble to unravel the wicked spells, it's Katie's job as the new director of marketing for MSI to fight the battle of public perception. When Katie stages a showcase for MSI's magical achievements, she doesn't realize she's playing right into a devious plot more than three decades in the making. To save the magical world, she'll have to prove who the real enemy is by digging deeper into Owen's mysterious past. If she fails, she not only stands to lose a magical war, but she could also lose the man she loves"

14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer
I have loved her blog for years, and finally I discovered the book! LOVE LOVE LOVE this, just to dip in and out of, it's a list of all those things that have made the author happy, from "strawberries in a pineapple boat" to "fresh pleasure of being outside", it's inspiring and makes me happy reading it - I've also started my own list in addition to the short one I have on this blog.

Everything Oz: The Wizard Book of Makes & Bakes by Hannah Read-Baldrey & Christine Leech
I have their previous book (Everything Alice) which I love, this too is full of fun, magical crafts.
"The classic tale of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum provides the inspiration for this spell-binding and creative collection of 50 makes and bakes, ranging from a Dress-up Dorothy Doll and Toto's Dog Jacket to the Tin Woodman's Heart Garland, Cowardly Lion Hand Puppet and Squashed Wicked Witch Cupcakes."

From Notting Hill with Love Actually by Ali McNamara
I bought this as Love Actually is one of my favourite films, and I picked it up for just a pound, a fun read.  Scarlett loves movies, perhaps a bit too much, & life just isn't quite living up to it, so she jumps at the chance to house sit in Notting Hill (one of her favourite movies).
"But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too. Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man"

Flea Market Finds by Matthew Mead
Decorating tips, clever crafts and ideas for re-purposing all sorts of household things, gorgeous, inspiring photos and how-to's.  Beautiful to look at, and inspiring.

Dog friendly breaks in Britain by Alistair Sawday
I love Sawday's guides, they're always full of gorgeous looking & sounding hotels, inns & places to stay.  This one includes places that your pooch will be allowed, though you have to read the fine print as not everyplace allows the same amount of freedom for pup, and most places in here are on the expensive side, but something to aspire to.

Minxy Vintage by Kelly Doust
"Kelly combines her love for fashion with creativity and her enthusiasm for craft, and transforms stained, musty, dated clothes into modern and unique pieces" - if you love re-purposing vintage clothing there should be something here for you, it's beautiful.

The World of Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
A fab omnibus of short stories about the wonderful Jeeves and Wooster, specially selected and introduced by Wodehouse himself.  Prepare to be entertained. What Ho!

In a Witch's Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell
Another one of my most favourite series, this is the fourth book about Lily Ivory, vintage clothes shop owner & witch. 
"After a young woman at an art deco ball develops a mysterious sleeping sickness, Lily senses that a curse was placed on her corsage. Before she can solve the woman's magical ailment she is asked to assist in investigating a string of poisonings in the Bay Area witchcraft community. Soon, Lily suspects one of her new acquaintances could be dabbling in dark magic and deadly botany."

Pumped for Murder by Elaine Viets
Helen Hawthorne is enjoying married life and with husband Phil they open their own Private Investigations service.  One of their first cases means that Helen has to work as a receptionist at an upscale gym, and once again pretty soon someone's dead and Helen's case just got a whole more complicated.  Another fantastic Dead-End Job mystery!

Home for a Spell by Madelyn Alt
Still incapacitated by her leg cast, Maggie still finds time to find corpses and killers. Maggie needs to move house & when she finds an apartment that seems too good to be true, of course it is! The prospective landlord is killed and as usual Maggie investigates.

Vision Impossible by Victoria Laurie
One of my most favourite authors (& series) newest installment FINALLY came out on paperback, hurrah! This time Abby is going undercover for the CIA (with Dutch of course), and it's the most dangerous situation she's ever been in, involving spies & a secret military drone which if not recovered could spell doom for the world. Thoroughly enjoyable Abby Cooper Psychic Eye Mystery.

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
Another fabulous installment of bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. "On a plane back from a hellish hol in Hawaii her seatmate mysteriously disappears & things only get worse. He was carrying a photograph, and only one other person's seen it - Stephanie. Now, she's a target."


Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Another fab installment of Hannah Swenson & her cookie shop, her two boyfriends, and murder!
"Hannah's good friend Claire and her new husband, Reverend Bob Knudson want to find time to take their honeymoon.  Since he's on sabbatical, minister Matthew, Bob's childhood friend, is happy to fill in for Bob while he and Claire take that long-awaited honeymoon. It sounds perfect - until Hannah finds Matthew face-down in a plateful of Devil's Food Cake, a single bullet in his head. It will take some sleuthing to sift out the killer, but Hannah is sure of one thing: even the most half-baked murder plot can be oh so deadly."

Never Can Say Goodbye by Christina Jones
Another fun romp through Berkshire, full of weird & wonderful characters, I'd love to have a shop like Frankie's, though preferably without the ghosties :)
"Frankie loves vintage dresses & now shes 'inherited' a retro dress shop life couldn't be better, but it's about to get complicated when heart-throb florist Dexter Valentine arrives in town. As Frankie tries to make 'Francesca's Fabulous Frocks' into a success, Dexter's philandering proves the ultimate distraction. Meanwhile a local medium insists that Frankie's shop is haunted & then Frankie starts seeing things. What is she to do?"

Ghoul Interrupted (Ghost Hunter Mystery) by Victoria Laurie
Another wonderful installment from one of my favourite authors :)
"M.J Holliday & her crew hotfoot it to New Mexico, where a dreadful demon is waging tribal warfare. Sam Whitefeather - M.Js Spirit Guide - urgently needs her help to stop this evil spirit from wiping out the descendants of his tribe. It doesnt take a psychic to predict that M.Js going to have a devil of a time making New Mexico a demon-free zone."

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
My favourite author's latest book. Another magical masterpiece!
"Walls of Water, North Carolina, a place where secrets run thicker than the town's famous fog. Once upon a time, Willa Jackson's family owned the beautiful house on the top of the ridge. Now it symbolises her family's ruin and a legacy Willa longs to escape from. Paxton Osgood also yearns to break free, especially from her parents' expectations, and the heartbreak of unrequited love. Desperate for a distraction, she decides to restore the empty mansion to its former glory. But the discovery of a long-buried secret, a friendship that defies time, and a touch of magic, will transform both women's lives in ways they would never have expected."

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2011

Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald - excellent read

Track down your ancestors by Estelle Catlett - to aid with a point on my 'to do' list

A Witch in Time by Madelyn Alt - the next in the Bewitching Mystery series

The Way to a Woman's Heart by Christina Jones - her fabulous "romance with magic" Berkshire books continue

Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke - another wonderful book in the Hannah Swenson Mystery series

Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke - and another great Hannah Swenson Mystery book full of recipes too

The Adventure and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - a collection of the fabulous short Sherlock Holmes stories

New Moan, the first book in the Twishite saga, a parody by Stephfordy Mayo - this was a birthday pressie, and whilst not something I'd buy for myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the silliness of it all, very funny
 
Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by Victoria Laurie - another fantastic story in the Ghost Hunter mystery series, couldn't put it down

Swept Off Her Feet by Hester Browne - another fantastic book from a favourite author, it really captures how I feel about vintage.  This one is about Evie Nicholson an antiques appraiser in a London who spins fanciful attachments to Victorian picture frames and tattered teddy bears. She also has a crush on her sister's boyfriend. 
'Evie jumps at the chance to appraise a Scottish castle full of artifacts and heirlooms. But crossing paths with moody heir Robert McAndrew has Evie assessing what she wants the most . . . and at an upcoming candlelight gala, a traditional dance will set her heart reeling.'

Rediscovered Treasures by Ellen Dyrop & Hanna Kristinsdottir - wonderful book filled with ideas (&U lovely photos) of how to repurpose your vintage finds (see my post on this book)

Perfect English Cottage by Ros Byam Shaw - fabulous "coffee table" book of divine cottages, divided into various styles, Romance, Character, Holiday, Simplicity, Elegance

Creative Walls by Geraldine James - inspiring book full of suggestions on displaying collections, love it!

Hexes & Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell - another vintage clothing witchcraft mystery, this time involving a death in an apartment surrounded by bad luck symbols & supersitions

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris - I've been reading all about Sookie Stackhouse since the first book many years ago, this one's still great

Going Home by Harriet Evans - I loved this free-book about a quirky family & their desperate attempts to save the beloved family home.
Lizzy goes home for Christmas to Keeper House, where she grew up.  But it's not the relaxing Christmas she hoped for it, feels like somethings going on, including her Uncle turning up with a new wife. Suddenly Keeper House is in jeopardy. And when  the love of her life, who broke her heart, turns up, it gets worse. 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - the series of 3 books have been my most favourite read this year, and possibly in a long time.  A wonderful recommendation from a dear friend, I cannot recommend these books enough. And Yay! they've made a film of it, out in March 2012.
"Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been clse to death before-and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever... "

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - the second in the series
"After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen returns to her district, hoping for a peaceful future. But Katniss starts to hear rumours of a deadly rebellion against the Capitol. A rebellion that she and Peeta have helped to create. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless Katniss and Peeta can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. "

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - the final book in the series
"Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge."

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - I finally get the hype, I loved this series (more than the films, which is usual with great books).  Although I've heard lots of complaints about Bella as a character, I so understand that complete 'can't live without him' I really do, perhaps that's why I enjoyed these books so much, I could relate, vampire & werewolves or not :)

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
"For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of an evil vampire but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realise their troubles may just be beginning ... "

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
"As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?"

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
"In the much anticipated fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's love story, questions will be answered and the fate of Bella and Edward will be revealed."

To Catch a Leaf by Kate Collins
the next installment of the Flowershop Mysteries, I love this series; this time Abby & her fiancee Marco have to save Grace from jail when her friend is murdered and it turns out Grace inherits something.

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
another fab Stephanie Plum book; "The bail bonds office has burned to the ground, and bodies are turning up in the empty construction lot. To make matters worse, Stephanie is working out of a motor home she shares with a dancing bear, and Joe Morelli's old world grandmother has declared a vendetta against her... "

Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris
this was bought because my father's company was on a Regent Street & it sounded like a magical Christmassy book, I wasn't disappointed!
"Evie Taylor has lived an invisible existence in London ...but all that is about to change. Hidden away in the basement of Hardy's - once London's most elegant department store - Evie manages the stockroom of a shop whose glory days have long since passed. When Evie overhears that Hardy's is at risk of being sold, she secretly hatches a plan. If she can reverse the store's fortunes by December 26th - three weeks away - and transform it into a magical destination once again, she might just be able to save it."

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In 2010

An Uplifting Murder by Elaine Viets - the next in the Mystery Shopper Mysteries

Kirstie's Homemade Home by Kirstie Allsopp - an accompaniment to her tv series, fabulous

Dirty Rotten Tendrils by Kate Collins - the next of her wonderful Flowershop Mysteries

Frommer's Day to Day Chicago - 'cause I'm going back to the city I love later in the year

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling - for some reason I hadn't bought this one, so I did, & re-read (still fab)

Fa la la la felt - Christmas craft book

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich - LOVE Stephanie Plum series, if you haven't read them, you should, hilarious :)

The Girl who chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen - her 3rd book, her other two Garden Spells & The Sugar Queen are my two most favourite books ever.  If you like some magic in your stories, you'll love them. Already got her next on order!

Applique your way by Kayte Terry
Complete embellishing by Kayte Terry

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler - a birthday gift, if you enjoyed the tv show Lost in Austen you'll love these books
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler - the second in the series

The Starlet by Mary McNamara

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts

A Glimpse of Evil by Victoria Laurie - a Psychic Eye Mystery, LOVE this series and Victoria is a fab writer

Ghouls gone wild by Victoria Laurie - a Ghost Hunter Mystery, again love this series

The Finishing Touches by Hester Browne - writer of the "Little Lady" books, fun read, which touched a nerve with me being adopted

Sleeping with Anemone by Kate Collins - Flower shop mystery, love this series too

Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke - Hannah Swenson Mystery, and another series I love

Killer Cuts by Elaine Viets - Dead-end job mystery, and another one

A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell - Witchcraft mystery, follow up to Secondhand Spirits - another one if you love a bit of magic

Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-en - a Christmas gift (along with the complete dvd boxset of "Monkey") - revisit your childhood with the stories of Monkey, Sandy, Pigsy and Tripitaka

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - ok, same must keep reading as Angels & Demons & Da Vinci Code, although rather predictable

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