Simple Matters – Erin Boyle

imageAfter seeing Simple Matters by Erin Boyle on several Instagram feeds, I decided to purchase it and see what all the fuss was about.

The book covers everything from Making a Home, Decluttering, Simplifying, Organizing, Decorating, Bath & Beauty, Getting Dressed, Cooking & Entertaining, and Thriving. The main focus throughout the book is purchasing quality over quantity and only buying what you need and will use. With this method, you don’t end up with things you don’t use or need. There will be less impulsive purchases and regrets. Less really is more as simplifying your belongings you will appreciate what is left even more.

I really enjoyed this book and would rate it 4/5. I would go as far to say it’s better than Marie Kondo’s method of tidying. It’s a book that you’ll go back to for certain things or to refresh the memory on key areas.


Book Review – L’art de la Simpicité by Dominique Loreau

I first stumbled upon L’art de la Simplicité by Dominique Loreau whilst shopping in WHSmith in January. When I returned home I downloaded the sample to my kindle app. A month later I decided to purchase the book from WHSmith as I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I must admit to judging the book by its cover, and it didn’t disappoint!

The book is split into three parts. The first part Materialism and Minimalism covers material excess, in praise of minimalism and ethics and aesthetics. Part two Body covers your beauty, minimalist beauty care and eat less but better. Part three Mind covers your inner ecology, other people and polish yourself like a pebble.

I found the writing style easy, never patronising, and because of this I wanted to continue to turn the pages. I will re-read certain parts of the book again and again.

If you enjoy reading self-help or self-improving books then you’ll enjoy this. If you enjoyed Marie Kondo’s writing style, this is on par with that also. If you’re wanting to curb materialism this a good place to start.

I will never be a minimalist with 100 possessions but I am being a more conscious consumer since reading this book. Part one of the book is something I will read on a monthly basis as I found that chapter of the book struck a cord with me. I’ve also found myself letting go of things since reading this and being picky with what I bring into my home.

Let me know if you’d read this or will read it. I’m interested to see what you think of it.

Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca

imageI decided to start off my 2017 reading list with Rebecca, after numerous recommendations from my IG friends. This is my first du Maurier book I’ve read and it didn’t disappoint.

Although the first few chapters were slow, I am pleased I persevered with the book. It just took me a while to get fully absorbed into the story. For a female writer, Daphne du Maurier’s writing style is dark. Rebecca has many twists and turns which keeps the reader wanting to turn the page to find out what’s going to happen next. This was evident at the latter stage of the book.

After reading Rebecca, I am looking forward to reading more of Daphne du Maurier. Initially I would have given the book 4/5 but after completing the book and thinking about the writing style, characters and how gripping it was I would now rate it 5/5.

Rebecca has quite a few characters all of whom were believable. The most memorable character for me was Mrs Danver’s.

Reading Goals for 2017

My reading goals for 2017 are

1) To read one book a month and write a review for that book on my blog
2) To not feel guilty if I don’t pick a book up everyday
3) To fully immerse myself in the story
4) To limit the number of books I purchase in 2017 to 10, this doesn’t include gifts or a pack of books (The Bookpeople offers).
5) To only stick to bookstores – Waterstones, Book Depoistory and The Bookpeople to avoid impulse purchases from supermarkets.
6) To read six Christmas themed books starting from the last week of November until the end of December (this is not included in my one book a month challenge)

The books I’d like to read in 2017 are as follows

1) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (followed by the film)
2) The Inspector and Mrs Jeffries by Emily Brightwell
3) High Rising by Angela Thirkell
4) The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Annim
5) The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham
6) My Story by Jo Malone
7) The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith
8) Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (followed by the BBC adaptation)
9) The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
10) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (followed by the BBC adaptation)
11) A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor
12) Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear


I would also like to read in 2017
• Wait for me by Deborah Devonshire
• The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
• Elizabeth Fry by Dennis Bardens
• A Fine Romance by Susan Branch

I have also decided to only keep the books I would re-read again. The books that I’ve read but didn’t love will be donated to my library or charity. What are your reading goals for 2017?

A Book Summary of 2016

I read the grand total of 18 books during 2016, 5 of those were read in December. The books I read were

• Spark a Joy by Marie Kondo 4/5
• Cleaning Hints and Tips by Cindy Harris 2/5
• Dying in the Wool by Frances Brady 3/5
• Period Piece by Gwen Raverat 4/5
• My Life in Houses by Margaret Forster 4/5
• Vintage Chic by Christina Strutt 4/5
• Mary Poppins by P L Travers 5/5
• The Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde 2/5
•The Double Clue by Agatha Christie 5/5
• The Art of Hygge by Jonny Jackson & Elias Larsen 4/5
• The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking 5/5
• The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham 5/5 re-read
• Christmas from the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch 3/5
• An Edwardian Christmas by John S Goodall 4/5
• Miss Read’s Christmas Book – illustrated by Tracey Williamson 5/5
• The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L Frank Baum 4/5
• A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas 4/5 (read on Christmas Day afternoon)
• The Adventures of The Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie 5/5

* I was planning on reading more, unfortunately there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I’m disappointed that I didn’t read everything on my list in 2016, which were 37 books.

For Christmas 2016 the books I received from family were

• A child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
• Tommy & Tuppence complete series by Agatha Christie
• Miss Marple & Mystery – complete short stories by Agatha Christie

Did you manage to read all of the books on your to be read pile during 2016? What was your favourite read/author discovery of 2016?

Christmas Reading List 2016

This is the second year I have compiled a Christmas themed reading list, to read during December until mid – January. I’m looking forward to joining in with a Trollope and Dickens read along on Instagram.image

The books I am hoping to complete this December are:

Miss Read
• Miss Read’s Christmas Book illustrated by Tracey Williamson
• A Country Christmas
• Christmas at Fairacre
• Winter at Thrush Green

Penguin Christmas Classics
• A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
• Christmas at Thompson Hall: And Other Christmas Stories by Anthony Trollope
• The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
• A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott
• The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol
• The Nutcracker by E.T.A.Hoffmann

• Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
• The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern
• Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
• Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford
• Silent Nights Edited by Martin Edwards
• The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay
• Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon
• High Rising by Angela Thirkell
• Christmas at High Rising by Angela Thirkell
• The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie

• A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
• Christmas at Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop by Jenny Colgan
• Christmas from the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch
• An Edwardian Christmas by John S. Goodall

Are you planning on reading any of the books mentioned above?