Review of Infamous

Author: Lex Croucher

Publisher: Bonnier Books UK

My rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Romance – Historical Fiction – LGBTQ

Infamous – Cover

📖 There was three words on the cover of this book that quickly persuaded me to buy it, “Booksmart meets Brdgerton.” Historical fiction is my favourite genre. Bridgerton is one of my favourite TV shows, so it was inevitable this book would end up in my shopping basket and I’m pretty pleased it did!

✍️ This book follows Edith ‘Eddie’ Miller and her best friend Rose Li as they set off into society. Eddie has dreamed all her life of being a writer, when Rose starts to talk of marriage and society dances, at first, Eddie is unimpressed, then she comes across Nash Nicholson, renowned poet and rival to Lord Byron. Eddie is over-awed. When the married Nash starts to pay her attention, Eddie is flattered. Nash is known for his non-comforming views of society, something which she shares. When he offers to take Eddie along with an eclectic group of friends out to his country pile, Eddie cannot refuse, this is her chance to fulfil her writer dreams surrounded by interesting and intellectual people.

👓 The book is fun, particularly the dynamics around Eddie’s not overly traditional family were a lot of fun and I suspect this is where the Bridgerton comparison comes into play. The siblings all taunt and tease one another, yet in general enjoy each other’s company and are a lot of fun. I wonder if the author will revisit this family in future novels as I think there is a lot of potential here.

👫 Eddie as a character is a bit whiny for my tastes. I don’t know how else to describe it so I’m going with that. Supposedly the smart one, literary one, she makes a rash of bad decisions and doesn’t particularly leave you championing her happily ever after in the way you would with most protagonists. In contrast, Rose is a very likeable character.

🗺 This story was almost a story of two halves and a story of two locations. The first set in London, sees Eddie as quite immature, sulky and spoilt. Yet, much loved amongst her family. The second half focusses on Eddie’s experience in the country and is very much a coming-of-age journey and a sexual awakening.

💔 Any negatives? Not a negative but I feel like this author is one to watch. This book is great, I enjoyed it but if I am honest, I think they have something better up their sleeve. Whether that’s expanding more on the world she created in this book, or a completely different one entirely I can’t say. It feels like this author is emerging and I expect will get better and better.

💭 Overall View: Smart, funny, and different take on a historical regency-style romance novel. I look forward to reading more by this author. <i>
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Infamous – Extract
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Review of CROSSROADS (Winds of love): Poetry and Prose by Jude Itakali

I’ve had this on my to-read pile for quite a long time and finally got round to reading. I can’t pretend I know much about poetry but having discovered Jude Itakali’s writing through his blog – I expected the contents of this book would be beautiful and it did not disappoint. Jude’s words are soothing and flowing, almost lyrical in their descriptions. There are poems in various styles and genres, some longer and some shorter. Jude’s skill as a poet to capture the essence of a moment in words is amazing.

Two of my favourites are:

Stray wondering wolf

True love lies beyond the pack

The moon will guide you

(page 20)

I also enjoyed this, which could almost form a motivational poster or something along those lines:

But to love is to be brave

To say yes

When all else says no

(Beyond Courage – page 96)

As the title suggests, the focus of this short collection is love and the journeys we all take to find it. The book has highs and lows but I found it left me feeling uplifted, joyous and hopeful. A fantastic debut collection and I look forward to seeing more works from this author.

Super Grans!

Reading is a passion in our house, and one of the things I’m most proud of is how much my little guy loves books. ❤️

When he first started nursery, they asked what would comfort him if he got upset (I suspect they were looking for a specific toy, comforter, or dummy). We answered honestly, the answer was books (or the dogs lead, but that’s a story for another post 🙈). Whenever upset, take him somewhere soft and snuggly and start reading a book. It worked everything! He’d soon want to turn the page or point to things or, as he got bigger, ask questions. 😄

Now as chief Caley household bookworm (official title) whilst I’d love to take a good deal of the credit for his love of books, a shout out is definitely due to his marvellous grandmother’s, who knit me fabulous toys to join our stories. They are some of the best gifts we’ve received, so I thought I’d share them with you. Aren’t they just brilliant 👏

Knitted story magic!

Review of Ah Couldnae believe ma ears by Allan Morrison

Ah Couldnae Believe Ma Ears!: Classic Overheard Conversations by Allan Morrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Non-Fiction – Comedy – QuickRead

Ah Couldnae believe ma ears – cover

📖 Last week I reviewed Billy Connolly’s Windswept and Interesting (which is a brilliant book, highly recommended) – review can be found here: HTTPS://NEW2WRITING.WORDPRESS.COM/ It put me in mind of this little book which I found in a Charity Shop in Penrith last year. This book is a collection of stories and illustrations, all made from snippets of Scottish conversation heard in various places throughout Scotland. The book is broken down into places e.g. things overheard on a train. Etc.


✍️ As mentioned, I bought this book in a charity shop in Penrith, then we set off in the car to go home. I was reading the book as we drove along (I wasn’t driving) and laughed at a couple of the stories and illustrations. I passed the book over to my mother to show her what I was laughing at and she proceeded to read about a third of the book on her own, chortling away to herself as she did so.


👓 When I finally got the book back and started reading it again, it again made me laugh. I actually found myself photographing snippets to send to friends and family.

Ah Couldnae believe ma ears – Extract II
Ah Couldnae believe ma ears – Extract III
Ah Couldnae believe ma ears – Extract IV

💔 Any Negatives: It probably goes without saying but understanding the Scottish accent or regional dialects of some form will really help, without that some will struggle to read this.

💭 Overall View: An enjoyable light-hearted little book to chase away the January blues. Perfect for those with a Scot in their lives.

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📣 Thank you for reading my review. 😘




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Review of Windswept and Interesting – 5 Stars!

Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography by Billy Connolly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Autobiography – Celebrity

Windswept and Interesting By Billy Connolly




📖 Billy Connolly reflects on his career, his life, his family and the many remarkable people he has had the opportunity to meet. Unlike other celeb books, this book doesn’t come across as a vanity project although it is indeed Billy’s story, but he intercepts it with jokes and anecdotes, much the way he does on stage. Each story is broken down into separate chapters with a little humour featured even in the darker aspects of his life. He includes a lovely collection of images too.


✍️ This book had it all for me, several pages were just heart-breaking, some were really uplifting and some inspired you to take a walk down memory lane. Some stories I already felt connected to as I remembered watching him do it on various shows and others were a fresh revelation, but both were equally captivating. So many of the stories stay with you long after you have stopped reading the pages.


👓 One of my favourite things about this book was the fact that it genuinely made me laugh out loud. I even found myself copying some of the excerpts and sending them to friends who I knew would find it hilarious too. I read this book in just two days (and could have possibly completed it in one), it was so enjoyable and engrossing I didn’t want to put it down. It was quite strange that you could almost hear Billy’s voice as you read it, which added to the humour.

🗣 I often think it’s useful to see an extract from a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

… these days bean-bag chairs are the least of my worries – ANY chair is a big challenge. I get trapped and can’t get up. My physiotherapist taught me to rock back and forth to build momentum, but that’s dangerous, because I fart more than when I was younger. I don’t know why. I just do. And the most acute farting risk is when I’m getting up out of a chair. Bbbbbbbbbrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!!! The rocking just accentuates it. I got myself a leather chair because I thought it would squeak by itself and cover the farting … but nothing covers these thunderclaps. BBBBBRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!

💭 Overall View: Smart, witty, sarcastic, honest, yet still with a positive message and full of love.

📣 I hope you enjoyed my review. Thank you for reading. 😘

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Sharing stories – Billy Connolly Excerpt

“…these days bean-bag chairs are the least of my worries – ANY chair is a big challenge. I get trapped and can’t get up. My physiotherapist taught me to rock back and forth to build momentum, but that’s dangerous, because I fart more than when I was younger. I don’t know why. I just do. And the most acute farting risk is when I’m getting up out of a chair. Bbbbbbbbbrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!!! The rocking just accentuates it. I got myself a leather chair because I thought it would squeak by itself and cover the farting … but nothing covers these thunderclaps.” BBBBBRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!


The above is an excerpt of Billy Connolly’s new book “Windswept and Interesting.”

🏥 I read the book whilst attending a loved one in hospital. Even with the seriousness of the hospital around me, I found myself smiling or laughing at the stories, evensharing the odd paragraph from the book. I think that is what reading is for me, an escape or a glimpse into another moment or another life.

📨 When a friend messaged me, I shared the above excerpt with her. Making her laugh and improving her day, too. I often photograph snippets of books when I find something endearing or funny or it reminds me of someone.

Do you ever share snippets of books with others? 📚

KL ❤️

2022 in Books

Last year was a great year for me for reading, despite having the tear-away toddler as a distraction, I actually managed to consume a reasonable amount of books in quite a wide variety of genres.

I’ve set the same target of 52 books again this year, and happily I’m already on track. I’ve started writing up my reviews again too as I’d fallen a bit behind and I’ll start publishing these again soon.

What are your reading habits?

I’d love to know what books you’re planning to read this year?

Do you read a variety of genres or stick to something specific?

I’m quite an eclectic reader but my favourite genres are historical fiction and crime.

I also like to split my reading between physical new and pre-loved books, kindle books and library books.

Feel free to forward any recommendations.

KL ❤