And the winners for this year are…

Goodness, the year has raced past at a rate of knots! It seems like only yesterday I was decorating the Christmas tree, and now that time is almost upon us again! Only thirty-seven Christmas shopping days left. Eeeek!

So, how has your year been? Did you stick to your new year’s resolutions? Did you achieve what you set out to do? Did you write the books you wanted to? Did you read the books you wanted to?

I set myself a Goodreads reading challenge of eighty books this year. In my mind’s ideal world, it would have been at least double that number…treble would have been great—I might have made a serious indent into that review list, but I had to be realistic. Stuff—boring, mundane stuff—just has to be done, though, doesn’t it, so uncharacteristically, I had to be sensible. I’m not too far off target: only three books behind so far. I can give myself a little pat on the back.

Looking back at my ‘read’ list so far, there are a few books that stand out as my favourite reads of the year. Let me share them with you.

Safe as Churches

This is outstanding. Brilliantly structured, brilliantly written. A very classy, sophisticated, heart-in-your mouth thriller. The scene is set around the phone-sex business and highlights how dreadfully and appallingly wrong things can go when protocol is breached. This is one of those thrillers that ticks every single box.


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The Mulberry Tree

This was a beautiful story about a somewhat hedonistic young man who inherits his grandfather’s allotment. His plans to rid himself of this strange bequest are surprisingly thwarted. The nurture of fruit and veg. uncovers quite a world of deceit and selfishness, but also of beauty, tranquillity…and wisdom. A very touching tale of self-discovery. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

(Full review:

Beauty Rising

A very poignant story about a thirty-something-year-old mother-dominated young man who bungles the execution of his estranged father’s dying wish. It leads him to an extraordinary voyage of character-building and purpose. Nicely written and very satisfying.


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Sliding Past Vertical

Laurie Boris strikes the right chord every time she puts pen to paper. Well, figuratively speaking: fingers to keys is probably more twenty-first century. Wrong decisions, unfortunate decisions, unrequited love, misunderstandings…yes, an emotion-wringer, but oh so exquisitely crafted and perfectly formed.

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Triple Dog Dare

Hise and Brooks: a combined force to be reckoned with. A truly entertaining, humorous sideways look at the dog show arena and the colourful characters therein. Sharp, witty dialogue ensures a laugh a minute. One of those books you’ll want to read again and again to remind you of the bang-on one-liners. Great stuff.

(Full review:

Mr Bison’s Journal

This could be an ‘acquired taste’. I had that acquired taste. Written by a Brit living and working in America, he lets rip on those things that really get his goat…unbarred. It’s direct, it’s bare-faced, it’s a little crude, but it’s honest and very, very, very funny.


(Full review:

Gosh, that was rather satisfying…it was like going down memory lane as I perused my read list. If you’re humming and haaing over what to read next, I hope one of these will entertain you as much as they did me.


Author: Cathy Speight

Reviewer Cathy Speight is British and lives in England. The Kindle revived her passion for reading and after stumbling on a Facebook group of independent authors, she now does her best to encourage and assist indies as much as possible. Books by indie author form the majority of her collection. Cathy shares her views on the books she has read on her blog.

7 thoughts on “And the winners for this year are…”

  1. Humbled and delighted to see Safe as Churches included as one of your favourites. This new indie can’t thank you enough for your enthusiasm and tireless work in getting the word out there. Good to know you’re enjoying the ride!

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