Category Archives: Book Reviews

BigMugOfTea Reads – Little Duck Pond Cafe Series

Bigmugoftea reads

Since reading The Cornish Cream Tea Bus I’ve now moved on to a new series of books called The Little Duck Pond Café. There are currently 7 books in the series with another due out in December. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the series.

The Little Duck Pond Cafe

The series starts with Spring at the Little Duck Pond Café where Ellie discovers and eventually becomes the owner of The Little Duck Pond Cafe. The series is based around the café in the village of Sunnybrook. Ellie meets new friends when she arrives in Sunnybrook and in turn, as the series progresses, her friends are the focus of each book. They’ve been a really light and easy read and I’ve whizzed through them. I didn’t even care that I was reading the Winter and Christmas books in Summer. The characters in the books are all really relatable and likeable, of course they all come with their turmoil which is always solved by the end of the book.

The series is definitely worth a read if you enjoy your books light and easy to follow. If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited like I am, then these books are free.


Bigmugoftea Reads – The Cornish Cream Tea Bus

I thought I’d try something a bit new and let you know what I’ve been reading on a semi-regular basis.

Bigmugoftea reads

Recently I read the serialised edition of The Cornish Cream Tea Bus by Cressida McLaughlin. The full story is now available to buy.

The Cornish Cream Tea Bus

I’ve read quite a few books by Cressida McLaughlin so eagerly awaited this one. The story is focussed on Charlie who inherits her Uncles old tour bus. Charlie is at a bit of a low and so moves to a sleepy little town in Cornwall, renovates the bus and starts up The Cornish Cream Tea Bus! Throughout the book you get to meet different characters who live in the village and of course, the love interest for our main girl Charlie. Like all good chicklit books, the road to romance isn’t always smooth.

An easy to read enjoyable girl meets boy kinda book. A perfect summer read.


Books I Read in 2017

I’ve known I wanted to make a post like this all year, hence why I started writing down the books I read. I’ve just never fully decided on how to post it. I didn’t know if I should make it a review of every book, a list of the books I’d enjoyed the most or just a list of books. I think I’ve finally decided on just highlighting the ones I’ve enjoyed the most. However, if any of the others pique your interest the titles and authors are there if you want to look them up.

  1. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks

It probably goes without sayin that the main character of this book is Flora Banks. She has amnesia and can’t remember anything from one day to the next so she has all the important bits wrote down in a book. Then Flora kisses a boy and the next day she can remember it. However the boy disappears and the book follows Flora’s journey to find him and confirm that the kiss happened. There’s a real twist at the end of the book which I didn’t see coming at all. It’s a good book and definitely a real page turner.

2. The List by Joanna Bolouri
3. I Followed The Rules by Joanna Bolouri
4. The Lemon Tree Cafe Part One by Cathy Bramley
5. The Cosy Coffee Shop of Promises by Kellie Hailes
6. The Lemon Tree Cafe Part Two by Cathy Bramley
7. The Canal Boat Cafe by Cressida McLaughlin
8. The Lemon Tree Cafe Part Three by Cathy Bramley

9. The Light of the Fire Flies by Paul Pen

The Light of the Fireflies

I could not put this book down. This book is like no other I’ve read before. It’s about a family that live in a cellar and is centred around a young boy. He has no technology bar a TV and only has a thin strip of a window. He’s not allowed out of the cellar but he and his sister hatch a plan to escape. The escape part was so tense, my heart was hammering reading it.

10. The Lemon Tree Cafe Part Four by Cathy Bramley
11. Spectacles: A Memoir by Sue Perkins
12. You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell
13. The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern

The Marble Collector

This book is about Sabrina’s journey to discover who her Father really is. As the book progressed I had no idea about what would happen next or how I thought it might end. I quite liked that about the book as books can so often be predictable. Cecilia Ahern has a wonderful way of writing. I’ve read a lot of her books.

14. Butlins and The Story of the British Seaside by Kathryn Ferry
15. The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley
16. The Girl With No Name by Diney Costeloe

The Girl With No Name

I never thought I’d want to read a book set in the war. I always see those books and pass them by but something about this one made me want to read it. Lisa arrives from Germany after losing her family. She is adopted by a couple in London but is involved in an accident during the Blitz and wakes up with no memory of who she is or where she lives. The book follows how her life changes and how she finds her feet again.

17. Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
18. The Canal Boat Cafe Christmas Part One by Cressida McLaughlin
19. The Canal Boat Cafe Christmas Part Two by Cressida McLaughlin
20. The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft
21. The Cosy Christmas Tea Shop by Caroline Roberts

If you’d like to read about books 9-12, they’re included in my What I Read This Summer post.

I’ve already finished my first book of 2018. I started it in 2017 but finished it on New Year’s Day so I’m counting it as a 2018 book.

Do you like to read?

What were your favourite books from last year?

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What I Read This Summer

I plan on doing a comprehensive list of all the books I have read in 2017 at the end of the year. However I thought I’d write a post on the books I read over Summer.

  1. The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen
The Light of the Fireflies

Cover Image from Amazon

This book is intense and a real page turner. It’s about “the boy” who lives underground with his family. He’s never seen the outdoor world but is fascinated by it. He’s told they’re down there because his family have been disfigured by a fire. The book is very well written and as the tale unfolds it takes twists and turns you wouldn’t expect. It’s horrible and fascinating and intense and at the very end exciting. My heart was hammering reading the last few pages. Would I recommend it to others? Definitely!

2. The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley

The Lemon Tree Cafe book cover

Cover Image from Amazon

I actually read the serialised version of this book starting in the Spring but read the last installment during the Summer. I really like Cathy Bramley books. They’re easy to read and always have a happy ending and this book is no different. Rosie is a bit of a high flyer when she’s asked to help run her Italian Grandmother’s café. At first she thinks it’ll just be for a couple of weeks but over time she realises she can’t leave. The book sees Rosie travel to Italy to help her Grandmother come to terms with her past as well as eventually managing the café full time. Oh and of course, she finds love!

3. Spectacles: A Memoir by Sue Perkins

Spectacles by Sue Perkins

Cover Image from Amazon

I picked this book up from my local library having recently registered. I am a big fan of The Great British Bake Off so when I saw this it took my interest. I didn’t really know much about Sue (and her sidekick Mel) apart from that they host Bake Off and used to host Late Lunch. I’m actually glad I picked this up. As Sue documents her childhood there are some real laugh out loud moments. There’s also some sad moments as she gets older that shows there’s more to her than just the comedy we see on TV. If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely enjoy this. I still enjoyed it despite not really being a fan.

4. You And Me, Always by Jill Mansell

You And Me, Always by Jill Mansell

Cover Image from Amazon

This is another book I picked up when I went to the library. I’m a fan of Jill Mansell so when I saw this I had to pick it up. The story is about Lily who’s mother has passed away some time ago. Lily is well loved in the village that she lives as everyone feels like they’ve had a hand in raising her. The story took a couple of turns I wasn’t expecting which kept it interesting. Lily goes on to meet her real dad who she doesn’t know and also has a fling with a movie star. The story did remind me of the movie Notting Hill on more than one occasion but it was a fun and light read. Perfect for the end of Summer.

Now I can’t wait for Autumn. Cosy nights reading my book under a blanket as the temperatures drop outside. Bliss 🙂

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Book Review – Greg Rutherford – Unexpected The Autobiography

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the blog before but I love athletics. You’ve probably guessed I have an interest based on some of my blog posts.

Recently I read Greg Rutherford’s autobiography and thought I’d introduce something new to the blog, book reviews!

Greg Rutherford - Unexpected

Image courtesy of Amazon

In case you don’t know, Greg Rutherford is a Long Jumper. He’s got quite a list of achievements to his name too. He is the Olympic Champion (2012), World Champion (2015), European Champion (2014 & 2016) and Commonwealth Champion (2014). In other words, he’s pretty good at what he does!

Greg’s book starts by telling you about his childhood. I’m not going to spoil it for you but his childhood is not what you expect and I think that’s partly where the title Unexpected comes from. Basically he had it tough, really tough in fact.

Then it moves on to tell you how he tries different sports before finally settling with the Long Jump. Greg wasn’t one of those kids that knew what he wanted to train for from a young age so was jumping in to sand pits from age 3 and it went from there. He actually tried out a few sports. He’s a great sprinter and I for one would love to see him compete in a sprinting race at competition level.

Then come all the major competitions that Greg has taken part in. I watched pretty much every one he talked about on the TV. Now, Greg is plagued by injury, and I mean plagued. He really suffers, but you’d never know. When you watch him on the TV he gives nothing away at all. He gets his game face on and that’s all you see so I was surprised reading some of the background to the competitions just how injured he was whilst still managing to pull some pretty enormous jumps out of the bag (or the sand pit!)

Finally it ends with his bitter disappointment over getting a Bronze in Rio. However, when you read the background to his experience at Rio, oh boy did he earn that Bronze. I know he was disappointed but it’s still a medal in my eyes.

Greg’s book is brilliant. At no point did I become bored of what he was saying. So if you’re an athletics fan I recommend this book to you, and if you’ve just become a fan of Greg dressed in sparkles and whirling around a dance floor, there’s more to Greg then meets the eye so I definitely recommend this book to you!

Greg Rutherford in Strictly

Image courtesy of Daily Express