• Nellie Williams

Nellie Knows : 5 April 2018


Nellie Knows is my weekly column which appears in The Wokingham Paper published every Thursday!

I often associate books with songs and memories. I can remember reading my first Danielle Steel listening to Kid Creole and The Coconuts (acha cha cha!) and Hard Feelings by Fleetwood Mac reminds me of Past Caring by Robert Goddard. I find the peculiar facts I keep lodged in my brain are astounding, I’m surprised by them and also how I can remember the lyrics to every 80s song and quite possibly plenty of 70s but I forget what I’ve gone for when I go to the shops!

That’s where lists comes in and I love a good list, but even if I write it aisle by aisle or alphabetically I can guarantee that I have forgotten something. I saw an article recently about reading speeds and I know I read fast and slow depending on what I am reading.

After a long time of not reading an awful lot I have got right back into it and have been devouring books at a rate of knots. I’m often asked for recommendations so here’s some to keep you going:-

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp


For anyone who has been to West Wales this is one that will warm your heart and have you yearning for the Ceredigion coast. A burnt out young entrepreneur heads off to find more about her late mum, winds up working in a pub following a spot of mistaken identity and ends up finding out more about herself. Across the town random acts of kindness happen and before too long the whole place is united and love conquers all. Another great read by Laura Kemp is The Late Blossoming of Frankie Kent.

The Coroner by Matthew Hall


The Jenny Cooper series has been published since 2009 yet I’ve only just found them and I thoroughly enjoying them. Jenny a divorced and muddled solicitor is appointed as the Coroner following the death of her predecessor in an office where all is not as it should be. Not knowing who to trust or how far in the rot is she makes changes, decisions and enemies. Not only has Matthew written The Jenny Cooper series but he was also the scriptwriter for Keeping Faith which I have been glued to.

Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger


Originally published in 2014 and now republished by Dome Press this book is divided into 3 parts, one part written by each twin with the final chapter sewing everything into place. Shelan’s previous title The Yellow Room is another beautifully written book which leaves you thinking long after the last page.

The Last Day by Clare Dyer


I read this stunning novel before it was published and loved it so much I have had no hesitation in giving to friends as a present or a thank you. Vita’s ex husband Boyd and his girlfriend Honey move back into Boyd’s former marital home which uproots everything. Secrets, pain and anguish once so well hidden are teased out and leave the reader keen to pick up the phone and build bridges never knowing when the last day will be.

A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson


Oh clever. Very clever. We all know Agatha Christie disappeared but who knows what she got up to in that time?

Having read this I can’t wait for the follow up “A Different Kind of Evil” due out on 31st May 2018.

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

I was asked at the weekend by my youngest what my favourite book as a child was, without hesitation I said Danny the champion of the world. It was one of the last books my dad gave me and will always have a special place in my heart.

When asked what my favourite ever books are my response is in no particular order - Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde, Tickled Pink and Love Potions (and yes one of the characters is indeed named after one of my girls) both by Christina Jones, Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes, A Place called Winter by Patrick Gale and The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp.


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