My Dream ‘Invaluable’ Book Shelf

My Dream 'Invaluable' Book Shelf

Helllllo readers, little odd to be writing to you on a Wednesday but I have a really lovely post to share with you today. I was contacted by Invaluable.com (a website that specialises in auctions of collectible items) and asked whether I wanted to have a browse through their bookish sections and come up with my dream purchases.

Sorry, antique books and shopping online? *eeee.* Here are a couple of the wonderful lots they have for auction that I would adore to get my little mitts on.

Lot 118: A. C. Doyle, The Adventures & The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Not only are these book utterly stunning to look at but they’re first editions. Sighs. If anyone wants to buy these for me I might just adore you for forever and a day.

Lot 229: [Dodgson (Charles Lutwidge)], “Lewis Carroll”. – Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

These are so beautiful *cries gentle.* I adore books with covers that really emulate the contents of the book but these really are just a little perfect. I would adore looking after these and looking inside the crisp pages.

Lot 123: Grahame (Kenneth) – The Wind in the Willows,

I think many of the books I would want to own revert back to my adoration of books as a child and this one definitely links to this. I used to love listening to this story and have been tempted a number of times to go and find a copy and give it another read. I think this copy is really beautiful and would take pride of place on my bookshelf.

Lot 162: Robinson (William Heath).- Shakespeare (William) – A Midsummer Night’s Dream,

Finally I have a picked a beautiful classic; who doesn’t like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wait don’t answer that everyone does right? Once again the cover is sublime and as I know the contents is just as perfect I really must not favourite this and bid after a glass of wine or two.

Four picks from the wonderful site invaluable.com. I really would recommend having a little look around because the choice is so varied; vintage, signed books and really rare first editions for prices that won’t blow your budget. If you’re looking for a really special present, a rare book or something to treat yourself it is definitely worth a wander.

(All images taken from Invaluable.com and all auctions were live at time of posting!)

The Vintage Cinema Club by Jane Linfoot

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Today’s book is one where you look at the front cover and you think; I NEED TO READ THAT, LIKE NOW PLEASE. I know we’re taught, now don’t judge a book by its cover and us book bloggers are supposed to be utter advocates of that but some days you think, yes. That author is giving that book the best chance of grabbing hold of readers and pulling them in, because it looks utterly beautiful and I must admit the writing inside, well, I won’t get ahead of myself but you might well love it.

Meet The Vintage Cinema Club….

Izzy is a wow at making unwanted things pretty, but with three brothers and her shabby chic furniture business to run she doesn’t have time to date. Could a fabulous French proposal change her mind?

Single mum Luce’s vintage bridal dresses are exquisite, but there’s no way she’s ever going to wear one or walk down the aisle for that matter. She’s a strictly no romance, one night kind of woman – or so she thinks…

Dida seems to have it all – a chocolate and banana cake recipe to die for, lovely kids (most of the time!) and a great lifestyle. But what good is a fabulous home, when your marriage has more cracks than a pavlova and your husband is having it off with half of Lithuania?

Three retro fabulous friends, in love with all things vintage, run their dream business from the faded grandeur of a rescued cinema. When that dream comes under threat, they’ll do whatever it takes to save it.

The book as the blurb suggests follows the lives of three wonderful women who are blighted by the selfishness of one husband, who decides to put their beautiful vintage cinema up for sale. Instead of letting go of the building that has helped them each live their dream job, Dida, Luce and Izzy dig their heels in, determined not to let their building be swept from under their feet. GIRL POWER eh? The book switches perspective between the three as we learn more about each of their lives, their loves and their part in the Vintage Cinema Club. Throw in hot-mess Xander, an unfaithful husband and one of the girl’s who’s still not quite sure what she wants it’s going to be an exciting read.

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I thought what was truly special about this book was the relationship spun between the three women; each has their own personality traits and are built up to show this. Izzy is ultimately stubborn and a little quick to judge and finds it easy to push her emotions under a rug and pretend they were never there. She’s strong willed but also adorable. I thought her relationship with Xander was exciting to read about and he was your perfect steamy, gorgeous kind of character. At the start their relationship confused me; were they right for each other? But as the story mounts I enjoyed seeing their power struggle. I really felt for Dida throughout; her desperation to sort out her friends lives but not really take a look at her own was a little heart-breaking but wonderfully written. Finally Luce; I couldn’t quite pin her down. Claiming to be utterly fine but creating the perfect dresses for perfect weddings it didn’t quite fit, but you’ll have to read the book to find out how all the stories end.

I think the writing however was what really sold this book to me; the characters were brought to life but it was the cinema itself that really pulled me into the book. I would have loved to have a wander around the vintage trinkets, bridal dresses, and the pretty painted furniture. I adore little vintage stores and I was taken right inside the front door. I thought that the communication between the characters also really helped to spice up the descriptions; texts, emails, rotas and plans of actions it made it all the more real and helped to envelop me in the story as a whole. I thought the distinction between the cosy relationship of the friends and the steamy relationship between Izzy and Xander meant I was galloping through the pages which was brilliant.

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Not a wobble for me but Izzy does take centre stage which I was a little surprised about from the blurb just because it looked from the outlook that the other girls would be delved into as much. However I think it works because although they take a bit of a back step, their stories help to strengthen Izzy’s and get you more involved in the plot.

Overall this book honestly had everything I could need as a reader; there was the relationship brewing between Izzy and Xander, and the look at their emotional and slightly traumatic pasts. The chemistry that was rolling off the pages was steamy and exciting *squeals.* Friendship, vintage, romance, excitement, trauma and suspense what more could you want. This author packs a punch and I cannot wait to read more from her.

When God was a Rabbit: Sarah Winman

Book Review ; When God was a Rabbit

It’s 1968. “The year Paris took to the streets… The year Martin Luther King lost his life for a dream.” The year Eleanor Maud Portman is born.

This is a truly heart warming  read that would tug on the heartstrings of even the most callous of readers. This earnest book has a vintage style that tells of the struggles and pains of a family as close knit as your favorite Christmas jumper. This book is full of family and personal calamity- amnesia, murder, cancer and sexual abuse, but also an accident to a rabbit named God.

This book is divided into two halves representing the childhood and adult life of the narrator Elly. The first half is a delightfully childlike and naive representation of family life including the introduction of her pet rabbit God. However the second marks the weakening of this strong family bond. The nimble and lively Elly morphs into a morose adult who is haunted by a childhood secret whilst her brother Joe becomes ever more detached. However the bond that we feel between this brother and sister is made real and alive and we see the inability they have to be apart.

All the characters that we meet along the way are vibrant and full bodied and create a patchwork of family life, for example Jenny, Elly’s best friend, a waif like neglected character who smells of chips- and an aunt  a Shirley Bassey impersonator that brings glamour and pizzazz to this vintage story.

The author also introduces cultural and historical events due to its long unwinding narrative that recites decades of time- including the deaths of John Lennon, Princess Diana and a street party during the Jubilee. These events create a backdrop that breaks the heart of the reader showing the terrible effects that these have on the picturesque family.
I found this book cosy and a real picture into family life- this beautiful book has an interesting narrative style that hooks the reader and pulls them along until it reaches its ultimate event in which we see whether this dysfunctional and patchwork family can really hold together.

‘Twenty years on Elly and Joe are fully-grown and as close as ever were. Until that is one bright morning and a single, earth-shattering event threatens to destroy their bond forever.’

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