Blurb: Harry Potter is a very unusual boy. He can't wait to get back to school after the summer holidays! But that's not the only unusual thing about Harry; Harry's school is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Harry is a wizard!
When Harry, along with his best friends Ron and Hermione, go back for their third year at Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There's an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school...
Thoughts: I loved this book and so far it is my favourite Harry Potter. I loved the plot twists and I rather enjoy Rowling's style of writing.
21. Better Late Than Never - My Story - Len Goodman
Blurb: In an age of ill-deserved instant celebrity, Len Goodman is a man who's truly earned his moment in the spotlight. At near-pensionable age, his big heart, cheeky sense of humour and no-nonsense advice have turned him into an unlikely idol for millions.
In Better Late Than Never, he has plenty to say about Strictly Come Dancing and the US show Dancing with the Stars, but the real story is in his East End roots. His family were Bethnal Green costermongers and Len was bathed in the same water they used to cook the beetroot.
Len was working in his first real trade as a welder in the Woolwich Docks when he broke his foot playing football and his doctor recommended ballroom dancing as an aid to his recovery. Len, though less than convinced, soon turned out to be a natural. Before he knew it, he had made the finals of a competition at the Albert Hall and his mates from the docks descended en masse to cheer him on. There was no looking back. Len soon turned professional and, as well as being a winner on the dancefloor, also became a teacher and eventually a respected judge.
From this 'Carry On Up the East End' childhood selling fruit and veg off a barrow to criticising celebrities dancing on the television - Len's life has been a funny old business. His unforgettable journey is told with all his trademark charm and humour. "My life's been a bit like the waltz, but then we all need a bit of rise and fall."
Thoughts: This book was my bedtime reading for the past couple of months. It really did take that long to read as Goodman has a way of really drawing out stories and jumping from subject to subject. While the book was interesting enough, I found it a bit of a slow burner, with only certain bits of his life really worth writing about. I think this could be an issue with many a celebrity as quite often they don't have a traumatic upbringing and are decidedly normal, as is the case with Goodman.I take umbridge with the blurb saying there is a fair bit of discussion on SCD and DWTS - there really isn't. While the last chapter is devoted to both these shows, it doesn't really go into too much detail; a feud with Brendan Cole is covered in a few pages but that's the only juicy bit of detail. Most of the discussion is how Goodman was almost overlooked for both jobs and his opinion of some of the celebrities who appeared on the show. Overall this book was OK, but could have been vastly improved in both content and style.
22. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and a selection of Entrees - Agatha Christie
Pages: 229 (7505)
Blurb: The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The six stories in this book are further proof, if it were needed, that as hostess and chef Agatha Christie can serve up a banquet which will satisfy gourmets of the detective story. In five of them Hercule Poirot is seen at the top of his incomparable form - whether he is involved in the ominous affair of The Dream or in The Mystery of the Spanish Chest, a matter which, strictly speaking, was no business of his. He was introduced to the case of The Under Dog by a girl whose calm and unemotional voice belied the tale of violence and tragedy she told, but in Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds the little Belgian diagnosed murder whilst enjoying a quiet dinner with a friend in a Chelsea restaurant. In The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding he is again involved with food, but, this time, accompanied by unseasonable deeds of ill-will which beset his first experience of the traditional English Christmas. In the sixth story, Greenshaw's Folly Miss Marple, calmly and characteristically, finds and solves murder on her doorstep and provides a story which adds further variety to the menu of a feast fit for a king - prepared and served by the Queen of Crime.
Thoughts: I fancied reading a Christmas book and remembered I had this. It was a very enjoyable and easy read with very recognisable stories. It's clear to see why some were altered for television adaptions, but the originals are just as good if not better.
So that's my 2015 reading done! I must say I am rather pleased at having read so many books this year, the most since I was at school! Here's to 2016 and another varied year of reading!