#AroundTheUKIn144Books – the update @brilliantbooks @gilbster1000 @thebooktrailer

So. Last month I had the mad cap idea that it might be fun to try and read one book based in every county of the UK. What was going to be about 80 counties (original counties) after ‘challenge’ soon became 144 counties and political districts. So – after drafting in reinforcements in the shape of Abbie from Bloomin’ Brilliant Books and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Reads, we set off on our little adventure. We have no set itinerary, we’re just reading what we can when we can and hoping that we hit some unique counties along the way. This post is our first update – a little bit from each of us as to how we’ve done.

Jen ‘The Sat Nav’ Lucas:

So… Yes well. When I started out, this seemed like quite a nice challenge. January was a good month for reading, although both last month and this I’ve had a lot of books to read for blog tours, many of which took me out of the country entirely…

I have to be honest, at times I felt like I was stuck in the UK’s equivalent of the Bermuda triangle – the M25. I expected a lot of books to feature in the same place but it seemed to take me ages to get out of London. Not that there is anything wrong with London. I like London. I also like variety. I have read quite a few none London books though, but here are the few which I managed to publish reviews for this month.

Cambridgeshire: Watch Her Disappear – Eva Dolan

Bridgend: The Black Path – Paul Burston

Northumberland: Holy Island & Sycamore Gap – LJ Ross

West Sussex: Sister Sister – Sue Fortin

Staffordshire: Don’t Look Behind You – Mel Sherratt

And to prove a point…

London: Tattletale – Sarah J Naughton

                Her Husband’s Lover – Julia Crouch (incl Cambridgeshire)

                Rattle – Fiona Cummins

                Little Girl Lost – Carol Wyer

Books I have read but have still to review this month include Edinburgh, Nottingham, Manchester. So how did my travel buddies do?

Abbie ‘Tour Director’ Rutherford

Well if I’m honest January hasn’t been a bloomin’ brilliant month in regards to making a dent in the reading challenge. I only managed to cover two counties as my reading in January took me out of the UK quite a bit.

The two books I did read, however, were a couple of crackers and, I’m pleased to say, both by debut authors! My first book was Lies by TM Logan, a fast-paced, gripping thriller in which Joe Lynch, following a chance encounter with his wife at a hotel, sees his life spiral out of control as he realises everything about his life has been built on untruths and deception. Set in central London, the setting itself didn’t play a particularly integral part to the plot, but I was pleased to include this book in the challenge. Want to know more about Lies? You can read my review here.

The second book was Mary’s The Name by Ross Sayers. A wonderfully written tale about eight-year-old Mary and her grandfather who, following a robbery at the bookmakers where he Grandpa works, they move from Stirling to Portree in the Isle of Skye. A beautiful story that in turn has you both laughing and crying. Portree plays a large part of the story in Mary’s the Name and Ross Sayers has really brought the town and it’s inhabitants to life. You can read my review here.

With February being a busy month and, if I’m honest, as I’m kind of winging it at the moment I’m not sure where February will take me, but I’m looking forward to the ride!

Rachel ‘Entertainment Director’ Gilbey

Since the wonderful Abbie and Jen came up with this epic Around the UK in 144 Books challenge, and my possibly mad decision to join them, I have been quite impressed with just what a variety of locations I can read in a month, due to pure luck. In addition to the following books, I have also read books set abroad in various destinations, and at the moment I’m using this challenge to see just what is possible. I’m sure as the months go forward I will be desperately looking for suggestions for missing counties and also begging for time to read books for them!

In the meantime, January, has taken me the length and breadth of the country, from Edinburgh in Perfect Remains by Helen Fields, all the way to A Cottage in Cornwall by Laura Briggs, which I think you can guess the setting of, and this is via Birmingham in real life for meet up of TBC – The Book Club members where I met the lovely Mel Comley amongst others.

So in January my challenge entries are as follows and I look forward to seeing you in a month for another update.

Bristol – How to Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake

City of Edinburgh – Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

Cornwall – A Cottage in Cornwall by Laura Briggs

Dorset – The Winter Folly by Lulu Taylor

Greater London – My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

Hampshire – The Good Girlfriend’s Guide to Getting Even by Anna Bell

Total counties visited by Rachel – 6

Thanks for the updates ladies. As you can see, we are getting there. But you can probably also guess (as would be expected) that some of the books the gals have read are also on my TBR pile and so are some of the counties covered. This is going to be a long tour. Hope you enjoy the journey as much as we are.

Happy reading all.


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