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I mentioned last week that I recently revisited my local library and came away with a large armful of books. At the moment I still haven't sat down properly with the recipe books I borrowed, but I have read another of the fiction ones I was reading.

A Cat, A Hat and a Piece of String is a new short story collection by Joanne Harris. She's one of my favourite writers, along with Philippa Gregory and Terry Pratchett whose books I have reviewed in the past. If the name sounds familiar but you can't place why then it's probably because you've seen the movie "Chocolat" starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, which was based on the book "Chocolat" written by...Joanne Harris! (As an aside, the sequel to Chocolat, The Lollipop Shoes, is one of my favourite books).

As I mentioned above, this is a collection of short stories. Rather typically of Joanne Harris they're mixture of nostalgia, sweetness and downright creepy. Sweet is covered by two of the stories about Faith and Hope, two little old ladies living in a care home (also, while the story is sweet it does also give one an alternative glimpse into old people's homes that makes you hope you never end up in one). Nostalgia, to an extent, is the man who celebrates Christmas all year round. LITERALLY, all year round. And as for creepy, let's just say the baby made of cake and the ghost on Twitter made me reconsider eating sugar and indulging in social media.

While some of the stories are a little improbable, they are very well written and easy to dip in and out of. The only real problem is that you'll probably struggle to put the book down.


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