hello and happy 1st June to you all!! And set for a heatwave this weekend too in the UK – sounds like a good excuse to hide in the shade and read books all weekend to me!!
This past week has been a slow week on the reading front for me with just 2 books finished – if only it had been a slow week on the bookpost/book buying front! oops! A total of 10 different books (1 library book!) has made their way into my life this week through various means so oops! I could blame my niece as she wanted to go to Waterstones for a spot of bok shopping this week and with her being as much of a bookworm as I am, then I think it was fatal that we just led each other astray! But let’s focus on the positives.. no new Netgalley books this week! Wahoo!!
So here’s a quick look back at my bookish week….
Normal People by Sally Rooney – 3 stars
It was ok! Just didn’t do it for me!
Haverscroft by S.A.Harris – 5 stars
Loved this creepy ghost story! Don’t read this at bedtime!!
Do Not Feed The Bear by Rachel Elliott
Published by Tinder Press – Publication Date August 2019
A life-affirming novel of love, loss and letting go – for readers of ELEANOR OLIPHANT, THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP and WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT
On her forty-seventh birthday, Sydney Smith stands on a rooftop and prepares to jump…
Sydney is a cartoonist and freerunner. Feet constantly twitching, always teetering on the edge of life, she’s never come to terms with the event that ripped her family apart when she was ten years old. And so, on a birthday that she doesn’t want to celebrate, she returns alone to St Ives to face up to her guilt and grief. It’s a trip that turns out to be life-changing – and not only for herself.
DO NOT FEED THE BEAR is a book about lives not yet lived, about the kindness of others and about how, when our worlds stop, we find a way to keep on moving.
THE HUNTINGFIELD PAINTRESS by PAMELA HOLMES
published by Urbane Publications – for blog tour
Plucky and headstrong Mildred Holland revelled in the eight years she and her husband, the vicar William Holland, spent travelling 1840s Europe, finding inspiration in recording beautiful artistic treasures and collecting exotic artifacts. But William’s new posting in a tiny Suffolk village is a world apart and Mildred finds a life of tea and sympathy dull and stifling in comparison. When a longed-for baby does not arrive, she sinks into despondency and despair. What options exist for a clever, creative woman in such a cossetted environment? A sudden chance encounter fires Mildred’s creative imagination and she embarks on a herculean task that demands courage and passion. Defying her loving but exasperated husband, and mistrustful locals who suspect her of supernatural powers, Mildred rediscovers her passion and lives again through her dreams of beauty. Inspired by the true story of the real Mildred Holland and the parish church of Huntingfield in Suffolk, the novel is unique, emotive and beautifully crafted, just like the history that inspired it.
THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by ALIX E. HARROW
published by Orbit – publication September 2019
In the early 1900s, a young woman searches for her place in the world and the mystery behind a magical door in this captivating debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
THE FARM by JOANNE RAMOS
– signed edition – Goldsboro books Book of the Month
13 hours, 54 minutes
Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.
Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery—or worse.
Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.
THE DESERTER’S DAUGHTER and A RESPECTABLE WOMAN by SUSANNA BAVIN
lovely signed copies from the Author
THE DESERTER’S DAUGHTER – Manchester, 1920. Carrie Jenkins reels from the revelation that her beloved father was shot for desertion during the Great War, not tragically killed in heroic action as she had previously been led to believe. Worse, Carrie’s sweetheart jilts her on the eve of their wedding, despite her pregnancy.Facing some tough choices and needing to provide a home for her baby and invalid mother, Carrie is forced to accept the unsettling advances of Ralph Armstrong. It is a decision she will regret
.A RESPECTABLE WOMAN – After losing her family in the Great War, Nell is grateful to marry Stan Hibbert, believing she can recapture a sense of family with him. But five years on, she is just another back-street housewife, making every penny do the work of tuppence and performing miracles with scrag-end. When she discovers that Stan is leading a double-life, she runs away to make a fresh start.
Two years later, in 1924, Nell has carved out a fulfilling new life for herself and her young children in Manchester, where her neighbors believe she is a respectable widow and a talented machinist. But the past is hard to run from, and Nell must fight to protect the life she has made for herself and her children.
WUNDERSMITH by JESSICA TOWNSEND
Morrigan Crow and her best friend Hawthorne Swift are now proud scholars in the elite Wundrous Society, but life is far from perfect. Does Morrigan have what it takes to prove that she belongs in the Society?
THE FIVE by HALLIE RUBENHOLD
Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London – the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.
What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.
For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that ‘the Ripper’ preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.
HE WANTS by ALISON MOORE – library book
Lewis Sullivan, an RE teacher at a secondary school, is approaching retirement when he wonders for the first time whether he ought to have chosen a more dramatic career. He lives in a village in the Midlands, less than a mile from the house in which he grew up. He always imagined living by the sea. His grown-up daughter visits every day, bringing soup. He does not want soup. He frequents his second-favourite pub, where he can get half a shandy, a speciality sausage and a bit of company.
When an old friend appears on the scene, Lewis finds his routine and comfortable life shaken up.
A RIGHT ROYAL FACE-OFF by SIMON EDGE
Published by Lightning Books – for blog tour
It is 1777, and England’s second-greatest portrait artist, Thomas Gainsborough, has a thriving practice a stone’s thrown from London’s royal palaces, while the press talks up his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds, the pedantic theoretician who is the top dog of British portraiture. Fonder of the low life than high society, Gainsborough loathes pandering to the grandees who sit for him. However, he changes his tune when he is commissioned to paint King George III, his German queen and their vast family. He discovers a taste for royal company—but who will be chosen as court painter, Tom or Sir Joshua? Meanwhile, two and a half centuries later, a badly damaged painting turns up on a downmarket antiques TV show being filmed in Suffolk. Could the monstrosity really be, as its eccentric owner claims, a Gainsborough? If so, who is the sitter? And why does he have donkey’s ears?
The Fortnight In September by R.C.Sherriff #PersephoneReadathon
How has your bookish week been?Hopefully a little more under control than mine!!