Summer is back! So why am I feeling so grumpy?! Need to snap myself out of this mood today and hopefully a look back at my bookish week will help cheer me a little – there’s always an online book shopping spree to fall back on if necessary!!
Another great week for reading – just how important is housework anyway?! 6 books finished and off the pile! 5 books made it into the house though via various means and there was a freebie on the Kindle too that I took advantage of! Nothing from NG though!!
HERE’S A LOOK BACK!
wonderfully gripping historical story based on a true story
Heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measures. Augusta is wonderful!
A little book packed full of fascinating facts and anecdotes.
A lovely but often sad story that was a wonderful read.
Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness – 5 stars
A wonderful ode to birdwatching and the positive effects on your mental health.
Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May – 4 stars
A lovely return to some favourite old characters and life isn’t going so smoothly in this sequel!
Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness
copy for review from the publishers – Unbound
When Joe Harkness suffered a breakdown in 2013, he tried all the things his doctor recommended: medication helped, counselling was enlightening, and mindfulness grounded him. But nothing came close to nature, particularly birds. How had he never noticed such beauty before? Soon, every avian encounter took him one step closer to accepting who he is.
The positive change in Joe’s wellbeing was so profound that he started a blog to record his experience. Three years later he has become a spokesperson for the benefits of birdwatching, spreading the word everywhere from Radio 4 to Downing Street.
In this groundbreaking book filled with practical advice, Joe explains the impact that birdwatching had on his life, and invites the reader to discover these extraordinary effects for themselves
THE OLD DRAGON’S HEAD by JUSTIN NEWLAND
copy from Author ahead of Blog Tour next month
Constructed of stone and packed earth, the Great Wall of 10,000 li protects China’s northern borders from the threat of Mongol incursion. The wall is also home to a supernatural beast: the Old Dragon. The Old Dragon’s Head is the most easterly point of the wall, where it finally meets the sea.
In every era, a Dragon Master is born. Endowed with the powers of Heaven, only he can summon the Old Dragon so long as he possess the dragon pearl.
It’s the year 1400, and neither the Old Dragon, the dragon pearl, nor the Dragon Master, has been seen for twenty years. Bolin, a young man working on the Old Dragon’s Head, suffers visions of ghosts. Folk believe he has yin-yang eyes and other paranormal gifts.When Bolin’s fief lord, the Prince of Yan, rebels against his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor, a bitter war of succession ensues in which the Mongols hold the balance of power. While the victor might win the battle on earth, China’s Dragon Throne can only be earned with a Mandate from Heaven – and the support of the Old Dragon.
Bolin embarks on a journey of self-discovery, mirroring Old China’s endeavour to come of age. When Bolin accepts his destiny as the Dragon Master, Heaven sends a third coming of age – for humanity itself. But are any of them ready for what is rising in the east?
THE MYSTERIOUS BAKERY ON RUE DE PARIS by EVIE GAUGHAN
free Kindle purchase
This is the magical tale of Edith Lane, who sets off to find her fortune in the beautiful city of Paris. Fortune, however, is a fickle thing and Edith ends up working in a vintage bakery in the positively antique town of Compiègne. Escaping heartache and singledom in Ireland, Edith discovers that the bakery on Rue De Paris is not exactly what it seems and that some ghosts from the past are harder to escape than others. A heart-warming story that is sure to appeal to all of the senses, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris is a mouth-watering journey of love, liberty and la vie en rose.
RECURSION by BLAKE CROUCH
signed first edition from Goldsboro Books
Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.
Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.
As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.
But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?
CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN by SAYAKA MURATA
borrowed from library
Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life but is aware that she is not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis—but will it be for the better?
Thornyhold is a house deep in a wild wood like somewhere out of a fairy tale. To Gilly, it is an enchantment. Her very own enchantment, left to her by the cousin whose occasional magical visits had brightened her childhood. And as she explores, she discovers more about the woman who had come to seem like a fairy godmother for her: her herbalists’s skills, her still room, her abilities to foresee and to heal. She discovers also that the local people believe that Gilly has inherited not just the house but the magical spell-weaving powers that live on in the house and garden. Slowly, quietly, she comes to realise that they are right.
THE NAKANO THRIFT SHOP by HIROMI KAWAKAMI
From the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo comes this funny, heartwarming story about love, life, and human relationships that features a delightfully offbeat cast of characters.
Objects for sale at the Nakano Thrift Shop appear as commonplace as the staff and customers that handle them. But like those same customers and staff, they hold many secrets. If examined carefully, they show the signs of innumerable extravagancies, of immeasurable pleasure and pain, and of the deep mysteries of the human heart.
Hitomi, the inexperienced young woman who works the register at Mr. Nakano’s thrift shop, has fallen for her coworker, the oddly reserved Takeo. Unsure of how to attract his attention, she seeks advice from her employer’s sister, Masayo, whose sentimental entanglements make her a somewhat unconventional guide. But thanks in part to Masayo, Hitomi will come to realize that love, desire, and intimacy require acceptance not only of idiosyncrasies but also of the delicate waltz between open and hidden secrets.
Animating each delicately rendered chapter in Kawakami’s playful novel is Mr. Nakano himself, an original, entertaining, and enigmatic creation whose compulsive mannerisms, secretive love life, and impulsive behavior defy all expectations.
I hope your bookish week has been as enjoyable!