Hello and Happy June!! Halfway through the year…..! And the start of #20BooksOfSummer2022 so good luck to those of you taking part!! Going to be a fun couple of months ahead trying to get through our TBR’s!!
And this past week has been a slower week of reading for me – I’m blaming the garden for distracting me! My fight against slugs and snails is proving fruitless so I’ve been out swearing at them! But I still managed to finish 3 books and avoided Netgalley! But then I made the mistake of going to a Plant/Book Sale at the local community hall last weekend and 6 new books came home with me – it was for charity so that doesn’t count right?!
Here’s my look back!
STILL LIVES by RESHMA RUIA – 5 STARS
How could I resist when it was 3 books for £2 at the Cats Protection League book/plant sale I went to?!
THE CORNER THAT HELD THEM by SYLVIA TOWNSEND WARNER
The nuns who enter a medieval Norfolk convent are told to renounce the world, but the world still finds ways to trouble them, whether it is through fire, floods, pestilence, a collapsing spire, jealous rivalries, a priest with a secret or a plague of caterpillars. As we follow their daily lives over three centuries, this masterpiece of historical fiction re-creates a world run by women.
SWEET TEMPTATION by LUCY DIAMOND
Maddie’s getting it from all sides. Her bitchy new boss at the radio station humiliates her live on air about her figure, her glamour-puss mum keeps dropping not-so-subtle hints that Maddie should lose weight and her kids are embarrassed to be seen with her after the disastrous Mums’ race at their school sports day. Something’s got to change…
SPRING ON THE LITTLE CORNISH ISLES by PHILLIPA ASHLEY
Jess has lived at the idyllic flower farm on the Isles of Scilly her whole life, but when her boyfriend Adam leaves without explanation, Jess discovers that even her little slice of Cornish heaven can be lonely.
For the first time in Will’s life, he’s met someone he can’t stop thinking about. But nothing is simple when the woman of your dreams is working for you.
Gaby is running away from painful memories, and where could be more perfect than a remote island off the Cornish coast? But to put the past behind her, she must keep moving … however much she might want to stay.Nothing is simple, even on paradise. Will love bloom for the residents of the little Cornish Isles?
SEEING THINGS by OLIVER POSTGATE
Oliver Postgate’s death in December 2008 was greeted with great sadness. For over 40 years his name was synonymous with the best in children’s television—Bagpuss, The Clangers, Ivor the Engine, The Pogles, Noggin the Nog, and Pingwings. Oliver wrote and narrated the stories, while Peter Firmin illustrated the characters and made the puppets. Their classic films are still loved by viewers of all ages. In this delicious autobiography, Oliver Postgate describes how he came to create his stories and characters, developing innovative techniques of animation and puppetry alongside his friend and co-producer Peter Firmin. Amazingly, almost all of Oliver’s films were made in a cowshed in Kent on a budget of next to nothing. But the path to film-making was far from conventional, or even planned. Oliver Postgate was the grandson of George Lansbury, leader of the Labour Party in the 1920s, and his father was Raymond Postgate, who became famous as the founder and author of The Good Food Guide. Oliver followed in neither’s footsteps. Before his first TV production, Alexander the Mouse in 1958, he had already been a war evacuee; a conscientious objector; a farm laborer; a relief worker in post-war Germany; an artist; an actor; and an inventor. The story of Oliver Postgate’s extraordinary and adventurous life, and the wonderful characters who populated it, both real and imagined, is witty, charming, beautifully remembered, and beautifully told.
THE LAST by HANNA JAMESON
For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.
Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.
Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.
As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?
THE QUEEN’S SORROW by SUSANNAH DUNN
A queen brought low by love compromised and power abused — the tragedy of Mary Tudor. Plain, dutiful and a passionate Catholic, Mary Tudor was overjoyed by joy when she became England’s queen. After the misery of her childhood, when her father had rejected her mother, and effectively disowned his daughter, Mary felt at last that she was achieving her destiny. And when she marries Philip of Spain, her happiness is complete. But Mary’s delight quickly turns sour as she realises that her husband does not love her. In fact he finds her devotion irritating. Desperate for a baby, she begins to believe that God is punishing her. Her people are horrified at the severity of the measures she takes and begin to turn against their queen who is lonely, frightened — and desperate for love. Rafael, a member of Philip of Spain’s entourage, is a reluctant witness to the unfolding tragedy and as the once-feted queen tightens her cruel hold on the nation, Rafael becomes closer to Mary and his life — and new-found love — are caught up in the terrible chaos that follows
MISS WILLMOTT’S GHOSTS by SANDRA LAWRENCE (audiobook)