Posted in books, review

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Greetings!!  Strike another week off the calendar!! And another week closer to Christmas! Noticed shops are already full of Christmas decorations and even heard Christmas songs being played in a garden centre I visited the other day – TOO EARLY!!!!    There is no escape!!

Hope a good bookish week has been had by you all! Been another productive one here with another 5 books finished! And only 3new books added to the TBR pile!  So I’m feeling very smug with myself!! But so many more added to the wish list after reading other peoples’ reviews – it’s all your fault people!! I hope you feel suitably told off!!!

So on with the bookish news sharing!!  Click on the title for links to GoodReads reviews and blurbs if you so wish to find out more .. i know you do!!!

BOOKS FINISHED

Into The Trees by Robert Williams  –  3 stars

Resort to Murder by TP Fielden  – 3 stars

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey  –  5 stars

Mischling by Affinity Konar  –  3 stars

DeadLands by Lloyd Otis  –  4 stars

BOOK HAUL

A restrained week on the book accumulating front which is always a good thing! Made it to a Bookshop last saturday for #BookshopDay and did hope to pick up a Tote Bag while in store, but they had NONE!!! GGRRRR!! But thankfully a lovely friend who owns a bookshop on the Isle of Bute managed to put one by for me so very happy to have my mitts on one! Guess I’ll have to go shopping again soon and fill it up with lovely books!!

While I was in a bookshop last week, I did pick up one book which is being sold to help raise funds for Oxfam with 100 % of the profits going to worthwhile projects that they run! Please click on the link below if you’d like to order your copy from Waterstones!!

The Invisible Child by Tove Jansson – Waterstones

Whiteout by Ragnar Jonasson

Ahead of the Blog Tour I’m due to take part in, the copy of Whiteout arrived so really looking forward to racing through this!

The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens

And another lovely Persephone book arrives to add to my collection!

CURRENTLY READING

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

This is my current ‘bedtime’ read and I’m loving it so far! Anything related to Alice in Wonderland is fine by me, and this is a great twist to the story!!

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Still listening to the audiobook version of this and it is enjoyable BUT I do keep finding my mind wandering!! Is it me or is it the story?!  Hopefully I can make it to the end with some memory of what has been going on!

Wide Awake Asleep by Louise Wise

Just about to start this ahead of another Blog Tour soon to come your way!

And that’s it! Another week wrapped up! Any of these caught your eye?!  Any new books to recommend my way?! 

HAPPY READING!!

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Posted in books, review

#BlogTour Yellow Room by Shelan Rodger #GuestPost #BookReview

yellow

Welcome all and thank you for stopping by for my turn on this fabulous Blog Tour! And as well as my review I am also happy to share a feature from the author herself and it makes for fascinating reading so I hope you enjoy!! Over to you Shelan!!

 

shelan

 

Eyes confess the secrets of the heart

‘The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.’ This is a quote I love by Saint Jerome (best known for translating the bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin). Think of the eyes of children before they learn to control the way they look at people, or the eyes of lovers searching for each other’s souls. Think of our intuitive reaction to someone’s eyes and face the first time we meet them, or those moments in your life when eyes have spoken without the need for words.

Over two years ago, my partner woke up from an induced coma after post-surgery complications. The first time he opened his eyes I knew that he couldn’t see. They did start to see after a few days, but the person behind them had not returned. Each day I would look at his eyes before I spoke, searching to see if he had come back.

In moments of intensity, we trust eyes more than words. Fear, anguish, shame, hatred, love, adoration…water from the well of emotions pours into our eyes in these moments. There are time-frozen images in my memory of the look in someone’s eyes at a crucial moment…I suspect we can all recall such moments in the stories of our own lives and relationships.

One thing that fascinates me when it comes to writing is the relationship between this subliminal communication through the eyes and the use of metaphorical language to reach beyond words on the page. When my book was first edited, I drove my wonderful editor mad with my use of non-idiomatic language, metaphors and ‘awkward phrasing’. He was wonderful because he always challenged me and I learnt to reflect on what I wanted to keep and why. The things I keep are normally about reaching for unknown connections, creating associations, triggering emotional responses in the reader that straightforward, transparent, idiomatic language might not get to.

In Yellow Room, there is a battered fox on the side of the road, a locked toilet door, a cloth doll. In Twin Truths, there is a rat that gnaws at the main character’s feet. Their emotional significance is developed with the narrative. But mostly there is just the occasional image or gentle jarring in the use of language to nudge the reader into meeting it head on and seeing something beyond the words. It is hard to quote out of context to show what I mean but I will try…

From Yellow Room

‘She looks at her big sister with her brown-dog eyes that haven’t yet learnt fear.’

‘The elephant shadow of his parent’s disapproval hung briefly between them and she wished he could let her stroke it away for ever.’

‘Chala’s face is stone-still.’

‘Do you really want children Paul? Is it very important to you?’ She says it softly, wishing there was a way to paint away the knowledge of who she is.’

‘The words ‘I love you’ ached at the tips of her fingers, but a judge inside hovered over them with a guillotine.’

‘She watched a tiny hummingbird hovering and darting into the flowers of a frangipani tree. Shards of recent memory flashed at random in her head.’

‘She felt as if she were in her namesake lake all over again, a sickly cloying of dark water all around her.’

From Twin Truths

‘We looked at each other like strangers on a salt plain and I felt for a horrible moment that we were walking backwards, facing each other but walking away.’

‘I remembered the end of the evening like a beginning – the distant touch of soft hands in the night, and his manhood, waves on the shore inside me…’

‘I struggle with ghosts in my heart and delay my reply.’

I wonder if you noticed the same words my editor did. Our reaction to language is emotional and personal, and changes with context and time…I hope you enjoy whatever eye contact you have with the words in my books…

Author Website

Publisher Website – The Dome Press

 

THE BLURB

Haunted by a tragic childhood accident, Chala’s whole life has been moulded by guilt and secrets. After the death of the stepfather she adored, Chala is thrown into turmoil once again.

Volunteering in Kenya seems to offer an escape, and a way of re-evaluating her adult relationships, although violence and hardship simmer alongside its richness and beauty.

The secrets of the Yellow Room are still with her and she can’t run away forever…

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

 

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a book to hook you in from the first chapter, then look no further! It is a powerful and shocking opening that sets the tone for the rest of the story as you follow Chala and her battle with herself to try and recover from a shocking past, and how that has such a hold over her no matter what she does.


The author does a really clever job of involving the reader as you put yourself in the characters position, and as you try and understand the power of secrets on a person and their identity.  And then that belief is thrown into question as doubts creep into Chala as she faces up to the loss of such a huge part of her life when her beloved stepfather passes away.


When she goes to Kenya to volunteer she is thrown into a completely different world, but she strangely seems more settled here despite the violence and threat going on around her, and this state of mind allows her to  escape her past and what she sees as normality, and helps her move forward in coming to terms with the past.


This is a book about families, relationships and secrets and the impact they have on you and those around you.  How your perception of people and yourself is influenced by what you believe to be true and what happens when those foundations begin to crumble and you are confronted with reality.


It was a fascinating and powerful read and the author has such an engaging style that you can’t help but be swept along. As the story is told in three parts, it helps you to separate different stages in the life of the main character and I loved just how perceptive it is of human behaviour and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

Highly recommended!!

Posted in books, review

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey #bookreview

THE BLURB

In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris —a common woodland snail.

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confined place in the world.

Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.

Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Book Depository

Author Website

MY REVIEW

What a beautiful little book! I read this as I have a chronic illness too, which the author uses as her theme of how it makes time stand still and makes you notice the little things while you’re bedbound, not knowing where the illness will take you next. In her case, the little things was a woodland snail that a friend got for her as company. And the more she’s restricted in what she can do each day, the more she watches what the snail gets up to and it’s a fascinating study beautifully written that really captures your heart as you read.

Only about 170 pages long, but there’s so much detail of the exploits of her snail and it really explores the ways of the snail! Who knew a tiny little creature could be so fascinating to read about!!

A really heart warming book that is enlightening! Definitely recommend to those suffering with a chronic illness as you’ll find yourself nodding along with thoughts that the author shares.  But even if you don’t have an illness, it is an illuminating read and one that makes you think and look deeply at the world around you and how much we DON’T normally notice!

Posted in books, review

Mini Reads Monday #2

I have returned!! With more little books full of big stories that you might be interested in reading if you only have a short amount of time – or a short attention span!!!  With many books nowadays part of a series, or huge doorsteps in size, it is always nice to find a fabulous story in a tiny package!! 

So I’ve rummaged through my bookshelves again and here’s a little look at some of my favourite ‘mini reads’!!

The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I am by Kjersti A. Skomsvold

This is a lovely but often heartbreaking read of a lonely old lady looking to make an impression in the world – even if it is a little too late and doesn’t seem to have the impact on Mathea that she desired.  Just 147 pages long.

Blue Dog by Louis de Bernieres

144 pages long and a beautiful story of a boy and his dog as they deal with tragedy in their life, and go and spend time with their grandfather in the outback.  

 
This creepy novella is only 110 pages long but that is all it needs to transport you to a dark place and a perfect little read for those dark autumnal evenings!!
 

 
Just 92 pages in this one, and it is a very simple story of a one way conversation between 2 people in a library!  A really interesting little book!
 

 
This is a very Zen book!  It is only 140 pages but is such a pleasant reading experience despite the fact that very little happens! It’s the story of a couple and a cat who visits them! Simplicity is often the best way!!
 

 
This was a beautiful little book inside and out! Just 128 pages tells the story of the lonely postman who occasionally opens up some of the letters he has to post to find out more about those he delivers to.  That does sound a little creepy, but he has a pure heart and his actions are done in innocence and I loved this from start to finish!
 

 
A recent addition to my bookshelves courtesy of MothBox Books, this is another 128 page book that tells the story of a family through the eyes of a young girl. All the struggles that entails with a hint of fairytales and some simple illustrations – they all combine to bring her story to life.
 

 
a short story collection over 192 pages, these stories are full of thoughtful observations in a manner of different settings and styles.
 

 
This light novella is the perfect summer read, set in the beautiful gardens near Florence.  
 
 
So a few more ‘littlies’ for you to consider if you are ever looking to bump up your reading total, or just to escape for an evening!! Any catch your eye?!  Any to recommend to me?!  Hope you’ve enjoyed browsing the smaller side of my bookshelves!!
 
HAPPY READING!!!
Posted in books, review

Watch for me by Moonlight by Kirsty Ferry #bookreview

THE BLURB

“It was the first full moon since that night. She waited and watched by moonlight, as she had promised …”

When her life in London falls apart, Elodie Bright returns to Suffolk and to Hartsford Hall, the home of her childhood friend Alexander Aldrich, now the Earl of Hartsford. There, she throws herself into helping Alex bring a new lease of life to the old house and its grounds.

After a freak storm damages the Hall chapel and destroys the tomb of Georgiana Kerridge, one of Alex’s eighteenth-century relatives, Elodie and Alex find a connection in the shocking discovery brought to light by the damaged tomb.

Through a series of strange flashbacks and uncanny incidents, they begin to piece together Georgiana’s secret past involving a highwayman, a sister’s betrayal and a forbidden love so strong that it echoes through the ages …

Publisher Choc Lit

Amazon UK  99p

Kobo  99p

Google Books  £1.19

iBooks  99p

Kirsty Ferry Amazon Page

MY REVIEW

This is another fabulous supernatural read from Kirsty Ferry that I adored from start to finish!

Elodie is returning to her past, a long way from her current high flying position in London, but it doesn’t take her long to settle back into life in Hartsford. She teams up with her friend Alex who is in the process of trying to revitalise his childhood home, Hartsford Hall, into a tourist destination and bring life back to the old house and gardens, and raise some much needed funds!

After a storm devastates the local church, Elodie and Alex find the tomb of his ancestor, Georgina Kerridge, in ruins but that is not all they find, and the past soon becomes to materialise and we get the fascinating flashbacks to Georgianas’ life through Elodie and her secrets are brought to life in amazing detail.

I really enjoyed this novel! The set up and story line were fascinating and all the characters were extremely likable so you had instant empathy with their experiences. Great mix of the historical and romance genres – the perfect blend and not too OTT on the romance front which just felt natural. I thought it was beautifully written and captured the emotions so well. Really intriguing to delve into the past this way, through touching items and how history seemed to be repeating itself.

A captivating read!!

Thank you to the author and publishers for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review!

Posted in books, review

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!!

Pick up a Penguin!! It’s the weekend!!!  And I trust you have all had a fabulous week on the bookish front! I’m  currently feeling a little swamped – all my own fault!!  The book piles keep growing, my notebooks that I use for making notes while I read some books are all out of sync and my bookish brain feels like it is ready for shut down…… but still I smile as I sit surrounded by chaos and mess and with the knowledge that today – October 7th 2017 – is #BookshopDay!!!  I think I might have to try and visit a bookshop and see what newbies I can bring home to add to the piles of madness that the book world has lured me into!!!

On the book front, it has been another pretty fabulous week on the reading and accumulating front!!  Managed to read 5 books – of which 3 were 5 STAR READS – and 9 books made their way to me to start their new lives!! Aren’t they lucky!!  So without further ado, here’s a quickish run through of all I’ve read, hauled and am currently reading!! Get that cuppa….

BOOKS FINISHED!

New World Fairy Tales by Cassandra Parkin   –  3 stars

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio  –  5 stars

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley  –  2 stars

Snow Sisters by Carol Lovekin  –  5 stars

The Visitors by Catherine Burns  –  5 stars

Definitely getting darker and creepier with my reads as Halloween approaches!

BOOKS ADDED TO SHELVES

Mix of books received for review this week, and ones that I’ve treated myself to because, erm, you are allowed to treat yourselves to books on a day that ends in Y! 

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Another addition to my Persephone book collection and this is a nice chunkster from the author of The Secret Garden!

The House by Simon Lelic

Won this from the lovely Amanda at GoBookYourself and this looks like another creepy thriller to enjoy!

Wide Awake Asleep by Louise Wise

Received this ahead of the Blog Tour later in the year that I’ll be taking part in, and it looks like a fab read with some time travelling!

The Rental Heart and other fairytales by Kirsty Logan

The Clocks in this House all tell different times by Xan Brooks

Salt Publishing  have been running a campaign called #justonebook to help get their titles into peoples’ hands and always one is never enough for me so these 2 fascinating titles arrived this week for me to enjoy!

Sweet Home by Carys Bray

Have been looking at this for a while, and then spotted it in a local charity shop – signed!- for the princely sum of 50p! How could I not bring it home with me?!

ShadowBlack by Sebastien de Castell

The lovely people at Readers First have some amazing books on their site and this is the second in the Spellslinger series and yet another stunning cover!

Without a Word by Kate McQuaile

Having loved her previous book, What She Never Told Me, I was chuffed to receive this early copy from Quercus Books and can’t wait for more twists and turns!!

Resort to Murder by TP Fielden

Another one for review, this looks like a fabulous little mystery set in the 1950’s

CURRENTLY READING

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Listening to the audio version of this via the BorrowBox app, and so far I’m really enjoying this quirky tale

Into The Trees by Robert Williams

A book I picked up from the supermarket a while back has made its’ way onto my bedside table, and I’m fascinated so far by this dark fairy tale! Turning out a little different from what I expected!!

So there we have it!  All wrapped up nicely for you – and mostly me!!  Any taken your fancy this week?!  What’s been keeping you entertained this week? Please share any goodies I need to check out!  And don’t forget to treat yourself on Bookshop Day!! IT’S THE LAW!!!

HAPPY READING!!

Posted in books, review

The Visitors by Catherine Burns #bookreview

thevisitors2

THE BLURB

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Book Depository

MY REVIEW

My obsession for reading all things dark and twisted continues, and this ‘experience’ was one of the twisted , unnverving and creepiest I’ve ever had the pleasure (!) to embark on!! If you’re looking for a book full of fluffy, heart melting moments then this is NOT the book for you! But if you’re looking for a book to give you chills, repulse you and be completely disturbing then BUY THIS BOOK!!

The story focuses on Marion who is one of those characters you don’t know whether to feel outright sympathy for, or just lose patience with! Her life has been a hard one living amongst a completely dysfunctional family who treated her like dirt, and there was no escape from her lousy upbringing at school, where she was teased by pupils and teachers alike. But Marion seemed to accept her fate, and found her refuge in her attic bedroom amongst her cuddly toys who were her friends and always there for her.

Since the death of her mother, she has lived in the 6 bedroom home with her domineering, freak of a brother who she is in complete fear of due to his strange and violent behaviour – and is under strict control never to go in the cellar where John keeps ‘the visitors’. This is the start of the chilling side of the story as Marion often hears cries from the cellar but ignores them!! As you do!! I’m so glad I don’t have a cellar

As the story develops, Marion starts to slowly come out of her shell, even with just walking around the town she lives, revisiting an Aunts’ house that she finds up for sale which brings back worrying memories and constructing fantasy lives for herself based on people she meets. But things begin to change more when John has a heart attack and she has to confront her fears in the cellar – it is fascinating how she reacts when she has been so put upon her whole life and now she has an insight into her brothers’ hidden life..

I find it a little disturbing that I enjoyed this book so much!! The characters were strange creatures, and as you looked into their past you could begin to understand how they turned out the way they did!! The Visitors don’t really feature in the book until well past halfway, so that means you get more time delving into Marion and Johns’ upbringing and their outlook on life and people. There are also some fascinating email messages in between certain chapters, which don’t begin to make any sense until towards the end!

A fabulously dark and twisted debut from an author who I will definitely be following for future releases!!

thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the advanced readers copy in return for a fair and honest review.

Posted in books, review

Snow Sisters by Carol Lovekin #bookreview

THE BLURB

Two sisters, their grandmother’s old house and Angharad… the girl who cannot leave.

Meredith discovers a dusty sewing box in a disused attic. Once open the box releases the ghost of Angharad, a Victorian child-woman with a horrific secret she must share. Angharad slowly reveals her story to Meredith who fails to convince her more pragmatic sister of the visitations until Verity sees Angharad for herself on the eve of an unseasonal April snowstorm.

Forced by her flighty mother to abandon Gull House for London, Meredith struggles to settle, still haunted by Angharad and her little red flannel hearts. This time, Verity is not sure she will be able to save her…

Two parallel coming of age stories – one tragic, the other holding out the hope of salvation.

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

PUBLISHER  Honno Press

About the Author Carol Lovekin

💙💚💛💜

MY REVIEW

Once again, Carol Lovekin has created a novel of lyrical beauty that sweeps you along, enthralls and delights in equal measures! Having read her previous work, Ghostbird, and adored that I was eagerly awaiting the release of Snow Sisters – and I’ve not been disappointed!!

This is a story that focuses on ghosts – of the living and the dead. It also features heavily the complexities of female relationships, be they mothers, daughters or sisters and how even the bond of family blood can be tested and pushed to the limits.

At the heart of the story is Gull House – home to Verity, Meredith, Allegra their mother, and their grandmother. Their home is their world but there is a ghost from the path whose prescence soon consumes their world and her story is heartbreaking.

Having the timeline interspersed with the harrowing story of Angharad – the sad, mad girl as she was known in the village at the time – was so poignant and heartbreaking. Her suffering and torment is felt deeply by the reader as her life story and thoughts are revealed, and the connection she has to the living sisters is beautifully captured. There is much that is ugly in this story from the behaviour of the sisters’ mother, to the brother of Angharrad, but it never distracts from the overall magical/supernatural feel to the book.


The story is told in 3 parts, and I loved the switch from the past to the present with Meredith and Verity and how their lives were entwined with Gull House and that pull it had over them. The writing style is stunning once more and that really helps the characters and settings stick with me as a reader and i just adored it from start to finish!!

💚💛💜💙

If you haven’t read anything by this author before I can highly recommend this book  along with her previous book Ghostbird – click the link if you’d like to read my GoodReads review where I wax lyrical about how much I enjoyed that story too!! 

HAPPY READING!!

Posted in books, review

Mini Reads Monday

Hello all!  Having just finished New World Fairy Tales by Cassandra Parkin which is just around 150 pages long – or should that be short?! – it left me thinking of other shorter books out there for you to dip into, when you aren’t feeling brave enough to dive into a ‘chunkster’ of a book, or if you are just looking for a quicker way to increase your ‘books read’ total!  There are some great ‘little stories’ out there for when you are pushed for time so I thought I’d share some of my favourites that I’ve just found on my bookshelves!

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

At around 83 pages long, I doubt there are very few people who haven’t delighted in reading this little magical tale! One of those that can be read over and over!!

 
I read very little poetry, but this collection – 96 pages – is a stunning mix of poems about nature and the british landscape which are also beautiful to look at as well as to read!
 

 
This one is 153 pages long, and looks intensely at a friendship between 2 boys over time and how a horrific event destroys families and the innocence of those involved. It is a very powerful novel and well worth picking up!
 

 
If you like your books dark and twisted, then look no further!! This is just under 200 pages and is one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read – and I loved it!!  Not for the faint hearted!! But blooming wonderful all the same!!
 

 
Another shorty at 176 pages, this is a gothic story of book collecting, mutilation and madness!! What a mix!  It’s a really creepy read but had me enthralled from start to finish!
 

 
Another messed up story  – is it me reading too many weird books, or are shorter stories more likely to be on the ‘dark side’?! – and a fabulous shorter read too at 183 pages long.  It is a disturbing read and deals with some difficult topics but is compelling.
 

 
This is a much lighter read than some of the others, and at around the 200 pages mark, it is an easy read as you follow Samuel as he finds happiness in the smaller things in life. Set in Japan, it is a beautiful, uplifting little book!
 

 
This is a fun, surreal read – at just under 200 pages – that follows 92 year old Marian as she is placed in an institution by her ungrateful family.  The other residents at the home though are far from quiet and normal, and this had me chuckling with their weird and wonderful antics!
 
 
 
 
So there’s a little look at some of the quick reads on my shelves. I’m sure there’s more for me to find when I have a proper tidy up soon so this feature might return!
 
Do you have any favourite shorter reads? Would love to hear some more recommendations!! And the bonus is they take up very little room on shelves so you can fit more of them on!!
 
 
 
 
 
HAPPY READING!!!
Posted in books, review

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Howdy!! Congratulate yourselves!! You’ve made it through another week!! And we’re all still here….. just!!

Been a fairly quiet week here for me – managed to get to an Autumn Plant Fair last weekend and it isn’t only books that I have a weakness for purchasing in large quantities!! 9 new plants came home with me, and are all still sitting patiently in their pots on a garden table waiting for me to find new gaps for them in the garden!! Oops!!  I’m sure I can squeeze them in somewhere, otherwise I think the lawn will be shrinking again as I create bigger borders!!

And in the world of books my reading pace has slowed!! Shock horror!! I don’t think it’s a proper reading slump but I’ve just found that the couple of books that I’m currently reading are not making me race through them at breakneck speed, and I’m also in the process of trying to decide my ‘next reads’ and I find I always get distracted by that process so am hoping that things pick up again next week.

Book buying on the other hand, has not slowed down one jot!! Oops again!!  So this has forced another mini bookshelf declutter – the local charity shops really love me donating to them! – in the vain hope that, even for a short space of time, I can create a gap or two to fit new purchases in!

So here’s a little peek at my bookish week! Click on the book titles if you’d like to read my reviews and their blurbs courtesy of GoodReads!!

BOOKS FINISHED

Thornhill by Pam Smy  –  5 stars

Really loved this mix of graphic novel and diary entries!!

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell  –  4 stars

A fabulous and funny look at life as a bookseller in a secondhand bookshop! If you love rummaging round bookshops then you’ll love this!!

 

BOOK POST

Mostly books I’ve ‘treated myself’ to this week! We deserve it though, don’t we?!

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris —a common woodland snail.

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confined place in the world.

Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.

Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

Snow Sisters by Carol Lovekin 

Two sisters, their grandmother’s old house and Angharad… the girl who cannot leave.

Meredith discovers a dusty sewing box in a disused attic. Once open the box releases the ghost of Angharad, a Victorian child-woman with a horrific secret she must share. Angharad slowly reveals her story to Meredith who fails to convince her more pragmatic sister of the visitations until Verity sees Angharad for herself on the eve of an unseasonal April snowstorm.

Forced by her flighty mother to abandon Gull House for London, Meredith struggles to settle, still haunted by Angharad and her little red flannel hearts. This time, Verity is not sure she will be able to save her…

Two parallel coming of age stories – one tragic, the other holding out the hope of salvation.

Eden’s Garden by Juliet Greenwood

2011

Carys’ dreams for the future are falling apart as she returns to the Snowdonia village where she was born, to look after her mother. But then a chance discovery draws her back into the story of Plas Eden, the huge, ramshackle country house where, at eighteen, she said goodbye to her childhood sweetheart, David Meredith.

1898

The last time Ann was in London she was a spoilt, aristocratic bride. Now she stands destitute on London bridge, with the Meredith charity hospital her only lifeline. But who can she trust, and will she ever escape her past?

Two women struggle with love, family duty, long-buried secrets and their own creative ambitions. But more than a hundred years ago Ann left a trail through London, Cornwall and Wales that leads Carys on a tantalising and increasingly shocking search for the truth.

What is Plas Eden’s connection with her own family history and what are the secrets of the statues in the garden?

New World Fairy Tales by Cassandra Parkin 

In contemporary America, an un-named college student sets out on an obsessive journey of discovery to collect and record the life-stories of total strangers. The interviews that follow have echoes of another, far more famous literary journey, undertaken long ago and in another world.

Drawing on the original, unexpurgated tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, six of their most famous works are re-imagined in the rich and endlessly varied landscapes of contemporary America.

From the glass towers of Manhattan to the remoteness of the Blue Ridge mountains; from the swamps of Louisiana to the jaded glamour of Hollywood, New World Fairy Tales reclaims the fairy tale for the modern adult audience. A haunting blend of romance and realism, these stripped-back narratives of human experience are the perfect read for anyone who has read their child a bedtime fairy story, and wondered who ever said these were stories meant for children

 And my Book Club releases from Urbane Publications all arrived together to cover August and September and they’re another fabulous batch of fascinating reads!

No Way Back by Kelly Florentia

When two eligible and attractive men are vying for your heart, it should be the perfect dilemma… Audrey Fox has been dumped by her unreliable fiancé Nick Byrne just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and confused, the last thing she expects when she jumps on a plane to convalesce in Cyprus is romance. But a chance meeting with handsome entrepreneur and father-of-one Daniel Taylor weaves her into a dating game she’s not sure she’s ready for. Audrey’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she discovers on her return to London that Nick has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that’s left him in intensive care. Distraught yet determined to look to the future, Audrey must make a decision – follow her heart or listen to well-meaning advice from family and friends? Because sometimes, no matter what, it’s the people that we love who can hurt us the most…

Veteran Avenue by Mark Pepper

1978. On vacation from England, eight-year-old John Frears is befriended by a stranger in the Oregon wilderness and stolen away from his parents. After a bizarre hour spent in a log cabin, he is sent back with a picture of a young girl. 2013. Since leaving the military, John Frears has been drifting, unable to settle. Then he gets word that a funeral is taking place in L.A. Donnie Chester, fellow veteran of the first Gulf War, has been shot dead. He decides to head to the States to pay his respects, then go sightseeing. It is a simple plan, in keeping with his life to date. But his life is about to become more complicated than he could ever imagine. The mysterious event from his past crashes into the present, and could mean the difference between life and death.

The Premier League 25 years by Lloyd Pettiford

The 2016/17 season marks the 25th of the Premier League after its formation in 1992. After numerous discussions with football authorities, players and television broadcasters, the First Division clubs resigned from the Football League in May 1992 and the Premier League was formed with the inaugural campaign starting on Saturday 15 August of that year. The Premier League charts each of the 25 seasons with the story of how the titles were won and the players who starred. From 2011/12’s incredible finale, to Arsenal’s “Invincibles”, as well as each of Manchester United’s record 13 triumphs, find out more about the rich history of the Premier League. The book also includes fan sections for every single one of the clubs that has appeared in the League, with greatest moments and greatest players, as well as the worst!

CURRENTLY READING

September draws to an end, so that means so does my read-a-long of The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio and I am so pleased to have picked this up! Have enjoyed every mad minute of it!!

 

And my bedtime reading is still taken up by The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley .  This started off really well for me, but I’m finding it a little less enthralling as I go through! But i’ll stick with it as I’m almost two thirds of the way through!

So that wraps my week up!!  How about your week? Discovered any gems?!  Bought any bookish beauties?! Always lovely to hear what has been going on in your bookish worlds!!

HAPPY READING!!