Hello all! Greetings from a grumpy bookworm!! Have had a headache all afternoon and the pills aren’t shifting it! It’s a very humid day so I think that might be to blame – so I’m hoping for a nice thunderstorm later to help clear the air!
Nothing to be grumpy about on the books front! Although looking back I’ve only managed to finish 2 books this week which is way down on normal! But the book buying front has been way out of control this week – sorry, not sorry! – with a total of 9 new books making their ways to my shelves! Most were bought by myself (I’ve gone mad on signed books for some reason!) and a couple are for forthcoming Blog Tours, and just one from NetGalley – well, I had to behave myself somewhere!! So here’s a look back on my bookish week!
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill – 3 stars
Enjoyable if a little disappointing!
The Lido by Libby Page – 5 stars
A wonderful read! Had me in tears by the end, but filled my heart with so much joy!
The Optimist by Sophie Kipner
Blog Tour in July
Meet Tabitha Gray, a delusional girl from Topanga, California, who redefines what it means to be a truly hopeless romantic. Tabby suffers from an aggressive strain of cock-eyed optimism – no amount of failure, embarrassment or humiliation can dent her fierce belief that real, true, lasting love is just around the corner.
Where most people think, fantasize and dream, Tabby says, feels and does. Whether waiting in her lingerie for Harrison Ford to open the door of his hotel room; declaring her love, aged nine, for Ernesto the gardener; encountering Al Pacino in a Russian bathhouse; seeking passion with a blind man on the advice of a wise old woman with dementia at her grandmother’s home for the elderly; or sending intimate photos to a random sexter with an apparently charming dick, Tabby refuses to be crushed by her many misadventures. She has to keep believing, because if she gives up, what then? Ill-advisedly armed with the words of Dorothy Parker, Tabby knows that her own ferocious optimism is the only thing keeping her heart-sore, wine-swilling mother and cynical, single-mum sister from giving up on love altogether. She is their only hope. If Tabby can find love, then they too will believe…
In this warmly witty debut novel, Sophie Kipner takes a satirical look at the extremity of romantic desperation, and pays wry tribute to the deep human need to keep on heroically searching for love despite our manifold absurdities.
Wally Funk’s Race for Space by Sue Nelson
The entertaining and inspirational story of a female pilot who led the way for women in space, written by an award-winning British journalist.
In 1961, Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to pass the
Women in Space programme. Wally sailed through a series of rigorous physical and mental tests, her scores beating many of the male candidates’, including those of John Glenn, the first American in orbit. But just one week before she was due to enter the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled. A combination of politics and prejudice meant that none of the women ever flew into space. Undeterred, Wally went on to become one of America’s first female aviation inspectors and civilian flight instructors, though her dream of making it into space never dimmed.
In this offbeat odyssey, journalist and fellow space buff Sue Nelson travels with Wally, now approaching her eightieth birthday, as she races to make her giant leap – before it’s too late. Covering their travels across the United States and Europe – taking in NASA’s mission control in Houston and Spaceport America in New Mexico, where Wally’s ride to space awaits – this is a uniquely intimate and entertaining portrait of a true aviation trailblazer.
Signed copies from a little spree at Foyles online!
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward – An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing examines the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power – and limitations – of family bonds.
Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children’s father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use.
When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.
When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy – Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.
Smart, fierce and courageous When I Hit You is a dissection of what love meant, means and will come to mean when trust is undermined by violence; a brilliant, throat-tightening feminist discourse on battered faces and bruised male egos; and a scathing portrait of traditional wedlock in modern India
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh –Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia and Sky, kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them – three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destruction in their wake.
Hypnotic and compulsive, The Water Cure is a fever dream, a blazing vision of suffering, sisterhood and transformation.
And then there was a time I went browsing in Waterstones!! Came out with this lot – 2 signed editions!
Whistle In The Dark by Emma Healey – Jen and Hugh Maddox have just survived every parent’s worst nightmare.
Relieved, but still terrified, they sit by the hospital bedside of their fifteen-year-old daughter, Lana, who was found bloodied, bruised, and disoriented after going missing for four days during a mother-daughter vacation in the country. As Lana lies mute in the bed, unwilling or unable to articulate what happened to her during that period, the national media speculates wildly and Jen and Hugh try to answer many questions.
Where was Lana? How did she get hurt? Was the teenage boy who befriended her involved? How did she survive outside for all those days? Even when she returns to the family home and her school routine, Lana only provides the same frustrating answer over and over: “I can’t remember.”
For years, Jen had tried to soothe the depressive demons plaguing her younger child, and had always dreaded the worst. Now she has hope—the family has gone through hell and come out the other side. But Jen cannot let go of her need to find the truth. Without telling Hugh or their pregnant older daughter Meg, Jen sets off to retrace Lana’s steps, a journey that will lead her to a deeper understanding of her youngest daughter, her family, and herself.
The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson – All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with.
But that’s tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It’s even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties–and no playmates that stick around for more than a day.
So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it’s up to Marinka to find her–even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife.
With a mix of whimsy, humor, and adventure, this debut novel will wrap itself around your heart and never let go.
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
– Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
The Testament of Loki by Joanne M.Harris – Ragnarok was the End of Worlds.
Asgard fell, centuries ago, and the old gods have been defeated. Some are dead, while others have been consigned to eternal torment in the netherworld – among them, the legendary trickster, Loki. A god who betrayed every side and still lost everything, who has lain forgotten as time passed and the world of humans moved on to new beliefs, new idol and new deities . . .
But now mankind dreams of the Norse Gods once again, the river Dream is but a stone’s throw from their dark prison, and Loki is the first to escape into a new reality.
The first, but not the only one to. Other, darker, things have escaped with him, who seek to destroy everything that he covets. If he is to reclaim what has been lost, Loki will need allies, a plan, and plenty of tricks . . .
And from NetGalley…
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Beartown #2) – After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach.
Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.
As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.
It is another #BigBookWeekender hosted by the Booktuber Simon Savidge so I’m plumped for this big book to read!
The Parentations by Kate Mayfield
Eighteenth-century London and the lives of the sisters Fitzgerald, Constance and Verity, become entwined with the nearby Fowler household. For Clovis Fowler,whose unearthly Nordic beauty belies a ruthless thirst for power, and husband Finn, a Limehouse thief, have agreed to provide safe harbour to a mysterious baby.
The puzzling phenomenon binding them close arose unexpectedly from deep within the savage but beautiful landscape of Iceland, where a hidden pool of water grants those who drink from it endless life. But those who sip from the waterfall discover all too quickly that immortality is no gift.
To preserve the life of this strange baby from those who wish him harm means that all concerned must remain undiscovered for more than two hundred years. And, as the centuries creep thither, one in their enclave proves more menacing than those who pursue them. Worse, the life-giving pool that sustains them all, runs dry…
Tomorrow by Damian Dibben
A person who keeps dogs will lose many in their lifetime. I was a dog who lost people.
A winter’s night, Venice, 1815.
A 217-year-old-dog is searching for his lost master.
So begins the journey of Tomorrow, a dog who must travel through the gilded courts of kings and the brutal battlefields of Europe in search of the man who granted him immortality.
But Tomorrow’s journey is also a race against time. Danger stalks his path, and in the shadows lurks an old enemy. Before his pursuer can reach him, he must find his master – or lose him forever.
Tomorrow is a spellbinding story of courage and devotion, of humanity across the ages, and the unbreakable bond between two souls
Phew!! I need a lie down after all that…. while I’m trying not to look at the piles of books currently amassed on my desk that are in need of space on the bookshelves!! I fear another book clearout is needed!
Hope your bookish week has been a good one!