Bonus Book Buying!!! #BookHaul



Normal service has resumed!! And I’m holding Waterstones wholly responsible!!
I received an email from them over the weekend saying their club members could get an extra 10% off their book sale prices…. I couldn’t say no to that could I?!!  So I got to use up another one of my Xmas Book Vouchers and this little bundle is what I treated myself to!!


THE CITY OF MIST by CARLOS RUIZ ZAFON

Return to the mythical Barcelona library known as the Cemetery of Forgotten Books in this posthumous collection of stories from the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow of the Wind and The Labyrinth of the Spirits.

Bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafón conceived of this collection of stories as an appreciation to the countless readers who joined him on the extraordinary journey that began with The Shadow of the Wind. Comprising eleven stories, most of them never before published in English, The City of Mist offers the reader compelling characters, unique situations, and a gothic atmosphere reminiscent of his beloved Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet.

The stories are mysterious, imbued with a sense of menace, and told with the warmth, wit, and humor of Zafón’s inimitable voice. A boy decides to become a writer when he discovers that his creative gifts capture the attentions of an aloof young beauty who has stolen his heart. A labyrinth maker flees Constantinople to a plague-ridden Barcelona, with plans for building a library impervious to the destruction of time. A strange gentleman tempts Cervantes to write a book like no other, each page of which could prolong the life of the woman he loves. And a brilliant Catalan architect named Antoni Gaudí reluctantly agrees to cross the ocean to New York, a voyage that will determine the fate of an unfinished masterpiece.

Imaginative and beguiling, these and other stories in The City of Mist summon up the mesmerizing magic of their brilliant creator and invite us to come dream along with him.

THE APPEAL by JANICE HALLETT

ONE MURDER. FIFTEEN SUSPECTS.
CAN YOU UNCOVER THE TRUTH?

There is a mystery to solve in the sleepy town of Lower Lockwood. It starts with the arrival of two secretive newcomers, and ends with a tragic death. Roderick Tanner QC has assigned law students Charlotte and Femi to the case. Someone has already been sent to prison for murder, but he suspects that they are innocent. And that far darker secrets have yet to be revealed…

Throughout the amateur dramatics society’s disastrous staging of All My Sons and the shady charity appeal for a little girl’s medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. The evidence is all there, waiting to be found. But will Charlotte and Femi solve the case? Will you?

The standout debut thriller of 2021 that delivers multiple brilliant twists, and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel.


THE WHISTLING by REBECCA NETLEY

Alone in the world, Elspeth Swansome has taken the position of nanny to a family on the remote Scottish island of Skelthsea. Her charge, Mary, is a troubled child. Distracted and secretive, she hasn’t uttered a word since the sudden death of her twin, William—just days after their former nanny disappeared.

With Mary defiantly silent, Elspeth turns to the islanders. But no one will speak of what happened to William. Just as no one can explain the hypnotic lullabies sung in empty corridors. Nor the strange dolls that appear in abandoned rooms.

Nor the faint whistling that comes in the night…

As winter draws in and passage to the mainland becomes impossible, Elspeth finds herself trapped.

But is this house haunted by the ghosts of the past?

OR THE SECRETS OF THE LIVING..?

Chilling, twisty and emotionally gripping, The Whistling is an atmospheric page-turner with shades of the classics, yet a unique character of its own. Perfect for fans of Susan Hill and Laura Purcell.


CHOUETTE by CLAIRE OSHETSKY


A FIERCE, DARK FABLE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD THAT WILL GRIP YOU IN ITS TALONS AND NEVER LET GO

Tiny is pregnant. Her husband is delighted. ‘It’s not yours,’ she tells him. ‘This baby will be an owl-baby.’ Odd, lonely, haunted by a mysterious past, Tiny’s always been an outsider. And she knows her child will be different.

When Chouette is born, Tiny’s husband and family are devastated by her condition and strange appearance. Doctors tell them to expect the worst. Chouette can’t walk; she never speaks; she lashes out when frightened and causes chaos in public. Tiny’s husband wants to make her better: ‘Don’t you want our daughter to have a normal life?’ But though exhausted, shunned and bereft of her former life, Tiny thinks Chouette is perfect the way she is.

As Tiny and her husband fight over what’s right for their child, Chouette herself is growing. And in her fierce self-possession, her untameable will, she teaches Tiny to break free of expectations – no matter what it takes.

Savage, startling, possessed of a biting humour and wild love, Chouette is a dark modern fable about mothering an unusual child. It will grip you in its talons and never let go.


SERPENTINE by PHILIP PULLMAN


A brand new short story set in the world of His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust by master storyteller, Philip Pullman.

Serpentine is a perfect gift for every Pullman fan, new and old.

‘Lyra Silvertongue, you’re very welcome . . . Yes, I know your new name. Serafina Pekkala told me everything about your exploits’

Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon have left the events of His Dark Materials far behind.

In this snapshot of their forever-changed lives they return to the North to visit an old friend, where we will learn that things are not exactly as they seem . . .

Illustrated throughout by Tom Duxbury, the perfect re-entry for fans of His Dark Materials and a wonderful companion to The Book of Dust.

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WATERSTONES BOOK SALE HAUL!



Santa decided I needed a few more books so left me a couple of Waterstones book vouchers over the festive period!  And this is the result of when the book sale was announced and I just HAD to spend some of the voucher on them!!  So this is all Santa’s fault… not mine!! 


STORYLAND by AMY JEFFS

Soaked in mist and old magic, Storyland is a new illustrated mythology of Britain, set in its wildest landscapes. It begins between the Creation and Noah’s Flood, follows the footsteps of the earliest generation of giants from an age when the children of Cain and the progeny of fallen angels walked the earth, to the founding of Britain, England, Wales and Scotland, the birth of Christ, the wars between Britons, Saxons and Vikings, and closes with the arrival of the Normans. These are retellings of medieval tales of legend, landscape and the yearning to belong, inhabited with characters now half-remembered: Brutus, Albina, Scota, Arthur and Bladud among them.

Told with narrative flair, embellished in stunning artworks and glossed with a rich and erudite commentary. We visit beautiful, sacred places that include prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge and Wayland’s Smithy, spanning the length of Britain from the archipelago of Orkney to as far south as Cornwall; mountains and lakes such as Snowdon and Loch Etive and rivers including the Ness, the Soar and the story-silted Thames in a vivid, beautiful tale of our land steeped in myth. It Illuminates a collective memory that still informs the identity and political ambition of these places.

In Storyland, Jeffs reimagines these myths of homeland, exile and migration, kinship, loyalty, betrayal, love and loss in a landscape brimming with wonder.


GREAT CIRCLE by MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD


I was born to be a wanderer. I was shaped to the earth like a seabird to a wave

In 1920s Montana, wild-hearted Marian Graves spends her days roaming the rugged forests and mountains of her home. When she witnesses the roll, loop and dive of two barnstorming pilots, she is determined that one day, she too will take to the skies.

In 1940s London, after a series of reckless romances and a spell flying to aid the war effort, Marian embarks on a treacherous, epic flight in search of the freedom she has always craved. She is never seen again.

More than half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a troubled Hollywood starlet beset by scandal, is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves in her biopic, a role that will lead her to probe the deepest mysteries of the vanished pilot’s life.

GREAT CIRCLE is an enthralling drama of struggle and submission, of scale and intimacy, of lives lived on the edge. At once a love letter to our fragile planet and a story of bending the world to our will, Maggie Shipstead has delivered an epic of extraordinary depth and beauty that marks her as one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

THE RUIN OF ALL WITCHES by MALCOLM GASKILL

In the frontier town of Springfield in 1651, peculiar things begin to happen. Precious food spoils, livestock ails, property vanishes and people suffer convulsions as if possessed by demons. Disturbing dreams and visions proliferate. Children sicken and die. As tensions rise, rumours spread of witches and heretics and the community becomes tangled in a web of distrust, resentment and denunciation. The finger of suspicion falls on a young couple with two small children: Hugh Parsons the prickly brickmaker and his troubled wife, Mary. It will be their downfall.

The Ruin of All Witches tells the dark, real-life folktale of witch-hunting in a remote Massachusetts plantation, where dreams of love and liberty, of a ‘city upon a hill’, gave way to paranoia and terror, rage and violence. Drawing on unique, previously untapped source material, Malcolm Gaskill brings to life a frontier past in which lives were steeped in the divine and the diabolic, in omens, curses and enchantments.

Through the gripping micro-history of a family tragedy, we glimpse an entire society caught in agonized transition between superstition and enlightenment, tradition and innovation. We see, in short, the birth of the modern world.


PAX, JOURNEY HOME by SARA PENNYPACKER

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes the long-awaited sequel to Pax; this is a gorgeously crafted, utterly compelling novel about chosen families and the healing power of love.

It’s been a year since Peter and his pet fox, Pax, have seen each other. Once inseparable, they now lead very different lives. Pax and his mate, Bristle, have welcomed a litter of kits they must protect in a dangerous world. Meanwhile Peter—newly orphaned after the war, wracked with guilt and loneliness—leaves his adopted home with Vola to join the Water Warriors, a group of people determined to heal the land from the scars of the war.

When one of Pax’s kits falls desperately ill, he turns to the one human he knows he can trust. And no matter how hard Peter tries to harden his broken heart, love keeps finding a way in. Now both boy and fox find themselves on journeys toward home, healing—and each other, once again.


THE CAT WHO SAVED BOOKS by SOSUKE NATSUKAWA


Grandpa used to say it all the time: books have tremendous power. But what is that power really?

Natsuki Books was a tiny second-hand bookshop on the edge of town. Inside, towering shelves reached the ceiling, every one crammed full of wonderful books. Rintaro Natsuki loved this space that his grandfather had created. He spent many happy hours there, reading whatever he liked. It was the perfect refuge for a boy who tended to be something of a recluse.

After the death of his grandfather, Rintaro is devastated and alone. It seems he will have to close the shop. Then, a talking tabby cat called Tiger appears and asks Rintaro for help. The cat needs a book lover to join him on a mission. This odd couple will go on three magical adventures to save books from people have imprisoned, mistreated and betrayed them. Finally, there is one last rescue that Rintaro must attempt alone…

The Cat Who Saved Books is a heart-warming story about finding courage, caring for others – and the tremendous power of books. Sosuke Natsukawa’s international best seller, translated from Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai, is a story for those for whom books are so much more than words on paper.

THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by T.J.KLUNE

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.


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Now, where to put them all??!   🤣

Book Presents from Santa! #bookhaul



Just thought I’d share a little post about the lovely books that Santa brought my way for being such a good girl this past year ….. stop laughing at the back!! I was good!! Sometimes!!  There may have also been book tokens bought for me as well, one of which I’ve already put to good use on the Waterstones website while their sale is on, so there’ll be another book haul post soon when they start arriving!!
Santa did get some help in choosing the books for me as I handily provided a little list!

THE RABBIT FACTOR by ANTTI TUOMAINEN

An insurance mathematician’s carefully ordered life is turned on its head when he unexpectedly loses his job and inherits an adventure park … with a whole host of problems. A quirky, tense and warmly funny thriller from award-winning Finnish author Antti Tuomainen.

What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.

And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.

But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…

Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.



THE TROUBLED MIND OF MARY SHELLEY by WENDY L BARDSLEY

Mary Shelley was the daughter of philosopher William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Her mother died soon after her birth and her father remarried. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was a friend of Godwin and a frequent visitor to his home. Though married with young children, Shelley flirted with Mary and when she was aged sixteen they eloped to Italy. Shelley was always in trouble financially and was forced to move frequently to avoid his creditors. Mary tolerated this lifestyle and also Shelley’s constant philandering though she was often desperate with worry about Percy’s infidelity. Lord Byron and Shelley met and became friends and this association was another cause for concern to Mary, who at eighteen, began writing Frankenstein, a novel that would bring her lasting fame. After Shelley’s death from drowning in Italy, Mary returned to London and pursued her own writing career. In her novel Wendy Bardsley has captured the intensity of Mary’s early life and her troubled marriage and the result is a remarkable book and an excellent addition to the genre of historical fiction.


LILY by ROSE TREMAIN

Nobody knows yet that she is a murderer…

Abandoned at the gates of a London park one winter’s night in 1850, baby Lily Mortimer is saved by a young police constable and taken to the London Foundling Hospital. Lily is fostered by an affectionate farming family in rural Suffolk, enjoying a brief childhood idyll before she is returned to the Hospital, where she is punished for her rebellious spirit. Released into the harsh world of Victorian London, Lily becomes a favoured employee at Belle Prettywood’s Wig Emporium, but all the while she is hiding a dreadful secret…

Across the years, policeman Sam Trench keeps watch over the young woman he once saved. When Sam meets Lily again, there is an instant attraction between them and Lily is convinced that Sam holds the key to her happiness – but might he also be the one to uncover her crime and so condemn her to death?



BEWILDERMENT by RICHARD POWERS

Theo Byrne is a promising young astrobiologist who has found a way to search for life on other planets dozens of light years away. He is also the widowed father of a most unusual nine-year-old. His son Robin is funny, loving, and filled with plans. He thinks and feels deeply, adores animals, and can spend hours painting elaborate pictures. He is also on the verge of being expelled from third grade, for smashing his friend’s face with a metal thermos.

What can a father do, when the only solution offered to his rare and troubled boy is to put him on psychoactive drugs? What can he say when his boy comes to him wanting an explanation for a world that is clearly in love with its own destruction? The only thing for it is to take the boy to other planets, while all the while fostering his son’s desperate campaign to help save this one.

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My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 16th January 2021

Hello and Happy Saturday! It’s been a soggy old week here for us so my garden is now resembling a bog garden – now if it looked like this scene I stumbled on on a walk locally recently I’d be ok with that! Was a lovely secluded flooded woodland!
Book wise things are going well! Another 5 books finished so I rewarded myself with a little look at Netgalley where 3 newbies took my eye! And I’m keeping up with my ‘no buy January’ so sorry to all the booksellers for not visiting your websites recently! I’m sure I’ll make it up to you later in the year!!
Here’s my look back..


BOOKS FINISHED

HINTON HOLLOW DEATH TRIP by WILL CARVER (AUDIOBOOK) – 5 STARS

DAISY JONES & THE SIX by TAYLOR JENKINS REID (AUDIOBOOK) – 5 STARS

CROW COURT by ANDY CHARMAN – 5 STARS

SAD JANET by LUCIE BRITSCH – 5 STARS

ONE SECRET SUMMER by LESLEY LOKKO – 4 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Netgalley haul….


COMING HOME TO BRIGHTWATER BAY by HOLLY HEPBURN                                                                      out January 21st

On paper, Merina Wilde has it all: a successful career writing the kind of romantic novels that make even the hardest hearts swoon, a perfect carousel of book launches and parties to keep her social life buzzing, and a childhood sweetheart who thinks she’s a goddess. But Merry has a secret: the magic has stopped flowing from her fingers. Try as she might, she can’t summon up the sparkle that makes her stories shine. And as her deadline whooshes by, her personal life falls apart too. Alex tells her he wants something other than the future she’d always imagined for them and Merry finds herself single for the first time since – well, ever.

Desperate to get her life back on track, Merry leaves London and escapes to the windswept Orkney Islands, locking herself away in a secluded clifftop cottage to try to heal her heart and rediscover her passion for writing. But can the beauty of the islands and the kindness of strangers help Merry to fool herself into believing in love again, if only long enough to finish her book? Or is it time for her to give up the career she’s always adored and find something new to set her soul alight?


THE END OF MEN by CHRISTINA SWEENEY-BAIRD

out February 23rd

Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would our world truly look like without men?

Only men are affected by the virus; only women have the power to save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the “male plague;” intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird creates an unforgettable tale of loss, resilience and hope.


PERIMENOPAUSE POWER by MAISIE HILL

out May 2021

From the author of Period Power comes the empowering guide to menopause that all women need, packed with advice on dealing with symptoms and understanding the most effective treatment options.

Three-quarters of women reaching menopause experience symptoms such as mood changes, insomnia, hot flushes, and night sweats, but there is little in the way of evidence-based information out there to help them presented in a way that’s engaging and helpful.

Perimenopause Power is here to change that: finally, this is a book for women experiencing perimenopause and menopause who want to understand what’s going on with their bodies and how to deal with troublesome symptoms, but also gain valuable insights into making menopause a positive and powerful experience–yes, it’s possible!

Perimenopause Power is a handbook that exudes calm positivity and makes sense of complex physiological processes in an easy-to-understand manner, helping women to understand what the hell’s going on with them and provide instruction on what can be done to improve their experience of the dreaded “change.”

Maisie Hill, the celebrated author of Period Power, delves into the science of menopause in an accessible way and provides a whole slew of tips to see women through the challenge of wildly fluctuating hormones. There is a glaring gap in the market for a well-researched, evidence-based book on menopause that empowers women to address their issues and have conversations with loved ones and their doctors.


CURRENTLY READING


MR DARWIN’S GARDENER by KRISTINA CARLSON

WE BEGIN AT THE END by CHRIS WHITAKER – audiobook

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My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 16th May 2020

Howdy!  How are we?! Keeping well and safe I hope! Had a wobble or two this week as not seen my brother and his family now for a few months with them not living close by, and not knowing when we’ll get a chance to meet up again is taking its’ toll! Starting to consider the lady from the local cafe who delivers us lunch every week as part of the family now!! Time to just keep hoping that ‘normality’ gets a little closer with every passing day…

And my wobble has taken its’ toll on my reading this week with just 1 book finished! Shock!! I’ve been really fidgety and my brain hasn’t been concentrating so hoping I get back on track soon! It hasn’t stopped my ability to visit Netgalley though – oops!!  

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

Sunset over the Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas – 4 stars

BOOKHAUL

To Netgalley we go….

THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS

publication date – 28th May 2020

The first novel in the utterly brilliant Railway Girls series. Perfect for fans of Nancy Revell and Ellie Dean.

In February, 1922, at the western-most entrance to Victoria Station in Manchester, a massive plaque was unveiled. Beneath a vast tiled map showing the lines of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway network, a series of seven bronze panels recorded the names of the men of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War – a total of 1,460 names.

In March, 1940, a group of women of varying ages and backgrounds, stand in front of the memorial, ready to do their bit in this new World War…
_________________________________________

Mabel is determined to make a fresh start as a railway girl where no one will know the terrible thing she did and she can put her guilt behind her… Or is she just running away?

Meanwhile Joan will never be as good as her sister, or so her Gran keeps telling her. A new job as a station clerk could be just the thing she needs to forget her troubles at home.

And Dot is further into her forties than she cares to admit. Her beloved sons are away fighting and her husband – well, the less said about him the better. Ratty old sod. She is anxious to become a railway girl just like her dear mam – anything to feel she is supporting the sons she prays for every night.

The three women start off as strangers, but soon form an unbreakable bond that will get them through the toughest of times…

FEATHERTIDE by BETH CARTWRIGHT

publication date – 30th July 2020

And there has been some lovely book post too!

A HUNDRED MILLION YEARS AND A DAY by JEAN-BAPTISTE ANDREA

copy sent via Gallic Books for review

publication date – 20th June 2020

‘On the mountain, the only monsters are the ones you take with you.’

Summer 1954. Stan has been hunting for fossils since the age of six. Now, having made a career out of studying the remains of tiny lifeforms, he hears a story he cannot forget: the skeleton of a huge creature, a veritable dragon, lies deep in an Alpine glacier. And he is determined to find it.

Leaving his life in Paris behind, Stan sets out in pursuit of a legend. But he is no mountaineer, and to attempt his dangerous expedition he must call on loyal friend and colleague Umberto, who arrives with an eccentric young assistant, and expert guide Gio. Time is short: the four men must descend before the weather turns. Bonds are forged and tested as the hazardous quest for the earth’s lost creatures becomes a journey into Stan’s own past.

IN THE SWEEP OF THE BAY by CATH BARTON

copy sent from Louise Walters Books

publication date – November 2020

This lyrical, warm-hearted tale explores marriage, love, and longing, set against the majestic backdrop of Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland Fells, and the faded splendour of the Midland Hotel.

Ted Marshall meets Rene in the dance halls of Morecambe and they marry during the frail optimism of the 1950s. They adopt the roles expected of man and wife at the time: he the breadwinner at the family ceramics firm, and she the loyal housewife, but as the years go by, they both find themselves wishing for more…

After Ted survives a heart attack, both see it as a new beginning… but can a faded love like theirs ever be rekindled?

Cath Barton lives in Abergavenny. She won the New Welsh Writing AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella in 2017 for The Plankton Collector, which was published in September 2018 by New Welsh Review under their Rarebyte imprint. She also writes short stories and flash fiction and, with her critical writing, is a regular contributor to Wales Arts Review. In the Sweep of the Bay is her second novella.

CURRENTLY READING

THIN AIR by MICHELLE PAVER

COMING HOME TO HERITAGE COVE by HELEN J ROLFE

HAPPY READING!!

Turning Book Tokens into Books! #BookHaul #BookBuying

I was very lucky this Christmas to receive a book token or 3! And then the bookstores were happily having sales so how could I not take a browse and get clicking?!!  So this is the results and I’m a happy book bunny once more with my new purchases! Always happy to add to my Penguin Clothbound collection too and I’m just sad the photos don’t do justice to how beautiful they are in the flesh!!

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by DELIA OWENS

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

SHADOWPLAY by JOSEPH O’CONNOR

1878- The Lyceum Theatre, London. Three extraordinary people begin their life together, a life that will be full of drama, transformation, passionate and painful devotion to art and to one another. Henry Irving, the Chief, is the volcanic leading man and impresario; Ellen Terry is the most lauded and desired actress of her generation, outspoken and generous of heart; and ever following along behind them in the shadows is the unremarkable theatre manager, Bram Stoker. Fresh from life in Dublin as a clerk, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio but he is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. But the Chief is determined that nothing will get in the way of his manager?s devotion to the Lyceum and to himself. And both men are enchanted by the beauty and boldness of the elusive Ellen. This exceptional novel explores the complexities of love that stands dangerously outside social convention, the restlessness of creativity, and the experiences that led to Dracula, the most iconic supernatural tale of all time.

THE GARDEN JUNGLE by DAVE GOULSON

The Garden Jungle is a wonderful introduction to the hundreds of small creatures with whom we live cheek-by-jowl and of the myriad ways that we can encourage them to thrive.

The Garden Jungle is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement, and in the soil beneath our feet. Wherever you are right now, the chances are that there are worms, woodlice, centipedes, flies, silverfish, wasps, beetles, mice, shrews and much, much more, quietly living within just a few paces of you.

Dave Goulson gives us an insight into the fascinating and sometimes weird lives of these creatures, taking us burrowing into the compost heap, digging under the lawn and diving into the garden pond. He explains how our lives and ultimately the fate of humankind are inextricably intertwined with that of earwigs, bees, lacewings and hoverflies, unappreciated heroes of the natural world.

The Garden Jungle is at times an immensely serious book, exploring the environmental harm inadvertently done by gardeners who buy intensively reared plants in disposable plastic pots, sprayed with pesticides and grown in peat cut from the ground. Goulson argues that gardens could become places where we can reconnect with nature and rediscover where food comes from. With just a few small changes, our gardens could become a vast network of tiny nature reserves, where humans and wildlife can thrive together in harmony rather than conflict

THE SECRET LIFE OF BOOKS by TOM MOLE

We love books. We take them to bed with us. They weigh down our suitcases when we go on holiday. We display them on our bookshelves or store them in our attics. We give them as gifts. We write our names in them. We take them for granted. And all the time, our books are leading a double life.

The Secret Life of Books is about everything that isn’t just the words. It’s about how books transform us as individuals. It’s about how books – and readers – have evolved over time. And it’s about why, even with the arrival of other media, books still have the power to change our lives.

In this illuminating account, Tom Mole looks at everything from binding innovations to binding errors, to books defaced by lovers, to those imprisoning professors in their offices, to books in art, to burned books, to the books that create nations, to those we’ll leave behind.

It will change how you think about books.

JAPANESE GARDENS by MONTY DON

The complement to the BBC2 series, Japanese Gardens: written by the nation’s favourite gardener Monty Don, and beautifully produced with over 200 original photographs from Derry Moore.

Traditional Japanese gardens combine aesthetics with ethics, beauty with philosophy in a perfectly curated celebration of the natural world. A Japanese garden is the natural world made miniature: rocks represent mountains, ponds represent seas.

In this personal and lyrical exploration of both the traditional and the modern aspects of Japanese gardening, Monty Don takes a look at at the traditions and culture which inform some of the most beautiful and famous gardens from all over Japan, from Kenroku-en to the Zen gardens of Tokyo and the historic beauty of Kyoto.

Monty Don and Derry Moore travelled to Japan in spring and autumn, and this book guides us through the history and beauty of Japanese gardens in these spectacular seasons – from the famous cherry blossom celebration hanami to the autumnal crimson magnificence of momijigari. Monty Don also explores the creative forms uniquely associated with Japanese gardens, from stonemasonry and ikebana to the intricate skill of bonsai. Stunningly photographed by Derry Moore, Japanese Gardens is a fascinating exploration of a unique relationship with gardens.

BLACK BEAUTY by ANNA SEWELL

Black Beauty spends his youth in a loving home, surrounded by friends and cared for by his owners. But when circumstances change, he learns that not all humans are so kind. Passed from hand to hand, Black Beauty witnesses love and cruelty, wealth and poverty, friendship and hardship . . . Will the handsome horse ever find a happy and lasting home? Carefully retold in clear contemporary language, and presented with delightful illustrations, these favorite classic stories capture the heart and imagination of young readers. By retelling the story in a shorter, simpler form, these books become highly engaging for children, and the color illustrations help with both comprehension and interest level. Black Beauty is part of a collectible series that has strong gift appeal.

THE WIZARD OF OZ by L FRANK BAUM

When Dorothy and her little dog Toto are caught in a tornado, they and their Kansas farmhouse are suddenly transported to Oz, where Munchkins live, monkeys fly and Wicked Witches rule. Desperate to return home, and with the Wicked Witch of the West on their trail, Dorothy and Toto – together with new friends the Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow and cowardly Lion – embark on a fantastic quest along the Yellow Brick Road in search of the Emerald City. There they hope to meet the legendary, all-powerful Wizard of Oz, who alone may hold the power to grant their every wish.

Just as captivating as it was a hundred years ago, this is a story that all ages will love

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by ARTHER CONAN DOYLE

“The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” is a collection of twelve detective stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous literary creation, Sherlock Holmes. Contained within this collection are the following tales: A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-headed League, A Case of Identity, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Five Orange Pips, The Man with the Twisted Lip, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb, The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor, The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet, and The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES by ARTHER CONAN DOYLE

Part of Penguin’s beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

The terrible spectacle of the beast, the fog of the moor, the discovery of a body, this classic horror story pits detective against dog. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on the wild Devon moorland with the footprints of a giant hound nearby, the blame is placed on a family curse. It is left to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to solve the mystery of the legend of the phantom hound before Sir Charles’ heir comes to an equally gruesome end

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G.WELLS

With H.G. Wells’ other novels, The War of the Worlds was one of the first and greatest works of science fiction ever to be written. Even long before man had learned to fly, H.G. Wells wrote this story of the Martian attack on England. These unearthly creatures arrive in huge cylinders, from which they escape as soon as the metal is cool. The first falls near Woking and is regarded as a curiosity rather than a danger until the Martians climb out of it and kill many of the gaping crowd with a Heat-Ray. These unearthly creatures have heads four feet in diameter and colossal round bodies, and by manipulating two terrifying machines – the Handling Machine and the Fighting Machine – they are as versatile as humans and at the same time insuperable. They cause boundless destruction. The inhabitants of the Earth are powerless against them, and it looks as if the end of the World has come. But there is one factor which the Martians, in spite of their superior intelligence, have not reckoned on. It is this which brings about a miraculous conclusion to this famous work of the imagination.

Not a bad little haul and still have some book tokens left over so until next time……

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 11th May 2019

Hello!  Happy Weekend!! And very happy to report that my reading mojo has returned after last weeks’ blip!!  Yay!!  I did get a little worried but thankfully had a very quiet weekend to help get me back on track – so full speed ahead now…. probably… maybe…. I can dream!

I was also extremely good and avoided Netgalley all week…. don’t go tempting me with any new titles now!!  and only 2 new purchases made it on to my physical bookshelves!  I’m still in need of a major book unhaul though as the situation has reached critical point!! Wish me luck!!

Here’s a look back at my week!

BOOKS FINISHED

Burn by Hannah Pearl  – 4 stars

Dark and gripping drama!

A Bakery at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green – 4 stars

Another fabulous visit to a wonderful place!

The Sewing Room Girl by Susanna Bavin – 4 stars

gripping and engrossing drama

From The Wreck by Jane Rawson  – 4 stars

fabulous blend of sci-fi and history!

Pink Ice Creams by Jo Woolaston – 5 stars

I loved this debut!! It’s funny, it’s sad – I can’t wait to share more on the blog tour soon!

Cape May by Chip Cheek – 3 stars

Sultry, sexy and dark!

BOOKHAUL

Having read this on Kindle, I needed a real copy to add to my Jess Kidd collection so went shopping on the wonderful BERT’S BOOKS site and got myself a nice signed copy!!

THE WOMAN WHO WANTED MORE by VICKY ZIMMERMAN

copy via Readers First for review

Publication Date – 30th May 2019

Two lonely women. 

An unlikely friendship. 

And one big life lesson: never be ashamed to ask for more . . . 

After a major life upheaval on the eve of her 40th birthday, a reluctant Kate Parker finds herself volunteering at Lauderdale House for Exceptional Ladies. There she meets 97-year-old Cecily Finn. Cecily’s tongue is as sharp as her mind but she has lost her spark, simply resigning herself to the Imminent End. 

Having no patience with Kate’s plight, Cecily prescribes her a self-help book with a difference – it’s a 1957 cookery manual, featuring menus for anything life can throw at ‘the easily dismayed’. Will Kate find a menu to help her recover from her broken heart? If Kate moves forward, might Cecily too? 

The cookbook holds the secrets of Cecily’s own remarkable past, and the story of the love of her life. It will certainly teach Kate a thing or two. 

So begins an unlikely friendship between two lonely and stubborn souls – one at the end of her life, one stuck in the middle – who come to show each other that food is for feasting, life is for living and the way to a man’s heart is . . . irrelevant!

CURRENTLY READING

The Wedding Group by Elizabeth Taylor

Behind Closed Doors by Sadie Ryan

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I like wrap ups like that!! If only I could get the balance right every week of books read and books hauled!! 😉

HAPPY READING!!

My Birthday Book Haul – Part one! #bookblogger #bookhaul

The ‘getting older’ part of having a birthday may not be so fun, but the cake and the bookish gifts are definitely a bonus!!  And I’ve been very lucky again on the pressie front from family and friends, so thought I’d share the results of a mini spree with some book vouchers, alongside some books bought by friends and a rather gorgeous bookish bag that I got!  And I still have book vouchers still to spend, so hopefully I can add a part 2 to my birthday bookhaul sooner rather than later!

My Yoshi Green Fingers Bookworm Bag!

The lovely company of Yoshi are becoming very well known for their bookish themed bags, and as a very keen gardener how could I not resist adding this to my bag collection!!

And on to the books….

EMILY ETERNAL by M.G.WHEATON

 Really like the sound of this – and the cover is pretty special too!

Meet Emily – she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind’s deepest secrets and even fix your truck’s air con, but unfortunately, she can’t restart the Sun.

She’s an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions – college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it’s not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.

THE ICE HOUSE by TIM CLARE

Such a beautiful cover! I had to have it!

WAR DOESN’T END. IT SLEEPS.

Delphine Venner is old, but she remembers everything.

She remembers what it is to be a child of war, she remembers fighting for her life and what the terrifying creatures from another world took from her all those years ago. She remembers the gateway, and those she lost.

And in that other world, beast-filled and brutal, someone waits for her. Hagar, a centuries-old assassin, daily paying a terrible price for her unending youth, is planning one final death: that of her master, the Grand-Duc. A death that will cost her everything. A death that requires Delphine.

Voyaging into this violence and chaos, Delphine must remember who she really is and be ready to fight, before war reawakens. But in the battle to destroy an ageless evil, will both worlds be saved – or will every mortal creature lose everything?

THE HEAVENS  by SANDRA NEWMAN

Stick gold on a cover…. I want it!

A work of rare literary brilliance and emotional power, The Heavens is a mesmerizing novel of love and time, of dreams and politics, that asks how we come to inhabit our world 

New York, late summer, 2000. A party in a spacious Manhattan apartment, hosted by a wealthy young activist. Dozens of idealistic twenty-somethings have impassioned conversations over takeout dumplings and champagne. The evening shines with the heady optimism of a progressive new millennium. A young man, Ben, meets a young woman, Kate—and they begin to fall in love.

From their first meeting, Ben knows Kate is unworldly and fanciful, so at first he isn’t that concerned when she tells him about the recurring dream she’s had since childhood. In the dream, she’s transported to the past, where she lives a second life as Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman in Elizabethan England.

But for Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real and compelling until it threatens to overwhelm her life. And soon she’s waking from it to find the world changed—pictures on her wall she doesn’t recognize, new buildings in the neighborhood that have sprung up overnight. As she tries to make sense of what’s happening, Ben worries the woman he’s fallen in love with is losing her grip on reality.

Transporting the reader between a richly detailed past and a frighteningly possible future, The Heavens is a powerful reminder of the consequences of our actions, a poignant testament to how the people we love are destined to change, and a masterful exploration of the power of dreams.

THE WARDEN & BARCHESTER TOWERS by ANTHONY TROLLOPE

I’ve never read anything from this author but I’ve heard good things and was seduced by these Penguin editions!

THE WARDENTrollope’s witty, satirical story of a quiet cathedral town shaken by scandal – as the traditional values of Septimus Harding are attacked by zealous reformers and ruthless newspapers – is a drama of conscience that pits individual integrity against worldly ambition. 
In The Warden Anthony Trollope brought the fictional county of Barsetshire to life, peopled by a cast of brilliantly realised characters that have made him among the supreme chroniclers of the minutiae of Victorian England. It is the first book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

BARCHESTER TOWERSTrollope’s comic masterpiece of plotting and backstabbing opens as the Bishop of Barchester lies on his deathbed. Soon a pitched battle breaks out over who will take power, involving, among others, the zealous reformer Dr Proudie, his fiendish wife and the unctuous schemer Obadiah Slope. 
Barchester Towers is one of the best-loved novels in Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire series, which captured nineteenth-century provincial England with wit, worldly wisdom and an unparalleled gift for characterization. It is the second book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

THE DOLLY LLAMA by STEPHEN MORRISON

present from a friend!

Meet the Dolly Llama, the world’s first behooved spiritual leader, as he shares his words of wisdom and teachings for the first time. 
 
Llama Karma lies within you! In this gem of a book, his holiness the Dolly Llama offers spiritual guidance and shows you how to bring peace, compassion, and “cuditation” (a blend of chewing and meditation) into your everyday life. Drawing inspiration from “the four bales of wisdom,” which have helped many grazer-browsers before him on the rocky path of life, he helps you harness inner calm—and cope with everyday problems like hoof infection. This guide is perfect for anyone who loves llamas, animals, and spiritualism . . . and has a good sense of humor!

FIVE LOSE DAD IN THE GARDEN CENTRE by BRUNO VINCENT

present from a friend!

Enid Blyton’s books are beloved the world over and The Famous Five have been the perennial favourite of her fans. Now, in this new series of Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups, George, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy are keen to show Uncle Quentin what a jolly good chap he is.

Join Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy the dog as they celebrate Father’s Day by taking Uncle Quentin to the local garden centre to chose a new garden shed in which to conduct his experiments. But what promised to be a relaxed outing turns into a nightmare when Quentin disappears into thin air. He surely cannot have gone far 

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My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 20th April 2019 #bookblogger #bookhaul

Hoppy Easter to you all! I hope you are having chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Or maybe the Easter Bunny is bringing you books?! Now that should definitely be a thing!

A busy start to the week here has left me feeling rather flat come the end of the week, so hoping for some rest, relaxation and reading in the sunny garden over the Easter period!

It’s been a great bookish week too – Managed to finish 5 books, got 2 new arrivals from Netgalley, had a  little shopping spree in the Waterstones sale, got 2 books from the library and some bookpost too! Yay!

Here’s a look back at my week…

BOOKS FINISHED

Daughter of the House by Victoria Cornwall – 5 stars

An enthralling historical story.

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn  – 4 stars

An emotional journey for both author and reader!

The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Taylor – 4 stars

Really enjoyed this one!

In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins – 4 stars

Another fascinating and thrilling installment of this series!

The Wrong Envelope by Liz Treacher – 4 stars

Such a sweet book! A really enjoyable reading experience

BOOKHAUL

A trip to the library ended up with these two making their way home with me..

THE OVERSTORY by RICHARD POWERS

The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

HEARTBURN by NORA EPHRON

Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron’s irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

And then I went book shopping with my niece – a fellow bookworm! – and I got these 3 from their sale table!!

KOKORO by KEITH YATSUHASHI

Masterfully combining fantasy, science fiction and Japanese mythology, the sequel to Kojiki takes us into the heart of a war that spreads across the worlds. 

On the planet of Higo, without the guidance of the Great Spirits, its people are descending into religious civil war. Baiyren Tallaenaq, Prince of Higo, is exiled after causing the death of his mother. 

Freed from his responsibilities and the looming war, he steals their greatest weapon a giant, sentient, armoured suit and uses it to open a Portal to a world he never knew existed. A world called ‘Earth ‘…home of a magical young woman called Keiko. 

THE STORY OF THE TREASURE SEEKERS by E.NESBIT

A legendary children’s story of sibling adventure, by the enchanting author of The Railway Children and Five Children and It, which has delighted countless generations of children

The Bastable children (Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and Horace Octavius—H.O.) live in London with their widowed father. Too poor to attend school, the children are left to their own devices, and they spend their days coming up with ingenious plans to restore their father’s fortune. Told from the first person perspective—which lends the narrative substantial bias—this was Nesbit’s first work. Refreshingly free of Victorian sentimentality, yet still wonderfully evocative of a bygone era, the tale makes for timeless reading. amd ensures Nesbit’s esteemed place in the canon of children’s literature.

A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA by URSULA LE GUIN

The first book of Earthsea is a tale of wizards, dragons and terrifying shadows. The island of Gont is a land famous for wizards. Of these, some say the greatest – and surely the greatest voyager – is the man called Sparrowhawk. As a reckless, awkward boy, he discovered the great power that was in him – with terrifying consequences. Tempted by pride to try spells beyond his means, Sparrowhawk lets loose an evil shadow-beast in his land. Only he can destroy it, and the quest leads him to the farthest corner of Earthsea.

A monthly subscription parcel from the fabulous Prudence & The Crow – book , sweets, mirror, stationery and tea!

SAVING FRANCESCA MAIER by CLAIRE WINGFIELD – copy for review from author

‘Moving and beautifully written … explores the complex ties of family and friendship with insight and compassion.’ Tracey Emerson

Can you leave the past in another country?

Francesca Maier knows little of her father’s home country or her parents’ life together before she was born. A summer in Berlin brings the past – and its secrets – alive. Adrift in a foreign city, she finds an unexpected friend in east Berliner Antonio – but what will he sacrifice to save her?

Saving Francesca Maier probes the secrets every family hides and the decisions we make in a volatile world.

And then to Netgalley….

CRUSHED by  KATE HAMER

Published by Faber – out May 2019

Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.

Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.

At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother’s room. She is exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.

ONLY A NOVEL by JANE AIKEN HODGE

Published by Agora Books

An intimate portrait of the two sides of the inimitable Jane Austen: the private life of a decorous and genteel young woman dedicated to family life; and the extraordinary life of an enigmatic author who shied away from the spotlight but illuminated, with her acerbic wit and observation, women’s lives ruled by English manners.Weaving in both historical records and family letters, Aiken Hodge’s endearing and affectionate biography of the esteemed author of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasionaims to unite these two Austens and give a more wholistic view of the great writer who influenced the cannon of English literature.

CURRENTLY READING

THE OVERSTORY by RICHARD POWERS

Captivated by this already so will carry on reading this all over Easter!

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Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead on the reading front –  it’s my birthday this week! 21 yet again!! Hoping for lots of book shaped presents!!

HAPPY READING!

Book Voucher + Bookshop = BOOKHAUL!! #bookblogger

You may remember that I challenged myself back in January to a ‘no buy January’ which went for everything from  books to clothes to CD’s.  Surprisingly, I found myself coping remarkably well as I still had books coming my way from Subscription boxes and copies for review, so I became very good at browsing in bookshops but not buying!  

This then carried through February and March and I did start to wonder if I was ever going to buy another book again…. well,, worry not as book buying is back in my life!! I had book tokens burning a hole in my purse so a trip to a nearby Waterstones resulted in 4 books leaving with me, and then another 2 decided to come home with me from a charity shop a few doors down!!   It was meant to be….. and I think more book shopping exploits may soon follow!!

So here’s a little look at the newbies on my shelves…

TOKYO UENO STATION by YU MIRI

Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Emperor, Kazu’s life is tied by a series of coincidences to Japan’s Imperial family and to one particular spot in Tokyo; the park near Ueno Station – the same place his unquiet spirit now haunts in death. It is here that Kazu’s life in Tokyo began, as a labourer in the run up to the 1964 Olympics, and later where he ended his days, living in the park’s vast homeless ‘villages’, traumatised by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and enraged by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics. 

Akutagawa-award-winning author Yu Miri uses her outsider’s perspective as a Zainichi (Korean-Japanese) writer to craft a novel of utmost importance to this moment, a powerful rebuke to the Imperial system and a sensitive, deeply felt depiction of the lives of Japan’s most vulnerable people

THE WESTERN WIND by SAMANTHA HARVEY

15th century Oakham, in Somerset; a tiny village cut off by a big river with no bridge. When a man is swept away by the river in the early hours of Shrove Saturday, an explanation has to be found: accident, suicide or murder? The village priest, John Reve, is privy to many secrets in his role as confessor. But will he be able to unravel what happened to the victim, Thomas Newman, the wealthiest, most capable and industrious man in the village? And what will happen if he can’t?

Moving back in time towards the moment of Thomas Newman’s death, the story is related by Reve – an extraordinary creation, a patient shepherd to his wayward flock, and a man with secrets of his own to keep. Through his eyes, and his indelible voice, Harvey creates a medieval world entirely tangible in its immediacy. 

THE SALT PATH by RAYNOR WINN

Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.

They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways

THE WITCH’S KIND by LOUISA MORGAN

From the author of A Secret History of Witches comes an absorbing tale of love, sacrifice, family ties, and magic, set in the Pacific Northwest in the aftermath of World War II.

Barrie Anne Blythe and her aunt Charlotte have always known that the other residents of their small coastal community find them peculiar — two women living alone on the outskirts of town. It is the price of concealing their strange and dangerous family secret.

But two events threaten to upend their lives forever. The first is the arrival of a mysterious abandoned baby with a hint of power like their own. The second is the sudden reappearance of Barrie Anne’s long-lost husband — who is not quite the man she thought she married.

Together, Barrie Anne and Charlotte must decide how far they are willing to go to protect themselves — and the child they think of as their own — from suspicious neighbors, the government, and even their own family…

THE HOLIDAY HOME by FERN BRITTON

Two sisters, one house, a lifetime of secrets.

Every year, the Carew sisters embark on their yearly trip to the family holiday home, Atlantic House, set on a picturesque Cornish cliff.

Prudence, hard-nosed businesswoman and married to the meek and mild Francis, is about to get a shock reminder that you should never take anything for granted.

Constance, homemaker and loving wife to philandering husband Greg, has always been out-manoeuvred by her manipulative sibling. But now that Pru wants to get her hands on Atlantic House, Connie is not about to take things lying down.

When an old face reappears on the scene, years of simmering resentments reach boiling point. But little do the women know that a long-buried secret is about to bite them all on the bottom. Can Constance and Pru put their feuding aside for the sake of everyone else, or will this family holiday push them all over the edge?

TAKE NOTHING WITH YOU by PATRICK GALE

1970s Weston-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother’s quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother.

When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection, and humility are added to daily practice.

Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale’s new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.

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Interested to know if you’ve read any of these! Which one shall I start with?!