My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 17th July 2021



Hello! Happy Saturday! We meet again! I’m feeling all over the shop this week and need to get my focus back. But we’re forecast hot and sunny weather so that might slow me down and, hopefully!, sort my brain out a bit!
On to books! And it’s been another great reading week for me – not sure how though!!  Managed to finish 6 books, added 2 to my netgalley shelves, and got some lovely bookpost!  If anyone wants to volunteer to write some reviews for me please feel free! I seem to have a backlog and no words left in my head to complete my mission!!
Here’s my look back..


BOOKS FINISHED


AN EMOTION OF GREAT DELIGHT by TAHEREH MAFI  – 4 STARS

MADHOUSE AT THE END OF THE EARTH by JULIAN SANCTON – 5 STARS

WELCOME TO FERRY LANE MARKET by NICOLA MAY – 5 STARS

A NARROW DOOR by JOANNE HARRIS – 5 STARS

FINDING THE MOTHER TREE by SUZANNE SIMARD – 4 STARS

MY MESS IS A BIT OF A LIFE by GEORGIA PRITCHETT – 4 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Over to Netgalley…


THE BELOVED GIRLS by HARRIET EVANS

The outstanding new novel from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author of The Garden of Lost and Found.

‘It’s a funny old house. They have this ceremony every summer . . . There’s an old chapel, in the grounds of the house. Half-derelict. The Hunters keep bees in there. Every year, on the same day, the family processes to the chapel. They open the combs, taste the honey. Take it back to the house. Half for them -‘ my father winced, as though he had bitten down on a sore tooth. ‘And half for us.’

Catherine, a successful barrister, vanishes from a train station on the eve of her anniversary. Is it because she saw a figure – someone she believed long dead? Or was it a shadow cast by her troubled, fractured mind?
The answer lies buried in the past. It lies in the events of the hot, seismic summer of 1989, at Vanes – a mysterious West Country manor house – where a young girl, Jane Lestrange, arrives to stay with the gilded, grand Hunter family, and where a devastating tragedy will unfold. Over the summer, as an ancient family ritual looms closer, Janey falls for each member of the family in turn. She and Kitty, the eldest daughter of the house, will forge a bond that decades later, is still shaping the present . . .

‘We need the bees to survive, and they need us to survive. Once you understand that, you understand the history of Vanes, you understand our family.’


THE READING LIST by SARA NISHA ADAMS

An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.

Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in Wembley, in West London after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries.

Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home.

When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list…hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.

And in the post….


A MARVELLOUS LIGHT by FREYA MARSKE

out November 2021

Red White & Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in debut author Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light, featuring an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies.

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.

Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.


And I treated myself to this beauty from Goldsboro..

.BLACK WATER SISTER by ZEN CHO

This mischievous Malaysian-set novel is an adventure featuring family, ghosts and local gods – from Hugo Award winning novelist Zen Cho.

HER GRANDMOTHER MAY BE DEAD
BUT SHE’S NOT DONE WITH LIFE . . . YET

As Jessamyn packs for Malaysia, it’s not a good time to start hearing a bossy voice in her head. Broke, jobless and just graduated, she’s abandoning America to return ‘home’. But she last saw Malaysia as a toddler – and is completely unprepared for its ghosts, gods and her eccentric family’s shenanigans.

Jess soon learns her ‘voice’ belongs to Ah Ma, her late grandmother. She worshipped the Black Water Sister, a local deity. And when a business magnate dared to offend her goddess, Ah Ma swore revenge. Now she’s decided Jess will help, whether she wants to or not.

As Ah Ma blackmails Jess into compliance, Jess fights to retain control. But her irrepressible relative isn’t going to let a little thing like death stop her, when she can simply borrow Jess’s body to make mischief. As Jess is drawn ever deeper into a world of peril and family secrets, getting a job becomes the least of her worries. 



CURRENTLY READING


THE WOMAN IN THE PURPLE SKIRT by NATSUKO IMAMURA

HAPPY READING!!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 1st December 2018

Hello!! And Happy December to you all!  Hope you are all organised for Christmas by now?! No, me either! But I did make a start on writing some cards this week so I’m trying!!  Still making a list for Santa too of things I might want…. all book shaped things of course!

On the reading front this week it has been quite calm for me! Another 4 finished – yay! – and a few new additions including a copule from Netgalley! I just can’t stay away from there at the moment so am just going with the flow!

Here’s a look back – click on the title for a link to the GoodReads page!

BOOKS FINISHED

Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell – 5 stars

Released on Monday 3rd December.  

I’m now in love with Tom from this book!! He’s mine!!

The Little Snake by A.L.Kennedy  – 4 stars

A dark and enjoyable fable

A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland  – 4 stars

Fabulous read as part of non fiction November

Kosmos by Adrian Laing  3 stars

Publication date – 6th December 2018

Read this ahead of a Blog Tour and enjoyed it! One of those books that is different to what you expect!

BOOKHAUL

We’ll start with the ones from Netgalley! Just the 2!!

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

Publication Date – 21st February 2019

Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other

Blackberry & Wild Rose by Sonia Welton

Publication Date – 10th January 2019

WHEN Esther Thorel, the wife of a Huguenot silk-weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God’s will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping ‘madam’ is too good to refuse.

Inside the Thorels’ tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress’s blindness to the hypocrisy of her household, while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause.

It is silk that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she strikes up a relationship with one of the journeyman weavers in her attic who teaches her to weave and unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household.

BOOKPOST

The Best of Crimes by K.C.Maher

Publication Date – May 2019

Published by Red Door Publishing

This book is tender, beautifully written novel about two bright, young individuals. If you enjoyed Putney by SofkaZinovieff, you’ll love this

Puzzle Girl by Rachael Featherstone

Published by The Dome Press

Love is a riddle, waiting to be solved…
Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything. When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-man behind it.
Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin. Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

Wolf Country by Tunde Farrand

Published by Lightning Books

Publication Date  – January 2019

London, 2050. The socio-economic crisis of recent decades is over and consumerism is thriving.

Ownership of land outside the city is the preserve of a tiny elite, and the rest of the population must spend to earn a Right to Reside. Ageing has been abolished thanks to a radical new approach, replacing retirement with blissful euthanasia at a Dignitorium.

When architect Philip goes missing, his wife Alice risks losing her home and her status, and begins to question the society in which she was raised. Her search for him uncovers some horrifying truths about the fate of her own family and the reality behind the new social order.

Wolf Country is a powerful dystopian vision in the spirit of Black Mirror and Never Let Me Go.

The Beat of the Pendulum by Catherine Chidgey

Published by Lightning Books

Publication Date – January 2019

Every day for a year, Catherine Chidgey recorded the words and language she came across during her day-to-day life – phone calls, television commercials, emails, radio shows, conversations with her family, street signs and satnav instructions. From these seemingly random snippets, she creates a fascinating portrait of modern life, focusing on the things that most people filter out.

Chidgey listens in as her daughter, born through surrogacy, begins to speak and develop a personality, and her mother slips into dementia. With her husband, she debates the pros and cons of moving to a new town. With her publisher, she discusses the novel she is writing. While, all around, the world is bombarding her with information.

In The Beat of the Pendulum, Chidgey approaches the idea of the novel from an experimental new direction. It is bold, exciting, funny, moving and utterly compelling.

Ring of Lies by Victoria Howard

The Children in Read auction was recently held and I was lucky to have been the winning bidder on this book, which arrived  signed and with other goodies which was a lovely touch!

When accountant Daniel Elliott dies in a car accident, his widow, Grace, is overcome with grief…and panic. Daniel was controlling and their marriage loveless, but he always took care of her. Or so she thought.Grace soon discovers Daniel kept secrets: an alias, mob ties, a list of numbers, a mysterious beach house in Florida….and a girlfriend who looks like Grace. Swallowing her fear, she flies to Miami to claim the house Daniel left her. But the price of her curiosity is peril. Underworld figures stalk her. And handsome, troubled FBI agent Jack West has crossed precarious paths with Grace before. With little to go on and danger at every turn, Grace must depend on Jack to help her navigate the criminal world of south Florida, and find the truth behind the Ring of Lies.

Memento Mori by Paul Holbrook

having recently enjoyed reading Domini Mortum by this author, I treated myself to the first in the series!

Whitechapel, London 1877 
Sibelius Darke is a man rising to the top of his profession. He is a photographer by trade, but the subjects of his pictures are quite unusual, for they are dead. Darke offers a unique service; family portraits taken with the recently deceased. 
The rich and the powerful wish to acquire his services and he is only too willing to do what he must to attain his dreams. 
However after hearing a warning from the mouth of a dead child, a monster begins to stalk the streets, killing children. A beast from Darke’s own childhood nightmares. 
Seen as a suspect in the eyes of the police, can he stop the killer himself? Or will it take and destroy everything that he holds dear? 

Memento Mori is a Supernatural Murder Mystery Novel set in Late Victorian London. Mixing Finnish mythology with 19th century degradation and depravity, Memento Mori tells a story of murder, madness and corruption at the heart of Victorian high society. 

CURRENTLY READING

States of Passion by Nihad Sirees

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See, I told you it was a pretty good week!  Read any of these or itching to now buy them after seeing them?! 

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 30 2018

Hello all! Happy weekend!! Hope the past week has treated you well! Despite the heat it’s been a pretty good week for me – and was in plant heaven yesterday as visited RHS Hyde Hall with my parents for the Summer Flower Show! Gorgeous flowers and displays everywhere and a fabulous time was had by all – there may have been some plant purchases and cake eaten as well!

And things have been good on the book front too! Thanks to the rain (YAY!!) last weekend I managed to have a good spell of reading and with very little on TV most nights this week – did anyone see the Scoobynatural episode?! loved it! – I’ve found myself reading more! So 5 books got finished this week, a few more were added to my bookshelves – both in real life and in virtual life too – and all is good in bookland! Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

At Mrs Lippincote’s by Elizabeth Taylor – 4 stars

Really enjoyed this and a great start to the Elizabeth Taylor Reading Project – a year of reading different novels from Elizabeth Taylor

Mariana by Monica Dickens  –  4 stars

This was easy to read and a gentle story of a girl growing up and her thoughts on the world and society around her and her quest to find true love

Girl with Dove by Salley Bayley  – 3 stars

A dark memoir of a girl growing up in a dysfunctional family and finding escape and solace in the world of books

The Moby-Dick Blues by Michael Strelow  – 3 stars

Another dark book with a literary theme! Thought provoking and bleak!

Smart Moves by Adrian Magson  – 3.5 stars

Pacy thriller!

BOOK HAUL

While catching up with some reviews on NetGalley this week I made the mistake of taking a little browse at the new books… here’s the result!

Summer at Hollyhock House by Cathy Bussey

 Faith Coombes should have been over the moon when her long-term boyfriend proposed to her. But instead, she broke up with him. Rob was safe, reliable, nice and … boring. Nothing like the only person who had ever broken her heart… Unable to afford the rent on another flat and desperate for a new start, Faith takes the plunge and moves back to the village she grew up in, returning to the house that holds so many memories for her.
Hollyhock House, the family home of her best-friend Minel, also belongs to the boy who meant so much to her all those years ago…
As Faith falls back in love with the sprawling surroundings at Hollyhock she also finds herself falling all over again for the only person who has truly hurt her.
Can Faith come to terms with her past? Did she make the wrong decision in breaking up with Rob? 

Or does her heart really lie at Hollyhock House?    

Foe by Iain Reid

We don’t get visitors. Not out here. We never have.

In Iain Reid’s second haunting, philosophical puzzle of a novel, set in the near-future, Junior and Henrietta live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with alarming news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm…very far away. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Henrietta won’t have a chance to miss him, because she won’t be left alone—not even for a moment. Henrietta will have company. Familiar company.

Told in Reid’s sharp and evocative style, Foe examines the nature of domestic relationships, self-determination, and what it means to be (or not to be) a person. An eerily entrancing page-turner, it churns with unease and suspense from the first words to its shocking finale

The Book Ninja by Ali Berg

Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person. It’s not that she hasn’t tried – Frankie is the queen of online dating. But she has had enough.
Deciding to embark on the ultimate dating experiment, inspired by her job at The Little Brunswick Bookshop, Frankie places her hope in her favourite books to find her the perfect man… Secretly planting copies on trains, trams and buses, Frankiehopes to find the man of her dreams through a mutual love of good books.
But one spontaneous kiss later and Frankie begins to fall for a guy called Sunny. There’s just one tiny problem – Frankie is strictly a Jane Austen kind of woman and Sunny is really into Young Adult. Seriously, obsessively into it…
Can Frankie overcome her book snobbery for the man of her dreams? Or will she be left searching the trains for her modern-day Mr Darcy forever?

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

The eagerly awaited new novel from the author of The Age of Miracles.

Imagine a world where sleep could trap you, for days, for weeks, months… A world where you could even die of sleep rather than in your sleep.

Karen Thompson Walker’s second novel is the stunning story of a Californian town’s epidemic of perpetual sleep.

And via snail mail I’ve been lucky to get these goodies in the post to review!

Snap by Belinda Bauer

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long.But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.
Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: I could have killed you.
Meanwhile Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother.
But the truth can be a dangerous thing . . .

The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden

While staying in a Dorset cottage, Hugh Mullion finds a mysterious key down the side of an antique chair. No one can say how long the key has been there or what it opens. Hugh’s search for answers will unlock the secrets of the troubled life of a talented artist, destined to be hailed a neglected genius fifty years too late. And no secret is darker than that of The Amber Maze, from whose malign influence he never escaped.
The trail takes Hugh from Edwardian Oxfordshire to 1960s Camden Town, where the ghosts of the past are finally laid to rest.
Delicately crafted noir fiction at its best

CURRENTLY READING

The Librarian by Salley Vickers

My Mother the Liar by Ann Troup

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How has your bookish week been? Read any of these? Tempted by any of these?! Always look forward to comments and recommendations!!

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish weekly wrap up – week 29 2018

Hello! There has been rain!! Wet stuff falling from the sky! It was glorious!! That’s what the never ending heatwave has done to me! Celebrating raindrops!! Back to sunny again today though but very windy! What will the weather throw at us next I wonder?!

The extreme heat of the past week – well over 30 degrees most days – has meant that reading has been a great way of passing time and distracting myself from it being too hot! So 6 books have been consumed and enjoyed this week! It’s also been a great week on the bookpost front – so grab a cuppa and enjoy my little look back on the week just gone, and a sneak peek at what I’m currently reading!

BOOKS FINISHED

Summer at Carrick Park by Kirsty Ferry  – 4 stars

Fabulous novella that I didn’t want to end!

The Cheesemaker’s House by Jane Cable  –  4 stars

Read ahead of a forthcoming Blog Tour – thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway by Rhys Thomas – 5 stars

Another Blog Tour read – I ADORED this book!!

Sour Fruit by Eli Allison – 3.5 stars

Another Blog Tour read – and one that had me laughing out loud on  a number of occasions!

Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone – 4 stars

Loved this! Felt like a classic childrens’ adventure! Magical!

Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce  – 5 stars

Fabulous!!

BOOK POST

Been a very lucky bunny on the book post front this week! Ooh and there was a NetGalley weak moment too!

Under the Wig by William Clegg QC

A Lawyer’s Stories of Murder, Guilt and Innocence

Hardback, 288 pages

ISBN 9781912454082

Publication: 4 October 2018

How can you speak up for someone accused of a savage murder? How do you sway a jury? Or get a judge to drop a case?

Meet London’s top murder case lawyer as he meets clients in prisons, confronts witnesses in packed courts — and frees innocent people jailed for decades.

In this vivid memoir, William Clegg QC revisits his most intriguing trials, from the acquittal of Colin Stagg to the murder of Jill Dando, and from Britain’s first Nazi war criminal to the man given life because of an earprint.

All the while he lays bare the secrets of his profession, from the rivalry among barristers to the nervous moments before a verdict — and how our right to a fair trial is now in peril. Switch off the TV dramas and plunge into the criminal law in action.

 An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

Publication Date – August 2018 by Lightning Books

SHORTLISTED: Miles Franklin Literary Award

SHORTLISTED: Stella Prize

SHORTLISTED: Ned Kelly Prize for Best Crime Novel

When 25-year-old Bella Michaels is brutally murdered in the small town of Strathdee, the community is stunned and a media storm ensues.

Unwillingly thrust into the eye of that storm are Bella’s beloved older sister, Chris, a barmaid at the local pub, whose apparently easy-going nature conceals hard-won wisdom and the kind of street-smarts that only experience can bring, and May Norman, a young reporter with high ideals sent to cover the story.

An Isolated Incident is a humane and beautifully observed tale of everyday violence, the media’s obsession with the murders of pretty young women and the absence left in the world when someone dies.

Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott

Publication Date – 6th September 2018

Nikola Scott’s heart-breaking and unforgettable new novel tells the story of two women linked by a dark secret, in 1939 and the modern day. Not to be missed by readers of Dinah Jefferies and Kate Morton.

1939. Madeleine, an orphaned young woman, fears that life at her beautiful family home Summerhill will change for ever when her adored sister Georgina returns from London with a handsome and charming fiancé. Maddie fears that the man Georgina loves is not all he seems. And even idyllic Cornwall is falling under the shadow of war…

Today. Chloe is newly pregnant. This should be a joyful time, but she is fearful for the future despite her husband’s devotion. When her work takes her to Summerhill, she’s drawn into the mystery of what happened there decades before. And the past reaches out to touch her in ways that could change everything…

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille

 Published by Alma Classics

Four sailors discover a copper cylinder containing a manuscript written by the adventurer Adam More, who was shipwrecked in the southern hemisphere. They read its contents out to one another, and the incredible story unfolds of his journey to a lost world which survives at the foot of a volcano. This strange utopian society, in which humans coexist with prehistoric animals, is the antithesis of Victorian England, as poverty is preferred to wealth and darkness to light.

At once a timeless satire and a pioneering work of science fiction, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder will enthrall readers of today and revive James De Mille’s reputation as a writer ahead of his time.

Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow – NetGalley download

Let me tell you a story, about a man I knew, and a man I know…

Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and grudgily finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home.

Baxter is many things – raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur – but ‘good patient’ he is not. He had every intention of living his twilight years with wine, music and revelry; not tea, telly and Tramadol. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare – until he meets Gregory.

At only nineteen years of age, Greg has suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going.

Determined to save the boy, Baxter decides to enlist his help on a mission to pay tribute to his long-lost love, Thomas: the man with whom he found true happiness; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. The best man he ever knew.

With Gregory in tow Baxter sets out on a spirited escape from Melrose, bound for the war graves of Northern France. As Baxter shares his memories, the boy starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live.

CURRENTLY READING

At Mrs Lippincote’s by Elizabeth Taylor

The Librarian by Salley Vickers

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Hope that the week ahead is just as successful! I need to be paying my #20booksofsummer challenge a bit more notice! Time flies when you’re reading…

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 28 2018

Howdy!! I hope you are well!  A much quieter week for me just passed! Recent exertions had taken their toll on my health so the past 7 days have been conducted at a much slower pace than normal! And the continuing heatwave played a part in that too! Will the sun ever stop shining?!!

A quiet week sums up my bookish week too!  Still managed to read 4 books, am currently reading 3, and I kept the postie fairly busy with a couple of new arrivals but I’m still trying my best to be a well behaved bookdragon! Not easy being good is it?!

So here’s a quick little look at how my bookish week has been!  Please click on the book title for the link to the GoodReads page – am a little behind on reviews again so hoping to catch up on those soon!

BOOKS FINISHED

All 5 star reads this week!! That doesn’t happen very often!! And it made me a very happy reader!!

The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola  –  5 stars

I loved this dark and unsettling read! Set on the Isle of Skye it was a great mix of historical, mystery and folklore!  Out on the 26th July 2018

The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall  –  5 stars

Another stunning historical read! Loved it!!

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden  –  5 stars

I loved The Bear and the Nightingale so was a little scared picking up Book Two in the series – I needn’t have worried!! I loved the magical story!! Full review to follow on Blog Tour next month!

The Woman in the Shadows by Carol McGrath – 5 stars

This was the pick for the July Book Club read of The Ninja Book Box Book Club and I absolutely loved it! Took me right back in time to Tudor times and was a fabulous read!

BOOKPOST

After reading many glowing reviews on a number of book blogs, I was tempted into buying this and I managed to win it on ebay!

The Librarian by Salley Vickers

A charmingly subversive novel about a library in 1950s England, by the acclaimed author of The Cleaner of Chartres

Sylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children’s librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems. Sylvia falls in love with an older man – but it’s her connection to his precocious young daughter and her neighbours’ son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat.

How does the library alter the young children’s lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to?

And then I received this ahead of a Blog Tour next month.

The Lion Tamer who Lost by Louise Beech

Long ago Andrew made a childhood wish. One he has always kept in a silver box with a too-big lid that falls off. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago Ben dreamed of going to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally goes there, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting where they least expect. Some collisions are by design, but are they for a reason? Ben’s father would disown him for his relationship with Andrew, so they must hide their love. Andrew is determined to make it work, but secrets from his past threaten to ruin everything.

Ben escapes to Zimbabwe to finally fulfil his lifelong ambition. But will he ever return to England? To Andrew? To the truth?

A dark and poignant drama, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a mesmerisingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart

And from the Goldsboro Book of the Month club, I received this signed first edition.

Wrecker by Noel O’Reilly

                    

A powerful debut exploring the dark side of Cornwall – the wrecking and the drowned sailors – where poverty drove villagers to dark deeds…

Mary Blight, stuck in a remote Cornish fishing village where ships are often wrecked on the rugged coast, longs for a life beyond Porthmorvoren. Picking among the corpses of the most recent washed-up dead, she spots a fine pair of leather boots on a dead noblewoman and unlaces them for herself. Only once she has removed the boots does she notice the woman’s earlobes are missing too. And by then it is too late. Village scold Aunt Madgie has seen her, bending over the corpse, blood on her lips.

The horror of the bitten noblewoman makes the national press. That the villagers are such savages to bite jewellery off a corpse their hands too cold to unfasten it causes a national outcry. The Porthmorvoren Cannibal is the stuff of nightmares. And still Aunt Madgie watches Mary, knowingly, waiting for her moment.

And I was lucky to receive an Advanced Readers Copy of this from Agora Books – due out in September 2018

A Little Bird Told Me by Marianne Holmes

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In the scorching summer of 1976, Robyn spends her days swimming at the Lido and tagging after her brother. It’s the perfect holiday – except for the crying women her mum keeps bringing home.

As the heatwave boils on, tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But this town isn’t good at keeping secrets…

Twelve years later, Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer.

And atone for the part she played in it.

CURRENTLY READING

Mariana by Monica Dickens

Darling Blue by Tracy Rees  via The Pigeonhole App

Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone

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How has your week gone?! Keeping on top of those TBR piles?! Nope, me neither!!

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 27 2018

Hello!! Hope the world is treating you well this week! The sun continues to shine here and we’ve had my nephew here to stay for a few days so reading has been placed on the back burner for a while!  Was lovely spending time with him, even if he did beat me at Crazy Golf! I need to practice more!!

On the reading front there has been a rare occurrence in my bookish world… a DNF book!!  I’m normally one of those readers that HAS to finish everything I pick up! But with so many books to read, I’ve decided to be more ruthless and give up on books that I’m not enjoying! Life is too short to read books you don’t like!  Feels quite liberating! Hope this doesn’t start me off not wanting to finish more though!

So with less reading time this week I’ve managed to finish 4 books and that 1 DNF! Been restrained on the book haul front too and I was forced (!) to buy 2 boks from the fab Eye Books who were selling their books last weekend for half price!  I’ve always been impressed by books they’ve published so it would have been rude of me to take advantage of such an offer!

Here’s a look back at my bookish week then – click the titles for GoodReads links/reviews

BOOKS FINISHED

Together by Julie Cohen   –  4 stars

Loved this unique love story told back to front! Got tears in my eyes during Chapter One!

The Possible World by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz  –  5 stars

A stunning story that I read via The Pigeonhole app! A must read!!

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd  –  3 stars

A book with a great first half, let down by the second half! Still enjoyed it though!

The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan  –  4 stars

I love Jenny Colgan and this was another wonderful story from her!

The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George   – DNF

Very disappointed that I didn’t get on with this, as I adored The Little Paris Bookshop which was her previous book. Gave up after about 70 pages.

BOOK HAUL

Got these two from Eye Books in their half price sale!

The Hurtle of Hell by Simon Edge

When gay, pleasure-seeking Stefano Cartwright is almost killed by a wave while at the beach, his journey up a tunnel of light convinces him that God exists after all, and he may need to change his ways if he is not to end up in hell. When God happens to look down his celestial telescope and see Stefano, he is obliged to pay unprecedented attention to an obscure planet in a distant galaxy, and ends up on the greatest adventure of his multi-eon existence. The Hurtle of Hell combines a tender, human story of rejection and reconnection with an utterly original and often very funny theological thought-experiment, in an entrancing fable that is both mischievous and big-hearted.

The Hopkins Conundrum by Simon Edge

Tim Cleverley inherits a failing pub in Wales, which he plans to rescue by enlisting an American pulp novelist to concoct an entirely fabricated “mystery” about Gerald Manley Hopkins, who composed “The Wreck of the Deutschland” nearby. Blending the real stories of Hopkins and the shipwrecked nuns he wrote about with a contemporary love story, while casting a wry eye on the Dan Brown industry, The Hopkins Conundrum is a highly original mix of commercial fiction, literary biography, and satirical commentary. 

And then I received this ahead of a Blog Tour in |August – and am very excited!! I loved The Bear and The Nightingale so can’t wait to read more!

 The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden  (Winternight Trilogy #2)

The incredible adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home – but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Reports have reached the Grand Prince of Moscow that his countryside is plagued by bandits who appear out of nowhere to burn the villages and kidnap its daughters. Determined to catch the men no one has been able to track, he sets out with his trusted friend, Sasha, a priest with a warrior’s training. The party travels for many days but is unable to find a trace of the raiders, until they come across a young boy riding alone on a magnificent horse who claims he has seen them and can find the trail. Sasha is shocked to recognise the boy as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village and riding in disguise. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical.

CURRENTLY READING

The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall

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I hope your bookish week has been a fun one!!

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 25 2018

Hello!! Hope you are fine and dandy!!  Another week of hot and sunny weather here in the UK and it still feels very odd!! Where’s the rain?! The storms?!! Weather here isn’t supposed to be like this is it?! And there’s no sign of it coming to an end either so I’m looking forward to spotting more butterflies in the garden as they’ve been very few and far between so far!

And as it’s been too hot to do much, which means MORE READING time!! So another successful week with 6 books off the TBR pile  – but books have been making their way onto the shelves too so 7 new additions are now part of my book family!  Let’s see how I can get on in July as I try and buy less books…. wish me luck!!

So here’s a look back at my week! Click on the book titles for links to the GoodReads page for more info!

BOOKS FINISHED

Pretend I’m Dead by Jen Beagin  –  4 stars

This has been described as ‘Eleanor Oliphant on Acid’ – and I can see why! Enjoyed this funny, quirky tale!

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson  –  5 stars

 

I loved this magical story! Highly recommended!!

The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke   –  5 stars 

 

Another fabulous read! Found myself laughing from page one at the antics and it was just a treat to read!

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin  –  5 stars

This is book 2 in the series, but I’ve not read book 1 but loved this so will be going back to enjoy more! Such a summery treat full of wonderful characters!

The Windmill Cafe:Autumn Leaves by Poppy Blake

Enjoyed this although it wasn’t what I expected it to be! I have’t read book one in the series (this is number two!), but it was a good mix of romance and cosy crime!

The Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts  –  4 stars

Another book I’d not read the first in the series of, this made no difference to my enjoyment of this cosy story full of lovely characters and chocolate!! A great combination!

BOOK POST

A few books arrived this week for review ahead of Blog Tours I’m on in the coming weeks and then I found myself in The Works today just browsing…. and we all know how that ends! 

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May – the cute cover caught my eye!

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase – heard so many good things about this one!

The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George – I loved The Little Paris Bookshop so hope this is as good!

The Madonna of Bolton by Matt Cain

I’m on the blog tour for this in July and as a Madonna fan myself I knew it was a book that might bring back some great memories for me!

Old Baggage by Lissa Evans

Have heard so many good things about this and I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent a copy for review so hoping to get reading this very soon!

What Was Lost by Jean Levy

Received this in the post from The Dome Press and the cover alone has me intrigued!!

Pretend I’m Dead by Jen Beagin

Received from OneWorld Publications

 

CURRENTLY READING

 

The Sing of the Shore by Lucy Wood

A short story collection.

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And we’re done for another week!! How has your reading week been? Good? Bad? Ugly?!   And if you have read any of the books that have come my way this week I’d love to hear your thoughts on which ones I should pick up first! I can sense another weekend of lots of reading time ahead by the looks of the weather forecast!!

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 22 2018

Hello!! I hope you are well!! I’m having a ‘meh’ day! Didn’t sleep well last night and it has taken its’ toll this morning! So I hope a bit of blogging and organising my reading list will help perk me up a little – and hopefully this blog post will make sense! Any spelling mistakes you spot, please feel free to mark them with red pen!!

It has been a good week on the reading front though so that is always worth celebrating!!  Still hasn’t made the TBR pile look any smaller though!!

And what also doesn’t help the TBR pile look smaller is the arrival of new books!  There has been a few! Some from publishers ahead of blog tours, some from shops that I was browsing in and some from websites of publishers who beg  you to buy #JustOneBook to help save them  – Salt Publishing it’s all your fault! 😂

So here’s a quick round up of the books I’ve finished, the new books I’ve ‘adopted’, and those that I’m currently reading/listening to!   Click on the title for a link to the GoodReads page for more info on each book if you so wish!

BOOKS FINISHED

Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman  –  5 stars

Loved this!! Lots of fun, fab characters and a new book boyfriend for me to drool over!!

Song by Michelle Jana Chan  –  4 stars

Another excellent read following a young boy leaving home to help earn money to bring up his family after the death of his father.

The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens   – 5 stars

Another stunning story from the Persephone stable!

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay – 4 stars

Listened to the audio version – just over 3 hours long – and was gripped! Has quite a dark feeling behind it – my kind of book!

The Optimist by Sophie Kipner  –  4 stars

On the blog tour for this later next month, and this was a perfect light read full  of proper laugh out loud moments!

BOOK HAUL

Death and the Seaside by Alison Moore

This is the June pick for the Ninja Book Box Book Club which is a monthly book club online featuring Indie books!

With an abandoned degree behind her and a thirtieth birthday approaching, amateur writer Bonnie Falls moves out of her parents’ home into a nearby flat. Her landlady, Sylvia Slythe, takes an interest in Bonnie, encouraging her to finish one of her stories, in which a young woman moves to the seaside, where she comes under strange influences. As summer approaches, Sylvia suggests to Bonnie that, as neither of them has anyone else to go on holiday with, they should go away together – to the seaside, perhaps.

The new novel from the author of the Man Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse is a tense and moreish confection of semiotics, suggestibility and creative writing with real psychological depth and, in Bonnie Falls and Sylvia Slythe, two unforgettable characters.

THE CHAMELEON by SAMUEL FISHER  

Following the plea by Salt Publishing via social media with their #JustOneBook campaign to help them out of a tough spell sales wise, this was my choice when I shopped with them!

John is infinite.

He can become any book, any combination of words — every thought, act and expression that has ever been, or ever will be, written. Now 800 years old, John wants to tell his story.

Looking back over his life, from its beginnings with a medieval anchoress to his current lodgings beside the deathbed of a cold war spy, John pieces together his tale: the love that held him together and, in particular, the reasons for a murder that took place in Moscow fifty years earlier, and that set in train a shattering series of events.

Samuel Fisher’s debut, The Chameleon is a love story about books like no other, weaving texts and lives in a family tale that leads the reader into an extraordinary historical journey, a journey of words as much as of places, and a gripping romance.

1984 & ANIMAL FARM by GEORGE ORWELL

HMV sell books now??!! I was in one of their stores this week browsing the CD’s and discovered bookshelves!! Dangerous!!  My old copies of these are way past their best so I just couldn’t resist these versions – 2 for £5 wasn’t to be resisted either!!

In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind.  Winston Smith joins a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Animal Farm is Orwell’s classic satire of the Russian Revolution — an account of the bold struggle, initiated by the animals, that transforms Mr. Jones’s Manor Farm into Animal Farm–a wholly democratic society built on the credo that All Animals Are Created Equal. But are they?

THE LIGHT BETWEEN US by KATIE KHAN

Received this ahead of a Blog Tour and can’t wait to read it! Gorgeous cover too!

Isaac and Thea were once close, but they’ve grown apart.

Thea works tirelessly, convinced she can prove everyone around her wrong – convinced she can prove that time travel is possible. But when one of her attempts goes wrong, she finds herself picking up the phone and calling her old friend.

Isaac is in New York – it’s the middle of the night, but when he sees who’s calling him, he cannot ignore his phone. At Thea’s request, he travels home, determined to help her in her hour of need.

But neither of them are prepared for what they will discover when he gets there.

LETTERS TO MY DAUGHTERS by EMMA HANNIGAN

Received from the publishers – with some rather yummy biscuits! – I’ve been eagerly awaiting reading this since the sad news of the passing of the author Emma Hannigan. Think I’m going to need tissues for this read!

The new bestseller guaranteed to break your heart – and bring you joy…

Her three girls were her world. It was time to let them know.

To sisters Bea, Jeannie and Rose, the death of their beloved childhood nanny is a devastating loss. As the girls grew up, Nanny May had become so much more to them all: confidant, advocate, comforter, friend. In whom will they confide their hopes, fears and failures now she has gone? Especially now each sister needs a mother’s wisdom more than ever…

Martha cannot understand why her daughters are so upset about losing their childhood nanny. Yes, Martha was always in demand as a busy midwife, but that doesn’t mean she loved her own children any less. But why don’t the girls realise that? And has she left it too late to let them know…?

CURRENTLY READING

The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan

Mara’s island is one of stories and magic. She knows she’ll eventually end her days atop the cliff, turned to stone and gazing out at the horizon like all the villagers that went before her, drawn by the otherworldly call of the sea. Her whole family will be there too, even her brother Bee and her sister Islay.

But the island and the sea do what they want, and when they claim a price from her family, Mara’s world changes forever.

As years pass and Mara grows into herself and her scars, a chance meeting with the magnetic Pearl brings magic to life once more in ways that Mara never thought possible, in a story that she never would have dreamed for herself before.

The enchanting spiritual prequel to The Gracekeepers, Kirsty Logan’s The Gloaming is a present-day fable that brims over with dazzling imagination and captivating language.

 DEATH AND THE SEASIDE by ALISON MOORE

With an abandoned degree behind her and a thirtieth birthday approaching, amateur writer Bonnie Falls moves out of her parents’ home into a nearby flat. Her landlady, Sylvia Slythe, takes an interest in Bonnie, encouraging her to finish one of her stories, in which a young woman moves to the seaside, where she comes under strange influences. As summer approaches, Sylvia suggests to Bonnie that, as neither of them has anyone else to go on holiday with, they should go away together – to the seaside, perhaps.

THE STORY COLLECTOR by EVIE GAUGHAN

A beautiful and mysterious historical romance from the author of The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris. Thornwood Village, 1910. Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate ‘fairy stories’ from Irish to English. But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and her very way of life….. Captivated by the land of myth, folklore and superstition, Sarah Harper finds herself walking in the footsteps of Harold and Anna one hundred years later, unearthing dark secrets that both enchant and unnerve. The Story Collector treads the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Gaughan’s latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell. Perfect for fans of Jess Kidd and Eowyn Ivey.

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All wrapped up  and I’m still sane….. just!! Hope your bookish week has been good to you! 

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – week 20 2018

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!

BOOKS FINISHED

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!

BOOK HAUL

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.

 
CURRENTLY READING
 
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

 
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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!
 
HAPPY READING!!

Beautiful Books Bonanza!!

😍

I haven’t been able to help myself recently!! *feeble excuses alert!!* 

 Hopefully you’ll all understand how easy it is to be innocently (!) browsing various pages online, watching BookTube videos, or be sent emails with pictures of the latest book releases… and then you find yourself searching, clicking, ordering…. and then the parcels arrive!!  So I thought I’d share the latest little haul of book post that I’ve received with some of the most beautiful covers!  One book is for a Blog Tour coming up, the others are just ones that seduced me into buying them with their prettiness!! 

I think the time has come for all book covers to be brown and plain!!!  Might make it safer for me!!

Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Alma Books

A feisty heroine’s quest to reclaim her past through the power of literature—even as she navigates the murkier mysteries of love.

Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. When war came, her family didn’t fight; they took refuge in books. Now alone and in exile, Zebra leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago.

Books are Zebra’s only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic; their time together fraught. Zebra overwhelms him with her complex literary theories, her concern with death, and her obsession with history. He thinks she’s unhinged; she thinks he’s pedantic. Neither are wrong; neither can let the other go. They push and pull their way across the Mediterranean, wondering with each turn if their love, or lust, can free Zebra from her past.

Song by Michelle Jana Chan

Unbound – for a blog tour

Opening in the mid-nineteenth-century, this dazzling debut novel traces the voyage of Song, a boy who leaves his impoverished family in rural China to seek his fortune. Song may have survived the perilous journey to the colony of British Guiana in the Caribbean, but once there he discovers riches are hard to come by, as he finds himself working as an indentured plantation worker.

Between places, between peoples, and increasingly aware that circumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever. This is a far-reaching and atmospheric story spanning nearly half a century and half the globe, and though it is set in the past, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for opportunity is, in many ways, a very contemporary tale

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Bloomsbury

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear

Tomorrow by Damian Dibben

Michael Joseph

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.

 

The Insomnia Museum by Laurie Canciani

Apollo

Anna lives in a flat with dad. He is a hoarder, and together they have spent the last 12 years constructing the Insomnia Museum, a labyrinth built from dead TVs, old cuckoo clocks, stacks of newspapers and other junk Dad has found.

Anna is 17. She can’t remember ever having seen outside the flat, but noises penetrate her isolated world: dogs bark in the walls; music plays in the floor, and a ship sails through the canyons between the tower blocks. Then one day dad falls asleep and won’t wake up, and Anna must leave the museum and try to survive in a place that turns out to be stranger and more dangerous than she could have imagined.

It this dazzlingly original debut novel, Laurie Canciani has created a world that is terrible, magical, and richly imagined.

Mrs Whistler by Matthew Plampin

The Borough Press

A stunning novel of artist and muse, of love and ambition from the critically acclaimed novelist Matthew Plampin. `Maud could tell the whole story, but she will not.’ 1876 On the wet cobbled streets of Chelsea, London harassed artist Jimmy Whistler argues with his client. The argument: that Mr Whistler’s two peacocks that now adorn Mr Leyland’s dining room, are to one man a disgrace and to the other, a masterpiece. Stuck in the middle is the one person who knows the artist, his creative vision and his soul more than any other, his model, his lover, Miss Maud Franklin. We follow Maud, a young artist herself who must play the part of wife in the life of a painter crippled by rumours and debts. But it’s only a part, no muse ever had the rights of a wife… A beautiful and compelling blend of naivety and strength, Maud is an irresistible character spinning through a world of beauty and sacrifice, art and ambition.

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I was justified in buying them, wasn’t I?!! Please say yes LOL!!  Would love to hear your thoughts on them, especially if you’ve read any of these! Which one should I start with?! 

I think I just need to face up to the fact that I have become a shallow soul when it comes to book buying! Stick gold on a cover, I’ll want it! Stick animals on a cover, it needs to be on my shelves!  I am a lost cause and I need to embrace my book buying weaknesses!!!  Who’s with me??!! 

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