My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 17th September 2022

Hello! Happy Saturday!!  Definitely feeling and looking a little more Autumnal out there now.. the spiderwebs are multiplying daily in the garden!

On to books!  A slower week reading wise with just 2 finishes this past week.  Netgalley got me good again though with  5 new additions – oops!!  Plus I’ve bought 2 new books and got 1 book in the post to review! I need to up the reading and reviewing pace again!!

Here’s my look back…

BOOKS FINISHED

THE JANE AUSTEN REMEDY by RUTH WILSON  – 4 STARS

publication date – 22nd September 2022

HAVEN by EMMA DONOGHUE – 3 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Shall we see how Netgalley made me add so many?!

THE SECRET GARDENS OF THE SOUTH EAST by BARBARA SEGALL

publication date – October 2022

A tour of some of the UK’s most beguiling gardens in the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, the counties that exemplify ‘the garden of England’.

In these three counties a wealth of history and horticulture has combined with geography in the shape of rolling landscapes, wooded valleys and meandering waterways, to provide an attractive and fascinating collection.

They are in villages and towns, as well as in deep countryside, and all are privately owned. Some have been in the possession of the same family for many generations, while others have recently been transformed by new owners. Some open for the National Garden Scheme, while others are open privately and in some cases for just the occasional day for charity.

The stunning gardens explored in this visually rich guide include: Arundel Castle, Denmans, Gravetye Manor, Munstead Wood and Sussex Prairie Garden. The book also includes a gazetteer of other important gardens in the area with location advice, to enable readers to plan a more elaborate tour of this fertile garden area.

Filled with stunning, specially commissioned photographs by Clive Boursnell, Secret Gardens of the South East is a unique guide that opens the gates to the most intriguing gardens in this part of England.

BATTLESHIPS by DAVID ROSS

publication date – October 2022

Battleships features 52 of the greatest warships to have sailed in the last 500 years.
 
Beginning with King Henry VIII’s flagship, Henry Grace à Dieu, this book covers all the main periods of battleship development, including the great sailing ships, such as Sovereign of the SeasSantissimaTrinidad, and Victory. The advent of steam-driven warships provides the core of the book, beginning with the introduction of Gloire in 1859, and continuing through all the major pre-Dreadnoughts, such as the InflexibleMaine, and Tsessarevitch. There is detailed coverage of the great battleships of the two world wars, including DerfflingerYamato, and Iowa, while the book closes with the last new battleship to be commissioned, Vanguard, in 1946. Each entry includes a brief description of the battleship’s development and history, a color profile artwork, key features, and specifications. Packed with illustrations and photographs, Battleships is a colorful guide for the military historian and naval warfare enthusiast.

GRAVES OF THE GREAT AND FAMOUS by ALASTAIR HORNE

Karl Marx is buried in London, John Keats in Rome and Leon Trotsky in Mexico. Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is today known for the graves of Jim Morrison, Victor Hugo and Oscar Wilde, but when it opened in the early 19th century the owners felt that they needed some star names to make it a desired burial site – and so they had Molière’s body transferred there. Arranged thematically into 75 entries, Graves of the Great and Famous tours the world exploring the resting places of leading artists, thinkers, scientists, sportspeople, revolutionaries, politicians and pioneers. Some, such as communist leaders Ho Chi Minh and Vladimir Lenin, are interred in great mausoleums, where they are visited by millions each year; others are buried in little-known country graveyards. From lives cut short through assassinations – Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln – to those who suffered terrible accidents (Princess Diana), from mobsters such as Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel and John Gotti to Napoleon and his mistress Marie Walewska, from Nelson Mandela to Eva Peron, Graceland to Highgate Cemetery, the book provides a guide to some of the most famous and unusual graves of the great and the good. Featuring 150 photographs of graves, cemeteries, graveyards and mausoleums, Graves of the Great and Famous is a compact guide to the final resting place of the famous – and infamous.

BECKY by SARAH MAY

publication date – January 2023

Becky Sharp is determined. Determined to get away from the dead-end town where she grew up, determined to make a place for herself in high society and determined to reach the top of the career ladder. And she doesn’t care how many lives she ruins in the process.

Set in 90s tabloid era London, Becky charts the rise and fall of a very modern heroine as she inveigles her way into the highest society, where tabloid millionaires mingle and trade favours and fortunes with royalty and aristocracy, pushes her way up through the ranks at the Mercury newspaper with manipulative scoop after scoop, and eventually orchestrates her own dramatic downfall. These are some of the biggest news stories and scandals of the last few decades, and Becky seems to have something to do with every one of them . . .

In this viciously funny, darkly entertaining and ultimately moving read, the much-loved classic Vanity Fair finds itself in 90s London, and Becky couldn’t be a more perfect fit. For fans of Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, Becky by Sarah May is impossible to put down.

FOUND IN A BOOKSHOP by STEPHANIE BUTLAND

publication – April 2023

Dear Lost for Words,

We are trying to stay at home . . . I am enclosing a cheque and I hope that you will use it to send us some books. Please choose books that we might think are wonderful
.

Rosemary

Loveday Cardew’s beloved Lost for Words bookshop, along with the rest of York, has fallen quiet. At the very time when people most need books to widen their horizons, or escape from their fears, or enhance their lives, the doors are closed. Then the first letter comes.

Rosemary and George have been married for fifty years. Now their time is running out. They have decided to set out on their last journey together, without ever leaving the bench at the bottom of their garden in Whitby. All they need is someone who shares their love of books.

Suddenly it’s clear to Loveday that she and her team can do something useful in a crisis. They can recommend books to help with the situations their customers find themselves in: fear, boredom, loneliness, the desire for laughter and escape.

And so it begins.

On to the book I was sent for review by Gallic Books….

ORPHEUS BUILDS A GIRL by HEATHER PARRY

publication date – October 2022

Based on a true story, Orpheus Builds a Girl is a novel of sisterly love, sinister obsession, and the battle for control of the story. A dark, chilling debut novel from award-winning writer Heather Parry.

German doctor Wilhelm Von Tore shares with the reader the story of his one true ove; a love written in the stars, decades in the making, a love so strong it transcended death itself. When Wilhelm emigrates to America he carries with him a vision of a dark-haired beauty, presented to him in his dreams by his beloved late Grandmother. In Key West, Florida, a beautiful young woman is taken to him in the grip of illness, and he recognises her immediately as his promised bride. Despite his efforts, the sickness takes hold and his beloved slips away from him. But Wilhelm will not be kept from his destiny, not even by death. Using research compiled over decades, he sets about attempting to restore his love to her body, so that they might be together forever.

But there’s another voice in this story: Gabriela, and she will not let this version of events go unchallenged. From between the cracks in Wilhelm’s story Gabriela recounts her own memory of her sister Luciana, a fiery and difficult young woman, and the madman who robbed her from her grave.

And then it was time to treat myself… obviously!

FAIRY TALE by STEPHEN KING

Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for their world or ours.

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and his ageing master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.

Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.

King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale about another world than ours, in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle

.THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX by MAGGIE O’FARRELL

Maggie O’Farrell takes readers on a journey to the darker places of the human heart, where desires struggle with the imposition of social mores. This haunting story explores the seedy past of Victorian asylums, the oppression of family secrets, and the way truth can change everything.

In the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend’s attempts at commitment, Iris Lockhart receives a stunning phone call: Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital – where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris’s grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme’s face. Esme has been labeled harmless – sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme’s still basically a stranger, a family member never mentioned by the family, and one who is sure to bring life-altering secrets with her when she leaves the ward. If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit?

Maggie O’Farrell’s intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth will haunt readers long past its final page.

CURRENTLY READING

THE MARRIAGE PORTRAIT by MAGGIE O’FARRELL

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 10th September 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!! And Autumn has brought in the rain so the garden is very happy!! Some rather spectacular storms to watch too! Normal service is resumed in the UK haha!!

And on the book front it’s been another goodie!  I managed to finish 4 books, got 3 newbies from Netgalley, bought myself 2 books and received 1 proof for review!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

ITHACA by CLAIRE NORTH – 5 STARS

BEFORE YOUR MEMORY FADES by TOSHIKAZU KAWAGUCHI – 3 STARS

THE RABBIT HUTCH by TESS GUNTY – 4 STARS

THE NIGHT SHIP by JESS KIDD – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley… it tempted me again!

THE GREENMAN OF ESHWOOD HALL by JACOB KERR

publication date – 6th October 2022

Eshwood Hall is a great English house surrounded by sprawling woods. In 1960, Izzy is thirteen, lives in the servants’ quarters and doesn’t go to school. Neglected by her parents, she spends her moments of freedom exploring the forest and the village beyond. The more she comes to understand the history of the place and her own situation, the stranger are the things she hears and sees. The most tantalising of these is the Green Man who inhabits the woods, and seems to know all about her, even those desires she has buried deep inside.

A family story rooted in folk tale, The Green Man of Eshwood Hall shows us the power that the wild still holds on our imagination, and the shocking nightmares to which it can give rise.

NOW SHE IS WITCH by KIRSTY LOGAN

publication date – January 2023

Some of what they say about witches is true.

She dug her mother’s grave in the poison garden so it would stay hidden…

Lux has lost everything when Else finds her, alone in the woods. Her family, her lover, her home – all burned. The world is suspicious of women like her, neither maiden nor mother. But Lux is cunning; she knows how to exploit people’s expectations, how to blend into the background. And she knows a lot about poisons.

Else has not found Lux by accident. She needs her help to seek revenge against the man who wronged her, and together they pursue him north. But on their hunt they will uncover dark secrets that entangle them with dangerous adversaries.
From the snowy winter woods to the bright midnight sun; from the horrors of plague to the relief of healing; from lost and powerless to finding your path, Now She is Witch questions the oppositions that shadow our lives. In rich and immersive prose Kirsty Logan conjures a world of violence and beauty in which women grasp at power through witchcraft and poisons, through sexuality and childbearing, through performance and pretence, and most of all through throwing other women to the wolves. This is a witch story unlike any other.

THE CHRISTMAS CASTLE IN SCOTLAND by JULIE CAPLIN

publication date – October 2022

Unwrap this gorgeous gift of a book for an escape to the snow-peaked caps of the Scottish Highlands and a romance that will melt your heart…

Izzy McBride had never in a million years expected to inherit an actual castle from her great uncle Bill but here she was, in the run up to Christmas, Monarch of her own Glen – a very rundown glen in need of a lot of TLC if her dream of turning it into a boutique bed and breakfast was to come true.

But when Izzy’s eccentric mother rents a room to enigmatic thriller author Ross Adair and the Scottish snow starts to settle like the frosting on a Christmas cake, it’s a race to get the castle ready before they’re all snowed in for the holidays.

And in the post I was very lucky to receive a proof copy of this to review

EXILES by JANE HARPER

publication date – January 2023

At a busy festival site on a warm spring night, a baby lies alone in her pram, her mother vanishing into the crowds.

A year on, Kim Gillespie’s absence casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather deep in the heart of South Australian wine country to welcome a new addition to the family.

Joining the celebrations is federal investigator Aaron Falk. But as he soaks up life in the lush valley, he begins to suspect this tight-knit group may be more fractured than it seems.

Between Falk’s closest friend, a missing mother, and a woman he’s drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge.

An outstanding novel, a brilliant mystery and a heart-pounding read from the author of The Dry, Force of Nature, The Lost Man and The Survivors.

And then it was time to treat myself to a couple of books from Waterstones with vouchers I had!


MAGGIE O’FARRELL – THE MARRIAGE PORTRAIT

‘I thought I had made myself clear. I want something that conveys her majesty, her bloodline. Do you understand? She is no ordinary mortal. Treat her thus.’

Florence, the 1560s. Lucrezia, third daughter of Cosimo de’ Medici, is free to wander the palazzo at will, wondering at its treasures and observing its clandestine workings. But when her older sister dies on the eve of marriage to Alfonso d’Este, heir to the Duke of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: Alfonso is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father to accept on her behalf.

Having barely left girlhood, Lucrezia must now make her way in a troubled court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her husband himself, Alfonso. Is he the playful sophisticate he appears before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble?

As Lucrezia sits in uncomfortable finery for the painting which is to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear. In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferrarese dynasty. Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, her future hangs entirely in the balance.

THE DRAGON’S PROMISE by ELIZABETH LIM

A journey to the kingdom of dragons, a star-crossed love, and a cursed pearl with the power to mend the world or break it…

Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.

The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next—threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love, Takkan. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.

CURRENTLY READING

THE JANE AUSTEN REMEDY by RUTH WILSON

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 3rd September 2022

Hello and Happy September!!! How?!  And there are Chritsmas goodies in the shops already…arrrggghhhh!!!  This little robin appeared in my garden this week too to get me in the festive mood LOL!

On to my bookish mood and it’s been a bit quieter this week book wise – still managed to read 4 books, added 1 newbie to my bulging Netgalley shelves and 2 new book purchases!!

here’s my look back!!

BOOKS FINISHED

SWIMMING HOME by MARY-ROSE MACCOLL – 3 STARS

EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK by IAIN HOOD – 5 STARS

publication date – 14th September 2022

TRUST by HERNAN DIAZ – 4 STARS

SPRING ON THE LITTLE CORNISH ISLES by PHILLIPA ASHLEY – 3 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley…

THE WHISPERING MUSE by LAURA PURCELL

publication date – February 2023

From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes a gripping tale of obsession, superstition and ambition, set against the atmospheric backdrop of Victorian London. Be careful what you wish for… it may just come true.

By the pricking of my thumbs…

At The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End, rumours are circulating of a curse.

It is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage. Suspicious of Lilith, the jealous wife of the theatre owner sends dresser Jenny to spy on her, and desperate for the money to help her family, Jenny agrees.

What Jenny finds is a woman as astonishing in her performance as she is provocative in nature. On stage, it’s as though Lilith is possessed by the characters she plays, yet off stage she is as tragic as the Muse who inspires her, and Jenny, sorry for her, befriends the troubled actress. But when strange events begin to take place around the theatre, Jenny wonders if the rumours are true, and fears that when the Muse comes calling for payment, the cost will be too high.

…Something Wicked this way comes

And I’ve been book buying…..

This is my most recent Renard Press Subscription book.

THE PROPHET by KAHLIL GIBRAM

Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, The Prophet, is one of the most beloved classics of our time. Published in 1923, it has been translated into more than twenty languages, and the American editions alone have sold more than nine million copies.

The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Gibran’s musings are divided into twenty-eight chapters covering such sprawling topics as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

And this beauty arrived, complete with gorgeous prints/bookmarks from Galley Beggar Press

MALARKOI by ALEX PHEBY

NATHAN TREEVES is dead, murdered by the Master of Mordew, his remains used to create the powerful occult weapon known as the Tinderbox.

His companions, scattered, are making for Malarkoi – the city of the Mistress, the Master’s most powerful enemy. Hoping to find welcome there, or at least safety, they find neither… and instead become embroiled in a life and death struggle against assassins, demi-gods, and the cunning plans of the Mistress.

Only Sirius, Nathan’s faithful dog, has not forgotten the boy. Bent on revenge, he returns to the shattered remains of Mordew, newly deformed into an impossible mountain, swarming with monsters. He senses something in the Manse at its pinnacle – the Master is there, grieving the loss of his manservant, Bellows – and in the ruins of the slums he finds a power capable of destroying his foe, if only he has the strength to use it.

CURRENTLY READING

ITHACA by CLAIRE NORTH

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th August 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!! There has been rain here in Essex!! This has made me happy LOL!! And yes I was that person who just went out in the garden to wander round as it poured down! Remind me of this feeliing when it’s September/October and raining everyday and I’m sick of it LOL!!

And it’s been a brilliant book week too!! The housework got forgotten and I sat my butt down at various points and got 6 books finished!!  The deadline for 20 Books of Summer 2022 draws nearer and it’s amazing how that deadline pushed me into reading more! I need this to run every month!!   There have also been a couple of Netgalley additions and I even treated myself to a book in Waterstones on a rare shopping trip with my niece, and fellow bookworm! 

So here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

STEALING ROSES by HEATHER COOPER – 4 STARS

WE ARE ANIMALS by TIM EWINS – 5 STARS


TULIP FEVER by DEBORAH MOGGACH – 3 STARS


FINER THINGS by DAVID WHARTON – 3 STARS


THE TYRANNY OF LOST THINGS by RHIANNON LUCY COSSLET -4 STARS


THE SECRET TO NOT DROWNING by COLETTE SNOWDEN – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL


To Netgalley we go….

CUDDY by BENJAMIN MYERS

publication date – March 2023

Travelling through the wilderness, a young woman has visions of a cathedral on a hill.The downtrodden wife of an archer seeks the truth in stone walls, in meadows full of garlic flowers.A group of soldiers sit out their last hours before their death under a vaulted ceiling.The professor receives unwelcome night-time visitors.A young man bids his dying mother goodbye, and sets off on his first day of work as a labourer.From these seeds of historical truth and strange mythology, Benjamin Myers spins an unforgettable story of love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling space both hilarious and terrifying. Unfolding over centuries, deploying a panoply of voices, Cuddy is written with Myers’ inimitable humour, pathos and grace – and confirms him as one of the most important writers of his generation.


BEFORE YOUR MEMORY FADES by TOSHIKAZU KAWAGUCHI

publication date – September 2022

The latest novel in the international bestselling Before the Coffee Gets Cold Series, following four new customers in a little Tokyo café where customers can travel back in time.

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe comes another story of four new customers, each of whom is hoping to take advantage of Café Funiculi Funicula’s time-travelling offer. Among some familiar faces from Kawaguchi’s previous novels, readers will also be introduced to a daughter, a comedian, a sister, and a lover, each with something they wish they had said differently.

With his signature heartwarming characters and immersive storytelling, Kawaguchi once again invites the reader to ask themselves: what would you change if you could travel back in time?

And my treat to myself in Waterstones was this beauty as I loved The Warlow Experiment so much!….

SEA CHANGE by ALIX NATHAN

‘I’ll be back soon, my love. Tonight, I hope.’

The last Eve saw of her mother was a wave from the basket of a rising balloon. A wilful, lonely orphan in the house of her erratic artist guardian, Eve struggles to retain the image of her missing mother and the father she never knew. In a London beset by pageantry, incipient riot and the fear of Napoleonic invasion, Eve must grow into a young woman with no one to guide her through its perils.

Far away, in a Norfolk fishing village, the Rev Snead preaches hellfire and damnation to his impoverished parishioners and oppressed wife. Snead illustrates his sermons with the example of a mute woman pulled from the sea, over whom he keeps a very close watch indeed.

CURRENTLY READING

EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK by IAIN HOOD

publication date – September 2022

‘There’s only control, control of ourselves and others. And you have to decide what part you play in that control.’

Cast your eye over the comfortable north London home of a family of high ideals, radical politics and compassionate feelings. Julia, Paul and their two daughters, Olivia and Sophie, look to a better society, one they can effect through ORGAN:EYES, the campaigning group they fundraise for and march with, supporting various good causes.

But is it all too good to be true? When the surface has been scratched and Paul’s identity comes under the scrutiny of the press, a journey into the heart of the family begins. Who are these characters really? Are any of them the ‘real’ them at all? Every Trick in the Book is a genre-deconstructing novel that explodes the police procedural and undercover-cop story with nouveau romanish glee. Hood overturns the stone of our surveillance society to show what really lies beneath

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 20th August 2022

Hello!  Happy Saturday!!  Still looking for rain to fall here so the garden is looking very sad as I’m running out of oomph to keep watering it all! So if you had downpours this week, please share!!

And it’s been a quiet bookish week too! I just can’t get going on the book front, although I have been distracted by reading Booker Prize Longlisted entries for some bizarre reason!  So you can bet that the ones I manage to read before the shortlist is revealed won’t be anywhere near that list!!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

MAPS OF OUR SPECTACULAR BODIES by MADDIE MORTIMER (audiobook) – 3 STARS

BOOTH by KAREN JOY FOWLER (AUDIOBOOK) – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Just one caught my eye on Netgalley this week…

THE COTTAGE IN THE HIGHLANDS by JULIE SHACKMAN

publication date – December 2022

When Leonie Baxter finds herself out of a job and out of a relationship, she’s at her wits end. Her life has just been turned upside down and she needs a plan, fast.

By chance, on a walk with her rescue puppy, Leonie stumbles across a striking house in the woods; fully furnished but unoccupied. As a journalist, she is determined to find out more, after all, reporting is in her nature.

But her attempts are thwarted by Lily Cruickshank who lives in the cottage next door. Why won’t Lily help Leonie? And who is the mysterious Flynn Talbot, whose letter Leonie finds inside the house?

And in uncovering the secrets of the abandoned house, will Leonie open her own heart and let love back into her life?

CURRENTLY READING

WE ARE ANIMALS by TIM EWINS

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 18th June 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!  Scorchio here in Essex this past week, so that has meant more reading time for me so back to finishing 5 books this week which has made me happy.. has it made the TBR mountain look any smaller?! Of course not!! But only 1 new addition to that this week and none for Netgalley so progress is being made!! Slowly but surely!!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE DANCE TREE by KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE (audiobook) – 4 STARS

BLUE HOUR by SARAH SCHMIDT – 5 STARS

THE MARTINS by DAVID FOENKINOS – 5 STARS

BLONDE by JOYCE CAROL OATES – 6 STARS!

HOW TO MAKE A WILDFLOWER MEADOW by JAMES HEWETSON-BROWN – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL

My June book from Goldsboro Book subscription arrived…


THE SECOND SIGHT OF ZACHARY CLOUDESLEY by SEAN LUSK


In 1754, renowned maker of clocks and automata Abel Cloudesley must raise his new-born son Zachary when his wife dies in childbirth.Growing up amongst the cogs and springs of his father’s workshop, Zachary is intensely curious, ferociously intelligent, unwittingly funny and always honest – perhaps too honest. But when a fateful accident leaves six-year-old Zachary nearly blinded, Abel is convinced that the safest place for his son is in the care of his eccentric Aunt Frances and her menagerie of weird and wonderful animals.So when a precarious job in Constantinople is offered to him, Abel has no reason to say no. A job presented to him by a politician with dubious intentions, Abel leaves his son, his workshop and London behind. The decision will change the course of his life forever.

Since his accident, Zachary is plagued by visions that reveal the hearts and minds of those around him. A gift at times and a curse at others, it is nonetheless these visions that will help him complete a journey that he was always destined to make – to travel across Europe to Constantinople and find out what happened to his father all those years ago.

With a Dickensian cast of characters that are brilliantly bonkers one moment and poignant the next, Sean Lusk’s debut will take readers on an immersive journey into the wonders of the world of Zachary Cloudesley.

CURRENTLY READING


THE CHRISTIE AFFAIR by NINA DE GRAMONT (AUDIOBOOK)



HAPPY READING!!

MY BOOKISH WEEKLY WRAP UP – 11TH JUNE 2022

Hello all! Happy Saturday!  

All quiet on the reading front here which is NOT good for my TBR mountain or my reading challenges!!  This past week I’ve managed to finish just 1 book, and I’m beginning to regret starting my #20BooksOfSummer2022 with a 738 page book as it’s slowed my reading pace right down!!  So at least I won’t be keeping you long with this post today – I’ve even avoided Netgalley and bought 0 books!! So there’s my positive lol!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

ACTS OF LOVE AND WAR by MAGGIE BROOKES

BOOKHAUL

ZERO!!

CURRENTLY READING

THE MARTINS by DAVID FOENKINOS

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 28th May 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!  What will the weather throw at us next I wonder?! Had some nice thunderstorms and rainbows here this week! And the rain has been keeping the slugs and snails happy in the garden…… grrrr! My runner beans and dahlias are their current favourite munchies… not the weeds!!

On to books! And it’s been a very slow reading week! I just can’t seem to settle down to read anything! So only 2 books got finished this week but there has been bookpost which has added to the mountain, so I need to find my reading mojo ASAP!  I did stay away from Netgalley though….

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE WOMEN WHO SAVED THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE by MATTHEW KELLY – 5 STARS

SPRING TIDES AT THE STARFISH CAFE by JESSICA REDLAND – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL


From Goldsboro Books as part of their monthly subscription…

BAD FOR GOOD by GRAHAM BARTLETT

How far would you go?

The murder of a promising footballer and, crucially, the son of the Brighton’s Chief Superintendent, means Detective Superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more desperate following devastating blackmail threats.

Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on a knife edge of vigilante action and a police force riven with corruption

As part of my Fahrenheit Book Club Subscription I received this one…

THE JUDGEMENT BOOK by SIMON HALL

The race is on for crime fighting reporter Dan Groves and his detective friend Adam Breen as they are caught in a blackmailer’s web of sordid sex secrets which has already forced public figures to take their own lives. “The Judgement Book” is just a pocket diary, but festering with so much sin and scandal. First an MP, then a senior police officer kill themselves after The Book exposes their sordid secrets of sex and corruption. Scores more prominent people wait fearfully to see what will be revealed about the darkness of their own lives. Then Dan and Adam discover they too are in The Book and are forced into a desperate race to find the blackmailer, to stop them exposing the secrets which would destroy their own futures.

And from Filbert Press I received this for review…

HOW TO MAKE A WILDFLOWER MEADOW by JAMES HEWETSON-BROWN

Flowering meadows are appealing to gardeners and valuable for wildlife, but they can be difficult to establish. This book will change all that with its pragmatic yet eco-friendly advice. Gardeners and landscape professionals alike will relish James Hewetson-Brown’s common sense approach. There is no need to be an expert on habitat planting or plant ecology—just follow the step-by-step techniques. Using seed, plug plants, bulbs, and roll-out turf, you can establish meadow the same year you plant it. The book includes 30 case studies that describe successful meadow plantings alongside paths, utility areas, and ponds and in mixed borders, orchards, green roofs, sloping banks, and containers. Interviews offer a fascinating insight into the the installation process and the pleasures of living with a wildflower meadow.

And from Renard Press I received these two for my monthly subscription…

KEW GARDENS by VIRGINIA WOOLF

First published in 1921 as part of her ground-breaking short-story collection Monday or TuesdayKew Gardens follows the thoughts of a set of characters walking past a flower bed in the royal botanic garden on a hot July day. Interweaving the thoughts of the characters with depictions of the natural world surrounding them, the narrative flows from mind to mind, from the tranquil flower bed to the bustling city outside. Written in Woolf’s trademark style, brimming with keen observation and rich language, Kew Gardens is both a paean to the natural world and an empathetic exploration of human experience. The light fell either upon the smooth, grey back of a pebble or the shell of a snail with its brown, circular veins, or, falling into a raindrop, it expanded with such intensity of red, blue and yellow the thin walls of water that one expected them to burst and disappear… Then the breeze stirred rather more briskly overhead and the colour was flashed into the air above, into the eyes of the men and women who walk in Kew Gardens in July.

THE RIGHTS OF MAN by H.G.WELLS

In 1940 the Second World War continued to rage, and atrocities wreaked around the globe made international waves. Wells, a socialist and prominent political thinker as well as a first-rate novelist, set down in The Rights of Man a stirring manifesto, designed to instruct the international community on how best to safeguard human rights.

The work gained traction, and was soon under discussion for becoming actual legislation. Although Wells didn’t live to see it enacted, his words laid the groundwork for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrined human rights in law for the first time, and was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, changing the course of history for ever and granting fundamental rights to billions.

This edition has an introduction by Burhan Sönmez, President of PEN International, ‘He Told Us So’.

And also from Renard is this one ahead of a Blog Tour, coming soon!

STILL LIVES by RESHMA RUIA

‘The glow of my cigarette picks out a dark shape lying on the ground. I bend down to take a closer look. It’s a dead sparrow. I wondered if I had become that bird, disoriented and lost.’

Young, handsome and contemptuous of his father’s traditional ways, PK Malik leaves Bombay to start a new life in America. Stopping in Manchester to visit an old friend, he thinks he sees a business opportunity, and decides to stay on. Now fifty-five, PK has fallen out of love with life. His business is struggling and his wife Geeta is lonely, pining for the India she’s left behind.

One day PK crosses the path of Esther, the wife of his business competitor, and they launch into an affair conducted in shabby hotel rooms, with the fear of discovery forever hanging in the air. Still Lives is a tightly woven, haunting work that pulls apart the threads of a family and plays with notions of identity.

Shortlisted for the SI Leeds Literary Prize

CURRENTLY READING

THE WITCH’S TREE by ELENA COLLINS

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 21st May 2022

Bonjour!!  Happy Saturday!! It’s Rose time in the garden and that makes me happy!  The slugs and snail in the garden do NOT make me happy!!  Aarrgghh!!

On to books – it’s been a very good reading week with another 5 finished off the pile…. if only I could have as much enthusiasm for writing reviews at the moment!! I’m going to have a mountain of To Be Reviewed books soon!! scary!  Another 2 have been added to the Netgalley shelves along with some lovely book post too!  Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

SOUR GRAPES by DAN RHODES – 5 STARS

SIX DAYS IN ROME by FRANCESCA GIACCO – 4 STARS

THE MAIDS OF BIDDENDEN by G.D. HARPER – 5 STARS

HOPE FOR THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS – 5 STARS

FORESTS by KIERON CONNOLLY – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Starting over at Netgalley…

ISAAC AND THE EGG by BOBBY PALMER

publication date – August 2022


Find hope in the unexpected in this unforgettable debut novel about grief and friendship, for readers of Patrick Ness, Sarah Winman and Max Porter.Isaac stands alone on a bridge and screams into the river below.And then, an answer. A cry of despair perhaps even greater than his own.The sound draws Isaac into the woods. What he finds there changes everything.It’s a tale that might seem familiar. A broken man and an unexpected guest, who can’t stay forever. But real life isn’t a story. It’s full of truths, messy and surprising, that Isaac has been hiding from his new, improbable friend…Powerful, hopeful and utterly extraordinary, this is a truly original tale of love and loss, told with warmth and imaginative humour, from an unforgettable new voice in fiction.


THAT BONESETTER WOMAN by FRANCES QUINN

publicaton date – October 2022


Meet Endurance Proudfoot – England’s strongest woman, boldest adventurer and first female bonesetter.Endurance Proudfoot only wants one thing in life – to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and not the job for a woman.But Durie isn’t like other women. She’s strong and stubborn and determined to get her own way. And she finds that she has a talent at bonesetting – her big hands and lack of grace have finally found their natural calling

I was very thankful to be sent a copy of the following for review….

THE OTHER SIDE OF NIGHT by ADAM HANDY

publication date – September 2022
The Other Side of Night begins with a man named David Asha writing about his biggest regret: his sudden separation from his son, Elliot. In his grief, David tells a story.Next, we step into the life of Harriet Kealty, a police officer trying to clear her name after a lapse of judgment. She discovers a curious inscription in a secondhand book—a plea: Help me, he’s trying to kill me. Who wrote this note? Who is “he”?This note leads Harri to David Asha, who was last seen stepping off a cliff. Police suspect he couldn’t cope after his wife’s sudden death. Still, why would this man jump and leave behind his young son? Quickly, Harri’s attention zeroes in on a person she knows all too well.Ben Elmys: once the love of her life. A surrogate father to Elliot Asha and trusted friend to the Ashas.Ben may also be a murderer.

I was also very lucky to win a competition via Historia Magazine and won these two….


LIONHEART by BEN KANE

REBEL. LEADER. BROTHER. KING.1179. Henry II is King of England, Wales, Ireland, Normandy, Brittany and Aquitaine. The House of Plantagenet reigns supreme.But there is unrest in Henry’s house. Not for the first time, his family talks of rebellion.Ferdia – an Irish nobleman taken captive during the conquest of his homeland – saves the life of Richard, the king’s son. In reward for his bravery, he is made squire to Richard, who is already a renowned warrior.Crossing the English Channel, the two are plunged into a campaign to crush rebels in Aquitaine. The bloody battles and gruelling sieges which followed would earn Richard the legendary name of Lionheart.But Richard’s older brother, Henry, is infuriated by his sibling’s newfound fame. Soon it becomes clear that the biggest threat to Richard’s life may not be rebel or French armies, but his own family…


CRUSADER  by BEN KANE

KING. POLITICIAN. WARRIOR. CONQUEROR.

1189. Richard the Lionheart’s long-awaited goal comes true as he is crowned King of England. Setting his own kingdom in order, he prepares to embark on a gruelling crusade to reclaim Jerusalem.

With him on every step of the journey is Ferdia, his loyal Irish follower. Together they travel from southern France to Italy, to the kingdom of Sicily and beyond.

Finally poised to sail to the Holy Land, Richard finds a bitter two-year-long siege awaiting him. And with it, the iconic Saracen leader responsible for the loss of Jerusalem, Saladin.

No one can agree who should fill the empty throne of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Saladin’s huge army shadows Richard’s every move. Conditions are brutal, the temperatures boiling, and on the dusty field of Arsuf, the Lionheart and his soldiers face their ultimate test… 


And the latest book as part of my Peirene Press subscription..


OF SAINTS AND MIRACLES by MANUEL ASTUR

Marcelino lives alone on his parents’ farm, set deep in the beautiful but impoverished countryside of Asturias, northern Spain. It’s the place where he grew up, where he doted on his beloved baby brother, where he protected his mother from his father’s drunken rages. But when Marcelino’s brother tricks him out of his land and home, a moment of uncontrolled anger sparks a chain of events that can’t be reversed. Marcelino flees into the wild peaks, dense woods and abandoned villages that surround his home, becoming a cult hero as he evades the authorities.Into this unconventional thriller, Astur weaves fables about the sun and the moon, tales of death and love, and reveals a community and a way of life that may soon be lost. Of Saints and Miracles is a sensuous and poetic portrayal of an outcast’s struggle to survive in a changing world, and a seamless blend of the tragic and the majestic.


CURRENTLY READING


THE WOMEN WHO SAVED THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE by MATTHEW KELLY



HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 14th May 2022


Hello all! Happy Saturday!!  Been enjoying some Spring sunshine this week, and been butterfly spotting! I love this time of year! Everything is peak green and frothy in the wild and it makes me very happy…. and a little sneezy!!

Book wise it’s not been too bad with 3 books finished – all 5 star reads too!  There may have been a couple of additions to my Netgalley shelf too along with some lovely book post!

Here’s my look back!!

BOOKS FINISHED

A TERRIBLE KINDNESS by JO BROWNING WROE – 5 STARS

A TIDY ENDING by JOANNA CANNON – 5 STARS

BUTTERFLIES by JULIANNA PHOTOPOULOS – 5 STARS

publication date – 14th June 2022

BOOKHAUL


Beginning with Netgalley additions…..


THE WOMEN WHO SAVED THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE by MATTHEW KELLY

publication date – May 31st 2022

A vibrant history of English landscape preservation over the last 150 years, told through the lives of four remarkable women

In Britain today, a mosaic of regulations protects the natural environment and guarantees public access to green spaces. But this was not always so. Over the last 150 years, activists have campaigned tirelessly for the right to roam through the countryside and the vital importance of preserving Britain’s natural beauty.
 
Matthew Kelly traces the history of landscape preservation through the lives of four remarkable women: Octavia Hill, Beatrix Potter, Pauline Dower, and Sylvia Sayer. From the commons of London to the Lake District, Northumberland, and Dartmoor, these women protected the English landscape at a crucial period through a mixture of environmental activism, networking, and sheer determination.
 
They grappled with the challenges that urbanization and industrial modernity posed to human well-being as well as the natural environment. By tirelessly seeking to reconcile the needs of particular places to the broader public interest they helped re-imagine the purpose of the English countryside for the democratic age. 

CAGED LITTLE BIRDS by LUCY BANKS 

publication date – September 2022

The public think Ava’s a monster. Ava thinks she’s blameless.

In prison, they called her Butcher Bird – but Ava’s not in prison any more. Released after 25 years to a new identity and a new home, Ava finally has the quiet life she’s always wanted.

But someone knows who she is. The lies she’s told are about to unravel.

And I was very thankful to receive this book from Gallic Press for review….

THE MARTINS by DAVID FOENKINOS

publication date – June 2022

‘Go out into the street and the first person you see will be the subject of your next book.’

This is the challenge a struggling Parisian writer sets himself, imagining his next heroine might be the mysterious young woman who often stands smoking near his apartment … instead it’s octogenarian Madeleine. She’s happy to become the subject of his book – but first she needs to put away her shopping.

Is it really true, the writer wonders, that every life is the stuff of novels, or is his story doomed to be hopelessly banal? As he gets to know Madeleine and her family, he’ll be privy to their secrets: lost loves, marital problems and workplace worries. And he’ll soon realise he is not the impartial bystander he intended to be, but a catalyst for major changes in the lives of his characters.

Told with Foenkinos’s characteristic irony and self-deprecating humour, yet filled with warmth, The Martins is a compelling tale of the family next door which raises questions about what it means to be ‘ordinary’, and about the blurred lines between truth and fiction.

CURRENTLY READING

HOPE FOR THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS

HAPPY READING!!