My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 13th January 2019 #bookblogger

Greetings! The week has flown by, as is the weekend, so time for me to sit down and look back at the last 7 days in my bookish world!  And it’s now Day 13 of my ‘No Buy’ January and it’s still going exceedingly well!! Ignoring all the emails from various stores is proving much easier than I thought! The toughest thing is walking past little independant shops where I used to browse – and then buy from! – but I’m sure I’ll be back in those stores soon to help boost their sales!

And that means I have bought ZERO books this week! That feels very weird!! But much needed haha! There may have been a couple visits to Netgalley and some lovely bookpost for me to enjoy so it’s not been all bad! And I’ve managed to finish another 5 books from the TBR pile so yay me!!  Just wish I could have stuck to my plan to review a book once I’d finished it – I’m still finding it much easier to pick up another book than get a review written! Must try harder!!

Here’s a look back at what I’ve been reading, what is new on my shelves and what I’m currently reading!

BOOKS FINISHED

Blackberry & Wild Rose by Sonia Velton – 5 stars

Loved this historical fiction story set in 18th century London

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson – 5 stars

Another stunning debut historical fiction!

The Sleeping Beauty by Elizabeth Taylor – 3 stars

Struggled with this one! Odd glimpses of humour and sharp with, but overall I just couldn’t get into it!

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris – 3 stars

A mixed read for me!Enjoyable for the most part but quite a frustrating main character!

The Marked Lord by Sharon Ibbotson  – 4 stars

Enjoyable regency novel with a touch of the beauty & the beast about it!

BOOKHAUL

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Publication Date – March 2019

The twist at the end of the first chapter made me read through the night” Jane Corry

Introducing the next generation of domestic thriller…

Every marriage has secrets. Everyone has flaws. Your wife isn’t perfect – you know that – but then again nor are you.

But now a serial killer is on the loose in your small town, preying on young women. Fear is driving your well-behaved young daughter off the rails, and you find yourself in bed late at night, looking at the woman who lies asleep beside you.

Because you thought you knew the worst about her. The truth is you know nothing at all.

This is a thriller like nothing you’ve read before…

NETGALLEY

In Exile by Alexandra Turney

Published by Unbound – out 24th January 2019

No one in this city has believed in me for two thousand years. I’m unknown and unloved. And I’m very, very ill.’ He sighed, and the sound chilled her blood. `Give me your hand.’

Dionysus, god of wine and divine ecstasy, is reborn in modern Rome. He doesn’t understand how or why he’s come to be here – a pagan god in a city where he has no believers. But when he meets fifteen-year-old Grace during a chance encounter in the Ghetto, he realises he has found his first new follower.

This is the beginning of Grace’s secret life, as she and her friends overcome scepticism and fear to become his worshippers, drinking his wine and taking part in bacchanals across the city. As the melancholy god lives out his exile, his teenage followers find they have everything to lose. And after the first bloodshed, they know that there’s no turning back…

QUEENIE MALONE’S PARADISE HOTEL by RUTH HOGAN

Published by Two Roads – out 7th February 2019

From the bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes – a novel of mothers and daughters, families and secrets and the astonishing power of friendship.

Tilly was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone’s Magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits – staff and guests alike.

But Tilly’s childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she’d ever loved to boarding school with little explanation and no warning. Now, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother’s unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. But when her mother dies, Tilda goes back to Brighton and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets about unraveling the mystery of her exile from The Paradise Hotel and discovers that her mother was not the woman she thought she knew at all … Mothers and daughters … their story can be complicated … it can also turn out to have a happy ending.

CURRENTLY READING

Insomnia by Marina Benjamin

The Final Reckoning by Margaret James

The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts via The Pigeonhole app

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All done! Pretty happy with that little lot! How has your reading week gone? Got any thoughts on these books – would love to hear them!

HAPPY READING!!

my bookish weekly wrap up – week 39 2018

Hello! Hoppy Saturday to you all! Bunny and I managed to get in the garden for a little while this morning to start some bulb planting! Why does he never dig holes when I need him to?! Peeing down with rain out there now though so safely snuggled on the sofa to share my bookish week with you all!

Hope yours has been a good week?! Quite restrained here on the reading and hauling front! Managed to finish 4 lovely books this week, 3 books made new homes with me and just 1 newbie from NetGalley! I’m rather proud of myself haha! Ooh and GoodReads informed me this week that I’ve  read 200 books so far in 2018! I was a little shocked but very happy! And even with reading that amount you’d think my bookshelves would be emptying out a little….. wrong! oops!

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

BOOKS FINISHED

Melmoth by Sarah Perry  – 5 stars

Loved it!! As soon as my signed copy arrived from Waterstones I just had to read it and didn’t put it down until I’d finished!

The Paris Secret by Lily Graham  – 4 stars

a fabulous read full of history, secrets and romance 

The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare – 4 stars

A fascinating look at winter and how it affected the author. Beautifully written. Will be reviewing in full on the Blog Tour at the end of the month! 

A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman – 4 stars

The Christmas reading has begun!! And this was a sweet romance to start it off for me!

BOOKHAUL

The Shape of Us by Drew Davies – netgalley/bookouture

In a city of 8.8 million people, you’d be surprised. Surprised at how many times your path crosses with that stranger you spotted on the other side of the street. Surprised at how lonely living in a busy city can feel. Surprised that falling in love – against all the odds – is just about possible.

One day in London…

Daisy is rushing to work when a stranger on a bicycle almost knocks her over – and then asks for her number.

JoJo, a wife in her sixties, is trying desperately to win her beloved husband back from his mistress.

Adam has recently lost his job and lies to his housemate about where he goes every day.

Dylan, a teenage boy, lives with an illness which means he can’t leave his bedroom – but which hasn’t stopped him falling in love.

These four total strangers – whose paths cross in the charming and crazy city of London – have one thing in common. They’re all looking for love and they’re totally hopeless at it. But that’s about to change. 

Frogkisser by Garth Nix –  spotted this in the library sale for 50p!

‘Wise and wondrous’ – Holly Black
 
Garth Nix is on hilarious form as he spins his very own fairy tale, featuring Princess Anya, who, with her loyal dog, must embark on a terribly important (capital Q) Quest to acquire the ingredients for a reversal lip balm, the vital item needed to change a frog back to a prince . . . oh, and save her kingdom from her villainous step(step)father. 

Something of his Art by Horatio Clare

Very grateful to Little Toller for sending me this copy to review.

CURRENTLY READING

Where the What Ifs roam and the moon is Louis Armstrong by Esther Krivda

A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor 

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What has been filling your reading time up this week? The perfect weather for reading now this afternoon so I’m off to get a few more pages read!

happy reading!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 36 2018 #bookblogger #bookhaul

Hello!!  I’m a slightly exhausted bookworm today so apologies now for any spelling mistakes or general rambling in this post! Hopefully I won’t go too off tangent and just focus on all the bookish things that have been going on in my life this week!

And it’s been a pretty OK kind of week! Only managed to finish 2 books as I’ve been trying my best to catch up on the outstanding reviews! And I was led astray by NetGalley again with 4 new additions to the shelves there, along with some fabulous bookpost and finds in a secondhand bookshop that has made my week! More of that soon!!

So here’s a quick look back at all those books! Click on the title for a link to the GoodReads pages!

BOOKS FINISHED

A Little Bird Told Me by Marianne Holmes   – 4 stars

Found this to be a fascinating read featuring a family who shared my surname!

The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings  –  4 stars

A dark and wonderful read!

BOOKHAUL

Starting with the NetGalley haul! 4 more added!

The Paris Secret by Lily Graham

Published by Bookouture – 4th October 2018

The Christmas Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke

Published by Bookouture – 5th October 2018

Roar by Cecelia Ahern

Published by HarperFiction – 1st November 2018

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

Published by Quercus – 1st November 2018

And then I was lucky enough to win a copy of this via Readers First

A House of Ghosts by W.C.Ryan

Published by Zaffre – 4th October 2018

And then there was this find! Wandering around a National Trust property and noticing they had a secondhand bookshop – yippee!- I decided to go for a little browse and was astonished to find these mint condition proofs available!!  Needless to say I scooped them up with delight and can’t wait to read them!

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller

Normal People by Sally Rooney

The Lingering by S.J.I. Holliday

CURRENTLY READING

The Corset by Laura Purcell

Published by Raven Books – 20th September 2018

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton – via Pigeonhole

Published by Allen & Unwin – 12th September 2018

The Darkness of Wallis Simpson by Rose Tremain

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wahoo! I made it through without nodding off! Hope you did the same reading this post! Any of these on your TBR’s or you’ve already read them? Always love to hear your thoughts!

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 33 2018

Hello all! Archie the bunny says hi too while he’s chilling out in the garden – destroying my plants is a tiring business!

 Time to look back at the past week and see how my bookish week has gone! It’s a little different to last week!!  Didn’t make it to 7 books read this week as I really struggled to find time, or the inclination, some days to read! And it’s not as if I wasn’t enjoying what I was reading! It’s just one of those slump things that we all go through – fingers crossed I’m over it now and this week I’ll be racing through the books again!

So just the 2 books finished this week, and one of those was an audio book! Where things went mad was on the bookpost front – 11 new arrivals for my shelves eekkk!!! Some I bought, some were kindly sent by publishers! My postman is cursing me again I’ sure!

So here’s a look back at all those books, and what I’m currently reading! Click on the titles for links to the GoodReads pages!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Unforgotten by Laura Powell – 3 stars

Listened to the audio version of this and it kept me gripped throughout! Dark and unsettling! Really enjoyed it!

The Angel’s Mark by S.W.Perry –  5 stars

Read this ahead of a Blog Tour next month, and loved this history/mystery story!

BOOKHAUL

Hope you’re sitting comfortably…

Charlie & Rose Investigate series by Jo Perry

Dead Is Better

Dead Is Best

Dead Is Good

The lovely folk at Fahrenheit Press have been sharing a few deals recently and one to buy this set got my interest so I treated myself!

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Published by Orion Press

Publication Date – February 2019

Extremely excited to receive this from the publishers! There is so much buzz about this book already so I can’t wait to dive in and see what the fuss is about!

Saplings by Noel Streatfeild

Manja by Anna Gmeyner

The Persephone bookshelf has been added too again!  

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

Having loved Old Baggage, I was glad to spot this from Lissa Evans in a charity shop! 

The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare

Published by Elliott & Thompson

Publication Date – 1st November 2018

Received this ahead of a Blog Tour – very excited to read this one! And the cover is stunning!

Alice’s Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll

I chose this as part of my Alma Classics monthly book subscription service! Anything Alice related is fine by me! 

The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood by Susan Elliot Wright

Published by Simon & Schuster

Publication Date – February 2019

Received this courtesy of The Words Podcast and another one that has got me all excited to start!

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

Saw Simon Savidge discuss these on one of his BookTube videos and it sounded right up my street! ooh and another stunning cover!

CURRENTLY READING

It’s another Big Book Weekender – Savidge Reads – so I love to take part in these as it forces me to pick those big scary ‘chunksters’ of books up that I keep putting off!  So with almost 1,000 pages between them, I’m going to try and read as much of these as I can!

What Was Lost by Jean Levy

Manja by Anna Gmeyner

Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan

This is my current bedtime read – do you have different books by your bedside?! – and I’m not really sure what I’m thinking about it at the moment! I should be loving it, but it’s not clicked with me yet!

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So how has your week been?! Better than mine on the reading front I hope!

Happy Reading!!

My bookish weekly wrap up – week 26 2018

Hello all!!  We have made it to the halfway point in 2018 – how scary is that??!!  And another week of hot and sunny weather here in the UK! This should be a good thing  but when it’s TOO hot to do anything what is the point?!!  At least the heat seems to have brought the butterflies to life in the garden so I’m pleased to see those! If only they’d all sit nicely on my flowers and pose for me more often!!

On the book front I have big news to share……..7 days into July and ZERO books have been purchased!!!!!!!! That is right … ZERO!!!! Maybe this is a consequence of the heat?!  Or maybe I’ve just been extremely well behaved and realistic whilst looking at piles of unread books and realised I needed to show more control!!!  I’m sure this book buying blip won’t last very long but it’s a good start for the month!

On the reading front things are going well too! 5 books read this week! Falling a little behind on the reviews front though so need to sort that! The heat has scrambled my brain!!

There has been bookpost as I’ve been lucky to have won a few books – yay for the internet! – as well as a proof arriving and a subscription box too! So here’s a look back at my week!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Madonna of Bolton by Matt Cain  – 4 stars

Loved this fun and touching story of a boy who doesn’t fit in and his love affair with Madonna! Lots of fab retro mentions!

Old Baggage by Lissa Evans  – 5 stars

A fabulous story of Mattie and her fight to find meaning to life after being a suffragete.

The Light Between Us by Katie Khan  –  4 stars

Another enjoyable book with a sci-fi /time travel twist!

The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap  –  5 stars

Publication date – 6th August 2018

Loved this! The story of Nova who was blind but now can see after an operation and it’s made her life more complicated than ever!

Here comes the Best Man by Angela Britnell – 5 stars

Swoonsome story that I was lucky enough to read as a manuscript as part of the Choc Lit taste panel, and it’s full of all the feels!!

BOOK HAUL

Was a very happy bunny when I won this set via a Twitter giveaway last week! I have read the first in this series – Strange Magic – and loved that so am excited to read more of the Essex Witch Mysteries!

Strange Magic by Syd Moore

Strange Sight by Syd Moore

Strange Fascination by Syd Moore

And another win was this e-book via a Blog giveaway!

Just by Jenny Morton Potts

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls wrecklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea.

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.

And this proof arrived ahead of a future blog tour!

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway by Rhys Thomas

Publication Date – 9th August 2018

A feel-good novel that will make you laugh and cry. The perfect book club read for fans of The Rosie Project, A Man Called Ove, and The Keeper of Lost Things . Charming, quirky, and bursting with heart.

Sam Holloway has survived the worst that life can throw at you. But he’s not really living. His meticulous routines keep everything nice and safe – with just one exception . . .

Three nights a week, Sam dons his superhero costume and patrols the streets. It makes him feel invincible – but his unlikely heroics are getting him into some sticky situations.

Then a girl comes along and starts to shatter the walls Sam has built around himself. Now, he needs to decide if he’s brave enough to take off the mask, and to confront the grief he’s been avoiding for so long . . .

Hilarious and heart-warming, this is a story about grief, loneliness, and the life-changing power of kindness.

CURRENTLY READING

THE POSSIBLE WORLD by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

Reading this courtesy of The Pigeonhole app and I’m already in love!!! A stunning story so far!

Ben is the sole survivor of a crime that claims his mother and countless others. He is just six years old, and already he must find a new place for himself in the world.

Lucy, the doctor who tends to Ben, is grappling with a personal upheaval of her own. She feels a profound connection to the little boy who has lived through the unthinkable. Will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

Clare has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, until an unexpected encounter prompts her to tell her story.

As they each struggle to confront the events – past and present – that have defined their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together…

The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan

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And how has your reading week been? Would love to hear about it in the comments below! Have you been good and not bought any books either?!

happy reading!!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 24 2018

Hello!! Greeted by this beauty in the garden this morning – it’s a Lily I’m helping to trial for the Richard Jackson Garden team and if you are looking for the easiest to look after plant then I’d highly recommend this Lily ‘Bright Joy’! We do like a plant that needs very little care!!

The sun continues to shine here in Essex and it seems to have helped no end with my reading and book acquiring habits!! Is that a good thing?! Yes to the first, No to the second! July definitely needs to be a more restrained month on the book buying front…… famous last words!

So this past week I’ve managed  to finish another 5 books and have acquired 8 books for the shelves! Oops! Here’s a little look at all the bookish action! Please click on the book titles for a link to their GoodReads page for more info!

BOOKS FINISHED

                  

My Mourning Year by Andrew Marshall – 4 stars

The Power of Dog by Andrew Marshall – 4 stars

Ahead of the Blog Tour for The Power of Dog I will be on in July, I read these two memoirs from Andrew Marshall and found them to be a really interesting look at grief and how to recover.

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

I loved revisiting this Little Duck Pond Cafe series and this is number 2 in the series! Really good read!

Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks  – 5 stars

I loved this dark, menacing read!! Watch out for a full review in July on the Blog Tour!

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale  – 4 stars

A magical but often quite dark story! Very enjoyable and that cover is just gorgeous!!

BOOKHAUL

The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap

Publication Date – 9th August 2018

received from publisher

The Rules of Seeing follows the lives of two women whose paths cross at a time when they need each other most. Nova, an interpreter for the Metropolitan police, has been blind from birth. When she undergoes surgery to restore her sight her journey is just beginning – she now has to face a world in full colour for the first time. Kate, a successful architect and wife to Tony, is in hospital after a blow to the head. There, she meets Nova and what starts as a beautiful friendship soon turns into something more.

Ordered these from Goldsboro Books as part of the Book of the Month club so have received these signed first editions

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

The Puppet Show by M.W.Craven

The Baltimore Boys by Joel Dicker

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

This is the latest addition to my Alma Classics collection courtesy of their Year of Reading Classics club

The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers

Recent winner of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction and it has been on my radar for a while so I treated myself!

The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

I couldn’t resist the gorgeous cover this was reissued with for the Virago Modern Classics collection!

Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly

An Unbound release that has caught my eye as it just sounds so fascinating!

CURRENTLY READING

3 on the go at the mo!

The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The Death of Mrs Westaway via The Pigeonhole app

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Hope your week has been as good?! Any recommendations or thoughts on this batch of books?! Would love to hear from you!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up Week 21 2018

Hello! The month of June is with us…. how has that happened?!  And this was the month I had planned to impose a book buying ban on myself, as I’d spiralled a little(!) out of control over the previous month. I’ve coped well with book buying bans before so was all set….. and then I ventured into a library to just browse their book sale and the lure of buying a book for 50p was just too much to ignore so the book buying ban failed on the first day…… maybe I’ll have better luck next month!!

Picked up reading wise this past week which has been good, and with the 20 Books of Summer time now with us I need to keep this pace up!  So here’s a quick look back at all those books I’ve finished this week, acquired this week and those that I’m currently reading!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Parentations by Kate Mayfield – 5 stars

Loved this one! So original!

Nevermoor; The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – 3 stars

This was a fun to read middle grade book that has been compared to Harry Potter, and if you read it you’ll find out why!

Tomorrow by Damian Dibben – 3 stars

Another enjoyable read, and another book of immortality that fell just a bit flat for me. Very original concept though!

Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins – 5 stars

Picked this up to kick off my Persephone Readathon weekend and what a book to start with! Loved it – will be reviewing in  more depth soon!

BOOKS ACQUIRED

Have been lucky this week to win a lovely giveaway from the bods at Serpents Tail over on Twitter so this book arrived in the post the other day.

The Summer House by Philip Teir

Publication day July 12th 2018

The light greenery of the early summer is trembling around Erik and Julia as they shove their children into the car and start the drive towards the house by the sea on the west coast of Finland where they will spend the summer. From the outside they are a happy young family looking forward to a long holiday together.

But look under the surface, and their happiness shows signs of not lasting the summer. On the eve of the holiday, Erik lost his job, but hasn’t yet told the family. And the arrival of Julia’s childhood friend Marika – along with her charismatic husband Chris, the leader of a group of environmental activists that have given up hope for planet Earth and are returning to a primitive lifestyle – deepens the hairline cracks that had so far remained invisible.

Around these people, over the course of one summer, Philip Teir weaves a finely-tuned story about life choices and lies, about childhood and adulthood. How do we live if we know that the world is about to end?

And then there was the book that led me astray at the library sale…. I couldn’t refuse this beauty for 50p!

Mrs Osmond by John Banville

A rich historical novel about the aftermath of betrayal, from the Booker prize-winning author.

What was freedom, she thought, other than the right to exercise one’s choices?

Isabel Osmond, a spirited, intelligent young heiress, flees to London after being betrayed by her husband, to be with her beloved cousin Ralph on his deathbed. After a somber, silent existence at her husband’s Roman palazzo, Isabel’s daring
departure to London reawakens her youthful quest for freedom and independence, as old suitors resurface and loyal friends remind her of happier times.

But soon Isabel must decide whether to return to Rome to face up to the web of deceit in which she has become entangled or to strike out on her own once more

And the other night I was browsing on the BorrowBox library app for some new audio books to listen too and these two took my fancy!

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

14th February 1900. St Valentine’s Day in rural Australia. Nineteen girls and their two school-mistresses from exclusive Appleyard College leave for a picnic at the brooding, hanging rock. Some of the group fail to return. Murder? Accident? Supernatural happenings?
What is the explanation for these bizarre disappearances?

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 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.

CURRENTLY READING

Continuing with the mini persephone readathon I’ve chosen to read this one next.

The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens

The Winds of Heaven is a 1955 novel about ‘a widow, rising sixty, with no particular gifts or skills, shunted from one to the other of her more or less unwilling daughters on perpetual uneasy visits, with no prospect of her life getting anything but worse’ (Afterword). One daughter is the socially ambitious Miriam living in commuter belt with her barrister husband and children; one is Eva, an aspiring actress in love with a married man; and the third is Anne, married to a rough but kindly Bedfordshire smallholder who is the only one who treats Louise with more than merely dutiful sympathy. The one relation with whom she has any empathy is her grandchild.

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.

And that brings that week to a close!  How has your bookish week been? Good? Bad? Indifferent?!

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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!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up Week 19 2018

Hello all!!  A late catch up for me this weekend – does anyone else find that the sight of blue skies and sunshine gets in the way of blogging?!  Thankfully sunshine also means that reading outdoors is the done thing so that has helped push my reading figures up this week….. 6 books finished and 1 DNF’d!  That was an audio book and was doing nothing for me so I walked away! (Disclaimer by Renee Knight was the book in case you are interested!) Something I’m getting better at doing as there was a time that I pushed myself to finish everything I started!! Silly me!!

So here’s a run down of books finished – click on the title for links to GoodReads – my current reads, and books I may have picked up along the way these past 7 days!

BOOKS FINISHED

Summer at the Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh   – 4 stars

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood  –  3 stars

The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst  – 5 stars

The Old You by Louise Voss  – 4 stars

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski  – 4 stars

Moonbeams in a Jar by Christine Stovell  – 4 stars

BOOK HAUL

This week I received my first Ninja Book Box, and I’m hoping to do an unboxing post of that here sometime this week so watch out for that!

I also was lucky to have been sent a copy of this fun looking book!

 The Biggest Idea in the World by David Joland

Meet Barry, a deluded Uber driver, saddled with debt and a wife who hates him.
Convinced he’s a genius, and that Facebook, Tripadvisor – and just about every other internet giant – were all his ideas, he’s determined not to lose out with his latest brainwave by taking it to Silicon Valley himself.
Leaving London with a suitcase full of Non-Disclosure Agreements and a head full of dreams, Barry’s confident he’s done everything possible to protect his idea and make his billions.

He pitches to deal-crazed bankers, greedy funders, geek-techies – and a shop assistant whose partner’s a conman.
All of them want Barry’s idea. All of them want to cut him out.
His one savior could be Mickey Roughton, the world famous movie producer who’s in town to promote his latest blockbuster.
What starts off as a helping-hand turns to disaster when Barry’s idea is broadcast on national TV allowing anyone to steal it – and everyone does. It looks like his unblemished record of disasters remains intact, until slowly the details of his master plan unfold revealing what could be the greatest scam to hit the Valley.

And then whilst out browsing in a charity shop this book caught my eye! And I couldn’t say no for £1!

The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins

An eminent doctor is visited by a desperate woman with a question: am I evil, or insane?

When an Italian servant stops sending letters to his wife in London, she is convinced he has been murdered.

In the darkened bedroom of a mouldering palazzo by the Grand Canal, an English lord sickens and suddenly dies.

How are these little mysteries connected? Spend the night in Room 14 of Venice’s finest hotel, and find out the truth – if you dare…

ooh and I may have taken a peek at NetGalley this week and was happy to get approved for this title..

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

A vivid, touching and original debut, following the effects of an extraordinary catastrophe on very ordinary people.In the middle of a market in India, a man’s shadow disappears. As rolling twenty-four-hour news coverage tries to explain the event, more cases are discovered. The phenomenon spreads like a plague as people learn the true cost of their lost part: their memories.Two years later, Ory and his wife Max have escaped ‘the Forgetting’ by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods in Virgina. They have settled into their new reality, until Max, too, loses her shadow.Knowing the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to the person most precious to her, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up what little time they have left before she loses her memory completely, and desperately follows her trail.

On their separate journeys, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a mysterious new force growing in the south that may hold the cure. But neither could have guessed at what you gain when you lose your shadow: the power of magic.

A breathtakingly imaginative, timeless story that explores fundamental questions about memory and love—the price of forgetting, the power of connection, and what it means to be human when your world is turned upside down.

CURRENTLY READING

Just two on the go at the moment..

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill

Bookworm by Lucy Mangan

☙☙☙☙☙

Hope your week has been as good! Here’s to another wonderful – and hopefully sunny! – bookish week ahead!

HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up Week 18 2018

Hello all!! Thanks for stopping by to check up on how my bookish week has been!  My reading time has been eaten into a little as have been constructing a new rabbit hutch and run – ably assisted by my mum and dad! – for the bunny who is now doing all he can to steer well clear of it!! That’s gratitude for you!!

Been a good reading week though as last weekend was The Big Book Weekender hosted by Simon Savidge of Savidge Reads on BookTube, and it was a great excuse to pick up those big books that I’ve always put off reading! Over the course of the weekend and this week I’ve managed to finish 2 of the big books I picked up – over 1,000 pages between them! – and have loved both and loved the experience so hoping I won’t be as scared in the future to pick more up! There’s another Big Book Weekender at the end of this month so already excited to start choosing new books!  I also finished listening to an Audio Book which at 18 hours long could well qualify for the Big Book category!  Been fairly quiet on the acquiring book front other than through subscription box books – they don’t count though do they?!

BOOKS FINISHED

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by ANTHONY DOERR – 5 STARS

Why did I not pick this book up sooner?! An astonishing read that had me captivated from start to finish!! Loved it!!

The Last Hours by Minette Walters – 4 stars

An absorbing historical book about the Black Death and how it affected those living through it! Really enjoyed it and looking forward to the next book in the series!

The Trees by Ali Shaw – 3 stars

Listened to the audio version of this  – enjoyed the beginning but did find my mind wandering towards the end!

BOOK HAUL

I always love a Bookish Subscription so recently treated myself to the Bookishly Classics and a Cuppa 3 month book subscription. So for the next 3 months, I’ll receive 3 of Penguin’s Little Black classics alongside some lovely new tea to try!  And here’s my first parcel!

A Modern Detective by Edgar Allan Poe

The Withered Arms by Thomas Hardy

Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime by Oscar Wilde

CURRENTLY READING

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski

Summer at the Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh

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Wishing you all a happy reading week ahead!!