My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 21st MARCH 2020

Hello all.  If there’s ever a time when I’m glad to have books to distract me from the world out there, then this is it. I hope everyone is staying safe and finding their own ways to deal with what is going on.   I think if you read a book that had this storyline, you wouldn’t believe it……

So on to books! I’ve not been reading so much this week – although weirdly the books I’ve read have had a darker and disease feel to them! – but I’ve made up for it on the book buying front!! 6 new books have made their way into my life thanks to Waterstones vouchers – what better time to treat yourself than now I say!!

Here’s what I’ve been up to….

BOOKS FINISHED

THE BLACK AND THE WHITE by ALIS HAWKINS – 4 STARS

THE ILLNESS LESSON by CLARE BEAMS – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Just the one from Netgalley….

Q by CHRISTINA  DALCHER

out April 2020

IN THIS WORLD, PERFECTION IS EVERYTHING

Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s new elite schools. Her daughters are exactly like her: beautiful, ambitious, and perfect. A good thing, since the recent mandate that’s swept the country is all about perfection.Now everyone must undergo routine tests for their quotient, Q, and any children who don’t measure up are placed into new government schools. Instead, teachers can focus on the gifted.Elena tells herself it’s not about eugenics, not really, but when one of her daughters scores lower than expected and is taken away, she intentionally fails her own test to go with her.But what Elena discovers is far more terrifying than she ever imagined…

MY PEAR-SHAPED LIFE by CARMEL HARRINGTON

proof received for review.

This is a joyful, uplifting book for those of us who sometimes wake up and feel we’re not good enough. Spoiler alert: we are!

Meet Greta.

She’s funny.

She’s flawed.

She’s hiding so much behind her big smile she’s forgotten who she is.

But Greta is about to discover that the key to being happy is…being you.

Greta Gale has played the part of the funny fat one her entire life, hiding her insecurities behind a big smile. But size doesn’t matter when you can laugh at yourself, right?
Until Greta realises she’s the only one not laughing. And deep down, she’s not sure if she’ll ever laugh again.

But with her world feeling like it’s falling down around her, Greta is about to discover she’s stronger than she feels. And that sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped…

And here’s what I’ve been treating myself to – seduced by stunning covers once more!!

THE SONG OF THE TREE by CORALIE BICKFORD-SMITH

A lyrical, heart-warming new tale from the award-winning designer and creator of The Fox and the Star

Bird loves to sing in the towering tree at the heart of the jungle. It feels like home.
When the season changes she must say goodbye, but she isn’t ready to let go.
As she listens to the other animals, Bird learns to sing a new song.

142 OSTRICHES by APRIL DAVILA

Set against the unexpected splendor of an ostrich ranch in the California desert, April Dávila’s beautifully written debut conjures an absorbing and compelling heroine in a story of courage, family and forgiveness.

When Tallulah Jones was thirteen, her grandmother plucked her from the dank Oakland apartment she shared with her unreliable mom and brought her to the family ostrich ranch in the Mojave Desert. After eleven years caring for the curious, graceful birds, Tallulah accepts a job in Montana and prepares to leave home. But when Grandma Helen dies under strange circumstances, Tallulah inherits
everything–just days before the birds inexplicably stop laying eggs.

Guarding the secret of the suddenly barren birds, Tallulah endeavors to force through a sale of the ranch, a task that is complicated by the arrival of her extended family. Their designs on the property, and deeply rooted dysfunction, threaten Tallulah’s ambitions and eventually her life. With no options left, Tallulah must pull her head out of the sand and face the fifty-year legacy of a family in turmoil: the reality of her grandmother’s death, her mother’s alcoholism, her uncle’s covetous anger, and the 142 ostriches whose lives are in her hands.

INLANDS by ELIN WILLOWS

A young woman from Stockholm relocates to her boyfriend’s home town, a small village in the far north of Sweden. The relationship has ended by the time she arrives.

Inlands is a story about loss and change and examines the tangible mechanics of everyday life, the mentality of a small community and the relationship between freedom and loneliness.

THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS by ISABEL ALLENDE

As a girl, Clara del Valle can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own, and predict the future. Following the mysterious death of her sister, Rosa the Beautiful, Clara is mute for nine years. When she breaks her silence, it is to announce that she will be married soon to the stern and volatile landowner Esteban Trueba.

Set in an unnamed Latin American country over three generations, The House of the Spirits is a magnificent epic of a proud and passionate family, secret loves and violent revolution.

THE DISCOMFORT OF EVENING by MARIEKE LUCAS RIJNEVELD

I thought about being too small for so much, but that no one told you when you were big enough … and I asked God if he please couldn’t take my brother Matthies instead of my rabbit. ‘Amen.’

Jas lives with her devout farming family in the rural Netherlands. One winter’s day, her older brother joins an ice skating trip; resentful at being left alone, she makes a perverse plea to God; he never returns. As grief overwhelms the farm, Jas succumbs to a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies, watching her family disintegrate into a darkness that threatens to derail them all.

A bestselling sensation in the Netherlands by a prize-winning young poet, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel lays everything bare. It is a world of language unlike any other, which Michele Hutchison’s striking translation captures in all its wild, violent beauty. Studded with unforgettable images – visceral, raw, surreal – The Discomfort of the Evening is a radical reading experience that will leave you changed forever. 

APEIROGON by COLUM McCANN

Goldsboro Book of the Month

The National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin tells an epic story rooted in the real-life friendship between two men united by loss in this daring, symphonic novel.

Colum McCann’s most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon–named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides–is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging.

Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend, to the checkpoints both physical and emotional that they must negotiate.

Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of one another’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.

McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and non-fictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching time, art, history, nature, and politics together in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our times.

CURRENTLY READING

THE GARDEN JUNGLE by DAVE GOULSON

STAY SAFE & HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 14th March 2020

Hello! It’s currently very good weather for ducks so I’m indoors catching up on all things bookish! Hope you’re well and keeping safe from the C word?!   I’ve been bulk buying some books…. just in case! We have our perfect excuse now so I think it’s right that we take advantage!!

And on the book front I’ve been good this week and, despite still reading Mirror and Light, I’ve managed to finish 3 other books BUT I may have added 5 newbies from Netgalley and had 2 books in the post – 1 I bought, 1 I won!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE GARDEN OF LOST MEMORIES by RUBY HUMMINGBIRD – 5 Stars

full review to follow on blog tour soon!

THE LODGER by LOUISA TREGER – 4 Stars

fascinating historical fact/fiction story

STAUNCH by ELEANOR WOOD – 4 Stars

enjoyable memoir

BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley…

MARY TOFT; OR THE RABBIT QUEEN by DEXTER PALMER

out 7th May 2020

A stunning, powerfully evocative new novel based on a true story – in 1726 in the small town of Godalming, England, a young woman confounds the medical community by giving birth to dead rabbits.

Surgeon John Howard is a rational man. His apprentice Zachary knows John is reluctant to believe anything that purports to exist outside the realm of logic. But even John cannot explain how or why Mary Toft, the wife of a local farmer, manages to give birth to a dead rabbit. When this singular event becomes a regular occurrence, John realizes that nothing in his experience as a village physician has prepared him to deal with a situation as disturbing as this. He writes to several preeminent surgeons in London, three of whom quickly arrive in the small town of Godalming ready to observe and opine.

When Mary’s plight reaches the attention of King George, Mary and her doctors are summoned to London, where Zachary experiences for the first time a world apart from his small-town existence, and is exposed to some of the darkest corners of the human soul. All the while, Mary lies in bed, waiting for another birth, as doubts begin to blossom among the surgeons and a growing group of onlookers grow impatient for another miracle . 

THE SMALLEST MAN by FRANCIS QUINN

out October 2020

The smallest man. The biggest heart. The mightiest story.


A compelling story perfect for fans of The Doll Factory and The Familiars.


Nat Davy longs to grow tall and strong and be like other boys, but at the age of ten, he’s confronted with the truth; he’s different, and the day when the stares and whispers stop is never going to come.
 
Narrowly escaping life in a freak show, he’s plucked from his family and presented as a gift to the new young queen of England – a human pet to add to her menagerie of dogs and monkeys. But when Nat realises she’s as lost and lonely as he is, the two misfits begin an unlikely friendship – one that takes him on an unforgettable journey, as England slides into the civil war that will tear it apart and ultimately lead the people to kill their king.

Inspired by a true story, and spanning two decades that changed England for ever, The Smallest Man is narrated by an irrepressible hero with his own unique perspective on life. His story is about being different, but not letting it hold you back. About being brave enough to take a chance, even if the odds aren’t good. And about how, when everything else is falling apart, true friendship holds people together. 

THE PRISONER’S WIFE by MAGGIE BROOKES

out April 2020

1944, Czechoslovakia. In the dead of night a farm girl and a British soldier creep through abandoned villages.

They were never meant to meet, let alone fall in love. But when Prisoner of War Bill is brought to work on Izabela’s family farm, their chemistry is inescapable. Before they can be torn apart forever, they marry in secret and go on the run. Their only hope for safety is to reach Izabela’s father and brother who are fighting deep in the countryside as partisans. But when their luck runs out, they are delivered straight into the hands of the enemy: the Nazis. 

Still refusing to separate, they have prepared for this moment. Izabela’s hair has been shorn and she wears men’s clothing, posing as an escaped and mute British soldier.

The secret lovers are transported to a Nazi POW camp deep in German territory, and if Izabela is discovered, a fate far worse than death awaits both her and Bill. It will require the help of their fellow POWs to maintain their deception, and all their love, devotion and strength to withstand the trials to come. Because should they fail, Izabela and Bill will have put far more than just themselves in danger…

Based on a true story, and researched extensively by the author on location in Eastern Europe, this is a story that takes the reader deep into a rarely-explored side of the Second World War

THE BLACK AND THE WHITE by ALIS HAWKINS

out March 2020

Not every corpse put in a pit has died of the plague…

England, 1349

The Black Death is tearing through the country and those not yet afflicted are living in fear.

Martin Collyer wakes up in his family’s charcoaling hut in the Forest of Dean to find his father dead on the bed beside him, half-sewn into his shroud. As Martin’s most recent memory is of being given the last rites, he cannot account for why he is alive and why his father – whose body bears not a trace of the plague – is dead.

With no home to go to and set free from the life of virtual servitude that his father had planned for him, Martin sets off on a journey across England to seek salvation for his father’s unconfessed soul.

He befriends another traveller on the way. But the man – Hob Cleve – seems to be harbouring dark secrets of his own.

As more suspicious deaths occur, Martin is left wondering whether Hob can be trusted.

What is Hob hiding? Is Martin travelling with a killer?

And what really led to Martin’s miraculous recovery?

HERE AND NOW by SANTA MONTEFIORE

out July 2020

Faced with losing everything, all that matters is Here and Now . . .

Marigold has spent her life taking care of those around her, juggling family life with the running of the local shop, and being an all-round leader in her quiet yet welcoming community. When she finds herself forgetting things, everyone quickly puts it down to her age. But something about Marigold isn’t quite right, and it’s becoming harder for people to ignore.

As Marigold’s condition worsens, for the first time in their lives her family must find ways to care for the woman who has always cared for them. Desperate to show their support, the local community come together to celebrate Marigold, and to show her that losing your memories doesn’t matter, when there are people who will remember them for you 

A SECRET SISTERHOOD

won this on a Twitter giveaway by the lovely Beverley over at BeverleyReads so go check her out!

A Secret Sisterhood uncovers the hidden literary friendships of the world’s most respected female authors.

Drawing on letters and diaries, some of which have never been published before, this book will reveal Jane Austen’s bond with a family servant, the amateur playwright Anne Sharp; how Charlotte Brontë was inspired by the daring feminist Mary Taylor; the transatlantic relationship between George Eliot and the author
of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe; and the underlying erotic charge that lit the friendship of Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield – a pair too often dismissed as bitter foes.

In their first book together, Midorikawa and Sweeney resurrect these literary collaborations, which were sometimes illicit, scandalous and volatile; sometimes supportive, radical or inspiring; but always, until now, tantalisingly consigned to the shadows.

THE ILLNESS LESSON by CLARE BEAMS

seen so many good reviews of this on other blogs/twitter feeds I just had to treat myself!

A mysterious flock of red birds has descended over Birch Hill. Recently reinvented, it is now home to an elite and progressive school designed to shape the minds of young women. But Eliza Bell – the most inscrutable and defiant of the students – has been overwhelmed by an inexplicable illness.

One by one, the other girls begin to experience the same peculiar symptoms: rashes, fits, headaches, verbal tics, night wanderings. Soon Caroline – the only woman teaching – begins to suffer too. She tries desperately to hide her symptoms but, with the birds behaving strangely and the girls’ condition worsening, the powers-that-be turn to a sinister physician with grave and dubious methods.

Caroline alone can speak on behalf of the students, but only if she summons the confidence to question everything she’s ever learnt. Does she have the strength to confront the all-male, all-knowing authorities of her world and protect the young women in her care?

Distinctive, haunting, irresistible, The Illness Lesson is an intensely vivid debut about women’s minds and bodies, and the time-honoured tradition of doubting both.

CURRENTLY READING

THE GARDEN JUNGLE by DAVE GOULSON

THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT by HILARY MANTEL

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And as I finish typing the sun has returned! Stay safe people and enjoy those books!!

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 7th March 2020

Hello! Happy Saturday!! I hope there’s plenty of reading planned for your weekend ahead! Where’s a storm when you need one?! Been nice to have some sunshine return but that means that things will be needing my attention in the garden….. not good for my reading time!!

So this week reading wise has been another goodie!  And 3 has been the magic number! 3 books finished, 3 books arriving in the post, and 3 Netgalley additions to the bookshelves!!

Here’s my look back!!

BOOKS FINISHED

LEMON DRIZZLE MONDAYS AT THE LITTLE DUCK POND CAFE by ROSIE GREEN  – 5 STARS

I love this series so much and it just keeps getting better!

THE WALLS WE BUILD by JULES HAYES – 5 STARS

This is historical fiction that is out later in the month and I loved it! Full review to follow on Blog Tour.

BRING UP THE BODIES by HILARY MANTEL – 5 STARS

Loved it!!

BOOKHAUL

Over to Netgalley we go…..

GROWING UP FOR BEGINNERS by CLAIRE CALMAN

out June 2020

It’s not easy being a grown-up, but at 47, Eleanor hoped she’d be better at it by now…

But when Eleanor waves her daughter off for a gap-year trip, she finds herself stuck as a satellite wife, spinning in faithful orbit around domineering husband Roger, with only a stash of hidden books and her brilliant but judgmental father Conrad for comfort.

Andrew isn’t mastering the art of growing up either. When he finds his belongings dumped on the drive, although he may not understand women very well, even he can see that this looks like some kind of hint… and so moves back in with his parents.

Backing onto Andrew’s parents lives artist Cecilia, always ready to recount tales of her innumerable ex-lovers, whilst her daughters feel she’s like a misbehaving teenager.

But now four lives are drawn together by long-buried secrets of the past, and it is time for them all to grow up, before it’s too late.

A desperate decision … A lost letter … A powerful secret hidden for thirty years…

THE SHADOW FRIEND by ALEX NORTH

out JULY 2020

If it had happened to you, you would have run away too.

Twenty-five years ago, Paul’s friend Charlie Crabtree brutally killed their classmate – and then vanished without a trace.

Paul’s never forgiven himself for his part in what happened. He’s never gone back home.

Until his elderly mother has a fall. It’s finally time to stop running.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. His mother claims there’s someone in the house. Paul realises someone is following him. And, in a town many miles away, a copycat killer has struck.

Which makes him wonder – what really happened to Charlie the day of the murder?

And can anyone stop it happening again?

THE GARDEN OF LOST MEMORIES by RUBY HUMMINGBIRD

out April 2020

Just because you feel ordinary doesn’t mean you aren’t extraordinary to someone else.

Sixty-two-year-old Elsie knows what she likes. Custard creams at four o’clock, jigsaw puzzles with a thousand pieces, her ivy-covered, lavender-scented garden.

Ten-year-old Billy would rather spend his Saturdays kicking a ball, or watching TV, or anything really, other than being babysat by his grumpy neighbour Elsie and being force fed custard creams.

If it was up to them, they’d have nothing to do with each other. Unfortunately, you can’t choose who you live next door to.

But there is always more to people than meets the eye…

Elsie doesn’t know that Billy’s afraid to go to school now, or why his mother woke him up in the middle of the night with an urgent shake, bags already packed, ready to flee their home.

Billy doesn’t know that the rusting red tin he finds buried in Elsie’s treasured garden is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode her carefully organised life. And that when he digs it up, he is unearthing a secret that has lain dormant for twenty-eight years…

This moving tale is for anyone who has ever felt the pang of loneliness, or worried that their broken heart might never be the same again. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, The Keeper of Lost Things and The Library of Lost and Found will fall head over heels for this life-affirming novel that shows us that if you’re willing to take a risk, happiness is only ever a heartbeat away. 

THE MURDER GAME by RACHEL ABBOT

copy sent for review – out APRIL 2020

A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas’s wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea.

But no one was married that day.

Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin?

He’s told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin.

What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what’s going to happen when this terrible game is over?

THE SARACEN’S MARK by S.W.PERRY

copy won via Readers First

1593. Five years on from the Armada and England is taking its first faltering steps towards a future as a global power. On an undercover mission to find out the fate of one of the queen’s informers, physician and reluctant spy, Nicholas Shelby, travels from the dark alleys of London to the dazzling Moor city of Marrakech. Meanwhile in London, Shelby’s companion, Bianca Merton, must fight against the ravaging plague that is stalking the city. Can their budding relationship weather the threats of pestilence and conspiracy? And will Nicholas survive his mission and the unpredictability of Marrakesh to return home? A brilliantly realized, utterly compelling historical mystery that will take you to far-flung destinations and into the very heart of a deadly conspiracy.

THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT by HILARY MANTEL

‘If you cannot speak truth at a beheading, when can you speak it?’

England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves.

Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?

With The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage. 

CURRENTLY READING

I think my focus has been lost to Hilary Mantel so that’s what will be my main read for the next few days/week…. however long it takes to read the 900 pages!  What are you reading at the moment?! Would love to hear!!

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 15th February 2020 #bookblogger

Hello!! Welcome to the weekend – and if you’re in the UK – another storm is hitting our shores! What fun!!  Stay safe peeps!

It’s been a fairly ok bookish week here – a couple of books finished, while I’ve also been doing some manuscript reading for Choc Lit! And there has been bookpost!! Always makes the week worthwhile with some additions to the TBR pile of doom!!!

BOOKS FINISHED

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by DELIA OWENS – 3 STARS

THE COTTAGE ON WILDFLOWER LAVE by LIZ DAVIES – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

We shall start at Netgalley where 1 title caught my eye…

SISTERS by DAISY JOHNSON

publication date – July 2020

The electrifying new novel from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Everything Under

After a serious case of school bullying becomes too much to bear, sisters July and September move across the country with their mother to a long-abandoned family home.

In their new and unsettling surroundings, July finds that the deep bond she has always had with September – a closeness that not even their mother is allowed to penetrate – is starting to change in ways she cannot entirely understand.

Inside the house the tension among the three women builds, while outside the sisters meet a boy who tests the limits of their shared experiences.

With its roots in psychological horror, Sisters is a taut, powerful and deeply moving account of sibling love that cements Daisy Johnson’s place as one of the most inventive and exciting young writers at work today.

DEAR CHILD by ROMY HAUSMANN

won a copy via a Quercus Books giveaway

Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller from one of Germany’s hottest new talents

A windowless shack in the woods. Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.

One day Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called ‘Lena’, who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit

HIGHFIRE by EOIN COLFER

won a copy via a Twitter giveaway

From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.

Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again.

THE BOOK OF KOLI by M.R.CAREY

sent a copy for review

The first in a gripping new trilogy, The Book of Koli charts the journey of one unforgettable young boy struggling to find his place in a chilling post-apocalyptic world. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.
Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls.

What he doesn’t know is — what happens when you aren’t given a choice?

CURRENTLY READING

Two Pigeonhole reads for me at the moment….

THE MEMORY WOOD by SAM LLOYD

THE TEMPLE HOUSE VANISHING by RACHEL DONOHUE

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HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 25th January 2020

Hello all! No sign of the sun here for a few days now – I miss it! The grey skies and drizzle are getting me down! And that normally leads to book buying…..someone stop me!!!!!

It’s been a great week for finishing off a few books with 5 finished this week and with the crap weather set to continue into the weekend it’s sounding perfect for  more reading! Good news with the Persephone Mini Readathon going on, hosted by the lovely Jessie at Dwell In Possibility and the Cosy Reading Night on Saturday Night hosted by Lauren and the Books from BookTube!

I’ve been better behaved over at Netgalley this week and just a couple of Book Post items!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett – 4 stars

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – 4 stars

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson – 4 stars

It Started With A Giggle by Kirsty Ferry – 5 stars

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G.Parry – 5 stars

BOOKHAUL

Netgalley time…

RULES OF THE ROAD BY CIARA GERAGHTY

publication date – April 2020

The simple fact of the matter is that Iris loves life. Maybe she’s forgotten that. Sometimes that happens, doesn’t it? To the best of us?
All I have to do is remind her of that one simple fact.

‘A superb writer’ Irish Examiner

When Iris Armstrong goes missing, her best friend Terry, wife, mother and all-round worrier, is convinced something bad has happened.

And when she finds her glamorous, feisty friend, she’s right: Iris is setting out on a journey that she plans to make her last.

The only way for Terry to stop Iris is to join her, on a road trip that will take her, Iris and Terry’s confused father Eugene onto a ferry, across the Irish sea and into an adventure that will change all of their lives.

Somehow what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best.

WILD DOG by SERGE JONCOUR (copy sent via Gallic Press)

publication date – April 2020

‘So original, so beautifully done, and sinister and savage. I didn’t want it to end’ Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks

When you’re confronted with a wolf, you have to think like a wolf…

Franck and Lise, a French couple in the film industry, rent a cottage in the quiet hills of the French Lot to get away from the stresses of modern life.

In this remote corner of the world, there is no phone signal. A mysterious dog emerges, looking for a new master. Ghosts of a dark past run wild in these hills, where a German lion tamer took refuge in the First World War…

Franck and Lise are confronted with nature at its most brutal. And they are about to discover that man and beast have more in common than they think.

MOLL FLANDERS by DANIEL DEFOE

copy sent from Alma Classics as part of my year subscription

The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (aka Moll Flanders) is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1722. It purports to be the true account of the life of the eponymous Moll, detailing her exploits from birth until old age.

CURRENTLY READING

TEA WITH MR ROCHESTER by FRANCES TOWERS

for the Persephone readathon

THE 24 HOUR CAFE by LIBBY PAGE

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HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 18th January 2020

Hello all! And welcome back to the weekend! Been a fairly quiet week for me, although keep hearing sad news so I’m already looking forward to seeing the back of January! I hate New Year!

On to books, and I’ve only managed to finish 1 book off this week which is a bit of a slow down for me! I’ve spent more evenings doing xstitch than reading this past week so that’s cut down my reading time, but seeing as I’ve just downloaded a new 50 page xstitch chart, I need to find ways to fit more stitching time into my day! I really should find less time consuming hobbies!

And remember me saying I was going to spend less time at Netgalley…. 3 new additions over there this week! I fail!! I’ll try to do better next week….. honest!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE UNSPOKEN NAME by A.K.LARKWOOD – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Netgalley…. here we go again…..

THE NINTH CHILD by SALLY MAGNUSSON

publication date – March 2020

A spellbinding novel of a young doctor’s wife, Isabel Aird, struggling to make her childless life meaningful, unaware that the sinister Robert Kirke is watching her every move, by the Sunday Times bestselling author Sally Magnusson.

Loch Katrine waterworks, 1856. A Highland wilderness fast becoming an industrial wasteland. No place for a lady.

But Isabel Aird, denied the motherhood role society expects of her by a succession of miscarriages, is comforted by a place where she can feel the presence of her lost children and begin to work out what her life is for.

No matter that the hills echo with the gunpowder blasts of men tunnelling day and night to bring fresh water to diseased Glasgow thirty miles away – digging so deep that there are those who worry they are disturbing the land of faery itself.

New life is quickening within her again. While her husband is engaged with the medical emergencies of the construction site, Isabel can only wait.

But someone else is waiting too. The man in the dark coat, watching for the right moment with a huntsman’s eye . . .

By turns spellbinding and heart-pounding, The Ninth Child is set at a pivotal time in the Victorian era, when engineering innovation and new ideas flourished but women did not. Through the dual lens of history and folklore it captures a woman’s struggle to make her life matter, and a compromised man’s struggle with himself.

CONFESSIONS OF A FORTY-SOMETHING F*** UP by ALEXANDRA POTTER

out April 2020

Hilarious, poignant, and utterly relatable, Confessions of a Forty-Something F### Up is a must-read for anyone whose life isn’t working out quite how they’d planned.

Nell Stevens’ life is a mess.

Until recently she’s been living in America with Ethan, her fiancé. But when her bookshop-cum-café goes bust – along with her relationship and all her savings – she moves back to London to start over.

But a lot has changed since she’s been gone. All her single friends are happily married with children and with rents sky-high she’s forced to rent a room while she looks for a job.

Left out of the mummy club, Nell feels left behind, she misses her friends. When an old work contact gets her a job writing obituaries, she meets Cricket, an eighty-something widow who never had kids and they strike up an unlikely friendship.

Whereas Nell’s friends are all busy with their families, all Cricket’s friends are dying off. They help each other cope with the loss of their old lives and navigate towards new ones with optimism, poignancy and humour. Everyone has a path to their perfect life. It’s knowing when to take the right turn.

Instantly relatable in an Instagram-perfect world, Confessions of a Forty Something F### Up is for women of any age who wonders why life isn’t working out quite how she imagined.

THE PARIS LIBRARY by JANET SKESLIEN CHARLES

publication date – June 2020

Paris, 1939. Odile Souchet is obsessed with books and the Dewey Decimal System, which makes order out of chaos. She soon has it all – a handsome police officer beau, an English best friend, a beloved twin, and a job at the American Library in Paris, a thriving community of students, writers, diplomats, and book lovers. Yet when war is declared, there’s also a war on words.

Montana, 1983. Widowed and alone, Odile suffers the solitary confinement of small-town life. Though most adults are cowed by her, the neighbor girl will not let her be. Lily, a lonely teenager yearning to break free of Froid is obsessed by the older French woman who lives next door and wants to know her secrets.

As the two become friends, Odile sees herself in Lily – the same love of language, the same longings, the same lethal jealousy. The Paris Library’s dual narratives explore the relationships that make us who we are – family and friends, first loves and favorite authors – in the fairy tale setting of the City of Light. It also explores the geography of resentment, the consequences of unspeakable betrayal, and what happens when the people we count on for understanding and protection fail us.

The wit, empathy, and deep research that brings The Paris Library to life also brings to light a cast of lively historical characters and a little-known chapter of World War II history: the story of the American librarian, Miss Reeder, who created the Soldiers’ Service to deliver books to servicemen, and who later faced the Nazi ‘Book Protector’ in order to keep her library open. She and her colleagues defied the Bibliotheksschutz by delivering books to Jewish readers after they were forbidden from entering the library.

 HAMNET by MAGGIE O’FARRELL

publication date – 31st March 2020

Extremely chuffed to have received a proof of this from the publicist this week!

Drawing on Maggie O’Farrell’s long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare’s most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.

REAL LIFE by ADELINE DIEUDONNE

copy for review ahead of the February Blog tour

A fierce and poetic debut on surviving the wilderness of family life

At home there are four rooms: one for her, one for her brother, one for her parents…and one for the carcasses. The father is a big game hunter, a powerful predator; the mother is submissive to her violent husband’s demands. The young narrator spends the days with her brother, playing in the shells of cars dumped for scrap and listening out for the chimes of the ice-cream truck, until a brutal accident shatters their world. The uncompromising pen of Adeline Dieudonné wields flashes of brilliance as she brings her characters to life in a world that is both dark and sensual. This breathtaking debut is a sharp and funny coming-of-age tale in which reality and illusion collide.

CURRENTLY READING

WOLF HALL by HILARY MANTEL

HOUSEKEEPING by MARILYNNE ROBINSON
 

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HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 11th January 2020

Greetings! From a very wiped out, snoozy, foggy brained me! So hopefully I can make it through this post without dropping off, or making too many silly mistakes – my apologies if any sneak through!

At least I have good bookish news to bring you this week as I’ve managed to finish 5 books! Reading multiple books has its’ advantages at times! There’s also been some bookpost and some netgalley approvals sneaked in – to be fair I’d forgotten all about them!! So while I clear the TBR pile a little on one hand…….. it’s never ending isn’t it haha!!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE FOUNDLING by STACEY HALLS –  4 STARS

A GIFT IN DECEMBER by JENNY BLACKWELL – 4 STARS

THE MISSING LETTERS OF MRS BRIGHT by BETH MILLER – 4 STARS

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by SHIRLEY JACKSON – 4 STARS

A WINTER WEDDING AT THE LITTLE DUCK POND CAFE by ROSIE GREEN – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Time to start at Netgalley…

THE GUEST LIST by LUCY FOLEY

out May 2020

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

THE FORGOTTEN GIRLS by LIZZIE PAGE

out February 2020

Two women from very different times, linked by a single, powerful photograph of two lost little girls. A moving tale of love and the power of hope in war’s darkest moments, inspired by an incredible true story.

London, 1943. Elaine Parker works as a clerical assistant for the government, transcribing letters from POWs in the hope of finding secret messages to help the war effort. Danger is all around, but dancing and revelry go on behind blackout curtains each night. One evening, Elaine meets famous war photographer Robert Capa and is immediately drawn to him and the haunting photos he takes. Their connection feels so strong, but Bobby’s work is risky, and Elaine has growing troubles of her own at home… while her country is gripped by war, can she afford the price she is being asked to pay for happiness?

Present day. Even the kiss of warm sunshine and the musical call of birds at her family’s countryside villa can’t make forty-four-year-old Jen forget the doomed marriage she’s left behind. That is, until her brother begins to investigate the origins of a tattered family photograph: two sweet little girls gazing out across a sparkling bay, their eyes clear and hopeful – looking for all the world as if they hadn’t witnessed the most terrible war to ever touch England. What is the story behind the picture, and could it finally be the key to mending the cracks in Jen’s own past?

THE YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER by GUINEVERE GLASFORD

out February 2020

In 1815, a supervolcanic eruption led to the extraordinary ‘Year Without Summer’ in 1816: a massive climate disruption causing famine, poverty and riots. Lives, both ordinary and privileged, changed forever.

1815, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia
Mount Tambora explodes in a cataclysmic eruption, killing thousands. Sent to investigate, ship surgeon Henry Hogg can barely believe his eyes. Once a paradise, the island is now solid ash, the surrounding sea turned to stone. But worse is yet to come: as the ash cloud rises and covers the sun, the seasons will fail.

1816.
In Switzerland, Mary Shelley finds dark inspiration. Confined inside by the unseasonable weather, thousands of famine refugees stream past her door. In Vermont, preacher Charles Whitlock begs his followers to keep faith as drought dries their wells and their livestock starve. In Britain, the ambitious and lovesick painter John Constable struggles to reconcile the idyllic England he paints with the misery that surrounds him. In the Fens, farm labourer Sarah Hobbs has had enough of going hungry while the farmers flaunt their wealth. And Hope Peter, returned from Napoleonic war, finds his family home demolished and a fence gone up in its place. He flees to London, where he falls in with a group of revolutionaries who speak of a better life, whatever the cost. As desperation sets in, Britain becomes racked with riots – rebellion is in the air.

The Year Without Summer is the story of the books written, the art made; of the journeys taken, of the love longed for and the lives lost during that fateful year. Six separate lives, connected only by an event many thousands of miles away. Few had heard of Tambora – but none could escape its effects.

DEAR EDWARD by ANN NAPOLITANO

copy sent from publisher for review

out February 2020

A heart-wrenching, life-affirming novel about a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a deadly plane crash

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 216 passengers aboard: among them a Wall Street millionaire; a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.

Dear Edward recounts the stories of the passengers aboard that flight as it hurtles toward its fateful end, and depicts Edward’s life in the crash’s aftermath as he tries to make sense of the loss of his family, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and the meaning of his survival. As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront one of life’s most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given?’ 

ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES AN AISLING by EMER McLYSAGHT, SARAH BREEN

sent via Nudge Books as my January subscription book

Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling

The third book in Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen’s phenomenally successful, No. 1 bestselling Complete Aisling book series.

Aisling’s turning 30, and she’s still a complete Aisling.

Business is booming at her café BallyGoBrunch, her best friend Majella is expecting the hen of the century, while Aisling is in the throes of a fling with the handsome and mannerly blow-in James Matthews. Life is all go.

When the big birthday hits, Aisling is faced with a huge surprise and an unexpected decision.

Throw in a hapless wedding planner, a mysterious American visitor, the unexpected return of her brother Paul, not to mention her ex John’s face around every corner, and Aisling’s got an awful lot on her plate.

When doubts, worries and an unfortunate clash threaten to get the better of her, Aisling needs to dig deep to see if she has enough strength and inspirational quotes to make it through.

CURRENTLY READING

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Twitter readalong for January!

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

GoodReads Book Club January pick

Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis

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HAPPY READING