My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 14th September 2019

Hello!!  Managed to tear myself away from the sunshine for a while so I can can catch up with what’s been going on in my bookish world this week – and there’s been a lot so make yourselves comfy!!

I’ve finished reading 5 books this week which would be good, but a total of 9 new books ( 5 physical books, 4 Netgalley!) have made their way into my world so I’m failing miserably on keeping some balance!!  Maybe next week….

BOOKS FINISHED

This Census-Taker by China Mieville  – 3 stars

Quirky and unsettling!

Mr Godley’s Phantom by Mal Peet – 4 stars

Enjoyable and ghostly goings on, with dark undertones!

Escape to Giddywell Grange by Kim Nash  – 5 stars

Loved this one! all the feels!!

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck  – 4 stars

Such a powerful little novel!

Bone China by Laura Purcell  – 5 stars

Just wonderful! Dark, atmospheric, gothic – all I love in a book!

BOOKHAUL

Shall we start at Netgalley….

Ten Things My Cat Hates About You by Lottie Lucas

publication date – November 2019

This funny, warm-hearted rom com is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Lindsey Kelk and Mhairi McFarlane!

Not everyone gets nine lives…
So he better be the love of a lifetime!

When Clara’s ginger cat Casper chases yet another romantic prospect out the door she’s ready to give up on love altogether. But then the fussy feline causes two meet cutes in the space of a day and suddenly Clara has two gorgeous men driving her to distraction.

But who is in control of happy ever after? Clara, fate…or the cat who started it all?

Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds

publication date – October 2019

Harold Fry meets Brief Encounters in this charming and poignant debut.

‘She’s why you’re going to Edinburgh, isn’t she? I knew there must be a reason why you had to be on this train!’
Henry blinked. He hoped he hadn’t come across from the outset as some sort of eccentric old fool.
He took a breath. Felt the words gathering inside him. ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘it’s all part of the story. A small story, perhaps, but it’s my story. One that’s shaped my world for the last sixty-five years.’

Henry Applebee isn’t as young as he used to be. He’s also alone, and in love. After decades of searching, he boards a train from London to Edinburgh to find the woman he can’t forget, the woman he spent a fleeting weekend with sixty-five years before.

His objective is simple: to make amends for a terrible mistake…

But when Henry crosses paths with Ariel, a teenager from Wales, also bound to Edinburgh to fulfil her mother’s dying wish, his well-meaning quest takes an unexpected turn.

So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

Publication Date – October 2019

I’M A MOTHERI feel like I’m failing every day I HAVE A CAREERI have to shout to make myself heard I’VE GOT THE BEST FRIENDS Sometimes I feel so alone I LOVE MY BODY I don’t know who I am beyond it Sometimes it looks like everyone is living their best life.Everyone, except you. But no life is perfect, everyone is fighting a private battle of their own – it’s just a struggle to say it out loud.Fearless, frank and for every woman who’s ever doubted herself, So Lucky is the straight-talking new novel from the Sunday Times bestseller.

Actually, you’re pretty f****** lucky to be you.

The Women at Hitler’s Table by Rosella Postorino

Publication Date – November 2019

Inspired by the powerful true story of Margot Wölk, this is a heartbreaking and gripping historical novel for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Beekeeper of AleppoEast Prussia, 1943. Hitler hides away in the Wolfsshanze – his hidden headquarters. The tide is turning in the war and his enemies circle ever closer.Ten women are chosen.Ten women to taste his food and protect him from poison.Twenty-six-year-old Rosa has lost everything to this war. Her parents are dead. Her husband is fighting on the front line. Alone and scared, she faces the SS with nothing but the knowledge every bite might be her last.Caught on the wrong side of history, how far is Rosa willing to go to survive?

BOOKPOST

Foxfire, Wolfskin and other stories of shapeshifting women by Sharon Blackie

ahead of Blog Tour

Drawing on myth and fairy tales found across Europe – from Croatia to Sweden, Ireland to Russia – Sharon Blackie brings to life women’s remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories are about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and uncovering the wildness – and wilderness – within. Beautifully illustrated by Helen Nicholson, Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women is her first collection of short stories. All are either reimaginings of older tales, or contain characters, beings and motifs which appear in older tales.

The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves

due out 2020

A lifetime together. Six months of silence. One last chance.

Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Maggie for six months.

For weeks they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table – all without words.

Maggie has plenty of ideas as to why her husband has gone quiet.

But it will take another heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him.

Is this where their story ends?
Or is it where it begins?

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

copy for review

In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate. Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative that weaves together two women’s stories into a tapestry of perseverance, loyalty, love and honor. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced…and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.

Fuck Yeah Video Games by Daniel Hardcastle

copy for review ahead of blog tour

As Daniel Hardcastle careers towards thirty, he looks back on what has really made him happy in life: the friends, the romances… the video games. Told through encounters with the most remarkable – and the most mind-boggling – games of the last thirty-odd years, Fuck Yeah, Video Games is also a love letter to the greatest hobby in the world.

From God of War to Tomb Raider, Pokémon to The Sims, Daniel relives each game with countless in-jokes, obscure references and his signature wit, as well as intricate, original illustrations by Rebecca Maughan. Alongside this march of merriment are chapters dedicated to the hardware behind the games: a veritable history of Sony, Nintendo, Sega and Atari consoles.

Joyous, absurd, personal and at times sweary, Daniel’s memoir is a celebration of the sheer brilliance of video games.

 The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

This was picked for me by Nudge Magazine as part of my year long subscription package

Not all secrets are meant to be found.

If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore — a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the “real” experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists.

Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways.



Nolan’s story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever? 

CURRENTLY READING


After The End by Clare Mackintosh


This is the September pick for the facebook reading group Elsie’s Attic Book Club and I managed to find a perfect hardback copy in a local charity shop for £1!

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How has your week been bookwise?!  Any books to recommend!?! Always happy to hear your thoughts!!

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly wrap up – 24th August 2019 #bookblogger

Hello! It’s hot!!  So I’m indoors in the shade having a catch up with some reviews and seeing what’s been going on in my bookish world – and it’s been a busy one!!  Managed to finish 5 books this week so happy with that, have managed to avoid going anywhere near Netgalley… but have managed to add 5 physical books to my shelves (one of which was a book I won!) so my hauling skills may need a little working on again!

Here’s a look back at my week…. grab yourself an ice-cream and get comfy for this one!

BOOKS FINISHED

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White – 4 stars

read this for the #What The Fuck Book Club’ on Twitter run by the lovely @EliAllison3 and it made for an enjoyable adventure!

Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor/Heather Webb – 5 stars

Read this ahead of a blog tour – loved every single glamorous moment of it!!

Lanny by Max Porter  – 5 stars

Just wonderful!!

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann – 5 stars

Reading 1,000 pages was well worth it! Amazing!!

The Old Dragon’s Head by Justin Newland   – 4 stars

Another blog tour read, and a perfect piece of escapism

BOOK HAUL

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Won a gorgeous proof of this from MYVLF and I’m so looking forward to reading this!

A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.

Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where honking horns and shouting football fans keep them awake all night. If she doesn’t find a way out soon, Zoe knows it’s just a matter of time before she has a complete meltdown. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands, which is about as far away from the urban crush of London as possible. It sounds heavenly!

The job description asks for someone capable of caring for three “gifted children”, two of which behave feral wolverines. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the heather-strewn banks of Loch Ness. Still, the peaceful, picturesque location is everything London is not—and Zoe rises to the challenges of the job.

With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?

THE STARS NOW UNCLAIMED by DREW WILLIAMS

Having recently loved A CHAIN ACROSS THE DAWN I thought I’d read book one in the series!

In an effort to save the universe, she just might destroy it. THE STARS NOW UNCLAIMED is the incredible debut by a brilliant new voice in science fiction, perfect for everyone who loves READY PLAYER ONE, STAR WARS, MASS EFFECT or just a really huge battle…

AN IMPOSSIBLE MISSION

A century ago, a mysterious pulse of energy spread across the universe. Meant to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity, it instead destroyed technology indiscriminately, leaving some worlds untouched and throwing others into total chaos.

AN UNSTOPPABLE ENEMY

The Justified, a mysterious group of super-soldiers, have spent a hundred years trying to find a way to restore order to the universe. Their greatest asset is the feared mercenary Kamali, who travels from planet to planet searching for gifted young people and bringing them to the secret world she calls home. Kamali hopes that those she rescues will be able to find a way to reverse the damage the pulse wreaked, and ensure that it never returns.

THE END OF THE UNIVERSE

But Kamali isn’t the only person looking for answers to unimaginable questions. And when her mission to rescue a grumpy teenaged girl named Esa goes off the rails, Kamali suddenly finds herself smack in the centre of an intergalactic war… that she started.

AND THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING

BLONDE by JOYCE CAROL OATES

In her most ambitious work to date, Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker — the child, the woman, the fated celebrity and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe. In a voice startlingly intimate and rich, Norma Jeane tells her own story of an emblematic American artist — intensely conflicted and driven — who had lost her way. A powerful portrait of Hollywood’s myth and an extraordinary woman’s heartbreaking reality, “Blonde” is a sweeping epic that pays tribute to the elusive magic and devastation behind the creation of the great twentieth-century American star

THE LODGER by LOUISA TREGER

The first biographical novel about Dorothy Richardson, peer of Virginia Woolf, lover of H.G. Wells, and central figure in the emergence of modernist fiction

Dorothy exists just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist’s surgery and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend. Jane recently married a writer who is hovering on the brink of fame. His name is H.G. Wells, or Bertie as he is known to friends.

Bertie appears unremarkable at first. But then Dorothy notices his grey-blue eyes taking her in, openly signalling approval. He tells her he and Jane have an agreement which allows them the freedom to take lovers, although Dorothy is not convinced her friend is happy with this arrangement.

Not wanting to betray Jane, yet unable to draw back, Dorothy free-falls into an affair with Bertie. Then a new boarder arrives at the house—striking unconventional Veronica Leslie-Jones, determined to live life on her own terms—and Dorothy finds herself caught between Veronica and Bertie. Amidst the personal dramas and wreckage of the militant suffragette movement, Dorothy finds her voice as a writer.

The Lodger is a beautifully intimate novel that is at once an introduction to one of the most important writers of the 20th century and a compelling story of one woman tormented by unconventional desires.

THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN PROMISES by ELIZABETH BUCHAN

received a copy from Readers First

The stunning new novel from bestselling Elizabeth Buchan. The Museum of Broken Promises is a beautiful, evocative love-story and a heart-breaking exploration of some of the darkest moments in European history.

Paris, today. The Museum of Broken Promises is a place of wonder and sadness, hope and loss. Every object in the museum has been donated – a cake tin, a wedding veil, a baby’s shoe. And each represent a moment of grief or terrible betrayal. The museum is a place where people come to speak to the ghosts of the past and, sometimes, to lay them to rest. Laure, the owner and curator, has also hidden artefacts from her own painful youth amongst the objects on display.

Prague, 1985. Recovering from the sudden death of her father, Laure flees to Prague. But life behind the Iron Curtain is a complex thing: drab and grey yet charged with danger. Laure cannot begin to comprehend the dark, political currents that run beneath the surface of this communist city. Until, that is, she meets a young dissident musician. Her love for him will have terrible and unforeseen consequences. It is only years later, having created the museum, that Laure can make finally face up to her past and celebrate the passionate love which has directed her life. 

CURRENTLY READING

Tigers In Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

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Hope your week has been as productive book wise!! And I hope the week ahead is just as fruitful!!

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 3rd August 2019 #bookblogger

Hello! Happy Weekend!!  I’ve had plants on my mind this week as we paid a visit to the local big flower show and may have left with 12 new plants – which I’m still trying to find gaps for in the garden!! I fear the lawn may have to shrink again so I can fit them all in!!

So I’ve not been full on bookish this week! Shock horror!  I seem to have been fidgety and not been spending my time reading which hasn’t helped the TBR mountain of doom that seems  to tower over me – both physically and digitally! BUT the good news is that I avoided NetGalley all week so at least I’ve not added anymore to that shelf! Did manage to finish 2 books and 4 new books (2 for blog tour reviews/2 I treated myself to!) have made their way into my life!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

A Chain Across the Dawn by Drew Williams  – 4 stars

Really enjoyed this! I need to read book one in the series! Full review to follow on Blog Tour!

Tinderbox by Megan Dunn – 4 stars

Really enjoyable non -fiction that has me itching to read Fahrenheit 451!

BOOKHAUL

Treated myself over at Dead Ink to these two.

PLEASE READ THIS LEAFLET CAREFULLY by KAREN HAVELIN

Written in first person and following a reverse chronology which subverts the typical illness story, Please Read This Leaflet Carefully follows Laura Fjellstad in her struggles to live a normal life. Having been diagnosed with severe endometriosis in her twenties, she believes that the only way to survive her painful and debilitating illness is to be completely self reliant. In between doctors’ appointments and in and out of hospitals, Laura confronts single parenting after her divorce, leading a life her own teenage self would be in awe of.

To be devoured intensely in one sitting, Please Read This Leaflet Carefully is a heart warming debut novel with bracing emotional insights and piercing descriptions of pain that linger in one’s mind long after the last page. It is also a beguiling meditation on relationships, motherhood, menopause, sexuality, pain and a woman’s life journey to come to terms with her own body.

WATER SHALL REFUSE THEM by LUCIE McKNIGHT HARDY

The heatwave of 1976. Following the accidental drowning of her sister, sixteen-year-old Nif and her family move to a small village on the Welsh borders to escape their grief. But rural seclusion doesn’t bring any relief. As her family unravels, Nif begins to put together her own form of witchcraft – collecting talismans from the sun-starved land. That is, until she meets Mally, a teen boy who takes a keen interest in her, and has his own secret rites to divulge. Reminiscent of the suspense of Shirley Jackson and soaked in the folk horror of the British landscape, Water Shall Refuse Them is an atmospheric coming-of-age novel and a thrilling debut.

A TAPESTRY OF TREASON by ANNE O’BRIEN copy for review ahead of blog tour

publication date – 22nd August 2019

Her actions could make history – but at what price? 
1399: Constance of York, Lady Despenser, proves herself more than a mere observer in the devious intrigues of her magnificently dysfunctional family, The House of York.

Surrounded by power-hungry men, including her aggressively self-centred husband Thomas and ruthless siblings Edward and Richard, Constance places herself at the heart of two treasonous plots against King Henry IV.  Will it be possible for this Plantagenet family to safeguard its own political power by restoring either King Richard II to the throne, or the precarious Mortimer claimant?
Although the execution of these conspiracies will place them all in jeopardy, Constance is not deterred, even when the cost of her ambition threatens to overwhelm her.  Even when it endangers her new-found happiness.

With treason, tragedy, heartbreak and betrayal, this is the story of a woman ahead of her time, fighting for herself and what she believes to be right in a world of men.

FLORA AIR by JANICE CAIRNS copy for review ahead of Blog Tour

Flora Air is passionate about writing and she dreams of becoming an author, but she’s in a fog with her mundane day job. She meets a charismatic professor who nurtures her writing and suddenly her dreams seem possible. A touch of magic at the professor’s home adds old-fashioned charm and enchantment to Flora’s writing journey. When she realises she loves the married professor, her journey takes a wild turn. Can Flora actually succeed in becoming an author? What happens to the love Flora Air feels for the professor?

CURRENTLY READING

Ducks, NewburyPort by Lucy Ellmann

Only 1,000 pages short! No wonder I can’t seem to focus on anything else at the moment! Reading this for my #20BooksOfSummer challenge and think this maybe should count for 4 or 5 books and not just 1 haha!

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How has your bookish week been?! Been good and avoided buying anything?! Or gone nuts and bought ALL THE BOOKS!? Would love to hear!

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th July 2019

Hello! Happy Saturday!! What a week! It  has been rather hot here in the UK and I’m loving the cooler temperatures and rain that has greeted us today! I can sleep again!!

And it’s been a bonanza of books too this past 7 days! Lots of reading (it’s been too hot to do anything else!) so I’ve finished 6 books, and the heat made me visit NetGalley too so nother 4 books on that shelf, along with 3 more physical books to review! Might need another bookshelf declutter!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

Man with a Seagull on his head by Harriet Paige – 4 stars

The Beekeeper’s Cottage by Emma Davies – 4 stars

The Holiday Home by Fern Britton (audiobook) – 3 stars

The Cornish Cream Tea Bus by Cressida McLaughlin – 4 stars

Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor – 4 stars

The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott – 5 stars

BOOKHAUL

Over to Netgalley we go….

BEFORE THE COFFEE GETS COLD by TOSHIKAZU KAWAGUCHI

out September 2019

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

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story – translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot – explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?

For fans of The Guest Cat and If Cats Disappeared from the World, Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a touching story about second chances and how we find and lose the ones we love. 

THE INHERITANCE OF SOLOMON FARTHING by MARY PAULSON-ELLIS

out September 2019

Solomon knew that he had one advantage. A pawn ticket belonging to a dead man tucked into his top pocket – the only clue to the truth . . .

An old soldier dies alone in his Edinburgh nursing home. No known relatives, and no Will to enact. Just a pawn ticket found amongst his belongings, and fifty thousand pounds in used notes sewn into the lining of his burial suit . . .

Heir Hunter, Solomon Farthing – down on his luck, until, perhaps, now – is tipped off on this unexplained fortune. Armed with only the deceased’s name and the crumpled pawn ticket, he must find the dead man’s closest living relative if he is to get a cut of this much-needed cash.

But in trawling through the deceased’s family tree, Solomon uncovers a mystery that goes back to 1918 and a group of eleven soldiers abandoned in a farmhouse billet in France in the weeks leading up to the armistice.

Set between contemporary Edinburgh and the final brutal days of the First World War as the soldiers await their orders, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing shows us how the debts of the present can never be settled unless those of the past have been paid first . . 

SHELF LIFE by LIVIA FRANCHINI

out August 2019

Launching an intelligent, perceptive new voice in fiction, Shelf Life is the exquisite, heart-wrenching story of a woman rebuilding herself on her own terms.

Ruth is thirty years old. She works as a nurse in a care home and her fiancé has just broken up with her. The only thing she has left of him is their shopping list for the upcoming week.

And so she uses that list to tell her story. Starting with six eggs, and working through spaghetti and strawberries, and apples and tea bags, Ruth discovers that her identity has been crafted from the people she serves; her patients, her friends, and, most of all, her partner of ten years. Without him, she needs to find out – with conditioner and single cream and a lot of sugar – who she is when she stands alone.

BONE CHINA by LAURA PURCELL

out September 2019

Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.

Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last…

THE MAGIC TOUCH by KELLY FIORENTIA

copy from publishers – Accent Press – ahead of Blog Tour

Marriage isn’t high on 39-year-old Emma King’s list of priorities; after all, she’s been there and done it once. So there are no big surprises when, yet again, she turns down her long-term partner Harry’s marriage proposal. They’re a solid, secure couple – a piece of paper won’t make any difference. That is until she accidentally stumbles across a flirtatious text message from one of his female colleagues on his phone. Overcome with suspicion and an impending fear of losing Harry, Emma goes on a quest to get to the bottom of his secret affair with the help of her ninety-three-year-old neighbour, Alistair, her best friend Ola, and Harry’s sister-in-law’s psychic app, The Magic Touch.

A WALK IN WILDFLOWER PARK by BELLA OSBORNE

copy won via Avon Books on Twitter

Life’s not always a walk in the park…
Anna thought she’d found The One – until he broke off their engagement exactly a year before their wedding day. Hoping new surroundings will do her the world of good, she moves in to a place of her own on the edge of gorgeous Wildflower Park.
With the help and friendship of her neighbour Sophie, Anna quickly settles in and pledges to focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems determined to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives a text from a mystery man, it looks as though an unlikely romance is on the horizon…
Is Anna about to be swept off her feet by someone she really shouldn’t be falling for? Or could this be the new start she needs and deserves?

JOURNEY BY MOONLIGHT by ANTAL SZERB

copy via Alma Books from their yearly subscription

Anxious to please his bourgeois father, Mihaly has joined the family firm in Budapest. Pursued by nostalgia for his bohemian youth, he seeks escape in marriage to Erzsi, not realising that she has chosen him as a means to her own rebellion. On their honeymoon in Italy Mihaly loses his bride at a provincial station and embarks on a chaotic and bizarre journey that leads him finally to Rome. There all the death-haunted and erotic elements of his past converge, and he, like Erzsi, has finally to choose

A CHAIN ACROSS THE DAWN by DREW WILLIAMS

copy from publisher ahead of Blog Tour

Bigger spaceships. Bigger explosions. Bigger planets.  Bigger problems.

It’s been three years since Esa joined the ranks of the Justified after her rescue from the fanatical murderers the Pax. Together, Esa and her mentor Kamali travel from planet to planet, searching for children with supernatural abilities. It’s hard work, but Esa has never felt more assured of her place in the universe. 
 
On a visit to a planet so remote that its inhabitants never learned that the Sect Wars ended over a hundred years ago, they learn that the Justified are not the only people searching for gifted children. There is a creature with unexpected powers who will stop at nothing to get its hands on the children that Esa and Kamali are trying to rescue.
 
With their latest recruit in tow — a young Wulf child named Sho — Esa and Kamali will travel halfway across the galaxy in pursuit of answers. But the answers only lead to more questions, and the danger will only increase as their terrifying nemesis turns his eyes on them.

CURRENTLY READING

The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E.Nesbit

A New Map of Love by Abi Oliver

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How has your reading week been? Any goodies to recommend! would love to hear!

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 11th May 2019

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

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

Here’s a look back at my week!

BOOKS FINISHED

Burn by Hannah Pearl  – 4 stars

Dark and gripping drama!

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

Another fabulous visit to a wonderful place!

The Sewing Room Girl by Susanna Bavin – 4 stars

gripping and engrossing drama

From The Wreck by Jane Rawson  – 4 stars

fabulous blend of sci-fi and history!

Pink Ice Creams by Jo Woolaston – 5 stars

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

Cape May by Chip Cheek – 3 stars

Sultry, sexy and dark!

BOOKHAUL

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

THE WOMAN WHO WANTED MORE by VICKY ZIMMERMAN

copy via Readers First for review

Publication Date – 30th May 2019

Two lonely women. 

An unlikely friendship. 

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

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

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

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

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

CURRENTLY READING

The Wedding Group by Elizabeth Taylor

Behind Closed Doors by Sadie Ryan

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

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th April 2019

hello!  apologies for the radio silence on the blog front this week! I’ve hit the wall on the reviewing front! So now I need to play catch up -and I’m not looking forward to that one little bit!

But it was also my birthday this past week, so I’m 21 again and there were lots of lovely bookish gifts and cake for me to enjoy, and I may share another post with the bookish gifts and the results of my book voucher spending spree soon!

On the reading front it’s been quiet this past week! Suffering a little bit of a book hangover from one amazing book, but still managed to finish 4 books this week. Just one new addition from NetGalley and also some lovely bookpost for a blog tour, and ones I NEEDED  to treat myself to!!  Here’s a look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Overstory by Richard Powers – 6 stars!!!

wow blooming wow!! beast of a book but loved every minute of it!

Crikey A Bodyguard by Kathryn Freeman – 4 stars

A fab mix of romance, fun and thrilling action!

William Shakespeare’s Get Me Back to Thee Future! by Ian Doescher – 4 stars

A Shakespearean take on the Back to the Future film – and it works! Loved the fun and quirkiness of it all!

The Tragic Daughters of Charles I by Sarah-Beth Watkins – 4 stars

Such a fascinating period of history brought to life so well. A royal soap opera!

BOOKHAUL

Staring with Netgalley..

THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH by STEPHANIE BUTLAND

Published by Bonnier Zaffre – Out July 2019

1968.

Veronica Moon, a junior photographer on a local paper in an Essex town, is frustrated. She never gets good assignments, and no one takes her seriously. And then she visits the picket line at Dagenham Ford Factory. At the front line of the fight for equal pay for women workers she meets Leonie – a privileged, angry activist, ahead of her time and prepared to fight for equality with everything she has. Veronica is captivated. She breaks off her engagement and moves to London with Leonie to begin a game-changing career and an intoxicating friendship.

Fifty years later and Leonie is gone. Veronica is a recluse with a crippling degenerative disease. For a while she was heralded as a pioneer, leading the charge for women everywhere. But her career was shockingly and abruptly ended by one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century. It is a photograph she took of her best friend’s death.

Now, as that controversial picture hangs as the centrepiece of a new feminist exhibition curated by Leonie’s niece, long-repressed memories of Veronica’s extraordinary life and tumultuous, passionate and – at times toxic – friendship begin to stir.

It’s time to break her silence and step back into the light. And she will no longer hide from the truth about that dark time . . .

THE GARDEN OF LOST AND FOUND by HARRIET EVANS

Got this signed edition from Bert’s Books which came beautifully wrapped too!

Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and Found days before his sudden death.

Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted ‘The Garden of Lost and Found’, capturing his children on a perfect day, playing in the rambling Eden he and Liddy made for them.

One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…

When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale House, she opens the door onto a forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers. For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or, in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.

Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?

FROM THE WRECK by JANE RAWSON

Have heard many good things about this so treated myself to a signed edition from Goldsboro Books

From the Wreck tells the remarkable story of George Hills, who survived the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast in 1859. Haunted by his memories and the disappearance of a fellow survivor, George’s fractured life is intertwined with that of a woman from another dimension, seeking refuge on Earth. This is a novel imbued with beauty and feeling, filled both with existential loneliness and a deep awareness that all life is interdependent.

TAKE ME TO THE EDGE by KATYA BOIRAND – for Blog Tour next month

Five words of your choice provoke a chain of creation.

Seven years ago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I sat beside a friend, staring out at the horizon on the flat calm waters. I turned to my friend and asked her for five words of her choice. This time I would openly invite inspiration into my work and allow myself to be guided by her impulses. A chain of creation was born as a poem was written using her words.

The joy that poem had brought about struck me as something I could spread further than just my close circle of friends. I began to ask everyone I met for their five words of choice, in gallery spaces or just in passing.

A GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER by BEV THOMAS

The April book of the month from Goldsboro Books in a gorgeous case!

The hardest lies to spot are the ones we tell ourselves.
Dr Ruth Hartland rises to difficult tasks. She is the director of a highly respected trauma therapy unit. She is confident, capable and excellent at her job. Today she is preoccupied by her son Tom’s disappearance.
So when a new patient arrives at the unit – a young man who looks shockingly like Tom – she is floored.
As a therapist, Ruth knows exactly what she should do in the best interests of her client, but as a mother she makes a very different choice – a decision that will have profound consequences.

CURRENTLY READING

CAPE MAY by CHIP CHEEK

THE DEVIL ASPECT by CRAIG RUSSELL

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And there we have it! Not a bad week even though it felt like I never had much time to read!  Now to attack those reviews…!!

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 9th March 2019

I think we can all relate to this meerkat right about now eh!! Hello!! Happy weekend to you! Weather forecast isn’t looking too wonderful so that might be good news for the TBR pile as I hide under a blanket for the weekend!

Looking back on the past 7 days, it’s been another fun week on the book front! Another 5 books finished, 4 newbies added from Netgalley ( I just can’t stop myself!!) and 3 new arrivals in the post from publishers for reviewing and Blog Tours!   So the TBR pile continues to grow despite me forever telling myself  ‘STOP’!  And April is looking just as mad…..

Here’s a look back at the books I’ve read and added this week.

BOOKS FINISHED

The Silver Road by Stina Jackson – 4 stars

A chilling read that I was eager to devour everyday via The Pigeonhole

The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson by Helen Kitson – 5 stars

A stunning book that unsettles you and draws you in so cleverly

The Wild Remedy by Emma Mitchell – 5 stars

Stunning book that shows how the power of nature can help us heal especially when suffering with our mental wellbeing.

Remember Tomorrow by Amanda Saint – 4 stars

Fab dystopian novel that scarily feels like we’re heading down this route

The Scandal by Mari Hannah – 4 stars

 Really enjoyed this fast paced crime thriller

BOOKHAUL

Starting with the evil Netgalley and what it lured me to add to my shelves!

Madame Tussaud: Her Life and Legacy by Geri Walton

Published by Pen & Sword

Madame Marie Tussaud is known worldwide for the chain of wax museums she started over 200 hundred years ago. Less known is that her original wax models were often of the famous and infamous people she personally knew during and after the French Revolution. These were people like Voltaire, Robespierre, and Napoleon — people who changed the world. Even more, the wax figures were depicted in scenes drawn from the horrors she experienced during the reign of terror in Paris during her early adult years.

This book shows how the traumatic and cataclysmic experiences of Madame Tussaud’s early life became part of her legacy. She created a succession of scenes in wax, telling events as she personally experienced them. Her wax sculptures were visceral. She made them herself, at times from the living person’s head and at other times from the recently guillotined head of a former house guest. As a result, people were drawn to her wax displays in those days because they were the most intense way of experiencing those events themselves.

Madame Tussaud’s story is told through a series of unique and informative stories drawn from an in-depth study of both Madame Tussaud’s life and the dramatic times in which she lived. This narrative style makes learning about history rewarding for both avid history readers and people with a casual interest in this unique story.

THE ROSIE RESULT by GRAEME SIMSION

Published by Penguin

The Rosie Result is the triumphant final instalment of the internationally bestselling series that began with The Rosie Project.‘The phone call signalling an escalation in the Hudson Adjustment Problem came at 10:18 a.m. on a Friday morning . . .’Meet Don Tillman, the genetics professor with a scientific approach to everything. But he’s facing a set of human dilemmas tougher than the trickiest of equations.Right now he is in professional hot water after a lecture goes viral; his wife of 4,380 days, Rosie, is about to lose the research job she loves; and – the most serious problem of all – their eleven-year-old son, Hudson, is struggling at school. He’s a smart kid, but socially awkward-not fitting in.Fortunately, Don’s had a lifetime’s experience of not fitting in. And he’s going to share the solutions with Hudson. He’ll need the help of old friends and new, lock horns with the education system, and face some big questions about himself. As well as opening the world’s best cocktail bar.Big-hearted, hilarious and exuberantly life-affirming, The Rosie Result is a story of overcoming life’s obstacles with a little love and a lot of overthinking.

THE SECRET HOURS by SANTA MONTEFIORE

Published by Simon & Schuster

‘Let the wind take me and the soft rain settle me into the Irish soil from where I came. And may my sins be forgiven.’ 

 Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way. On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions. 

 Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea. 

 All Arethusa ever told Faye was that she grew up in a poor farming family and left Ireland, alone, to start a new life in America as did so many in those times of hardship and famine. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now? What was the real reason that she turned away from them? And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa’s estate? 

 Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story. Faye feels bereft, as if her mother’s whole family has died with her. Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother’s last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa’s insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.

THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by HAZEL GAYNOR

Published by Harper collins


1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.

BOOKPOST

THE PALE ONES by BARTHOLOMEW BENNETT – ahead of April Blog Tour

Published by Inkandescent

Pulped fiction just got a whole lot scarier… 

Few books ever become loved. Most linger on undead, their sallow pages labyrinths of old, brittle stories and screeds of forgotten knowledge. And other things besides… 

Paper-pale forms that rustle softly through their leaves. Ink-dark shapes swarming in shadow beneath faded type. And an invitation…

Harris delights in collecting the unloved. He wonders if you’d care to to donate. A small something for the odd, pale children no-one has seen. An old book, perchance? Neat is sweet; battered is better.

Broken spine or torn binding, stained or scarred – ugly doesn’t matter. Not a jot. And if you’ve left a little of yourself between the pages – a receipt or ticket, a mislaid letter, a scrawled note or number — that’s just perfect. He might call on you again. 

Hangover Square meets Naked Lunch through the lens of a classic M. R. James ghost story. To hell and back again (and again) via Whitby, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Moors. Enjoy your Mobius-trip.

THE DEVIL ASPECT by CRAIG RUSSELL  – copy for review

Published by Constable

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum 

In 1935, Viktor Kos�rek, a psychiatrist newly trained by Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The state-of-the-art facility is located in a medieval mountaintop castle outside of Prague, though the site is infamous for concealing dark secrets going back many generations. The asylum houses the country’s six most treacherous killers–known to the staff as The Woodcutter, The Clown, The Glass Collector, The Vegetarian, The Sciomancer, and The Demon–and Viktor hopes to use a new medical technique to prove that these patients share a common archetype of evil, a phenomenon known as The Devil Aspect. As he begins to learn the stunning secrets of these patients, five men and one woman, Viktor must face the disturbing possibility that these six may share another dark truth. 
Meanwhile, in Prague, fear grips the city as a phantom serial killer emerges in the dark alleys. Police investigator Lukas Smolak, desperate to locate the culprit (dubbed Leather Apron in the newspapers), realizes that the killer is imitating the most notorious serial killer from a century earlier–London’s Jack the Ripper. Smolak turns to the doctors at Hrad Orlu for their expertise with the psychotic criminal mind, though he worries that Leather Apron might have some connection to the six inmates in the asylum. 
Steeped in the folklore of Eastern Europe, and set in the shadow of Nazi darkness erupting just beyond the Czech border, this stylishly written, tightly coiled, richly imagined novel is propulsively entertaining, and impossible to put down.

PILGRIM by LOUISE HALL – ahead of April Blog Tour

After a major row with his wife, Sarah, Charlie Carthy storms out of the family home. Just hours later he finds out that Sarah has become the victim of a hit and run driver and is in critical condition in hospital. Sarah’s death and Charlie’s self-absorbing grief throws their daughter Jen’s life into turmoil. Will an unwanted pilgrimage to Medjugorje heal Jen and Charlie’s relationship, or, should Jen prepare to lose her remaining parent? Told with a deep humanity and grace, Pilgrim is a story about a man who feels he has nothing to live for, and a daughter who is determined to prove him wrong.

CURRENTLY READING

The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

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And we’re done!   I’m off for a nice cup of tea now and some biscuits and wish you all a happy bookish weekend!

HAPPY READING!!