Bookish Weekly Wrap Up

Howdy!! Hope you have all been busy bees this week!!  And had a fabulous Star Wars Day – May the 4th be with you! – why this isn’t an international holiday yet is beyond me!!!  It needs to happen!!

So, on to the books!  Been quite a sedate week here of the bookish variety!  Trying to get myself back on track with books that need reviewing that have been sent my way, while at the same time reading through the book mountain I’ve created of my own purchases!!

BOOKS READ

Please click the title link if you want to read my GoodReads review!

The Walworth Beauty by Michele Roberts

I really enjoyed the start of this one but then it all fell a little flat.  Still an interesting read though – and a pretty stunning cover!  Downloaded this through my library card on the BorrowBox App.

From the Booker-shortlisted author comes a sensuous, evocative novel exploring the lives of women in Victorian London, for fans of Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue, and Kate Atkinson.

2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her riverside flat in cobbled Stew Lane, where history never feels far away, and move to Apricot Place. Yet here too, in this quiet Walworth cul-de-sac, she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life.

1851: and Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the working classes. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes. Roaming the Southwark streets, he is tempted by brothels’ promises of pleasure – and as he struggles with his assignment, he seeks answers in Apricot Place, where the enigmatic Mrs Dulcimer runs a boarding house.

As these entwined stories unfold, alive with the sensations of London past and present, the two eras brush against each other – a breath at Madeleine’s neck, a voice in her head – the murmurs of ghosts echoing through time. Rendered in immediate, intoxicating prose, The Walworth Beauty is a haunting tale of desire and exploitation, isolation and loss, and the faltering search for human connection; this is Michèle Roberts at her masterful best.

The Women of the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Really loved this absorbing story of how strong some women were through the adversity of the Second World War.

 

A resistance widow. A silent co-conspirator. The only one who survived.

Bavaria, Germany. June, 1945.

The Third Reich has crumbled. The Russians are coming.
Can Marianne von Lingenfels and the women in her care survive and build their ravaged world anew?

Marianne – widow of a resistor to the Nazi regime – returns to the grand, crumbling castle where she once played host to all of German high society. She assembles a makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s movement, rescuing her dearest friend’s widow, Benita, from sexual slavery to the Russian army, and Ania from a work camp for political prisoners. She is certain their shared past will bind them together.

But as Benita begins a clandestine relationship and Ania struggles to conceal her role in the Nazi regime, Marianne learns that her clear-cut, highly principled world view has no place in these new, frightening and emotionally-charged days.

All three women must grapple with the realities they now face, and the consequences of decisions each made in the darkest of times . . .

Deeply moving and compelling, THE WOMEN OF THE CASTLE is a heart-wrenching and hopeful novel of secrets and survival, a reckoning, and the astonishing power of forgiveness. Perfect for fans of THE READER, THE DARK ROOM and THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.

 

We All Begin as Strangers by Harriet Cummings

This was a fascinating and really enjoyable read based on real life events!

It’s 1984, and summer is scorching the ordinary village of Heathcote.

What’s more, a mysterious figure is slipping into homes through back doors and open windows. Dubbed ‘the Fox’, he knows everything about everyone – leaving curious objects in their homes, or taking things from them.

When beloved Anna goes missing, the whole community believes the Fox is responsible.

For the worried residents, finding Anna will be difficult – but stopping the Fox from exposing their darkest secrets might just be impossible..

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

Really loved this book that had me shedding a tear or three as the story unfolded!

A stunning debut about a girl who has learned how to survive – but not how to live.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is fine. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except sometimes, everything.

No-one’s ever told Eleanor life should be better than fine. But with a simple act of kindness she’s about to realise exactly how much better than fine life can be

BOOKS BOUGHT

guess what?! I’ve done it again!! Absolute zero!! Yay! Go me!!  And I have been daring to venture into bookshops and charity shops, but being a year older seems to have made me become a little more sensible and restrained… I don’t like it!!!  This kind of behaviour needs to stop! And soon!!

Currently Reading

Strange Magic by Syd Moore

Rosie Strange doesn’t believe in ghosts or witches or magic. No, not at all. It’s no surprise therefore when she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum, her first thought is to take the money and run.

Still, the museum exerts a curious pull over Rosie. There’s the eccentric academic who bustles in to demand she help in a hunt for old bones, those of the notorious Ursula Cadence, a witch long since put to death. And there’s curator Sam Stone, a man about whom Rosie can’t decide if he’s tiresomely annoying or extremely captivating. It all adds up to looking like her plans to sell the museum might need to be delayed, just for a while.

Finding herself and Sam embroiled in a most peculiar centuries-old mystery, Rosie is quickly expelled from her comfort zone, where to her horror, the secrets of the past come with their own real, and all too present, danger as a strange magic threatens to envelope them all.

Wabi Sabi by  Francesc Miralles

Living apart from his girlfriend Gabriela, university lecturer Samuel is shaken from his humdrum existence when he receives an enigmatic postcard from Japan and the unexpected visit at work of a girl trying to identify the language of a strange, haunting song. This sets Samuel on a quest that will take him to Kyoto, not only to discover the meaning of the cryptic message, which may hold the key to some of his unanswered questions, but also to find enlightenment, a new equilibrium and a reappreciation of the small joys of life. Written with Miralles s trademark wit and lightness of touch, Wabi-Sabi is a delightful tale about love and bridging cultural divides.

And there we have it! Another week nicely wrapped up!  And hopefully a good weekend of reading ahead – thank you TV for being so rubbish at the moment! – and maybe even some sunshine to enjoy too!

Happy Reading!!

Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – with added penguin!

Hello all!  I trust you have all had a fairly decent week! Been a good one here as I finally got to visit the penguins at Southend Sea Life Centre! I am so easily pleased!!  Now I’m just trying to figure out a way to snuggle one home with me on my next visit!!  Not sure Archie the bunny would be too pleased!

Bookwise it has been a very good one!! Managed to take part in the #cosyreadingnight on Sunday night hosted by Lauren and the books (check out her YouTube and Twitter channels!), and that was lovely just to sit for 3 hours with a few books I’d chosen before, and lots of snacks and a candle burning, and just read!  Must do that more often I think and not be distracted by the evil internet!! 

 

BOOKS FINISHED

5 books in total all finished this week! Please click on the title for a link to my GoodReads reviews!

The Gigantic Beard that was Evil by Stephen Collins

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

 

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis

Books Bought

Zero!!! Yes you’ve read that right!! Thought it best this week with the haul I got on my birthday that I should steer well clear of any temptation! See my previous blog post if you’d like to see the beauties I did get for my birthday book haul!

Book Post

The lovely people at Readers First were kind enough to send another 2 wonderful looking books my way this week so here is a little more about both….

See You In September by Charity Norman

Cassy blew a collective kiss at them. ‘See you in September,’ she said. A throwaway line. Just words, uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she’d gone.

It was supposed to be a short trip – a break in New Zealand before her best friend’s wedding. But when Cassy waved goodbye to her parents, they never dreamed that it would be years before they’d see her again.

Having broken up with her boyfriend, Cassy accepts an invitation to stay in an idyllic farming collective. Overcome by the peace and beauty of the valley and swept up in the charisma of Justin, the community’s leader, Cassy becomes convinced that she has to stay.

As Cassy becomes more and more entrenched in the group’s rituals and beliefs, her frantic parents fight to bring her home – before Justin’s prophesied Last Day can come to pass.

A powerful story of family, faith and finding yourself, See You in September is an unputdownable new novel from this hugely compelling author

Out 1st June 2017

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

“There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is surviving your fourteenth year. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.”

Kellen’s dreams of becoming a powerful mage like his father are shattered after a failed magical duel results in the complete loss of his abilities. When other young mages begin to suffer the same fate, Kellen is accused of unleashing a magical curse on his own clan and is forced to flee with the help of a mysterious foreign woman who may in fact be a spy in service to an enemy country. Unsure of who to trust, Kellen struggles to learn how to survive in a dangerous world without his magic even as he seeks out the true source of the curse. But when Kellen uncovers a conspiracy hatched by members of his own clan seeking to take power, he races back to his city in a desperate bid to outwit the mages arrayed against him before they can destroy his family.

Spellslinger is heroic fantasy with a western flavour.

Out 4th May 2017

Currently Reading

The Walworth Beauty by Michele Roberts

Downloaded this from the library via the Borrowbox app, and am really loving what I’ve read so far! Hope to finish it over the next couple of days.

We all Begin As Strangers by Harriet Cummings

The author very kindly sent me a copy of this and I’m currently racing through it and will be finishing it later today!

So there we have it! More weeks like that please!!  Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!

HAPPY READING

Weekly Bookish Wrap Up!

Good Day to you! And Happy National Tea Day!!  Ooh I do love a nice cuppa and have to thank my grandparents for that addiction – I still remember being served very sweet tea in the most beautiful bone china tea cups whenever we went to visit!  That’s why I always do my best to hunt out a cafe where they serve Tea the proper way!  None of your plastic cup rubbish for me!!

Anyway, getting back to the books!  Hope you’ve all had a lovely bookish week!  Been a mixed bag here! Some good reads, some not so good and only one new addition to the bookshelf chaos! See, told you I can be good! Although this won’t be the case next week as it’s my birthday (21st yet again!!) and all i’ve asked for is books so watch out the birthday haul blog post coming soon!! Now, on to the books!

BOOKS FINISHED

Mixed things up here this week with some graphic novel reads and loved the experience so will definitely be looking out for more to read! Any suggestions always welcome of what are the best graphic novels to read! Click on the title of each book if you’d like to see my GoodReads review!

I Hate Fairyland #1 by Skottie Young

I Hate Faiyrland #2 by Skottie Young

Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon


The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins

Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour by Alan Titchmarsh

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

A Place For Us by Harriet Evans

Always a little disappointing not to enjoy a couple of the books, but I guess  you have to experience the bad (in your opinion as others might love them!) to appreciate the good even more!!

BOOKS BOUGHT

Amy Snow by Tracy Rees

Left to perish on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy has never known love, never known family.

Reluctantly given shelter at nearby Hatville Court, she is despised by the masters and servants alike.

The beautiful Hatville heiress, Aurelia Vennaway, is Amy’s only advocate – she becomes the light of Amy’s life, and the centre of her existence.

So when Aurelia dies young, Amy’s world collapses. But Aurelia leaves Amy with one last gift.

A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can unlock.

A life-changing secret awaits… if only she can reach it

Current Reads

Somehow she’d always known that she would end like this. In a small square room, in a small square flat. In a small square box, perhaps. Cardboard, with a sticker on the outside. And a name…

An old lady dies alone and unheeded in a cold Edinburgh flat, on a snowy Christmas night. A faded emerald dress hangs in her wardrobe; a spilt glass of whisky pools on the carpet. A few days later a middle-aged woman arrives back to the city of her birth, her future uncertain, her past in tatters. But what Margaret Penny cannot yet know is that in investigating the death of one friendless old lady, her own life will become enriched beyond measure.

The Other Mrs Walker – a detective story with no detective – is a beautiful, beguiling and intensely moving debut.

COW n. /ka?/

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women. In all the noise of modern life, each needs to find their own voice.

It’s about friendship and being female.
It’s bold and brilliant.
It’s searingly perceptive.
It’s about never following the herd.
And everyone is going to be talking about it. 

The job of the skin is to keep things in.

On the buttoned-down island of Here, all is well. By which we mean: orderly, neat, contained and, moreover, beardless.

Or at least it is until one famous day, when Dave, bald but for a single hair, finds himself assailed by a terrifying, unstoppable… monster*!

Where did it come from? How should the islanders deal with it? And what, most importantly, are they going to do with Dave?

The first book from a new leading light of UK comics, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is an off-beat fable worthy of Roald Dahl. It is about life, death and the meaning of beards.

(*We mean a gigantic beard, basically.) 

There we have it!  Hope you’ve enjoyed a little peek into my reading habits this week!  

Happy Reading!!