My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 2nd October 2021



hello all and happy October! How the flip are we here already?!  I’m sure it was January only last week!!  And the Christmas goodies are already in the shops….proper scary!!
On to a non scary subject, and that is books! Been another good bookish week – managed to finish 3 books, added only 1 to my Netgalley shelf and went a bit nuts on the library Borrowbox app and borrowed 3 e-books and 2 audiobooks… now to find time to read them all before I have to return them!!
Here’s my look back…


BOOKS FINISHED


DANCING FOR STALIN by CHRISTINA EZRAHI – 5 STARS

LUCKY by ED JACKSON – 5 STARS

THE RIVER BETWEEN US by LIZ FENWICK – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Over to Netgalley first…


THE KEY IN THE LOCK by BETH UNDERDOWN

publication date – January 2022

I still dream, every night, of Polneath on fire. Smoke unfurling out of an upper window and a hectic orange light cascading across the terrace.

By day, Ivy Boscawen mourns the loss of her son Tim in the Great War. But by night she mourns another boy – one whose death decades ago haunts her still.

For Ivy is sure that there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the Great House, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free.

Brimming with secrets, this lyrical, haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of Elizabeth Macneal, Sarah Waters and Diane Setterfield.

And then from the library app I borrowed….


THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD by ZOE SOMERVILLE

An atmospheric literary thriller set in north Norfolk in the shadow of the Cold War, in which a love triangle turns murderous.

Her heart beat hard. There was a crazed beauty to the storm. It was almost miraculous, the way it took away the mess of life, sweeping all in its path…

No-one could have foreseen the changes the summer of 1952 would bring. Cramming for her final exams on her family’s farm on the Norfolk coast, Verity Frost feels trapped between past and present: the devotion of her childhood friend Arthur, just returned from National Service, and her strange new desire to escape.

When Verity meets Jack, a charismatic American pilot, he seems to offer the glamour and adventure she so craves, and Arthur becomes determined to uncover the dirt beneath his rival’s glossy sheen.

As summer turns to winter, a devastating storm hits the coast, flooding the land and altering everything in its path. In this new, watery landscape, Verity’s tangled web of secrets, lies and passion will bring about a crime that will change all their lives forever.


THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by SHIRLEY JACKSON

Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with chilling, even horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers – and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.


PEOPLE LIKE US by LOUISE FEIN

For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?


THE OTHER BENNET SISTER by JANICE HADLOW (audiobook)

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mary is the middle of the five Bennet girls and the plainest of them all, so what hope does she have? Prim and pious, with no redeeming features, she is unloved and seemingly unlovable.

The Other Bennet Sister, though, shows another side to Mary. An introvert in a family of extroverts; a constant disappointment to her mother who values beauty above all else; fearful of her father’s sharp tongue; with little in common with her siblings – is it any wonder she turns to books for both company and guidance? And, if she finds her life lonely or lacking, that she determines to try harder at the one thing she can be: right.

One by one, her sisters marry – Jane and Lizzy for love; Lydia for some semblance of respectability – but Mary, it seems, is destined to remain single and live out her life at Longbourn, at least until her father dies and the house is bequeathed to the reviled Mr Collins.

But when that fateful day finally comes, she slowly discovers that perhaps there is hope for her, after all.

Simultaneously a wonderfully warm homage to Jane Austen and a delightful new story in its own right, Janice Hadlow’s The Other Bennet Sister is, at its heart, a life-affirming tale of a young woman finding her place in the world. Witty and uplifting, it will make you feel – and cheer – for Mary as you never have before.


MOON OVER SOHO by BEN AARONOVITCH (audiobook)

The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

Body and soul. They’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.



CURRENTLY READING


RIVERS OF LONDON by BEN AARONOVITCH (audiobook)


CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON




HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose

About the book

A mesmerising literary novel about a lost man in search of connection – a meditation on love, art and commitment, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest art events in modern history, Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present.

‘This is a weirdly beautiful book.’ David Walsh founder and curator, MONA

‘Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one.’ Stella Adler

‘Art will wake you up. Art will break your heart. There will be glorious days. If you want eternity you must be fearless.’ From The Museum of Modern Love

She watched as the final hours of The Artist is Present passed by, sitter after sitter in a gaze with the woman across the table. Jane felt she had witnessed a thing of inexplicable beauty among humans who had been drawn to this art and had found the reflection of a great mystery. What are we? How should we live?

If this was a dream, then he wanted to know when it would end. Maybe it would end if he went to see Lydia. But it was the one thing he was not allowed to do.

Arky Levin is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has asked him to keep one devastating promise. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovic in The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky. As he watches and meets other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.

This dazzlingly original novel asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love and finds a way to answer them.

Published by Allen & Unwin

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  – audio version

book depository

MY REVIEW

What a special book! I chose this randomly from the BorrowBox library audio app and have been utterly absorbed over the past few days as I couldn’t get enough and just had to keep listening! Special mention for the narrator whose voice just fitted perfectly with this tale of art, love and life.

I have to admit to knowing nothing at all of Marina Abramovic, a performance artist who once sat in the Museum of Modern Art for 75 days straight – 8 – 10 hours a day – and invited members of the general public to sit opposite her and do nothing! Just sit! She didn’t eat, walk around, pee … just sat there staring at the different faces of people who queued up for hours to be part of it all. And this story is set around Levin and Jane, two strangers who are dealing with their own forms of grief and end up at the museum to witness this ‘art’ and find themselves questioning their own lives, the world around them and striking up a comforting relationship.

This is a story that ends up being so profound! It explores the questions of ‘what is life all about’, what makes people so drawn to something so simple and ‘what is art’. Jane and Levin have such different but similar pasts that you can’t help but share their concerns, doubts and worries over how they cope with things that life has thrown their way, and that they find strength in each other and the ritual of going to watch this artist and just observe things around them. 

And at the centre of the story is Marina herself – why she’s drawn to the world of performance art and her relationship with her family. I’ve now read more about her as an artist and watched video clips of ‘The Artist Is Present’ and it just seems so amazing that it affected so many people in such different ways. Even celebrities lined up to sit opposite her and be part of it all! Some smiled, some stared blankly, many cried and that’s how this book makes you feel too! There’s something very special about a book that makes you think, take time to ponder, to observe, to listen, to reflect, to just ‘be’ and I’m very glad I found the time to experience this piece of art and the stories of strangers thanks to an author who has captured the feelings beautifully. Life is art in itself and you get a very strong sense of that throughout. Wonderful!

🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠

#bookreview The Widow by Fiona Barton

About the book

‘The ultimate psychological thriller’ Lisa Gardner

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

Du Maurier’s REBECCA meets WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN and GONE GIRL in this intimate tale of a terrible crime.

‘My book of the year so far’ C. L. Taylor, author of THE LIE

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk

waterstones

book depository

MY REVIEW

This book has been my obsession for the past few days, as I listened to the audio version via Borrowbox. And it was so wonderful to hear it all brought to life so stunningly by the narrator – and I loved the bonus interview at the end too between her and the author which added so much more to the reading experience!

This is the story of Jean Taylor, who has led a very quiet life until her husband Glen is accused of kidnapping a young child. Surely not her Glen? She stands by him as the press and police close the net convinced they have found their man. We then hear the story not only from Jean’s point of view, but also from the perspective of a journalist wanting the exclusive story and the detective leading the investigation to find the missing girl. The timeline is from now when Jean is widowed and also goes back to the past when the media circus was camped outside her door from dawn to dusk.

I had so many questions in my head as I read through this – how does somebody stand by someone accused of such horrific things? What lengths do the press go to in getting that exclusive aspect of a story? And how does a police force build up a case where there is very little evidence or witnesses? And the author has done an amazing job of exploring all these avenues throughout as she follows the story of the missing 2 year old. You are left with so many conflicting emotions as the story goes through a number of revelations that leave you shocked, upset, angry and most of all intrigued as to the outcome of the story.

The journalist and the detectives sides to the story really added an extra dimension to the book – it was fascinating to see how the case consumed the detective and how he wouldn’t settle until he’d looked at all aspects to those under suspicion. And with the journalist it was interesting to see how their minds worked in relation to getting different sides to a story.

I found this to be such a gripping and fascinating story that I was sad when it came to an end. Looking forward to reading more from this author very soon!!

                                                                            🌟🌟🌟🌟

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 32 2018 #bookblogger #bookhaul

Happy Saturday to you all!And relax! Well I hope you’re getting to relax a little anyway! Bit of gardening has been on my ‘to do’ list so far today, so now that’s done the sofa has taken me hostage!! So time to put my captive status to good use and catch up with my bookish week!

And it’s been another goodie! There have been some shorter books/graphic novels read this week so that helped me finish 7 books this week!  And then 5 have been added to my bookshelves, along with 2 audiobooks that I downloaded from the library via Borrowbox last night!  It’s fatal just browsing isn’t it?!

So here’s a quick look at what I’ve finished – way behind on reviews oops! – what’s new, and what I’m now reading! Click on the title for the GoodReads link for more info!

BOOKS FINISHED

Paper Girls Vol 1 by Brian Vaughan – 3 stars

Fun and feisty graphic novel. I’ll be reading more soon hopefully!

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh  – 4 stars

Slow start, but worth sticking with! Dark and hypnotic!

Summer at Hollyhock House by Cathy Bussey  – 3 stars

Little predictable but a quick, easy book to read!

The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden  – 3 stars

Read this ahead of the Blog Tour next month, and enjoyed this historical ‘noir fiction’

Ladders to Heaven by Mike Shanahan – 5 stars

Another Blog Tour read, and I never knew Figs were so blooming interesting! Loved this and learnt so much!

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter  – 4 stars

A stunning little book! Bought in a charity shop this week for £1. Only 126 pages but packs a punch with its’ unusual style.

Evie’s Little Black Book by Hannah Pearl – 4 stars

Out on Tuesday, and a fabulously fun read!

BOOK HAUL

First to the audio books that I borrowed from the Borrowbox Library app!

Folk by Zoe Gilbert

Every year they gather, while the girls shoot their arrows and the boys hunt them out. The air is riddled with spiteful shadows – the wounds and fears and furies of a village year.

On a remote and unforgiving island lies a village unlike any other: Neverness. A girl is snatched by a water bull and dragged to its lair, a babe is born with a wing for an arm and children ask their fortunes of an oracle ox. While the villagers live out their own tales, enchantment always lurks, blighting and blessing in equal measure.

Folk is a dark and sinuous debut circling the lives of one generation. In this world far from our time and place, the stories of the islanders interweave and overlap, their own folklore twisting fates and changing lives. 

The Unforgotten by Laura Powell

It’s 1956 and fifteen-year-old Betty Broadbent has never left the Cornish fishing village of St Steele or ventured far beyond the walls of the boarding house run by her erratic mother. But when the London press pack descends to report on a series of gruesome murders of young women, Betty’s world changes. In particular she is transfixed by mysterious and aloof reporter, Mr Gallagher. As the death toll rises, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Betty and Gallagher. But as their bond deepens, they find themselves entangled with the murders and each is forced to make a devastating choice, one that will shape their own lives – and the life of an innocent man – forever.

Had to treat myself to some bargain Persephone Books this week from the fab Ninja BookBox BookShop

The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding

A suburban matron, harassed by wartime domestic problems – her husband is overseas – finds herself implicated in the murder of her young daughter’s extremely unattractive beau. This novel is about maternal love and about the heroine’s relationship with those around her, especially her children and her maid.

The Runaway by Elizabeth Anna Hart

This 1872 novel by a mid-Victorian poet and novelist is about a girl named Clarice, living with her widowed father and her governess ‘in a charming home at a convenient (railway) distance from the city.’ One day she finds a girl of her own age hiding in the shrubbery. She is Olga and ‘there is no question that she is the liveliest child character in English fiction’ said the Observer in 1936

The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett

First published in 1901, The Making of a Marchioness follows thirty-something Emily who lives alone, humbly and happily, in a tiny apartment and on a meager income. She is the one that everyone counts on but no one goes out of their way to accommodate. This Cinderella-like story remains a much-loved favorite among many.
This book is followed by a sequel, The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. Later, the two novels were combined into Emily Fox-Seton.

Resin by Ane Riel

A signed first edition from Goldsboro Books – I needed a treat!

 

Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.

This way, Liv would be safe.

CURRENTLY READING

Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan

The Angel’s Mark by S.W.Perry

✤✤✤✤✤

And another week is all wrapped up! Now to be good and try and catch up with reviews!!  Have you read any of these books? Always love to hear your throughts!!

HAPPY READING!!