My Favourite Books of 2020

We made it!! The year that we never imagined could turn out the way it did!  I’ll be crossing my fingers extra tight this New Year’s Eve in the hope that the year ahead of us doesn’t turn out the same!
But there is always books and they’ve been more important than ever, for me especially this year!  And this task of choosing my favourites from the past year never gets any easier! As of today, I’ve read just over 200 books and they’ve all played their part in keeping me sane (ish!) over the past 12 months, so thank you to ALL the authors who help us escape the world through words!!
So, this list of 20 books is in no particular order, but are just the books that have stayed with me the longest – the books that made me laugh, made me cry (a lot!) and had me on the edge of my seat!! Click on the book title for a link to my GoodReads reviews!


HAMNET by MAGGIE O’FARRELL

WE BEGIN AT THE END by CHRIS WHITAKER

APPIUS AND VIRGINIA by G.E.TREVELYAN

THE BELOVED CHILDREN by TINA JACKSON

WHEN I COME HOME AGAIN by CAROLINE SCOTT

THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by ALIX E.HARROW

TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI

KING OF THE CROWS by RUSSELL DAY

THE SIGHT OF YOU by HOLLY MILLER


THE LAST PAPER CRANE by KERRY DREWERY


WILD SPINNING GIRLS by CAROL LOVEKIN

A LADDER TO THE SKY by JOHN BOYNE


SMALL PLEASURES by CLARE CHAMBERS



THE CURATOR by M.W.CRAVEN


THE SOUND MIRROR by HEIDI JAMES


WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS by JOE HEAP



IN THE SWEEP OF THE BAY by CATH BARTON 

THE BIRD IN THE BAMBOO CAGE by HAZEL GAYNOR

THE CREAK ON THE STAIRS by EVA BJORG AEGISDOTTIR

THE MEMORY WOOD by SAM LLOYD


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My Christmas 2020 BookHaul

Santa spoilt me this year! I must have been good… stop laughing!!  So I thought I’d share this little Santa bookhaul that I woke up to on Christmas Day!  Should keep me busy for a little while….

READY PLAYER TWO by ERNEST CLINE

An unexpected quest. Two worlds at stake. Are you ready?

Days after Oasis founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. A last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.


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.


SAD JANET by LUCIE BRITSCH


For as long as I can remember feeling things, I’ve felt sadness. Now, for example, I feel sad that we have no money. Also a little mad that a bunch of idiots seem to have it all. But sad, mostly, because I think that’s just the way things are. It’s an all-encompassing feeling, like my lungs are filled with it instead of air.
You’d think it would feel better to be at one with the world.


Janet works at a rundown dog shelter in the woods. She wears black, loves the Smiths, and can’t wait to get rid of her passive-aggressive boyfriend. Her brain is full of anxiety, like “one of those closets you never want to open because everything will fall out and crush you.” She has a meddlesome family, eccentric coworkers, one old friend who’s left her for Ibiza, and one new friend who’s really just a neighbor she sees in the hallway. Most of all, Janet has her sadness—a comfortable cloak she uses to insulate herself from the oppressions of the wider world.

That is, until one fateful summer when word spreads about a new pill that offers even cynics like her a short-term taste of happiness . . . just long enough to make it through the holidays without wanting to stab someone with a candy cane. When her family stages an intervention, her boyfriend leaves, and the prospect of making it through Christmas alone seems like too much, Janet decides to give them what they want. What follows is life-changing for all concerned—in ways no one quite expects.

Hilarious, bitterly wise, and surprisingly warm, Sad Janet is the depression comedy you never knew you needed.

YOU LET ME IN by CAMILLA BRUCE


I wanted someone to know, you see. To know my truth, now that I am gone. How everything and none of it happened.

Everyone knew bestselling novelist Cassandra Tipp had twice got away with murder.

Even her family were convinced of her guilt.

So when she disappears, leaving only a long letter behind, they can but suspect that her conscience finally killed her.

But the letter is not what anyone expected. It tells two chilling, darkly disturbing stories. One is a story of bloody nights and magical gifts, of children lost to the woods, of husbands made from twigs and leaves and feathers and bones . . .

The other is the story of a little girl who was cruelly treated and grew up crooked in the shadows . . .

But which story is true? And where is Cassie now?


THE CAT AND THE CITY by NICK BRADLEY


In Tokyo – one of the world’s largest megacities – a stray cat is wending her way through the back alleys. And, with each detour, she brushes up against the seemingly disparate lives of the city-dwellers, connecting them in unexpected ways.

But the city is changing. As it does, it pushes her to the margins where she chances upon a series of apparent strangers – from a homeless man squatting in an abandoned hotel, to a shut-in hermit afraid to leave his house, to a convenience store worker searching for love. The cat orbits Tokyo’s denizens, drawing them ever closer.


THE READERS’ ROOM by ANTOINE LAURAIN


When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees.

But when the shortlist is announced, there’s a problem for editor Violaine Lepage: she has no idea of the author’s identity. As the police begin to investigate a series of murders strangely reminiscent of those recounted in the book, Violaine is not the only one looking for answers. And, suffering memory blanks following an aeroplane accident, she’s beginning to wonder what role she might play in the story …

Antoine Laurain, bestselling author of The Red Notebook, combines intrigue and charm in this dazzling novel of mystery, love and the power of books.


THE SWALLOWED MAN by EDWARD CAREY


I am writing this account, in another man’s book, by candlelight, inside the belly of a fish. I have been eaten. I have been eaten, yet I am living still. From the acclaimed author of Little comes this beautiful and haunting imagining of the years Geppetto spends within the belly of a sea beast.

Drawing upon the Pinocchio story while creating something entirely his own, Carey tells an unforgettable tale of fatherly love and loss, pride and regret, and of the sustaining power of art and imagination.


THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E.SCHWAB


France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.


GRACELAND by BETHAN ROBERTS


What if your son was the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll?

From the moment she first holds him, Gladys Presley loves her son Elvis ferociously. She is the one by his side when his father is in the jailhouse; as they move from place to place skirting poverty; as Elvis’s obsession with music grows and he begins his whirlwind rise to never-before-seen success. But while he brings audiences across the land to their knees and achieves unimagined wealth and fame, there is another story – of drinking and diet pills, loneliness and loss – and at the height of his power Elvis finds that even kings must go on alone.


ASPHYXIA by VIOLETTE LEDUC

In a small French town, a young girl grows up under the hard blue gaze of a mother who will not hold her hand. Her only comfort lies in the warmth of her ill grandmother. Yet the world around her is humming with curiosity. From the obsessive Madame Barbaroux and her endless spring cleaning, to the homeless Monsieur Dezaille and his beloved collection of saucepans, Leduc exposes the eccentricities of provincial life with unflinching candour and striking beauty. An extraordinary tale of a stifled childhood and an unrelenting love of life from the protégée of Simone de Beauvoir.


ANY HUMAN HEART by WILLIAM BOYD


Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart’s – lived from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century – contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in ’60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full – and a journey deep into a very human heart.


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So, which one should I read first?! Suggestions very welcome!!

Hello and Merry Boxing Day to you all! A very weird Christmas this year but there was books so all was good! I’ll have to share a separate post of my Christmas bookish presents from Santa as there were quite a few! And then there may have been a spend up at the Waterstones sale thanks to gift vouchers received!! Time to clear out the old books again from my shelves to find room for newbies!!

It’s been a fairly good bookish reading week despite the weirdness! 5 books finished, including 2 audiobooks which have been perfect for me to listen to while doing cross stitch! Plus there was a visit to Netgalley and some bookpost!!  Here’s my look back…

BOOKS FINISHED

CHARLOTTE by HELEN MOFFETT – audiobook – 3 STARS

A BRAMBLEBERRY MANOR CHRISTMAS by ROSIE GREEN – 5 STARS

FOLK MAGIC AND HEALING by FEZ INKWRIGHT – 5 STARS 

THE PHONE BOX AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by LAURA IMAI MESSINA
audiobook – 3 STARS

BOTANICAL CURSES AND POISONS by FEZ INKWRIGHT – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Off to Netgalley we go…


THE SPANISH GIRL by JULES HAYES

out March 2021

A country torn apart by war.
Two love stories divided by decades.
One chance to discover the truth…

Feisty journalist Isabella has never known the truth about her family. Escaping from a dangerous assignment in the turbulent Basque country, she finds her world turned upside down, firstly by her irresistible attraction to the mysterious Rafael, and then by a new clue to her own past.

As she begins to unravel the tangled story of her identity, Isabella uncovers a story of passion, betrayal and loss that reaches back to the dark days of Spain’s civil war – when a passionate Spanish girl risked everything for her country, and for the young British rebel who captured her heart.

But can Isabella trust the man she’s fallen in love with? Or are some wartime secrets better left undisturbed…?

Heartbreaking, gripping historical fiction about the tragedy of war, and the redemption of love. Perfect for fans of Angela Petch’s The Tuscan Secret and Kathryn Hughes’ The Letter.
And in the postbox this week..


THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET by CATRIONA WARD

out March 2021 – copy for review

This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.

In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…


SOULJOURNER by PAUL STEVEN STONE


Where to start with Souljourner?

Let’s start with the author – Paul Steven Stone is either a madman or a genius – probably both – and he’s written one of the most gripping and enjoyable books we’ve ever come across.

It begins with a quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we are spiritual beings on a human journey.”

– and that my friends sets the tone for everything that’s to come.

David Rockwood Worthington is in prison serving a life sentence for the murder of his 3rd wife and his incarceration is not going smoothly.

He’s being terrorised by rival gangs who insist he owes them each $6 million dollars – debts of which David claims to be entirely unaware. This perilous situation is complicated by the fact that the Internal Revenue Service wants to talk to him about the $18 million dollars he has stashed in secret Cayman Island accounts – accounts which David also claims to be entirely unaware of.

On top of all that, his prison psychologist doesn’t seem to like him very much.

The central premise of this novel – if it is indeed a novel (the narrator insists it is in fact a warning letter from your soul’s previous incarnation) – is that our souls make their eternal journey towards enlightenment in the company of a single unchanging ‘karmic pod’ of companion souls who take on different roles in each of our incarnations.

In one life a soul may appear as your mother, in the next your best friend, in the next your sworn enemy, in the next your lover and so on for eternity.

The identities of the souls in your ‘karmic pod’ are hidden from you in life – this letter/novel seeks to wise you up to who’s who in your karmic pod to help you avoid making the same mistakes that landed our David in prison.

A SONG FOR A NEW DAY by SARAH PINSKER

copy for review

An unnervingly prescient, Nebula-award-winning novel explores life in a world permanently locked down in the aftermath of a pandemic.

Before: Luce Cannon is on the road. Success is finally within her grasp: her songs are getting airtime; the venues she’s playing are getting larger. But mass shootings, bombings and now a strange contagion are closing America down around her.

The gig Luce plays tonight will turn out to be the last-ever rock show as the world’s stadiums, arenas and concert halls go dark for good.

After: Rosemary is too young to remember the Before. She grew up, went to school and works in the virtual world of Hoodspace. Only a few weeks ago she was a customer service rep for Superwally, the corporate monolith of automated warehouses and drone deliveries that services almost every consumer need, but now she’s about to do something she’s never done before… she’s going to take to the road, in the real world.

Working for StageHoloLive, which controls what is left of the music industry, her job is to find new talent, search out the illegal backroom jams and bring musicians into the Hoodspace hologaphic limelight they deserve.

But when Rosemary sees how the world could actually be, that won’t be enough.


THE HEALER’S SECRET by HELEN PRYKE

kindle freebie

All families have secrets. This family has a secret worse than most.
Jennifer’s life isn’t going as she planned. Fired from her job and on the brink of divorce, her only salvation lies at the bottom of a wine bottle. When her mother insists she get away from everything, she reluctantly agrees to explore her Italian roots in Tuscany.

Staying in her family’s centuries-old cottage, she becomes embroiled in a mysterious tragedy involving her great-grandmother. As she delves further into her ancestors’ history, she discovers there is more to her heritage than meets the eye.

Ghosts from the past could give Jennifer something she thought she’d never have: a future. But that depends on whether she can resist temptation and avoid slipping back into her old ways.

Will she be able to conquer her inner demons and discover the healer’s secret?

CURRENTLY READING


ONE SECRET SUMMER by LESLEY LOKKO

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#BookReview A BRAMBLEBERRY MANOR CHRISTMAS by ROSIE GREEN

ABOUT THE BOOK


After the heart-breaking events of the previous festive season, Jenny Wilkes is dreading Christmas. The one bright spot is that her brand new business, ‘Dining In’, seems to be thriving. She’s won a contract to cater for a week-long Christmas house party at Brambleberry Manor, culminating in the sparkling Cinderella Ball, and she’s determined to do a first rate job. Meeting Noah, one of the guests, gives Jenny a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. But with a stroppy step-daughter determined to stand in the way of her happiness, will love really be able to conquer all?

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

The perfect Christmas treat for me as a fan of the Little Duck Pond series! It was so wonderful to catch up with old friends, and make new friends in the characters introduced!

This story revolves around Jenny who is dreading this Christmas – her first without her other half who passed away the year before. She is bringing up his daughter and there are a few teenage issues with her that Jenny also has to deal with causing her more stress. She wants to be there for her step daughter but Tavie isn’t proving the easiest to deal with.

For Jenny her cookery is her escape, and her friend Fen asks her to cater a week long Christmas party at Brambleberry Manor for her mum and a few guests. So with Flo as her assistant she has a busy week ahead, not to mention the surprise extra guests and a couple of cooking disasters! Not to mention seeing a face from the past that brings back some very unhappy memories.

There’s lots of laughs in this book, alongside a more serious side of coping with grief and dealing with secrets that shock you and the implications they have on others. Rosie has created another set of characters that you instantly care about and enjoy watching them work their way through whatever life throws their way. A wonderful winter treat!! Cannot wait to see what book #15 has in store for us!!

★★★★★

#MusicMonday ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS NEW YEAR’S DAY by HURTS

Happy Music Monday and Merry Christmas to you all! Time for a bit of music for the tag hosted by Drew at THE TATTOOED BOOK GEEK , a weekly chance to share some songs and videos!
And I’ve gone festive this week! With a song that sums up my thoughts towards this Christmas… hurry up and be over already!! I think this is the least festive I’ve ever felt and I’ll be a happy bunny when this year is over and done with!! Cheery soul aren’t I!?

Everybody waits for Christmas
For me it’s New Year’s Day
That’s gonna come and take my blues away

I’m wishing on the stars for Christmas
And hoping for a better day
When it doesn’t hurts to feel this way

And everywhere there’s joy around this
First day of time of year
And happiness has never felt so far away

All of the bells ringing out for Christmas
I’m singing Goodbye to the year before
I know that the next one will be different – soo much more

All of the bells ringing out for Christmas
And I’m not supposed to feel this way
All that I want this year for Christmas is New Year’s Day

It’s only seven days ’till Christmas
Six more ’till New Year’s Day
It’s not a good time to feel this way

Everywhere the snow surrounds you
And melt your troubles away
I can only hope to feel the same

I know that there will be tidings of joy
This time next year
But happiness has never felt so far away

All of the bells ringing out for Christmas
I’m singing Goodbye to the year before
I know that the next one will be different – soo much more

All of the bells ringing out for Christmas
And I’m not supposed to feel this way
All that I want this year for Christmas is New Year’s Day

I remember how I used to feel at Christmas

All of the bells ringing out for Christmas
I’m singing Goodbye to the year before
I know that the next one will be different – soo much more

All of the bells ringing out for Christmas
And I’m not supposed to feel this way
All that I want this year for Christmas is New Year’s Day

All of the bells ringing out for Christmas
And I’m not supposed to feel this way
All that I want this year for Christmas is New Year’s Da

yAll of the bells ringing out for Christmas
And I’m not supposed to feel this way
All that I want this year for Christmas is New Year’s Day

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Hutchcraft Theo / Anderson AdamAll I Want for Christmas Is New Year’s Day lyrics © Emi Music Publishing Ltd

My Life in Books – 2020! #bookblogger

Having seen this tag on a number of wonderful blogger sites over the past week, most recently from Nicki over at The Secret Library Site I thought I’d join in with the fun!! 

Click on the titles to read my reviews! Have had some fun with this one!!

In high school I was ODD BIRD by LEE FARNSWORTH

People might be surprised by REAL LIFE by ADELINE DIEUDONNE

I will never be KING OF THE CROWS by RUSSELL DAY

My life in (full) lockdown was like A YEAR OF LIVING SIMPLY by KATE HUMBLE

My fantasy job would be at THE LITTLE TEASHOP IN TOKYO by JULIE CAPLIN

At the end of a long day I need THE UNWINDING by JACKIE MORRIS

I hate BROKEN FLOWERS by KATE MCQUAILE

Wish I had THE COTTAGE ON WILDFLOWER LANE by LIZ DAVIES

My family reunions are WHEN I COME HOME AGAIN by CAROLINE SCOTT

At a party you’d find me with DEAR EDWARD by ANN NAPOLITANO

I’ve never been to the THE GLASS HOTEL by EMILY ST.JOHN MANDEL

A happy day includes CHOCOLAT by JOANNE HARRIS

Motto I live by SMALL PLEASURES by CLARE CHAMBERS

On my bucket list is SWIMMING WITH SEALS by VICTORIA WHITWORTH

In my next life, I want to have A WEDDING ON THE RIVIERA by EVONNE WAREHAM

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#BookReview APPIUS AND VIRGINIA by G.E.TREVELYAN

ABOUT THE BOOK


Virginia Hutton embarks upon an experiment. She will take an ape and raise it as a human child…

She purchases an infant orangutan and names him Appius. She clothes him, feeds him, and puts him to bed in a cot every night. As Appius grows older, she teaches him to dress himself, to speak, to read, to stand and walk up straight, to eat his meals at the dining table with a knife and fork. She teaches him how to be human. The young orangutan is not always a willing student. Their relationship becomes fraught and flits between that of mother and child, teacher and student, scientist and experiment. But as Appius gains knowledge he moves ever closer to the one discovery Virginia does not want him to make: that of his true origins.


PUBLISHED BY EYE LIGHTNING BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW


Wow! Why has it taken so long for this story to be reissued?! I knew nothing of this author before the stunning cover drew me in, but now I’m just itching to read all that she wrote before her tragic death during the Blitz.

This is one of those quietly powerful books that really packs a punch – the simple story of nature v nurture and how loneliness affects people in different ways. In the case of Virginia, she is a middle aged woman who seems to yearn for some company, but spurns attempts from friends to connect. Her plan to not feel so lonely? Raise a baby ape as a child to see if he can be turned ‘human’ by just being around her and being treated like a real baby…… is it madness? or is it just a genuine attempt to search for answers in how surroundings affect an animal.

She dresses him as a baby, puts him in a cot, even teaches him to talk over the years and you can’t help but be moved by her devotion to him. And what adds brilliantly to the story is that it features both their sides of the story and it is difficult not to feel sorry for both of them in different ways. Virginia seems driven by loneliness and needing a purpose in her life as she’s too proud to reach out and ask for help from others. Whereas Appius is trying hard to please his ‘mum’ but animal instincts often take over and he’s often scared and confused. There are many dark undertones throughout, but mixed in with the touching moments when you see the genuine bond they begin to build up.

As he grows up, his inquisitiveness takes over and he even gets to experience bullying from children in the village – just like a real boy. Seeing his experiences it hits a nerve with Virginia – has she done the right thing? She is plagued by those doubts of harming Appius with her experiment, but her need for companionship gets the better of that rational.

A stunning and bold book and one that kept me totally captivated and mesmerized.


★★★★★

#AudiobookReview CHARLOTTE by HELEN MOFFETT

ABOUT THE BOOK


Everybody thinks that Charlotte Lucas has no prospects. She is twenty-seven years old, unmarried, plain, and seemingly without ambition. When she stuns the neighbourhood by accepting the proposal of buffoonish clergyman Mr Collins, her best friend Lizzy Bennet is angry at her for undervaluing herself. Yet the decision is the only way Charlotte knows to provide for her future, and marriage will propel her into a new world, of duty, marriage, children, grief and ultimately illicit love, and a kind of freedom.

Jane Austen cared deeply about the constraints of women in Regency England. This powerful reimagining takes up where Austen left off, showing us a woman determined to carve a place for herself in the world. Charlotte offers a fresh, feminist addition to the post-Austen canon, beautifully imagined, and brimming with passion and intelligence

PUBLISHED BY MANILLA PRESS

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audioversion of this book

This is the ‘what might have happened next’ once Pride & Prejudice was finished and it surprised me as to how much I wanted to know! And it worked! There’s some artistic licence throughout, obviously, but it made for such an engaging and endearing read as we get to see what happened to Charlotte in her married life.

Charlotte is one of those characters that you struggle to find things to dislike about – she’s a realist, she’s pragmatic and resilient. In her marriage to Mr Collins, they have children and are drawn together over the loss of a child – it makes her look at him through different eyes. But she’s still fighting the times of nothing being expected of women other than being married and having children, and she struggles with where that leaves her daughters in the future.

She goes to stay with Lizzie and Darcy for sometime to help her friend through some sadder times, and her eyes are opened to different experiences and viewpoints of the world.

The only thing that felt out of place for me was the rather OTT sex scene, but other than that this book a brilliant little look at the now and then for Charlotte – seeing how she got to where she was, the life she imagined and the life she got and was good to see how the attitudes towards women were starting to change amongst society.

★★★

#BookReview THE ORDER OF THE PURE MOON REFLECTED IN WATER by ZEN CHO

ABOUT THE BOOK

Zen Cho returns with a found family wuxia fantasy that combines the vibrancy of old school martial arts movies with characters drawn from the margins of history.

A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.


PUBLISHED BY TOR.COM

PURCHASE LINKS


GOLDSBORO – signed first edition

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

The perfect escapist read! One that takes you out of yourself, gives you time for reflection and ended up feeling a lot deeper than I originally thought it would! I expected some action and adventure, and on top of that I got magic, myth, religion and laughs!

When a nun teams up with a group of bandits you really don’t know what to expect – and they don’t either! Considering it’s only a novella as well, the story really involves you as you wander along their trodden path on the road to steal, cause mayhem and end up finding themselves!

It’s a weird but really engaging little read – it’s full of humour as well which I really loved and didn’t expect so much of! Some of the characters – Guet and Tet especially – are fabulous creations and I’d even love to read more about them in their own stories!

★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 19th Saturday 2020

Hello and Happy Saturday!! Hope everyone is well! Still not feeling festive here  – who knows I might put the Xmas tree up here this weekend… if I can be bothered!!   It just isn’t feeling christmassy here and I don’t think tinsel and lights will change that! Maybe the sight of some bookish shaped gifts under the tree might change my mind…..

Book wise it’s been an ok past 7 days – I feel I have slowed down and am trying my best to catch up with reviews so I can be all up to date! Getting there slowly! I’ve finished 3 books this week but I have stayed away from Netgalley so that’s a positive eh! If only I could do that throughout the whole of 2021…

Here’s my look back..

BOOKS FINISHED

MUDLARKING by LARA MAIKLEM (AUDIOBOOK) – 5 STARS

APPIUS AND VIRGINIA by G.E.TREVELYAN – 5 STARS


THE FLATSHARE by BETH O’LEARY (AUDIOBOOK) – 3 STARS




BOOKHAUL

NORDIC FAUNA by ANDREA LUNDGREN

publication date – February 2021

In these six short stories, Andrea Lundgren explores a liminal space where the town meets the wilderness and human consciousness meets something more animalistic. A train stops on the track in the middle of the night and a lone woman steps out of the open doors, following a call from deep in the forest. A father is haunted by the nocturnal visits of an elusive bird, and a young girl finds escape through the occult. From foxes to whales to angels, the creatures that roam through this collection spark a desire for something more in their human counterparts: a longing for transformation.


CROW COURT by ANDY CHARMAN (copy ahead of Blog Tour)

publication date – January 2021


Spring, 1840. In the Dorset market town of Wimborne Minster, a young choirboy drowns himself. Soon after, the choirmaster—a belligerent man with a vicious reputation—is found murdered, in a discovery tainted as much by relief as it is by suspicion. The gaze of the magistrates falls on four local men, whose decisions will reverberate through the community for years to come.

So begins the chronicle of Crow Court, unravelling over fourteen delicately interwoven episodes, the town of Wimborne their backdrop: a young gentleman and his groom run off to join the army; a sleepwalking cordwainer wakes on his wife’s grave; desperate farmhands emigrate. We meet the composer with writer’s block; the smuggler; a troupe of actors down from London; and old Art Pugh, whose impoverished life has made him hard to amuse.

Meanwhile, justice waits…

CURRENTLY READING

nothing….. trying to find the perfect books to finish off the year with and keep changing my mind!!

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