My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 24th September 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday! It’s here again!!  Been an emotional week after the funeral on Monday, and that seemed to throw me off track on the book front! Hopefully normal service can be resumed next week, and I can get a few more reviews done!

I did manage to finish 5 books this week which I’m happy about and I stayed away from Netgalley and didn’t buy any either! Wonders will never cease!!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINSHED

GRAVES OF THE GREAT AND FAMOUS by ALISTAIR HORNE – 5 STARS

BATTLESHIPS by DAVID ROSS – 4 STARS

SECRET GARDENS OF THE SOUTH EAST by BARBARA SEGALL – 5 STARS

ORPHEUS BUILDS A GIRL by HEATHER PARRY – 5 STARS

A TREACHERY OF SPIES by MANDA SCOTT (audiobook)  – 3 STARS

BOOKHAUL

A big fat  ZERO!!!! It can be done!!

CURRENTLY READING

THE WINNERS by FREDRIK BACKMAN

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 17th September 2022

Hello! Happy Saturday!!  Definitely feeling and looking a little more Autumnal out there now.. the spiderwebs are multiplying daily in the garden!

On to books!  A slower week reading wise with just 2 finishes this past week.  Netgalley got me good again though with  5 new additions – oops!!  Plus I’ve bought 2 new books and got 1 book in the post to review! I need to up the reading and reviewing pace again!!

Here’s my look back…

BOOKS FINISHED

THE JANE AUSTEN REMEDY by RUTH WILSON  – 4 STARS

publication date – 22nd September 2022

HAVEN by EMMA DONOGHUE – 3 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Shall we see how Netgalley made me add so many?!

THE SECRET GARDENS OF THE SOUTH EAST by BARBARA SEGALL

publication date – October 2022

A tour of some of the UK’s most beguiling gardens in the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, the counties that exemplify ‘the garden of England’.

In these three counties a wealth of history and horticulture has combined with geography in the shape of rolling landscapes, wooded valleys and meandering waterways, to provide an attractive and fascinating collection.

They are in villages and towns, as well as in deep countryside, and all are privately owned. Some have been in the possession of the same family for many generations, while others have recently been transformed by new owners. Some open for the National Garden Scheme, while others are open privately and in some cases for just the occasional day for charity.

The stunning gardens explored in this visually rich guide include: Arundel Castle, Denmans, Gravetye Manor, Munstead Wood and Sussex Prairie Garden. The book also includes a gazetteer of other important gardens in the area with location advice, to enable readers to plan a more elaborate tour of this fertile garden area.

Filled with stunning, specially commissioned photographs by Clive Boursnell, Secret Gardens of the South East is a unique guide that opens the gates to the most intriguing gardens in this part of England.

BATTLESHIPS by DAVID ROSS

publication date – October 2022

Battleships features 52 of the greatest warships to have sailed in the last 500 years.
 
Beginning with King Henry VIII’s flagship, Henry Grace à Dieu, this book covers all the main periods of battleship development, including the great sailing ships, such as Sovereign of the SeasSantissimaTrinidad, and Victory. The advent of steam-driven warships provides the core of the book, beginning with the introduction of Gloire in 1859, and continuing through all the major pre-Dreadnoughts, such as the InflexibleMaine, and Tsessarevitch. There is detailed coverage of the great battleships of the two world wars, including DerfflingerYamato, and Iowa, while the book closes with the last new battleship to be commissioned, Vanguard, in 1946. Each entry includes a brief description of the battleship’s development and history, a color profile artwork, key features, and specifications. Packed with illustrations and photographs, Battleships is a colorful guide for the military historian and naval warfare enthusiast.

GRAVES OF THE GREAT AND FAMOUS by ALASTAIR HORNE

Karl Marx is buried in London, John Keats in Rome and Leon Trotsky in Mexico. Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is today known for the graves of Jim Morrison, Victor Hugo and Oscar Wilde, but when it opened in the early 19th century the owners felt that they needed some star names to make it a desired burial site – and so they had Molière’s body transferred there. Arranged thematically into 75 entries, Graves of the Great and Famous tours the world exploring the resting places of leading artists, thinkers, scientists, sportspeople, revolutionaries, politicians and pioneers. Some, such as communist leaders Ho Chi Minh and Vladimir Lenin, are interred in great mausoleums, where they are visited by millions each year; others are buried in little-known country graveyards. From lives cut short through assassinations – Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln – to those who suffered terrible accidents (Princess Diana), from mobsters such as Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel and John Gotti to Napoleon and his mistress Marie Walewska, from Nelson Mandela to Eva Peron, Graceland to Highgate Cemetery, the book provides a guide to some of the most famous and unusual graves of the great and the good. Featuring 150 photographs of graves, cemeteries, graveyards and mausoleums, Graves of the Great and Famous is a compact guide to the final resting place of the famous – and infamous.

BECKY by SARAH MAY

publication date – January 2023

Becky Sharp is determined. Determined to get away from the dead-end town where she grew up, determined to make a place for herself in high society and determined to reach the top of the career ladder. And she doesn’t care how many lives she ruins in the process.

Set in 90s tabloid era London, Becky charts the rise and fall of a very modern heroine as she inveigles her way into the highest society, where tabloid millionaires mingle and trade favours and fortunes with royalty and aristocracy, pushes her way up through the ranks at the Mercury newspaper with manipulative scoop after scoop, and eventually orchestrates her own dramatic downfall. These are some of the biggest news stories and scandals of the last few decades, and Becky seems to have something to do with every one of them . . .

In this viciously funny, darkly entertaining and ultimately moving read, the much-loved classic Vanity Fair finds itself in 90s London, and Becky couldn’t be a more perfect fit. For fans of Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, Becky by Sarah May is impossible to put down.

FOUND IN A BOOKSHOP by STEPHANIE BUTLAND

publication – April 2023

Dear Lost for Words,

We are trying to stay at home . . . I am enclosing a cheque and I hope that you will use it to send us some books. Please choose books that we might think are wonderful
.

Rosemary

Loveday Cardew’s beloved Lost for Words bookshop, along with the rest of York, has fallen quiet. At the very time when people most need books to widen their horizons, or escape from their fears, or enhance their lives, the doors are closed. Then the first letter comes.

Rosemary and George have been married for fifty years. Now their time is running out. They have decided to set out on their last journey together, without ever leaving the bench at the bottom of their garden in Whitby. All they need is someone who shares their love of books.

Suddenly it’s clear to Loveday that she and her team can do something useful in a crisis. They can recommend books to help with the situations their customers find themselves in: fear, boredom, loneliness, the desire for laughter and escape.

And so it begins.

On to the book I was sent for review by Gallic Books….

ORPHEUS BUILDS A GIRL by HEATHER PARRY

publication date – October 2022

Based on a true story, Orpheus Builds a Girl is a novel of sisterly love, sinister obsession, and the battle for control of the story. A dark, chilling debut novel from award-winning writer Heather Parry.

German doctor Wilhelm Von Tore shares with the reader the story of his one true ove; a love written in the stars, decades in the making, a love so strong it transcended death itself. When Wilhelm emigrates to America he carries with him a vision of a dark-haired beauty, presented to him in his dreams by his beloved late Grandmother. In Key West, Florida, a beautiful young woman is taken to him in the grip of illness, and he recognises her immediately as his promised bride. Despite his efforts, the sickness takes hold and his beloved slips away from him. But Wilhelm will not be kept from his destiny, not even by death. Using research compiled over decades, he sets about attempting to restore his love to her body, so that they might be together forever.

But there’s another voice in this story: Gabriela, and she will not let this version of events go unchallenged. From between the cracks in Wilhelm’s story Gabriela recounts her own memory of her sister Luciana, a fiery and difficult young woman, and the madman who robbed her from her grave.

And then it was time to treat myself… obviously!

FAIRY TALE by STEPHEN KING

Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for their world or ours.

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and his ageing master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.

Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.

King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale about another world than ours, in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle

.THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX by MAGGIE O’FARRELL

Maggie O’Farrell takes readers on a journey to the darker places of the human heart, where desires struggle with the imposition of social mores. This haunting story explores the seedy past of Victorian asylums, the oppression of family secrets, and the way truth can change everything.

In the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend’s attempts at commitment, Iris Lockhart receives a stunning phone call: Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital – where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris’s grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme’s face. Esme has been labeled harmless – sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme’s still basically a stranger, a family member never mentioned by the family, and one who is sure to bring life-altering secrets with her when she leaves the ward. If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit?

Maggie O’Farrell’s intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth will haunt readers long past its final page.

CURRENTLY READING

THE MARRIAGE PORTRAIT by MAGGIE O’FARRELL

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 10th September 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!! And Autumn has brought in the rain so the garden is very happy!! Some rather spectacular storms to watch too! Normal service is resumed in the UK haha!!

And on the book front it’s been another goodie!  I managed to finish 4 books, got 3 newbies from Netgalley, bought myself 2 books and received 1 proof for review!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

ITHACA by CLAIRE NORTH – 5 STARS

BEFORE YOUR MEMORY FADES by TOSHIKAZU KAWAGUCHI – 3 STARS

THE RABBIT HUTCH by TESS GUNTY – 4 STARS

THE NIGHT SHIP by JESS KIDD – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley… it tempted me again!

THE GREENMAN OF ESHWOOD HALL by JACOB KERR

publication date – 6th October 2022

Eshwood Hall is a great English house surrounded by sprawling woods. In 1960, Izzy is thirteen, lives in the servants’ quarters and doesn’t go to school. Neglected by her parents, she spends her moments of freedom exploring the forest and the village beyond. The more she comes to understand the history of the place and her own situation, the stranger are the things she hears and sees. The most tantalising of these is the Green Man who inhabits the woods, and seems to know all about her, even those desires she has buried deep inside.

A family story rooted in folk tale, The Green Man of Eshwood Hall shows us the power that the wild still holds on our imagination, and the shocking nightmares to which it can give rise.

NOW SHE IS WITCH by KIRSTY LOGAN

publication date – January 2023

Some of what they say about witches is true.

She dug her mother’s grave in the poison garden so it would stay hidden…

Lux has lost everything when Else finds her, alone in the woods. Her family, her lover, her home – all burned. The world is suspicious of women like her, neither maiden nor mother. But Lux is cunning; she knows how to exploit people’s expectations, how to blend into the background. And she knows a lot about poisons.

Else has not found Lux by accident. She needs her help to seek revenge against the man who wronged her, and together they pursue him north. But on their hunt they will uncover dark secrets that entangle them with dangerous adversaries.
From the snowy winter woods to the bright midnight sun; from the horrors of plague to the relief of healing; from lost and powerless to finding your path, Now She is Witch questions the oppositions that shadow our lives. In rich and immersive prose Kirsty Logan conjures a world of violence and beauty in which women grasp at power through witchcraft and poisons, through sexuality and childbearing, through performance and pretence, and most of all through throwing other women to the wolves. This is a witch story unlike any other.

THE CHRISTMAS CASTLE IN SCOTLAND by JULIE CAPLIN

publication date – October 2022

Unwrap this gorgeous gift of a book for an escape to the snow-peaked caps of the Scottish Highlands and a romance that will melt your heart…

Izzy McBride had never in a million years expected to inherit an actual castle from her great uncle Bill but here she was, in the run up to Christmas, Monarch of her own Glen – a very rundown glen in need of a lot of TLC if her dream of turning it into a boutique bed and breakfast was to come true.

But when Izzy’s eccentric mother rents a room to enigmatic thriller author Ross Adair and the Scottish snow starts to settle like the frosting on a Christmas cake, it’s a race to get the castle ready before they’re all snowed in for the holidays.

And in the post I was very lucky to receive a proof copy of this to review

EXILES by JANE HARPER

publication date – January 2023

At a busy festival site on a warm spring night, a baby lies alone in her pram, her mother vanishing into the crowds.

A year on, Kim Gillespie’s absence casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather deep in the heart of South Australian wine country to welcome a new addition to the family.

Joining the celebrations is federal investigator Aaron Falk. But as he soaks up life in the lush valley, he begins to suspect this tight-knit group may be more fractured than it seems.

Between Falk’s closest friend, a missing mother, and a woman he’s drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge.

An outstanding novel, a brilliant mystery and a heart-pounding read from the author of The Dry, Force of Nature, The Lost Man and The Survivors.

And then it was time to treat myself to a couple of books from Waterstones with vouchers I had!


MAGGIE O’FARRELL – THE MARRIAGE PORTRAIT

‘I thought I had made myself clear. I want something that conveys her majesty, her bloodline. Do you understand? She is no ordinary mortal. Treat her thus.’

Florence, the 1560s. Lucrezia, third daughter of Cosimo de’ Medici, is free to wander the palazzo at will, wondering at its treasures and observing its clandestine workings. But when her older sister dies on the eve of marriage to Alfonso d’Este, heir to the Duke of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: Alfonso is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father to accept on her behalf.

Having barely left girlhood, Lucrezia must now make her way in a troubled court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her husband himself, Alfonso. Is he the playful sophisticate he appears before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble?

As Lucrezia sits in uncomfortable finery for the painting which is to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear. In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferrarese dynasty. Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, her future hangs entirely in the balance.

THE DRAGON’S PROMISE by ELIZABETH LIM

A journey to the kingdom of dragons, a star-crossed love, and a cursed pearl with the power to mend the world or break it…

Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.

The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next—threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love, Takkan. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.

CURRENTLY READING

THE JANE AUSTEN REMEDY by RUTH WILSON

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 3rd September 2022

Hello and Happy September!!! How?!  And there are Chritsmas goodies in the shops already…arrrggghhhh!!!  This little robin appeared in my garden this week too to get me in the festive mood LOL!

On to my bookish mood and it’s been a bit quieter this week book wise – still managed to read 4 books, added 1 newbie to my bulging Netgalley shelves and 2 new book purchases!!

here’s my look back!!

BOOKS FINISHED

SWIMMING HOME by MARY-ROSE MACCOLL – 3 STARS

EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK by IAIN HOOD – 5 STARS

publication date – 14th September 2022

TRUST by HERNAN DIAZ – 4 STARS

SPRING ON THE LITTLE CORNISH ISLES by PHILLIPA ASHLEY – 3 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley…

THE WHISPERING MUSE by LAURA PURCELL

publication date – February 2023

From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes a gripping tale of obsession, superstition and ambition, set against the atmospheric backdrop of Victorian London. Be careful what you wish for… it may just come true.

By the pricking of my thumbs…

At The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End, rumours are circulating of a curse.

It is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage. Suspicious of Lilith, the jealous wife of the theatre owner sends dresser Jenny to spy on her, and desperate for the money to help her family, Jenny agrees.

What Jenny finds is a woman as astonishing in her performance as she is provocative in nature. On stage, it’s as though Lilith is possessed by the characters she plays, yet off stage she is as tragic as the Muse who inspires her, and Jenny, sorry for her, befriends the troubled actress. But when strange events begin to take place around the theatre, Jenny wonders if the rumours are true, and fears that when the Muse comes calling for payment, the cost will be too high.

…Something Wicked this way comes

And I’ve been book buying…..

This is my most recent Renard Press Subscription book.

THE PROPHET by KAHLIL GIBRAM

Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, The Prophet, is one of the most beloved classics of our time. Published in 1923, it has been translated into more than twenty languages, and the American editions alone have sold more than nine million copies.

The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Gibran’s musings are divided into twenty-eight chapters covering such sprawling topics as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

And this beauty arrived, complete with gorgeous prints/bookmarks from Galley Beggar Press

MALARKOI by ALEX PHEBY

NATHAN TREEVES is dead, murdered by the Master of Mordew, his remains used to create the powerful occult weapon known as the Tinderbox.

His companions, scattered, are making for Malarkoi – the city of the Mistress, the Master’s most powerful enemy. Hoping to find welcome there, or at least safety, they find neither… and instead become embroiled in a life and death struggle against assassins, demi-gods, and the cunning plans of the Mistress.

Only Sirius, Nathan’s faithful dog, has not forgotten the boy. Bent on revenge, he returns to the shattered remains of Mordew, newly deformed into an impossible mountain, swarming with monsters. He senses something in the Manse at its pinnacle – the Master is there, grieving the loss of his manservant, Bellows – and in the ruins of the slums he finds a power capable of destroying his foe, if only he has the strength to use it.

CURRENTLY READING

ITHACA by CLAIRE NORTH

HAPPY READING!!

My #20BooksOfSummer2022 Challenge……

It makes me very happy to type this so here goes

 CHALLENGE COMPLETE!!!! Wahoo!!!

The fabulous challenge, wonderfully hosted each year by the lovely Cathy at 746Books, is always a blast to take part in and this year I didn’t think I was going to finish my 20 books, but with the help of the heatwave that made it too hot for me to want to do anything other than read, I got there with a few days to spare!!  And I stuck rigidly to my list this year and found some wonderful new favourite books amongst them so that’s always the wonderful bonus to this challenge!!

Now I just need Cathy to run this challenge throughout the year and I might be able to make better inroads on the obscene TBR pile!!

Here’s a quick look back at the 20 Books that made 2022 a successful, if a little too hot, Summer for me!

BLONDE by JOYCE CAROL OATES – 5 STARS

GRACELAND by BETHAN ROBERTS – 3 STARS

ANY HUMAN HEART by WILLIAM BOYD – 5 STARS

FACES ON THE TIP OF MY TONGUE by EMMANUELLE PAGANO – 3 STARS

ISABEL’S SKIN by PETER BENSON – 4 STARS

SAVING LUCIA by ANNA VAUGHAN – 4 STARS

MAGPIE LANE by LUCY ATKINS – 3 STARS

THE DOVES IN THE DINING ROOM by LAURA LAAKSO – 4 STARS

SOULJOURNER by PAUL STEVEN STONE – 5 STARS

SNEGUROCHKA by JUDITH HENEGHEN – 4 STARS

THE GIRL FROM THE HERMITAGE by MOLLY GARTLAND – 4 STARS

THE EIGHTH GIRL by MAXINE MEI-FUNG CHUNG – 5 STARS

THE CHAMELEON by SAMUEL FISHER – 4 STARS

WE ARE ANIMALS by TIM EWINS – 5 STARS

TULIP FEVER by DEBORAH MOGGACH – 3 STARS

STEALING ROSES by HEATHER COOPER – 4 STARS

FINER THINGS by DAVID WHARTON – 3 STARS

THE TYRANNY OF LOST THINGS by LUCY RHIANNON COSSLETT – 4 STARS

THE SECRET TO NOT DROWNING by COLETTE SNOWDEN – 5 STARS

SWIMMING HOME by MARY-ROSE MACCOLL – 3 STARS

📚📚📚

And there it is!! Roll on Summer 2023!!!!! 😉

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th August 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!! There has been rain here in Essex!! This has made me happy LOL!! And yes I was that person who just went out in the garden to wander round as it poured down! Remind me of this feeliing when it’s September/October and raining everyday and I’m sick of it LOL!!

And it’s been a brilliant book week too!! The housework got forgotten and I sat my butt down at various points and got 6 books finished!!  The deadline for 20 Books of Summer 2022 draws nearer and it’s amazing how that deadline pushed me into reading more! I need this to run every month!!   There have also been a couple of Netgalley additions and I even treated myself to a book in Waterstones on a rare shopping trip with my niece, and fellow bookworm! 

So here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

STEALING ROSES by HEATHER COOPER – 4 STARS

WE ARE ANIMALS by TIM EWINS – 5 STARS


TULIP FEVER by DEBORAH MOGGACH – 3 STARS


FINER THINGS by DAVID WHARTON – 3 STARS


THE TYRANNY OF LOST THINGS by RHIANNON LUCY COSSLET -4 STARS


THE SECRET TO NOT DROWNING by COLETTE SNOWDEN – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL


To Netgalley we go….

CUDDY by BENJAMIN MYERS

publication date – March 2023

Travelling through the wilderness, a young woman has visions of a cathedral on a hill.The downtrodden wife of an archer seeks the truth in stone walls, in meadows full of garlic flowers.A group of soldiers sit out their last hours before their death under a vaulted ceiling.The professor receives unwelcome night-time visitors.A young man bids his dying mother goodbye, and sets off on his first day of work as a labourer.From these seeds of historical truth and strange mythology, Benjamin Myers spins an unforgettable story of love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling space both hilarious and terrifying. Unfolding over centuries, deploying a panoply of voices, Cuddy is written with Myers’ inimitable humour, pathos and grace – and confirms him as one of the most important writers of his generation.


BEFORE YOUR MEMORY FADES by TOSHIKAZU KAWAGUCHI

publication date – September 2022

The latest novel in the international bestselling Before the Coffee Gets Cold Series, following four new customers in a little Tokyo café where customers can travel back in time.

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café that 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.

From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe comes another story of four new customers, each of whom is hoping to take advantage of Café Funiculi Funicula’s time-travelling offer. Among some familiar faces from Kawaguchi’s previous novels, readers will also be introduced to a daughter, a comedian, a sister, and a lover, each with something they wish they had said differently.

With his signature heartwarming characters and immersive storytelling, Kawaguchi once again invites the reader to ask themselves: what would you change if you could travel back in time?

And my treat to myself in Waterstones was this beauty as I loved The Warlow Experiment so much!….

SEA CHANGE by ALIX NATHAN

‘I’ll be back soon, my love. Tonight, I hope.’

The last Eve saw of her mother was a wave from the basket of a rising balloon. A wilful, lonely orphan in the house of her erratic artist guardian, Eve struggles to retain the image of her missing mother and the father she never knew. In a London beset by pageantry, incipient riot and the fear of Napoleonic invasion, Eve must grow into a young woman with no one to guide her through its perils.

Far away, in a Norfolk fishing village, the Rev Snead preaches hellfire and damnation to his impoverished parishioners and oppressed wife. Snead illustrates his sermons with the example of a mute woman pulled from the sea, over whom he keeps a very close watch indeed.

CURRENTLY READING

EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK by IAIN HOOD

publication date – September 2022

‘There’s only control, control of ourselves and others. And you have to decide what part you play in that control.’

Cast your eye over the comfortable north London home of a family of high ideals, radical politics and compassionate feelings. Julia, Paul and their two daughters, Olivia and Sophie, look to a better society, one they can effect through ORGAN:EYES, the campaigning group they fundraise for and march with, supporting various good causes.

But is it all too good to be true? When the surface has been scratched and Paul’s identity comes under the scrutiny of the press, a journey into the heart of the family begins. Who are these characters really? Are any of them the ‘real’ them at all? Every Trick in the Book is a genre-deconstructing novel that explodes the police procedural and undercover-cop story with nouveau romanish glee. Hood overturns the stone of our surveillance society to show what really lies beneath

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 20th August 2022

Hello!  Happy Saturday!!  Still looking for rain to fall here so the garden is looking very sad as I’m running out of oomph to keep watering it all! So if you had downpours this week, please share!!

And it’s been a quiet bookish week too! I just can’t get going on the book front, although I have been distracted by reading Booker Prize Longlisted entries for some bizarre reason!  So you can bet that the ones I manage to read before the shortlist is revealed won’t be anywhere near that list!!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

MAPS OF OUR SPECTACULAR BODIES by MADDIE MORTIMER (audiobook) – 3 STARS

BOOTH by KAREN JOY FOWLER (AUDIOBOOK) – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Just one caught my eye on Netgalley this week…

THE COTTAGE IN THE HIGHLANDS by JULIE SHACKMAN

publication date – December 2022

When Leonie Baxter finds herself out of a job and out of a relationship, she’s at her wits end. Her life has just been turned upside down and she needs a plan, fast.

By chance, on a walk with her rescue puppy, Leonie stumbles across a striking house in the woods; fully furnished but unoccupied. As a journalist, she is determined to find out more, after all, reporting is in her nature.

But her attempts are thwarted by Lily Cruickshank who lives in the cottage next door. Why won’t Lily help Leonie? And who is the mysterious Flynn Talbot, whose letter Leonie finds inside the house?

And in uncovering the secrets of the abandoned house, will Leonie open her own heart and let love back into her life?

CURRENTLY READING

WE ARE ANIMALS by TIM EWINS

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 13th August 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!! Still way too hot here in the UK and I want the cloudy, cooler, rainier weather back NOW!!!

On to happier things, and that is books! Been a pretty good reading week with 3 books finished, 1 new addition from Netgalley and 3 bookish purchases as I had some vouchers burning a hole in my pocket!

Here’s my look back..

BOOKS FINISHED

THE GIRL FROM THE HERMITAGE by MOLLY GARTLAND –  4 STARS

THE EIGHTH GIRL by MAXINE MEI-FUNG CHUNG – 5 STARS

THE CHAMELEON by SAMUEL FISHER – 4 STARS


BOOKHAUL

Nicki at Secret Library Book Blog made me visit Netgalley for this one…

THE ELOPEMENT by TRACY REES

publication date – November 2022

Tracy Rees’s latest novel The Elopement is an elaborately imagined historical novel full of delight and temptation, spanning the luxury and poverty of late Victorian England.

A wealthy heiress . . .
1897. Rowena Blythe is wealthy, entitled and beautiful. As her twenty-fourth birthday approaches, she’s expected to marry – and to marry well.

An unsuitable match . . .
Her parents commission a portrait of Rowena to help cement her reputation as a great society beauty. However, Bartek, the artist’s young assistant, is unlike any man Rowena has met before – wild, romantic and Bohemian. While society at large awaits the announcement of Rowena’s engagement, it is Bartek who captures Rowena’s heart along with her likeness.

A scandal in society . . .
Rowena knows her parents would never approve of Bartek, who in their eyes is nothing but a penniless foreigner. As her feelings grow, she has no-one to turn to. Dare she risk everything for love?

And then I treated myself – it’s been a while!!

FLEDGLING by HANNAH BOURNE-TAYLOR

Read the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to reshape her identity when all normality has fallen away.

When lifelong bird-lover Hannah Bourne-Taylor moved with her husband to Ghana seven years ago she couldn’t have anticipated how her life would be forever changed by her unexpected encounters with nature and the subsequent bonds she formed.

Plucked from the comfort and predictability of her life before, Hannah struggled to establish herself in her new environment, striving to belong in the rural grasslands far away from home.

In this challenging situation, she was forced to turn inwards and interrogate her own sense of identity, however in the animal life around her, and in two wild birds in particular, Hannah found a source of solace and a way to reconnect with the world in which she was living.

Fledgling is a portrayal of adaptability, resilience and self-discovery in the face of isolation and change, fuelled by the quiet power of nature and the unexpected bonds with animals she encounters.

Hannah encourages us to reconsider the conventional boundaries of the relationships people have with animals through her inspiring and very beautiful glimpse ofwhat is possible when we allow ourselves to connect to the natural world.

Full of determination and compassion, Fledgling is apowerful meditation on our instinctive connection to nature. It shows that even the tiniest of birds can teach us what is important in life and how to embrace every day.

THE GARDEN OF EVENING MISTS by TAN TWAN ENG

Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambrige and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child.

MEREDITH, ALONE by CLAIRE ALEXANDER

Meredith Maggs hasn’t left her house in 1,214 days. But she insists she isn’t alone.

She has her cat, Fred. Her friend Sadie visits when she can. There’s her online support group, StrengthInNumbers. She has her jigsaws, favourite recipes, her beloved Emily Dickinson, the internet, the Tesco delivery man and her treacherous memories for company.

But something’s about to change.

First, new friends Tom and Celeste burst into her life. Then an estranged sister she hasn’t spoken to in years.

Suddenly her carefully curated home is no longer a safe place to hide.

Whether Meredith likes it or not, the world is coming to her door . . .

CURRENTLY READING

BOOTH by KAREN JOY FOWLER (audiobook)

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 6th August 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday! The hot, dry, humid weather continues here in the South East of England and I’m very sick of it now! I don’t even have the energy to read!  I managed to finish 3 books this week, 1 of which was an audiobook, so I need to pick up the pace again!  But no problem choosing books at Netgalley with 3 newbies added to the shelves there LOL!

Here’s my look back.

BOOKS FINISHED

CASE STUDY by GRAEME MACRAE BURNET (AUDIOBOOK) – 3 STARS

SNEGUROCHKA by JUDITH HENEGHAN – 4 STARS

SEEING THINGS by OLIVER POSTGATE – 3 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Netgalley got me good this week…..

THE NIGHT SHIP by JESS KIDD

publication date – October 2022

Based on a real-life event, an epic historical novel from the award-winning author of Things in Jars that illuminates the lives of two characters: a girl shipwrecked on an island off Western Australia and, three hundred years later, a boy finding a home with his grandfather on the very same island.

1629: A newly orphaned young girl named Mayken is bound for the Dutch East Indies on the Batavia, one of the greatest ships of the Dutch Golden Age. Curious and mischievous, Mayken spends the long journey going on misadventures above and below the deck, searching for a mythical monster. But the true monsters might be closer than she thinks.

1989: A lonely boy named Gil is sent to live off the coast of Western Australia among the seasonal fishing community where his late mother once resided. There, on the tiny reef-shrouded island, he discovers the story of an infamous shipwreck…​

With her trademark “thrilling, mysterious, twisted, but more than anything, beautifully written” (Graham Norton, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling, Jess Kidd weaves a unputdownable and charming tale of friendship and sacrifice, brutality and forgiveness.

THE WINNERS by FREDRIK BACKMAN

publication date – September 2022

Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?

Everything.

THE GHOST WOODS by C.J.COOKE

publication date – October 2022

Look out for C.J. Cooke’s atmospheric new novel . . .

In the midst of the woods stands a house called Lichen Hall.

This place is shrouded in folklore – old stories of ghosts, of witches, of a child who was not quite a child.

Now the woods are creeping closer, and something has been unleashed.

Pearl Gorham arrives in 1965, one of a string of young women sent to Lichen Hall to give birth. And she soon suspects the proprietors are hiding something.

Then she meets the mysterious mother and young boy who live in the grounds – and together they begin to unpick the secrets of this place.

As the truth comes to the surface and the darkness moves in, Pearl must rethink everything she knew – and risk what she holds most dear.

CURRENTLY READING

THE GIRL FROM THE HERMITAGE by MOLLY GARTLAND

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 30th July 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday!!  A lovely baby robin has been out and about in my garden this week so that’s been lovely to watch…. and keeping me on my toes making sure there’s enough food put out for him/her!  A small price to pay!

And it’s been a much better bookish week too with 5 books finished this week, 2 of which were audiobooks! So yay!  Now if only I was that motivated to get the reviews done….  And just 1 newbie for my bookshelves and nothing from Netgalley!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE BOOKSHOP by PENELOPE FITZGERALD (audiobook) – 3 STARS

THE LITTLE HOUSE BY THE SEA by TRACY REES – 5 STARS

SOULJOURNER by PAUL STEVEN STONE – 5 STARS

OH WILLIAM by ELIZABETH STROUT (audiobook) – 3 STARS

THE LIGHTHOUSE BOOKSHOP by SHARON GOSLING – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

Just one from my subscription with the fabulous RENARD PRESS

FOGGERTY’S FAIRY by W.S.GILBERT

‘Take care. The consequences of an act are often much more numerous and important than people have any idea of.’

Today W.S. Gilbert is best known for the comic operas he produced in collaboration with Arthur Sullivan, a creative partnership that diverged over the supernatural. Unlike Sullivan, Gilbert was a great fan of fairy tales, and Foggerty’s Fairy, one of his most unjustly neglected plays, is a brilliant farcical comedy that hinges on the wish-granting of a fairy.

Loosely based on his short story ‘The Story of a Twelfth Cake’, Foggerty’s Fairy considers the dangers of playing with the past. Trying to shore up his relationship, a man enlists a fairy’s help to make a few tweaks in his past – he soon realises, however, these small changes have made great waves through time, and his present becomes unbearable.

CURRENTLY READING

SNEGUROCHKA by JUDITH HENEGHEN

HAPPY READING!!