My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 22nd February 2020

Hello!! Disaster has struck me at the end of the week! My faithful and long serving laptop – missing keyboard letters/numbers, cracked screen and all – seems to have finally died on me! Thankfully I had just finished uploading some reviews before it decided to switch itself off, but I’m now left facing one of my most hated tasks and that’s shopping for new technology! Why does it have to be so complicated?! I just want a simple life!! Something I am not looking forward to!!

BUT it has been a good bookish week so let’s focus on that!  Managed to finish 6 books this week – 2 via the Pigeonhole app – and only 1 to tempt me via Netgalley! So progress!!

BOOKS READ

Won’t You Save Me by Wendy Dranfield – 5 stars

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue – 3 stars

The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd – 5 stars

If All The World and Love Were Young by Stephen Sexton – 5 stars

Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler – 4 stars

BOOKHAUL

Starting at Netgalley…

THE ISLAND GIRLS by NOELLE HARRISON

OUT 23rd April 2020

I guess our life on the island was one which never fit you right. I like to imagine you some days when I look out the window across the harbour, all those miles of sea and land between us. But, sister, we are always connected.

When young nurse Emer loses her beloved sister, she is haunted by grief and desperate to escape her memories. Taking a job in Vinalhaven, a rocky outpost in the wild Atlantic, feels like the refuge she so badly needs.

Her patient, Susannah, has lived in isolation for many years, since the tragic death of her sister Kate caused her to withdraw from island life. However, when Emer discovers a bundle of letters in a rainbow quilt in her bedroom and shares the story of her own loss, Susannah opens up. She begins to tell the story of Kate’s brutal and secret past, and her marriage to a man with a heart as cold as the ocean.

But when Emer starts asking locals about Kate, the island air sizzles with hostility. There are people who would rather that Susannah kept quiet, who have no qualms about threatening Emer. But despite the warnings to stay away, Emer is determined to find out what really happened the night Kate died – and the final secret that is keeping Susannah a prisoner to the past.

WILD SPINNING GIRLS by CAROL LOVEKIN

out now – treated myself!

If it wasn’t haunted before she came to live there, after she died, Ty’r Cwmwl made room for her ghost. She brought magic with her.

And the house, having held its breath for years, knew it. Ida Llewellyn loses her job and her parents in the space of a few weeks and, thrown completely off course, she sets out for the Welsh house her father has left her. Ty’r Cwmwl is not at all welcoming despite the fact it looks inhabited, as if someone just left..

It is being cared for as a shrine by the daughter of the last tenant. Determined to scare off her old home’s new landlord, Heather Esyllt Morgan sides with the birds who terrify Ida and plots to evict her. The two girls battle with suspicion and fear before discovering that the secrets harboured by their thoughtless parents have grown rotten with time. Their broken hearts will only mend once they cast off the house and its history, and let go of the keepsakes that they treasure like childhood dreams.

CURRENTLY READING

THE ANIMALS AT LOCKWOOD MANOR by JANE HEALEY

MIRACLE ON CHERRY HILL by SUN-MI HWANG

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My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 15th February 2020 #bookblogger

Hello!! Welcome to the weekend – and if you’re in the UK – another storm is hitting our shores! What fun!!  Stay safe peeps!

It’s been a fairly ok bookish week here – a couple of books finished, while I’ve also been doing some manuscript reading for Choc Lit! And there has been bookpost!! Always makes the week worthwhile with some additions to the TBR pile of doom!!!

BOOKS FINISHED

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by DELIA OWENS – 3 STARS

THE COTTAGE ON WILDFLOWER LAVE by LIZ DAVIES – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL

We shall start at Netgalley where 1 title caught my eye…

SISTERS by DAISY JOHNSON

publication date – July 2020

The electrifying new novel from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Everything Under

After a serious case of school bullying becomes too much to bear, sisters July and September move across the country with their mother to a long-abandoned family home.

In their new and unsettling surroundings, July finds that the deep bond she has always had with September – a closeness that not even their mother is allowed to penetrate – is starting to change in ways she cannot entirely understand.

Inside the house the tension among the three women builds, while outside the sisters meet a boy who tests the limits of their shared experiences.

With its roots in psychological horror, Sisters is a taut, powerful and deeply moving account of sibling love that cements Daisy Johnson’s place as one of the most inventive and exciting young writers at work today.

DEAR CHILD by ROMY HAUSMANN

won a copy via a Quercus Books giveaway

Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller from one of Germany’s hottest new talents

A windowless shack in the woods. Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.

One day Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called ‘Lena’, who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit

HIGHFIRE by EOIN COLFER

won a copy via a Twitter giveaway

From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.

Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again.

THE BOOK OF KOLI by M.R.CAREY

sent a copy for review

The first in a gripping new trilogy, The Book of Koli charts the journey of one unforgettable young boy struggling to find his place in a chilling post-apocalyptic world. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.
Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls.

What he doesn’t know is — what happens when you aren’t given a choice?

CURRENTLY READING

Two Pigeonhole reads for me at the moment….

THE MEMORY WOOD by SAM LLOYD

THE TEMPLE HOUSE VANISHING by RACHEL DONOHUE

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HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 8th February 2020 #bookblogger

Hello! Happy Weekend!! Stormy weather forecast here for the next couple of days so perfect for staying indoors and reading again – see how I turn every weather forecast into a good thing for reading! Sun, Rain, Snow – just read!!

Been a pretty good bookish week for me although I don’t feel like I’m reading enough again as the TBR pile isn’t going down enough! No change there then! I have managed to finish 4 books, bought one book (and got sent a freebie with it!), and also won an e-book from the author! And NO NETGALLEY visits!! Yay!!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag – 4 stars

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne – 4 stars

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri – 5 stars

Tangerine by Christine Mangan –  3 stars

BOOKHAUL

Treated myself to a signed book from Eye Lightning Books and they kindly sent me another book too!

THE MATING HABITS OF STAGS by Ray Robinson

Midwinter. As former farmhand Jake, a widower in his seventies, wanders the beautiful, austere moors of North Yorkshire trying to evade capture, we learn of the events of his past: the wife he loved and lost, their child he knows cannot be his, and the deep-seated need for revenge that manifests itself in a moment of violence. On the coast, Jake’s friend, Sheila, receives the devastating news. The aftermath of Jake’s actions, and what it brings to the surface, will change her life forever. But how will she react when he turns up at her door? As beauty and tenderness blend with violence, this story transports us to a different world, subtly exploring love and loss in a language that both bruises and heals.

THE OSHUN DIARIES by Diane Esquerra

High priestesses are few and far between, white ones in Africa even more so.

When Diane Esguerra hears of a mysterious Austrian woman worshipping the Ifa river goddess Oshun in Nigeria her curiosity is aroused. It is the start of an extraordinary friendship that sustains Diane through the death of her son and leads to a quest to take part in Oshun rituals. Prevented by Boko Haram from returning to Nigeria, she finds herself at Ifa shrines in Florida amid vultures, snakes, goats’ heads, machetes, torrential rain and a cigar-smoking god. Her quest steps up a gear when Beyonce channels Oshun at the Grammys and the goddess goes global.

THE COTTAGE ON WILDFLOWER LANE by LIZ DAVIES

e-book win!

Esther’s life isn’t perfect (whose is?) – but she’s happy enough living in her little flat with her boyfriend, Josh. But that’s about to change. Bored out of her mind in work, she wishes that something, anything, would happen to liven her life up. Unfortunately, her wish comes true when Josh calls her from the airport to tell her he’s going to work in a bar in Spain, and she’s not invited, Esther is devastated, and her unhappiness is compounded when she discovers she can actually view the bar via a webcam link and watch him chatting up other girls. But when she inadvertently clicks on a link to another webcam which shows a pretty cottage and the rather hunky man who lives in it, her interest is piqued and she wishes she could get to know him. Wishes don’t really come true, though – do they…?

CURRENTLY READING

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by DELIA OWENS

BRING UP THE BODIES by HILARY MANTEL

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HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 1st February 2020

Happy February to you all!  January seemed to go on forever didn’t it?! A short month ahead of us now, and the appearance of snowdrops, daffodils and hellebores in the garden are beginning to lift my spirits for Spring!

On the reading front, and it’s been another fairly quiet week! My reading pace seems to have slowed a little and procrastination is keeping me from picking up more books! And I still seem unable to keep away from Netgalley with another 2 approvals this week…..oops!

So here’s my look back.

BOOKS FINISHED

The 24 Hour Cafe by Libby Page – 5 stars

Tea With Mr Rochester by Frances Towers – 3 stars

Real Life by Adeline Dieudonne – 4 stars

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell  – 6 stars!!

BOOKHAUL

Netgalley made me do it…..

THE HONOURS by TIM CLARE

out 6th February 2020

TRUE HONOUR IS ENDLESS. 1935. Norfolk. War is looming in Great Britain and the sprawling country estate of Alderberen Hall is shadowed by suspicion and paranoia. Alderberen’s newest resident, Delphine Venner, is determined to uncover the secrets of the Hall’s elite society, which has taken in her gullible mother and unstable father. As she explores the house and discovers the secret network of hidden passages that thread through the estate, Delphine unearths a world more dark and threatening than she ever imagined. With the help of head gamekeeper Mr Garforth, Delphine must learn the bloody lessons of war and find the soldier within herself in time to battle the deadly forces amassing in the woods . . .

WINTERING by KATHERINE MAY

                                         out 6th February 2020

How do you survive the ‘wintering’ phase of your life?

Wintering, the dormant periods in our lives, the dark moments we endure – which can be brought about through myriad of ways; from the death of a loved one to a sudden change in circumstances or mental health issues – can be lonely, damaging and catch us off guard.

Katherine May recounts her own year-long journey through winter, and how she found strength and inspiration when life felt frozen. Part memoir, part exploration of a human condition, Wintering explores the healing nature of the great outdoors to help us overcome and embrace our own wintering experiences, and how, much like nature, we can learn to appreciate these low periods, and what they have to teach us, before the ushering in of a new season

CURRENTLY READING

THE SISTERS GRIMM by MENNA VAN PRAAG

reading this via Pigeonhole and really enjoying it!

A LADDER TO THE SKY by JOHN BOYNE

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HAPPY READING!!

My February TBR #bookblogger

We made it through January! Well done us!! And now a short month ahead of us, which isn’t good for getting lots of books read, so we’ll have to come up with new inventive ways of making more time for reading in a day!

Just a couple of blog tours ahead for me this month, so hoping to have all that under control early on so the plan for the month ahead is to read some netgalley books – both old and new! – as well as enjoy a book club read! So a very civilised reading month ahead…. hopefully!

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

February Book Club for the Goodreads group Readalongs With Karen

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

ahead of the Blog Tour

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

sent a copy for review

The Honours by Tim Clare

out 6th Feb

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

out 20th February 

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

out 6th February

The Bermondsey Bookshop by Mary Gibson

The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn

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How is your February looking bookwise?! Hope it’s a good one!!

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 25th January 2020

Hello all! No sign of the sun here for a few days now – I miss it! The grey skies and drizzle are getting me down! And that normally leads to book buying…..someone stop me!!!!!

It’s been a great week for finishing off a few books with 5 finished this week and with the crap weather set to continue into the weekend it’s sounding perfect for  more reading! Good news with the Persephone Mini Readathon going on, hosted by the lovely Jessie at Dwell In Possibility and the Cosy Reading Night on Saturday Night hosted by Lauren and the Books from BookTube!

I’ve been better behaved over at Netgalley this week and just a couple of Book Post items!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett – 4 stars

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – 4 stars

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson – 4 stars

It Started With A Giggle by Kirsty Ferry – 5 stars

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G.Parry – 5 stars

BOOKHAUL

Netgalley time…

RULES OF THE ROAD BY CIARA GERAGHTY

publication date – April 2020

The simple fact of the matter is that Iris loves life. Maybe she’s forgotten that. Sometimes that happens, doesn’t it? To the best of us?
All I have to do is remind her of that one simple fact.

‘A superb writer’ Irish Examiner

When Iris Armstrong goes missing, her best friend Terry, wife, mother and all-round worrier, is convinced something bad has happened.

And when she finds her glamorous, feisty friend, she’s right: Iris is setting out on a journey that she plans to make her last.

The only way for Terry to stop Iris is to join her, on a road trip that will take her, Iris and Terry’s confused father Eugene onto a ferry, across the Irish sea and into an adventure that will change all of their lives.

Somehow what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best.

WILD DOG by SERGE JONCOUR (copy sent via Gallic Press)

publication date – April 2020

‘So original, so beautifully done, and sinister and savage. I didn’t want it to end’ Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks

When you’re confronted with a wolf, you have to think like a wolf…

Franck and Lise, a French couple in the film industry, rent a cottage in the quiet hills of the French Lot to get away from the stresses of modern life.

In this remote corner of the world, there is no phone signal. A mysterious dog emerges, looking for a new master. Ghosts of a dark past run wild in these hills, where a German lion tamer took refuge in the First World War…

Franck and Lise are confronted with nature at its most brutal. And they are about to discover that man and beast have more in common than they think.

MOLL FLANDERS by DANIEL DEFOE

copy sent from Alma Classics as part of my year subscription

The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (aka Moll Flanders) is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1722. It purports to be the true account of the life of the eponymous Moll, detailing her exploits from birth until old age.

CURRENTLY READING

TEA WITH MR ROCHESTER by FRANCES TOWERS

for the Persephone readathon

THE 24 HOUR CAFE by LIBBY PAGE

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HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview HOUSEKEEPING by MARILYNNE ROBINSON

ABOUT THE BOOK

A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town “chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere.” Ruth and Lucille’s struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.

PUBLISHED BY  MACMILLAN

224 pages

MY REVIEW

This was the January choice for the GoodReads Book Club I am part of  – Readalongs With Karen

This was an unexpected little gem of a book! I knew nothing of it before I picked up a copy, and found myself totally swept along with the compelling and often heartbreaking story of 2 sisters who are dealing with a number of tragedies in their lives, but they have one another. Lucille and Ruth are devoted to one another as they’re pushed from pillar to post with various family members over the years, until they settle down with their Aunt Sylvie.

What becomes clear is that Sylvie is not the most stable of women to be caring for 2 young girls, but there’s something about her that Ruth and Lucille connect with, even if that means they live a very unstable life while under the care of Sylvie. Skipping school becomes the norm, and haphazard meals is what they come to expect.

As the girls grow, they start to become their own people, none more so than Lucille and she seems to crave ‘normality’ and finds herself drifting apart from her sister and aunt to live a more conventional life. So Ruth becomes more attached to her aunt and the two of them seem more like sisters at time.

This was beautifully written and a haunting read as you cared for these women as they’d been scarred by so much tragedy in their lives. It’s a subtle story that never goes OTT and one to be savoured.

★★★★