MothBox unboxing! July edition

It always makes me smile to find a MothBox Box on my doorstep and the July edition has arrived!! Look away now if you have ordered one and you don’t want to see what is in your box this month!! You can come back later!! ūüėČ

Now, if you know nothing of Mothbox then please check out their website!  They are a book subscription service with a difference! The 2 books that you receive in a box are from Independant Publishers! So you are more likely never to have heard of the books before, therefore introducing you to new authors, new stories and new publishers to explore!!

I’ve had every Fiction Moth Box that has been released since its’ launch and have discovered some wonderful reads this way and I love how it features books ‘off the beaten tracks’!

 

Once you rummage through the scrunched up paper in the box, you find 2 beautifully wrapped books, complete with a bookmark featuring a quote from the books chosen this month!   

 

 

And this month, the books are as follows!

The Iron Age by  Arja Kajermo

I went up to the teacher and held out my hand and told her my name. She took a step back and tilted her head and looked at me without offering her hand. I pulled my hand back and hid it behind my back. She smiled the way grown ups smile at someone else‚Äôs ugly baby and then she spoke. ‚ÄėThat is a strange name, we are not called names like that in Sweden.‚Äô


Arja Kajermo‚Äôs debut The Iron Age is part coming-of-age novel, and part fairy-tale told from the perspective of a young girl growing up in the poverty of post-war Finland. On her family‚Äôs austere farm, the Girl learns stories and fables of the world around her ‚Äď of Miina, their sleeping neighbour; that you should never turn a witch away at the door; how people get depressed if pine trees grow too close to the house; and why her father was unlucky not to have died in the war.

Then, when she is little more than six years only, the family crosses from Finland to Sweden, from a familiar language to a strange one, from one unfriendly home to another. The Girl, mute but watchful, weaves a picture of her volatile father, resilient mother and strangely resourceful brothers.

The Iron Age, which grew out of the story shortlisted for the 2014 Davy Byrne’s Award, is disarming in its unadorned simplicity and unsentimental account of hard times and hard people. In Kajermo’s darkly funny debut, with illustrations throughout, folk tales and traditional custom clash with economic reality, from rural Finland to urban Sweden.

‚ÄėThis is a short tale, simply and richly told, which feels as though it’s the culmination
of a lifetime’s work. An instant classic.‚Äô Jon McGregor

‚ÄėDeceptively simple yet with cutting insight and devastating humor, The Iron Age proves that the most surreal dwells in reality, and history is the darkest fairytale‚Äô Yiyun Li


 
The Next Step in the Dance by Tim Gautreaux
 

Tiger Island, Louisiana is home to Paul, a contented machinist with killer dance moves and Colette his ambitious, outspoken wife. Amidst the bar brawls and boiled crab of her economically troubled hometown, Colette is hungry for a life of opportunity and sophistication. Armed with only her wits and her ‚Äútongue like a fillet knife‚ÄĚ she heads West to California, but Paul, Tiger Island, and its wise old-timer residents refuse to let Colette go easily. Packed with dramatic and emotional scenes and set in the distinctive watery landscape of Deep South bayou country, The Next Step in the Dance is a novel about hard work, the importance of home and two tenacious protagonists whose relationship is tested to its absolute limit

 

 

Already itching to start these, especially The Iron Age as the cover has creeped me out enough to intrigue me!  Hoping to report back with good reviews soon!

Do you use book subscription services?  Are they worth it? Would love to hear your thoughts!

HAPPY READING!!

Book Subscription Services – May treats!

¬†I know you will all agree that there is nothing better than a day which brings ‘bookpost’ your way! Whether it be a lovely ARC copy sent by a publisher, some books that you’ve ordered yourself – because you deserved it!! – or one of the lovely Book Subscription services boxes arriving each month/bi-monthly – it is a day worth celebrating! ¬†Although maybe at times your local Postman is cursing your name everytime he has to stop by!!

Well, today was a double treat day and much needed as I’ve been feeling pretty poorly, as both my Moth Box parcel arrived, along with my Bookishly monthly ‘tea and book’ subscription parcel!! ¬†A simple way to put a smile on my face – it doesn’t take much does it!!

So I thought I’d share what goodies I’ve got along with links to the sites in case you are tempted to take a peek for yourself and treat yourself!!! ¬†You know you want to…… ūüėČ

MOTHBOX

This is a fairly recent addition to the Book Subscription market and is run by the lovely Mercedes – book vlogger on Youtube, and can also be found on Twitter at¬†@MercysMusings. ¬†She knows her books and this is a great service of finding lesser known books from independant publishers and I’m yet to have a box from her that I haven’t enjoyed! ¬†It is normally sent out every 2 months but I’m not sure if she is looking to change this as it has proved so popular. ¬†Check out the website at¬†MothBoxBooks¬†for ¬†more information as I can highly recommed it as a great treat for all bookish folk!

 

 

The 2 books arrived beatifully packaged with free bookmarks that have a quote relating to the books inside on each which is a lovely touch.

¬†And the May books were these two….

Star-Shot by Mary-ann Constantine

Part fable, part mystery,¬†Star-Shot¬†is a stylish debut novel set in and around Cardiff’s National Museum in a time that is almost, but not quite, our own. As their paths cross in a circumscribed world of benches, parks and galleries, a handful of characters reveal their stories of obsession, loss and recovery, creating a fragile network of relationships which will help to resist the inexorable channels of silence eating into the city.

A brittle young woman sits on a bench in Gorsedd park, conscious of the powerful building behind her; a tall man carries a box full of a strange organic substance up the entrance steps; a young father explains the formation of stars to his tiny son. As university researchers try to map and understand the destructive silence snaking around them, it becomes clear that the linked lives of these and other marginal characters offer ways of countering its effects. Poignant and humorous, Star-Shot is an exploration of how objects and images can focus our grief and desire; it is also a meditation on the regenerative power of garden ponds, and the cosmic significance of frogs.

Beautifully illustrated with woodcut-style motifs by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, this is a subtle urban novel with a supernatural twist.

Ties by Domenico Starnone

 

Luminously translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, Ties is the searing new novel by bestselling Italian novelist Domenico Starnone.

Ties¬†is the story of a marriage. Like many marriages, this one has been subject to strain, to attrition, to the burden of routine. Yet it has survived intact. Or so things appear. The rupture in Vanda and Aldo’s marriage lies years in the past, but if one looks closely enough, the fissures and fault lines are evident. Their marriage is a cracked vase that may shatter at the slightest touch. Or perhaps it has already shattered, and nobody is willing to acknowledge the fact.

Domenico Starnone’s thirteenth work of fiction is a powerful short novel about relationships, family, love, and the ineluctable consequences of one’s actions. Known as a consummate stylist and beloved as a talented storyteller, Domenico Starnone is the winner of Italy’s most prestigious literary award The Strega.

Winner of The Bridge Prize for Best Novel 2015

BOOKISHLY

And then there is Bookishly! ¬†I’m a recent convert to their Tea and Book Club, where they send you a different variety of tea each month alongside a fabulous vintage book and some rather gorgeous stationery which includes cards, bookmarks, notebooks etc…. Now what bookish fan doesn’t love the mix of books, tea and stationery??!!¬†

They also run a Coffee and Book Club for those of you who aren’t a fan of Tea – what is wrong with you people?! – and they also have an amazing website full of wonderful book related gifts that are well worth checking out if you are looking to find a present that is a little something different than you’d find in a shop!

This months parcel included some rather gorgeous sounding  Sunshine Orange Rooibos Tea, a gorgeous Peter Pan quote bookmark, 2 lovely greetings card and a Penguin copy of The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc.

Considered by Belloc himself, and by most critics, his greatest work, this classic book is the delightful story of the pilgrimage Belloc made on foot to Rome in order to fulfill a vow he had made to “…see all Europe which the Christian Faith has saved…” In his¬†Life of Hilaire Belloc, Robert Speaight states: “More than any other book he ever wrote,¬†The Path to Rome¬†made Belloc’s name; more than any other, it has been lovelingly thumbed and pondered… The book is a classic, born of something far deeper than the physical experience it records.”

Do any of you subscribe to any of the book subcription services?  Do you have a favourite? Or one to avoid?! Would love to hear about anymore out there to check out!

HAPPY READING!!

My bookish week round up!

Happy Friday!! ¬†And another busy week of books for me so will get straight into it as I’m feeling a little ‘bleurgh’ today so my bed is calling me!!

BOOK POST

It has been an epic week of book arrivals here! I think my postman is ready to plot my demise!! ¬†In total there has been…..16 books making their way to my slightly overcrowded bookshelves!

On the ARC fronts I’ve received these beauties…

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

¬†‚ÄúEerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒPaula Hawkins, author of¬†The Girl on the Train


In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone‚Äôs killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell‚ÄĒof a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling

 
Child Taken by Darren Young

How could such a thing happen?

But it did happen.

I wasn’t one of the others, observing.

It happened to me.

One hot summer’s day, two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won’t give up hope that her daughter is still alive.

How can she?

Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago. But when the journalist discovers someone with an explosive secret, it threatens not only to reveal what’s been covered up for so long, but puts both their lives in danger.

And then I was lucky to win a couple of signed copies of books via competitions on Twitter and these arrived this week too!

 Queen of Bedlam by Laura Purcell

London 1788. The calm order of Queen Charlotte’s court is shattered by screams. The King of England is going mad. Left alone with thirteen children and with the country at war, Charlotte has to fight to hold her husband’s throne. It is a time of unrest and revolutions but most of all Charlotte fears the King himself, someone she can no longer love or trust. She has lost her marriage to madness and there is nothing she can do except continue to do her royal duty.

Her six daughters are desperate to escape their palace asylum. Their only chance lies in a good marriage, but no prince wants the daughter of a madman. They are forced to take love wherever they can find it, with devastating consequences.

The moving true story of George III’s madness and the women whose lives it destroyed.


Himself by Jess Kidd

 

 

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the village’s lies.

His arrival causes cheeks to flush and arms to fold in disapproval. No one in the village – living or dead – will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite Mahony’s certainty that more than one of them has answers.

Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets. 

And then the latest MothBox subscription box of book delights appeared containing 2 more interesting and fascinating book from smaller publishers

 

Sufficient Grace by Amy Espeseth¬†Ruth and her cousin Naomi live in rural Wisconsin, part of an isolated religious community. The girls‚Äô lives are ruled by the rhythms of nature ‚ÄĒ the harsh winters, the hunting seasons, the harvesting of crops ‚ÄĒ and by their families‚Äô beliefs. Beneath the surface of this closed, frozen world, hidden dangers lurk.


Then Ruth learns that Naomi harbours a terrible secret. She searches for solace in the mysteries of the natural world: broken fawns, migrating birds, and the strange fish deep beneath the ice. Can the girls’ prayers for deliverance be answered?

Sufficient Grace is a story of lost innocence and the unfailing bond between two young women. It is at once devastating and beautiful, and ultimately transcendent.

 
The Handsworth Times by Sharon Duggal¬†¬†Mukesh Agarwal sits alone in the Black Eagle pub, unaware that a riot is brewing or that Billy, his youngest son, is still out on his bike …A mile away in the family home in Church Street, Anila, one of the three Agarwal girls, is reading Smash Hits and listening to Radio One as she sprawls across the bottom bunk, oblivious to the monumental tragedy that is about to hit her family …


It is 1981 and Handsworth is teetering on the brink of collapse. Factories are closing, unemployment is high, the National Front are marching and the neglected inner cities are ablaze as riots breakout across Thatcher’s fractured Britain. The Agarwals are facing their own nightmares but family, pop music, protest, unexpected friendships and a community that refuses to disappear all contribute to easing their personal pain, and that of Handsworth itself.

THE HANDSWORTH TIMES is a story of loss and transition, and pulling together because ultimately, there is such a thing as society.


 
 
And then the biggest parcel of book loveliness this past week has been from Urbane Publications.  I signed up at the start of the year and subscribed to their Book Club Рwhere you receive a copy of every book they publish through out the year! So this was the January batch
 

 

 

A lovely mix of  genres to delve into!

A Filthy Habit by Fergus Linnane

Debris by Chris Parker

Release your Wow! by Rennie Gould

Two Dogs at the One Dog Inn – by David John Griffin

Mobile Crocodile by Lotte Moore

Dinosaur Who Ate A Piano by Lotte Moore

Saved by Lotte Moore

The Flying Granny by Lotte Moore

The Teaspoon Family by Lotte Moore

BOOKS FINISHED

great reads this week so I managed to finish 3 books and still have 2 on the go!

The Breakdown by B.A.Paris

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley 

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

Phew! Think that is it!! Another week of more in than out so I need to remedy that situation with some speed reading blasts over the weekend!

Happy Reading!

MothBox unboxing

There’s a new Bookish Subscription service in town! ¬†And it’s called MothBox! ¬†Run by the lovely Vlogger Mercedes Mills¬†MercysBookishMusings¬† and she can also be found on Twitter too¬†MercysMusings¬†.

I do love a Bookish subscription box so was rather pleased to hear about this new one, and managed to be one of the lucky 100 to sign up in time for the premiere box! ¬†I think she was overwhelmed with the support she received and is looking to increase the number of boxes available for the next sign up which is every other month! ¬†And unlike a lot of subscription boxes with this one you get 2 books from smaller publishers and I love this part of it as it introduces you to books that you wouldn’t normally get to hear about! ¬†A great way of finding new authors and publishers alike!

And my first box arrived the other day!! Ooohhh too exciting!!  Beautifully wrapped and presented and this is what greeted me as I opened the main box!  

 

 

And once you rummage through the stringy bits you find treasure in the shape of books! ¬†Love the tags too as they can be used as bookmarks and have a lovely cryptic clue as to what’s inside the tissue paper!

 

 

And this is the first book!! ¬† Trio by Sue Gee which is one I’d never heard of but it sounds beautiful

Northumberland: the winter of 1937. In a remote moorland cottage, Steven Coulter, a young history teacher, is filled with sadness and longing at the death of his wife. Through a charismatic colleague, Frank Embleton, and Frank’s sister, Diana, he is drawn into the beguiling world of a group of musicians, and falls gradually under their spell. But as war approaches a decision is made which calls all their lives quite shockingly into question. Moving between the beauty and isolation of the moors, a hill-town school and a graceful old country house, Trio delicately explores conscience and idealism, romantic love and most painful desire. Throughout it all, the power of music to disturb, uplift and affirm is unforgettably evoked.

 

 

And then there is book two to be enjoyed! Call of the Undertow by Linda Cracknell

A beautifully written, haunting tale of motherhood, guilt, myth and redemption set on the rugged coast of Caithness at Scotland’s furthest edge.

When Maggie Thame, a childless forty-something from Oxford, relocates to a remote village at Scotland’s most northern edge, it’s clear she’s running away. But to the villagers the question remains, from what?

Pursuing her career as a freelance cartographer, she lives in self-imposed isolation, seeking refuge in the harsh beauty of her surroundings. This is disturbed when she falls into an uneasy friendship with Trothan Gilbertson, a strange, other-worldly local nine-year old. Like Maggie, it’s unclear where Trothan really comes from, and what secrets might be lurking in his past. The lives of both become intertwined, with violent consequences that will change the destinies of woman and boy forever, forcing Maggie to confront the tragic events that first drew her to this isolated place.

In this, her debut novel, award-winning writer Linda Cracknell explores themes of motherhood, guilt, myth and the elemental forces of nature in a lyrical, taut and haunting account of damaged lives seeking redemption

 

This also sounds like a totally captivating read so am really looking forward to starting both of these very soon as they sound like the perfect wintry reads!

So my verdict on the first MothBox is A+!! ¬†If you’d like more details then please visit the website here¬†MothBox¬†and roll on January is all I can say!!

 

Happy Reading!!