My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 4th December 2021



Hello all and Happy December!  How the heck are we here already??!!! I’ve lost all track of time and it juts feels like only yesterday that I was back making new year resolutions – of which I think I stuck to zero!!
Not been a good week for me health wise, but book wise it’s been ok!  Another 4 books finished and I stayed away from Netgalley!  Go me!!  And 1 lovely book in the post for review!
Here’s my look back!


BOOKS FINISHED


THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY by AMOR TOWLES – 5 STARS




YOU LET ME IN by CAMILLA BRUCE – 4 STARS


THE SPIRIT ENGINEER by C.J.WEST – 4 STARS


THE PAPER PALACE by MIRANDA COWLEY HELLER (audiobook) – 2 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Just one lovely addition to my bookshelves this week courtesy of the fabulous Gallic Press for review.



B: A Year in Plagues and Pencils by Edward Carey


‘I blame the pencil. I hadn’t meant to do it. I wasn’t thinking. It just happened that way.’

In March 2020, as lockdowns were imposed around the world, author and illustrator Edward Carey published a sketch on social media with a plan to keep posting a drawing a day from his family home in Austin, Texas, until life returned to normal. One hundred and fifty pencil stubs later, he was still drawing.

Carey’s hand moved with world events, chronicling pandemic and politics. It reached into the past, taking inspiration from history, and escaped grim reality through flights of vivid imagination and studies of the natural world. The drawings became a way of charting time, of moving forward, and maintaining connection at a time of isolation.

This remarkable collection of words and drawings from the acclaimed author of Little and The Swallowed Man charts a tumultuous year in pencil, finding beauty amid the horror of extraordinary times.



CURRENTLY READING

THE LOST PROMISE OF IRELAND by SUSANNE O’LEARY

A completely gorgeous story about lost loves and small-town secrets that will sweep you away to the Irish coast.Maggie remembers her summers in the village of Sandy Cove in Ireland like they were yesterday. She and her family would swim in the crystal-clear waters, collect beautiful seashells and relax on the sand. So when she sees that her family’s old coastguard cottage is available, she wonders if renting it for the summer will finally help her move on from the man who just broke her heart.As soon as Maggie arrives she is delighted to find her childhood best-friend Sorcha and Sorcha’s cousin Brian still living in town. They enjoy cosy nights in the local harbour pub, with its stunning views across the ocean, as if no time has passed. And when Brian reveals he had a fierce teenage crush on Maggie, she can’t help but notice just how handsome he has become.But then Maggie finds a worn metal box hidden in the attic of the house, full of love letters she exchanged with a sweet American boy she met one summer. During their last night together, star-gazing on the beach, they promised to find each other again. Soon it becomes clear that Maggie is not the only one returning to Sandy Cove.Torn between her growing feelings for Brian and the romance she’s held in her heart for many years, Maggie realises that her summer may be more complicated than she’d expected. Will Maggie finally find a true love who can sweep her off her feet or will this holiday in Sandy Cove be her last?


HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th November 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday – once again! Not many Saturdays left in 2021!!! So scary! And the festive spirit still hasn’t got me! Full Grinch mode continues!!
On to books!! It’s been a fairly quiet bookish week for me – things on Youtube keep distracting me and taking me away from reading time!! But I did manage to finish 3 books, including 1 audiobook.  Just 1 newbie on the NetGalley shelf and 1 lovely book in the post to review!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

BIRD, BATH AND BEYOND by E.J.COPPERMAN – 3 STARS

BAGGAGE by ALAN CUMMING – (AUDIOBOOK) – 4 STARS

THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Just the one to tempt me at Netgalley this week

THE WINTER GUEST by W.C.RYAN

publication date – January 2022

Winter 1920. Though the war has been over for two years, many are still struggling to pick up their lives again when so much has been lost. In Ireland too, other terrible troubles are taking hold.

Then Tom Harkin, a former officer, arrives in the dead of night at a deserted railway platform. He has been summoned to Kilcolgan House, a grand old estate, to work as a tutor.

When Tom reaches the house it gradually becomes clear that this is not the imposing residence it once was. Half abandoned and filled with ghosts – both real and imagined – the noble family within co-exist only as the balance of their secrets is kept.

For there are mysteries at the heart of this family. And Tom’s arrival will set into motion a series of events that may become deadly . . .

A gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, The Winter Guest is the perfect chilling read this winter. 


And in the post I was lucky to receive this lovely parcel from the author..


CHRISTMAS WITH THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS


Manchester, 1941

Christmas is the season for family and friends, and this year the railway girls will need each other more than ever.

Cordelia appears to have the perfect life. When her daughter Emily arrives home unexpectedly, she can’t wait to introduce her to her friends. But when things don’t go to plan, Cordelia must decide where her loyalty lies.

Things aren’t going too smoothly for Alison either. Her beloved boyfriend has yet to propose, but there’s a charity fundraiser dance and she’s dressed up specially. Surely, tonight must be the night.

Colette’s friends are envious of her devoted husband; he meets her after every shift on the railway, and accompanies her around town. But Colette has a secret, one that will change her life—if only she knew who to confide in.

With the festive season fast approaching, the railway girls are hoping for some Christmas magic…



CURRENTY READING

THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY by AMOR TOWLES


HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly wrap up – 20th November 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday!  No sign of snow yet but the shops are looking more festive… I’m still in Grinch mode though!  Bah humbug!!
On to books!  A much calmer reading week for me with 3 finishes, and then I may have popped over to Netgalley to celebrate by adding 2 more to the shelves! Treated myself to 2 physical books too so I’m very glad I had a book clear out the other week! 
here’s my look back


BOOKS FINISHED


FEMLANDIA by CHRISTINA DALCHER – 4 STARS




THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES by C.J.COOKE – 4 STARS


THE VISITORS by CAROLINE SCOTT – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Starting at Netgalley…


THE RAPTURES by JAN CARSON

publication – January 2022

When several children from the same village start succumbing to a mysterious illness, the quest to discover the cause has devastating and extraordinary consequences.

It is late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger anticipates eight long weeks’ reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the beginning of a summer like no other.

As others fall ill, questions about what – or who – is responsible pitch the village into conflict and fearful disarray. Hannah, ever the outsider, is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are struck down. Isolated and afraid, she prays for help. What happens next will force her to question everything she believes.

Bursting with Carson’s trademark wit, profound empathy and soaring imagination, The Raptures explores how tragedy can unite a small community – and tear it apart. At its heart is the extraordinary resilience of one young girl. As the world crumbles around her, she must find the courage to be different in a place where conforming feels like the only option available.


THE PARIS APARTMENT by LUCY FOLEY

publication – March 2022

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling. 


And then I treated myself over at Pushkin Press to these two…

THE EIGHTH GIRL by MAXINE MEI-FUNG CHUNG

One woman, many personas. But which one is telling the truth?

Alexa Wú is a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her therapist Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella.

When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she is gradually drawn into London’s cruel underbelly. With lives at stake, Alexa follows her friend on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, she will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her biggest obstacle.


BIRD COTTAGE by EVA MEIJER

I want to find out how they behave when they’re free

Len Howard was forty years old when she decided to leave her London life and loves behind, retire to the English countryside and devote the rest of her days to her one true passion: birds.

Moving to a small cottage in Sussex, she wrote two bestselling books, astonishing the world with her observations on the tits, robins, sparrows and other birds that lived nearby, flew freely in and out of her windows, and would even perch on her shoulder as she typed.

This moving novel imagines the story of this remarkable woman’s decision to defy society’s expectations, and the joy she drew from her extraordinary relationship with the natural world.



CURRENTLY READING


THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI




HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 13th November 2021

Hello and Happy Saturday! The days are flying by way too quickly and the fact it’s only 6 weeks to the C word is bringing me out in a sweat!!  I’d best get my list of bookish wants off to Santa pronto… because I NEED more books obviously!!
Speaking of books, it’s been a rather wonderful reading week for me! The multiple book reading has resulted in me finishing 8 books (including 2 audiobooks) this week!! Nope, I’m not sure how I managed it either but I want it to be like that every week haha!! I stayed away from Netgalley too and just got 2 lovely books in the post – 1 I bought, 1 for review!
Here’s my look back..


BOOKS FINISHED

HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE by JANE LOVERING – 5 STARS


NATURAL MAGICK by LINDSAY SQUIRE – 4 STARS



THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS by LISA HALL –  4 STARS


STILL LIFE by SARAH WINMAN (audiobook) – 5 STARS


THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by MATT HAIG (audiobook) – 4 STARS

The Times Queen Elizabeth II – 5 stars

CHRISTMAS ON THE ISLE OF SKYE by KIRSTY FERRY – 5 STARS

THE GIFT:BOOK ONE by R A WILLIAMS  – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


From my Renard Press subscription I received this 


FRENZIED FICTION by STEPHEN LEACOCK

Stephen Leacock is an unjustly neglected master of the short-story genre, once considered the best-known humorist in the world. Although he was a prolific writer, producing about fifty novels, biographies and histories, he was best known for his humorous articles and short stories in magazines.

One of his later collections, Frenzied Fiction shows a master of a genre at the height of his game, and contains all the hallmarks of his earlier work and the trademark wit which he had refined over the previous decades. By turns laugh-aloud hilarious and poignant, and containing such gems as ‘My Recollections as a Spy’ and ‘Simple Stories of Success, or How to Succeed in Life’, this collection builds a strong case against prohibition, paints a moving picture of a war-torn world, caricatures and lampoons novelists, actors and princes, and demonstrates why he met with such success and stacked a fan base with figures as varied John Lane, A.P. Herbert and Groucho Marx.

And for review I received this from Emma at The Book Publicist.

THE FAIRY TELLERS by NICHOLAS JUBBER

published by John Murray Press

publication date – January 2022

Fairy-Tales are not just fairy-tales: they are records of historical phenomena, telling us something about how Western civilisation was formed. In The Fairy-Tellers’ Trail, award-winning travel-writer Nick Jubber explores their secret history of fairy-tales: the people who told them, the landscapes that forged them, and the cultures that formed them.

While there are certain names inextricably entwined with the concept of a fairy-tale, such as the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, the most significant tellers are long buried under the more celebrated figures who have taken the credit for their stories – people like the Syrian storyteller Youhenna Diab and the Wild Sisters of Cassel. Without them we would never have heard of Aladdin, his Magic Lamp or the adventures of Hansel and Gretel.

Tracking these stories to their sources carries us through the steaming cities of Southern Italy and across the Mediterranean to the dust-clogged alleys of the Maghreb, under the fretting leaves of the Black Forest, deep into the tundra of Siberia and across the snowy hills of Lapland.

From North Africa and Siberia, this book illuminates the complicated relationship between Western civilization and the ‘Eastern’ cultures it borrowed from, and the strange lives of our long lost fairy-tellers. 

CURRENTLY READING

YOU LET ME IN by CAMILLA BRUCE


HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 6th November 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday! Yay for weekends!!  I find I’m doing most of my reading now at the weekend! Any excuse to avoid the housework and reality!!
So it’s been another productive reading week with 5 books finished, including an audiobook!  And I restricted myself to one new NG addition! Also had some lovely bookpost too so that always brings a smile to my face!
Here’s my look back!


BOOKS FINISHED

THE ROYAL GAME by ANNE O’BRIEN (audiobook) – 5 STARS



WINTER GARDENS by CEDRIC POLLET – 5 STARS


UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR by TJ KLUNE – 5 STARS



THE MANNINGTREE WITCHES by A.K.BLAKEMORE – 4 STARS




THE HAUNTING SEASON by various  – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


From Netgalley…


THE BETRAYALS by BRIDGET COLLINS


If everything in your life was based on a lie
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?


At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.

Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.

Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…

And in the post for review…..

CARROTS DON’T GROW ON TREES by ROB KEELEY

Lily loves eating fruit and vegetables – but is tricked by Jordan, who tells her that carrots grow on trees.

With the help of her Mum, some healthy eating and a box of elastic bands, Lily sets out to teach Jordan a lesson…

Carrots Don’t Grow On Trees! is a bright, colourful and funny story, told entirely in dialogue and pictures, and takes a fun and compassionate approach to dealing with teasing at school, as well as promoting healthy eating.

Rob Keeley’s second picture book sees him reunited with illustrator Simon Goodway, following their previous successes with My Favourite People and The Treasure in the Tower



THE GIFT: Book One by RA WILLIAMS

A lush historical adventure that’s equal parts Gothic horror as it is tale of lost love, this first book in THE GIFT trilogy follows an optimistic yet cautious American ethnologist on her journey from St Dunstan’s Prep in Michigan, to the warm tropical shallows off the coast of Honduras, and the tors of Germany’s Externsteine, uncovering clues to the identity of the man who saved her from the Crimen one fateful night. All clues lead to Folkestone, England where she is reunited with the man she has sought for nearly three decades. But, is their reunion the end, or merely the end of the beginning?

The North Atlantic, 14 April 1912. A night most hope to forget. But the grisly things a young Elle Annenberg witnesses, she will always remember. Among the chaos as Titanic’s bow sinks deeper and deeper underwater, Elle zeroes in on a raffish individual, among the panicked passengers, shotgun muzzle protruding from under his long duffel coat. In the bottomless twilight of his eyes she discovers an intriguing ruthlessness. As he moves away, Elle follows, ever curious.
Descending into the bowel of the ship she happens upon a slaughterhouse of gored bodies. But by whom or what she cannot say. From somewhere in the endless companionways comes a Banshee howl, followed by the distant call of a name: Balthasar.
In No. 2 Hold – awash with mutilated bodies – she finds Balthasar leaning over an open sarcophagus. Elle scarcely has a moment to glimpse what lays within before Titanic’s starboard hull buckles, and she is sucked into a maelstrom of freezing brine and half-devoured corpses.
Saved from certain drowning, she unintentionally receives a gift from Balthasar. A gift so captivating, it changes her path in life irrevocably. Her new course will not only lead her to learn the true identity of the man who saved her life but of the savage Crimen she glimpsed that fateful night.
From her teaching position at a prep school in 1929 Michigan, to a British shipwreck in the tropical shallows off the Honduran coast, Dr Eleanor Annenberg finds traces of Balthasar’s identity. A man who purposefully exists on the fringe of humanity. From the fighting at Cape Helles in 1915 to the last station on the River Ituri in the Belgian Congo and a lost Lichtmetal mine beneath the towering Tor Externsteine in 1939 Germany, Elle follows the clues, undeterred by the years getting behind her.
All clues lead to just one location. An Edwardian seaside town on the English Channel – Folkestone. Their paths rejoined, Elle gets closer to the truth she has sought for twenty-eight years.
But at what cost?
What she learns – much to her own horror – is gifts are seldom free, and she herself has become guilty of the same ferocious rage as the Crimen.



CURRENTLY READING


HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE by JANE LOVERING

HAPPY READING!!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 30th October 2021



Hello all! Happy Halloween Weekend! Spotted this spooky yarnbomb on a postbox locally this week – hats off to all the people who make these! I love seeing them and they brighten up the humble postbox perfectly!
On to books, and it’s been another good bookish week! Managed to finish 4 books, added 2 to the netgalley shelf and received 1 book in the post for reviewing! And I didn’t buy any! Wahoo!  So here is my look back..

BOOKS FINISHED


THE BERESFORD by WILL CARVER (audiobook) – 4 STARS



PSYCHOPATHS ANONYMOUS by WILL CARVER – 4 STARS


THE ARCANE by ANDREW S FRENCH – 4 STARS


STARRY SKIES IN FERRY LANE MARKET by NICOLA MAY – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley…


A TIDY ENDING by JOANNA CANNON

publication date – April 2022

A NICE, NORMAL HOUSE

Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant.

A NICE, NORMAL HUSBAND

Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood.

A NICE, NORMAL LIFE…

If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue.


WINTER GARDENS by CEDRIC POLLET

publication – December 2021

In this stunning reimagination of an entire season, acclaimed and award-winning author and photographer Cedric Pollet presents 20 of the most beautiful winter gardens accross France and the UK.

Winner of the Garden Media Guild – Garden Book of the Year award, Pollet showcases these breathtaking winter gardens which are at their best when most gardens are at their barest.

Rich with blazes of colour and light, these gardens use creative structural planning and subtle textures to greate masterful visual and sensory ensembles.

From berries and barks to vibrant shrubs and evergreens, these gardens will delight and inspire in equal measure, all captured in extroardinary photographs by Pollet, one of today’s masters of garden photography and accompanied by insightful text which picks out the reasons these gardens are so special.

The second half of the book is an illustrated directory of over 300 plants which encourage you to achieve these effects in their own gardens.

From the author of bestselling Bark: An Intimate Look at the World’s Trees, this beautiful guide is a unique and unmissable book on some of the most creative and inspiring gardens around today.

And I received a copy of this to review…

WAHALA by NIKKI MAY

publication date – January 2022

SEX AND THE CITY with a killer edge for fans of QUEENIE, EXPECTATION and MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER

GRAZIA INSTAGRAM ‘IT’ BOOK

‘Funny, shocking, unputdownable. I loved it’ PAULA HAWKINS, author of The Girl on the Train and A Slow Fire Burning

‘Terrific. I just raced through Wahala. Nikki May writes so well about friendship, food, fashion and the many ways modern women can stumble in their careers and personal lives’ CLARE CHAMBERS, author of Small Pleasures
_______________

Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London. They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English, though not all of them choose to see it that way.

Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her urban vibe yet again.

When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.

Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.

Explosive, hilarious and wildly entertaining, this razor-sharp tale of love, race and family will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Fearlessly political about class, colourism and clothes, the spellbinding Wahala is for anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.



CURRENTLY READING

THE ROYAL GAME by ANNE O’BRIEN (audiobook)




HAPPY READING!!
👻👻👻

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 23rd October 2021



Hello! Happy Saturday! October is flying by in a blink of an eye … again! I think I say that with every month now! Where’s the pause button?!
On to books – where there is never enough time for all the books we want to read! Another decent week here of bookish action! Managed to finish 4 books, bought myself 2 books (very fast delivery from www.hive.co.uk and free delivery!), 1 book in the post to review and just 1 new NG addition!
Here’s my look back..


BOOKS FINISHED


UNDERNEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE by HEIDI SWAIN – 5 STARS

THE VIEW FROM FEDERAL TWIST by JAMES GOLDEN – 5 STARS

THE HANDBOOK FOR HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE by MEL COLLINS(audiobook) – 5 STARS

THE BORROW A BOOKSHOP HOLIDAY by KILEY DUNBAR – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Starting at Netgalley..


A TERRIBLE KINDNESS by JO BROWNING WROE

publication date – January 2022

Tonight nineteen-year-old William Lavery is dressed for success, his first black-tie do. It’s the Midlands Chapter of the Institute of Embalmers Ladies’ Night Dinner Dance, and William is taking Gloria in her sequined evening gown. He can barely believe his luck. But as the guests sip their drinks and smoke their post-dinner cigarettes a telegram delivers news of a tragedy. An event so terrible it will shake the nation.

It is October 1966 and a landslide at a coal mine has buried a school: Aberfan. William decides he must act, so he stands and volunteers to attend. It will be his first job, and will be – although he’s yet to know it – a choice that threatens to sacrifice his own happiness. His work that night will force him to think about the little boy he was, and the losses he has worked so hard to bury. But compassion can have surprising consequences, because – as William discovers – giving so much to others can sometimes help us heal ourselves.

And I treated myself to these two…..

PIRANESI by SUSANNA CLARKE

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known


THE HAUNTING SEASON by Various

Winter, with its unsettling blend of the cosy and the sinister, has long been a popular time for gathering by the bright flame of a candle, or the warm crackling of a fire, and swapping stories of ghosts and strange happenings.

Now eight bestselling, award-winning authors – master storytellers of the sinister and the macabre – bring this time-honoured tradition to vivid life in a spellbinding collection of new and original haunted tales.

From a bustling Covent Garden Christmas market to the frosty moors of Yorkshire, from a country estate with a dreadful secret, to a London mansion where a beautiful girl lies frozen in death, these are stories to make your hair stand on end, send shivers down your spine and to serve as your indispensable companion to the long nights of winter.

So curl up, light a candle, and fall under the spell of The Haunting Season . . .

Featuring new and original tales from:

Bridget Collins
Sunday Times bestselling author of The Binding

Imogen Hermes Gowar
Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mercies

Andrew Michael Hurley
Sunday Times bestselling author of The Loney

Jess Kidd
International award-winning author of Things in Jars

Elizabeth Macneal
Sunday Times bestselling author of The Doll Factory

Natasha Pulley
Sunday Times bestselling author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Laura Purcell
Award-winning author of The Silent Companions 



And received this to review….

BLACK CAKE by CHARMAINE WILKERSON

publication date – February 2022


‘We can’t go to the island, Bryon. We don’t really know what we’re getting into . . .’

Eleanor Bennett won’t let her own death get in the way of the truth. So when her estranged children – Byron and Benny – reunite for her funeral in California, they discover a puzzling inheritance.

First, a voice recording in which everything Byron and Benny ever knew about their family is upended. Their mother narrates a tumultuous story about a headstrong young woman who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder, a story which cuts right to the heart of the rift that’s separated Byron and Benny.

Second, a traditional Caribbean black cake made from a family recipe with a long history that Eleanor hopes will heal the wounds of the past. Can Byron and Benny fulfil their mother’s final request to ‘share the black cake when the time is right’?

Will Eleanor’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?
________

**Soon to be a major drama series for Hulu by Orpah Winfrey, Aaron Kaplan and Marissa Jo Cerar**




CURRENTLY READING


UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR by T.J KLUNE




HAPPY READING!!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 16th October 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday!! Weather has improved again this week so it’s been nice to enjoy some time outdoors and the longer, darker nights mean it’s candle time! I may have treated myself to a couple from TK Maxx this week! Spoiled for choice there!!
And I’ve been spoiled on the book front this week  – managed to finish 4 books, got some lovely books through the post and 2 newbies to the netgalley shelf!! The TBR mountain grows ever taller!!
Here’s my look back…


BOOKS FINISHED


CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON – 5 STARS

THE ILLUSTRATED CHILD by POLLY CROSBY – 4 STARS

THE IMPOSSIBLE TRUTHS OF LOVE by HANNAH BECKERMAN – 5 STARS

THE PRINCE OF THE SKIES by ANTONIO ITURBE – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Starting with the Netgalley additions….

THE PARIS BOOKSELLER by KERRI MAHER

publication  – January 2022

The captivating story of a trailblazing young woman who fought against incredible odds to bring one of the most important books of the twentieth century to the world. For readers of The Paris LibraryThe Age of Light and The Paris Wife.

PARIS, 1919.

Young, bookish Sylvia Beach knows there is no greater city in the world than Paris. But when she opens an English-language bookshop on the bohemian Left Bank, Sylvia can’t yet know she is making history.

Many leading writers of the day, from Ernest Hemingway to Gertrude Stein, consider Shakespeare and Company a second home. Here some of the most profound literary friendships blossom – and none more so than between James Joyce and Sylvia herself.

When Joyce’s controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Sylvia determines to publish it through Shakespeare and Company. But the success and notoriety of publishing the most infamous book of the century comes at deep personal cost as Sylvia risks ruin, reputation and her heart in the name of the life-changing power of books…

FEMLANDIA by CHRISTINA DALCHER


The explosive new thriller from the bestselling author of VOX and Q
Welcome to Femlandia… It’s no place like home.

‘Provocative, sinister, and fascinating’ Stephanie Wrobel, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Recovery of Rose Gold

The United States has sunk into total collapse.

Men in positions of power have wrecked the economy and left women to suffer and pick up the pieces.

Miranda Reynolds has lost her husband, her job and her home. There’s only one place left that she and her daughter Emma can go. Femlandia.

Femlandia is a female-only community. A utopia for women. There’s a reason Miranda never joined before. Now she has no choice.

With what Miranda knows about Femlandia’s founder, she’s right to be wary. While life outside the gates is fraught with danger, there’s something just as sinister going on within.

I was also very lucky to win a copy of this via HWA


SANDS OF THE ARENA by BEN KANE

From Sunday Times Bestselling author Ben Kane comes a collection of short stories:

Sands of the Arena

Can a wet-behind-the-ears gladiator survive a bloody contest ordered by Emperor Caligula?

The Shrine
Centurion Tullus discovers that Fate will always hold him in her grip.

The Arena
Legionary Piso’s much anticipated payday plays out very differently than he expected.

Eagles in the East
Caught up in a bloody rebellion, Centurion Tullus battles to keep his men alive.

Eagles in the Wilderness
Bored with retirement, Centurion Tullus takes service with an amber merchant, voyaging to unknown, dangerous lands far beyond the empire.

Hannibal: Good Omens
History’s most famous general seeks the gods’ approval before his war with Rome.

The March
Romulus and Tarquinius travel to the ends of the earth, searching for their lost friend Brennus.

Then I treated myself over at Eye Books – and got 3 for the price of 2!

SOUR GRAPES by DAN RHODES

When the sleepy English village of Green Bottom hosts its first literary festival, the good, the bad and the ugly of the book world descend upon its leafy lanes.

But the villagers are not prepared for the peculiar habits, petty rivalries and unspeakable desires of the authors. And they are certainly not equipped to deal with Wilberforce Selfram, the ghoul-faced, ageing enfant terrible who wreaks havoc wherever he goes.

Sour Grapes is a hilarious satire on the literary world which takes no prisoners as it skewers authors, agents, publishers and reviewers alike.

STONE HEART DEEP by PAUL BASSETT DAVIES

Stone Heart Deep is a compelling and claustrophobic thriller with a remarkable twist, as if Iain Banks had rewritten The Wicker Man.

When burned-out investigative journalist Adam Budd’s estranged mother dies, he inherits her estate. This includes Stone Heart House, a huge, ramshackle mansion on a remote Scottish island. He visits the island to sort out her tangled affairs, and at first it seems like a charming haven of tranquillity. But after he witnesses a strange accident, he begins to develop suspicions about the inhabitants.

Why does everyone seem so eerily calm, even under stress? What is stopping Harriet, the lawyer helping him with his affairs, from leaving the island when she so clearly wants to? Is he making a big mistake by falling for her? And why have so many children gone missing?

THE DROVER’S WIVES by RYAN O’NEILL

Henry Lawson’s short story The Drover’s Wife is an Australian classic that has sparked interpretations on the page, on canvas and on the stage. But it has never been so thoroughly, or hilariously, reimagined as by Ryan O’Neill, remixing and revising Lawson’s masterpiece in 101 different ways.

The variations include a a pop song, a sporting commentary, a 1980s computer game, an insurance claim, a Hollywood movie adaptation, a cryptic crossword and even the selection of paint swatches you can see on this back cover.

Inventive and unexpected, this is laugh-out-loud literature from the author of the award-winning Their Brilliant Careers.


OROONOKO by APHRA BEHN

my subscription copy from RENARD PRESS

When Prince Oroonoko’s passion for the virtuous Imoinda arouses the jealousy of his grandfather, the lovers are cast into slavery and transported from Africa to the colony of Surinam. Oroonoko’s noble bearing soon wins the respect of his English captors, but his struggle for freedom brings about his destruction. Inspired by Aphra Behn’s visit to Surinam, Oroonoko reflects the author’s romantic views of native peoples as being in “the first state of innocence, before man knew how to sin.” The novel also reveals Behn’s ambiguous attitude toward slavery: while she favored it as a means to strengthen England’s power, her powerful and moving work conveys its injustice and brutality.

CURRENTLY READING

RAMBLE BOOK by ADAM BUXTON *audiobook*



HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 9th October 2021



hello and happy Saturday!!  If anyone has seen my get up and go, could they please return it?!  I feel like I need a rocket up my butt again at the moment to get caught up with everything! Except the book front – I always seem to be fairly well motivated on that front (other than the reviews that need writing!!).
And on the book front it’s been a rather good week! 5 books finished, 1 newbie on the Netgalley shelf, and 4 new bookish additions to my bookshelf that I just HAD to treat myself to this week!
Here’s my look back…

BOOKS FINISHED

CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON – 5 STARS

THE OTHER BENNET SISTER by JANICE HADLOW (audiobook) – 4 STARS

PEOPLE LIKE US by LOUISE FEIN – 5 STARS

THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by SHIRLEY JACKSON – 3 STARS

THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD by ZOE SOMERVILLE – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Starting at Netgalley..


THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS by LISA HALL

publication date – 14th October 2021

She’s out there. Waiting for you.

From the bestselling author comes a haunting read about witchcraft and superstition that will have you gripped…

When Allie moves to a quaint old cottage with her husband, it’s their dream home. Nestled in the village of Pluckley, it seems a perfect haven in which to raise their two children. But Pluckley has a reputation. It’s known as England’s most haunted village. And not long after the birth of their new son, Allie begins to notice strange things…   

What’s the flash of white she sees moving quickly through the woods to the back of their house? And what’s the strange scratching noise from the chimney?

As Allie discovers more about the history of their new home, she uncovers a story of witchcraft and superstition, which casts a long shadow into the present day. And not everything is as it seems. Her family might well be in danger, but it’s a danger none of them could have foreseen…

Bestseller Lisa Hall’s The Woman in the Woods is full of creeping unease and nerve-wracking tension, and will have readers on the edge of their seats…

And then I bought the following books….

SIX CRIMSON CRANES by ELIZABETH LIM

 the cover seduced me!! 😍

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Peniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her. 

CHRISTMAS ON THE ISLE OF SKYE by KIRSTY FERRY

How far would you go to be with the one you love at Christmas?

The Isle of Skye is a magical place, especially at Christmas, and there’s no place Zac Fallon would rather be. But whilst Zac has everything he needs on Skye, there’s still something missing – and that something is a somebody called Ivy McFarlane.

Ivy used to work with Zac but then spread her wings and moved to Glastonbury. He’s missed her ever since. Now it’s almost Christmas and Zac realises that the Ivy shaped hole in his life is too big to bear. So starts his festive mission to the mainland – but will he back in time to spend Christmas in Skye? And, more importantly, will Ivy be with him?


THE BORROW A BOOKSHOP HOLIDAY by KILEY DUNBAR

The Borrow-a-Bookshop Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.

Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Borrow-a-Bookshop Bookshop Café, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.

Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…


CHRISTMAS IN LITTLE PENHAVEN by ANGELA BRITNELL

Have yourself a little Cornish Christmas …

Wannabe author Jane Solomon is expecting an uneventful Christmas in her Cornish village of Little Penhaven.
But then super fit American gym owner Hal Muir comes to town, and suddenly the holiday season looks set to be far more interesting. Hal is keen on embracing every British tradition on offer, from mince pies to Christmas pub quizzes – and perhaps some festive romance too …

CURRENTLY READING


LUCKY by ED JACKSON

HAPPY READING!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 2nd October 2021



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


BOOKS FINISHED


DANCING FOR STALIN by CHRISTINA EZRAHI – 5 STARS

LUCKY by ED JACKSON – 5 STARS

THE RIVER BETWEEN US by LIZ FENWICK – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Over to Netgalley first…


THE KEY IN THE LOCK by BETH UNDERDOWN

publication date – January 2022

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

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

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

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

And then from the library app I borrowed….


THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD by ZOE SOMERVILLE

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

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

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

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

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


THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by SHIRLEY JACKSON

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


PEOPLE LIKE US by LOUISE FEIN

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

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

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

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


THE OTHER BENNET SISTER by JANICE HADLOW (audiobook)

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

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

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

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

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


MOON OVER SOHO by BEN AARONOVITCH (audiobook)

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

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



CURRENTLY READING


RIVERS OF LONDON by BEN AARONOVITCH (audiobook)


CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON




HAPPY READING!!