My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 10th July 2021



Hello! Happy Saturday!!  Will it be sunshine or rain today?! Seem to be having both in equal measures at the moment!!
Now on to the books! And it’s been a mad old week! And I feel I’m spinning out of control again! I need to restrain myself!!  I did manage to read 4 books so that’s a positive! The negative side was the bookhaul side eekk!  4 newbies on the Netgalley shelf, along with 2 books bought, 1 arriving ahead of a blog tour and 2 from amazon vine for reviewing….I need to have no internet for a week to stop me being tempted again!
Here’s my look back.

BOOKS FINISHED

WINDSWEPT by ANNABEL ABBS – 5 STARS


THAT NIGHT by GILLIAN McALLISTER – 4 STARS



THE ANATOMY OF DESIRE by L.R.DORN – 4 STARS


A SUMMER OF SURPRISES by ROSIE GREEN – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL

To Netgalley we go first…


BOMBSHELL by MIKE ROTHMILLER

Bombshell: The Night Bobby Kennedy Murdered Marilyn Monroe tells the essential truth of the death of Marilyn Monroe at the hand of Robert Kennedy, Attorney General of the United States. Drawing on unseen police files, Marilyn Monroe’s private diary, and first-hand testimony, this book proves that Robert Kennedy was directly responsible for her death. It details Marilyn Monroe’s tumultuous personal involvement with him and his brother, President John Kennedy. The new evidence and testimony is provided by Mike Rothmiller who, as an agent of the Organized Crime Intelligence Division (OCID) of the LAPD, had direct personal access to hundreds of secret files on exactly what happened at Marilyn Monroe’s Californian home on August 5, 1962. With his training and specialist knowledge, Rothmiller used that unseen information to get to the heart of the matter, to the people who were there the night Marilyn Monroe died—two of whom played major roles in the cover-up—and the wider conspiracy to protect the Kennedys at all costs. There will be those with doubts, but to them, the lawman—who has advised the White House, the Pentagon, and international crime agencies—says the printed, forensic, and oral evidence are totally convincing. He insists: “If I presented my evidence in any court of law, I’d get a conviction.” Includes eight pages of black and white photographs.

 
ARE WE HAVING FUN YET? by LUCY MANGAN

out October 2021


Meet Liz: all she wants is some peace and quiet so she can read a book with her cat Henry, love of her life, by her side. But trampling all over this dream is a group of wild things also known as Liz’s family. Namely:

Richard – a man, a husband, no serious rival to Henry.
Thomas – their sensitive seven year old son, for whom life is a bed of pain already.
Evie – five year old acrobat, gangster, anarchist, daughter.

And as if her family’s demands (Where are the door keys? Are we made of plastic? Do ‘ghost poos’ really count?) weren’t enough, Liz must also contend with the madness of parents, friends, bosses, and at least one hovering nemesis. Are We Having Fun Yet? is a year with one woman as she faces all the storms of modern life (babysitters, death, threadworms) on her epic quest for that holy grail: a moment to herself.


UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR by T.J.KLUNE

out October 2021

Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy with TJ Klune’s signature “quirk and charm” (PW) about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune’s signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy. 


THE MAGICIAN by COLM TOIBIN

out September 2021

Colm Tóibín’s new novel opens in a provincial German city at the turn of the twentieth century, where the boy, Thomas Mann, grows up with a conservative father, bound by propriety, and a Brazilian mother, alluring and unpredictable. Young Mann hides his artistic aspirations from his father and his homosexual desires from everyone. He is infatuated with one of the richest, most cultured Jewish families in Munich, and marries the daughter Katia. They have six children. On a holiday in Italy, he longs for a boy he sees on a beach and writes the story Death in Venice. He is the most successful novelist of his time, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, a public man whose private life remains secret. He is expected to lead the condemnation of Hitler, whom he underestimates. His oldest daughter and son, leaders of Bohemianism and of the anti-Nazi movement, share lovers. He flees Germany for Switzerland, France and, ultimately, America, living first in Princeton and then in Los Angeles.

The Magician is an intimate, astonishingly complex portrait of Mann, his magnificent and complex wife Katia, and the times in which they lived—the first world war, the rise of Hitler, World War II, the Cold War, and exile.

THIS GOOD BOOK by IAIN HOOD

bought via Renard Press subscription

‘Sometimes I wonder if I had known that it was going to take me fourteen years to paint this painting of the Crucifixion, and what it would take for me to paint it, would I have been as happy as I was then?’

Susan Alison MacLeod, a Glasgow School of Art graduate with a dark sense of humour, first lays eyes on Douglas MacDougall at a party in 1988, and resolves to put him on the cross in the Crucifixion painting she’s been sketching out, but her desire for authenticity in her portrayal of suffering means that the painting doesn’t see the light of day for fourteen years.

Over the same years, Douglas’ ever-more elaborately designed urine-filled plastic bags bring him exponentially increasing fame, prizes and commissions, while his modelling for Susan Alison, who continues to work pain and suffering on to the canvas, takes place mostly in the shadows. This Good Book is a wickedly funny, brilliantly observed novel that spins the moral compass and plays with notions of creating art. 


TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM by YAA GYASI

**From the bestselling author of Homegoing comes a searing novel of love and loss, addiction and redemption, straight from the heart of contemporary America**

As a child Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two – and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away.

Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother’s life, she turns to science for answers. But when her mother comes to stay, Gifty soon learns that the roots of their tangled traumas reach farther than she ever thought. Tracing her family’s story through continents and generations will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America.


WELCOME TO FERRY LANE MARKET by NICOLA MAY – copy for Blog Tour review

Although thirty-three year old Kara Moon loves her hometown of Hartmouth in Cornwall, she has always wondered if she should have followed her dream of leaving to study floristry. But she couldn’t bring herself to leave her emotionally delicate single father, and has worked on Ferry Lane Market’s flower stall ever since leaving school.

When her good-for-nothing boyfriend cheats on her and steals her life savings, she finally dumps him and rents out her spare room as an Airbnb. Gossip flies around the town as Kara welcomes a series of foreign guests to her flat overlooking the estuary.

Then an anonymous postcard arrives, along with a plane ticket to New York. And there begins the first of three trips of a lifetime, during which she will learn important lessons about herself, her life and what she wants from it – and perhaps find love along the way.


MADHOUSE AT THE END OF THE EARTH by JULIAN SANCTON

copy via Amazon Vine for review

The harrowing true survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly awry–with the ship frozen in ice and the crew trapped inside for the entire sunless, Antarctic winter–in the tradition of David Grann, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Hampton Sides

“Deserves a place beside Alfred Lansing’s immortal classic Endurance.”—Nathaniel Philbrick
“A riveting tale, splendidly told . . . Madhouse at the End of the Earth has it all.”—Stacy Schiff
“Julian Sancton has deftly rescued this forgotten saga from the deep freeze.”—Hampton Sides

In August 1897, thirty-one-year-old commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail aboard the Belgica, fueled by a profound sense of adventure and dreams of claiming glory for his native Belgium. His destination was the uncharted end of the earth: the icy continent of Antarctica. But the commandant’s plans for a three-year expedition to reach the magnetic South Pole would be thwarted at each turn. Before the ship cleared South America, it had already broken down, run aground, and lost several key crew members, leaving behind a group with dubious experience for such an ambitious voyage.

As the ship progressed into the freezing waters, the captain had to make a choice: turn back and spare his men the potentially devastating consequences of getting stuck, or recklessly sail deeper into the ice pack to chase glory and fame. He sailed on, and the Belgica soon found itself stuck fast in the icy hold of the Antarctic continent. The ship would winter on the ice. Plagued by a mysterious, debilitating illness and besieged by the monotony of their days, the crew deteriorated as their confinement in suffocating close quarters wore on and their hope of escape dwindled daily. As winter approached the days grew shorter, until the sun set on the magnificent polar landscape one last time, condemning the ship’s occupants to months of quarantine in an endless night.

Forged in fire and carved by ice, Antarctica proved a formidable opponent for the motley crew. Among them was Frederick Cook, an American doctor–part scientist, part adventurer, part P.T. Barnum–whose unorthodox methods delivered many of the crew from the gruesome symptoms of scurvy and whose relentless optimism buoyed their spirits through the long, dark polar night. Then there was Roald Amundsen, a young Norwegian who went on to become a storied polar explorer in his own right, exceeding de Gerlache’s wildest dreams by leading the first expeditions to traverse the Northwest Passage and reach the South Pole.

Drawing on firsthand accounts of the Belgica’s voyage and exclusive access to the ship’s logbook, Sancton tells the tale of its long, isolated imprisonment on the ice–a story that NASA studies today in its research on isolation for missions to Mars. In vivid, hair-raising prose, Sancton recounts the myriad forces that drove these men right up to and over the brink of madness.


AN EMOTION OF GREAT DELIGHT by TAHEREH MAFI

copy via Amazon Vine for review

From bestselling and National Book Award-nominated author Tahereh Mafi comes a stunning novel about love and loneliness, navigating the hyphen of dual identity, and reclaiming your right to joy–even when you’re trapped in the amber of sorrow.

It’s 2003, several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the American political world has evolved. Tensions are high, hate crimes are on the rise, FBI agents are infiltrating local mosques, and the Muslim community is harassed and targeted more than ever. Shadi, who wears hijab, keeps her head down.

She’s too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots.

Shadi is named for joy, but she’s haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there’s the small matter of her heart–

It’s broken.

Shadi tries to navigate her crumbling world by soldiering through, saying nothing. She devours her own pain, each day retreating farther and farther inside herself until finally, one day, everything changes.

She explodes.

An Emotion of Great Delight is a searing look into the world of a single Muslim family in the wake of 9/11. It’s about a child of immigrants forging a blurry identity, falling in love, and finding hope–in the midst of a modern war.

CURRENTLY READING


SUMMER’S SECRET MARIGOLD by KIRSTY FERRY

HAPPY READING!!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Hello all! Hope everyone is well! A much brighter mood for me this week – thankfully no more stabby feelings!! – and I’m trying to work out if my mood has improved due to having read less books this week – just 2!! – or the fact that I’ve bought more books to add to the TBR mountain?!!! If it is the latter, then I highly recommend buying books everyday of the year just to keep you happy!!

So here is a little run down of my week in bookish form…

BOOKS FINISHED 

The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup  –  4 stars

Can the past ever be forgotten?
As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.
Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…
Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

This was a fabulously creepy read for me and I loved every minute of it! Lots of secrets from the past revealing themselves in a shocking story that keeps you guessing from start to finish!

WHITEOUT by RAGNAR JONASSON

 

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

No review from me yet on this one as I’ve read it ahead of the Blog Tour that I’m part of! So check back here on the 11th November for my thoughts and more information….. spoiler alert…. I raced through it!!

BOOK HAUL

MADE IN JAPAN by S.J. PARKS

A young girl traces her mother’s steps all the way from London to Japan to search for the father she never knew.

Hana arrives in Tokyo with only two words in her mind: The Teahouse. She’s a long way from home in East London and still fresh from the loss of her mother. But her grief has sent her across to the other side of the world to find out who she is, and for Hana that means finding the Japanese man she has never met, her father with only these two words as clues.

Made in Japan is a beautifully woven story of a mother and daughter who, decades apart, tread the same streets of glittering Tokyo looking for that something that might complete them.

This arrived from the publisher ahead of the blog tour that I will be taking part in at the end of the month and sounds like a fascinating read.

MAN WITH A SEAGULL ON HIS HEAD by HARRIET PAIGE

 

A gull falls from the sky and strikes a council worker on the beach below. From that moment on he is obsessed, a crazed visionary depicting the scene and the unknown figure with in who filled his view at the moment of impact. The mysterious beauty of his creations draws others to him, but can they lay hold of that which possesses him? And what of his anonymous muse?

Have heard nothing but good things about this book as it was nominated for the Not the Booker Prize.  It is also set in Essex so that always makes me want to read it!

NOT THOMAS by SARA GETHIN

 

The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m waiting for her to go away.

Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.

When the men break in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will be the same again.

Another book that I’ve been recommended by reading various reviews online and a book that I think might make me cry!!

BUNNICULA by JAMES HOWE

BEWARE THE HARE!
Is he or isn’t he a vampire?

Before it’s too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household — a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits… and fangs!

Found these online so treated myself for Halloween as having  a pet bunny of my own I do love to read about them!! These look fun and easy to read  and I’m just hoping it doesn’t give my bunny ideas of turning!!

CURRENTLY READING

Just a couple on the go at the moment…

Florence Grace by Tracy Rees

Florrie Buckley is an orphan, living on the wind-blasted moors of Cornwall. It’s a hard existence but Florrie is content; she runs wild in the mysterious landscape. She thinks her destiny is set in stone.

But when Florrie is fourteen, she inherits a never-imagined secret. She is related to a wealthy and notorious London family, the Graces. Overnight, Florrie’s life changes and she moves from country to city, from poverty to wealth.

Cut off from everyone she has ever known, Florrie struggles to learn the rules of this strange new world. And then she must try to fathom her destructive pull towards the enigmatic and troubled Turlington Grace, a man with many dark secrets of his own

This is my current bedtime read and I’m really enjoying it! The author has a real gift of making you care about the characters and setting them in an intriguing setting.

THE SECRET LIBRARY by OLIVER TEARLE 

As well as leafing through the well-known titles that have helped shape the world in which we live, Oliver Tearle also dusts off some of the more neglected items to be found hidden among the bookshelves of the past. You’ll learn about the forgotten Victorian novelist who outsold Dickens, the woman who became the first published poet in America and the eccentric traveller who introduced the table-fork to England. Through exploring a variety of books—novels, plays, travel books, science books, cookbooks, joke books and sports almanacs—The Secret Libraryhighlights some of the most fascinating aspects of our history. It also reveals the surprising connections between various works and historical figures. What links Homer’s Iliad to Aesop’sFables? Or Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack to the creator of Sherlock Holmes? The Secret Library brings these little-known stories to light, exploring the intersections between books of all kinds and the history of the Western world over 3,000 years.

Reading this as part of Non-Fiction November and already learning so much about the history of books – and it is making me add more to my want to read list!!

So that is how my bookish week has been! How about yours?! Good, Bad, Indifferent?!  Love to hear what you’ve been reading and what you recommend!!  Not sure how much reading will get done here over the next few days as we have relatives staying for the weekend but hopefully a normal reading service can be resumed from Monday!!

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Greetings all! Guess where I’ll be sitting later…. hopefully!! That’s if I can fight my way through the rather luscious greenery that has gone a little rampant over the past week!  I’m going for the ‘natural’ and ‘wild’ look in the garden this season – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!!!!!

Hope we have all had a good week – been a little stressful here  but then watching things that have unfolded on the news this week has helped put my little problems into perspective!   And another good reason to turn to books to make reality disappear for a while.

Been a very good week on the book reading front again for me!  Ill health and Insomnia has its’ benefits!!  7 books finished this week, although 1 was a bit of a cheat as it was only a few pages long – a very short novella! – but I’m counting it so there!!

BOOKS FINISHED

Please click on the book title for a link to my GoodReads reviews if you care to find out a little more about each book!

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams  4 stars

Finding Secrets by Lauren Westwood  – 4 stars

The World of Shadow by Kate Hamer   – 3 stars

Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings by Wendy Holden  – 2 stars

The Good Women of China by Xinran  – 5 stars

Fell by Jenn Ashworth  –  4 stars

A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall   –    5 stars

How’s that for a mix of books this week?! A little bit of everything and hopefully something new for you to discover!  I always used to stick to one genre when I read a few years ago, but can’t imagine doing that now as I’d have missed out on so many wonderful stories!!

BOOK HAUL

And still I haven’t bought any books!!  This has now reached critical stage as it just feels wrong but my sensible head seems to have taken over and is happy for me to work through the TBR mountain I had amassed until some gaps appear and maybe then it will let me loose again in a bookshop or online…. i’m hoping!!

But there has been books arriving for the sake of reviewing and forthcoming blog tours, as well as another fabulous parcel from Bookishly and the Urbane Publications Book Club!  Here’s a peek!

Every Secret Thing by Rachel Crowther – Blog Tour in July

Can you ever bury the past?

She’d recognised in him something of herself: that sense of not belonging, of secrets fiercely kept . . .

Five friends, newly graduated, travel together to the Lake District. Young and ambitious, they little imagine the events that will overtake them that fateful summer, tearing their fragile group apart.

Twenty years later, they return to the same spot, summoned by a mysterious bequest. It’s not long before old friendships – and old romances – are re-kindled. But soon, too, rivalries begin to re-emerge and wounds are painfully reopened . . .

How long does it take for past sins to be forgiven? And can the things they destroy ever really be recovered?

This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh   –  received a copy for review. Paperback out in July

The addictive and emotive new novel from Katie Marsh, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.

‘I lived over half my life before I met you both, and I hope with all my heart to live many years more. You two are the reason why. Always, always the reason why.’

Abi Cooper is living her happy ending. She’s in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance. But during Abi’s illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.

Set to the songs on Abi’s survival playlist, This Beautiful Life is the moving and uplifting story of what happens as Abi tries to put her family back together – and of why life, and love, are worth fighting for

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon –  received a copy from Readers First to review

A gripping novel of psychological suspense centered on two sisters whose lives have taken them apart, and the shocking family secrets that bind them together.

Twin sisters Robin and Sarah haven’t spoken in years.

Robin can’t leave her house. A complete shut-in, she spends her days spying on her neighbors, subtly meddling in their lives. But she can’t keep her demons out forever. Someone from her past has returned, and is desperate to get inside.

Sarah can’t go home. Her husband has kicked her out, forcibly denying her access to their toddler. Sarah will do anything to get her daughter back, but she’s unraveling under the mounting pressure of concealing the dark secrets of her past. And her lies are catching up to her.

The novel takes readers back in time to witness the complex family dynamics that formed Robin and Sarah into the emotionally damaged, estranged young women they’ve become. As the gripping and intricate layers of their shared past are slowly peeled away, the shocks and twists will keep readers breathless long after the final page.

Bookishly

I subscribe to the wonderful Bookishly monthly tea and book club so received another fabulous parcel in the post this week containing some gorgeous goodies – bookmark, notebook, peppermint tea and another fab Penguin book to add to my collection!

 

 

And then there’s another fabulous bundle of books from Urbane Publications as part of their yearly book club of which I am a member!!  Sign up and for £99.99 you get a copy of EVERY book they publish throughout the year!  What bookworm could ever turn that offer down?!  Here’s a look at some of the May releases that I’ve just taken delivery of and looking forward to settling down with! Click on each title for a link to their GoodReads page!

 
 
CURRENTLY READING
 
Girl Reading by Katie Ward

Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading. Each chapter of this richly textured debut takes us into a perfectly imagined tale of how each portrait came to be, and as the connections accumulate, the narrative leads us into the present and beyond.
 
 
Mist and Whispers by C. M. Lucas
 


Imagine a world in eternal darkness. A world where skeletal beasts lurk in the forest. Where the women are missing, and the men are in need of salvation…

In the West-English town of Little Wolf Green, Scott’s bookshop is about to close down. Convinced the bookshop holds the key to her mother’s identity, sixteen year old Anya Piddling vows to save Scott’s, whatever the cost.
When four books of magic and myth take the world by storm, Anya begins a journey to discover the truth about the author, known only as the Weaver. Followed closely by her friends, and one surly, bitter ex-boyfriend, Anya soon realises a whole new world awaits: a world gone very wrong, with maddening whispers in the forest, magical winged Kings and a dragon-boy that understands her, inside and out. But this world needs a saviour… and everyone is looking at her.

So, there we have it!! Another week done and dusted!  How has your reading week gone? Any goodies to share with me?!  And a sunny weekend is forecast so that should lend itself nicely to more time spent on my garden bench with an ice lolly or two to pass away the time – well, it will be too hot to do anything else so we should spend our time wisely by sitting and reading!! You have my permission!!

HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Been a bit of a week here in the UK eh!  Praise be for books to escape into – if only we could live in book land all the time!!

Anyway here’s a brief wrap up of all i’ve read this week and it won’t be too long as I’m feeling bleurgh today so my bed is calling me back!

BOOKS FINISHED

Been a successful week on the reading front with 6 books finished and all kept me amused in one way or another too! No stinkers allowed!!

Please click on the Book Title for a link to my GoodReads review

Meet me at the Lighthouse by Mary Jayne Baker – 5 stars!

 

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden  – 5 stars!

Defectors by Joseph Kanon  – 4 stars!

 

Miss Jane by Brad Watson  – 3 stars!

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll – 5 stars for both!!

BOOKS BOUGHT

OK… I am getting a little concerned now! Lost track of how many weeks it has been since I’ve had a real good splurge in a bookshop or charity shop – there may even be gaps now appearing on my bookshelves!  This can’t be good surely?!! 😉

Did download one onto my Kindle the other day to take advantage of the 99p price tag!

The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman

‘I do not live in a corner. A thousand eyes see all I do.’ Elizabeth I

The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed.

These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the tragic secret behind ‘Bloody’ Mary’s phantom pregnancies. And they saw the ‘crooked carcass’ beneath Elizabeth I’s carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories.

It is the accounts of these eyewitnesses, as well as a rich array of other contemporary sources that historian Tracy Borman has examined more closely than ever before. With new insights and discoveries, and in the same way that she brilliantly illuminated the real Thomas Cromwell – The Private Life of the Tudors will reveal previously unexamined details about the characters we think we know so well.

And then I may have been browsing on NetGalley in a weak moment and this one caught my eye as I am a huge fan of his previous work – A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie was here – so intriged to see how this measures up!  

The Scandal by Fredrik Backman

‘Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.’

Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest.

For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together – or pulls them apart.

Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air and a bright new future is just around the corner.

Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear.

With the town’s future at stake, no one can stand by or stay silent. Everyone is on one side or the other.

Which side would you be on?

CURRENTLY READING

INVINCIBLE SUMMER BY ALICE ADAMS

Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey. Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997, into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who’s pined for Eva for years, stays on to complete his PhD in physics, devoting his life to chasing particles as elusive as the object of his affection. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien, never much inclined toward mortgages or monogamy, pursue more bohemian existences-she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partyer. But as their twenties give way to their thirties, the group struggles to navigate their thwarted dreams. Scattered across Europe and no longer convinced they are truly the masters of their fates, the once close-knit friends find themselves filled with longing for their youth- and for one another. Broken hearts and broken careers draw the foursome together again, but in ways they never could have imagined.

A dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, Invincible Summer is a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world.

 

 

Just the one on the go at the moment as i’m in need of a good session of organising piles and downloads before deciding what to embark on next!!  

Hope some of these books have interested you – have you read any of them before? Did your view differ from mine? And what are you reading now? Always happy to hear about new books to check out!

Happy Reading!!

Bookish Weekly Wrap up!

Hello all!  Congratulations on making it through another week.  And now we’re in June – how the blooming flip did that happen??!! Anyone started their Xmas shopping yet?! Not seen Christmas products in the shops yet… but I’m sure it won’t be long!

Trying to submerge myself in all things books at the moment as the constant General Election news on TV, radio, newspapers and social media is driving me completely round the bend!! Hurry up and be over already!!

So how has your week in books been? Any good reads to share? Any new purchases?  Here’s what I’ve been up to!

BOOKS I’VE READ

 Been a bit of a slow week on the reading front for me.  My brain hasn’t been processing things quick enough! I’m blaming the heat!! Click on the book title for links to my GoodReads review!

Broken Branches by M.Jonathan Lee  4 stars!

The Running Hare by John Lewis-Stempel  5 stars!

The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss  – 2 stars!

BOOKS BOUGHT AND RECEIVED

Took a bag of books to a local charity shop this week – to help ease the burden on my bookshelves! – and managed to leave without bringing any newbies back!  And the bookshops haven’t been calling me either recently!  I am quietly quite proud of myself but it does feel very wrong to be so restrained around books!

But there has been some nice bookpost!

Meet me at the Lighthouse by Mary Jayne Baker

Thank you Harper Impulse!

 ‘One of my top books of 2017… side-splittingly hilarious’ The Writing Garnet


’The day I turned 28, I bought a lighthouse and met the love of my life’

Bobbie Hannigan’s life in a cottage by the sea with her dog and her twin sister is perfectly fine … until she decides the logical thing is to buy a lighthouse and open a music venue with Ross Mason, the first boy she ever kissed.

Bobbie tries to be professional with Ross, but the happily-ever-after they’re working toward is too good to resist. That is until someone from his past crawls back to cause trouble. Can Bobbie look past the secrets Ross has been keeping from her? Or will the boy, the lighthouse and the dream all slip away?

Escape to the Yorkshire coast this summer with this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Mary Jayne Baker!

Publication Date – June 30th 2017

THE FLOATING THEATRE BY MARTHA CONWAY

Thank you Readers First!

In a nation divided by prejudice, everyone must take a side.

When young seamstress May Bedloe is left alone and penniless on the shore of the Ohio, she finds work on the famous floating theatre that plies its trade along the river. Her creativity and needlework skills quickly become invaluable and she settles in to life among the colourful troupe of actors. She finds friends, and possibly the promise of more …

But cruising the border between the Confederate South and the ‘free’ North is fraught with danger.

For the sake of a debt that must be repaid, May is compelled to transport secret passengers, under cover of darkness, across the river and on, along the underground railroad.

But as May’s secrets become harder to keep, she learns she must endanger those now dear to her.

And to save the lives of others, she must risk her own …

A gloriously involving and powerful read for fans of Gone With The Wind and Tracy Chevalier’s The Last Runaway

publication date – June 15th 2017

CURRENTLY READING

The TBR pile seems to never end so I’m spoilt for choice again with what to read next! Determined to do well with my #20booksofsummer challenge this year too so have made an early start on that list!

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcneas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind–the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.


Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that’s changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.

Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits.

But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning–the Old Ways versus the New–and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done or stand against him and see it slip away?

Scott Oden’s A Gathering of Ravens is an epic novel of vengeance, faith, and the power of myth.

COLT HARPER; ESTEEMED VAMPIRE CAT by Tyrolin Puxty

 Colt Harper hates it when you pat a cat the wrong way, or when you upload their faux pas to YouTube. In fact, he’ll probably kill you for it. 


As a self-proclaimed master vampire cat, Colt never imagined he’d be sent to community service at a revolting community theater. And for what? Killing humans who don’t buy the expensive brand of cat food? Talk about unfair.

Still, working with a nervous werewolf and a monster addicted to tickling wasn’t on his to-do list.

What’s worse, is he’s falling for a human. Sure, she has green eyes. Sure, she fosters stray cats. But she’s still a disgusting human.

So why is he risking his own life to save her from the chasers?

 
MR PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE BY ROBIN SLOAN
 

Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a Web-design drone and serendipity coupled with sheer curiosity has landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. And it doesn’t take long for Clay to realize that the quiet, dusty book emporium is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few fanatically committed customers, but they never seem to actually buy anything, instead they simply borrow impossibly obscure volumes perched on dangerously high shelves, all according to some elaborate arrangement with the eccentric proprietor. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he has plugged in his laptop, roped in his friends (and a cute girl who works for Google) and embarked on a high-tech analysis of the customers’ behaviour. What they discover is an ancient secret that can only be solved by modern means, and a global-conspiracy guarded by Mr. Penumbra himself… who has mysteriously disappeared

And another week is done and dusted on the book front!  Hope your week has treated you well and that there have been more highs than lows!

HAPPY READING!

Weekly Bookish Wrap Up!

The sun has got its’ hat on… hip hip hip hooray!!!  Anyone else moaning that it is too hot already?! Never happy are we!!   Still, the sunshine is doing wonders for my garden and also making me conserve energy by sitting down and reading more! And that is NEVER a bad thing!  So it has been a pretty successful reading week again and according to my GoodReads challenge I have now completed 79 books already this year – now ask me to tell you about them all and I can’t LOL!! Memory recall is not my strongest point so I am very grateful for this blog and GoodReads for at least trying to help jog my memory at times when I need to recall a book! How did we ever cope without it?!

BOOKS FINISHED

A good total of 4 books fnished this week so click on the title if you would like to read my GoodReads review!

This Last Kiss by Madeleine Reiss

As original as One Day and as heartbreaking as Me Before You, This Last Kiss is the perfect emotional and romantic read.

Rora Raine is finally coming home to Hastings, twelve years after she left her grief-stricken father, and fled the love of her life, Carl.

Struggling to support her bright but troubled daughter, Rora has convinced herself she’ll never love again.

When she meets a bumblingly charming stranger, Rora’s heart begins to thaw.

But, try as she might, she can’t run from true love forever.

Funny, warm-hearted and soaringly romantic, This Last Kiss is the redemptive story of two star-crossed lovers, told through each and every kiss they share

The Cafe in Fir Tree Park by Katey Lovell

Maggie’s café is at the very heart of Fir Tree Park. Business is booming, her lemon drizzle is the stuff of legend, her children are happy and life is good. But she hasn’t had it easy. When her husband Clint was sent to prison, she had to raise Josh and Kelly alone. But Clint can’t hurt them now, and there’s no denying that Paolo, the Italian football coach she spies every weekend out on the green, is more than easy on the eye.

It may be summer outside, but a new arrival in Fir Tree Park sends an icy chill through the café…

Summer at the Little Wedding Shop by Jane Linfoot

 

The third book in the bestselling series, ‘The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea’.

When the owner of Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, offers Lily a job as their new wedding stylist, her first thought is – can she possibly pull it off?

Before she’s even sourced a fairy light or tasted a cupcake, Kip Penryn hires her services – but he’s opened an exclusive wedding venue in direct competition to her friend Poppy!

Lily feels like a traitor working for Kip, only everyone knows Penryn men are gorgeous but unreliable. All she has to do is sit back and watch him mess it up…doesn’t she?

Love is in the Cornish sea breeze this summer as the girls tackle their busiest wedding season yet. There’s plenty of bunting, bubbly and baking – but who is going to catch the bouquet?

My Summer of Magic Moments by Caroline Roberts

 

When a seaside escape spells a little romance . . .

A heartwarming tale that will sweep you away for the summer from the bestselling author of The Cosy Teashop in the Castle.

When Claire arrives for her cosy cottage retreat on the beautiful Northumberland coast, she prays that three weeks of blissful peace and summer sunshine will wash away the pain of the last year.

Claire’s a survivor – she’s proud of the scars that prove it – and she’s determined to make the most of each and every day, to seize those little magic moments that give life its colour.

Her plan for peaceful solitude goes awry when handsome, brooding Ed turns up in the cottage next door. The last thing Claire needs is the risk of getting hurt, but she soon discovers that Ed has emotional battle scars of his own.

Will he prove the worst distraction? Or might he be just the perfect remedy?

The sunshine may have made my brain a little romantic with my reading choices this week!! And still I’m waiting for Brad Pitt to swoop in and save me from all of this….. a girl can dream i guess!!

BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR MOUNTAIN!!

For the most part of the week I behaved myself!!  Hard to believe that I was being so controlled and thoughtful in my purchases of books – well that was until Thursday when I ventured in to a couple of charity shops that I’d not been in for a while – big mistake!!

 

But how could I resist?! Especially with the gorgeous orange penguin covers calling my name as I’ve recently started to see how many I can amass! This pile of 4 cost me £3 so i HAD to have them!!  And only 99p for His Bloody Project of which I have heard many good things – anyone read it? – so that was adopted by my good self too!

And then there was the bookpost which is always a wonderous thing!  I received The Mayfly by James Hazel from the fabulous Readers First people and this sounds super creepy and dark so right up my street!

It’s happening again.


A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.

Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment.
With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?

And then there is Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee which I received today from the equally lovely Hideaway Fall folk, which is all about a family curse and sounds wonderfully intriguing! 

 

Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

CURRENTLY READING

Miss Jane by Brad Watson

The Running Hare by John-Lewis Stempel

The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss

am listening to this via audiobook that I borrowed via the Borrowbox app from my library!

And another week is all nicely wrapped up! Any books amongst these that you’ve read? Or has grabbed your interest?!  Always interested to hear what is on your current reading pile so please share!!

HAPPY READING!!