That Was The Month That Was… February 2019!

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I can’t believe that February is already over… where is 2019 going?!

I got a new MacBook this month and it’s fab. My old MacBook was nearly seven years old and while it was still going okay the screen wasn’t helping my eyes. The Retina display on this new Mac is fabulous and much easier to look at. I’m also finding the new butterly keyboard easier to type on so while I do still use voice software a lot I’m hoping that easier typing might mean I can continue blogging when WordPress forces me to use the update that I’ve so far had to avoid.

I’m mortified to discover that WordPress wasn’t running right on my old MacBook and I now see that I’ve had a lot of lovely comments on my blog over the last few months that I hadn’t seen before. There’s no way I can catch up with them all but I will make sure to read them and will reply where I can manage to. Hopefully things will run smoothly now and I can reply to comments as they arrive. Thanks so much to all of you who’ve commented on any of my posts, I can only apologise for not replying to them.

 

Here are the 21 that books I read in January:

Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami

This was a fab short story that I got for my birthday in January and I loved it. It reminded me why I love Murakami’s writing and has made me want to pick up the novels of his that I so far haven’t read.

The Jigsaw Man by Paul Britton

This was an interesting insight into how criminal psychology came to be used more in modern policing in this country. It’s one man’s story and look back over the cases he’s worked on.

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox

This was a great read, so fast-paced and twisty. I hope to get a review written and posted before too much longer.

Trauma by Dr. Gordon Turnbull

This book is fascinating and I’m so glad I read it. It’s a look at how PTSD came to be a diagnosis in this country, and how the treatment of the condition has changed over the years. I definitely recommend this one!

East of England by Eamonn Griffin

I loved this book. It was so different to my normal kind of read but I very much enjoyed it. I’ve already reviewed this one so click the book title above if you’d like to know more.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

I part listened and part read this book and I found it so interesting. It’s a doorstop of a book but I seemed to get through it in no time as it’s really engaging.

All the Little Lies by Chris Curran

I loved this book too and as I’ve already reviewed it you can find out more about if you click the title above.

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

This book is brilliant and I already feel sure it’ll be in my best books of this year! I reviewed it this week so click the title above if you’d like to know more.

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

I can’t believe I’d never read this book before as I really enjoy Gaskell’s writing, but better late than never as I loved it.

Manhunt by Colin Sutton

I picked this book after recently watching the TV adaptation. I found it interesting but it wasn’t quite as interesting as I’d hoped it would be.

Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke

This was such a gripping read, I found it hard to put down. Hopefully I’ll get a review posted on here soon.

My Last Lie by Ella Drummond

This was another great read in February! I’ve reviewed this one so click on the title if you want to know more.

I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

I enjoyed this book but it wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped. I spotted all the twists early on but the writing was still great and that’s what kept me reading.

The One by John Marrs

I part read and part listened to this book and it was an okay read. I was expecting a bit more but at the same time I found it hard to put down so it definitely kept me engaged all the way through.

The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan

This was such a good read. I listened to the audio book and it was one of those reads that made me begrudge real life interfering with me book listening time!

The Bridal Party by J. G. Murray

I really enjoyed this book! It was another book that was hard to put down and I love that it all turned out differently than I was expecting.

 

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

This book was so good! It was gripping from start to finish and was also a much more emotional read than I was expecting. I loved it and will definitely review it soon.

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah David-Goff

This isn’t my usual kind of read but I loved it. It had so much depth to it and made me think, I really enjoyed it.

Are You The F**king Doctor? by Dr. Liam Farrell

This was another good read. It was funny and engaging and witty, I recommend it!

‘Kill The Black One First’ by Michael Fuller

I listened to this on audio and found it so interesting. It was shocking to read of the author’s experiences in the police force as a young black man but inspiring to see how he dealt with it and overcame it. The audio is narrated by the author too, which is always great with a memoir. I definitely recommend this one!

The Golden Child by Wendy James

I’ve had this ARC on my TBR for a few months now and finally picked it up yesterday. I ended up reading the whole book in one sitting, it’s such a good read!

 

January Blog Posts & Reviews:

I blogged 14 times in February which I’m happy with. Only six of those posts were reviews though which I need to improve on as I’m reading a lot and just haven’t been managing to get reviews written and posted. I think my new MacBook will help with that as it’s easier for me to use, and faster. Anyway, here are my blog posts and reviews from February…

That Was The Month That Was… January 2019

Stacking the Shelves (2 Feb)

This Week in Books (6 Feb)

Review of Senseless by Anna Lickley

Review of East of England by Eamonn Griffin

This Week in Books (13 Feb)

Review of All the Little Lies by Chris Curran

Stacking the Shelves (16 Feb)

Review of My Last Lie by Ella Drummond

This Week in Books (20 Feb)

Stacking the Shelves (23 Feb)

Review of Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

This Week in Books (27 Feb)

Review of Waco: A Survivor’s Story by David Thidebeau

 

The state of my TBR:

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Well my TBR has got a little bit out of control during February. My plan to reduce it by 200 books from the total at the start of the year to the total at the end as gone a bit awry. To be on target my TBR should now be down to 2407 owned books but it’s actually at 2482! Oops! In fairness though I am part-way through having a book sort out so I think there will be some books going to the charity shop that I no longer want to read. Other than I just need to keep reading, and perhaps be a bit better at not buying all of the books at once! Haha!

 

 

How was your February? I hope you all had a good month and that you read lots of good books. Did you read many books? What was your favourite book of the month? Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to know. Also, if you have a blog please feel free to leave a link to your month’s wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to read and comment back. 🙂

 

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This Week in Books (20 Feb 2019)! What Are You Reading This Week?

Today I’m taking in part in This Week in Books, which was started by Lipsyy Lost and Found! If you want to join in you just need to share what you’re reading now, what you’ve read over the last week, and what you hope to read next.

 

Now

‘Kill The Black One First’ by Michael Fuller

I spotted this on my audio book subscription and it sounded really interesting so I downloaded it. It’s hard to hear the experiences that he had in the early days of becoming a police officer but it’s a good read.

The Bridal Party J. G. Murray

This book is so good! It’s getting creepier by the chapter and I’m so intrigued to find out how it’s all going to end for this group of women!

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

This is another great read – I read most of it in one sitting and I’m so looking forward to sitting down and reading the final few chapters and seeing where it’s all going to end up.

Not Fade Away: The Life and Music of Buddy Holly by John Gribbin

I haven’t read much more of this over the last week as I’ve been in a fiction mood but I’ll definitely be getting back to this soon as I’m really enjoying it.

Then

My Last Lie by Ella Drummond

I really enjoyed this debut thriller – my review should be up on my blog today so you can find out more in that post if you’d like to.

I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

I listened to this book over a couple of days this week and it was a decent enough read. I love the author’s writing so that kept me listening but I did find the storyline a bit too predictable.

Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke

I was sent an ARC of this and I was so delighted. I’m pleased to say that the novel lived up to my expectations for it and I really enjoyed it. Hopefully I’ll get my review posted soon.

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

I’m a bit ashamed that I’ve never read this book before now but better late than never. I loved this novel, it was such a witty and engaging book and I’m sure I’ll read it again in the future.

Manhunt by Colin Sutton

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I saw the ITV adaptation of it recently so when I spotted it on my audio book subscription I downloaded it and began listening straight away. This was an interesting look behind the scenes of a murder investigation but it wasn’t as good a read as I’d hoped.

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

This book was incredible! I read it pretty much in one go and keep finding myself thinking about it ever since I finished it. I’ll be reviewing this one next week but I absolutely recommend it.

All The Little Lies by Chris Curran

I’m such a fan of Chris Curran’s reading and this book is her best yet. I loved it! I’ve already reviewed this so you can find out more of what I thought here if you’d like to.

 

Next

Are You the F**king Doctor by Dr Liam Farrell

I had hoped to start reading this over the last week but I ended up being in a fiction mood so I didn’t get to it. I’m really keen to read this though so it’s top of my list for the week ahead.

Past Life by Dominic Nolan

This book has been calling to me from my TBR ever since it arrived so I think this week will be the time to pick it up.

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

I’m also really looking forward to reading this one so it’s on my list for this week!

Minimalism by Joshua Fields Milburn

I bought this in a recent kindle book sale as I’m intrigued by the idea behind minimalism (it goes with my de-cluttering obsession) so I’m keen to pick this up as soon as I can.

 


 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in This Week in Books or WWW Wednesday please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

A New #BookHaul as I’m Stacking the Shelves Again (26 Jan 2019)!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

 

Books I Bought This week

The Woman Who Kept Everything by Jane Gilley

I’ve seen some great reviews of this book and the title appeals to me (anyone who’s read my Marie Kondo post will get why!) so I grabbed a copy this week!

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This is novel that I keep seeing everywhere I look so I simply had to treat myself to a copy! It sounds like such a good read and I can’t wait to get to it!

The Forgotten Hours by Katrin Schumann

This was my Kindle First pick for this month and it sounds like an interesting read.

Rock Needs River by Vanessa McGrady

There was the option to pick two Kindle First picks this month so this was my second choice. I do love non-fiction and this one caught my eye!

 

Books I Received for Review

Hard Pushed by Leah Hazard

I’ve seen this book being talked about on social media and as I love medical memoirs I requested it on NetGalley and am really looking forward to getting to this one.

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

This is another book that I keep hearing about and was undecided about reading as everyone says you need tissues as it’s a tearjerker but in the end I just really want to read it and am glad to have a copy. Hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke

I was thrilled to be emailed about this book and offered a copy as I’ve enjoyed previous novels by the author. This one sounds thrilling and fast-paced and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Chickens Eat Pasta by Clare Pedrick

I’m taking part in the blog tour for this in a few weeks time and am delighted to have the audio book to listen to and review. This sounds like such a lovely read.

 


 

Have you bought any new books over the last week? Please tell me below. 🙂 If you join in with Stacking the Shelves please feel free to leave your link and I’ll make sure to read and comment on your post.

April Wrap-Up post!

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April has been a quiet month for the most part. I’m still adjusting to medication changes, although that has been slowed down a bit now, so I haven’t felt up to doing much beyond my normal daily stuff. I did go out once this month with my husband, which was fab. We went record shopping on record store day, you can read about that in my weekly wrap-up post from yesterday. My husband collects records in the same way I collect books so our house is getting a bit full with both of our collections but at least we understand each other’s hobby!

In terms of blogging it’s been a good month. I was thrilled to have a few of my reviews from this month move into my most liked posts on my sidebar – and even had the top spot change a couple of times. First SweetPea got there and that was then knocked into the number two spot by See What I Have Done. Yesterday I got a notification telling me that I’d had my most likes in one day ever so that was lovely to read. I don’t obsess over my stats but it’s always nice to have a gauge that my blog is steadily growing as time goes by. I was also thrilled to discover that my review of See What I Have Done has been quoted on the new Lounge Books website, it made my day!

 

Here are the 19 books I read this month:

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

One of Us by Asne Seierstad

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

SweetPea by C.J. Skuse

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

This Love by Dani Atkins

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan

Luuurve is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

April Blog Posts & Reviews

I managed to write and post eight reviews in April, which isn’t quite the three per week I was hoping to achieve but an average of two a week isn’t too bad. I did also post my regular posts: WWW Wednesday, Stacking the Shelves and Weekly Wrap-Up every week, which I’m happy about. Then I was lucky enough to interview two authors for my blog this month, and I got to feature a lovely author’s guest post. So all-in-all I’m happy with how many posts I shared on my blog this month but I would like to try and get some more reviews written and posted in May if I can.

Here are my reviews from April:

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

SweetPea by C.J. Skuse

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

This Love by Dani Atkins

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

 

Here are the author interviews I was lucky enough to do in April:

Jennifer Gilmour, author of Isolation Junction

Kay Langdale, author of The Comfort of Others

 

I also featured a guest post on my blog in April:

Lynda Renham, author of Remember Me, wrote a guest post about changing genres for her new novel

 

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The state of my TBR:

The state of my TBR is something I’m starting to wish I’d never shared on my blog as every month I’m becoming more aware of how little willpower I have when it comes to books! I started the year with 1885 books on my TBR (these are all books that I own but haven’t read yet) and as of the end of April I now have 1933 unread books! I’m very aware that the number is going in completely the wrong direction but have so far being quite powerless to stop it.

I joined the Mount TBR challenge on Goodreads a little while ago and challenged myself to read at least 100 books that were on my TBR before the start of this year. I began to realise that I would struggle with getting my TBR reduced (although I am still trying to work on that) so am now trying to at least make sure that I’m reading a similar number of books I’ve owned a while to the new books I acquire. I’ve so far read 90 books this year and 41 were on my TBR before the start of 2017 so I’m happy with that ratio and hope to keep it up.

 


 

How was your April? I hope you all had a good month and that you read good books. Did you read many books? What was your favourite book of the month? Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to know. Also, if you have a blog please feel free to leave a link to your month’s wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to read and comment back. 🙂

Weekly Wrap-Up (23 April)

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This week has been an okay week, it was nice not to have any medical appointments or treatment and to be able to just potter about at home.

I’ve not managed to read quite as much as usual as I spent time catching up on Broadchurch (I’m sad this has ended as I loved it) and Big Little Lies (I read the book when it first came out but I can only remember half of how it ends so I’m intrigued to see how it all turns out. No spoilers please as it doesn’t air in the UK until tomorrow night. I think the casting for this show has been perfect and has made it such a brilliant series. I’ll miss it when it ends). I don’t watch a lot of TV but when I find a programme I like I tend to get hooked until it’s finished.

As I’m writing this post it’s Friday afternoon… I’m finishing and scheduling this post early this week (I normally write and schedule in advance and then amend the night before it posts if I’ve started or finished any other books) as I’m hoping to go record shopping on Saturday morning with my husband. It’s Record Store Day and there are some fab-sounding records on the list that we’d love to get.  I’ll update my instagram with our purchases and will write about how it went in next Sunday’s wrap-up post. I’m so hoping I manage to go – I haven’t left the house, other than for a handful of medical appointments, in literally weeks as I’ve been too unwell so it would be brilliant to get out.

 

This week I’ve finished reading three books:

No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan

I’ve had this on my TBR since it was published and this week it caught my eye in my audio library and I decided to pick it up. I listened to it over a couple of days and enjoyed it.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

This was a really interesting listen that I very much enjoyed. It may seem odd to read a book about marathon running when I can’t walk more than a handful of tiny steps but there was so much in this book that really struck a chord with me. It’s interesting to read about his writing process too. I’d recommend this.

This Love by Dani Atkins

I read this book in two sittings and fell completely in love with the story. This is one of those books that stays in your mind after you finish reading and I think it’ll be a rare book that I re-read in the future. I reviewed this on my blog this week so you can read my thoughts here if you’d like to.

 

This week I’ve blogged six times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up post

Monday: The Affair by Amanda Brooke

Tuesday: Interview with Jennifer Gilmour, author of Isolation Junction

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

Thursday: Review of This Love by Dani Atkins

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

I pre-ordered this book when I first heard about it and then forgot when release day was so it was a fab surprise this week when it arrived on my Kindle. I’m already reading this and am hooked, it’s such a great premise for a novel.

Luuurve is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

I love this series of books, it never fails to make me smile (even though I’m way older than the target audience) as it’s such fun writing. I was feeling really down yesterday after my fall so picked this up and it’s a perfect read for just now.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

This book is gorgeous, I can’t quite put into words how much I’m loving this book. I’m deliberately reading it slowly to savour it. I’m on the blog tour for this on Monday and have a lovely interview with Kay that I can’t wait to share.

 

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

I’m still listening to the audio book of this and am finding it really interesting. Some of the things I knew and others I didn’t, the book is a really nice mix of stories about people involved in the building, or who were due to sail on the Titanic.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

I’ve not picked this up much this week as I’ve been listening to more audio books. I’m really keen to know where this story is going though and really hope to pick this back up very soon.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This is another book that’s suffered from me leaning more towards audio books this week but I was finding this absolutely fascinating and I really want to get back to it this week.

 

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Update on my TBR:

TBR at the start of January 2017: 1885 (see my State of the TBR post)

TBR in last week’s Wrap-Up: 1929

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 12

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 3

Books I’m currently reading: 6

TBR Books culled this week: 0

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1941

 

I’m linking this post up to Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Blog Share.  It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


 

How has your week been? What have you been reading? Please share in the comments below. If you write a wrap-up on your blog please feel free to share the link. 🙂

WWW Wednesday (19 April) What are you reading today?

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

What I’m reading now:

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

This is my current audio book and I’m finding it really interesting. I’m over a quarter of the way through it and it really is focusing on various people involved in the Titanic – be it the wealthy people who would be traveling or the shipbuilders that worked on Titanic before she set sail.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

I’m on the blog tour for this next week and am interviewing Kay Langdale for that. I really wanted to read the book before then so I could also review the book if I can, and I have to say that this is a beautiful novel that I’m very much enjoying.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

I had to put this book to one side for the last few days as I just haven’t been in the right frame of mind to read in this genre. I picked it up again last night though and found it very hard to put down so I’m sure I’ll be finishing this and writing my review very soon.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This is such an interesting book – the way France has looked at the scientists, the doctors and the patients makes sure that this remains a very human book. It’s so powerful and incredibly moving.

 

What I recently finished reading:

This Love by Dani Atkins

I finished reading this book yesterday afternoon and then spent 20 mins sobbing. It’s not often that a book affects me so much but I really got caught up in this novel. Once I’ve got myself composed I will be writing a glowing review of this gorgeous book.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

This was my recent audio book and I really did enjoy it. I bought it in a daily deal on a whim and I’m glad I did. It may seem a bit strange to read a book about running when I can barely even walk but I actually got a lot out of this book and would recommend it.

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

I had an ebook review copy of this book but decided to listen to the audio book and found the book much more engaging on audio. I’m in the middle of writing up my review now so hope to share that on my blog very soon.

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

I’ve already reviewed this book on my blog so you can read that here if you’d like to. I really enjoyed reading this book, it had more to the story than I was expecting and I’d recommend it.

 

What I plan on reading next:

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

I was so excited when I was offered this book for review and I just can’t wait any longer to read it, it sounds amazing!

Block 42 by Johana Gustawsson

I’m on the blog tour for this book at the start of May and have been looking forward to reading it ever since I first heard about it. I think this is going to be one of those impossible to put down books!

 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you’re looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below.

#BookReview: The Affair by Amanda Brooke @AmandaBrookeAB @fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK

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About the Book

A shocking story about a fifteen-year-old girl and the man who took advantage of her.

“You might as well know from the start, I’m not going to tell on him and I don’t care how much trouble I get in. It’s not like it could get any worse than it already is. I can’t. Don’t ask me why, I just can’t.”

When Nina finds out that her fifteen-year-old daughter, Scarlett, is pregnant, her world falls apart. Because Scarlet won’t tell anyone who the father is. And Nina is scared that the answer will destroy everything. As the suspects mount – from Scarlett’s teacher to Nina’s new husband of less than a year – Nina searches for the truth: no matter what the cost.

My Thoughts

I found this novel really drew me in and I actually read it all in one day.  If I’m to be honest I was expecting this book to be quite predictable but actually it wasn’t. Fifteen year old Scarlett has been having a relationship with an older man but when her mum finds out she refuses to say who it was with. Nina, her mum, is thrown into a tailspin and doesn’t know how to handle what has happened.

I thought it was clever that, as the reader, we don’t know who the relationship was with either. This book has multiple narrators – we mainly follow Nina, and Vicki – Scarlett’s teacher’s wife but we also get to see some of Scarlett’s thought processes interspersed throughout the novel. Immediately I suspected the teacher, but then I suspected the step-father, and briefly I even suspected Nina’s best friend’s husband. The two main men we’re led to suspect each seem to have opportunity to groom Scarlett and I couldn’t work out for a while who it most likely was.

We do get to see the life that Nina and Bryn lead as quite a newly-wed couple trying to adapt to living together with Nina’s two children. We also see a lot of Vicki and Rob, Scarlett’s teacher’s relationship and the way they seem madly in love. There are times when you’re reading that you wonder if it was neither of these men as they both seem happy and settled, but then you read the snippets from Scarlett’s viewpoint and remember that one of these men is likely a monster.

I have to say that I did feel uncomfortable that this book is centred around what is called an affair when it involved a fifteen year old. The two suspects are both in a position of power over her, and she is underage so really it’s not an affair: it’s a man taking advantage of a naive and underage girl. Scarlett does seem worldly-wise but it is very clear that she’s inexperienced and that she believes herself to be in love with the man. She believes he really wants to be with her at any cost. I can see how Scarlett views it as an affair – to her this is a relationship between equals. It’s clear that all of the adults in Scarlett’s life (barring the man who took advantage of her) are horrified at the supposed relationship so this changes the perception within the book from it being an affair to it being something much more serious.

The Affair is a novel that centres on a relationship between a man and an underage girl but it is about so much more than just that. It is just as much a look at how the female characters deal with the suspicion that the man they married, that they trust, could be cheating on them and how they have to then come to terms with the fact that the person their husband is involved with is a minor. I really appreciated all the strand to this novel, it made it a well-rounded and interesting read that throws up real moral dilemmas for the characters. This would make a great book club read as there is so much brought up in this book that would make for great discussion points.

I really enjoyed this novel – it kept me engrossed from start to finish and left me mulling it over once I’d finished reading. I’ll definitely be looking out for more of Amanda Brooke’s novels in the future.

The Affair is out now.

I received a copy of this book from the HarperCollins via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

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I live in Liverpool with my daughter Jessica and writing was most definitely a late discovery.  I didn’t really begin to explore creative writing until I was almost 40, at which point my young son Nathan was fighting for his life.  Poetry and keeping a journal helped me through those difficult times and the darker times to come when he died in 2006.  He was three years old.

I continued to write and in 2010 I was fortunate enough to find an agent.  Luigi Bonomi has a fantastic reputation which is truly deserved and with his help we transformed my first manuscript.  Shortly afterwards in 2011 I was offered a book deal with HarperCollins.

My first novel Yesterday’s Sun was published in January 2012.

(Bio taken from author’s website: amanda-brooke.com)

Weekly Wrap-Up (16 April)

Weekly Wrap up SQUARE copyrighted

This week has been a tough one for various reasons. It would have been my mum’s birthday this week so I always find that an emotional day. It’s a few years now since my mum died but that wave of grief still catches me unawares sometimes and it’s tough.

I also started some new treatment aimed at helping with my pain. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the treatment but it was certainly much harder than I thought it would be. I’m hopeful that it may help me manage my pain in the longer term though so will definitely be continuing with it. It was exhausting though – I was absolutely shattered for two days afterwards so spent a lot of time just resting and listening to audio books.

This week I’ve finished reading five books:

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

I had a review copy of this to read but I ended up listening to it on audio and really enjoyed it. I hope to get my review written and posted soon.

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

I enjoyed this book – it was different to what I was expecting and kept me hooked all the way through. Hopefully I’ll get my review up in the next week or so.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This is another book I had a review copy of but I ended up switching to audio part way though. I enjoyed this book but I’m not sure that I would have enjoyed it as much if I was reading it rather than listening. I’ll write my review once I’ve got my thoughts in order.

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

I loved this book and can’t praise it highly enough. It was such an eye-opening and empowering read. I’ve already reviewed this for the blog tour so you can read my thoughts here if you’d like to.

SweetPea by C.J. Skuse

This is such a brilliant and unique book and I loved it. Rhiannon is such a great character! I highly recommend this book. I’ve reviewed SweetPea this week so you can read that here if you want to know more.

This week I’ve blogged seven times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up (9 April)

Monday: Review of Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

                        Review of The Cows by Dawn O’Porter for the Blog Tour

Thursday: Review of SweetPea by C.J. Skuse

Friday: Review of Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller 

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves

This is what I’m currently reading:

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

I’ve just started listening to this on audio but am finding it interesting so far. At the moment it’s not been hugely focused on the Titanic but it has set the background scene to what happened really well.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

I received a copy of this in the post on Thursday and started reading it yesterday afternoon. It’s such a lovely novel and I’m very much enjoying it.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

I’ve not managed to read many print or ebooks this week with not feeling great so I’ve not picked this up for a couple of days but from the few chapters I read earlier in the week I am so keen to get back to this book to see what happens. It’s so good!

What I Talk about when I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami

This is my other current audio book and I’m really enjoying it. There is so much in this book about writing, and about how he came to be a runner and how the two things are linked for him. I’m getting so much out of this book and highly recommend it.

This Love by Dani Atkins

This is a gorgeous book that I’m absolutely loving. I had to put it down for a few days as I’ve been struggling to hold print books this week but I can’t wait to get back to it.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This book is fascinating. It’s such a moving and powerful book about what happened during the Aids crisis in the 80s. It reminds me of Randy Schilts’ book And the Band Played On. I definitely recommend this book.

the-state-of-my-2

Update on my TBR…  

TBR at the start of January 2017: 1885 (see my State of the TBR post)

TBR in last week’s Wrap-Up: 1914

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 12

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 5

Books I’m currently reading: 6

TBR Books culled this week: 2

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1929

I have a confession this week about the state of my TBR… the numbers won’t add up properly today because I discovered that I had a few audiobooks and a few books on my Kobo app from a while ago that I hadn’t ever added to my Goodreads and so hadn’t been counted in my TBR. These amounted to 16 books. Oops! So I have 1929 books on my TBR now and that is accurate it’s just that the sum won’t add up properly because of my error.

 


 

I’m linking this post up to Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Blog Share.  It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


 

How has your week been? What have you been reading? Please share in the comments below. If you write a wrap-up on your blog please feel free to share the link. 🙂

Stacking the Shelves (21 Jan)

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(Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.)


 

The plans I made two weeks ago in my State of my TBR post to try and focus more on the books I already own isn’t going too well. This week I have more new books on my TBR. The only good news is that I’m reading a lot at the moment so my TBR isn’t increasing too much.

This week I’ve bought four new books:

Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman 

This book has been on my wishlist for ages so when I noticed the hardback drop in price in a recent sale I grabbed it! I’m so looking forward to finally getting to read this book.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion 

I bought this in a recent Audible deal of the day. I really enjoy listening to audiobooks, especially when I’m not able to hold a print book or my kindle for very long due to pain. I know I must be the last person to get to reading this book but better late than never, and I am looking forward to listening to it now I finally have a copy!

The Elephant in the Room by Jon Ronson 

This is a Kindle Single so a very short book. It’s about the Republican campaign so a very timely read and so one I want to get to very, very soon.

The Six-Foot Bonsai by Stacy Gleiss

A fellow blogger commented on my WWW Wednesday post this week to say that this is what she was currently reading and it sounded so fascinating that I immediately looked it up on Amazon. As it was available on Kindle Unlimited I decided to download it straight away and give it a go.

Books I received for review:

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe 

Will Schwalbe’s book The End of Your Life Bookclub is one of my favourite books and I added it to a list I made about books that help you through grief (you can read that blog post here: Books to help you through grieving). I adore that book and so when I found out that he had another book about books coming out soon I couldn’t resist requesting a review copy. This won’t be on my TBR for very long, I can’t wait to read it.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

I heard about this book recently and thought it sounded really interesting. I’m very much looking forward to reading this.

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui

Last year was the year I finally gave graphic novels and memoirs a try and I couldn’t believe I’d avoided them for so long. I really enjoyed the ones I read – one even made my Top non-fiction reads of 2016, which you can read about here: My Top Ten Non-Fiction Reads 2016 and two others made the honourable mentions section of my best fiction reads, which you can read about here: Top Ten Fiction Reads 2016. In 2017 I’d like to continue to pick up some graphic novels or memoirs so when I saw this one on NetGalley I immediately requested it.

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

I was sent an invitation to read this book via NetGalley and decided to give it a go. I don’t know if it’ll be my kind of read or not but I’m always happy to try something different when it comes to books.


 

So, that’s all of my new books from the past week. Have you bought any new books recently? Tell me all in the comments below, or if you have a stacking the shelves post on your blog feel free to post the link below too.:)

My weekly wrap up post will be on my blog tomorrow so please look out for that.

Weekly Wrap-Up and Stacking the Shelves (5th December)

I don’t know where the weeks are going at the moment, I can’t quite believe that it’s Saturday again already and time for my weekly wrap-up post!

I’ve realised over the last few days that due to my physio schedule increasing I simply don’t have the energy and brain power to read as many books, or to write as many reviews or posts on my blog. I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to post as and when I can, or whether to try and make some sort of schedule so I still have regular posts. If any of you have any suggestions on how to manage book blogging alongside a hectic real life then please let me know in the comments. Any and all advice is much appreciated.

This week on my blog I’ve posted my usual WWW Wednesday, and Book Beginnings posts. I also did my monthly wrap-up for November.


 

My week in books:

I’ve read four books this week and have managed to review all of them.

(Please click on the links below the images to read my reviews)

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

Search for the Truth by Kathryn Freeman

Don’t Jump by Vicki Abelson

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce


 

stacking-the-shelves

I’m also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews), which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I’ve bought this week:

This week there has been a huge sale on Kindle books due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and I went completely and utterly one-click happy! I was debating whether to post pics of all of the books I bought as it will show how out of control I’ve been this week, or whether I should just post highlights. In the interests of always been truthful on my blog, I’m listing them all. Please don’t judge me!

The first four books are books I already own, and have already read, in print but when I spotted them on sale as ebooks I decided to buy them in this format as well.

The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

The Enchantment of Lily Dahl by Siri Hustvedt

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Janette Winterson

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler

The following are all books on my wishlist that dropped in price over the past few days and so I couldn’t resist buying them!

The Story of a Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (sale)

The Novel Cure by Susan Elderkin (sale)

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (sale)

Little White Lies by Lesley Lokko (sale)

The Gallery of Lost Husbands by Natasha Solomons (sale)

Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf (sale)

Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin (sale)

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (sale)

Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter (sale)

The Other Child by Charlotte Link (sale)

Winter Flowers by Carol Coffey (sale)

The Island Hideaway by Louise Candlish  (sale)

Never Broken by Hannah Campbell (sale)

The House of Frozen Dreams by Sere Prince Halverson (sale)

The Happy Hoofer by Celia Imrie (sale)

Oswald’s Tale by Norman Mailer (sale)

 

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (sale)

Murder by Sarah Pinborough (sale)

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough (sale)

Skellig by David Almond (sale)

Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking (sale)

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (sale)

All Day Long by Joanna Biggs (sale)

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (sale)

Coming Up Trumps by Jean Trumpington (sale)

Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill (sale)

26 Miles to the Moon by Andrew Males (sale)

Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid (sale)

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales (sale)

No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue (sale)

Learning to Speak American by Colette Dartford (sale)

The Hidden Legacy by G. J. Minett (sale)

 

The next four books are all Christmas books that I couldn’t resist buying even though I’m not sure I have time to read all the Christmas novels I already own!

Enid Blyton’s Christmas Stories by Enid Blyton (sale)

Wish Upon A Christmas Cake by Darcie Boleyn (sale)

A Wedding at Christmas by Chrissie Manby (sale)

The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse (sale)

And the last two books that I bought this week were two books that I’ve had on my wishlist for ages and couldn’t resist them any longer. The Melissa Hill book was just released on Thursday and I’ve been waiting for it to be out!

A Diamond from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

Paulina and Fran by Rachel B. Glaser

 

Review books received this week:

Snowed in for her Wedding by Emma Bennet (ebook)

Callie’s Christmas Countdown by Julie Ryan (ebook)

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon (ebook)

As Weekends Go by Jan Brigden (ebook)

A Savage Hunger by Claire McGowan (ebook)

The Ballroom by Anna Hope (ebook)

Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell (print book)

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald (print book)

The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements (print book)

 

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And I won a proof copy of The Missing Husband by Amanda Brooke in a completion run by Shazsbookblog.