My 20 Books of Summer Wrap-Up!

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The 20 Books of Summer reading challenge has now ended and I’m so happy to say that, for the first time ever, I read all of the books on my planned TBR! Woo Hoo! I’ve always managed to read at least 20 books over the summer but I have never, ever managed to stick to my planned list. I picked 20 physical books this time so it was an even bigger challenge for me so I really am proud of myself for completing it. I didn’t get around to reviewing the books I read but I do intend to review at least some of them soon.

Before I go any further, a huge thank you to Cathy at 746 Books for running this challenge. I really do love taking part each year.

Here are the books I read over the summer (in the order I read them).

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

A Question of Trust by Penny Vincenzi

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

The July Girls by Phoebe Locke

Still Lives by Maria Hummell

Take Me In by Sabine Durrant

Inhuman Resources by Pierre LeMaitre

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry

The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews

Histories by Sam Guglani

We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt

A Keeper by Graham Norton

Nevermoor #1: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life by Samantha Ellis

 

I have to say that I enjoyed every single book that was on my summer TBR, which is really something! I think if I was pushed to pick my favourites I would have to say that my favourite two novels were The Goldfinch and The Trouble With Goats and Sheep, and my two favourite non-fiction books were After the Eclipse and Take Courage. It was bittersweet reading A Question of Trust with it being the final book by Penny Vincenzi but I enjoyed it so much that I now want to make time to re-read some of her other novels.

The page count for my 20 books came to 7597, which is no surprise really considering how long The Goldfinch is and A Question of Trust is pretty huge too!

The fact that this year I made time to read my planned summer TBR as well as the other books that I needed to read (books for review and blog tour books) meant I was successful at completing this TBR. I’ve never done well with TBRs – I’m one of those people that absolutely loves planning what I’m going to read, and then the minute the challenge starts I want to read everything but what’s on my list! This time I planned it better and I feel so satisfied at getting to books that had been on my TBR bookcase for quite a while. I had a couple of books on my list that I’ve put off because they felt like they might be more difficult reads (like The Word for Woman is Wilderness for example) but I found I enjoyed them so much. It reminded me that I perhaps need to make a seasonal TBR to remind me of the books that I want to read but am intimidated by.

This year’s 20 Books of Summer has been absolutely wonderful and I already can’t wait for the next one! How did your summer reading go? Did you take part in the challenge? I hope you read some amazing books. 馃檪

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WWW Wednesdays (3 Jul 2019)!

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

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you鈥檒l read next?

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

 

What I鈥檓 reading now:

The Last Stage by Louise Voss

I started reading this one last night and it’s one of those books where I begrudge real life interfering with my reading time. It’s such a brilliant read!

Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris

I’ve had this on my TBR ever since it first came out so when I spotted it on BorrowBox this week I decided to listen to it while part reading it. I’m intrigued by it and am looking forward to listening to more.

The Wave by Virginia Moffatt

This book is really interesting. It’s about a disparate group of people who end up staying on a beach in Cornwall awaiting a tsunami; they know they don’t have time to escape so are trying to accept their fate and enjoy their last night. I’m completely invested in these characters and want them to survive!

Wrecking Crew: Demolishing the Case Against Steven Avery by John Ferak

I watched Making a Murderer season 1 and 2 and so when I spotted this book recently I decided to buy it and read more about the case. I’m only a little way in and so far it’s mostly what I’ve seen in the Netflix series but I’m still gripped.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

My husband bought me this hardback the year this book was published so I wanted to make sure I definitely finally read it this year. It’s the 4th book from my 20 Books of Summer challenge and I very much enjoyed it. It’s quite a slow, quiet novel but it was wonderful!

Me and the Table by Stephen Hendry

I downloaded the audio of this from Borrowbox on a whim as I’m a huge snooker fan and remember the years of poor Jimmy White never quite managing to beat Hendry in the World Championship Finals. This was a much better book than I expected and I really enjoyed it, I think it was it being on audio and having Hendry narrate it that really made it so good.

Something to Live For by Richard Roper

This book is such a life-affirming novel and I loved every minute that I spent reading it. I’ll be reviewing this one on the 7th July for the blog tour so please look out for my thoughts then!

Hard Pushed by Leah Hazard

I found this book about what it is to be a midwife in the NHS a fascinating read. I’m so glad I read it.

Something to Tell You by Lucy Diamond

This was a light-hearted read that I really enjoyed reading over the last few days. It kept me hooked all the way through.

 

What I plan on reading next:

Normal People by Sally Rooney

This is another pick from my 20 Books of Summer and I hope to get to it this week. I’ve found the audio on Scribd* so I may part-listen and part-read it if I struggle with the hardback. I’m keen to see if I enjoy this one anymore than Conversations with Friends!

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

This is one of my 20 Books of Summer too and I’m just in the mood to read it so hopefully I’ll get to read it in the coming days.

The Closer I Get by Paul Burston

This is an ARC I was sent and I am so keen to get to this book, it sounds like one I’m going to love so it’s high on my list to get to in the next week or so!

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

I recently read Last Seen Alive by this author and it reminded me how much I love her writing so I’m even more keen to get to her new one. It sounds like a fab summer thriller so I want to read it asap!

 


 

*I鈥檓 a paid member of Scribd (as mentioned above) and they have given me a code that will allow you to sign up and get two months free (and I would get one month free). If you鈥檇 like to try them out here is the link. I love Scribd and highly recommend them.

 


 

What have you been reading this week? I鈥檇 love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesday or聽This Week in Books聽please feel free to leave your link below and I鈥檒l make sure to visit and comment on your post.聽馃檪

20 Books of Summer for 2019!

 

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I’ve decided to join in with Cathy at 746 Books challenge to read 20 book over the summer! The challenge is running from 3rd June to 3rd September and you can challenge yourself to read either 10, 15 or 20 books over the three months.

My previous attempts at this challenge have always gone somewhat awry. I’ve always managed to read twenty books but generally tend to deviate completely from my planned reading but I really want to be strict this year and try my best to read the books I’ve picked!

I’ve decided to attempt to read 20 physical books this year as I tend to read more ebooks or listen to audio books these days so I’m using this summer reading challenge as a push to focus on print books for a while. I’ve also picked a couple of very chunky books that have been on my TBR for such a long time so it really will be a challenge!

 

So, without further ado… here are my 20 books of summer!

 

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

This is my number one book that I want to read this summer and if I read nothing else off this list this is the one I have to get to! I’m a huge Donna Tartt fan so I’ve been saving this one but it’s been calling to me from my TBR so now is the time! Also, I feel bad that my lovely mum-in-law bought me this gorgeous hardback edition when it was first published and that was a few years ago now.

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A Question of Trust by Penny Vincenzi

I bought this in hardback as soon as it was published but have put off reading this one because it’s the last Penny Vincenzi book and that makes me sad. She has been my go-to author for so many years but I do really want to read this and this summer feels like the time. Once I’ve read this one I can try and make time to go and re-read some of her older books.

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After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry

This is my must-read non-fiction pick for this summer. I have wanted to read this book for a long while now and I finally treated myself a couple of months back but I wasn’t in the right headspace to read it. I definitely want to devote some time to reading this one in the coming months.

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Take Courage by Samantha Ellis

This is another book that I bought in hardback when it first came out and then put it on my TBR bookcase and there it has stayed. I’m finally getting back into reading classics this year though and as Anne Bronte’s novels are some of my favourites it seems like the perfect time to pick this biography of her up.

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Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

My husband bought me this for my birthday a couple of years ago and I’m really sad that I haven’t read it yet. I love Jon McGregor’s writing and I know I will love this book so it’s time that I get to it.

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Normal People by Sally Rooney

This is a recent purchase but I’m quite keen to read it. I just finished reading Conversations with Friends which I didn’t like but I’ve seen quite a few reviews now that seem to show that quite a lot of people who didn’t like it did go on to love Normal People so I’m wanting to read this while the first book is still fresh in my head.

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A Keeper by Graham Norton

I got this book for Christmas and I’m so excited to read it so I’m putting it on my Summer TBR so that it doesn’t end up languishing on my shelves like so many other books. I’ve heard good things about this!

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In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

This is already getting embarrassing but this is another book that my husband gave me for Christmas three years ago, and it’s a signed edition and I was so excited to get it… and yet I still haven’t read it. It has such a summery cover so it seems perfect to put it on my TBR for this summer.

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The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Yep, this is another gift from my husband. I read and adored Three Things about Elsie so am excited to read Joanna’s first novel. This is set over the summer so it absolutely had to make my TBR!

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Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

Another gift that was bought for me when this was first published… I am just in the mood for this book though and very nearly started reading it this weekend. Then I realised it was perfect for my summer reading challenge so I’m going to hold off a bit longer.

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The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

I can’t remember where I got this book from but when I was sorting through my books the blurb does sound like a book I would be interested in so I’m adding it to the TBR. This is one of those books that I don’t have a connection to it as an object so if I don’t get to it this summer I’m going to pass it on to charity.

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Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

I got this book for Christmas 2018 and I’m so excited to read this. The blurb of it sounds like exactly the kind of book I would have adored when I was a child so I feel nostalgic to read it even though I’ve not read it before (if that makes sense!).

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We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt

I got this book in a bookswap and was so keen to read it but then it disappeared into the TBR bookcase (which has shelves that are three books deep…). I think this will be an emotional read but it’s good to have a tearjerker on the TBR.

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Histories by Sam Guglani

I was sent this book for review quite a long time ago now and I just didn’t get to it but I do still want to read it so it’s going on the summer TBR stack. I think it’ll be good to have a short story collection in there to give a bit of variety.

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The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews

This is another book that I was sent for review (unrequested) but it sounded good so I kept it. I have an awful feeling that I may have put this book on my summer challenge last year and didn’t get to it so I’m going to really try and get to this one this year.

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Inhuman Resources by Pierre LeMaitre

This is a more recent review book that I requested and was thrilled to be sent as I love this author’s writing. His books always unnerve me and yet I can never put them down so I can’t wait to start this one.

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The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames

This was a very, very recent review book so I was intending to get to it very soon anyway so adding it to this list gives me an extra incentive to read it before too much longer.

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Take Me In by Sabine Durrant

I love this author’s books and this one sounds like it’ll be a good thriller to read in the summer so it absolutely had to make the list!

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Still Lives by Maria Hummel

This book is one I’ve been wanting to get to for the last couple of months but haven’t been in the right mood for it but I think it is one I will enjoy reading over the summer.

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The July Girls by Phoebe Morgan

This book was sent to me very recently and isn’t due out until July so it was calling out to be added to my summer reading stack!

 


 

So all in all quite a daunting amount of reading with the stack including a couple of huge books but I’m so looking forward to getting started! What are you planning, or hoping, to read over the summer months? Are you joining in with the 20 Book of Summer Challenge?

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It’s Book Bingo Time! Will it be a full house for 2018? #BookBingo

I’ve really enjoyed doing book bingo over the last couple of years so couldn’t resist the chance to see whether I’d successfully filled in my bingo card for 2018. As ever, I don’t look at the bingo card during the year I just read what I want to read and then at the end of the year look through my reading to see if I’ve managed a full house.

So without further ado…

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A Book With More Than 500 Pages

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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

A Forgotten Classic

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The Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

A Book That Became a Movie

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

A Book Published This Year

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Lullaby by Leila Slimani

A Book With a Number in the Title

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Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

A Book Written By Someone Under 30

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Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

A Book With Non Human Characters

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One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell

A Funny Book

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This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

A Book By A Female Author

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The Winter’s Child by Cassandra Parkin

A Book With a Mystery

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Keeper by Johana Gustawsson

A Book With A One Word Title

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Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

A Book of Short Stories

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Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes

Free Square

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Snowday by B R Maycock

A Book Set on a Different Continent

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Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

A Book of Non Fiction

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No Such Thing As Society by Andy McSmith

The First Book By A Favourite Author

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A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

A Book You Heard About Online

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Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner

A Best-Selling Book

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Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

A Book Based on a True Story聽

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Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour

A Book At The Bottom of Your TBR Pile

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Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

A Book Your Friend Loves

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The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern

A Book that Scares You

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I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

A Book That Is More Than Ten Years Old

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The Constant Gardener by John le Carre

The Second Book In A Series

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The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

A Book With a Blue Cover

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Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

 


 

Woo hoo! Full House! I wasn’t sure when I started writing this post that I was actually going to have a book read in 2018 for every square but I’ve done it! It’s always fun to play Book Bingo, it’s another way to reflect on the year’s reading.

Have you taken part in Book Bingo for 2018? If you have I’d love to see your posts so please leave links below. 馃檪

My Favourite Novels of 2018!

My Favourite Books 0f 2018!

Firstly, happy new year to you all! I hope 2019 brings you good health, peace and happiness!

2018 has been an amazing reading year for me. I read 290 books, which is the most I’ve read in one year since I started keeping track of my reading! Of the 290, 211 were fiction so that has made it so hard to pick a top 10 or even a top 20 so in the end I made a list of the books that have stayed with me the most and 27 novels have made my list! (My non-fiction picks will be in a separate post tomorrow).

Some of these books have stayed with me because they were well-written, some were impossible to put down and others brought out such an emotional reaction in me that they simply had to be on this list.

So without further ado, here are my favourite books of 2018 (click the title if you’d like to read my full review on each of these books)…

 

In reverse order: 

27. Dead in Venice by Fiona Leitch

This is one of the best audio books I listened to this year and had to be on my list as it’s really stick with me.

26. The Lingering by SJI Holliday

This was an unsettling, creepy novel that I couldn’t put down!

25. You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke

I love Lucy Clarke’s writing and this has joined The Sea Sisters as my favourite books by her!

24. The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

This was such a different read for me and I utterly adored it.

23. Perfect Bones by AJ Waines

This is a crime fiction novel that haunted me in the times when I wasn’t reading it, it definitely earned its place on my list.

22. The Date by Louise Jensen

I love Louise Jensen’s writing and this book was another brilliant read by her. It gave me an insight into a condition I knew nothing much about and the ending of the book gave me chills!

21. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

I read this book in one sitting on a boiling hot day but the writing was so good that I could feel the snowy cold and the oppressive atmosphere of those trapped in the hotel with a murderer on the loose!

20. Odette by Jessica Duchen

This is such a beautiful book and it really resonated with me so it had to be on this list!

19. Attend by West Camel

This is a recent read but I keep finding myself thinking about the characters and it’s staying in my mind so I had to have this in my top books.

18. Daisy Belle by Caitlin Davies

This is a wonderful story about a young girl who wants to make it as a champion swimmer in a time when it’s not the done thing for females. It’s inspiring and beautiful and I knew it would make my top books of the year as soon as I finished reading it.

17. The Afterlife of Walter Augustus by Hannah M. Lynn

This is a bit different from my usual reads but it’s so beautiful and very moving in places and I still think about it.

16. Old Baggage by Lissa Evans

This was such a brilliant novel, and is another book that really has stayed with me.

 

15. The Girl in His Eyes by Jennie Ensor

This was a very prescient and moving novel, and while it was hard to read at times for me personally the writing is so sensitive and honest that I couldn’t put it down.

14. Fukushima Dreams by Zelda Rhiando

I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did but it’s so stunningly written and the story is still swirling in my mind. It was an unforgettable read for me and deserves its place on my list.

13. Narcissism for Beginners by Martine McDonagh

This is another book that was a bit different to my usual read but I devoured it. It’s funny and emotional and I adored it.

12. Good Samaritans by Will Carver

This is such a brilliant read, one I’ve been recommending to people ever since I finished reading it.

11. Overkill by Vanda Symon

This is my new favourite crime thriller series and I’m desperate to get my hands on the second book as soon as it’s out!

10. Him by Clare Empson

I got this book on a whim from NetGalley and I’m so glad I did. This really got under my skin and I couldn’t put it down until I’d read all the way to the end.

9. Miss Marley by Vanessa LaFaye with Rebecca Mascull

This is the only book on this list that I haven’t managed to review but I highly recommend it. It’s gorgeous and moving and just brilliant. It honours A Christmas Carol so beautifully whilst also standing on its own as a novella. The final couple of chapters were incredibly moving. I know this will be a book that I read every Christmas from now on so it absolutely deserves to be on this list.

8. Roar by Cecelia Ahern

This short story collection is brilliant. I loved every story and enjoyed finding the ones that resonated with me. It’s fabulous!

7. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

This is such a magical and lyrical novel, it’s another book that is staying with me and I know I’ll want to read it again in the future.

6. The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse 

I was looking forward to reading this novel but I wasn’t expecting it to get to me in the way it did. It’s very moving and so fascinating, and the writing is stunning.

5. Snap by Belinda Bauer

This was my favourite crime thriller of the year, I loved it. I don’t think I’ve read a crime novel before that has made me cry in the way this did. It’s such a brilliant novel.

4. Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

This novel really connected with me in so many ways and my review ended up being very personal as the story got so entwined with my emotions at the time I was reading. It’s a beautiful novel and I urge you to read it if you haven’t already.

 

 

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3. Love and Fame by Susie Boyt

This book is why I love blog tours – I was offered a copy of Love and Fame, a book I hadn’t heard of before and decided to give it a go. It’s such a witty, funny and moving novel about grief and loss in various forms. I absolutely fell in love with this book and it’s one I consider to be a firm favourite. I’m so glad this book found me!

 

 

And the next two books are jointly my favourite books of the year because I just couldn’t pick between them…

 

 

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech

I adore Louise Beech’s writing anyway but The Lion Tamer Who Lost stole my heart in a way that no other book has done in 2018. I keep thinking of the characters and wondering how they are, I keep thinking of how cruel life can be but how a novel like this does ultimately remind you why you need to keep going. I cried buckets reading parts of this book but I fell in love with it and it absolutely deserves this number one spot!

 

Let Me Be Like Water by S. K. Perry

I hadn’t heard of this book before a copy got sent to me for review but it was serendipity that it came into my life at the perfect moment. This is such a beautiful, lyrical novel that had me sobbing one moment and feeling consoled the next. The characters are wonderful and the depiction of grief is so real, as is the way we find a way to start living with grief. A stunning book that I will treasure forever and ever!

 


Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my Top Non-Fiction books of the year so look out for that then. In the meantime what were your favourite books of 2018? If you have a blog post please feel free to leave the link below. Happy New Year! 馃檪

 

 

 

 

 

This Week in Books (7 Nov 2018)! What are you reading at the moment? #TWiB

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

 

Now

Good Samaritans by Will Carver

This book is so good! It’s very twisted but it’s one of those books that I just don’t want to put down. I’ll be reviewing this for the blog tour in a couple of weeks time but I can already say for definite that I highly recommend it!

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke

I’ve had this book on my TBR for absolutely ages and recently got the audio book so I’m part listening and part reading it. I’m really enjoying it, it’s different to what I normally read and it’s so refreshing.

The Diary of Two Nobodies by Mary Killen and Giles Wood

I was already part way through this when I made my non-fiction November TBR so I didn’t put it on the list. I love Gogglebox and find Giles and Mary very entertaining so it’s interesting to read more about them.

 

Then聽

Mercury and Me by Jim Hutton

This is the third non-fiction November TBR book that I’ve read this month so far! I just finished this yesterday and it was okay. I’m a huge Freddie Mercury fan but this isn’t the best book I’ve ever read about him. I think it’s hard when it’s a memoir from 聽a loved one of the famous person as there is always going to be bias.

Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White

This is the second book from my non-fiction TBR that I’ve read in November and I enjoyed this one. I feel like I’m a decluttering obsessive now so I don’t really need these self-help books anymore but I still like to read them. This book just really reminded me how far I’ve come and still gave me some great tips on how to make sure I keep on track. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to declutter but has a very busy life.

Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell

I’ve had this on my TBR ever since the day it was published but I’ve kept putting it off because it looked like it could be an emotional read. I’m so glad I read it because although it was emotional, it was also a lovely read and I really enjoyed it.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve owned various copies of this book ever since it was published but have never managed to actually get around to reading it. I’m kicking myself now though because I picked it up at the weekend and read it in just a couple of days. I really, really enjoyed it!

Roar by Cecelia Ahern

I completely and utterly fell in love with this short story collection – it was empowering, inspiring and thought-provoking and I highly recommend it. If you want to know more about what I thought, here is my review!

Waco by David Thidebeau

This is a review book that has been on my TBR for quite a while now so I put it on my non-fiction November list and it was the first book I picked up this month. I found it such a fascinating read. I’ll be writing a review for it as soon as I’ve got my thoughts together.

 

Next

The List That Changed Everything by Olivia Beirne

I’m on the blog tour for this book later this month and I’ve been so looking forward to reading it that I can’t wait any longer to start it.

Bouncing Back with a Bang by Geraldine Ward

This is a poetry collection and I’m just in the mood for poetry so it seems the right time to pick this book up.

Truth or Dare edited by Justine Picardie

This is a collection of essays that I’ve got on my non-fiction November TBR and it seems perfect for dipping in and out of so I’m planning on picking this up next.

 


 

What have you been reading this week? I鈥檇 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鈥檒l make sure to visit and comment on your post. 馃檪

 

 

#BookReview: Roar by Cecelia Ahern @Cecelia_Ahern @FictionPubTeam #HearUsRoar #Roar

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About the Book

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Have you ever imagined a different life?
Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided?
Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar?

The women in these startlingly original stories are all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf and The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change.

Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar.

 

My Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of Cecelia Ahern so I squealed with joy when a copy of Roar arrived at my house, along with an invitation to be part of the blog tour. I’m so happy to say that Roar exceeded all of my expectations and I completely and utterly adored it!

Roar is a collection of thirty inspiring, quirky and powerful short stories; all are written from the viewpoint of unnamed women and each examines a different facet of female experience.

I loved how the protagonist in each of the stories remains unnamed as it really allowed me to get engrossed in the story and to either remember what it was like to be in a similar situation to the woman, or to imagine how she must feel.

I think this might be the first time I’ve ever read a short story collection and loved every single story. Some affected me more than others but each one stands distinct and on its own; each story is memorable and none have become muddled in my head since I finished reading.

It’s near impossible to pick a favourite story but I think if I was pushed to choose one it would be The Woman Who Was Pigeonholed. It just really spoke to me how all the women were put in neatly labelled boxes and despite having many other elements to how they were, they were mostly judged on one trait. The ending of this story made me smile, and I could so identify with it because I have pushed from being seen as weak and disabled to being seen as tenacious and determined.

I also loved The Woman Who Was Swallowed Up By The Floor And Who Met Lots Of Other Women Down There Too. We’ve all been in that situation where we’ve done something embarrassing and just want the ground to open up and swallow us, and this story explores that. I love how we get to see what has embarrassed other women and how it makes you see that your own embarrassment isn’t that bad, and that it can be got through.

The Woman Who Walked In Her Husband’s Shoes was also incredibly powerful and is definitely food for thought. I kept thinking about this story for ages after I read it, it’s one I think everyone should read.

Each story in this collection is brilliant, and the joy of the book is that everyone who reads it will connect to something different in it depending on their own life or their emotions at the time. There is real power in this collection as a whole, but also in each individual story. It’s a wonderful book that can make you read one story and connect so closely with the character, and then the next story you perhaps haven’t had the experience but you feel like you’re standing with that woman and that you can better understand the women in your life that have had the particular experience. It feels like a book to treasure, and I know that I will read this book again and again. Perhaps when I need a boost I will return to a particular story and remind myself that I am woman, hear me roar!

I’ve already sent a copy of this book to my oldest friend and I know I will be buying copies for other people for Christmas this year. I urge you to grab a copy and read it, it really is an incredible collection!

Roar is a thought-provoking, empowering and beautifully written book and I adored every single minute that I spent reading it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts are my own.

Roar is out now and available here.

 

About the Author

CECELIA PIC to use

Photo credit:聽Matthew Thompson

Cecelia Ahern is one of the biggest selling authors to emerge in the past fifteen years. Her novels have been translated into thirty languages and have sold more than twenty-five million copies in over forty countries.Two of her books have been adapted as major films and she has created several TV series in the US and Germany.聽 She and her books have won numerous awards, including the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction for The Year I Met Youin 2014. PS I Love Youwas awarded two Platinum Awards at the 2018 Specsavers Bestsellers Awards, for UK and Ireland.

Cecelia lives in Dublin with her family.

 

You can find the rest of the blog tour at the following stops:

Roar blog tour banner

WWW Wednesdays (1 Nov)! What are you reading this week?

WWW pic

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

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you鈥檒l read next?

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

 

What I鈥檓 reading now:

 

This House of Grief by Helen Garner

I’m back reading this book this week and am finding it very hard to put down. I’m intrigued to know how the case is going to turn out and how it will affect the author of this book.

Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Britain by David Cavanagh

I’m still loving dipping in and out of this book, it really is so wonderful to be learning more about John Peel’s earlier radio shows. I was an avid listener from the late 80s/early 90s onwards but missed out on the shows before that. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

 

What I recently finished reading:

The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

I recently treated myself to Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery and it was only later that I realised it was the third book in this series, of which I already owned the first two so I decided to pick this one up. I love Jenny Colgan’s writing, it always makes me feel happy and this book is wonderful.

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

I’ve had an ARC of this on my TBR for way longer than I should have and now I’m kicking myself for not picking this up sooner because I flew through it. I will try and get a review of this written very soon.

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher

This book had me in tears by the end. It’s one of those books where you suspect how it’s going to end as you’re reading but you hope you’re wrong. I loved this book and will be reviewing it as soon as I get my thoughts together.

Aches and Gains by Paul L. Christo

I found this book really helpful and am glad I got the chance to read it. Not all of it was relevant to me but it was good to read about new treatments. I will review this soon too.

Kindness by Jamie Thurston

This book is gorgeous to look at, it’s really pretty and entices you to pick it up. I didn’t find anything new in the tips for showing kindness but it’s always nice to be reminded to be more compassionate.

Snare by Lilja Sigurdard贸ttir

I loved this book! It’s the first in a trilogy and I’m already eagerly anticipating the next book! I’ve already reviewed this so you can read my thoughts on it here if you’d like to.

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

This book has been on my TBR for ages and I finally picked it up a few days ago. It’s not my favourite Cecelia Ahern novel but I enjoyed it, it was a nice feel-good read.

 

What I plan on reading next:

I’ve decided to take part in #NonFictionNovember at the last minute so am in the middle of sorting out a TBR for that. It means I’ll be reading more non-fiction than fiction this month but I haven’t absolutely decided on which books as yet. I will be doing a separate TBR for this readathon in the next day or two so please look out for that.

 


 

 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you鈥檙e looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don鈥檛 have a blog please share in the comments below.

Weekly Wrap-Up (29 Oct)

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This week I got a notification from Goodreads letting me know that I’d completed my reading goal for the year. I was really surprised that I’ve achieved my goal already as my reading has been hit and miss this year but it’s great to have done it. I’m not going to increase my goal but I will still be reading lots of books as the year continues! I want to try and read from my existing TBR as much as I can from now on to try and decrease that as much as possible before the start of 2018!

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I also spotted that I’d passed 6000 followers on twitter, which was a lovely thing to discover. Thanks to everyone who follows me on there too. 馃檪

 

This week I鈥檝e finished reading five books:

Aches and Gains by Paul L. Christo

This was such a useful book and is one I recommend to anyone living with chronic pain. I’ll be reviewing this very soon.

Kindness by Jamie Thurston

This is a book that is gorgeous to look at and is really well produced. It would make a lovely gift and does give ideas and reminders about how we would all benefit if we all showed a bit more kindness.

Snare by聽Lilja Sigurdardottir

I loved this book – it was a one-sitting read as I just couldn’t put it down. I’ve got a review of this on my blog today so you can read that here if you’d like to.

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

I’m such a big fan of Cecelia Ahern – I find her books are such wonderful comforting reads and I know I can trust her to always leave me feeling happier. This book wasn’t my favourite of hers but I still really enjoyed reading it. I loved the mystery behind the one hundred names and the reveal about them when it came.

Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came by M. C. Beaton

It’s been absolutely ages since I last read an Agatha Raisin book (despite me having the next ten or so in the series on my TBR!) but it was such a treat to finally pick one up. I enjoyed this book so much and am now keen to keep on with these books. Agatha Raisin is such a great character!

 

This week I鈥檝e blogged four聽times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-up Post

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday Post

Thursday: Review of Sofa, So Good – Me Life Story by Scarlett Moffatt

Friday: Review of How to be Champion by Sarah Millican

 

This is聽what I鈥檓 currently reading:

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

I’m ashamed to say that I’ve had an ARC of this on my TBR for way longer than I should have but I finally picked it up this week and it’s such a good read. It’s a book that’s hard to put down because it’s really got me wanting to know what’s going on between the characters and how it’s all going to end.

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher

I’m still really enjoying this book, I wish I’d picked it up sooner now but better late than never!

This House of Grief by Helen Garner

I’ve picked this book back up this week and am finding it so interesting.

Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life by David Cavanagh

I’ve read a bit more of this book this week and am still really loving it. I’m still reading about radio shows that were before my time but it’s wonderful to be reminded of the way John Peel championed artists on his show.

 


 

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. 馃檪

WWW Wednesdays (25 Oct)! What are you reading this week?

WWW pic

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

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you鈥檒l read next?

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

 

What I鈥檓 reading now:

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

I love Cecelia Ahern’s books, so was shocked to realise that this one has been on my TBR since 2012! I picked it up yesterday and read most of it in the afternoon. It’s not my favourite of her books but I am really enjoying it.

Snare by聽Lilja Sigurdard贸ttir

This book is so good! It grabbed me from the opening chapter and now I’m intrigued to know how it’s going to turn out. It’s different to any book I’ve read recently so it’s really got me gripped!

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher

This is a review book that has been on my TBR since earlier this year so I decided I should really pick it up. I’m really enjoying this novel. It’s a bit different to what I was expecting but I feel really invested in the story and am now feeling a bit anxious at how it might all turn out in the end.

This House of Grief by Helen Garner

I’m still reading this book from last week as I just haven’t felt in the mood for non-fiction this week. This is such an interesting book though and I’m sure I’ll be back reading it in the next day or two.

Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Britain by David Cavanagh

I’m very much enjoying reading this book, it’s great to read in short bursts and it feels like such a treat every time I pick it up. I really, really miss John Peel on the radio though.

Aches and Gains: A Comprehensive Guide to Overcoming Your Pain by Paul L. Christo

I’ve not read anymore of this in the last week but I will pick it up again soon. It’s hard to read about pain when you’re having a few bad pain days but now things have settled a bit I will go back to this. It’s a really useful book.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came by M. C. Beaton

I love Agatha Raisin, I think she’s such a great character. I was shocked to realise that this book has been on my TBR for five years so therefore it must be that long since I last read a book in this series! It was fab to be back in Agatha’s world and I very much enjoyed reading this book. I have the next few in the series on my TBR already so I may pick the next one up very soon.

Where Love Begins by Judith Hermann

I can’t make up my mind how I feel about this book. I found it hooked me in while I was reading it but now I’ve finished it I feel like it’s already slipped away from me. It was a good book but somewhat evades me.

Sofa, So Good: Me Life Story by Scarlett Moffatt

I loved reading this book. Scarlett is so open, honest and down to earth that it’s impossible not to enjoy reading her story. I read it in one sitting and it really gave me a lift. I’ll be reviewing this very soon!

In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green

This was another book that grabbed me early on and I found very difficult to put down. It wasn’t as creepy as I’d thought it was going to be but it did have me hooked all the way through and I enjoyed reading it.

Trust Me by Zosia Wand

I loved this book – it was one of those novels that came along at the right time and I devoured it. I’ve already reviewed this one so you can read more of my thoughts here if you’d like to.

What I plan on reading next:

CopyCat by Alex Lake

I got an ARC of this book recently and it sounds so intriguing that I’m keen to read it very soon. Hopefully I can get to it this week.

The Break by Marian Keyes

I love Marian Keyes novels and so have been looking forward to this one. I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve already started this once and just couldn’t get into it but I’m hoping that the issue was with me so I want to give it another go.


 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you鈥檙e looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don鈥檛 have a blog please share in the comments below.

My Christmas Book Haul!

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It seems a little late to be doing a Christmas book haul but I really wanted to share the books that I got for Christmas and haven’t been able to get this post together until now. As a lifelong bookworm I sometimes get one or two books for Christmas but up until I met my husband these book were always books I had asked for as most people say that they can’t buy me books because either they think I already have everything, or they think books are boring! My husband has always given me some books for Christmas as stocking fillers and I’ve always been so happy and grateful for them. This year though I got聽a book mountain. I think there are twenty-six books in total…

Firstly, I got this gorgeous set of eight Vintage Christmas books

They were in a lovely set together and I’ve already read two of them. The titles are:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

Dickens at Christmas by Charles Dickens

Christmas Holiday by W. Somerset Maugham

Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg

If On A Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome

I love that some of them are more winter reads than Christmas reads as it means I can continue reading them now Christmas is over. I’ll definitely be looking forward to the more festive ones as next Christmas gets here.

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I also got聽this beautiful Puffin hardback edition of A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This book was one of my all-time favourite reads a a child and whilst I still have my original copy, it’s so old and battered that I wouldn’t dare re-read that edition. I’ve kept looking at this hardback copy online but couldn’t justify buying it for myself, I’m over the moon to finally own it and will definitely be re-reading it this year!

Continuing the theme of childhood reads, he also gave me this beautiful slipcase edition of Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass. It’s such a beautiful set and I’m looking forward to re-reading these books.

I have a pet guinea pig (called Robson), who is so adorable, so these next two books were perfect for me. I’m now wondering whether I could bribe Robson into dressing up as Oliver 聽Twist! Haha!

Back to serious reading now… Here are the novels that I was given:

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

The Girl from the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan

Unbecoming by Rebecca Sherm

The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

The Non-Fiction books I got:

The Age of Bowie by Paul Morley

Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story by Mac McClelland

Turn Around Bright Eyes by Rob Sheffield

The Girl by Samantha Geimer

There was one short story collection:

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This book is called Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai and it sounds like such a brilliant book. I can’t wait to dip into these stories. Also, what a gorgeous cover!

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It’s become something of a tradition to get me one of the illustrated Carol Ann Duffy poem books for Christmas and this year he chose Another Night Before Christmas because it is illustrated by Rob Ryan, whose illustrations I love.

 

The final gifts weren’t books but they were partly related to books…

Two Penguin mugs – A Common Reader by Virginia Woolf and A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. I’m still not sure how my husband knew I adored Virginia Woolf but I’m over the moon with these mugs!

An Aladdin Sane necklace that I first saw earlier this year and have wanted ever since. I’m so happy to finally own it (and it fits with me also getting another Bowie biography). I also got a gorgeous sunflower necklace from the same company as it’s my favourite flower.


 

I was very spoilt and don’t think receiving so many books for Christmas will ever be topped! It was wonderful… and my husband, who hates wrapping presents, wrapped everything individually too so it was like being a kid again having so much to open on Christmas morning!

 

Did you have a nice Christmas? Were you given any new books, or have you bought some yourself for Christmas?

Stacking the Shelves (26 March 2016)

stacking-the-shelves

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

This week I received two books for review:

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton

I just loved the sound of the synopsis for this book and knew I had to read it! I hope to get a chance to start reading it soon.

Breaking the Silence by Jo Milne

I was thrilled to receive a copy of this book. I remember watching the video of Jo Milne hearing for the first time on the news a couple of years ago and am really interested to learn more about her life. I’m sure I’ll be reading this very soon, especially as I’m still enjoying non-fiction so much at the moment.


 

I also went on another kindle book buying splurge. Some of these books are new releases and some are in the current sale.

The Primrose Path by Rebecca Griffiths

I’ve seen people tweeting about this book and so couldn’t resist buying it on release day on Thursday. I’m trying to catch up on review books just now but I hope to squeeze this book in very soon!

Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks

This is another book that I’ve heard so much about on social media and so I pre-ordered it a while ago. It appeared on my Kindle on Thursday morning and I can’t wait to read it!

Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon

I’ve been aware of this novel for a while and knew it was something that I was very interested in reading but I never got around to buying a copy. I happened to see it mentioned in a blog the other day and it spurred me on to just treat myself to a copy. I definitely want to read this one soon.

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

The premise of this book sounded fascinating to me and I’m keen to read it as soon as I possibly can.

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

I’m a huge fan of Cecelia Ahern’s novels, I’ve read and loved them all and so when I heard that her next book would be a YA novel I was intrigued. There was no way I was going to be able to resist getting a copy to see what it’s like!

Playthings by Alex Pheby

I heard about this book on social media recently and immediately bought a copy.

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell (拢1.19 in the spring sale)

This sounds like a sweet, light-hearted read.

The Guilty One by Sophie Littlefield (99p in the spring sale)

This book has been on my wish list for a while but I’ve seen mixed reviews so was undecided as to whether I was going to get it or not but then I spotted it in the Kindle spring sale for 99p and figured it was worth taking a chance on for that price! Hopefully I’ll be one of the readers who really enjoys it.

 


 

So, that鈥檚 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. 馃檪聽

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

 

 

 

 

 

Book Beginnings (27 November)

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Book beginnings is a meme set up by聽Rose City Reader. Every Friday post the first line, or few lines, of the book you鈥檙e reading along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Then add聽a link to your post on Rose City Reader鈥檚 blog.

My Book Beginning

the marble collector

The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern

When it comes to聽memory there are聽three聽categories: things I want to forget, things I can’t forget, and things I’d forgotten until I remember them.聽

I love the opening to this novel as it just says so much truth; there really are three categories of memories. I have a really good memory when it comes to remembering the things I’d rather forget so this book really appeals to me in such a big way.

I bought this book as a treat for myself recently and really hope to have time to read it soon, especially now I’ve read the opening line!

Weekly Wrap-Up and Stacking the Shelves (7 November)

This week has flown by! I’ve had a lot going on in real life this week and so haven’t read quite as much as I would have liked to but I still have lots of bookish things to share with you today.

I started my blog on 19th August this year but didn’t post my first review until 9th September so I’m almost at my two month anniversary of my first book review on here. It was lovely to notice that this week I actually posted my 40th review!聽I do review every book I read but I hadn’t realised that I’d already reviewed so many. It’s given me a much-needed boost after a week of not-so great news in real life.

I decided this week to add a new page link聽to the menu at the top of my blog. It is a list of my all-time favourite books. Even before I was a blogger I聽had聽a favourites shelf on my Goodreads account and a real-life favourite bookshelf in my home, and I realised when I read an incredible book this week that I really wanted to make a feature out of those books that are in another league of special. The books that rate 10 out of 10 and have that extra magical something that makes you want to treasure that book forever and ever, and you want to shout from the rooftops that everyone should read it! I haven’t yet got the skills to make this part of my blog look super fancy so it’s a work in progress but at least it’s there and every author that makes that section of my blog is very highly honoured. Here’s a link to the page: My Favourite Books of All-TIme!I also have a sideshow in my side-bar showing a loop of covers of the all-time聽favourite books!

This led me on to the realisation that as I’m a newbie blogger I’ve so far only reviewed one book that is on my favourites book shelf. So, for now I’m adding a list of my favourite books and ideally I’d like to re-read them all and do proper reviews. I don’t have time to do that as well as keep up with new books so I’m thinking i might start a mini reviews section on my blog where I share the blurb of a book and a few words about what it meant to me. This would just be for books on my favourites shelf so that you can all start to see why I love these books so much.


Also on my blog this week:

I currently have a fabulous giveaway (UK only) running for a gorgeous prize courtesy of Katy Hogan.

KATY HOGAN PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Katy Hogan has very kindly offered me this fabulous prize package so that I can run a giveaway. The giveaway is UK only this time.聽The prize is for one paperback copy of Out of the Darkness, a gorgeous Yankee Candle and a box of chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.聽

Please click here to read my review of this incredible book and to find the link to enter the giveaway. Good luck!



This week I have read four books and have posted reviews on聽all of them. (Click on the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews)

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Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan(This book is the first book I’ve read since I started reviewing that has made it on to my all-time favourites shelf, it’s an incredible novel and I can’t聽recommend it highly enough)

The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell

How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake


stacking-the-shelves

I鈥檓 also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by聽Tynga鈥檚 Reviews), which is all about sharing all the books you鈥檝e acquired in the past week 鈥 ebooks or physical books, and books you鈥檝e bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I鈥檝e bought this week:聽

the marble collector聽 聽katherine carlyle聽 聽night owlsabout sisterland聽 聽The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet聽 聽Indecent Acts by Nick Brooks聽 聽The Storytellers by Laurisa White Reyes聽聽Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn聽聽The Prodigal by Nicky Black

The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern

Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

About Sisterland by Martina Devlin

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Indecent Acts by Nick Brooks

The Storytellers by Laurisa White Reyes

Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

The Prodigal by Nicky Black

ARCS I’ve received this week:

The Winter Wedding聽 聽look at me sarah duguid聽聽Dead Pretty by David Mark聽聽The Stylist by Rosie Nixon聽聽 The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas聽聽The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce聽 聽Follow Me by Angela Clarke聽 聽Don't Jump by Vicki Abelson

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements (Paperback)

Look At Me Sarah Duguid (Paperback)

Dead Pretty by David Mark (ebook)

The Stylist by Rosie Nixon (ebook)

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas (ebook)

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce (ebook)

Follow Me by Angela Clarke (ebook)

Don’t Jump by Vicki Abelson (ebook)

Also, I won this lovely signed book in a giveaway this week. It’s How to be Brave by Louise Beech and I can’t wait to read it.

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