See my latest #bookhaul in my Stacking the Shelves post (4 March)

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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!

I got 13 new books this week…

I was very lucky to receive some brilliant-sounding books for review over the last seven days. Some were sent to me in the post and some I was approved for on NetGalley.

These are the ARCS I received:

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The Last Piece of my Heart by Paige Toon

This book arrived in the post with a little jigsaw puzzle this week; it was a total surprise but I was so thrilled to receive it. I’ve not read any Paige Toon for ages so it will be nice to get into one of her novels again.

Synopsis:

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …

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The Day that Went Missing by Richard Beard

I requested this book on NetGalley after being moved by the synopsis. I think this will be an emotional, and interesting read. I’m reading quite a lot of non-fiction at the moment so I’m sure this won’t be on my TBR for very long.

Synopsis:

A family story of exceptional power and universal relevance – about loss, about carrying on, and about recovering a brother’s life and death.

Life changes in an instant.

On a family summer holiday in Cornwall in 1978, Nicholas and his brother Richard are jumping in the waves. Suddenly, Nicholas is out of his depth. He isn’t, and then he is. He drowns.

Richard and his other brothers don’t attend the funeral, and incredibly the family return immediately to the same cottage – to complete the holiday, to carry on. They soon stop speaking of the catastrophe. Their epic act of collective denial writes Nicky out of the family memory.

Nearly forty years later, Richard Beard is haunted by the missing grief of his childhood but doesn’t know the date of the accident or the name of the beach. So he sets out on a pain-staking investigation to rebuild Nicky’s life, and ultimately to recreate the precise events on the day of the accident. Who was Nicky? Why did the family react as they did? And what actually happened?

The Day That Went Missing is a heart-rending story as intensely personal as any tragedy and as universal as loss. It is about how we make sense of what is gone. Most of all, it is an unforgettable act of recovery for a brother.

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A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

I am so excited to have been approved to read this book as I’ve seen it around a lot on twitter and it sounds like my kind of book. I’m going to be reading this very soon!

Synopsis:

It was a first class deception that would change her life forever

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.

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The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve

I used to love Anita Shreve’s novels, and The Pilot’s Wife is still one of my favourite books, but I’ve not read anything by her for a few years now. This new book sounds really good and I’m excited to get back into reading Anita Shreve’s work.

Synopsis:

1947. Fires are racing along the coast of Maine after a summer-long drought, ravaging thousands of acres, causing unprecedented confusion and fear.

Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her difficult and unpredictable husband Gene joins the volunteers fighting to bring the fire under control. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie’s two young children, the women watch in horror as their houses go up in flames, then walk into the ocean as a last resort. They spend the night frantically trying to save their children. When dawn comes, they have miraculously survived, but their lives are forever changed: homeless, penniless, and left to face an uncertain future.

As Grace awaits news of her husband’s fate, she is thrust into a new world in which she must make a life on her own, beginning with absolutely nothing; she must find work, a home, a way to provide for her children. In the midst of devastating loss, Grace discovers glorious new freedoms – joys and triumphs she could never have expected her narrow life with Gene could contain – and her spirit soars. And then the unthinkable happens, and Grace’s bravery is tested as never before.

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The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

I was beyond excited when I got the approval email from NetGalley for this book. I loved Dawn O’Porters two previous novels and have been eagerly anticipating this one. I feel sure that I’ll love this and can’t wait to read it.

Synopsis:

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can – though when society’s screaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror.

When an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one woman’s catastrophe becomes another’s inspiration, and a life lesson to all.

Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the herd.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women – judging each other, but also themselves. In all the noise of modern life, they need to find their own voice.

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An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw it by Jessie Greengrass

I requested this book on BookBridgr a while ago but had forgotten about it so when it arrived yesterday I squealed with happiness. This short story collection sounds wonderful and I’m eager to start reading!

Synopsis:

The twelve stories in this startling collection range over centuries and across the world.

There are stories about those who are lonely, or estranged, or out of time. There are hauntings, both literal and metaphorical; and acts of cruelty and neglect but also of penance.

Some stories concern themselves with the present, and the mundane circumstances in which people find themselves: a woman who feels stuck in her life imagines herself in different jobs – as a lighthouse keeper in Wales, or as a guard against polar bears in a research station in the Arctic.

Some stories concern themselves with the past: a sixteenth-century alchemist and doctor, whose arrogance blinds him to people’s dissatisfaction with their lives until he experiences it himself.

Finally, in the title story, a sailor gives his account – violent, occasionally funny and certainly tragic – of the decline of the Great Auk.

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Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

The publisher of this book contacted me to to see if I’d like a copy to read and review and once I’d read the intriguing synopsis I couldn’t resist saying yes. 

Synopsis:

Eight years ago, thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night.

In the years since, her family have papered over the cracks of their grief – while hoping against hope that Julie is still arrive.

And then, one night, the doorbell rings.

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Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

I read a quote that this book is like One Day meets Gravity and that sold me! I requested this on NetGalley quite a long time ago and had forgotten about it so it was a lovely surprise to get an approval email last night. I’m tempted to start reading this very soon!

Synopsis:

Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left. None of this was supposed to happen.
Adrift in space with nothing to hold on to but each other, Carys and Max can’t help but look back at the world they left behind. A world whose rules they couldn’t submit to, a place where they never really belonged; a home they’re determined to get back to because they’ve come too far to lose each other now.

Hold Back the Stars is a love story like no other.

 

 

Print & eBooks I bought:

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Days of Awe by Lauren Fox

This has been on my wishlist for ages and one day this week I noticed that the price had dropped to £5 for the hardback so I one-clicked! I’m really looking forward to reading this.

Synopsis:

Celebrated for her irresistibly witty, strikingly intelligent examinations of friendship and marriage, Lauren Fox ( An immensely gifted writer a writer adept at capturing the sad-funny mess that happens to be one woman s life Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times) has written her most powerful novel to date. Days of Awe is the story of a woman who, in the wake of her best friend s sudden death, must face the crisis in her marriage, the fury of her almost-teenage daughter, and the possibility of opening her cantankerous heart to someone new.
Only a year ago Isabel Moore was married, was the object of adoration for her ten-year-old daughter, and thought she knew everything about her wild, extravagant, beloved best friend, Josie. But in that one short year her husband moved out and rented his own apartment; her daughter grew into a moody insomniac; and Josie impulsive, funny, secretive Josie was killed behind the wheel in a single-car accident. As the relationships that long defined Isabel wife, mother, daughter, best friend change before her eyes, Isabel must try to understand who she really is.
Teeming with longing, grief, and occasional moments of wild, unexpected joy, Days of Aweis a daring, dazzling book a luminous exploration of marriage, motherhood, and the often surprising shape of new love.”

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The Wandsworth Times by Sharon Duggal

I hadn’t heard of this book before but I spotted it on a Kindle sale for 99p this week and the cover caught my eye. I then read the synopsis and decided to give this book a go.

Synopsis:

Mukesh Agarwal sits alone in the Black Eagle pub, unaware that a riot is brewing or that Billy, his youngest son, is still out on his bike …A mile away in the family home in Church Street, Anila, one of the three Agarwal girls, is reading Smash Hits and listening to Radio One as she sprawls across the bottom bunk, oblivious to the monumental tragedy that is about to hit her family …It is 1981 and Handsworth is teetering on the brink of collapse. Factories are closing, unemployment is high, the National Front are marching and the neglected inner cities are ablaze as riots breakout across Thatcher’s fractured Britain. The Agarwals are facing their own nightmares but family, pop music, protest, unexpected friendships and a community that refuses to disappear all contribute to easing their personal pain and that of Handsworth itself.THE HANDSWORTH TIMES is a story of loss and transition, and pulling together because ultimately, there is such a thing as society.

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Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

This is another Kindle sale book that I spotted at 99p. It sounds like such an interesting memoir and I really want to try and make time to read it soon.

Synopsis:

The brutal murder of the Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh in 2004 shocked the world. Shot and mutilated by a Muslim fanatic as he cycled to work, it was a stark reminder of the dangers of challenging an extreme Islamic worldview. It also changed the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, van Gogh’s collaborator on the film that had offended his murderer. Born in Somalia and raised a Muslim, she had escaped an arranged marriage and made a new life as a Dutch parliamentarian, championing the reform of Islam and its attitude to women’s rights. She now has twenty-four-hour police protection, but refuses to let that inhibit her willingness to speak out.

THE INFIDEL is Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s astonishing story. Recounting the extraordinary transition from a third-world upbringing to her current status as one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, it is a truly remarkable autobiography that is as gripping as it is inspiring.

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You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

I added this book to my wishlist when it first came out as I’ve previously enjoyed other books by this author. I don’t think I’ll be able to resist starting this one soon!

Synopsis:

Katie and her husband Eric have made their daughter Devon the centre of their world. Talented, determined, a rising gymnastics star, Devon is the focus of her parents’ lives and the lynchpin of their marriage. There is nothing they wouldn’t do for her.

When a violent hit-and-run accident sends shockwaves through their close-knit community, Katie is immediately concerned for her daughter. She and Eric have worked so hard to protect Devon from anything that might distract or hurt her. That’s what every parent wants for their child, after all. Even if they don’t realize how much you’ve sacrificed for them. Even if they are keeping secrets from you . . .

A mother knows best . . . doesn’t she?

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The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

I’ve enjoyed a couple of novels by this author so I couldn’t resist grabbing this for my Kindle when I spotted it for 99p this week.

Synopsis:

Two brothers’ lives are irrevocably altered when their 19-year-old nephew is embroiled in a scandal of his own making
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a legal aid attorney who idolises Jim, has always taken it in his stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan – the sibling who stayed behind – urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has landed himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

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Tales of Misogyny by Patrica Highsmith

I really want to read more Patricia Highsmith so this short story collection seemed a good place to start.

Synopsis:

Little Tales of Misogyny is Highsmith’s legendary, cultish short-story collection. With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbours into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In these darkly satirical, often hilarious, sketches you’ll meet seemingly familiar women with the power to destroy both themselves and the men around them.

 

 

AudioBooks I bought:

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The Sellout by Paul Beatty

I already had this book on my TBR but when the audible version was in the daily deal this week for £1.99 I decided to get it. I really want to read this book soon.

Synopsis:

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game.

Born in Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father’s racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father’s work will lead to a memoir that will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed in a drive-by shooting, he discovers there never was a memoir. All that’s left is a bill for a drive-through funeral.

What’s more, Dickens has literally been wiped off the map to save California from further embarrassment. Fuelled by despair, the narrator sets out to right this wrong with the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

 


 

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.

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Weekly Wrap-Up and Stacking the Shelves (19th December)

I wasn’t going to do a wrap-up post this week as I’ve not been reading much and don’t have a lot of bookish news to share but I wanted to post an update and this seemed a good chance to do it.

Yesterday I posted a book review, which was the first post I’ve published in two weeks. Up until a fortnight ago I’d managed to blog every single day for over two months but then I came down with a very severe infection and have been really unwell. I was on two kinds of antibiotics and told to stay in bed and rest. I felt so ill that I couldn’t focus my eyes and I was so sick, all I could do was sleep. I’m feeling better now but am still suffering with the after-effects of being ill so I’m still not reading anywhere near as much as usual. On top of this I had a breakthrough in my physio just before I got ill with this infection and I’m now working hard to get back on track with that, which is exhausting.

I miss blogging though, it’s become such a big part of my life so I’ve decided to get back to it but I’m just going to be posting as and when I can until I’m feeling better – I don’t want to put pressure on myself with a schedule until I know I’m up to reading at my normal pace again. I did finish a few books before I was ill and have my notes on those so I may be able to get reviews typed up and posted this week then after that my blogging schedule will depend on how much I manage to read until I’m feeling better. Please bear with me in the meantime.

So, back to the books!

I’ve read two books in the last couple of weeks and have managed to post reviews for them this week (please click the links below the images to read my reviews):

 

The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

The boy Under the Mistletoe by Katey Lovell

 


 

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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.

 

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve hardly been online so I’ve not bought many books or requested many for review. I did get a few books though!

Books I’ve bought over the last two weeks:

 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Death at Seaworld by David Kirby

Dickens at Christmas by Charles Dickens

Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick

High Dive by Jonathan Lee

 

Books I’ve received for review:

 

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

One of Us by Asne Seierstad

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse

After the Last Dance by Sarra Manning

 

Books that I’ve won in competitions that have arrived recently:

 

The Double Life of Liliane by Lily Tuck

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

 


 

What have you been reading this week? Have you bought any new books? Please feel free to link to your wrap-up post, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below! 🙂