May Wrap-Up post!

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May has been another quiet month for me. My pain medication change is ongoing at the moment and will be affecting me on and off for the next few weeks. I’m really pleased that it’s happening, even though it’s really hard.

I’ve managed to have a post up on my blog most days in May. I’ve been much more organised in writing posts on my better days and getting them scheduled on here, and for links to be posted on twitter and Facebook so that my blog is still running when I’m not around as much.

On Tuesday I was thrilled to get a notification telling me that my blog had had it’s most ever views in one day. I’m not obsessive about my blog stats but it’s always lovely when these notifications come through that show my blog is still interesting to people and is still growing.

 

Here are the 24 books I read this month:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

The Elephant in the Room by Jon Ronson

The Heroes Welcome by Louisa Young

The Way Back Home by Freya North

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

Fairytale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio

The Zero by Jess Walter

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Becky by Darren Galsworthy

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

Making Space by Sarah Tierney

Letting Go by Alex Hanscombe

Wishbones by Virginia MacGregor

Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

How We Met by Katy Regan

After Anna by Alex Lake

How to Survive a Plague by David France

 

May Blog Posts & Reviews:

May has been a good month on my blog. I’ve been much better at writing posts in advance and scheduling them. I’ve not been around as much due to not being well but I like that my blog still has regular posts, it gives me some sense of achievement. I managed to review eleven books this month, which I’m really pleased about. My aim was to post at least three reviews a week to try and catch up on my reviewing back log (I’m reading faster than I’ve been reviewing) so I’m glad to be on target. I still have some reviews to catch up on but I am closer to being caught up now.

Here are my reviews from May:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson (Blog Tour)

Little Deaths by Emma Flint

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr 

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Final Girls by Riley Sager

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

Making Space by Sarah Tierney (Blog Tour)

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

 

Here are my blog posts from May:

I wrote my regular posts each week, which are my WWW Wednesday posts, my Stacking the Shelves posts, and my Weekly Wrap-Up posts. Then I also wrote and shared the following posts:

April Wrap-Up post where I shared all my reviews, blog posts, the state of my TBR and my news from April.

Guest post about the evolution of Claymore Stryker by Paul Hardisty for theReconciliation for the Dead blog tour

My 20 Books of Summer TBR post where I finally made my mind up which of my own books I would like to challenge myself to read between June and September.

 

 

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The state of my TBR:

When it comes to the state of my TBR the honest truth is that it is in actual fact in a state! I started the year owning 1885 unread books and now have 1954 unread books. I am finding it interesting to track my book buying and reading on a spreadsheet though and it is helping me to focus a bit more than I used to on whether I should buy a book or not.

I’ve now read 114 books this year so far, and 49 of those were books that I owned before 31 December 2016 so I’m really happy with how my Mount TBR challenge on Goodreads is going (I challenged myself to read 100 books from my TBR this year). So, I’m really pleased with the balance between reading new books (20), older TBR books (49) and review books (45).

I’m listening to more audio books than I’ve done in a long time and I’m really enjoying that. I often read a bit and then listen to a bit and then go back to the book, and it works for me that way. My disability is such that I wouldn’t be reading half as much as I am if I could only read print or kindle books so I’m very grateful that audio books are so widely available now.

 

All-in-all it’s been a good month of reading. I’ve had to take it easy a lot more during May but I feel like I’ve been really productive with my blog, and I’ve read some amazing books. 🙂

 

How was your May? 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! (28 May)

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This week has a quiet one due to all the medication changes I have going on, and this alongside the hot weather has floored me over the last few days. I’m just taking things as they come at the moment and will be doing so for the next week or two at least. I do have some posts scheduled on my blog so they will still appear, and will be tweeted and posted on Facebook but I’ll only be around occasionally as and when I feel up to it. I really appreciate all of you for bearing with me in the meantime.

This week I’ve finished reading three books:

Making Space by Sarah Tierney

I loved every minute that I spent reading this novel, it just really grabbed me and I could identify so much with both of the main characters in the book. I’ve already reviewed this book so you can read my thoughts on it here if you’d like to.

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

This was my latest pick from my pre-2017 TBR and while it turned out to be not what I was expecting, I did enjoy it. There was more sci-fi elements to the book than I thought there would be but it was an interesting novel and I’m glad I read it.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This book is stunning. I was hooked from the very first page and I feel quite bereft at having finished it. Eleanor Oliphant is one of those characters that gets under your skin and I’m sure she’ll stay with me for a very long time to come. I’ve also already reviewed this book so you can find that here if you want to read more about what I thought of it.

 

This week I’ve blogged six times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up post

Monday: Review of The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

Thursday: Review of Making Space by Sarah Tierney for the blog tour

Friday: Review of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

Letting Go by Alex Hanscombe

This is an incredibly moving and interesting memoir written by the son of Rachel Nickell, the young mum who was murdered on Wimbledon Common as her 3 year old watched on. Alex is such a pragmatic and thoughtful man and it’s very inspiring to read how he came to terms with losing his mother in such an horrific way.

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

I’ve been really looking forward to reading this book and it absolutely doesn’t disappoint.  Every time I pick this book up I get completely enthralled and am fascinated by this book.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

This is such a good read, I’m really enjoying reading it.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve been reading more of this book this week and have got so engrossed in it that it’s taken me away from my other books.

 

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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: 1941

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 6

Subtractions:

TBR Books culled this week: 3

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1944

 


 

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. 🙂

#BookReview: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by @GailHoneyman ‏@HarperCollinsUK

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About the book

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

My thoughts

I was really happy when the publicist for Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine contacted me to ask if I’d like a review copy as I’d seen the book mentioned quite a lot on social media and was really keen to read it.

Eleanor Oliphant is a brilliant character. She is very stuck in her ways, and at first, seems quite abrasive. She is in her thirties but dresses and behaves like someone much older. Very soon it starts to become apparent that Eleanor has had a very difficult childhood and is just trying to cope with life as best she can. I felt like she was very enmeshed in how her mother had treated her when she was young and that she is talking in her mother’s voice and has adopted all her mother’s beliefs and attitudes to people and life. It broke my heart to see how much Eleanor, whilst maintaining that she was completely fine, was drinking vodka to get through the weekends on her own and the loneliness just emanated from her. I very quickly realised that Eleanor actually wasn’t okay and that she longs to have the same things that everyone else wants.

‘I have always taken great pride in managing life alone. I’m a sole survivor – I’m Eleanor Oliphant. I don’t need anyone else – there’s no big hole in my life, no missing part of my own particular puzzle. I’m a self-contained entity. That’s what I’ve always told myself at any rate’.

Eleanor’s loneliness really comes through when she goes to see a local band with one of her colleagues from work, and she immediately realises that the lead singer of this band is the man for her. Her attempts to get to know more about him make her seem very obsessive but I really believed that she just has never had anyone to learn from when it comes to meeting a potential partner. Eleanor has never even had a friend, she grew up in care and no one has ever shown her true kindness so how could she know how to approach making a friend or forming a relationship.

Eleanor does have such resilience in life though and I really admired how she didn’t let what people said about her get to her. She sometimes overhears colleagues laughing at her but she just takes it in her stride. It’s sad that she doesn’t seem to know that it doesn’t have to be that way, but also I really respect how she could just let things go. Eleanor’s thought processes as she finds her way through life are very amusing at times.

If I’m ever unsure as to the correct course of action, I’ll think, ‘What would a ferret do?’ or, ‘How would a salamander respond to this situation?’ Invariably, I find the right answer.

I loved seeing how Eleanor began to find her way in the world as she finds herself in a situation with another colleague, Raymond, when they end up helping an elderly man who falls in the street in front of them. Raymond is such a lovely man and seemed to see through Eleanor’s abrasiveness and he takes her under his wing. It was wonderful to see Eleanor beginning to understand how friendship works, and she starts to blossom. Eleanor’s manner in replying to a message from Raymond about going out for lunch shows how she is finding her way in this new situation of having a friend.

‘That would be fine. Thank you’. Daringly, I didn’t put my name, because I realised he’d know it was from me.

 

The book then moves on to the bad days where we start to find out what happened in Eleanor’s past to make her how she is. This section of the book was really hard to read because I’d formed such a soft spot for her so to find out what she had lived through was heartbreaking. Her problem with alcohol is also much more apparent as a real problem, and seeing the level of desperation and distress in Eleanor made me want to reach through the pages to try and help her.

Eleanor is a truly memorable character, she’s not someone I’ll forget in a hurry. This is a brilliant novel, I savoured every minute of reading it and it’s one I will keep and re-read in the future. I actually feel genuinely quite bereft at having to leave Eleanor behind now I’ve finished the book.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a tender and moving look at loneliness, at how it is to be given a chance and what it is to find a friend having had a lifetime of just getting through the days. A beautiful novel that I highly recommend.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is out now!

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

gail honeyman

Gail Honeyman wrote her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, while working a full time job, and it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress. She has also been awarded the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award 2014, and was longlisted for BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines, and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Gail lives in Glasgow.

(Author photo and bio taken from Goodreads)

WWW Wednesday (24 May) 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:

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

I picked this book up at the weekend but when I went to mark it as ‘currently reading’ on Goodreads I noticed a reviewer I trust mention that the book contains huge spoilers for the film The Usual Suspects, which I’d never seen. So I put the book down for a couple of days until I had a chance to watch the film (which I loved and am kicking myself for not having watched it before now). I picked the book up again last night and am really enjoying it.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I pre-ordered this book ages ago so it arrived on my kindle on release day but I’ve been keeping it to read when I could sit and read it in big chunks. I’ve read about a third of this now and am really enjoying it, it’s swirling around in my mind during the time when I’m not reading it and that’s always the sign of a compelling book!

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

This is my latest pick from my pre-2017 TBR and I’m enjoying it. It’s not what I thought it was going to be but it’s holding my attention so I’m keeping on with it.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve not managed to read any more of this book this week but I hope to read a chunk of it over the weekend. I just feel like it’s a book that I need to read when I can really take it all in so I like to wait until the right time to pick it up.

What I recently finished reading:

Making Space by Sarah Tierney

I read this in two sittings earlier this week and I really enjoyed it. I’m on the blog tour for the book tomorrow and will be sharing my review so look out for that.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I loved this book so much, I feel quite bereft at having finished it. I was sent this for review so I’ll be reviewing this book soon but in the meantime I highly recommend you buying a copy of this, you won’t regret it.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

I found this to be such a gripping read, it has an increasing sense of malices the book goes on and I didn’t want to put it down. I’ve already reviewed this book on my blog so you can read that here if you’d like to.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I adored this book, it’s such a beautiful and moving novel. I reviewed this on my blog last week so you can read my review here if you’d like to know more about my thoughts on it.

Becky by Darren Galsworthy

This is such a moving memoir by the father of Becky Watts, the teenager who was murdered by her step-brother a couple of years ago. It’s such an open and honest book, it’s heartbreaking to read.

What I plan on reading next:

The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

I was contacted by the publicist for this book to ask if I’d like to read it for the blog tour and I immediately said yes as I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of Amanda’s previous novels. I’m really looking forward to starting this book in the next couple of days.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

I was sent a copy of this book to review a few weeks ago and am really keen to start reading it soon. I’m aiming to get to it over the weekend.

 

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.

Weekly Wrap-Up (21 May)

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This week has been a strange week. I was meant to switch my pain meds last weekend but the NHS cyber attack last week has held that up. I’m hoping to be able to get started on this in the couple of days or so though. So, as I said last week, I may be around less in the coming days, so please bear with me if I miss replying to any comments, or sharing posts etc.

I also had an appointment at home with my lovely neuro-physio and we’ve been talking about changing to a less-cumbersome leg brace now that my foot is holding a better position. I will need to wear my old one some of the time but it’s really fab to think that I might be able to change to something more comfortable.

 

This week I’ve finished reading six books:

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

This book has taken me longer to read than I thought it would and I’m not sure why because I really loved it. I think it was just a bad time for me to pick it up. It’s a brilliant read though, I recommend it.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I adored this book – it’s such a beautiful novel and one that will really stay with me for a long time to come. I reviewed it on my blog yesterday so you can read that here if you’d like to.

Becky by Darren Galsworthy

I saw this on my audio book site this week and decided to listen to it. It was such a moving read. I’m sure many people remember the news when teenager Becky Watts went missing a couple of years ago and it turned out her step-brother had murdered her. Her dad is so open in this book and I really admire his strength and openness.

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

This book has been on my TBR for ages and if I’m to be honest I have no idea when or why I bought it. I’m trying to read through some of my TBR this year so decided to give this a go. It was actually a good read, but because I’m older then the target audience I don’t think I got as much out of it as others may do.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

I really enjoyed reading this memoir. Stephen Westaby is an esteemed heart-surgeon in this book he shares some of his most memorable surgeries and patients. I’ll be reviewing this book soon but I highly recommend it.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

This is yet another book that has been languishing on my TBR. I actually bought this the day it was released and then never got around to reading it. I’m kicking myself about that now though as very much enjoyed this book and now am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series which is out soon.

 

This week I’ve blogged seven times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday: Review of The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Tuesday: Review of The Power by Naomi Alderman

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

Thursday: Review of Final Girls by Riley Sager

Friday: Review of The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

This is what I’m currently reading:

Making Space by Sarah Tierney

I’m almost finished reading this book and have really enjoyed reading it. I’m on the blog tour for this book later this week so look out for my review on Thursday (25th May).

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

I spotted this on my TBR this week and decided to make it my next read. I have to be honest and say that sci-fi isn’t really my thing these days so I’m enjoying the parts of this book set in the present reality more than the other parts but it is a really engaging read so I’ll keep going with this.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I’m enjoying this book so much – I’m trying to savour it because I know I’ll feel bereft when I get to the end of Eleanor’s story. It’s such an excellent novel.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I haven’t read much more of this week but I will be getting back to it as soon as I can. It’s such a powerful book.

 

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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: 1932

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 9

Subtractions:

 

TBR Books culled this week: 0

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1941

Oops! My TBR has increased this week after two weeks of keeping it fairly stable… ah well!


 

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 (17 May) 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:

Becky by Darren Galsworthy

I saw this on my audio book subscription yesterday and decided to make it my next listen. It’s a really sad book by the father of Becky Watts. It’s a very open and honest book, but very emotional to read.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

This book isn’t what I thought it was going to be but it has me hooked. It’s a really heartfelt, emotional read with some intrigue mixed in so I’m keen to know where this book is going.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This is such a great read. I’m so intrigued by Eleanor and am looking forward to reading more of this book and finding out more about her.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

This book is a brilliant read – it’s one of those books that grabs you from the first page and keeps you gripped. I don’t know who to trust and am so keen to find out what’s going on!

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’m still finding this book a fascinating read. I need to be in the right headspace to read this so it’s taking me a while but it is an excellent book and I recommend it.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

I’ve had this on my TBR for ages so when I spotted it on my audio subscription yesterday I decided to listen to it. It’s an enjoyable enough book and I’m glad I finally read it.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

This memoir of one of our top heart surgeon’s was an incredible read. I’m trying to write my review of it now and hope to get that finished and posted soon but I can definitely recommend it.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

This book has been on my TBR since it was published over a year ago and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner because I really enjoyed it. At least reading it now means I’m ready for the sequel coming out soon. I’ll definitely be buying that and will read it soon.

The Zero by Jess Walter

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a long time but it finally caught my eye last week so I started reading and found it very hard to put down again. It’s a novel based around the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and it follows a police officer who is working at Ground Zero. He begins to have lapses in memory and is increasingly confused so the novel jumps around a lot and gradually the pieces come together for the reader and it all falls into place. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it.

 

What I plan on reading next:

I Know My Name by CJ Cooke

I was sent a copy of this book by the author and have been excited to read it ever since it arrived. I can’t wait any longer to read it so am planning to pick it up this week.

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

I was pre-approved to read this on NetGalley a couple of weeks ago and have been very much looking forward to it. I really hope I can finally get to read it this week.

 

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.

 

Weekly Wrap-Up (14 May)

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In happy news this week… I managed to have an hour out with my husband. The gorgeous weather coincided with his day off earlier this week so we went and sat in a lovely pub beer garden and had lunch outside. It was bliss to feel the sun on my skin and to just be outside for a little while. And it was wonderful to have time out with my husband and to just feel normal for a while. It’s been months since I’ve spent time outside and it made me so happy. This was our view 🙂

This week has been quite positive on the medical front but it means tough times ahead in the short term but will be worth it in the longer run. I’ve now managed to reduce my pain meds enough that I can switch to different meds, which will give me more control. In the short term this means my condition will be much worse due to sudden withdrawal and an increase in pain while my body adjusts. I’m trying to focus on the longer term when I will hopefully be better able to control my pain without feeling drugged up all the time. I’m only sharing this here as once the med change happens (it’s due to be in the next couple of days but it will depend on the NHS being back up and running) I will probably be around less for a little while. I may miss replying to comments here, or commenting and sharing your posts so please bear with me, I will be around as and when I can be.

I did have a productive couple of days at the start of last week and managed to write quite a few reviews and posts so I’ve got those scheduled. It means there will still be posts from me but I might not necessarily be around when the posts appear and links are tweeted.

This week I’ve finished reading four books:

The Zero by Jess Walter

This was my audio book for this week and I very much enjoyed listening to it. It’s a novel set around the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York but the main character is losing chunks of time and is increasingly confused so the story is told out of order. This book was so much more than I was expecting and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon it when sorting out my Kindle last week.

Fairytale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio

This was an interesting book written by John F. Kennedy Jr.’s assistant. I enjoyed reading about the setting up of George magazine, and about John and Carolyn. I did find that Terenzio is a bit irritating at times but it didn’t stop me enjoying the book for the most part.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

This is a beautiful novel, one that I think I’ll be reading again in the future. I was sent this for review so I’m hoping to get my thoughts written up and posted very soon.

The Way Back Home by Freya North

I was such a fan of Freya North’s novels when she was first published but I haven’t read anything by her for a few years now. I’m not sure when I bought this book but I found it on my kindle last week and decided to read it right away. I really enjoyed it, it isn’t my favourite book by her but it was a good read. I especially loved that Cat and Django from an earlier novel featured in this novel, it was nice to see how they both were.

 

This week I’ve blogged seven times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday: Guest post by Paul E. Hardisty about the evolution of his protagonist Claymore Stryker as part of the Reconciliation for the Dead blog tour

Tuesday: Review of Little Deaths by Emma Flint

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Review of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Friday: Review of The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I started reading this yesterday and am already engrossed. Eleanor Oliphant is a great character and it feels like she could be one of those characters that really stays with me after I finish the book.

The Light We Lost by Jill

I started reading this last night and it’s got me hooked. I’m intrigued by where the story is going and what happened between these two people.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

This book is so gripping, it grabbed me on the first page and I begrudge having to put the book down when real life intervenes on my reading time.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

This is another book that has been on my TBR for ages – I actually bought it when it was published but never got around to reading it. I’ve discovered the audio version is part of my subscription service so I’m part listening and part reading it. I’m really enjoying it and am intrigued to know where the story is going.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

This is an incredible memoir of a top heart surgeon and I’ve been fascinated by the various surgeries that he has been involved with, or has pioneered himself. I’d recommend this book to everyone.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve read another chapter of this book this week and am really engrossed in it now. It’s a similar book to And the Band Played on by Randy Schilts, and some of the same people do feature but a different perspective is given so it’s fascinating. I do find it utterly horrifying how various political elements stopped the cause of AIDS being known sooner.

 

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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: 1934

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 8

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 4

Books I’m currently reading: 6

TBR Books culled this week: 0

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1932

Woo hoo! My TBR has gone down by two, which I’m very happy with. 🙂


 

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 (26 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:

Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

I was thrilled when I was asked if I’d like to read and review this book for the blog tour as I love Rebecca Mascull’s writing. I started reading the book this week and I completely and utterly love it. My review will be on my blog on Monday so please look out for that then.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a little while now but I spotted it on my audio book subscription service this week and decided to make it my new listen. I’m enjoying it so far, it’s an easy listen. It’s not quite what I thought it was going to be but it’s a good read.

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

I’m enjoying this book so much, it might even end up being my new favourite Sharon Bolton book (and that’s saying something as I LOVE all of her novels). I’m sure that had I not been having such a rough week I’d have read this in one sitting.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

This is such a beautiful book that I’m utterly adoring. I want to read it slowly to savour it but I’m sure it’s going to become a firm favourite of mine. I was lucky enough to get to interview Kay Langdale for the blog tour this week so you can read that here if you’d like to.

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

This is a really interesting book about the people who were involved in the design and building of Titanic through to the people onboard when it hit the iceberg. I knew a lot of the stories already but it’s still very moving to read about so many people who were caught up in the tragedy.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve not managed to read much of this book this week but I hope to get back to it very soon as I was finding it such a fascinating read.

 

What I recently finished reading:

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

I read the first third of this book in short bursts as and when I could but then I got so involved in the story at that point that I simply couldn’t put it down and read the rest in one sitting yesterday afternoon. I’ll be writing a review of this soon once I’ve got my thoughts in order but it’s definitely a book I recommend.

Luuurve is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

I’m way older than the target audience for this book but I spotted the audio book on my subscription service this week and I was having such a bad day that it seemed like the perfect book to give my mood a lift. Georgia is one of those characters that can be so irritating and daft but you can’t help but love her.

No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan

This is another book I found on audio in the last week and I enjoyed listening to it. It was one of those books that requires you to suspend disbelief a bit but it still a book that keeps you hooked.

What I plan on reading next:

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I was thrilled to be sent an ARC of this book recently and can’t wait to read it. I hope to start it at some point over the next few days.

 


 

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.

A huge #BookHaul this week in my Stacking the Shelves (1 April) post!

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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 have a HUGE book haul to share with you this week as I was lucky enough to win a TBR of Dreams run on twitter last weekend and the books arrived on Monday. I also was sent some gorgeous ARCs this week so it all adds up to a bumper Stacking the Shelves post this week!

 

These are the 1 print & 3 eBooks I bought this week:

Sleep It Off Lady by Jean Rhys

Sleep It Off Lady by Jean Rhys

I’ve been a huge fan of Jean Rhys for many years now but I’ve never sat and read all of this short story collection. My copy got lost a while ago so I finally bought another copy and it will be a real treat to sit and read this collection.

Synopsis:

Sleep It Off Lady, originally published in late 1976, was famed Dominican author Jean Rhys’ final collection of short stories. The sixteen stories in this collection stretch over an approximate 75-year period, starting from the end of the nineteenth century (November 1899) to the present time of writing (circa 1975).

A Life Between Us by Louise Walters

A Life Between Us by Louise Walters

Quite a few of my favourite bloggers have featured this book recently in the run up to publication so I knew I had to buy a copy as soon as it was released. The synopsis sounds really intriguing and I’m sure this will be a book I very much enjoy. This novel is currently just 99p on Kindle so it’s an absolute bargain!

Synopsis:

Tina Thornton’s twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister’s death. During a visit to her aging Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died.

Who, if anyone, did kill Meg? As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the tangled family mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful French Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all.

A Life Between Us is a beautifully evocative story of a family torn apart at the seams, which will appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and modern-day mysteries.

Siren by AnneMarie Neary

Siren by Annemarie Neary

I’ve had this book on my wish list for a while now so when I spotted it in the spring sale for Kindle I snapped it up. I’m really keen to read this one so I’m putting it quite high on my TBR.

Synopsis:

Ireland, 2004

Róisín Burns has spent over twenty-five years living a lie.

Brian Lonergan, a rising politician, has used the time to reinvent himself.

But scandal is brewing around him, and Róisín knows the truth.

Lonergan stole her life as a young girl. And now she wants it back.

But he is still one step ahead …

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

I’m not sure where I first heard about this book but when I saw it was a kindle daily deal this week the title and cover were already familiar to me. I read the synopsis and it seems like one of those books that needs to be read at the moment. I think I’ll need to be in the right mood to read it but I hope I can get to it soon.

Synopsis:

A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fearmongering demagogue runs for President of the United States – and wins. Sinclair Lewis’s chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, ‘Professional Common Man’, who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far darker path. As the new regime slides into authoritarianism, newspaper editor Doremus Jessop can’t believe it will last – but is he right? This cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of populist tyranny shows it really can happen here.

 

I also received 7 ARCs:

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I Know My Name by CJ Cooke

I’m a real fan of CJ Cooke – one of her earlier novels, The Guardian Angel’s Journal is a favourite of mine so I was thrilled when she offered up a handful of copies of her forthcoming novel and I was quick enough to get one. It arrived yesterday and I was super excited to spot that it’s a signed copy. I can’t wait to read this book!

Synopsis:

…But what if that’s the only thing you can remember?

Komméno Island, Greece: I don’t know where I am, who I am. Help me.

A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.

Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.

Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?

The truth is found in these pages…

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I can’t even put into words how excited I was when the publisher of this contacted me to ask if I’d like to review it. I have heard so many great things about this book and have been so keen to read it. I’ll be starting this one very, very soon!

Synopsis:

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

I’ve seen pics of this book on social media over the last week or so and have been so keen to find out more about it. I then spotted it was on NetGalley so requested it and was super excited to get approved the following day. The book’s not out until August so I feel like I should try and wait a little while before reading but I’m not sure I can resist it!

Synopsis:

Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

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The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

This was my surprise book post of the week and I’m very happy to have received it. It sounds like the kind of book I’ll really get engrossed in so I’m keen to read it soon.

Synopsis:

A debut literary thriller from an incredible new voice. What do you do when the man who gave you everything turns out to be a killer? Perfect for fans of STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel.

Trapper was my family even though I didn’t know a sure thing about him… Trapper was the kind a’ family you choose for yourself, the kind that gets closer’n blood.

He was what I chose and I chose wrong.

Lost in the harsh forest as a child, Elka was taken in and raised by the man she calls Trapper, the solitary hunter who taught her all she knows. So when Elka sees the Wanted poster in town, her simple existence is shattered. Her Trapper – Kreagar Hallet – is wanted for murder. Even worse, Magistrate Lyon is hot on his trail, and she wants to talk to Elka.

As winter sets in, Elka flees into the vast wilderness, determined to find her real parents. But Lyon is never far behind, and she’s not the only one following Elka’s every move. Soon Elka must confront the darkest memories of her past- and end Trapper’s killing spree for good.

The wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

The wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

I was contacted by the publisher about this book to see if I’d like to read it for the blog tour and I immediately said yes. I’ve read and enjoyed one of Rebecca’s previous novels and this one sounds like something I’ll love. I’m looking forward to starting this one.

Synopsis:

In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.

When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother’s aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.

But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything – and everyone – Della loves.

Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

I was invited to read this one on NetGalley, which felt very serendipitous as I’d earlier read about the book and very much wanted to read it! I don’t think this will be waiting on my TBR for very long.

Synopsis:

‘O felt her presence behind him like a fire at his back.’

Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s’ suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practise a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Watching over the shoulders of four 11-year-olds – Osei, Dee, Ian and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi – Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

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Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul E. Hardisty

I’m taking part in the blog tour for this book in May so am looking forward to reading the book before then. I’ve not read any of Paul Hardisty’s other books but I’m intrigued to see what this one is like.

Synopsis:

Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed. Exploring true events from one of the most hateful chapters in South African history, Reconciliation for the Dead is a shocking, explosive and gripping thriller from one finest writers in contemporary crime fiction.

I also won a TBR of Dreams giveaway on twitter this week, which included NINE fabulous books.

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A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

I was super excited to win a copy of this as it was on my wish list and I’ve been so looking forward to reading it. I then read an article about Alice Martineau who inspired this novel so I’m intrigued to read it. I’m hoping to start reading this over the next week or so.

Synopsis:

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

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Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

This sounds like a lovely, light-hearted summer read and one I think will be perfect when I’m in need of a pick-me-up.

Synopsis:

For everyone dreaming of escaping to the country, fall in love this summer at Skylark Farm…

Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake Somerville suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn’t quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.

Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined – it’s cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.

But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?

A story of love in the countryside from the author of the bestselling The Cherry Tree Café. Perfect for Escape to the Country dreamers, Cath Kidston fans and Country Living addicts!

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How Not to Fall in Love by Catherine Bennetto

I love the sound of this book from the synopsis, I think it’ll be another book to keep for when I need a feel-good read.

Synopsis:

Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it…

Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless…

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…

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A Year at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

I actually read the first novella in this collected series at Christmas last year and wanted to read the rest of the novellas but hadn’t yet got around to it. So I was really happy to find this book in my giveaway win as I can now revisit the first part and then find out what happens in the rest of the novel.

Synopsis:

A Year at the Star and Sixpence is Holly Hepburn’s four Star and Sixpence novellas collected together as a novel for the first time. 
When sisters Nessie and Sam inherit a little pub in a beautiful country village they jump at the chance to escape their messy lives and start afresh. But when they arrive at the Star and Sixpence, it’s not quite what they imagined – it’s pretty much derelict, ruined by debts, and it’s going to be a huge job to get it up and running again. But they are determined to make the best of this new life and they set about making the pub the heart of the village once again. Their first year at the Star and Sixpence won’t be easy, though nothing worth doing ever is.
But when the sisters’ past comes back to haunt them, they start to think that the fresh start they needed is very far away indeed…

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All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

I read a couple of Adriana Trigiani’s novels years ago and really enjoyed them but I haven’t picked one up since. I’d heard of this book and thought it sounded great but hadn’t picked a copy up as yet, so I was pleased to win a copy. I love the era that this book is set in so I think it’ll be making its way to the top of my TBR very soon.

Synopsis:

Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Spencer Tracy, David Niven, Carole Lombard lead a magnificent cast of characters, real and imagined, in Adriana Trigiani’s new novel set in the rich landscape of 1930s’ Los Angeles. In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Trigiani takes us back to the golden age of movie-making and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame, success – and love. With meticulous, beautiful detail, she paints a rich landscape, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.

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These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

This sounds like a gorgeous read and one I’m really keen to get to soon. I think this may be the book I read after the Alice Peterson novel!

Synopsis:

A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.

Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.

But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?

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The Love of a Lifetime by Melissa Hill

I’ve loved the three previous novels I’ve read by Melissa Hill so I have high hopes for this one. I’m really looking forward to reading this as soon as I can.

Synopsis:

Hollywood movies are Beth’s passion. She hopes her life will always be filled with ‘movie moments’, where things like serendipity and fate happen every day. Her boyfriend Danny has always been the embodiment of her perfect Hollywood hero – though after seven years together the initial silver-screen romance has settled into something more predictable.

And then, one morning at work, Beth receives an anonymous delivery of a take-out coffee cup with a cryptic message suggesting a meeting at Tiffany’s. From there, she is given a series of clues directing her to some of NYC’s most popular landmarks – a treasure hunt using unique rom-com-related prompts perfect for a movie-lover like Beth to decipher. And Beth is forced to wonder: has Danny realised their relationship needs a boost – or could it be that charming new work colleague Ryan, with his intense gaze, flirtatious smile and almost encyclopaedic movie knowledge, wants to sweep her off her feet? And how would she feel about taking a chance on a new leading man in her life?

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The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson

I’ve read a few reviews of this on blogs over the last week or two and it sounded like such a lovely, warm-hearted read. I was so happy to find I’d won a hardback copy in the giveaway and am definitely going to be reading this soon.

Synopsis:

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

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Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan

I haven’t read a Patricia Scanlan book for about fifteen years now but I have fond memories of enjoying escaping into one of her books. I’m looking forward to reading this new one for nostalgia’s sake.

Synopsis:

In a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya de Andalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners. 

Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.

Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.

Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.

Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.

As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…


 

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.