This Week in Books (17 Apr 2019)! What are you reading at the moment?

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

 

Now

Song of the Robin by R. V. Biggs

I just started this book last night but it’s got me gripped already and I’m looking forward to reading more of it over the coming days.

The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins

I loved Fiona Cummins first novel and I’m enjoying this one even more! It’s full of intrigue and it’s really creepy!

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

This is my current audio book and I’m enjoying it, I’m intrigued to see where the story is going to go.

TWA 800: The Crash, The Cover-Up and The Conspiracy by Jack Cashill

I’ve read a bit more of this book over the last week and I am finding it really interesting. There’s just a lot of people and references throughout and my brain is struggling to keep track at the moment but I hope to get back to this properly very soon.

 

Then

The Case of Mary Bell by Gitta Sereny

This book was fascinating and it’s left me with lots to think about with regards to how children who kill are dealt with. I loved Gitta’s writing style and I definitely want to read more of her non-fiction books in the future.

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash

I adored this novel, it’s one of my favourite books of the year so far! I reviewed it on here yesterday so you can read my full thoughts here if you’d like to know more.

Between the Regions of Kindness by Alice Jolly

This book was chunkier than I was expecting it to be but I still read it in just two sittings as it’s such a brilliant and absorbing novel. I really did love this one and keep thinking about it ever since I finished it. I’ll be reviewing it on Friday for the blog tour so please keep a look out for that.

 

Next

The Forgotten Sister by Caroline Bond

I’ve got a copy of this one on my kindle and I’ve been so looking forward to reading it so this feels like it might be the week to pick it up!

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald

This is another ARC and as I’ve loved previous books by the author I’m really keen to read it asap so hopefully I’ll get chance to start it this week.

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a while now and I’ve kept putting it off because it sounds a bit too creepy for me. I’m just in the mood for it now though so I think as soon as I’ve finished reading The Neighbour I’ll be picking this one up!

Furious Hours by Casey Cep

This is a non-fiction book that I got from NetGalley and I’m really intrigued by it so I think this will be my next non-fiction read!

 


 

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

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Stacking the Shelves with a New Book Haul (13 Apr 2019)!

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

 

I didn’t manage to post about my book haul last week so this post is a bumper two week book haul! I’ve acquired way too many books over the last fortnight but I’ve not been well and I can’t resist temptation when I’m not feeling great (that’s my excuse anyway!!).

 

Books I Bought

To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine

I still haven’t read Clothes Music Boys but I couldn’t resist grabbing a copy of this as it sounds like a book I will love. I hope to get to it soon.

The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

I’ve wanted to read this book ever since it was first published but I never seem to remember about it when I’m book shopping but this week I finally bought a copy and I can’t wait to read it!

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

This was an impulse by on Kindle as the blurb grabbed me and I couldn’t resist!

To Catch a Killer by Emma Kavanagh

I also bought this on Kindle as I love this author and I believe this book might be the start of a series so I’m really keen to read it soon.

Freefall by Jessica Barry

Another impulse buy on Kindle!

The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre

I love Pierre Lemaitre’s writing but somehow missed buying a copy of this book when it came out but I’ve rectified that now and I’m looking forward to reading this.

I Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock

I read another book by this author quite a long time ago and remember really enjoying it so I couldn’t resist picking this book up when I spotted it.

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

I’ve not read anything by this author before but the blurb sounded really good so I bought this on Kindle.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

I enjoyed the author’s first book so when I saw this on the Kindle daily deal this week I snapped it up!

Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid

This was an Audible purchase as I’m enjoying listening to books at the moment so grabbed this one on a whim when it was deal of the day.

 

ARCS I Received

Call Me A Liar by Collette McBeth

I received a surprise copy of this in the post last week and I was thrilled! I love Collette McBeth’s writing and have been eagerly anticipating this book being released.

Constellations by Sinead Gleeson

I read an extract from this book in one of the papers last week and I knew then that I had to read the book. I was delighted to be approved to read it on NetGalley and will be reading it very soon.

The Carer by Deborah Moggach

This is another of my highly anticipated 2019 releases so I was so happy to be approved to read it on NG this week.

Dead Inside by Noelle Holton

I’ve been so looking forward to reading blogger-turned-author Noelle’s debut novel so am thrilled to have a copy on my kindle and will definitely be reading this one very soon!

How to Treat People by Molly Case

I requested this book on NG as the premise sounded really interesting.

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

I loved Alice Feeney’s first book so have been keen to read this second novel.

The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North

I’d forgotten I’d requested this book on NG so it was a fab surprise when I got an approval email for it.

The Water Cure by Sophie Macintosh

It was lovely to be sent a pre-approved link for this NG book as I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages. I hope to get to this very soon.

Furious Hours by Casey Cep

I downloaded this book from NG on a read now as it sounds fascinating. It’s about a murder that Harper Lee was researching but she ended up not writing a book about it. I couldn’t resist that premise.

Breakers by Doug Johnstone

I’m delighted to have been sent this book as Orenda Books are always brilliant and this one sounds so good. I’ll be reading this one soon as I’m going to be on the blog tour for it next month.

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald

This is another Orenda book and I’m so keen to read this one. I’ve enjoyed the author’s previous books but this one sounds even better!

Song of the Robin by R. V. Biggs

I’m going to be on the blog tour for this book and I’m really intrigued to read the book. I wasn’t sure if it was for me at first but now I can’t wait to start reading it!

10 Things To Do Before You Leave School by Bernard O’ Keeffe

This sounds like an emotional but also uplifting book and I’m really enjoying books like this at the moment so it won’t be long before I pick this one up.

We Never Said Goodbye by Helene Fermont

I’ve read a previous book by Helene Fermont and very much enjoyed it so I’m delighted to have another of her books to read.

The Tapestry Bag by Isabella Muir

This is another blog tour book, it’s an audio book so I expect I’ll be listening to this in the coming week as I find audio is the easiest way for me to read books at the moment.

 

 


 

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

My February Wrap-Up Post

Monthly Wrap-Up

 

I can’t believe that it’s the last day of February already! I decided to do a wrap-up post even though I’ve not been up to doing much reading or blogging this month as it seems a good chance to write a general update as well as a bookish one!

So, in terms of reading I’ve managed to read ten books this month and have only reviewed one of them so far but I have prepared reviews for three more of these books so will post them in the next week or so. I am making a real effort to get better balance in my life and it’s beginning to pay off as I’m starting to enjoy reading again and can concentrate for a few minutes at a time so it’s progress!

Here are all the books that I read during February:

The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis

I’m very excited to share my Q & A with her as part of the blog tour on my blog tomorrow and I’ll be reviewing the book later this week. I can tell you that it’s a fab read and one I highly recommend.

The Silent Girls by Ann Troup

I’m on the blog tour for this tomorrow too and can’t wait to share my review, it’s a book that really helped get me back into reading ad I just didn’t want to out it down!

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald 

My review is here if you’d like to read it.

Look At Me by Sarah Duguid

I adored this book, it was one of those that I was hooked on from the first page and couldn’t put down. I finished it a couple of weeks ago and still find myself thinking of the characters. I haven’t managed to type my notes up into a review yet but I hope to do it soon so look out for a review on my blog in the next couple of weeks.

A Baby at the Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the books in the Beach Cafe series, so I couldn’t resist reading this one, which was published as part of the Quick Reads collection this month. It wasn’t my favourite of the series but it was still a great read and I would recommend it.

Psychedelic Suburbia: David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab by Mary Finnigan

I spotted this one on Kindle Unlimited so decided to download it after seeing Mary Finnigan talking about the book on the news. Some parts of the book were really interesting but other parts just fell a little flat. I’d still recommend it to people who want to read more about this era.

Aaliyah: More Than a Woman by Christopher John Farley

I’ve had this book on my TBR for absolutely ages and yet despite being a massive Aaliyah fan I’ve never got around to reading it until this month! I quite enjoyed reading it, it was interesting to read more about her early life and the writing and recording of her albums. It’s definitely one her fans will enjoy.

5,742 Days by Anne-Marie Cockburn

Scotland’s Shame by John Ashton

Adequately Explained by Stupidity? by Morag G. Kerr

 

My reading mojo still hasn’t returned – a lot of the books I read this month were shorter reads otherwise I wouldn’t have got through as many as I have. I’m still drawn more to non-fiction than fiction so I’m just going with it because reading anything is better than reading nothing. It’s just a little stressful as most of my review books are novels so they’re all sitting looking at me making me feel guilty but I figure that anything that gets me enjoying books again is good as it will hopefully transfer to me being able to concentrate on novels again soon. Fingers crossed anyway!

I’m still trying to find better life balance but it’s not easy. I had an appointment with my neurosurgeon last week and he showed me my previous MRI & CT scans and explained that I’m not going to make any recovery as the damage to my central nervous system and spinal cord is too severe. It was very hard to hear that but I had the feeling that this was what he was going to say and had steeled myself for hearing it. Of course I wish I was going to get better, being permanently paralysed down the whole of one side of my body and having permanent severe, and as yet impossible-to-control pain is not what I wanted but living for months and months with wait and see has been very hard. We couldn’t make any plans because there was always that slim chance that I would improve. Now we know it’s not going to happen we can start making adaptations to our home and lifestyle to make things easier. We’ve already made enquiries about a stairlift, which will open up the downstairs of our home to me again (I’ve lived upstairs since June during the hours my husband works as I can’t get up and down stairs on my own). I’m waiting to see a couple of different pain specialists and am hoping they will have a suggestion that hasn’t already being tried for managing my pain. 

I’ve had some real down periods in recent weeks, wondering what was going to happen to me and feeling like I couldn’t cope with the pain and the level of disability anymore but weirdly now I know it’s permanent I feel ready to throw myself into finding any and all ways of making life better and easier. I think not knowing is often harder than having to face the reality head on.

I’m hoping that once we start to get the changes made in our home and we find ways of making life easier that I will begin to have more energy to concentrate again so I can get back to reading every spare second and writing lots of blog posts again. Reading is such a big part of who I am that I feel so lost when my reading mojo disappears, I just need to get through this next stage of changes and I feel sure it will come back though.

Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me while my blogging has been so sporadic, it really means a lot to me that you’re still here and reading the few things that I am able to post.


How was your February? Has it been a book-filled month for you? Please feel free to share in the comments below, or to leave a link to your own February Wrap-Up post.

 

Weekly Wrap-Up and Stacking the Shelves (20 February)

Wow, it’s been six weeks since I last posted a weekly wrap-up/stacking the shelves post! I had planned to take a week off from blogging but as is so often the way real life got completely in the way. I’ve been really struggling with my medical situation and have had a lot of things to contend with. I’m slowly getting back on track but I am still struggling with lack of energy, which is affecting my reading mojo. I need to find better life balance so now I’m working on making time to read and blog and still do all of my physio etc. I don’t think I’ll be blogging at the rate I was before for a while yet but I hope to blog once or twice a week. I’m hoping that having more of a schedule with blogging will help me get back to reading again.

Anyway, in recent weeks on my blog I posted a review of The Chimes for the blog tour I was on. It was my birthday in January and I got lots of gorgeous new books so I shared a birthday book haul post. This week I did a WWW Wednesday post, which I always enjoyed joining in with so it was nice to be able to join in again. 


This week I’ve managed to read three books, mostly they were short books but it’s still such a huge improvement on how much I’ve been able to read prior to this week. I’ve managed to review one of the books. (Please click the link below the image to read my review).

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald


stacking-the-shelves

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

This week I’ve bought a few new books with money I had left from my birthday.

The Art of Wearing Hats by Helena Sheffield (hardback)

A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh (ebook)

Sally Ride by Lynn Sherr (hardback)

The Time It Takes To Fall by Margaret Lazarus Dean (hardback)

 

 

I received a prize that I won at the end of last year – it’s a gorgeous signed hardback of One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood.

 

Books I’ve received for review:

This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell (paperback)

Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans (paperback)

The Last Kiss Goodbye by Tasmania Perry (paperback)

The Truth About Julia by Anna Schaffner (paperback)

Painkiller by N. J. Fountain (ebook)

Dear Amy by Hellen Callaghan (ebook)

Trust No One by Clare Donaghue (ebook)

Fragile by Eve Francis (ebook)

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North (ebook)

Between You and Me by Lisa Hall (ebook)


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! 🙂

 

Review: Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

 

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

 

So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.

When Leah Oliphant Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.

Ruth Oliphant Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn’t want to be found?

Viral is a very modern thriller, and a cautionary tale for the social media age we now live in. I think that for teenagers and young adults today it must be so tough growing up in the social media age, where everything that you do and everything that happens is posted online instantly. This novel is an extreme example of what can happen to young women when they let their guard down and someone takes advantage in more way than one by filming the situation.

Su-Jin is the adopted daughter of Ruth and Bernie; she is the apple of her mother’s eye as she is very academic, and has recently been accepted to a top university to study medicine. Su’s sister Leah has always been jealous of Su seemingly due to all the attention that she gets from their mother. However, when Su and Leah go on holiday to Magaluf life begins to unravel for Su.

The opening line of this book is shocking; it actually made me pause for a second to wonder what kind of book I was reading! The shock factor really works though because it gets the reader into the mindset of the shock that Su feels on not only what happened to her, but how it’s gone viral so quickly. It seems like the whole world is watching the distressing video of Su in the nightclub.

Over the course of the book we get to see things from different points of view and the picture is gradually filled in about what happened leading up the video being filmed. I was quite sure from the beginning that Leah had had a huge part to play in the horrible incident but actually my views on her changed as the book went on because we get to understand more about why she is the way she is.

The way Ruth behaves is possibly the most shocking thing in the book because it is as if she has lost her mind in the way she decides to avenge what happened to her daughter. There is an element of black humour running through some of her sections of the novel, which simultaneously lighten the book, and make what she’s doing seem so much worse.

As the book neared its end, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how it would all end but I never figured out how it was going to turn out. I love that it kept me in the dark until I actually read the final scenes. It all gets tied up so brilliantly.

I did find some of the things that happened in this book a little hard to believe at times but once I suspended my disbelief I raced through the book. It’s very fast-paced and hard to put down.

The novel is such a brilliant mix of seediness, black humour and revenge. I rated it 4 out of 5.

Viral is out now and available from Amazon.

Many thanks to Sophie at Faber and Faber who sent me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

WWW Wednesday (17 February)

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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?


What I’m reading now:

the art of wearing hats

The Art of Wearing Hats by Helena Sheffield

I had this book on pre-order for weeks and weeks so I was super excited when it was released and finally landed on my doormat. I’m reading it slowly and really enjoying it. I’ve always loved wearing hats but this book is making me want to try some new styles and get out of my comfort zone. 🙂

Synopsis:

The perfect and practical pocket guide to being a hat wearer for novices and aficionados alike, complete with tips on where to buy them, how to wear them, who wears them best and tricks of the trade (yes hat hair, we’re looking at you).

Hats have been a mainstay of fashion for centuries, but now they’re back with a bang – overtaking the accessories departments of Topshop et al and gracing the celebrated heads of Taylor Swift, Cara Delevigne, Johnny Depp and the like day in and day out. But which one should you wear? Which will suit you best, how should you wear them and when?

The Art of Wearing Hats answers all these questions and more. Broken down into chapters covering everyday, outdoor and special occasion hats, you’ll soon discover the full range to choose from, alongside who in the Googlable world you can turn to for styling tips, and fun facts about where each originated from.

Complete with illustrations and tips on how to grow your hat-wearing confidence, it might be an idea to start making room in your wardrobe.

Sally Ride by Lynn Shepp

Sally Ride by Lynn Shepp

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages so I finally treated myself to it in hardback with my birthday money. My reading speed is so slow at the moment but I’m reading a bit of this every day and am finding it fascinating.

Synopsis:

The definitive biography of Sally Ride, America s first woman in space, with exclusive insights from Ride s family and partner, by the ABC reporter who covered NASA during its transformation from a test-pilot boys club to a more inclusive elite. Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space. A member of the first astronaut class to include women, she broke through a quarter-century of white male fighter jocks when NASA chose her for the seventh shuttle mission, cracking the celestial ceiling and inspiring several generations of women. After a second flight, Ride served on the panels investigating the “Challenger “explosion and the “Columbia” disintegration that killed all aboard. In both instances she faulted NASA s rush to meet mission deadlines and its organizational failures. She cofounded a company promoting science and education for children, especially girls. Sherr also writes about Ride s scrupulously guarded personal life she kept her sexual orientation private with exclusive access to Ride s partner, her former husband, her family, and countless friends and colleagues. Sherr draws from Ride s diaries, files, and letters. This is a rich biography of a fascinating woman whose life intersected with revolutionary social and scientific changes in America. Sherr s revealing portrait is warm and admiring but unsparing. It makes this extraordinarily talented and bold woman, an inspiration to millions, come alive.

Sisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington

Sisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington

I started reading this book a couple of days ago and am so intrigued by it, I can’t wait to find out what happened and who can be trusted!

Synopsis:

One hot August night, Rachel Darcy gets the call everyone fears. It’s the police. Her younger sister Evie’s had a car crash, she’s in a coma. Can Rachel fly to London right away?

With Evie injured and comatose, Rachel is left to pick up the pieces of her sister’s life. But it’s hard fitting them together, especially when she really doesn’t like what she sees.

Why was Evie driving when she doesn’t even own a licence?
Who is the man living in her flat and claiming Evie is his girlfriend?
How come she has never heard of him?

The more mysteries Rachel uncovers the more she starts asking herself how well she ever really knew her sister. And then she begins to wonder if the crash was really the accident everybody says it is.

Back in hospital, Evie, trapped inside an unresponsive body, is desperately trying to wake up. Because she’s got an urgent message for Rachel – a warning which could just save both their lives . . .

Time To Say Goodbye

Time To Say Goodbye by S. D. Robertson

I’m enjoying this book but am dreading what I’m guessing is going to be a real tear-jerker of an ending.

Synopsis:

A heart-rending story about the unique bond between a father and his daughter, for fans of Jojo Moyes and John Green – for anyone who’s ever wondered what it would be like to get one last chance to say goodbye.

HOW DO YOU LEAVE THE PERSON YOU LOVE THE MOST?

Will Curtis’s six-year-old daughter, Ella, knows her father will never leave her. After all, he promised her so when her mother died. And he’s going to do everything he can to keep his word.

What Will doesn’t know is that the promise he made to his little girl might be harder to keep than he imagined. When he’s faced with an impossible decision, Will finds that the most obvious choice might not be the right one.

But the future is full of unexpected surprises. And father and daughter are about to embark on an unforgettable journey together . . .


What I recently finished reading: 

Look At Me by Sarah Duguid

Look At Me by Sarah Duguid

I’m struggling to concentrate to read at the moment but I picked this book up and it’s the first novel in ages that I couldn’t put down. It’s a stunning read and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I plan to review this book very soon.

Synopsis:

Lizzy lives with her father, Julian, and her brother, Ig, in North London. Two years ago her mother died, leaving a family bereft by her absence and a house still filled with her things: for Margaret was lively, beautiful, fun, loving; she kept the family together. So Lizzy thinks. Then, one day, Lizzy finds a letter from a stranger to her father, and discovers he has another child. Lizzy invites her into their world in an act of outraged defiance. Almost immediately, she realises her mistake.

Look at Me is a deft exploration of family, grief, and the delicate balance between moving forward and not quite being able to leave someone behind. It is an acute portrayal of how familial upheaval can cause misunderstanding and madness, damaging those you love most.

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

This book wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it was a really good read. I have written a review so I hope to post it soon.

Synopsis:

So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.

When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.

Ruth Oliphant-Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn’t want to be found?


What I plan on reading next:

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

I pre-ordered Maggie O’Farrell’s debut novel After You’d Gone many years ago and after devouring it in one sitting I then immediately re-read it. I always pre-order her novels and read them as soon as I get them and she never disappoints. I was thrilled to pieces when I was lucky enough to be sent a proof copy of her next novel (due out in May 2016) and cannot wait to read it! It’s a beautiful proof and one I will treasure. 

Synopsis:

The dazzling new novel from bestselling, award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE crosses time zones and continents to reveal an extraordinary portrait of a marriage.

Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life.

A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex-film star given to shooting at anyone who ventures up their driveway.

He is also about to find out something about a woman he lost touch with twenty years ago, and this discovery will send him off-course, far away from wife and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE crosses continents and time zones, giving voice to a diverse and complex cast of characters. At its heart, it is an extraordinary portrait of a marriage, the forces that hold it together and the pressures that drive it apart.

Maggie O’Farrell’s seventh novel is a dazzling, intimate epic about who we leave behind and who we become as we search for our place in the world.

The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis

I can’t wait to start reading this novel, it sounds incredible.

Synopsis:

Georgian London, in the summer of 1763.
At nineteen, Anne Jaccob is awakened to the possibility of joy when she meets Fub, the butcher’s apprentice, and begins to imagine a life of passion with him.
The only daughter of well-to-do parents, Anne lives a sheltered life. Her home is a miserable place. Though her family want for nothing, her father is uncaring, her mother is ailing, and the baby brother who taught her to love is dead. Unfortunately her parents have already chosen a more suitable husband for her than Fub.
But Anne is a determined young woman, with an idiosyncratic moral compass. In the matter of pursuing her own happiness, she shows no fear or hesitation. Even if it means getting a little blood on her hands.
A vivid and surprising tale, The Butcher’s Hook brims with the colour and atmosphere of Georgian London, as seen through the eyes of a strange and memorable young woman.
-~-~-~-~-~-
‘Do you know what this is?’ He holds a short twist of thick metal, in the shape of the letter ‘S’, sharpened at both ends. I shake my head.
‘A butcher’s hook,’ he says, testing the tip of his finger against each point. ‘A perfect design. Whichever way up you use it, it’s always ready. One end to hook, the other to hang. It has only one simple purpose.’ He stands on a stool and fixes it over the bar above him. It waits there, empty.
He climbs down. ‘Pleasing, isn’t it?’

A Mother's Reckoning- Living in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy by Sue Klebold

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy by Sue Klebold

This is a new release but I’ve already heard so much about it so it was one I wanted to read.

Synopsis:

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.

For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?

These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.

Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.


 

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 and Stacking the Shelves (5th December)

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

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

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


 

My week in books:

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

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

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

Search for the Truth by Kathryn Freeman

Don’t Jump by Vicki Abelson

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce


 

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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.

Books I’ve bought this week:

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

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

The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

The Enchantment of Lily Dahl by Siri Hustvedt

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Janette Winterson

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler

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

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

The Novel Cure by Susan Elderkin (sale)

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

Little White Lies by Lesley Lokko (sale)

The Gallery of Lost Husbands by Natasha Solomons (sale)

Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf (sale)

Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin (sale)

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

Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter (sale)

The Other Child by Charlotte Link (sale)

Winter Flowers by Carol Coffey (sale)

The Island Hideaway by Louise Candlish  (sale)

Never Broken by Hannah Campbell (sale)

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

The Happy Hoofer by Celia Imrie (sale)

Oswald’s Tale by Norman Mailer (sale)

 

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (sale)

Murder by Sarah Pinborough (sale)

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough (sale)

Skellig by David Almond (sale)

Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking (sale)

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (sale)

All Day Long by Joanna Biggs (sale)

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (sale)

Coming Up Trumps by Jean Trumpington (sale)

Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill (sale)

26 Miles to the Moon by Andrew Males (sale)

Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid (sale)

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales (sale)

No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue (sale)

Learning to Speak American by Colette Dartford (sale)

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

 

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

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

Wish Upon A Christmas Cake by Darcie Boleyn (sale)

A Wedding at Christmas by Chrissie Manby (sale)

The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse (sale)

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

A Diamond from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

Paulina and Fran by Rachel B. Glaser

 

Review books received this week:

Snowed in for her Wedding by Emma Bennet (ebook)

Callie’s Christmas Countdown by Julie Ryan (ebook)

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon (ebook)

As Weekends Go by Jan Brigden (ebook)

A Savage Hunger by Claire McGowan (ebook)

The Ballroom by Anna Hope (ebook)

Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell (print book)

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald (print book)

The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements (print book)

 

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