This Week in Books (15 May 2019)! What are you reading?

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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

Take Me To The Edge by Katya Boirand

This is a poetry collection and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve already read this once but am reading it again to get my thoughts together. I’ll be reviewing this for the blog tour on Friday so look out for my thoughts then.

Not Having It All by Jennie Ensor

This is really different to Jennie’s previous book The Girl in his Eyes (which I reviewed here) but it’s such a good read. I’m very much enjoying it.

The Family Man by Tim Lebbon

I’ve had this book on my TBR for ages so when I spotted the audio book on my subscription service I decided to part listen and part read. I’m glad I got the audio because I think I may have DNF it if I was reading it as it’s not what I was expecting. It’s an okay read.

Middlemarch by George Eliot

I’m still very much enjoying reading this book and wishing I’d got to it much sooner. I’m about two thirds of the way through it now and am going to really miss it once I’ve finished reading it.

 

Then

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

I loved this book! It’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel as it’s really good. I’ll be reviewing this one in a couple of weeks time for the tour but I definitely recommend it in the meantime!

Sunburn by Laura Lippman

I listened to this book on audio this week and really enjoyed it. It wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping but it was a really enthralling novel. I’ll be looking out for more of her books in the future.

At The Birth of Bowie by Phil Lancaster

My lovely mum-in-law gave me this for my birthday earlier this year and I’ve been keen to read it so picked it up one afternoon this week. I ended up reading it in one sitting. It wasn’t the best written book but the stories Phil Lancaster tells are brilliant to discover.

We Are Not Such Things by Justine van Der Luen

This was my non-fiction audio for the last week and it was a fascinating listen. It wasn’t exactly the book I thought it was going to be but it was such a good book.

The Treatment by C. L. Taylor

I’ve had a copy of this book for a while too and have part-read and part-listened to this one too. It was a fast-paced and gripping novel and I enjoyed it.

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

This was a really moving read about a teenage girl coming to terms with the loss of her father whilst going into her final year of school. It was a really good read, I recommend it.

The End of the End of the Earth by Jonathan Franzen

This was such a good essay collection, I got a lot more out of it than I was expecting.

 

Next

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean

I was sent an ARC of this last week and it’s been calling to me from my TBR – I don’t think I can wait any longer to pick this up so I hope to get to it this week.

We Never Said Goodbye by Helene Fermont

I had hoped to start this over the last week but didn’t manage to get to it so it’s on my TBR for the coming week.

The Holiday by T.M. Logan

I got a copy of this on NetGalley and it sounds like such a fast-paced summer read so I might pick it up and read it in the garden while the weather it so glorious!

 


 

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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This Week in Books (8 May 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

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham

I’ve owned a copy of this book ever since it was first published but have only just got around to picking it up to read this week. I’m in two minds about it but I think on the whole it’s an engrossing read.

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

This is great read. It’s really emotional at times but it also takes me back to what it was like being a teenager. I’m on the blog tour for this one so I’ll be reviewing it on 21 May.

The End of The End of The Earth by Jonathan Frantzen

I won a copy of this book a couple of months ago and was just in the mood to read an essay collection recently so I started this one. It’s really interesting and I’m enjoying it so far.

Dead Inside by Noelle Holton

This is such a good read, I’m finding it hard to put down!

Middlemarch by George Eliot

I’ve been reading this over the last couple of weeks and am loving it! I don’t know why I’ve put off reading it all these years.

 

Then

Keep Her Close by M. J. Ford

I really enjoyed this second book in the series and will definitely be looking out for the third when it’s published. I really like the lead character and am keen to see what’s next in her life!

How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White

I read this author’s book on decluttering a few months ago and was keen to read this one too. I struggle to have a cleaning routine with my health and disability being the way they are and this book made me reminded me that the small tasks do add up over time.

Song of the Robin by R. V. Biggs

This book was really different to what I normally read but I very much enjoyed it. It was a much more emotional read than I was expecting and one I won’t forget. I’m reviewing this book on Friday so please keep an eye out for that.

The Forgotten Sister by Caroline Bond

I really enjoyed this novel about adoption. It was emotional and thought-provoking, and a book that I think will stay with me. I’ve already reviewed this one so you can find my full thoughts here if you’d like to know more.

Missing Molly by Natalie Barelli

I bought this on kindle in a recent sale and then discovered it on my audio book subscription so I part read and part listened to it. It was a good read but not one that will stay with me.

The Furies by Katie Lowe

I had a review copy of this book but again found it on my audio subscription so I listened to most of it. I very much enjoyed this one and definitely recommend it.

Breakers by Doug Johnstone

I adored this novel! I wasn’t expecting it to affect me as much as it did but it was so good. I’ve already reviewed it so you can find that here if you’d like to know more.

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald

This book was brilliant! I’ve read and enjoyed other books by this author but this book was in another league. I loved every minute that I spent reading it. I’ll be reviewing this one later this month but in the meantime I recommend it!

 

Next

Not Having It All by Jennie Ensor

I loved Jennie’s previous novel (which I reviewed here) so I’m really looking forward to reading her next one this week!

We Never Said Goodbye by Helene Fermont

I also read and enjoyed Helene’s earlier novel (review here) so I’m keen to get to this one.

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

I’m on the blog tour for this book next month and my copy of the book arrived a couple of days ago so I’m really keen to pick it up.

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

I requested this on NetGalley a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to be approved for it. I’m really intrigued by the book so I think I’m going to try and pick it up this week!


 

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. 🙂

My Favourite Novels of 2018!

My Favourite Books 0f 2018!

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

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

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

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

 

In reverse order: 

27. Dead in Venice by Fiona Leitch

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

26. The Lingering by SJI Holliday

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

25. You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke

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

24. The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

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

23. Perfect Bones by AJ Waines

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

22. The Date by Louise Jensen

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

21. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

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

20. Odette by Jessica Duchen

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

19. Attend by West Camel

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

18. Daisy Belle by Caitlin Davies

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

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

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

16. Old Baggage by Lissa Evans

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

 

15. The Girl in His Eyes by Jennie Ensor

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

14. Fukushima Dreams by Zelda Rhiando

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

13. Narcissism for Beginners by Martine McDonagh

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

12. Good Samaritans by Will Carver

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

11. Overkill by Vanda Symon

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

10. Him by Clare Empson

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

9. Miss Marley by Vanessa LaFaye with Rebecca Mascull

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

8. Roar by Cecelia Ahern

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

7. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

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

6. The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse 

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

5. Snap by Belinda Bauer

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

4. Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

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

 

 

Love and Fame Cover

3. Love and Fame by Susie Boyt

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

 

 

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

 

 

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech

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

 

Let Me Be Like Water by S. K. Perry

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

 


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

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: The Girl in His Eyes by Jennie Ensor @Jennie_Ensor ‏@BloodhoundBook

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About the Book

Her father abused her when she was a child. For years she was too afraid to speak out. But now she suspects he’s found another victim…

Laura, a young woman struggling to deal with what her father did to her a decade ago, is horrified to realise that the girl he takes swimming might be his next victim. Emma is twelve – the age Laura was when her father took away her innocence.

Intimidated by her father’s rages, Laura has never told anyone the truth about her childhood. Now she must decide whether she has the courage to expose him and face the consequences.

Can Laura overcome her fear and save Emma before the worst happens?

 

My Thoughts

Today is publication day for The Girl in his Eyes so I’m thrilled to be sharing my review and helping promote this incredible novel!  I was drawn to The Girl in his Eyes as soon as I first heard about it and am so pleased to say that it was all that I hoped it would be.

Laura is carrying the awful secret of what her father did to her when she was younger and it’s affecting her to this day. She struggles to be in the family home and is distant from her mum and brother as a result. One day she finds out that her dad is taking a young girl for swimming lessons and she realises that she may have no choice but to confront what he did to her.

The Girl in his Eyes is told from multiple perspectives: Laura, her mother and her father. I was unsure how I was going to feel reading the dad’s point of view knowing what he did to his daughter and how his mind seemed to work. However, Jennie Ensor has dealt with the issue of abuse in such a sensitive way that I found it gave balance to the novel to know his thought process (as disturbing as it was to read).

I could really sympathise with Laura and I agonised with her over what she should do about her dad. It’s all too easy to say that victims should speak out but it’s so much more complex than that. Laura didn’t want to upset the rest of her family, particularly her mum, and worried that she wouldn’t be believed because her father gives such a convincing performance as a nice, normal family man. She is trying to hard to make a life for herself now she lives away from the family home she grew up in but her anxiety every time she goes back to visit brings it all back to the surface again; it’s a wound that isn’t allowed to heal.

Laura’s mother’s viewpoint was the one that I found affected me more than I was expecting, and this surprised me. I swung from being utterly disbelieving that she hadn’t had any inkling of what her husband was doing to their daughter, to feeling a sense of sadness for her as she tried to process and re-evaluate her marriage. There is a small moment in the novel when she sees a large spider out of her eye corner  and is terrified so immediately throws a huge book on top of it and stamps it down. She then leaves it there until someone comes home and she gets them to deal with it. This moment gave me goosebumps because that was when I really understood her and felt sorry for her. It’s such a tiny moment in the book but it showed me how her mind works when it came to dealing with things she truly can’t cope with.

The Girl in his Eyes is a very prescient novel. We are in the wake of the #metoo movement and are having our eyes opened to the abuse that goes on behind closed doors. This novel is about one woman and her father but the way the novel explores how Laura is still dealing with the trauma as an adult and the choices she makes are so important for society to understand. People who have been abused and traumatised sometimes deal with it by taking control in ways that can be hard for others to understand. I very much appreciated how Ensor explores this aspect of Laura’s life.

This isn’t always an easy book to read due to the subject matter and it feels unsettling at times but it is absolutely worth reading. I wasn’t sure how I felt about reading it to start with but I ended up reading it all in one sitting, and it did make me cry in places but I’m so glad that I read it. Ensor handles the subject of child abuse so sensitively; there is nothing graphic or gratuitous in the novel; it is much more a look at how it leaves people feeling and the affect it has on people’s lives. She has done an exceptional job to confront child abuse in such an honest and real way without it ever being too much to read.

The Girl in his Eyes is an incredible novel that will really stay with me. It’s such an important novel about the lasting damage of sexual abuse but it’s so beautifully and sensitively written that you’ll find yourself utterly absorbed in the story and won’t want to stop turning the pages. I read it in one sitting because it had me gripped from the opening chapter! This is a book that everyone should read; I highly recommend it.

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

The Girl in His Eyes is out now and available here.

 

About the Author

Jennie+Ensor

Jennie Ensor lives in London and has Irish roots. During a long trip overseas she obtained a Masters in Journalism and began her writing career as a journalist, covering topics from forced marriages to accidents in the mining industry. Her debut novel BLIND SIDE was published by Unbound in 2016. In January 2018 her short story ‘The Gift’ was placed in the Top 40 of the Words and Women national prose competition. Her poetry has appeared in many UK and overseas publications, most recently Ink Sweat and Tears. She sings in a chamber choir.

 

 

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