#BookReview: Keeper by Johana Gustawsson @OrendaBooks @JoGustawsson

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About the Book

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.
London, 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.
Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?
Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down.

 

My Thoughts

 

I read Johana Gustawsson’s first novel Block 46 last year and it was an incredible read (you can read my review here); it made my top books of 2017and even now, months later, I still think about the novel! So when I was invited to read Keeper I jumped at the chance and I’m really pleased to say that it’s a brilliant follow-up!

Keeper is told in dual timelines: one during the time of Jack the Ripper in Whitechapel and the other in the present day where another serial killer appears to be back even though the police believed the killer was serving his sentence in Broadmoor. This novel features profiler Emily Roy and crime writer Alexis Castells again and it was so good to be back with them and seeing how they were after the last time they worked together.

I really liked seeing more of the relationship between Emily and Alexis. This case is closer to home because it turns out to have a connection to Alexis’ personal life, which puts her on a slightly different path in the investigation. Emily is very single-minded and once she’s on the track of something she very much focuses and it feels like she can’t let emotions come into it. It’s very apparent that Emily and Alexis do look out for each other though and I’m already really keen for the next book to be out so that I can be back with them both.

I loved in Block 46 how there was a connection between the two timelines, and Keeper is the same but again it had me beat! I thought I was on to something with connecting the dots and I was close but ultimately wrong. The ending had me stunned when the reveal came… this is one of those very rare books where the twist was genuinely something I didn’t see coming!

I have to mention the translator in this review. Maxim Jakubowski has translated this so well that it genuinely felt like I was reading a novel that had been written in english.

Johana Gustawsson is such a brilliant writer; there were moments in this book that turned my stomach as the writing was so evocative that it gave me a visceral reaction. I could sense the murky fog of whitechapel around me; I could smell the squalor of the living conditions and the rotting flesh. It’s not often that I feel so completely immersed in a novel but Gustawsson’s writing really gets under my skin. She takes her readers to the darkest sides of humanity and does it in such a way that you can’t look away even when it’s so dark and disturbing. Yet alongside this her writing is beautiful and so you simply can’t stop reading, even during the darkest parts.

Keeper is a deeply disturbing and unflinching novel that will leave you feeling very unnerved but it’s an utterly brilliant read and I can’t recommend it highly enough! I’m now eagerly anticipating whatever Johana Gustawsson writes next!

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

Keeper is out now and available here.

 

About the Author

Johana Photo

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.

 

You can follow the rest of this blog tour at the following stops:

FINAL Keeper blog poster 2018

 

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My Favourite Novels read in 2017!

My top fiction reads of

In 2017 I read 252 books, many of them were such brilliant reads, so it’s been really hard picking my top books of the year. Today I’m sharing my top novels read last year, and tomorrow I will share my top non-fiction reads so please look out for that post.

In no particular order the novels that I have loved, and the ones that are really staying with me are:

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The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

This book had (shamefully) been on my TBR for almost TWENTY years! I originally bought it in hardback soon after it was published and over the years have also bought a paperback and ebook copy but was still intimidated to start reading it. Well, I finally picked it up in 2017 and it’s been a huge lesson to me in not avoiding books because I adored it from start to finish. It really got to me and I still find myself thinking about it now.

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The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

This book made the list because I love the way it explored the idea of fate and whether some things are meant to be, or not. It really got to me and it’s a book that I often find myself thinking about. You can find my full review here.

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The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

I loved this novel because I’m someone who wonders about lost things and this book gave me hope and comfort that the precious things I’ve lost over the years might be somewhere being looked after. You can find my full review here.

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The Way Back to Us by Kay Langdale

This is a novel that I read in one sitting, it just had me hooked from the very first page and I still find myself thinking about the family and wondering how they are now. The Way Back to Us explores family dynamics in a way that really makes you think and feel about each and every person involved. I highly recommend this book. You can find my full review here.

The wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

This is a wonderful novel about Della who wants to be a pilot in a time when it was near impossible for a woman to train as such a thing. I adored this book, and the characters in it. The writing is so evocative that I really felt I was with Della every step of the way throughout this book. You can find my full review here.

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All the Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker

All the Wicked Girls is one of those really special novels that just gets under your skin very early on. I still find myself thinking about the characters in this small town and wondering how their lives turned out. This book is just incredible and I implore you to read it if you haven’t already.  You can find my full review here.

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Little Deaths by Emma Flint

This is a fascinating novel looking at how women are viewed in the wake of something terrible happening. Ruth is a single mum who enjoys nights out once her children are in bed. One night her children go missing and the spotlight is on Ruth intensely from that moment on. She is judged by everyone for everything. This is a novel that really stays with you and I definitely recommend it. You can find my full review here.

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

This is a brilliant crime thriller, one that has really stayed with me in the months since I read it. It’s a harrowing read at times but the writing, and the characters make it a book that you need to keep reading. I’m eagerly anticipating the next novel! You can find my full review here.

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Final Girls by Riley Sager

This novel is so good! I was a little apprehensive about it as I don’t like horror, I don’t like to feel properly scared but this book was just so brilliant that I couldn’t put it down. I loved every minute that I spent reading it and I can’t wait to see what the author writes next. You can find my full review here.

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Sweetpea by CJ Skuse

This is another brilliant novel that I loved reading in 2017. It’s very disconcerting when you read a book about a serial killer but find yourself agreeing with some of the things that annoy her. It’s full of dark humour but it’s such a good read, one I’m sure I’ll go back to in the future. You can find my full review here.

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Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

This was a novel that I was desperate to get my hands on from the minute I first saw the publisher share a photo of the cover. The novel did not let me down! It grabbed me from the start and it kept me engrossed to the very end. It’s a novel about female friendship and obsession and it’s brilliant! You can find my full review here.

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The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

A quote from my own review of this book: ‘This is such a modern novel. On face value this is a novel about the breakdown of a marriage but it’s really about so much more than that. It’s such an incisive, multi-layered novel about the society we live in. It’s a character-driven story, which looks at class and race issues; it looks at how we define poverty. Amanda Craig really captures our society in a genuine and honest way, whilst also giving it a good dose of dark humour, wryness and wit’. The novel has really stayed in my mind since I read it so I highly recommend it! You can find my full review here.

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The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia

This is such a gripping and compelling novel that really got to me. I hadn’t heard of it before I was offered the chance to read and review it but I fell in love with it on reading it. Hattie Hoffman is one of those characters that really got under my skin and my heart was breaking for her as I read her story. Go read this book if you haven’t already. You can find my full review here.

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Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech

This book appealed to me because Louise’s first novel was one of my favourite books last year, and also because this one is set during the floods in Hull. I knew this book would be one I loved but it even surpassed that very high expectation. I got so engrossed in Catherine’s story and felt at such a loss after finishing this book. I still think about this novel and wonder how Catherine is. You can find my full review here.

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See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

I won an advance proof of this book and was so excited when it arrived. It was one of the first books that I read in 2017 and it stayed with me throughout the year and absolutely deserves a place as one of my favourite reads of the year. This is such a visceral and evocative novel and I still feel like I’ve been in that house where Lizzie Borden took her axe. If you haven’t read this novel yet, go grab a copy and read it asap! You can find my full review here.

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I loved this book from start to finish! Eleanor Oliphant is such a fascinating character, and one I couldn’t help but like. 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. You can find my full review here.

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The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

This book came into my life at such a perfect time that it seemed meant to be. It’s an exploration of the complexities of pain, in all its forms, and how we deal with the darkest moments of life. Ravine is someone who will really stay in my heart, I won’t ever forget this book and what it means to me. You can find my full review here.

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Snow Sisters by Carol Lovekin

I adored this novel, almost beyond being able to put into words. It had a lot to live up to as Ghostbird, Carol’s previous novel, very quickly became one of my all-time favourite books but I’m happy to say that Snow Sisters did live up to it. Carol is an incredible writer that weaves stories that just wrap around you and pull you right in. I highly, highly recommend this book. You can find my full review here.

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Tin Man by Sarah Winman

This book broke my heart – I read it in one sitting and I fell completely and utterly in love with it. It was stunning and it’s definitely a book that I want to re-read soon. I didn’t manage to write a review when I read it but I will review it when I read it again. It’s a beautiful novel and it’s stolen my heart!

So, there’s my list of the best novels that I read in 2017! It was an amazing reading year and I’m already so excited to be in a new year and discovering lots more fabulous books. What was your favourite novel from 2017? If you’ve blogged about it please feel free to leave a link and I will go read your post and leave a comment.

Tomorrow (all being well!) I’ll be sharing my top non-fiction reads from last year so please look out for that post!

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 (7 May)

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This week has been a quiet one for the most part with nothing major to write about so I’ll get straight on to my reading and blogging news…

 

This week I’ve finished reading five books:

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

I loved this book – it’s one of those novels that grabs you on the first page and then the pace doesn’t really let up throughout. I’m thinking that I might try and review this one soon.

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

This book is incredible. It’s so powerful and brutal but compelling at the same time. I reviewed this for the blog tour this week so you can read my thoughts on it here if you’d like to.

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

I’ve had this book on my TBR for five years and finally picked it up this week. I’m annoyed at myself for not reading it sooner as I very much enjoyed it. So much so that I immediately picked up the second book in the trilogy…

The Heroes’ Welcome by Louisa Young

This is the second book in the above trilogy and has also been on my TBR for a while so I was really pleased that I enjoyed the first book and could get straight on with this one. The third book is now awaiting me on my TBR and I’m looking forward to reading that soon.

The Elephant in the Room by Jon Ronson

This is a very short book (52 pages) all about the run-up to the 2016 American presidential election and is very interesting. It predominantly looks at some of the men involved in the Trump campaign and how much influence they may have had.

 

 

This week I’ve blogged six times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up

                Review of The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull for the blog tour

Monday: April Wrap-Up

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

                        Review of Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson for the blog tour

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

 

Fairytale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio

I can’t even remember when I got this book but it was on my TBR and I spotted it when sorting my kindle this week. I picked it up and was intrigued enough to keep reading. It’s a book about John F. Kennedy Jr by his PA. I’m about a quarter of the way through it at the moment and so far it’s predominantly about setting up the magazine George and is really interesting.

The Way Back Home by Freya North

This is another book that I noticed when sorting my Kindle out and decided to make it my next read. I’ve read 10% of it so far and am struggling to get into it but I’ve always enjoyed Freya North’s books so am going to give it a bit longer to see if it grabs me.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

I was sent this for review a couple of months ago and finally got to pick it up this week. It’s a hard read because of the subject matter but it’s fascinating and I’m looking forward to reading more.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

This book is so beautiful and I hope to be able to read more of this week. I’m really enjoying it but am struggling to read the faint print at the moment. I’m considering buying the ebook book, or the audio book if there is one, so I can find out what happens.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I read another couple of chapters of this book this week and am really engrossed in it. It’s a very powerful book and one I highly recommend.

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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: 1933

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 12

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 5

Books I’m currently reading: 5

TBR Books culled this week: 1

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1934

I’m really pleased that I’ve very nearly broken even with my TBR this week! Obviously it’d be better if I was reading more books than I was acquiring but keeping my TBR steady is better than the numbers going up and up!

 


 

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: Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson #BlogTour @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks

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About the Book

Evil remembers…

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

My Thoughts

I was thrilled when I was offered the chance to take part in the blog tour for Block 46 as I’d already heard about it and was really keen to read it.

This book was far more harrowing than I was expecting, and it was definitely more brutal and graphic in some of its descriptions and yet it was impossible to put down. I wanted to know what was going to happen, whether the case was going to be resolved and what all of the present-day murders had to do with the Buchenwald death camp.

I loved that this story is told predominantly through the eyes of a criminal profiler, Emily Roy, and a true crime investigative writer, Alexis Castells, who is also caught up in the murder of her friend Linnea. It gave a different slant to a crime novel than if it were told from a detective’s perspective and I found it really refreshing and different.

Emily is a fascinating character, I was intrigued by her all the way through the book. She has a very focused manner at times that leads her off into her own world and yet she deals with suspects so well and so cleverly. I also liked Alexis – she has a great way of being able to step back and see the bigger picture and complements Emily so well. They both have a tragedy in their pasts, which was touched on in this book so I’m interested to know more about that, along with how it’s affected them and made them who they are. I’m so pleased that there is to be a second book as I definitely want to spend more time with these two characters.

The scenes at Buchenwald were the hardest to read – it is so stark and unflinching, and I wasn’t expecting to read about the brutalities to the degree they were described. I could feel the sheer terror emanating through the pages. There were moments were I had to stop reading to just take a breath, but then the writing was so good that I was drawn to pick the book back up almost straight away.

Block 46 kept me guessing right until the very end – I genuinely couldn’t figure out who the murderer was. I thought I was onto something with a link to Buchenwald but I still picked the wrong strand to follow. I love when a book has me guessing and suspecting nearly everyone but not able to work it out; it doesn’t happen often but this book got me! I was honestly holding my breath as this novel gathered pace and I couldn’t read the words fast enough – I simply had to know who, what and where! The end, when it came, made sense but it left me reeling. I was honestly incapable of doing anything for quite a while after turning the last page, my mind wouldn’t stop turning over what I’d read. I was disturbed and unsettled by it but you’re meant to be, the writing is so brilliant.

Block 46 is harrowing, unflinching and brutal; it’s also brilliant, gripping and completely and utterly unputdownable! I highly recommend ordering a copy of this incredible crime thriller right away! I can’t wait to see what Johana Gustawsson writes next, I’ll certainly be first in line to buy it.

Block 46 was translated by Maxim Jakubowski.
Block 46 is due to be published on 15th May and can be pre-ordered now.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

About the Author

Johana Photo

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.

 

You can follow the rest of the blog tour on the stops below:

block 46 blog tour poster

WWW Wednesday (3 May) What are you reading today?

WWW pic

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:

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

I’ve had this book on my TBR since 2012 so I thought it was about time I finally picked it up. I’m really enjoying it and wishing I’d picked it up sooner!

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

I’m still very much enjoying this book but haven’t managed much reading from a screen, even my kindle, this week as my eyes have been really sore. I hope to get back to this very soon though as it’s such a great read.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

This book has also fallen by the wayside a bit this week due to my fall last weekend as I’ve been struggling to hold print books even more than normal. I really hope I can get back to this soon as it’s a beautiful novel.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve read a bit more of this book this week and am still finding it such a powerful read. I really hope to have time to read a big chunk of it soon as I think it is a book to really make time for.

What I recently finished reading:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

This book is one that will stay with me. It’s such a harrowing read at times and yet one that you can’t stop thinking about when you’re not reading it. I’m actually on the blog tour for this today so you can read my review here if you’d like to.

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

This book is wonderful – I enjoyed every single second of reading it and highly recommend you pick it up soon. I reviewed this for the blog tour this week so you can read that here if you want to know more.

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg

I’ve had this on my TBR for a little while now so when I spotted it was available on my audio subscription service I decided to listen to it. I really enjoy it and listened to it in just two sittings.

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

This book is brilliant, I can’t believe I’d not read it before now because once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. There was so much in this short novel that I already feel like I want to read it again! I highly recommend this if you’ve not read it before.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

This is another novel that I listened to over the last week. I’m not sure what I was excepting this to be about but it turned out to be something different – I still really enjoyed it though. It’s a YA novel but it’s done really well and I now want to listen or read the author’s first novel.

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

I found this audio book very interesting. I already knew quite a lot about the people involved with Titanic but there were things I didn’t know that I learnt from this book, which were fascinating. I recommend this if you’re interested in Titanic.

What I plan on reading next:

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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I had this on pre-order and it arrived on my Kindle yesterday. I was so keen to start reading it immediately but need to finish one of my current reads first – hopefully I can start it today or tomorrow though!

 

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 (30 April)

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Our RSD17 haul

It’s been a week of ups and downs this week! The ups were fab… my husband and I went record shopping on Record Store Day last Saturday and that was a lot of fun. It meant getting up at stupid o’clock to go wait in a queue in the freezing cold but that’s all part of it. The staff at the shop we went to were lovely – they handed out cups of tea and bacon rolls for anyone who wanted them, and they were so accommodating of me in my wheelchair when it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to get into the shop easily. We had a list of a few records that we really wanted to get and we were lucky to get all but two of them. We’ve since managed to get the final two online yesterday morning when all the remaining records were allowed to be put online by the record shops.

Unfortunately, it was overly ambitious for me to cope with being out so long in the cold and when we got home I had an horrendous fall. I managed to bruise all of my left side and banged my head quite badly. It really shook me up. I am prone to falling with my condition as my balance is off and I only have sensation in one leg (I’m paralysed down my right side) but this was the worst fall I’ve had in a while. Thankfully I’m starting to feel better now but it has affected me for most of this week.

Due to feeling so rough I’ve been taking it easy and have enjoyed relaxing with some audio books – they make up most of my reading for this week.

This week I’ve finished reading six books:

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

This is such a wonderful novel, I absolutely loved it. I’m actually on the blog tour today so you can read my review here if you’d like to.

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg

This is one of my audio books for this week and I really enjoyed listening to it. I’d heard a lot of mixed things about the novel but I found it engaging and it had me hooked all the way through. I listened to it over three sittings and when I wasn’t listening I was thinking about it.

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a while now so when I found it on my audio subscription this week I decided to listen to it. I’m annoyed with myself for not reading this before now as it was brilliant. I already want to read it again as it feels like it’s one of those short novels that is packed with so much subtle detail.

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

I really enjoyed this book, it was fascinating to find out more about the people who were involved with Titanic – from the designers to the engineers to the passengers. I knew a lot of the stories told in this book but some of it was new to me so it was nice to find out some things I didn’t know before.

He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly

I have to admit that I struggled to get into this book but once I did get into it I couldn’t put it down. I hope to get my review written and posted soon but I definitely recommend it.

Luuurve is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

I picked this up after my fall the other day and it was a perfect read for that moment in time. I’m way older than the target audience for this book but I still found it amusing. Louise Rennison really was such a great writer.

This week I’ve blogged five times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday: Interview with Kay Langdale for The Comfort of Others blog tour

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Review of See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

I’m finding this book hard to put down, it grabbed me early on and I’m begrudging the time when real life stops me from reading more. I’ll be reviewing this book on Wednesday for the blog tour so look out for my review then.

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

I can barely put into words how much I’m enjoying this book. If it wasn’t for me having such a bad week and struggling to hold a book to read I’d having finished this in a couple of sittings. I really hope I can get back to this very soon.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

This is another book that I’ve had to leave to one side this week due to not being able to hold a print book very well. I was adoring it though and can’t wait to get back to it.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This is a really moving and powerful read that stays in your head every time you put it down. It’s interesting and well-written and I’m looking forward to reading more of it this week.

 


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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: 11

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 6

Books I’m currently reading: 4

TBR Books culled this week: 9

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1933

 

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 (19 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:

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

This is my current audio book and I’m finding it really interesting. I’m over a quarter of the way through it and it really is focusing on various people involved in the Titanic – be it the wealthy people who would be traveling or the shipbuilders that worked on Titanic before she set sail.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

I’m on the blog tour for this next week and am interviewing Kay Langdale for that. I really wanted to read the book before then so I could also review the book if I can, and I have to say that this is a beautiful novel that I’m very much enjoying.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

I had to put this book to one side for the last few days as I just haven’t been in the right frame of mind to read in this genre. I picked it up again last night though and found it very hard to put down so I’m sure I’ll be finishing this and writing my review very soon.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This is such an interesting book – the way France has looked at the scientists, the doctors and the patients makes sure that this remains a very human book. It’s so powerful and incredibly moving.

 

What I recently finished reading:

This Love by Dani Atkins

I finished reading this book yesterday afternoon and then spent 20 mins sobbing. It’s not often that a book affects me so much but I really got caught up in this novel. Once I’ve got myself composed I will be writing a glowing review of this gorgeous book.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

This was my recent audio book and I really did enjoy it. I bought it in a daily deal on a whim and I’m glad I did. It may seem a bit strange to read a book about running when I can barely even walk but I actually got a lot out of this book and would recommend it.

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

I had an ebook review copy of this book but decided to listen to the audio book and found the book much more engaging on audio. I’m in the middle of writing up my review now so hope to share that on my blog very soon.

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

I’ve already reviewed this book on my blog so you can read that here if you’d like to. I really enjoyed reading this book, it had more to the story than I was expecting and I’d recommend it.

 

What I plan on reading next:

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

I was so excited when I was offered this book for review and I just can’t wait any longer to read it, it sounds amazing!

Block 42 by Johana Gustawsson

I’m on the blog tour for this book at the start of May and have been looking forward to reading it ever since I first heard about it. I think this is going to be one of those impossible to put down books!

 

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.

Stacking the Shelves (8 April) #BookHaul

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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!

 

Here are the 3 eBooks I bought this week:

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The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

I read a brilliant review for this book on Cleopatra Loves Books blog this week and it sold the book to me. I’d previously thought that this wasn’t a book for me but Cleo wrote about it in such a way that it made me feel like I simply had to read the book as soon as I could. I bought a copy a couple of days later and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Synopsis:

When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.

Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything.

Underground Airlines by ben winters

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

I’ve had this book on my wish list since I first heard about it last year so when I spotted it in the Kindle sale this week for just £1.99 I snapped it up. I think this is a book that I’ll need to be in the right mood for so hopefully I will be soon.

Synopsis:

A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He’s got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called “the Hard Four.” On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn’t right–with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he’s hot on the trail. But his strange, increasingly uncanny pursuit is complicated by a boss who won’t reveal the extraordinary stakes of Jackdaw’s case, as well as by a heartbreaking young woman and her child who may be Victor’s salvation. Victor himself may be the biggest obstacle of all–though his true self remains buried, it threatens to surface.

Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country’s arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.

Hear Me by Julia North

Hear Me by Julia North

I spotted a tweet this week offering the ebook of this for free so I immediately signed up for a copy. The synopsis really makes me want to read this as soon as I can.

Synopsis:

After yet another shameful one-night stand Lissa has to accept that her sisters are right – she is an alcoholic and it’s time for rehab. She hates the idea of therapy, doesn’t want to examine her past, but just as she begins to see reasons for her drinking, life takes a brutal turn.

Who are her fellow patients? Why is one of them so damned perfect?

Hear Me is a powerful story about life and death, addiction and sobriety, racism and the fight for justice – but above all it is a story about love.

 

I also received 1 ARC:

 

 

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

I was sent a copy of this to review as I’m taking part in the blog tour for this in May. The synopsis sounds so good and I’m really looking forward to reading this.

Synopsis:

In Falkenberg, Sweden, the mutilated body of talented young jewelry designer Linnea Blix is found in a snow-swept marina. In Hampstead Heath, London, the body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s. Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again. Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald? Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French true-crime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

And I won a giveaway:

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The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase

I received this book at the weekend and there was no note with it so I had no idea where it came from but I finally found out that it was a Goodreads giveaway win. I was thrilled when I opened the package as I’ve been seeing this book on social media and have been so keen to read it.

Synopsis:

Nineteen fifty-nine. The four Wilde sisters, Margot, Flora, Pam and Dot, are spending the summer in the Cotswolds, at Applecote Manor. Affectionately called the Wildlings, the sisters are exceptionally close, yet this year there’s a sense of nostalgia. Things are changing.

Except for Applecote itself, a house that seems frozen in time. The sisters haven’t been there in five years; not since their cousin Audrey mysteriously vanished.

But as they discover Applecote’s old secrets and new temptations, the bond between the sisters starts to splinter. Until the night when everything spirals out of control and the Wildlings form a bond far thicker than blood . . .

 

 


 

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.