My April Wrap-Up Post

 

 

Monthly Wrap Up post Copyrighted

This has been a great month on my blog. As some of you will have already noticed, I gave my blog a big makeover at the weekend. My lovely husband, who is a great photographer, took some fab photos of my books for me to use on my blog – his photo is now my blog header and I’m over the moon with it. You can read my post about my blog makeover here.

I also decided to register my blog’s domain so I now own rathertoofondofbooks.com and am really happy about that. It just cements that I’ve been blogging long enough now to know that it’s something I want to keep doing in the long term.

I started using dictation software in April and this has made a massive difference to me, it means I can write blog posts even when I’m unable to type. I also learnt how to schedule my blog posts, and found some software that allows me to schedule unpublished blog posts links on social media in advance. All of this combined has made blogging so much easier for me and means I can achieve more in my day.

My TBR is even more out of control than it was last month due to April bringing lots more new books my way. I’m in the middle of sorting out my enormous TBR into recent purchases/review books and then a separate TBR for books that I’ve been keeping for the right time (see my post on this here). I’m still trying to come up with a way to challenge myself to read these books because if I could stop myself waiting for the right time and just read them it would really help me clear my TBR! If anyone has any ideas for this please share in the comments below. I’m planning on making a TBR jar once I’ve finished my lists but I want a challenge to go with that.

Otherwise life is same old same old really. I’m still struggling to get my pain levels under control but I do finally have an appointment to see a specialist this month so I’m really hoping that something can be done to help me. If I can get my pain better controlled and I can find a medication that doesn’t make my head feel like it’s stuffed full of cotton wool then I’ll be able to get back to reading at my normal speed and will finally be able to start making headway with my TBR.


I managed to read fifteen books this month (three were short stories and two were novellas, and ten were full-length novels):

(Click the orange links to read my reviews; the titles in turquoise are books I’ve read but not yet reviewed)

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

The Summer I Met You by Victoria Walters

Dear Dad by Giselle Green

The Boy with the Boxes by Katey Lovell

The Boy on the Bus by Katey Lovell

Peter and Alice by John Logan

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

 Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

The Real Book Thief by Ingrid Black

Shtum by Jem Lester

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne


I also reviewed six books that I finished before April

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan (re-blog)

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Between You and Me by Lisa Hall

The Good Mother by A. L. Bird

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen


 

I was very lucky this month that I got to interview six authors:

Jannie Lund, author of Vintage Dreams

Sherry Mayes, author of Stop the World

Katye Nunn, author of Rose’s Vintage

Mike Russell, author of Nothing is Strange

Siobhan MacDonald, author of Twisted River

Greg Cope White, author of The Pink Marine

 

I also was delighted to have three authors write a guest post for my blog:

Rosy Stewart, author of Hope: Stories from a Women’s Refuge Rosy Stewart are a husband and wife writing team. They wrote a great post for my blog all about how it is to write as a duo.

Heidi Perks, author of Beneath the Surface Heidi Perks wrote a brilliant guest post for me in April all about marketing a book on a limited budget. It’s a really interesting post and I recommend reading it.

Sandra Nikolai, author of Fatal Whispers Sandra Nikolai wrote a great guest post for my blog all about how murder mystery writers keep one step ahead of readers. If you’re a fan of thrillers than I’m sure you will love reading this post.


 Also in April, I was very honoured when I was asked to guest post on Laura at 125 Pages blog as part of her first blogiverary celebrations. Laura asked me to write about how the way I approach blogging and how I’ve built my blog up. You can read the post here


 

So, that was my month! How was your April? 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 April Wrap-Up post.

Advertisements

Weekly Wrap-Up (17 April 2016)

Weekly wrap-up banner

SundayBlogShare

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.

 


I’ve not had the best week in terms of my health, I’m still struggling to find the balance between controlling pain but not ending up feeling out of it on painkillers. The result at the moment is that I’m feeling quite awful all of the time, so my reading is suffering as I can’t concentrate on books for more than around ten minutes at a time.

I’ve had a good week in terms of blogging though. It’s made such a huge difference to me having my dictation software, I’m dictating just about everything now (even tweets & Facebook updates) so it’s great. Finally working out how to schedule posts in advance, and also how to schedule links to my blog posts to go out on social media using an app, has been a revelation. I’m managing my time better now and it’s been great this week that I’ve had posts up every day on my blog as it was all scheduled in advance during the short periods when I’ve felt a little better.


 

This week I’ve managed to read two books:

Peter and Alice by John Hogan

This is actually a play script but it was easy enough to read as it’s predominantly got just the two characters throughout. This a fictional conversation between Alice (who Alice in Wonderland was based on) and Peter (who Peter Pan was based on) and it’s fascinating. I bought this book a while ago but wish I’d read it sooner now as it was brilliant. I plan to review this on my blog quite soon.

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

I finished reading this very late on Friday night and so haven’t managed to review it yet but I will be doing very soon. I really enjoyed this book, it kept me hooked all the way through it.


 

 I’ve blogged ten times this week:

https://rathertoofondofbooks.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/weekly-wrap-up-27-march-2016/

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up Post

721_98321085460_304_n

Monday: Q&A with Sherry Mayes (author of Stop the World)

dear dad by giselle green

Tuesday: Review of Dear Dad by Giselle Green

WWW pic

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

First by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Thursday: Review of Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

IMG_4703

Announcement of the winner of The One-in-a-Million Boy giveaway

when she was bad tammy

Friday: Review of When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Blog post about Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Stacking the Shelves

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

hope-stories-from-a-womens-refuge

Guest post by Rosy Stewart (Author of Hope: Stories from a Women’s Refuge)


 

Coming up on my blog this week:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up (Sunday Post)

Monday: Q&A with Kayte Nunn (author of Rose’s Vintage) PLUS an international giveaway!

Tuesday: Review or Author Q&A/Interview

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday Post

Thursday: Review or Author Q&A/Interview

Friday: Review or Author Q&A/Interview

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves Post


 

This is what I’m currently reading:

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

I treated myself to this book last week and couldn’t resist starting it the other day. It’s about the Titanic disaster but focuses on the Californian – the ship who was near enough to potentially help but they didn’t react. It’s a novel but has been very heavily researched.  I’ve only read the first few chapters so far but it’s very good.

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

I’m very much enjoying this book, it’s brilliant. The only reason for me not finishing it sooner is due to me not being able to read much this week. I hope to read more of it very soon.

Shtum by Jem Lester

I’ve read the first third of this book but I’m not feeling very motivated to pick it back up, it just isn’t grabbing me at all. 

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

This is non-fiction and whilst I know it’s probably going to be quite a tough read later on, at the moment it’s fascinating reading about the family dynamics and how they all got on before the problems started.

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

This book is wonderful. It was written in the 1930s and is about a spinster, Ann, who always listens to what her brother tells her and lives a very sheltered existence. Then one day she comes into a sum of money and on a whim books a cruise! I’ve only read the first few chapters but it’s such an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to reading more when I feel better. If you want to know more about this book, I wrote a post about it on my blog yesterday – you can read that here.

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

I only started reading this late last night so have only read a couple of chapters so far but I really want to read more of it as soon as I can. I’m on the blog tour for this book on Sunday so look out for my post then.

 


 

https://rathertoofondofbooks.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/weekly-wrap-up-27-march-2016/

What have you been reading this week? Please feel free to link to your weekly wrap-up post, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below! I love to hear what you’re all reading. :)

 

WWW Wednesday (13 April 2016)

 

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.


Please  forgive any formatting errors in my post this week, my home wifi is playing up and web pages keep either failing to load or partially loading so it’s quite hard to get a post ready. On top of that WordPress hasn’t been working too well for me this week either. 


What I’m reading now:

 

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

I was thrilled to get the chance to read this book through THE Book Club recently.  I’m about halfway through the book at the moment and finding it really hard to put down, and so far I still haven’t worked out what is going on (which is great, I love being kept guessing until the end!).

Synopsis:

Four months ago, Rick went out to buy a newspaper. He never came back.

His wife, Gina, is struggling to deal with her loss, and her daughter’s mood swings are getting worse. Then she receives a phone call from a woman at a country hotel, confirming details of a booking Rick made before he vanished. 

Desperate to find out more about his disappearance, Gina and her daughter take the trip. But there is something very strange about the hotel, and the family that run it. 

Soon Gina is unsure that Rick even made the booking – but one thing is clear: both mother and daughter are in serious danger.


the second love of my life

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

I knew I was going to enjoy this novel, but I didn’t expect it to get to me in the way that it is doing. This novel has made me laugh and it’s made me cry; it’s so good! I want to know how things will turn out for everyone but I also don’t want the book to end as I’m enjoying it so much!

Synopsis:

It wasn’t love at first sight. It was a summer of love…

When Emma leaves her Cornish hometown of Talting for a summer in Devon, the last thing she dreams of is falling in love. But sometimes the people who affect us the most come along when we least expect it. As the summer comes to the end, will it herald the start of something that could last for ever?


Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

I haven’t been well this week so have only managed to read a few chapters of this so far but it is utterly wonderful. It’s been quite a long time since I read a book set in the 1930s and I’m just absolutely adoring it, it’s so refreshing. I’m willing Ann on to break free of Cuthbert and to experience some of what life has to offer her.

Synopsis:

Ann Clements is thirty-five and single, and believes nothing exciting will ever happen to her. Then, she wins a large sum of money in a sweepstake and suddenly can dare to dream of a more adventurous life. She buys a ticket for a Mediterranean cruise, against the wishes of her stern brother, the Rev. Cuthbert, who has other ideas about how she should spend her windfall. Ann steps out of the shadows of her mundane life into the heat of the Mediterranean sun. Travelling to Gibraltar, Marseilles, Naples, Malta and Venice, Ann’s eyes are opened to people and experiences far removed from her sheltered existence in the offices at Henrietta Street, and Mrs. Puddock’s lodging house. As Ann blossoms, discovering love and passion for the very first time, the biggest question is, can there be any going back?


Shame by Javinder Sanghera (My Pic)

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

This is another boak that I’ve only managed to read the first few chapters of this week, due to not being well again. It’s quite apparent already though that this is going to be a fascinating read and I’m keen to get back to it to read more.

Synopsis:

When she was fourteen, Jasvinder Sanghera was shown a photo of the man chosen to be her husband. She was terrified. She’d witnessed the torment her sisters endured in their arranged marriages, so she ran away from home, grief-stricken when her parents disowned her. Shame is the heart-rending true story of a young girl’s attempt to escape from a cruel, claustrophobic world where family honour mattered more than anything – sometimes more than life itself. Jasvinder’s story is one of terrible oppression, a harrowing struggle against a punitive code of honour – and, finally, triumph over adversity.


shtum by jem lester

Shtum by Jem Lester

If I’m going to be completely honest I have to say that I am struggling to read this one. It’s had so much hype and so many people have loved but I’m really struggling to read it. I don’t mind reading books where I don’t like any of the main characters but I do find it really difficult when they don’t feel rounded out enough for me to get a feel for who they are. I’m going to persevere with this little bit longer because it’s a review book and I have only read about a third of it so far so I’m going to give it a bit longer and maybe my opinion will change.

Synopsis:

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. 

His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben’s elderly father, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together. 

As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. 

Jonah, blissful in his ignorance, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled. 

Funny and heart-breaking in equal measure, Shtum is a story about families, forgiveness and finding a light in the darkest days.


 

truth lies and o-rings

Truth, Lies and O-Rings by Allan J. MacDonald and James R. Hansen

Due to my not being well this week, I’ve not managed to read any more of this book at all. It’s such a fascinating read and I really do want to finish it but I’m thinking of maybe putting it to one side for a while until I’m feeling more able to read it in bigger chunks and to take in better what I’m reading.

 

 


What I recently finished reading: 

dear dad by giselle green

Dear Dad by Giselle Green 

I loved this novel, it was an incredible read. I’ve already reviewed it, you can read my review on the link above.

Synopsis:

Handsome, 28-year old, Nate Hardman is a frontline reporter with a big problem. Suffering from shell-shock and unable to leave his house, he’s already lost his social life and his girlfriend. Now his career prospects are sinking fast. 

9 year-old Adam Boxley who lives alone with his ageing nan, also has big problems. Neglected at home and bullied at school, he’s desperate to reach out to his dad – and that’s when he sends his first letter to Nate. Only Nate’s not who he thinks he is. Will he help? More importantly – can he? 

Across town meanwhile, caring but impulsive teacher Jenna Tierney really wants to help Adam – except the feisty redhead has already had enough of teaching. Recently hurt by yet another cheating boyfriend, Jenna’s now set her sights on pursuing a dream career abroad … only she’s about to meet Nate – her dream man who’ll make her re-think everything.  

The big question is; can three people desperate to find love, ever find happiness when they’re only connected by one big lie?


The boy with the boxes by katey lovell

The Boy with the Boxes by Katey Lovell

This was a new short story in the Meet Cute series and it’s no secret that I’ve adored all of them so far. This was a lovely addition to the series, I’ll have my review up very soon.

Synopsis:

A gorgeously romantic short story, part of The Meet Cute series.

Rosie’s starting afresh. Her best friend and former housemate is starting a new life in Australia leaving Rosie to move into a new flat on her own. But when she meets her next door neighbour, Rosie realises she may not be quite so alone after all…

 


The Boy on the Bus (Meet Cute) by Katey Lovell

The Boy on the Bus by Katey Lovell

This was another new Meet Cute short story, which was released last week, and I think this one is going to have to be placed joint favourite with The Boy at the Beach as I completely and utterly adored it! I’m part way through writing my review now so that will be up on my blog soon.
Synopsis:
A gorgeously romantic short story, part of The Meet Cute series.
Lucy’s morning bus journey is the highlight of her day – it’s the only time she sees her crush. But how can he take up so many of her thoughts when she doesn’t even know his name

 


peter and alice john logan script

Peter and Alice by John Logan

This was an absolutely fascinating book. It’s a short read, and is actually a script for a play but it’s easy to read as it just focuses on the two characters. It’s an imagined conversation that is taking place between the real Alice (who Alice in Wonderland was based on) and the real Peter (who Peter Pan was based on). There is so much packed into this short script that really makes you think, it’s truly brilliant. I’m working on my review at the moment so should have that ready to post on my blog soon.

Synopsis:

When Alice Liddell Hargreaves met Peter Llewelyn Davies at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932, the original Alice in Wonderland came face to face with the original Peter Pan. In John Logan’s remarkable new play, enchantment and reality collide as this brief encounter lays bare the lives of these two extraordinary characters.


What I plan on reading next:

 

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

I was offered the chance to review this book and when I read the synopsis there was no way I could refuse, it sounds so intriguing! I was also offered a place on the blog tour, which I accepted to I will have a Q&A with the author and, all-being-well, my review of the book on 24th April so please look out for that.

Synopsis:

An unmissable psychological thriller for fans of B A Paris’s Behind Closed Doors about two families in crisis and a house swap gone terribly wrong

Limerick, Ireland: Oscar Harvey finds the body of a woman in a car boot, beaten and bloody. But let’s start at the beginning…

Kate and Mannix O’Brien live in a lovely Limerick house they can barely afford. Their autistic son is bullied at school and their daughter Izzy wishes she could protect him. When she spots a gorgeous New York flat on a home-exchange website, Kate decides that her family needs a holiday.

Hazel and Oscar Harvey, and their two children, live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Though they seem successful, Hazel has mysterious bruises and Oscar is hiding things about his dental practice.

Hazel is keen to revisit her native Limerick, and the house swap offers a perfect chance to soothe two troubled marriages.

But this will be anything but a perfect break. And the body is just the beginning.


 

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

It made my week when I was offered a review copy of this book at the end of last week! I’ve been wanting to read this since I first heard about it and can’t wait to start reading. I’ve loved all of Chris Cleave’s previous novels so have very high hopes for this one!

Synopsis:

When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.

Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss – until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided.

Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is – bewilderingly – made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.

Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

In a powerful combination of both humour and heartbreak, this dazzling novel weaves little-known history, and a perfect love story, through the vast sweep of the Second World War – daring us to understand that, against the great theatre of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs, that change us most.


The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

I recently read a review of this on a blog I follow and immediately pre-ordered a copy! I’m drawn to novels about the Titanic but this is from a different perspective so sounds fascinating. I really want to start reading it right away but I need to finish up some review books first and then I’ll be straight on to this!

Synopsis:

 On a black night in April 1912, fifteen hundred passengers and crew perish as the Titanic slowly sinks beneath the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Charting the same perilous course through the icebergs is the SS Californian, close enough for her crew to see the eight white distress rockets fired by the Titanic. Yet the Californian fails to act, and later her crew insist that they saw nothing. As news of the disaster spreads throughout America, journalists begin a feeding frenzy, desperate for stories. John Steadman is one such reporter, a man broken by alcoholism, grief and a failed marriage. Steadman senses blood as he fixates on the Californian and his investigation reveals a tense and perplexing relationship between the ship’s captain and second officer, who hold the secrets of what occurred that night. Slowly he peels back the layers of deception, and his final, stunning revelation of what happened while the Titanic sank will either redeem the men of the Californian, or destroy them.


 

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.:)