That Was The Month That Was… April 2020!

monthly-wrap-up-post-copyrighted-4

April was such a strange month with the UK (and most of the world) on a lockdown. I’m housebound for much of the time anyway as I can’t physically leave the house without help but it’s still so weird not being able to go out even though my husband is home every day (he’s been furloughed). I’m in the high risk group so it’s all very worrying but day to day we’re doing okay. I’m so grateful that we have a small garden so can get some fresh air most days.

My reading and blogging mojo upped and left a while ago – partly because I was really unwell earlier in the year and then the anxiety about Coronavirus began mounting. Thankfully I’ve finally been able to finish some of the books I started weeks and weeks ago, and over the last week or so I’ve been reading more frequently. I’m hoping my reading mojo is properly on its way back and that my blogging will follow!

Whilst I haven’t been reading I have been catching up on some TV boxsets. My husband and I re-watched all of Life On Mars (which is brilliant!) and we finally finished watching Ashes to Ashes. Can’t believe we watched the first two series years ago and then never watched the final series. It was so good. We’ve started watching The Sopranos for the first time (somehow neither of us saw it when it was first on and we’ve both been keen to see it).  I’m still addicted to House of Games – BBC2 is currently showing repeats of the first series (which I’ve never seen) so I’m enjoying those episodes.

Anyway, I finished reading nine books in April (more than half were books I’d been reading on and off before April), which is a vast improvement on my reading in March. So without further ado…

Here are the books I read in April:

Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing by Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse

I bought this audio book on a whim when it was on a daily deal last year. My husband and I listened to it together during the first week or so of lockdown and it was so relaxing at a time of high stress. We discovered the TV series on BBC iPlayer that this book accompanies so we’ve since watched that too and it’s been such a tonic. I recommend both (even if you’re not into fishing!).

Strangers by C. L. Taylor

This novel was such a good read and was the first fiction that I managed to read over a short period in quite a while. I’ve already reviewed this one so you can find my full thoughts here if you’d like to know more.

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff

As is often the case for me I gravitate towards non-fiction when I’m struggling to read and I found I wanted to read about people overcoming very difficult times so this one caught my eye on my Kindle. I found this such a moving, and sad book but it also had hope and a sense of healing running through it. It’s sensitively written and I recommend it.

One of Them: From Albert Square to Parliament Square by Michael Cashman

I’ve had this book on my radar ever since I first heard about it last year so when I spotted it on my library app recently I immediately reserved it. It’s such an honest and moving memoir and I found myself completely lost in Michael’s story.

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

This is a review book that I got from NetGalley fairly recently and I’ve been so keen to read it so picked it up. It took me a few days to read it but I did really enjoying it and I had no idea how it was all going to turn out!

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman

This book is the one that really got me back into reading and I read it all in just two sittings! It’s such a good read and one that had me desperate to know what was going to happen and how things were going to end. I’ll be reviewing it for the blog tour in May but in the meantime I definitely recommend it!

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

As I began to get out of my reading slump I was craving a comfort read and decided to go back to the magic faraway tree – a much beloved series from my childhood. This is the first book and it was lovely to meet all the characters again.

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

This is a book that I’ve owned on ebook for around four years so when I spotted the audio book available on my library app I immediately downloaded it. I’m glad I did as I quite enjoyed the audio but I’m not sure I would have kept reading if I’d been reading the ebook.

Adele by Leila Slimani

This is another book I borrowed from my library’s app and I enjoyed it. I didn’t think it was quite as good as Lullaby but I still found it engrossing and I wanted to know how it was going to end.

 

April Blog Posts & Reviews:

Due to my reading and blogging slump I’ve only published two posts in April but hopefully May will be better. I managed to post my review of Strangers by C. L. Taylor earlier in the month and the on Wednesday I posted my WWW Wednesday Post where I shared what I’m currently reading, what I’ve recently finished reading and what I hoped to read next.   

 

 

How was April for you? I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.

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 April wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to read. 🙂

WWW Wednesday (29 Apr 2019!) What are you reading this week?

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: 

52230217._SY475_

Just my Luck by Adele Parks

I just got approved for this book on NetGalley yesterday and I’ve been so keen to read it that I started it straight away! I’m enjoying it so far.

 

What I recently finished reading:

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman

This is the book that really began to get me out of my recent reading slump and I read it in two sittings. It’s such a good book and I’m looking forward to sharing my review as part of the blog tour next month. In the meantime I highly recommend pre-ordering it!

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

I picked this up as I was trying to find a way back into reading and thought a much-loved book from my childhood would help. I did enjoy this one but not quite as much as I did when I was little.

Adele by Leila Slimani

I borrowed the ebook of this one from the library and it was an okay read. It kept me gripped all the way through but I didn’t feel as engrossed as I did when I read Lullaby. I’m glad I read it though.

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

I’ve had the ebook of this on my TBR for over four years so when I spotted the audio book was available on the library app I decided to get it and listen to it. This book wasn’t what I expected really, I’m glad I listened to it rather than reading as it kept me going with it when I might have put it down.

 

What I plan on reading next:

Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and its Private Consequences by Catherine Pelonero

I bought this book recently and have been keen to pick it up. I read a novel based on this case a year or two ago and have wanted to know more about what happened ever since. I hope to get to this one this week.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

I feel like while we’re on lockdown a book about people being trapped together might be interesting and this one grabbed my attention on my kindle!

Living My Best Life by Claire Frost

I’ve had a copy of this on my review pile for a while now and I think I’m just in the mood for it so hopefully I get to read it in the coming days!

 

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

Weekly Wrap-Up (22 May)

 

Weekly Wrap up SQUARE copyrighted

 

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.

 


It’s been a busy week for me this week, which has really taken it out of me but it’s been worth it.

The best part about the week was that I finally managed to have my hair cut for the first time since my surgery. I had really long hair but when you can’t wash it, or even brush it yourself it starts to feel like another burden so I decided it would be better for me to have it cut off. It took me a while to persuade my hairdresser to cut it as short as I wanted it as she was worried it was too drastic but I’m really happy with how it looks now. My head feels lighter, which has got to be better for my neck, and it’s going to be so much easier to look after. It’s made me realise that I need to start looking at where else  changes can possibly be made in order to try and make life easier.


I’ve managed to get a post up every day this week, which feels like an achievement. They were all scheduled in advance where possible and otherwise were done in stages as I felt up to it.

The biggest news this week is that my blog has been nominated for a Bloggers Bash award!! I’m up for Best Book Review Blog 2016 and I’m still utterly gobsmacked. Thank you to whoever it was that nominated me, you’ve made me so happy! I’m up against some incredible blogs that are much more established than me so I know I won’t win but I feel like I’ve already won as it’s such an honour to be nominated. If you’d like to vote for me I’m listed as Hayley in the Best Book Review Blog category, you can also vote in all the other categories at this link: Bloggers Bash Awards 2016

A lot of you will know that this blog started off as a little hobby as I was recovering from major spinal surgery last year but as it became apparent that my disability would remain severe my blog has become so much more to me. I don’t know how I would have got through this without having my blog to focus on and all you lovely bloggers that have followed me and supported me.


This week I’ve managed to read two novel and two short stories:

The Treachery of Trains by Sylvia Ashby

This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done

The Boy with the Board (Meet Cute series) by Katey Lovell

The Boy at the BBQ (Meet Cute series) by Katey Lovell


 I’ve blogged ten (plus one reblog) times this week:

Sunday:

Weekly Wrap-Up Post

Monday:

My Bookish Memories/Review of After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell (linked to the 3 Quotes Challenge)

Tuesday:

My Bookish Memories/Review of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (linked to the 3 Quotes Challenge)

 

Wednesday:

My Bookish Memories/Review of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (linked to the 3 Quotes Challenge)

WWW Wednesday Post

Thursday:

Review of The Treachery of Trains by Sylvia Ashby

Guest post about making something happen in your novel by Sue Fortin, author of The Girl Who Lied for the Blog Tour

ReBlog: Bloggers Bash Awards Nominations Announcement

Friday:

Review of The Boy with the Board (Meet Cute series) by Katey Lovell

Book Beginnings: The Trap by Melanie Raabe

Saturday:

Stacking the Shelves Post


Coming up on my blog this week:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up Post

Monday: Interview with Sylvia Ashby, author of The Treachery of Trains

Tuesday: Review

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday Post

Thursday: Review

Friday: Book Beginnings Post

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves Post


This is what I’m currently reading:

My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

Sockpuppet by Matthew Blakstad

Where Did I Go? by Polly Williamson


 

 

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. :)

Stacking the Shelves (21 May)

stacking-the-shelves

(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 – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.)

This week I’ve bought some new books:

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

I can’t wait to start reading this book, I’ve been so looking forward to its release. I wrote my Book Beginnings post about it yesterday if you’d like to read that post (click here).

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

I’ve had this book on pre-order for a while and have been very much looking forward to its release. I hope to read it very soon.

The Last Time We Spoke by Fiona Sussman

I bought this on a whim as I really liked the sound of the synopsis. I’ve never read anything by this author before but I’m looking forward to starting this.

SALE/KINDLE DEAL BOOKS

There’s been some great Kindle deals this week and I picked up a few bargains in that.

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent & Ros Schwartz

I’ve heard about this book a few times in recent months but haven’t got around to buying it so when I spotted it on Kindle for £2.99 I snapped it up. I can’t wait to read it.

Shame by Melanie Finn

This book has been on my wish list since last summer when it won an award. I actually thought I’d already bought it but when I went to look for it I eventually realised that I hadn’t… so I’ve put that right now.

Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

I bought this after it showed up on a recommendation on Amazon. I liked the premise and when I saw it was only £1.89 I decided to take a chance on it.

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

I’ve seen this book around so much since it was released but I’ve had it in my head that it would be to creepy for me so I’ve avoided buying it. After my recent experience of reading another book that I’d put off for the same reason and then found I absolutely loved it (The Ice Twins, you can read my review here) I decided to take a chance on this one too. Hopefully I will find this one to be a compulsive read and can get past my wimpiness!

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

I saw this was on the short list for the Wellcome prize recently and as I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of other books on the same list I was considering buying it. When it popped up in yesterday’s Kindle Daily Deal I snapped it up. I’m still enjoying reading non-fiction and was looking for something new to read so I don’t think this will be on my TBR for long.


Books I received for review:

Made to be Broken by Rebecca Bradley

Made to be Broken by Rebecca Bradley (via the author)

I read Rebecca Bradley’s brilliant debut novel on the day it was released and I loved it so when I heard that she was writing a second book in the series I knew I’d have to read it. I was thrilled when Rebecca asked me if I’d like to have an early review copy to read and of course I said yes. I plan to read this very soon. I read her first book before I started writing reviews but I can promise that it’s a great read and I highly recommend you read it in advance of this one coming out.

 

Miss You by Kate Eberlen (via NetGalley)

I’ve seen this book mentioned quite a few times on twitter in recent weeks and have been really keen to read it so I was really pleased when my request was approved on NetGalley yesterday. This book’s not out until August so I should really read some other review books first but I’m not sure that I’ll be able to resist it for very long!

With Malice by Eileen Cook (via NetGalley)

I read a review of this on a blog just the other day (I’m so sorry that I can’t find the note where I wrote whose blog it was, if it was you then please tell me and I’ll link to you. I commented on the review so you’ll know if it was you) and liked the sound of it so much that I decided to see if it was on NetGalley, I was happy to find it was and can’t wait to start reading.

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker (via publisher)

I’ve seen this book talked about on social media for a while now and have been so keen to get a copy of this book. I was offered the chance to review it this week so I jumped at the chance. I plan to start reading this in the next few days.

The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas by David F. Ross (via TripFiction)

I saw a post on TripFiction about some books they were looking for reviewers for so I signed up and had a look. This one jumped out at me, it sounds like such a good read. It made my day when it arrived with a record to go with the book, and a TripFiction bookmark and notecard. I can’t wait to read this so I’ll hopefully get chance to start it in the next week or so.


 

*Side note*

This week I was thrilled find I was nominated for a Bloggers Bash Award for Best Book Review Blog 2016. I’m listed as Hayley on the nomination form and if you’d like to vote for me I’d be grateful beyond words. I love blogging so much, it’s become such an important part of my life. The post with the links for all the voting categories is here: Bloggers Bash Awards Voting Page

 


 

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.

Book Beginnings: The Trap by Melanie Raabe

BB.Button

Book beginnings is a meme set up by Rose City Reader. Every Friday post the first line of the book you’re reading along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Then add a link to your post on Rose City Reader’s blog.

My Book Beginning

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

I am not of this world.

At least, that’s what people say. As if there were only on world.

I am standing in the big, empty dining room I never eat in, looking out the large window. It’s on the ground floor. You look onto the meadow behind the house, and the edge of the woods. Sometimes you see deer or foxes.

It is autumn, and as I stand here gazing out, I have the feeling I’m looking in a mirror.

I am really intrigued by the opening paragraph of this book and already I want to just keep reading to find out more. There isn’t a lot of information given in the opener – we don’t know if this character is male or female or why they feel so out of place – but at the same time I feel like we’re being given a real insight into their state of mind. It seems to be someone who feels very outside of their own life. They describe looking out but then tell us what *you* see and not what *I* see, which is very interesting.

I treated myself to this book yesterday and I don’t think it’ll be on my TBR for long!

 


 

What do you think of this opening paragraph? What do you think is happening? Does it make you want to read on?