Reading Bingo Results for 2017!

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I really enjoyed looking through my reading at the end of 2016 to see if I could complete this reading bingo so I couldn’t resist having another go at it today to see if my reading in 2017 could fill the whole square. I didn’t plan my reading around the bingo, I’m purely looking back at the books I read to see if they fit! Here goes…

 

A book with more than 500 pages

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The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

I read a few books that were over 500 pages last year but I’m choosing this book because it has 849 pages and was the longest book I read in 2017!

 

A forgotten classic

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The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

I’m not 100% sure that this counts as a forgotten classic but it’s the only book that I read last year that sort of counts so I’m using it for this square. It’s a brilliant novel so if you haven’t read it already I definitely recommend it.

A book that became a movie

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m intrigued to see how they’ve gone about making the movie adaptation when it comes out later this year!

A book published this year

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Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

This book was published in 2017 in ebook and I loved it. If you want to read my review on it please click the title above.

A book with a number in the title

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Three Days and A Life by Pierre LeMaitre

I read a few books with a number in the title last year but I’m using this one for this square because it’s one of those books that really got under my skin and I still think about it. I love this author’s writing.

 

A book written by someone under thirty

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Sofa So Good by Scarlett Moffatt

I was unsure how many of the books I read last year had authors under 30 but I knew Scarlett Moffatt definitely was and I very much enjoyed this book so decided to choose it for this square!

 

A book with non-human characters

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The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

This is a wonderful novel about a man who on a missionary trip to another planet, so this novel features alien beings.

 

A funny book

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How to be Champion by Sarah Millican

This is a funny book, because Sarah Millican is a very funny person so it counts as my choice for the funny book square. The book is also very honest and moving and I recommend it. You can read my review if you click the title above.

A book by a female author

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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Most of the books that I read last year were by female authors so there were many books that I could have picked for this square but I decided to go with this one as it’s a book that I really enjoyed.

A book with a mystery

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The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

I picked this book for my mystery square because it’s such a good novel with more than one mystery at its heart. I read most of this book in one sitting because I just had to know.. and the reveal when it came was stunning!

A book with a one-word title

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Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir

I wanted to feature this book in a post looking over my reading as it was such a great read. It meets the criteria for this square and gives me a chance to shout about it again. The follow up to this book is one of my most eagerly anticipated books, I can’t wait to find out what happens next! You can read my full review if you click on the title above.

A book of short stories

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How Much the Heart Can Hold

This is a gorgeous short story collection and I very much enjoyed reading it. The stories are each written by a different author and some I loved more than others but all gave me something to think about.

 

A book set on a different continent

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Little Deaths by Emma Flint

This book is set in America and I live in the UK so it definitely meets the criteria for this square. It’s also another chance to shout about this brilliant novel that still lingers in my mind almost a year after I read it.

 

A book of nonfiction

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Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

This is a brilliant book by a leading heart surgeon all about his time as a surgeon. It’s a very open and honest memoir, a book that really moved me. I recommend this if you haven’t already read it.

 

The first book by a favourite author

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I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

This is a bit of a cheat for this square but I’m counting it because it’s the first non-fiction book by my favourite author. This is an incredible book, it was my favourite non-fiction book of 2017 and I’m going to be recommending it for a long time to come. I already can’t wait to re-read it!

A book you heard about online

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The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

I heard a lot of booktubers talking about this book a while ago and so I bought a copy. It then languished on my TBR for a little while but I finally picked it up last year. I really enjoyed reading about Helen Russell’s year in Denmark and I recommend this one.

A bestselling book

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The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

This was such a great novel, I really enjoyed every minute of reading it. It really does look at female friendship and also how society views women. It’s a book that’s stayed with me and one I hope to re-read in the future. If you’d like to read my full review please click on the title above.

 

A book based on a true story

One Night in November by Amelie Antoine

One Night in November by Amelie Antoine

This book was the first that came to mind when thinking of a book based on a true story because I actually picked this up thinking it was a work of non-fiction. It’s a really harrowing book where the writer explores the terrorist attack at the Bataclan in Paris. I read it because I’ve been exploring trauma again as I worked through my own PTSD last year. You can read my full review by clicking on the title above.

A book at the bottom of your to be read pile

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The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

This book was on my TBR for around twenty years before I finally read it last year! I bought it the year it was first released in hardback and it’s been with me through three house moves. I always knew that I would read it one day but for some reason it intimidated me and I kept putting it off. I’m kicking myself now because I when I finally read it, I loved it.

 

A book your friend loves

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

I could have used a lot of books for this one as I’ve made a lot of friends through blogging and see many book recommendations. I chose this one as I’ve not seen anyone say that didn’t enjoy it. I very much enjoyed this book and highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet. My review is in the link in the title if you’d like to know more.

A book that scares you

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Final Girls by Riley Sager

This book really scared me! I knew it was going to scare me when I first got it and I wasn’t wrong. I ended up finishing this late at night because I simply had to know how it was going to end before I went to bed, and I was so glad my husband was home with me because I was properly unnerved! I highly recommend this one though, it’s so good. My full review can be found by clicking on the title!

A book that is more than 10 years old

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Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

I chose Bel Canto for this square because it fits the criteria but also because it was a chance to feature it on my blog. I took a long time to come to this book but found it a beautifully written novel and one that really got to me. I recommend it.

The second book in a series

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Watch Me by Angela Clarke

I had a couple of books that I could have picked for this square but I went with this one because I’m really enjoying the Social Media series. I have the third one on my TBR but haven’t managed to get to it yet, I definitely plan to read it in 2018 though.

Book with a blue cover

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Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

I picked this book for this square because this book is such a beautiful thing to behold. I have read it and while I enjoyed it it isn’t my favourite by this author, the book itself is gorgeous though.

Free Square!

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The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

I listened to the audio book of this between Christmas and New Year and I loved it so wanted to use this for my free square. I highly recommend this to all book lovers!

 

So I managed to complete my reading bingo for 2017, which I’m happy about! Have you filled in the reading bingo square for your reading last year? I’d love to know your results if you have.

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June Wrap-Up post!

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June has flown by and I can’t believe it’s already July! The highlight of June for me was going to see Kraftwerk with my husband and it was absolutely brilliant. I still can’t believe that we managed to get tickets to see them!

I’m still going through my medication changes so I’m very up and down depending on where I am in the reduction plan. I was offered a new kind of treatment to potentially help with pain management and the person who is doing the treatment has ended up working with me on my PTSD. It’s been amazing for me to finally be shedding those symptoms, and once we’ve worked through those I’ll be starting on the pain protocol to see if it can help me cope better with my pain levels. It’s very draining, mentally and physically, but it’s worth it to be finally dealing with some very traumatic memories.

I also wanted to say here that I am so grateful to all of you who keep reading and sharing my posts, to those of you who comment and check in to see how I am. I honestly can’t tell you how much it means to me. I feel terrible that I’m not managing much time online at the moment and aren’t keeping up with all of your blogs just now. I promise that when I feel stronger I will be back commenting and catching up. In the meantime though – thank you so much.

 

Here are the 15 books I read this month:

 

Be Awesome by Hadley Freeman

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

 

Fabrice Muamba: I’m Still Standing by Fabrice Muamba

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

A Year Lost and Found by Michael Mayne

 

The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

 

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

The Law of Similars by Chris Bohjalian

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

 

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Guilty Innocence by Maggie James

The Hidden Legacy by G. J. Minett


June Blog Posts & Reviews:

I wrote my regular blog posts this month – my Weekly Wrap-Ups, WWW Wednesday posts and my Stacking the Shelves posts so I’m pleased that I didn’t miss any of those.  I didn’t manage to write as many reviews as I’d hoped but I did get five reviews posted which is better than nothing. I also had two fab guest posts from authors Kate Vane and Emily Benet.

Here are the reviews I shared in June:

I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

 

Here are my blog posts from June:

Kate Vane wrote a guest post for my blog all about choosing the title of her novel The Former Chief Executive

Emily Benet wrote about her perfect hen night in celebration of her brand new novel The Hen Party


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The state of my TBR:

As any of you who read my weekly wrap-ups will already know, my plan to reduce my TBR this year has gone completely awry! Books are my pick-me-up so when I’m having a tough time I end up looking at books online and often end up buying one or two. My TBR is now very out of control, not helped by the fact that I didn’t read as much this month as I normally do!

I began this year with a TBR (this is books that I own) of 1885 books and it now stands at 1981 owned but unread books! My aim now is to just really try not to let it get over 2000. I need to get back to at least not buying anymore books than I can read in a month so that my TBR doesn’t get any bigger. My willpower is weak at the moment though.

So far this year I’ve read 129 books, and my target for the year is 200 so I’m definitely on track to achieve that. My Goodreads Mount TBR Challenge to make 100 of those books ones I owned before 31 Dec 2016 is on track. Of the books I’ve read so far this year 52 count for this challenge, which I’m very pleased about.


Quarterly Stats!

 

At the beginning of this year I started tracking my reading and book buying on a spreadsheet for the first time and I’m finding it fascinating to see the patterns in my reading. This is something I’ll definitely be continuing with. I decided to show my stats every three months so it’s that time again!

 

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As I said above I’ve read 129 books this year so far, which amounts to 43,464 pages! I’m really interested in keeping an eye on my total page count as well as books read as it means I’m reading for enjoyment, regardless of how long a book is, rather than focusing on shorter books to get my books read numbers up.  Most of my books fall into the 300-399 pages bar but you can see I have read a couple of much longer books as well as a few shorter books.  The average length of book comes in at 339 pages, which I’m pleased with.

 

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I’ve used Goodreads to track my reading for many years now and I enjoy the stats that I get from there but it doesn’t give a great deal of info. One thing I’m really enjoying about having my own spreadsheet to track other data, and it’s fascinating me to see the breakdown of author genders. This year I’m not consciously picking authors by gender so this is purely how my reading naturally has been. It’s interesting to see that in the first six months of this year 70% of my reading has been books written by female authors.

 

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I read quite a lot of non-fiction last year and wanted to keep that up this year. It was my aim to try and make sure that at least a third of my reading was non-fiction or memoir. Of the 129 books I’ve read so far 35 are non-fiction, so this isn’t quite on target but I have had a month where I’ve needed escapism and fiction so it’s not surprising. I feel sure that my non-fiction mojo will come back and I’ll end up being back on target.  I am reading a wide variety of genres in general though, so I’m pleased overall. The genres I read most of are general fiction, thriller and non-fiction.

 

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I’m also tracking how I acquire my books, which is also interesting to me. I’m happy to say that I buy the majority of my books, or have received them as gifts. I do get quite a lot of books from NetGalley and from publishers, which I am so grateful for but I think it’s good to see that I’m buying more books than I get sent as I do want to always support authors by buying their books, as well as reviewing them.

 


 

How was your June? 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! (11 Jun)

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This week has been a quiet-ish week but a tiring one. I’ve been feeling really unsettled after hearing about the death of my great-aunty last week, and when I feel like this it’s always so much harder to read. It’s frustrating that at the times I most need escape I struggle to read but it’s just the way it is with me.

I had a really difficult but ultimately very positive appointment this week to do with my PTSD. I’ve long considered myself better but there are still triggers that I have to be mindful of and by chance I’m having a treatment that is making a real difference. I don’t want to talk in any detail but it is an amazing experience when the wonderful memories that have been blocked by the trauma suddenly come flooding back. It made for a very emotional day but a really good step forward.

This week I’ve finished reading three books:

Fabrice Muamba: I’m Still Standing by Fabrice Muamba

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a long time so this week when I picked it out of my TBR jar I decided to read it. It was a really moving and inspiring read. Fabrice Muamba has had such an interesting life and it was really enjoyable to read about his childhood. It’s incredible to read about his more recent years and to know just how amazing it is that he survived his cardiac arrest.

The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

This is such a brilliant novel. I honestly loved it from the first chapter all the way through and I highly recommend it. I’ve already reviewed it on my blog so you can read that here if you’d like to know more.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I finished reading this last weekend and really enjoyed it. I think I preferred The Girl on the Train but I would definitely still recommend this one.

 

This week I’ve blogged five times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up Post

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

Thursday: Author Kate Vane guest posted about the title of her new novel, The Former Chief Executive

Friday: Review of The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

Baby Lost by Hannah Robert

This is such a sad and moving memoir but it’s a book I definitely recommend. It’s about a woman who was in a car accident when 8 months pregnant and her baby died, she then had to deal with the horrendous legal fact that her baby wasn’t considered a person because she wasn’t born at the time of the accident. I haven’t read much of this book this week as I haven’t felt up to reading an emotional book. I will be getting back to is as soon as I can though.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

I also haven’t read any more of this book this week as I just haven’t been in the mood to read it. I was very much enthralled in it so will be getting back to it once my reading mojo returns.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This is another book that’s been left to one side this week but again I will get back to it soon.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

I’ve read a bit more of this book over the last few days as it’s been easier for me to concentrate on this and has been a good distraction.

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

This book has fallen by the wayside a bit too this week but it’s entirely down to my mood and nothing to do with the book. I’ll be picking this up once I feel brighter but I want to leave it until then as I don’t want my current slump to affect my opinion of this brilliant book.

 

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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: 1948

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 13

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 3

TBR Books culled this week: 0

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1958

 


 

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 (7 June) What are you reading this week?

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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:

Baby Lost by Hannah Robert

This is an incredible moving memoir about a woman who was in a car accident when 8 months pregnant and her baby didn’t survive. She ends up in a court battle to try and have her baby recognised as a victim of the crash.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

This has been a book that I’ve heard about so many time and I finally bought a copy last week and I wanted to read it right away. It’ll be a book that I read on and off for the next few weeks.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

I bought this book earlier this year and have been really looking forward to reading it so it was my pick this week. I’m really enjoying reading this novel.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

This book has ended up being a little different to what I was expecting but it’s drawn me in and I’m now hooked. I’m really intrigued to know whodunnit now!

The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

This is a fascinating novel about the break-up of a marriage. I’ve only got a couple of chapters left to read and I’ve loved every minute that I’ve spent reading it. My review will be on my blog on Friday so please look out for it then.

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

I’m afraid that I haven’t read anymore of this book since last week. It’s entirely down to my real life interfering with my reading mojo, and I was enjoying this book so much that I decided to put it to one side rather than risk my current mood affecting my enjoyment. I hope to pick it back up very soon.

What I recently finished reading:

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I finished reading this at the weekend and it’s still swirling around in my mind. I definitely recommend this one!

Be Awesome by Hadley Freeman

I’m sorry to say that this book was a disappointment for me. It’s one of the books that has been on my TBR for a while and I picked it up the other day expecting a real mood boost of a book but it wasn’t that. It may have been that I’m older than the target audience but I’m not sure that I’d recommend this to anyone.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This book was incredible! It was so moving and powerful. I was furious at the way people were treated back then, I was heartbroken reading some of the personal stories. It  was awful to read of the politics that led to delays in treatment. I recommend this book to everyone. Please go read it!

After Anna by Alex Lake

This is another book that has been on my TBR for a while and I ended up listening to the audio last week. It was a fast-paced read that kept me hooked but it was very predictable. I’m still interested to read another novel by the author though.

What I plan on reading next:

The Child by Fiona Barton

I was sent an ARC of this book a few weeks ago and it’s really calling to me from my TBR so I’m hoping to start reading it in the next week.

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

I got approved for this on NetGalley recently and have been so keen to read it. I hope to be able to start it this week.

 

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! (4 June)

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This week has been one of those up and down weeks.

My medication changes are going okay, there have been some tough days but not every day has been horrendous so I’m grateful for that.

Sadly, I found out on Friday night that my great aunty has died. She was a lovely lady, and I will miss her. It’s made me doubly sad to think that she was the last member of my mum’s side of the family from a previous generation. It’s hard to think that all the memories she held are gone forever. I find these days that any loss brings back the grief of my mum’s death and it hits me harder for that. It’s left me in a reflective mood. I’m trying to lose myself in books.

This week I’ve finished reading seven books:

Be Awesome by Hadley Freeman

I’ve owned a copy of this book for ages but when I saw it on my audio subscription app I decided to listen to it. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t enjoy it very much. There were some parts that really spoke to me but most of it was just not that great. It wasn’t the book that I was expecting it to be. It was my first book of June so I’m hoping the rest of the month goes better!

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This book is incredible, I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s non-fiction and about the AIDS crisis in the 80s and early 90s. I’ve read other books about it but there was something about this book that really got to me. It made me so angry at how people were treated, at the lack of care from the system and it was made even more sad by the way some of the delays in finding a treatment happened. It’s a very powerful and moving book. I was thinking of reviewing it but I’m not sure that I could in any way do it justice.

After Anna by Alex Lake

This is another pick that has been on my TBR for ages. I found it a fast-paced, quick read but it was predictable. I did work out what had happened straight away so it was a bit disappointing. It’s an alright read though, and I would still read the author’s next book to see how I find it.

How We Met by Katy Regan

This is another pick from my older TBR and I enjoyed it. It’s contemporary fiction but had a bit of depth to it, which I appreciated. It’s not a book that I would be drawn to buying these days but it made a nice change from my usual reads.

I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

This book is brilliant! It’s a real psychological thriller – it was near impossible to put down and it had me feeling really unnerved. I’ve already reviewed this so you can read more of what I thought of it here if you’d like to. I highly recommend reading this book though – it’s the best psychological thriller I’ve read this year so far!

Wishbones by Virginia McGregor

I spotted this on my audio book app this week and I was in the mood for listening to something a bit lighter. I really enjoyed this middle-grade book and would definitely recommend it.

Letting Go by Alex Hanscombe

This is another audio book that I finished listening to this week. It’s the memoir of Alex Hanscombe, all about how he came to terms with the murder of his mother Rachel Nickell, when he was a young child. It’s a really moving and inspiring book, I recommend it.

This week I’ve blogged six times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up Post 

Tuesday: My TBR for the #20BooksofSummer challenge

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday Post

Thursday: May Wrap-Up Post

Friday: Review of I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

I’ve finally got around to starting this review book and although it’s not exactly what I thought it was going to be, I am really enjoying it. I’m intrigued to find out how it’s all going to end up.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

This book has been recommended to me so many times so I finally decided to buy a copy this week and I immediately started reading it. It’s a fascinating look at the Chicago World Fair, which I knew a little bit about, and the serial killer H. H. Holmes, who I’d never heard of before. I’ll be reading this book on and off for the next few weeks in between other books.

The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

This is an engrossing character-driven novel about a couple whose marriage has broken down but they can’t afford to get divorced. It’s a really insightful look at relationships and I’m really enjoying it.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

I bought this book a few months ago on a whim and have since seen good things about it so was keen to start reading it. I’m really enjoying it. It’s a book about a family who are expecting a substantial inheritance but the mother of the family goes against what the adult children thought would happen and now the family are at loggerheads with each other.

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

I haven’t read much more of this book this week as it’s a book I wanted to be engrossed in but my mind has needed much easier reads. I definitely want to get back to this as soon as I can though as I’m very much enjoying it.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I’m back reading this book this week and am gripped! It’s such a good read and so far I’m suspicious of most of the characters and am keen to know how it will all turn out in the end.

 

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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: 1944

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 11

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 7

TBR Books culled this week: 0

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1948

 


 

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 (31 May) 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:

After Anna by Alex Lake

This is another book that I’ve had on my TBR since it first came out so I decided to make it my next read. It’s a fast-paced novel and easy to follow but I suspect it may be a little predictable – I haven’t got to the full reveal yet though so I’ll reserve judgement for now.

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

I’m finding this book fascinating – I keep stopping reading and pondering over the part I’ve just read. I’m deliberately taking my time with this as I’m enjoying it so much.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

This is a really good read but I’ve been in a non-fiction mood over the last few days so I’ve put this to one side. I will be picking it up again soon though.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve been engrossed in this book at every chance I’ve had over the last week. It’s such a moving book, and even though I’ve read other books about the AIDS crisis in the 80s, I’m finding that I’ve been utterly shocked and furious at what happened back then. The way people were treated, the missed chances for treatment options. It’s such a powerful read, and one I think everyone should pick up.

 

What I recently finished reading:

How We Met by Katy Regan

This is another book that I’ve had on my TBR for ages now so when I spotted it on my audio subscription a couple of days ago I decided to make it my next listen. I enjoyed it and would recommend it if you like light fiction with a bit more depth to it.

I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

This book! I picked this up late at night and read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, then I picked it up again in the morning and didn’t put it down until I’d finished it. It had me on edge, it had my second-guessing myself – it was brilliant. I hope to get my thoughts together to write my review later this week.

Wishbones by Virginia MacGregor

This was another audio book that I listened to this week. This was picked on a whim as I wanted something light and easy. Wishbones was a wonderful novel for young people (mid-grade) that really gives an insight into eating disorders. I recommend this.

Letting Go by Alex Hanscombe

This is the memoir of Rachel Nickell’s son. He was with her when she was murdered on Wimbledon Common, he witnessed it at just three years old. This memoir is so candid and very moving. It’s also a really inspiring and thought-provoking read.

What I plan on reading next:

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

I was approved to read this from NetGalley a week or so ago and I’ve heard such good things about it that I really want to read it as soon as I can.

 

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! (28 May)

Weekly Wrap up SQUARE copyrighted

 

This week has a quiet one due to all the medication changes I have going on, and this alongside the hot weather has floored me over the last few days. I’m just taking things as they come at the moment and will be doing so for the next week or two at least. I do have some posts scheduled on my blog so they will still appear, and will be tweeted and posted on Facebook but I’ll only be around occasionally as and when I feel up to it. I really appreciate all of you for bearing with me in the meantime.

This week I’ve finished reading three books:

Making Space by Sarah Tierney

I loved every minute that I spent reading this novel, it just really grabbed me and I could identify so much with both of the main characters in the book. I’ve already reviewed this book so you can read my thoughts on it here if you’d like to.

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

This was my latest pick from my pre-2017 TBR and while it turned out to be not what I was expecting, I did enjoy it. There was more sci-fi elements to the book than I thought there would be but it was an interesting novel and I’m glad I read it.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This book is stunning. I was hooked from the very first page and I feel quite bereft at having finished it. Eleanor Oliphant is one of those characters that gets under your skin and I’m sure she’ll stay with me for a very long time to come. I’ve also already reviewed this book so you can find that here if you want to read more about what I thought of it.

 

This week I’ve blogged six times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up post

Monday: Review of The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

Thursday: Review of Making Space by Sarah Tierney for the blog tour

Friday: Review of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

Letting Go by Alex Hanscombe

This is an incredibly moving and interesting memoir written by the son of Rachel Nickell, the young mum who was murdered on Wimbledon Common as her 3 year old watched on. Alex is such a pragmatic and thoughtful man and it’s very inspiring to read how he came to terms with losing his mother in such an horrific way.

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

I’ve been really looking forward to reading this book and it absolutely doesn’t disappoint.  Every time I pick this book up I get completely enthralled and am fascinated by this book.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

This is such a good read, I’m really enjoying reading it.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve been reading more of this book this week and have got so engrossed in it that it’s taken me away from my other books.

 

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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: 6

Subtractions:

TBR Books culled this week: 3

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1944

 


 

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 (24 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:

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

I picked this book up at the weekend but when I went to mark it as ‘currently reading’ on Goodreads I noticed a reviewer I trust mention that the book contains huge spoilers for the film The Usual Suspects, which I’d never seen. So I put the book down for a couple of days until I had a chance to watch the film (which I loved and am kicking myself for not having watched it before now). I picked the book up again last night and am really enjoying it.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I pre-ordered this book ages ago so it arrived on my kindle on release day but I’ve been keeping it to read when I could sit and read it in big chunks. I’ve read about a third of this now and am really enjoying it, it’s swirling around in my mind during the time when I’m not reading it and that’s always the sign of a compelling book!

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

This is my latest pick from my pre-2017 TBR and I’m enjoying it. It’s not what I thought it was going to be but it’s holding my attention so I’m keeping on with it.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve not managed to read any more of this book this week but I hope to read a chunk of it over the weekend. I just feel like it’s a book that I need to read when I can really take it all in so I like to wait until the right time to pick it up.

What I recently finished reading:

Making Space by Sarah Tierney

I read this in two sittings earlier this week and I really enjoyed it. I’m on the blog tour for the book tomorrow and will be sharing my review so look out for that.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I loved this book so much, I feel quite bereft at having finished it. I was sent this for review so I’ll be reviewing this book soon but in the meantime I highly recommend you buying a copy of this, you won’t regret it.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

I found this to be such a gripping read, it has an increasing sense of malices the book goes on and I didn’t want to put it down. I’ve already reviewed this book on my blog so you can read that here if you’d like to.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I adored this book, it’s such a beautiful and moving novel. I reviewed this on my blog last week so you can read my review here if you’d like to know more about my thoughts on it.

Becky by Darren Galsworthy

This is such a moving memoir by the father of Becky Watts, the teenager who was murdered by her step-brother a couple of years ago. It’s such an open and honest book, it’s heartbreaking to read.

What I plan on reading next:

The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

I was contacted by the publicist for this book to ask if I’d like to read it for the blog tour and I immediately said yes as I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of Amanda’s previous novels. I’m really looking forward to starting this book in the next couple of days.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

I was sent a copy of this book to review a few weeks ago and am really keen to start reading it soon. I’m aiming to get to it over the weekend.

 

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.

See my new #bookhaul in this week’s Stacking the Shelves post (6 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!

 

Here are the books I bought this week:

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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I really enjoyed The Girl on the Train so have been eagerly anticipating this book. I have heard mixed things about it but I still want to read it and see what I think. I hope to start reading this today or tomorrow.

Synopsis:

In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help.

Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.

But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.

And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .

Set the Boy Free by Johnny Marr

Set the Boy Free by Johnny Marr

I’ve been wanting to read this for ages so when I spotted it in the kindle sale for £1.99 this week I snapped it up. I notice that I can now buy the audible version for £2.99 so I may do that and make this my next listen with my husband.

Synopsis:

Johnny Marr was born in 1960s Manchester to Irish emigrant parents and knew from an early age that he would be a musician. Forming his first band at thirteen, Marr spent his teenage years on the council estates of Wythenshawe playing guitar, devouring pop culture and inventing his own musical style.

It wasn’t until the early eighties, when Marr turned up on the doorstep of a singer named Steven Patrick Morrissey, that both a unique songwriting partnership and the group recognised as one of the most iconic bands of all time were formed. In 1983 The Smiths released their first single, and within a year their eponymous debut album reached number two in the UK chart, paving the way for mainstream and critical success on their own terms.

For Marr, tensions within the band and desire for a wider musical scope led to his departure from The Smiths in 1987, ensuring the end of one of the most influential British groups of a generation.

But this was just the beginning for Marr. From forming Electronic and The Healers to playing with Bryan Ferry, Talking Heads, Kirsty MacColl, Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg, Nile Rodgers and Bert Jansch. From joining The Pretenders, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs to recently collaborating with Hans Zimmer and receiving acclaim and worldwide success in his own right as a solo artist, Marr has never stopped. Here, for the first time, he tells his own side of the story.

From roaming the streets of Manchester to constantly pushing musical boundaries as the most loved guitarist Britain has ever produced, Johnny Marr’s memoir is the true history of music – told by one of its very own legends.

The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

I’ve seen this book talked about on YouTube and it sounded really interesting so when I realised it was only £1.89 on Kindle I snapped it up. It’s a long novel so I’m going to save it for when I feel up to reading a longer book but I’m very much looking forward to getting to it.

Synopsis:

Growing up in 1930s Brooklyn, Florence Fein will do anything to escape the confining values of her family and her city, and create a life of meaning and consequence. When a new job and a love affair lead her to Moscow, she doesn’t think twice about abandoning America – only to discover, years later, that America has abandoned her.

Now, as her son Julian travels back to Moscow – entrusted to stitch together a murky transcontinental oil deal – he must dig into Florence’s past to discover who his mother really was and what she became. He must also persuade his own son, Lenny, to abandon his risky quest for prosperity in the cut-throat Russian marketplace. As he traces a thread from Depression-era America, through the collective housing and work camps of Stalin’s USSR, to the glittering, oil-rich world of New Russia, Julian finally begins to understand the role he has played – as a father, and as a son.

Epic in sweep and intimate in detail, The Patriots is both a compelling portrait of the entangled relationship between America and Russia, and a beautifully crafted story of three generations of one family caught between the forces of history and the consequences of past choices.

The Secret Mother by Victoria Delderfield

The Secret Mother by Victoria Delderfield

This is another book that I bought on a whim when I saw it in the kindle sale for 99p this week. I think this sounds like a really moving novel and I’m looking forward to sitting down with this one.

Synopsis:

Mai Ling is chasing the Chinese dream. She’s escaping to the city, seeking a new life, running away from the old customs of arranged marriage. The Secret Mother puts a face to the label Made in China. It tells the bittersweet story of a factory girl willing to risk everything. The Secret Mother uncovers the life of Mai Ling, who follows the Chinese dream and is denied motherhood when she must give up her twins in international adoption. Not to lose touch with her girls, Mai Ling follows them to England, and so begins a tale Netgalley reviewers called ‘heartfelt’, ‘intriguing’ and ‘a brilliant portrayal

Undertow by Elizabeth Heathcote

Undertow by Elizabeth Heathcote

This was an impulse buy as I was intrigued by the cover – it was another 99p book in the sale so I thought I’d take a chance on it. I enjoy these easy thrillers on days when my concentration isn’t great but I want to be caught up in a book.

Synopsis:

My husband’s lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them . . . until now.

Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorcé with three children. She is content to absorb the stresses of being a stepmother to teenagers and the stain of ‘second wife’. She knows she’ll always live in the shadow of another woman – not Tom’s first wife Laura, who is resolutely polite and determinedly respectable, but the lover that ended his first marriage: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night.

But Carmen can overlook her husband’s dead mistress . . . until she starts to suspect that he might have been the person who killed her.

Obsession by Amanda Robson

Obsession by Amanda Robson

I had this book on pre-order when it was a bargain at 99p so it was a nice surprise when it appeared on my Kindle on Thursday. I love the cover of this one as well as the synopsis so hope to read this soon.

Synopsis:

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

Obsession is a dark, twisting thriller about how quickly our lives can fall apart when we act on our desires.

The Girlfriend by Michell Frances

The Girlfriend by Michell Frances

I saw this mentioned on social media a few times recently so went to Amazon to add it to my wish list but as it was on offer for the bargain price of 98p I decided to just buy it. I’m intrigued by this one and definitely want to try and read it before too long.

Synopsis:

A girl. A boy. His mother. And the lie she’ll wish she’d never told.

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

I also received five review books:

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

After reading Jo at MyChestnutReadingTree’s fabulous review of this novel I immediately requested it on NetGalley and was thrilled when I got the approval email! I want to read this very soon, hopefully this week.

Synopsis:

There’s trouble in paradise. . .

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy.

It should be paradise, but it’s turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes.

After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?

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Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

I first saw the cover of this book on Twitter a few weeks ago and was so keen to read it. I was thrilled then I was offered the chance to be on the blog tour for the book. My date for the tour is mid-June so I’m trying to leave reading this until a bit nearer the time but I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to hold out for as it sounds like an incredible book.

Synopsis:

Bo Luxton has it all – a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops … Or does it? Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

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The One That Got Away by Annabel Kantaria 

I got an email from the publicist for this book offering me the chance to review it and I immediately said yes. It sounds like such a great read, and doesn’t it have such a striking cover?

Synopsis:

Everyone has one. An ex you still think about. The one who makes you ask ‘what if’?

Fifteen years have passed since Stella and George last saw each other. But something makes Stella click ‘yes’ to the invite to her school reunion.

There’s still a spark between them, and although their relationship ended badly, they begin an affair.

But once someone gets you back, sometimes they’re never going to let you go again…

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This Family of Things by Alison Jameson  

I spotted this book being offered to bloggers for review recently and immediately asked if I could have a copy. It sounds like such a gorgeous read and I’m really looking forward to getting to read it.

Synopsis:

On his way back up from the yard Bird had seen something white and round – a girl who had curled herself into a ball. Lifting her was like retrieving a ball of newspaper from out of the grass or an empty crisp bag that someone had flung over the ditch. She seemed to lack the bones and meat and muscle of real people. She felt as if she was filled with feathers.

On the day Midge Connors comes hurtling into Bird Keegan’s life, she flings open his small, quiet world. He and his two sisters, Olive and Margaret, have lived in the same isolated community all their lives, each one more alone than the others can know.

Taking in damaged, sharp-edged Midge, Bird invites the scorn of his neighbours and siblings. And as they slowly mend each other, family bonds – and the tie of the land – begin to weigh down on their tentative relationship. Can it survive the misunderstandings, contempt and violence of others?

A poignant and powerful study of the emotional lives of three siblings and the girl who breaks through their solitude.

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All the Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker

I’m excited to have received an ARC of this book as it sounds so good! I’m actually reading Tall Oaks at the moment and loving it so I can’t wait to read this new book by the author.

Synopsis:

“Raine sometimes complains that nothing exciting is ever gonna happen in Grace again. Daddy told her careful what you wish for.”

Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she’s a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama – especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine.

Then Summer goes missing.

Grace is already simmering, and with this new tragedy the police have their hands full keeping the peace. Only Raine throws herself into the search, supported by a most unlikely ally.

But perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .


 

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.

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.